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** TW: Kidnapping, Abuse, Violence, Profanity **
I picked up the heaviness of my head and leaned it against the wall that supported my back. The rough texture of the cement blocks dug into my skin, pebbles of blood rising to the surface. With my hands bound behind me and my ankles criss-crossed with zip ties, I was helpless.
Hell, I was beyond helpless.
“What should we do with her, Bullet?”
“Should we have some fun?”
“Rough her up a bit?”
“Include her in the auction this month?”
“No,” a deep voice said as fear trembled through my veins. “I have much bigger plans for her.”
My lower lip quivered and I bit my tongue to try to keep myself from crying. I didn’t want any of them bothering me. I didn’t want anyone else around me. All I wanted was to sit in whatever room they had tossed me into until someone came and found me.
If anyone was looking for me in the first place.
Angel, help me.
I closed my eyes as a silent tear slipped down my cheek. All I’d done was head to my car at the shelter. I’d worked a long-ass day with some of the girls that had escaped the clutches of that disgusting motorcycle crew. I’d gotten them set up with clothes and showers. Food and water. Resources they needed to either contact family or find jobs so that they could get on their feet. I’d worked around the clock as much as possible, trying to make sure that they were settled.
And the second I stepped out of those doors to head to my car so I could go home, I got jumped.
The men started clapping and cheering about something and it made me jump. I swallowed the knot working its way up my throat, determined to keep my stomach bile at bay. Was it the same day? A different day? How long had I gone without eating? Or water?
I sighed heavily as helplessness overcame me.
I hadn’t even been given a chance to put up a fight. All of those self-defense classes after my husband was killed went to waste. I couldn’t even protect myself without the help of someone.
Would I survive this?
Fear gripped my stomach and I felt my heart begin to race as my breathing intensified.
Don’t start to panic.
When I had come to, I’d woken up to the sounds of someone popping a trunk. They’d shoved me into a trunk, for crying out loud. And the next thing I knew, the sharp pinch of a needle appeared as they injected me with something. My limbs went limp as they tied me up. I’d been tossed over someone’s shoulder while I practically drooled down their back. Then, my memory went black before I woke up.
In the dark.
With my wrists and ankles bound.
What are they going to do to me?
It didn’t take a genius to know who had taken me. After catching a glimpse of their vests when I’d been practically flopped over someone’s shoulder, I knew that Devil’s Rage had taken me. Probably as punishment for trying to help the women they tortured on a regular fucking basis. I wanted to slice all of their necks and watch them gurgle on their own blood. No man deserved to live if they mistreated anyone that way, much less a woman.
And with everything that had already transpired between their crew and Angel’s, I knew it was only a matter of time before they connected the dots.
For now, I could only assume that they knew me as the woman helping their girls get away. But if they figured out my relation to the gang, then my sister would get roped back into this shit. She’d be thrust into another situation she had no control over, and I knew what Aria’s mental health could be like. I knew how bad it could get if she didn’t keep herself grounded.
I wondered if Bender knew how to keep her grounded.
“So, what are we gonna do now?” someone asked.
I stuffed down the voices in my head so that I could focus on the conversation happening just outside my door.
That same deep, resounding voice spoke confidently. “Well, we know she’s helping those dumbass Steel Scorpions.”
Someone giggled. “We also know that her sister is fucking one of those guys. What’s his name?”
“Isn’t she fucking someone too, though?”
Fuck had they figured it out already?
“I don’t think so.”
“We don’t have any surveillance of her with a dude.”
“Are we sure about that? I mean, her sister was quick to fuck someone. Maybe she’s just good at it.”
“We should have someone test her out.” They all exploded in laughter as I fought back the urge to throw up.
“Even if she isn’t fucking one of them, we can still use her as leverage. Her sister will want her back, and by the looks of it, she has Bender pussy whipped enough to get him to save her.”
The sound of their voice faded, and I assumed that they had moved away from where I was being held. While I took solace in the fact that they hadn’t connected me and Angel yet, my sister was still in danger. And if my sister was in danger, then that meant Bender would invoke the whole of the crew to keep her safe.
Which meant that we were about to be plunged into another disgusting altercation with the fucking crew that had abducted me.
“All right,” someone said as they ripped the door open, “time to talk.”
I yelped as the bright white lights of the hallway—or house, or wherever the hell I was—blinded my eyes. Someone gripped my hair and pulled my head upright, forcing my eyes open when they flicked my closed eyelids with their fingers. The snarling man in front of me had breath that could’ve knocked a damn moose over, and as he shoved my head off to the side, he spit on me.
Directly onto the side of my face.
“Enough,” Mr. Deep Voice said.
I was almost certain that man hovering over me was Bullet, their president. I’d heard about him from the girls at the shelter. He crouched down and gripped my chin, forcing my gaze to his. He tilted his head and studied me with his eyes, allowing them to dance along my face. And as much as I wanted to strike out at him—to spit in his face or to smash my forehead against his nose—I kept my cool.
Because if I wanted to escape, I couldn’t allow them to break me.
“So,” he said as he released my chin, “my guys and I have a little bet going.”
I didn’t say anything as he sat back on his haunches.
“My men and I think you’re screwing around with someone in the Steel Scorpions. I say you’re not as stupid as your sister. My men, however, say otherwise. Care to settle the score?”
I sat there with my crooked body, trying my best to hold myself up. I’d never felt so weak before. So helpless. So afraid. I hated it. I hated every second of it. But I refused to answer the man. I’d rather him kill me than go after Angel, because the last thing I needed was to lose another man I cared for.
I couldn't bury Angel after burying my husband.
Without another word, the man cracked his hand against my cheekbone. My head soared in the other direction, causing my body to fall to the floor. He slammed his steel-toed boot into my ribs and the pain that rushed over my entire being made me sick to my stomach. And as stomach bile crept effortlessly up the back of my throat, it seeped along my tongue and dripped out of my mouth.
While I laid there and took the beating Bullet had for me.
“Maybe that’ll loosen your lips,” he murmured.
And after he spat on me as well, he slammed the door closed.
Leaving me alone with my thoughts.
“Patchy,” the man barked, “you’re in charge of making sure she doesn’t generally shit herself or starve. The only way we get what we want from those fuckers is to make sure stays alive. Go get her some bread and some water, then get that bitch a bucket to use. You’ll have to cut her ankles loose, but I don’t think she’ll be an issue now. Think you can handle that?”
The trembling voice that sounded caught me off-guard. “Y-yes, Boss. I can do that.”
“You sure about that? You don’t sound too sure.”
The man cleared his throat. “Yeah, yeah. Of course, I can do it.”
“Good. Now, get it done.”
A bunch of footfalls echoed away from the door before it cracked open. A spindly, young-looking man stood there with disheveled blonde hair and curious eyes. My heart ached for the boy. He couldn’t have been more than twenty-one or twenty-two years old.
He silently popped the zip ties from around my ankles before he helped me to my feet.
“Can you stand?” he asked.
I furrowed my brow tightly as I stumbled on my feet. “Yeah, I’m good.”
He nodded. “There’s a bucket in the corner. Do you need to use the bathroom?”
I blinked. “Not with you watching me, no.”
He shrugged. “You don’t have much choice, unless you wanna piss in the dark.”
“Have to drink water in order to piss.”
He nodded toward the corner. “Bucket’s over there. Use your foot to feel for it. I’ll be back with some bread and some water for you.”
“Thanks,” I said flatly.
He slipped back out and closed the door, and immediately a plan leapt into my head. It was very clear to me that this Patchy guy didn’t like what was going on, and I knew I could use that to my advantage. I had to make friends with him, though. I couldn't convince him to let me go if he still saw me as his enemy.
So, once he came back with the glass of ice water and the cheese sandwich, I stated the other obvious issue.
“You’ll have to feed it to me if I don’t have use of my hands,” I said.
He nodded before he set the glass of water down. “Here, I’ll go slow.”
He held the sandwich up to my mouth and I took a bite.
“So,” I said as I chewed, “how’d you get roped up with these guys?”
He shrugged. “They’re family.”
I nodded. “Where did you meet them? Around here?”
He let me take another bite. “Yeah, around here.”
“I’m a native of Twin Bays as well. I grew up on the east side of town.”
He smiled softly before he reached for the water on the ground. “North side, born and raised.”
“Near the gas station? Or the grocery store?”
His eyes quickly darkened before his boyish charm was sucked up by a darkness that reared its head. “Shut the hell up and fill your stomach before I go tell Bullet that you’re trying to get friendly with me. I might be open with people and enjoy smiling more than most, but don’t mistake that for friendliness.”
I took three long pulls of the ice cold greatness before he yanked the water away. My brain fogged over and I had no idea which way was up. The man interchanged the water with the cheese sandwich, stuffing it into my system as quickly as possible before he drew in a deep breath.
“Like I said, bucket’s in that corner,” Patchy said with a nod of his head.
I scoffed. “How do you expect me to get my damn pants off to go to the bathroom?”
He shrugged. “Sounds like a personal problem. And to answer your question? I grew up between the two.”
Then, he gathered everything up and slammed the door right in my face.
What if Angel doesn’t come for me?
I had no idea if anyone knew. I had no idea if anyone would even recognize the fact that I had been snatched up. And even then, I couldn’t expect some guy I was fucking to come rescue me as if we were together or something. Angel and I, at best, were fuck buddies. Someone that brought about stress relief without having to deal with the complications that came with something serious.
After all, we tried seriously dating back in high school.
And that shit didn’t go well at all.
I have to get Patchy on my side. It’s my only real chance.