chapter twenty one

“I can’t believe how empty this place is,” I wondered aloud. “Especially on a Saturday night.”

“I know,” AJ agreed. “Its almost creepy, don’t you think so?”

“Quit trying to scare me, McLean.” I laughed. It had been dark for quite some time, and we were walking back to his car, the only one in the parking lot besides a rusty old van we had just walked by.

“I’m not trying to scare you,” he defended himself. “Just stating the facts.”

A gloved hand covered my mouth as I went to respond to AJ. My muffled shrieks were quieted as well when I felt a sharp, pointy object pierce the side of my throat. I shot a glance towards AJ and saw that he was being held back fiercely by two men; two extremely large, violent-looking men that struck immense fear in me. I could only watch hopelessly as he struggled to break free, his eyes ablaze with a mixture of fear and anger.

“Cooperate and no one gets hurt!” a fourth man-standing by the rusty van-snarled.

Feeling the cold metal against my throat, I unconsciously followed the tugging. I searched the area moving only my eyes, and came to the realization that I was being forced farther and farther away from AJ. My assailant had lowered his guard some, and I took the opportunity.

“AJ!” was all I managed before the same gloved hand returned forcefully to my mouth. I was turned away from my view of AJ, and a more intense fear starting coursing through my veins. The beginning of the end...

“What the hell are you doing?!?!” I heard AJ shout. “Leave her alone!”

“And ruin our fun?” I heard another say, his voice dripping with sarcasm. To the man holding me captive, his partner in crime, he ordered: “Get her in the van.”

With the help of the heavyset man by the van, I was tossed into the back of the beat up vehicle and was immediately bound at my ankles and wrists. Soon after, a gag was tightly in place.

The two men left me there, shutting the rusty doors with a loud bang. Struggling, I managed to bring myself to my knees just in front of the window of one of the van’s rear doors.

To my horror, the two that had tied me up were now with the other two, who had AJ in a helpless position; arms fiercely secured behind his back. I watched miserably as two men took turns in striking at him, delivering strong fists to AJ. He had taken several blows before collapsing, but he wasn’t unconscious. I knew this, for an array of colorful, profane words left his lips in his crouched position. One of the men, apparently the leader of the pack, pulled AJ top his feet by the collar of his shirt. He was obviously more than angered at this point.

“You think you’re tough, don’t you, big shot? Think you can handle anything that comes your way, can you?” he paused, just long enough to deliver another blow to AJ’s stomach. “Then let’s just see how well you handle the little show me and your little girlfriend are gonna put on for you!”


“NO!” AJ shouted, fear shooting throughout his entire system, drowning out the pain. With newfound strength, he struggled to break away from his assailants, but they had a death grip on him. Vowing to not give up, he continued to struggle. Cassie was not going to get hurt by that...that thug. He wouldn’t allow it. He wouldn’t even conceive of it.


My blood ran cold as I heard the man’s words. Immediately, I fell back into the farthest corner of the cold, dank van, making myself as small as possible. This can’t happen to me, it can’t. Such a perfect day...I'm not really a bad person...why do this to AJ? What did I do wrong? A million thoughts coursed through my mind in the smallest of instants as my I broke into a cold sweat.

‘This isn’t happening, this isn’t happening...’ I told myself, but my thoughts were drowned out little by little with the sound of approaching footsteps, then completely by the opening of the back doors of the van. I watched helplessly as a largely built male figure crawled into the van, his sweaty hands trailing up my legs. I shut my eyes, trying to shut out his cruel laughter, AJ’s pleading shouts, the metal floor of the van grinding against my back. My heart sank into the pits of my stomach as the cruel reality struck me: This WAS happening.

[chapter 20 | chapter index | chapter 22]