I Won't Let You Die Angel (4 page)

BOOK: I Won't Let You Die Angel
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Chapter 6

 

A bullet swarmed past, barely
touching my right shoulder laterally. Before I could even process what was happening,
Neil ducked me to the ground. With the fireworks loosed and us secreted in a secluded
corner, no one noticed the disruption.

A spot of red light appeared
just above my head, which was now racing unusually fast. Neil noticed and quickly
rolled us over several yards. That’s when four men appeared out of nowhere with
heavily loaded guns in their hands. Beside me, Neil unloaded his own. For a few
seconds, just for a few, I thought maybe, maybe the FBI had caught up with us. I
instinctively searched for Chris. But as quickly as the idea invaded my mind, it
was discarded. Because Neil was not the target, I was.

“They want me dead? Why?”
I asked desperately.

“We don’t know that yet.”

“Well, aiming at my heart
sort of gave their plan away. And mind you, a LASER beam never deviates from its
path. It is an absolutely coherent source of light.”

The leftmost bugger lifted
his Laser gun and Neil pushed me behind him. We raised ourselves slowly. Now was
the best time to activate my absolute best defense mode. Bad guys confronting us
check, innocent people all around   check, weaponless myself double check, partner-in-crime
er check, sort of.

While I was formulating
an escape plan number “God knows what”, Neil was all about his work. Apparently,
he didn’t recognize them as “friends” either. In one swift motion, he fired four
bullets back-to-back and each bugger’s right hand was branded with a bullet-sized
red spot. Surely they didn’t anticipate Neil to act so aggressively so early on.
I was hugely impressed.

I quickly regained my
composure; now was not the right time to get distracted. “Do you have another gun?”

“What?” He asked, his eyes
fixed on the goons.

“Gun! You can’t expect me
to fight without a weapon?”

At the same moment, the
weaponless devil men regained themselves, too, and charged us mechanically. They
apparently assumed one person with a gun couldn’t hold all four of them back. Well,
they ignored me, and I didn’t like the insult.

Neil fired, but they were
past the initial shock and easily dodged it. My legs dragged my body backwards without
consulting my mind. One of them somehow became successful in knocking the gun out
of Neil’s grasp. Another one attacked him from the back. The other two came after
me slowly. They didn’t attempt to attack me, probably thinking they would subdue
me easily.

I cracked my knuckles. Well,
bring it on you devils; you certainly don’t know what Janet Kanet is made of.

Both of them aimed at my
arms. Nobody paid any attention to my legs, too bad for them. They charged forward
and I ducked my knees, grabbing each of their thighs and toppling them over. I have
to admit, that’s not easy to do, but fortunately I caught them by surprise.

One got up way earlier than
I expected and fumbled inside his jacket. I yanked his hand away, spun in a half
circle, grabbed his shoulder, and toppled him on the ground hard. God he was heavy!

Meanwhile, another was speaking
on his walkie-talkie, probably asking for re-enforcements. Where did that come from?
I didn’t waste any time and snatched it away from him, so he refrained. We entangled
ourselves in some sort of wrestling match; thank God he was not that much heavier
or more muscular. But still I was outmatched. He was about a foot taller than me.
I took advantage of it and stooped lower to kick him in the guts. He let out a hard
snort, but remained unfazed. I quickly rummaged through his coat and found what
I was looking for.

I pulled out the gun, all
the while giving him hard kicks in the same place with precision.  You have no idea
what impact one point can infuse.

I turned around, knowing
for sure the other goon would be reaching for his own gun. And he did exactly that,
quickly regaining composure from his head concussion. I remembered my training.

You only have one shot, make it count.
” I pulled the trigger, and the bullet
scratched his heart as intended. I ducked and turned back to shoot the other one,
first in the leg, and when he sank to the ground, straight at his head. His eyes
rolled up and he died instantly.

I got up quickly and searched
for Neil. A few yards away, he was wrestling with a blonde attacker. One of them
was sprawled on the ground, his neck twisted at an abrupt angle. Neil was losing
the battle; Blondie was choking him now. I recalled all my training and shot straight
at his head. He collapsed in an instant.

Neil looked at me with such
a shocking glance that I could have pulled the trigger on him, and he would have
welcomed it without even blinking. But I was exhausted, and I couldn’t bring myself
to hurt Neil. Don’t ask me why.

Neil got over his shock
and his eyes lit up with admiration.

“What? You didn’t really
think you were the only one with skills here, did you?

Come on, we gotta leave.”
I said proudly.

He was fixed in his place.
“How did you….?

Did you just shoot three
men to death with absolute accuracy?” He shook his head in disbelief.

“And wrestled two of them
first, don’t forget to mention that. You may add that in my resume. “Now move your
ass. One of them called for re-enforcements.”

“Wait! I need to know who’s
behind all this. Maybe we could catch one.” The way he said “we” made my heart flutter.

“Look, Hero, you might enjoy
fights and being beaten up, but I certainly don’t. And I surely don’t enjoy killing.”
I dropped the gun in disgust.

A few men in black became
visible in a faraway location. I counted; there must be at least twenty. “And now
we’re going to run for our lives.” I grabbed his hand and together we sprinted over
the hedge and maneuvered our way in the dark towards the exit.

I finally relaxed when we
were safely tucked inside a motel room. I sank on the bed, completely drained. I
hadn’t realized how exhausted I was. Neil collapsed beside me, kicking his shoes
with a projectile motion into a corner.

“What are you doing?” I
asked.

“What! Do you think you
are the only one drained? Men need to rest, too.” With that, he pulled the covers
over him and closed his eyes.

“Hey!!! I’m not sleeping
in this bed with you.”

“Why? Do you think I’ll
take advantage of you? How archaic. Don’t fret
Angel
. I don’t go where I’m
not invited.”

“I don’t care what you say.
We are not sleeping in the same bed. Period”

He tossed me the covers.
“Then sleep on the floor. I couldn’t care less.”

I looked at him in awe.
“You are so not a gentleman. You’re asking a lady to sleep on the floor while you
enjoy the exquisite comfort of a bed.”

“Lady? Who? Who’s the delicate
Cinderella here? The girl in front of me took out more men in a fight than me.

I’m fully assured of your
toughness, darling.”

I slammed the pillow in
his face and settled myself on the cold, hard floor. Several attempts to take a
nap were thwarted by my jangled nerves. Today, I killed three persons. Surely, it
was entirely self-defense. They attacked us in the first place. But I took three
lives today. That was not me. That was not Janet. All the harsh, bone-cracking training
I endured was only to learn to protect myself, not to kill.

This is how the practicality
of life deviates from reality. I took a deep breath, relaxing my mind. “Try to meditate,
Janet. You are not a murderer,” I consoled myself. “You are not a murderer, you
saved your life. More than yourself, you saved Neil’s life too.”

I murmured “Om” in my mind.
Peace.

“Where did you learn all
those skills? I thought you were a mini-scientist?” inquired Neil suddenly.

For a second, I thought
about pretending to be asleep. But again, I so needed to talk to someone. I went
with the flow downstream, “Took training, learned all defensive and offensive techniques
I could manage between my studies, including swordplay.”

“Well, your aim was awesomely
precise. A slight falter and the bullet would have pierced me.”

“My instructor told me
that I’m best with guns, but I could’ve thrown a knife with equal precision.”

By the way, thanks for the
compliment.”

He chuckled, “I am not complimenting
you,
Angel
. You got the wrong idea.”

I scowled, “Oh really, Mr.
Monster?”

“I have a name.” He retorted.

“So do I.” I gave it back.

He whistled slowly, “But
why did you go through such an intense program? You are not an athlete, I suppose.”

Please don’t tell me you
are some CIA’s secret alias agent.”

I laughed, “No, I’m not.”

“Then why? Why go through
all this trouble? You could have creatively enjoyed all those hours frying someone
else’s mind with more theories.”

I sighed. “I had my reasons.”
Now the conversation was drifting in a direction I didn’t want to explore. I didn’t
feel like talking anymore.

“I don’t suppose you’ll
tell me,” he asked cautiously.

“No”, I haven’t told anyone.
Even mom has no idea. I wish I could share it with anyone. The weight of these things
crushes me sometimes. I could talk to Neil. He would listen, and then he’ll be out
of my life one day. No harm done.

“Someday, maybe!” I replied
laconically.

“Someday,” he murmured.

Then silence prevailed.
I hate silence; I guess I’ve it mentioned earlier. Maybe he slept, I decided.

I recalled the intimate
moment we shared earlier. It seems far earlier. He was going to kiss me, and what
horrified me that I was ready to give myself in to it. I didn’t restrain him. He
would have kissed me and I would have let him. Hell! I would have kissed him back.

I’ve kissed before. But
I never felt this much euphoria over someone. I strangled my brain. No!!! I tried
to shake away the mental picture. But no matter how hard I tried, his smile, his
heartfelt laugh, his hands on my waist, his lips--everything kept popping into my
senses.

Neil’s next question startled
me.

“If you are that meticulous,
then why didn’t you try to tackle me before? Not that I mind you not trying. You
couldn’t have given much of a fight while fleeing out the window or in the street.”

I pondered the question.
“A- In the street, I was completely drained and in shock. B- I would have tackled
you earlier if you hadn’t had that stupid gun of yours always within reach the entire
time. C- My skills usually get triggered during the most-deadly, life threatening
situations. I’m a simple girl, not some trained ninja. I have my moments of weakness.”

The point D I was not telling
him was what I didn’t want to admit either, that every time I was near him, I was
overwhelmed by his close proximity.

“You know, you had bullets
left in the gun. You could have easily shot me. Or you could have just left me wrestling
with that man and run away,” He asked, intrigued.

“Yeah!” I just said that,
unable to voice more. Now that he did mention it, I realized that I had my golden
chance. But I don’t know and can’t understand why I stuck with him.

“But you didn’t,” his voice
was more questioning than stating.

“But I didn’t.”

With that, my eyelids became
heavy and I drifted off.

Chapter 7

 

I was enjoying the sight
of fireflies over the pool, casting shadows of light in the water. I always enjoy
fireflies. They always shine; always shine for me; unlike the stars which are so,
so far away. I sat down, half dangling my legs in the water, enjoying the peaceful
whirlpool created by them.

I quickly got myself busy
calculating the diameter and circumference of the concentric circles, when someone
forcefully pushed my head under the water. I gasped for breath and struggled in
vain. I maneuvered my hand and found a wine glass within reach. I grasped it and
smashed it on his face. His clench loosened and I sneaked some air inside my now
exploding lungs. But before I could escape, he lifted me up and threw me in the
water. I sank halfway to the bottom; couldn’t swim, and couldn’t breathe.

I paddled my legs and arms
fruitlessly, I was drowning. I tried to cry for help, no one came; no one heard
me. I was helpless….. Someone save me…… Someone save me, please…………

I don’t want to die……..
Please…..

Someone was shaking my shoulders
violently. “Janet…. Janet wake up.”

My eyes fluttered open.
I was panting and sweating hard. Neil helped me into a sitting position and patted
my back gently. I clutched his shirt tightly in my fist, unable to let go of the
one thing that was keeping me from drowning. His other hand was tangled in my hair,
massaging my head.

“Calm down, Janet. What
happened?”

“I don’t want to die.”

His hand paused, his voice
thickened, “You’re not going to die,
Angel
. I promise.”

I looked into his blue eyes
and a feeling of warmth spread over me, making me feel secure for the first time
in years. I let his shirt go meekly. He looked away for a second and helped me up.
Only then did I notice the carry out bags.

“You went shopping?

Here I was, having the nightmare
of my worst fears and you went shopping,” I barked.

I certainly didn’t want
to shout like that. He was not my chaperone. He could do whatever he wanted, and,
in fact, I was supposed to obey him. But after last night’s little adventure, I
dreaded being in close proximity hence the outburst.

“Well, I don’t know your
definition of shopping, but I call this arranging for necessities, not shopping,
unless you want to stick with your Minnie Mouse look. Not that I mind, it fits you
perfectly.”

I flushed and then regretted
it, “No, thank you. I’ll do exactly what you say. So, did you get something in my
size or did you assume I’d wear your clothes again.”

“Here”, he tossed me a bag.
I dug in and found black trousers and a white T-shirt with ‘I love California’ written
in red with a red heart in the middle.

“Well, it’s not that bad.
I see at least the shirt is not oversized. But I think I’ll pass.”

“Go ahead, try it first.”
He gestured towards the bathroom. I turned. “And just for your information, don’t
bother prying open the window, it’s sealed. I checked.”

I looked over my shoulders
and shot him my best “I have no idea what you’re talking about” look. He did that
one eyebrow thing again, and smirked. “What? Did you think I was not aware of your
little endeavor back there? Just try not to waste the toiletries this time, please.”

Oh crap!! He knew! In my
mind, I did all sorts of torture on his bound and helpless body. But in reality,
I just shrugged and peeked inside the bathroom. It was ordinary, but it had a bathtub
and I felt more relaxed.

When I finally stepped out
after a whole forty-five minutes of beauty and bath, he was there, sitting cross-legged
on the bed, scrolling on his phone and smiling. God! His smile! He was wearing the
same “I love California” T-shirt and black trousers.

“Whoa…. We look like some
newly married couple, deeply engrossed in love and enjoying our honeymoon in a creepy
motel.”

He looked up surprised,
“You’re only eighteen. Not that I want to complain about the honeymoon part.”

I stared at him, “Whoa there,
Angel
, I was just commenting on our similar outfits here,” I said, sitting
across from him.

He flashed me a crooked
smile. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” He whispered, leaning closer.
My mind desperately shouted instructions to fall back, but his eyes kept me immobilized.


Angel
? Don’t you
want to quote some of your theories and explanations? Or should I encourage you?”

That’s it. Snap out of it.
I ducked sideways just in time as he propelled himself forward.

“Dodged you,” I beamed.

“Lucky you, Now about last
night……”

Uh huh….. Not about the
almost kiss, please…. Not about that…. I shifted uncomfortably.

“Did you recognize any of
those men back there? Do they ring any bell?”

I sighed at my close reprieve.
“No, why would I? They looked like your brethren, must be your unfaithful friends.”

“They were not my ‘friends’.
Did your mind fail to register that one of them almost subdued me?” He replied defiantly.

“Subdued? You are so arrogant.
That Blondie would have killed you if not for me. At least pretend to be grateful.
And if your mind had not fallen into short-term-memory-loss, you would remember,
I was their prime target. Did you fail to notice the red laser spot booming over
my heart?” I shot back.

“Well then, I conclude
that someone has betrayed us. Someone made his intention clear that you are not
to reach Majestic, hence the attack.”

“Do you ever ponder the
possibility that it is because of you? Or do you just presume to be unharmable by
anyone.”

He shrugged at my
conjecture. “Come on! It’s time for your little field trip to hell.”

I made a face, “I’m hungry.”

“I don’t care. Come on.”
He held the door open. I strolled past, stomping a foot hard on the floor.

I stared at our ride open-mouthed.
A black BMW was looming in front of me.

“B-M-W…. What are you? A
billionaire?”

He chuckled, “Well, we don’t
have to pay taxes.”

I rolled my eyes, “Yeah,
yeah, at least I’ll enjoy the highway to hell.”

Once inside, I couldn’t
help admiring the posh interior. I traced my fingers along the edges and found myself
handcuffed. “What the hell! What is that for?” I asked angrily.

“Did you actually think
chitchatting with me would confuse me into believing your submission? If you pry
your memory a little, you’d remember that you did promise me to escape, given the
chance. I’m just curbing that chance.”

“I swear; I’ll strangle
you the moment these get off if you dare blindfold me too.” Well done, Janet. Go
ahead; give him the idea, stupid fool.

“Don’t fret
Angel
,
I was not going to. You already know where we are.” He had this mischievous glint
in his eyes that spoke otherwise. And then, he
did
blindfold me.

“Huh….. Mr. Monster, I promise
you today….. Your death will be on my hands.”

Almost two hours passed
in silence. I felt nauseous and infuriated.

“Can you at least switch
on some music? I hate silence and it’s not that I can do some sight-seeing.”

“No”

“Why?”

“I don’t like music.”

“What kind of person are
you?” I shrieked.

“A dangerous one!”

“Ha! Bite me.”

“You don’t need to encourage
me,
Angel
. I can bite in several places and I bet you’ll love it.”

That slammed my mouth shut.
If it were someone else commenting like this, I’d have snapped. But to my absolute
horror, I flushed. How could someone like him make me blush?

I decided. I was going crazy
with each passing hour. Neil’s company was infectious. By the way, how old are you,
Neil?

“Huh?” inquired Neil.

Uh huh, I realized, I spoke
out loud. “How old are you?”

He chuckled, “Why do you
wanna know? You have a thing for me?”

“In your dreams.” I snapped.
“I was just making conversation. I am – um – claustrophobic in a way. Darkness and
silence unnerve me.”

“You know,
Angel
;
you keep informing me about your strengths and weaknesses. That’s not a smart move.”

“That’s why I’m a simple
college girl and not some underworld princess.” I retorted, but kept my mouth shut
for the rest of the ride, pondering his age.

 

 

 

 

BOOK: I Won't Let You Die Angel
10.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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