Fear floods my veins, like a river overflowing its banks and for a moment I’m immobilized by it. Unable to move a muscle, I stand there, my mouth gaping open like a fish out of water with unspoken words, my finger still in the air, pointing in their direction.
It hits me then as I stare at them…there was just a story on the news tonight about these men…Another break-in, over half a million dollars in jewelry stolen. There are no witnesses at this time and police have no idea who these men may be.
Blinking the words from my mind, I attempt to remind myself to remain calm. But the erratic beat of my heart makes it hard to do that. I try and rationalize with myself. I should run, hide, or yell for my father’s men at the very least, but I just can’t get my body and brain to connect.
Taking in the men’s features, I notice that both have haircuts in a similar style, something that reminds me of the military. Their bodies seem impossibly large, tall, and muscular. They both look at me, their eyes piercing mine as if they can see right through me.
Shock and annoyance, flicker across their gazes. All it takes is one single look for me to tell that they weren’t expecting me to be here. They look at each other for a split second, and in that glance, I know they’re planning something. Tingles ripple through my entire body and a knot of fear forms in my throat. Any minute now one of them is going to come for me.
Inside my head, there are a thousand different thoughts running rampant but all I can think of is my next move. Where am I going to run? How will I hide? My thoughts flicker to the news lady from earlier. “No one has ever seen their faces…” and yet I have.
There’s no way they’ll let me go, not now, not after I’ve seen who they are. Lost inside my head I notice the middle one inching toward me, his movement sends a surge of pure panic through my veins which gets me moving.
My legs are wobbly as I take a few steps backward before I turn completely around and start running. I round the corner and run down the hall as fast as I can, my bare feet slapping against the tile loudly giving myself away.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go.
“Trey!” I hear one of them shout behind me, but I don’t stop or even chance a glance over my shoulder. Fear controls my movements now, and I keep running in the direction of the front door. All I can think is, if I get outside that door, I can scream for the guard…the same guard I’ve wished away my whole life.
I’m so stupid. So, so stupid. I should’ve gone with my father. I shouldn’t have fought his need for protection. Tears sting my eyes, and my lungs burn as I suck in breath after breath.
I’m ten feet away from the door…I can see it, practically feel the iron handle in my hands…I’m almost there I tell myself, gritting my teeth as I swallow the fear down. I tell myself I’m simply running, and not for my life. I’m so close to the door. Sucking a deep breath into my lungs, I ready myself for the scream I’m about to let loose.
But it’s too late. The air is knocked from my lungs when someone tackles me from the side. One moment I’m running, the next I’m on the ground, being pushed to the floor by someone who seems to be three times my size. My mind is reeling, and it feels more like a truck just ran me over rather than another human.
A pained groan rips from my throat as he puts his entire body weight on mine, making it impossible to move, or breathe. I squeeze my eyes shut, too scared to open them. Maybe if I keep them closed, I can pretend that this is nothing but a dream.
“I thought she wasn’t supposed to be here?” one of the men growls, annoyance coating every single one of his words.
“She wasn’t,” the guy on top of me answers, his deep voice vibrating through me.
“You can open your eyes, Princess, you’ve already seen our faces now.”
Oh god, I know what that means. I’ve seen their faces, they won’t let me live. I’m going to die, they’re going to kill me.
“I-I didn’t…I didn’t see anything,” I plead my case, continuing to keep my eyes shut.
“Don’t lie, I hate liars,” a third voice fills the hallway.
Three, there are three of them, against one.
I’m as good as dead. I’ll never survive this.
“What the fuck are we going to do with her?”