I Won't Let You Die Angel (8 page)

BOOK: I Won't Let You Die Angel
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Chapter 12


I was hung upside down just
a few inches above water, my legs all wrapped up in chains, and hands bound behind
my back. Occasionally, whenever they wanted some entertainment, they would submerge
my head in the water for as long as it would take one drink to gush. And often they
would threaten me with a live wire almost making contact with water, but retreating
at the last moment.

This was the ideal lackluster
torture anyone could inflict on hard-core abductees. But as I always deducted, I
was no special someone. Hence, I was just laden with the simplest of tortures. Hands
and legs bound, and with a little tip-off from Storm, an occasional dip in the water
to blow my nerves away.

And yeah, don’t forget about
lame questions, which I had no intention of answering.

After what felt like hours,
which were actually minutes only, the mental and physical tormentors decided to
take a pause and refresh, which resulted in the ultimate blackout. They apparently
decided to take a break and cheerfully darted out of the torture arena.

I lost track of time, but
after what I calculated should be four minutes, one of them was back, alone. God!
Help me. I chose to act unconsciously. He tiptoed towards me and untied my hands
and legs. What was he up to? I still played comatose. Was he gonna assault me? Dread
infused me. These people were entirely capable of raping a trapped girl.

I concentrated on all of
my leftover energy and willed my mind to get ready to incapacitate the culprit.
I thought as soon as he touches me any differently, I’ll charge him. But his touch
caused comfort instead of disgust. His hands cupped my cheeks and an unusual warmth
engulfed me. Something intimate and familiar burst through my veins. “Neil!”

I opened my eyes and found
the most beautiful gift of my life: those ocean blue eyes full of concern, and something
else, something foreign staring at me. “

That single word out of
his mouth induced the most intimate sensation in my stomach. I blinked back the
tears welling up in my eyes and hugged him tight. “You came back. You came back
for me, you didn’t abandon me.” Tears of joy burst from my eyes.

He held me like I was the
most precious thing in the world. For a few moments, nothing else mattered except
being held in Neil’s embrace. I clutched the nape of his neck so tightly that my
nails made marks on it. But he didn’t seem to mind. In turn, he strengthened his
hold. We remained in each other’s embrace for a while.

Finally, Neil broke the
hug. Footsteps were now audible outside the room. “We need to get out of here. It’s
about time that someone will notice the dead guards in the back corridor.”

He helped me up and slipped
one arm around my waist. “Ready?”

I smiled, “With you, always.”

The sound of footsteps became
louder. “Will you be in condition to combat?”

I saluted, “Yes, comrade!
They are incommensurate with us together.”

He handed me two fully-loaded
guns and two for himself. “Let’s do this.”

“Here goes nothing.”

The first flocks of junior
men-in-black were not even a considerable match. We easily decimated them and ninja-jumped
from one disruption to another, pausing in between to preserve our precious bullets.

This house must get the
award for the most-posh labyrinth; the different corridors and halls all looked
just the same. Neil tried his best to retrace the path he came from, but we often
were displaced. Finally, after several twists and turns and timely combats, I spotted
a door that emanated an orangey light announcing twilight. I tugged Neil along.

Wait! When had any of my
eccentric experiments given expected results without a few last minute hiccups?
Ditto for my life. Between us and our epic escape stood senior men-in-black looking
damn outrageous. Thanks to God, we keep Sam at bay.

I tightened my belt, not
that I had a belt, of course, just a manner of speaking. They charged, and when
the furies break free, you strike. I dodged one of them and shot the second one
behind him straight in the head all the while kicking the first one in the butt.
Neil was in his Spartan avatar mode, looking the part in every sense.

For some reason, they were
not firing at us. I wondered why that could be. Maybe we were useful only alive.
But how sick was the order-giver to say die but do not kill.

Well, Janet, don’t complain
to the helpline number “God”. One of them grabbed me from behind; I shot him in
his guts without so much as faltering. God! I was good. I mean I excelled in training
classes. But this was my first real time battle consisting of so many opponents.
Neil must be used to it because in a few moments, he had immobilized quite a
few of them.

“We need to run; we can’t
keep fighting forever; more must be coming”, shouted Neil in between twisting a
foe’s neck. I had been shooting another one, this time missing the target and ran
for the epic life-saving door.

We zigzagged through the
Rose garden and soon got lost in the woods. After running 500 meters, we slowed
down to calm our nerves. I was terribly out of breath.

I had barely caught a few
fresh breaths when a bullet almost pierced Neil. We ducked and took temporary shelter
behind some thick bushes. “Crap! Can’t we call strategic time out? I’m tired of
this cat and bones game.”

Neil smiled amusingly, “This
is not a game, Angel. It’s sometimes okay to take situations lightly, but this is
gravely serious.”

I grimaced, “Oh yeah, Mr.
Wisdom Monster giving Zen life lessons. Got it! Now, what’s next?”

He laughed and shrugged.
“They’ll try to ambush us by securing every direction. We need to get going towards
the river. It’s our only legit escape route.”

“Oh!! Planning! Leave it
to me.”

“The sun’s on our left,
so that’s west as it is dusk. When we arrived earlier in the house, the river chime
was coming from R.H.S. and the sun was also shining on our right side. So since
it was not too late when we arrived, that means the sun was almost in the west,
which infers that sun and river are in the same direction. That means we need to
go left, maybe slightly southwest.”

Neil shot me an awed look
and quirked his lips slightly, “Okay, Sherlock Holmes, we go left as directed.”

I lifted my collar, “See!
Told ya! Planning is totally my cup of tea.”

“Yes Ma’am. Shall we?” He
gestured forward. “After you.”

So we maneuvered the forest
gradually and as silently as a lion hunts his prey. The fatal flaw in our plan was
that we had to change our course whenever a few goons decided to appear out of nowhere
because we had a scarcity of bullets by now.

With lots of effort and
God’s mercy, we reached our destination, i.e., the river bank. “Now what?” I asked,
eyeing the river reproachfully.

“Now we cross the river
and rejoice in our freedom.”


I’m not going under water.
No way, absolutely not!”

“Angel! It’s not that wide,
just a few feet. We can easily swim over it.”


Someone was shouting directions
far behind us. I was jittery. We’ll have to find some other way. “There must be
another way, we’ll walk along the side and we’ll find something, anything.”

“There is no other way,
! They’ll spot us. We’ll have to hurry. Once we’re over there, they’ll
lose our trail, we’ll be safe. There’s just one check post there and we’ll take
care of the guard.”

No, I can’t. I just can’t.
Two goons appeared at the edge of the forest, but couldn’t spot us.

“Come now, Janet!”

“NO!! I’ll drown. I’ll die.”
My head started spinning and my breathing became heavy. Neil shook my shoulder repulsively.
“Janet, I’m with you, I won’t let you die. If we don’t cross over, like now, we’ll
be caught. Do you wanna get abducted again?” I couldn’t process a single word he
was saying.

“I won’t. I’ll die.” I started
running backwards.

Neil clasped my waist and
despite my endless protests, we jumped into the river. My whole body was submerged
in water. The pressure was pulling me down, the surface was moving away. I was drowning.

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….

“Janet!! Janet!! Open your
eyes damn it!” Someone was slapping me hard. I kicked and punched furiously.

“Stop it!” He seized me
and pushed me down, using the full weight of his body. I couldn’t overpower him.

“Let go of me. Leave me

“No!! Snap out of it,

actually snapped me out of my reverie. Neil was all over me, seizing my arms. I
hastily pushed him away. “How dare you?? How dare you do this to me? I told you!
I don’t swim!” I shouted.

Neil’s temper was also on
the edge. “When you come out of your short-term amnesia, then try to recall what
I did was essential for our survival. Not everything is about your consent to a

“I … you don’t know anything.”
I said finitely.

He passed me a discredited
look. “We need to go up there and neutralize the guard. It’s almost dark; we won’t
be making it out of here tonight.”

I glanced in the direction
he was gestured at. A 265 meters climb with an inclination of 135 degrees, a small
makeshift cave cum cabin was visible. Great! Rock climbing. Now I’ve done everything.
You wanted adventure, right. You got it, Janet. Be careful what you wish for.

Up there, the guard on border
watch was snoring deeply. Storm really needs to organize a job fair. Just one push
and he’ll be sleeping forever.

Once inside the cave, I
realized that I was hot. Well, I was really looking smoking hot in that crimson
dress now that Neil’s jacket was half-torn, and it would have been really worth
it if the gorgeous guy with me would’ve noticed.

But I didn’t mean that.
I was really feeling hot. But why was I hot? It was freezing here and I was drenched.

Crap! I was catching
Hypothermia. “Neil….” Oh yeah, my mood was amazingly resilient; I so quickly
forgot we just had an argument.

Neil somehow sensed my
discomfort. He ransacked the little cabin and found a pair of changing clothes.
He tossed me the shirt and kept the trousers for himself.

“Just this! I’ll die of

“If we don’t get rid of
these wet clothes, we’ll die for sure.”

Grim as it was, I got it.
About this, he was correct. I ripped the jacket off and was about to rip off the
dress, too, when I felt the weight of blue eyes on me. “Um- do you mind?”

He quickly averted his gaze.
“Yeah – um – sure”, and he turned around.

Once the fire was blazing,
we settled on the makeshift mattress. I was hyperaware of Neil being inches away.
Every part of me craved for his embrace right now. I hugged myself, shuddering from
the cold, and felt a longing.

Neil scooted a little closer
to me and held out his hands in a manner of inviting me into his arms. “Come, you’ll
feel better.”

Oh yeah! I’ll feel much,
much better. And so I wrapped myself in his embrace. Unusual warmth consumed me,
heat blazed through me surpassing the thin layer of clothing.

“What happened to you back


“Don’t lie,
I could tell something was up. Why do you fear water?”

I tried to retract from
him, but he held me tight and squeezed my shoulders, “Don’t! Come out of your reticence,
Janet; talk to me. Don’t keep it buried inside you. It will hollow you.”

I so wanted to tell him
everything, every bit of…… but that wall I built around me was impossible to break.
If it cracks now, it will crumble down, and the dam will overflow.


“It’s a long story, and
a tragic one. You don’t wanna hear it.”

“Yes, I do. We’ve all the

“I don’t even know where
to start?”

“Why don’t you start from
the beginning?”

I sighed resignedly. “I’m

Neil’s mouth hung open.

“Yes. Nick and Monika
Kanet are not my birth parents. My actual though not so real parents are James
and Felicity Bandson.”

All of a sudden, Neil dropped
his hand from my shoulder as if he’d got zapped by a 220 volts current. His face
bore the resemblance of the oldest mummy of time. He looked like barf. I touched
his bare chest gently.

“Neil? Do you know them?
Do you know my birth parents?”

Chapter 13


“Say something Neil?”

He recovered himself and
reinstated his hand on my shoulder, this time holding me more intimately.

“Go on.”

“But you reacted as if you
knew them.”

“No, I just thought I heard
the name somewhere. Never mind. So, how do you remember them? I mean – uh – are
you still in touch with them?”

“I just know their names.
When my parents found me in the Disneyland…” he looked up, surprised.

 “Yeah, the same. When they
found me at the entrance whimpering loudly, I had a letter in my pocket addressing
whoever was accepting responsibility with a $2000 check.”

‘This girl is special, worth
anything in the world, but it’s our unfortunate destiny that we can’t indulge her
because of the darkness we are engulfed in. Please take care of her with utmost
delicacy. Tell her that we’ll always love her.

James and Felicity Bandson

Just like that. They forsook
their “worth anything in the world” daughter just like that. And if it wasn’t about
money, then why distanced a three-year-old baby from her mother? I never got the
answers and never will, and now I don’t even want them. Dad took the check, never
used it, just deposited it for my future.

Sometimes I feel lucky that
I have a dad. No one could be a better father than him. He loves me; he loves me
so much that he renounced his own blood for me. And I love him; I love him more
than anything in the world.

“That means Storm…..”

“…. is my step-brother.”

I paused, but Neil’s silence
urged me to proceed.

“When I was three, he was
eight. I was happy to get a brother; I always wanted a brother. I have negligible
flashes of memory of my life before that. But sometimes I get a picture of two boys
trying to teach a baby girl how to walk.”

I shrugged and continued,
“I always looked up to Sam, but he never regarded me fondly. Time passed by and
on my ninth birthday, Sam surprisingly wished me wishes with a broad smile and a
hug. I was beyond happy. I was in rapture that my brother was finally accepting
me in his life.”

But I was wrong, terribly

No, I couldn’t speak more.
The words just wouldn’t come out. Neil massaged my head gently, “You need to unburden

I aggregated all my inner
life-force. “Later that night, he came into my room while I was on the verge of
drifting off. I didn’t realize it was he. I thought I was dreaming.”

Two fingers tucked the strand
of my hair that had come loose behind my ears. They traced my temples gently, drifting
past my cheek and rubbing my jaw line gently. One hand tugging the hem of my shirt
and sliding inside tracing my navel.

“He….. He tried to touch
me in places no one would dare touch his sister. I didn’t like it, but was too young
to understand what was happening to me. I shrieked for help, but he thwarted it
and threatened me not to tell anyone.”

Neil stiffened beside me,
his fists clenched in fury, and when I looked into his eyes, it was full of revulsion.
Then the revulsion transformed into what I guessed was compassion and…. admiration.
He willed me to continue through his eyes.

I blinked several times
to clear the tears starting to threaten my eyes. “His immoral endeavors never ceased.
My silence only encouraged him. One day, when mom and dad were out for some civil
get-together, he cornered me in his room. I had dad’s number on speed-dial and I
don’t know what terrestrial force made me call him in haste.

I fought him, both verbally
and physically, but he wouldn’t budge. I guess he was on drugs or something. He
was hell bent on having sex and I was an easy prey. It never ever crossed his
mind that he was ruining, slandering so many relationships. He had almost raped
me when dad smashed open the door of his room. He was sent to a juvenile judge and
then to a reform school.

Mom was devastated by this.
She loved me, but still refused to actually believe that her son could do such a
shameful thing.”

Tears were now fearlessly
flowing down my cheeks. Neil wiped away my tears and kissed my cheek. I considered
stopping here, but now I was too close to retreat. Thus, I continued.

“After two years, he was
out. He came straight to me without even informing anyone. I was poolside enjoying
myself. He caught me by surprise and 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 my reach. I grasped it and smashed it on his face. His grasp loosened
and I sneaked 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

I almost drowned, and again
due to some miracle, dad saved me. When he finally pumped the excess water out of
my stomach and I could process my surroundings, I found my mom leaning over Sam,
tending to his head wound.

He was not that badly injured,
and I could have died that day; but all my mom cared about was how Sam was. I didn’t
know what happened to Sam after that, dad wouldn’t tell me. But mom and I had already
drifted apart. No matter how many times she apologized, I just couldn’t bring myself
to actually forgive her. As I said, some wounds just don’t heal.”

I was now sobbing uncontrollably.
Neil pulled me into his lap, and I buried my face in his chest. “These incidents
changed something inside me. I engrossed myself in studies and I never tried for
a real relationship except once or twice. I just couldn’t give myself completely
over to kisses and all. I think something’s wrong with me.”

Neil pulled away to look
me in the eyes. He moved his face closer, our foreheads touching. “No! Nothing’s
wrong with you,
. Even if it is, I will change it; I will make everything
right, everything perfect.”

Emotions filled me again,
but this time it was not grief or hatred or rage or anything like that. It was warm
and wonderful and electrifying. His fist was knotting my hair and the other hand
was resting on my waist. He slanted his head thirty degrees and leaned closer. I
curled my arms around his neck and closed the remaining few inches.

Our lips met and the
bonds of restraints snapped free. At first, it was just a brush of the lips, but
soon the kiss consumed both of us. He tasted like rose water and cinnamon. I wound
my fingers in his hair, and his right hand was now brushing over my thighs. I could
practically hear my hammering heartbeat, or was it his? The kiss was sweet and blissful
and soul-consuming at the same time, devoid of darkness and despair.

We broke apart just to steal
some air into our lungs and he kissed me again, this time with more passion. I was
drowning, not in the pool, not in the river, but in the overwhelming emotions welling
inside me, for Neil.

When we finally broke apart,
I was breathing heavily and was now fully aware of my half-naked state. Neil quickly
pecked my forehead. “You are the most amazing girl I ever met, Janet. Don’t ever
underrate yourself because of petty people.”

Warmth overwhelmed me, “No
one ever said anything like that to me, except for Nicole.”

“Then everybody around you
is an eternal fool. You with your amazing talents can woo the whole world. I bet,
on a healthy day, you could beat down more enemies than me, and with grace.”

I laughed light-heartedly
and buried myself in his chest. “Neil”


“You could have abandoned
me there and closed the deal. You could have been far away from here, and now, Majestic
won’t spare you.”


“But you didn’t.”

“But I didn’t.”

I tightened my arms around
him and tried to sleep, murmuring, “
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery




BOOK: I Won't Let You Die Angel
10.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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