1 notorious 1%er
1 innocent trapped in an impossible situation
1 viscous crime lord
3 people who aren’t who they appear to be
= one big (bloody) mess.
Reign is no stranger to the criminal underbelly and hard life, but when a random woman comes (literally) crashing into his life- learning things she has no business knowing, and bringing with her the weight of the city’s biggest skin trader, the “hard life” starts to take on a whole new meaning.Books in Series:The Henchmen Series by Jessica GadzialaBooks by Author:Jessica Gadziala Books
I shouldn’t have been able to get away.
That was all I could think as I hauled ass through the underbrush inside the front gate. There was no good reason I was able to slip out unseen. I should have still been tied tightly to the bed. The door should have been locked. There should have been men everywhere. Outside the door. On the roof. Manning the gate. Even though there was a serious hurricane going on. V didn’t give a fuck about his men. They could get tossed from the roof and become splattered, twisted versions of their former selves on the driveway and all he would say was he needed the mess cleaned up. That human remains didn’t exactly help the curb appeal.
I shouldn’t have been able to get away.
I checked behind me, the wind too loud for me to hear anything, including men coming at me with guns to drag me back to hell. Then I rushed forward, hit the button, half hidden by a stupid ornamental bush, and watched as the gate slid open.
I was almost free.
I rushed to the car closest to the gate, my heart wedged so far up my throat I swear I was choking on it. I wrenched open the door, praying, not so silently praying that the keys were in it. The keys were always in the cars. Because no one would ever think of stealing from V. Not if they wanted to live through the night.
"Please god. Please god. Please god…"
I jumped in, slinging my soaked hair out of my face, turning the key, and flooring it.
I didn’t look back.
I should have taken some measure of pleasure from seeing the fortress that had been my torture camp, my prison for the past three months slipping away. But I couldn’t look. If I looked, the fear would come back. Terrifying. Crippling. I wouldn’t have been able to keep going.
So I kept my eyes forward. I focused on keeping the car on the road despite the wind thrashing into it, despite the rain pelting so hard on the windshield that the wipers couldn’t even make visibility an option.
I just had to keep going.
As far as I could get.
Lose the car.
I had to lose the car.
But I had no money. No ID.
I couldn’t call anyone. I couldn’t rent a car. I couldn’t even pay a cab.
But I would have to lose the car.
If I stayed in it, I was a target.
Hell, knowing V’s paranoia, the fucking car probably had a locator device thingy on it. So he could know where his men were at all times.
I could be tracked anywhere.
The car needed to go.
I just had to get back to some sort of civilization. Find some all night diner or store or something. Ditch the car. Find someone who would give me a ride. Or money for a pay phone. God, were there even payphones anywhere anymore" I never knew the luxury of not having a cell phone so I had never even thought to look for such a thing. But my cell phone was back at V’s. Along with my dignity. And copious amounts of my blood.
"Think ahead," I murmured to myself, trying to shake the memories from my mind. They wouldn’t do me any good. I lived through it. That was all that mattered. I lived through it and I got a chance to get away. And I had to get away. Because if they found me, if they dragged me back…
Couldn’t go there.
I needed to think ahead.
I could go to the police. I could do that. But what were the chances that they could help" That they weren’t in V’s pockets" V’s very deep pockets.
Where did that leave me"
I switched on the heat, cold October rain soaking through my thin white tank top and pink silk pajama shorts. The outfit I had been wearing when V’s men took me. Three months. Not one change of clothes. Only given the opportunity for a whore’s bath in the sink when I was given five minutes to use the bathroom per day.
So while, yes, the rain was cold and I was shivering, it was the cleanest I had been in months. Months.
Which was another little piece of freedom.
It was amazing how much I had once taken for granted.
Showers. Soap. Toothpaste. Wrists that didn’t constantly ache from being bound. A belly that didn’t concave from starvation. A body without scars. A soul without them.
Whatever happened to me, wherever I ended up, I would make sure I never took the little freedoms for granted again. I knew how hard it was without them.
I passed through a seedy looking town. And when I say ‘seedy’, I mean that if there wasn’t a hurricane raging wild, I was pretty sure I would have been carjacked, raped, and buried in some dumpster somewhere.
I didn’t stop. I probably should have stopped. Lost the car. Found somewhere to hide. Tried to make it on foot.
But I couldn’t bring myself to pull over.
So I kept going. Turning off into an industrial part of town. Blue collar businesses. Some apartment buildings. The lights all off. Which could only mean a power outage. Great. That was just great. Nothing would be open.
I kept going. Past some building with high barbed wire fences and no windows. And then things got rural. Like… rural rural.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
I should have stopped in that bad area.
"Think ahead," I reminded myself. What was done was done. I had to keep my eyes forward.
Oh my god.
But it was too late.
Too late to react on a slick road.
There was something in the street.
And I was going to hit it.
I slammed the brakes, trying to turn the wheel.
Then I hit.
It took less than one second for the airbag to deploy, slamming my wrists away from the wheel and burning across my cheek, the sound louder than I could have imagined, making my ears ring painfully. But all I could feel was the impact. The jerking of the car backward as it hit. The sounds, sharp, metallic, and crushing over the howls of the wind and the pelting of the rain.