A tremor followed a deafening clang as Aaron landed on the top rung of the ladder. She took in another raspy breath and scuttled further down; away from Aaron, towards the murky, gloomy streets below.
“Oh come on Hon, come back to safety.”
Her gaze flickered up to his face contorted into some sort of pleading façade.
“Piss off Aaron,” she snarled, dropping to the grimy pavement, a spray of slimy water seeping into her shoes. She reached out and grabbed the corner of the building to steady herself, took a deep breath before running into the night.
She flinched as Aaron land loudly behind her, she glanced over her shoulder in time to see him rise from a crouch, a maniacal grin twisting his face.
“Don’t make this too easy for me sweety,” he cooed.
She whirled around and gave him the finger, “Oh don’t worry sugarplum, I won’t.”
Her satisfaction was short lived, however, as the sudden movement caused her to lose the minimal grip on the slick pavement, sending her sprawling. She reached out to break her fall, but to no avail. A loud crack, echoed in the empty streets as her head slammed into the concrete and her arm twisted unnaturally beneath her.
Aaron chuckled as she shrieked in pain. He stalked closer, his heavy steps a blade stabbing deeper into her throbbing head.
He crouched down and brushed away a strand of hair that covered her eyes.
“I want to see your pretty eyes,” he said as he lent closer, his breath, hot and bitter on her face. She felt the icy pressure of the gun pressed against her forehead. The irony of the relief it provided to her throbbing head made her giggle.
“This isn’t the time to be laughing,” he growled. “In case it has slipped through your stupid mind, I’m about to kill you.”
“Oh, I hadn’t realised,” she dryly replied.
“Yes I am. I’m going to kill you and I’m going to enjoy it.”
The gun dug painfully into her temple, any relief it had offered substituted for a blaring agony.
“What about your Daddy’s tests that he had to do on her,” a mocking voice, laced with a tumultuous fury, ground out from the darkness.
Aaron stood upright and spun in circles with his gun raised. A deliberate cough drew Aaron’s attention to a man leaning casually against a building only a few metres away. Aaron’s gun was immediately trained on him.
“Oh, I don’t think that that would be a good idea Aaron.”
The man’s scornful voice was the same that had startled Aaron earlier. Aaron snorted at the same time as a dozen armed people stepped from the shadows.
“I know you,” Aaron said. “You’re the one from the clearing.”
A hand tapped her shoulder. She looked up to see a concerned face hovering above her.
“Quick, while he is distracted,” the woman urged. Placing a hand under her uninjured arm, the woman helped her to her feet. Her head spun and she sagged against the lady.
“You’re going to be alright darling, you’re safe now.”
There was a deafening crack from behind them and she winced as a new pain lanced through her battered head. She slumped to the ground, her vision blacking out. Voices skimmed over her and fingers brushed her skin.
“Is she okay?” a deep, familiar voice inquired.
“She has a pretty serious head injury and her arm has snapped in multiple places, but I’m sure she’ll make a full recovery.”
Warm, calloused fingers brushed her cheek and her eyes fluttered open. Worried, forest green eyes floated in her fuzzy vision.
A flash of recognition broke through the haze. It was the man from the drink bar.
“Hey, you’re the guy from,” she slurred, but paused as another thought came to her. “Gryff.”
His eyes lit up and she felt his soft lips on hers.
“Yes Wynta, it’s me.”