As many of you may have already found out, running is not my thing. Every couple of steps I felt pains in my sides, and I felt as though I may just pass out. The only thing keeping me going was Jeo, who was literally dragging me along with him. Hell, adrenaline wouldn’t even help me.
That being said, running for your life- or so thought- was really not fun.
We dodge cars as they drive by, honking their horns as we run in front of them trying to get away from the mysterious man that was following us.
But then the unforgivable happened- I trip. Obviously.
My hand falling out of Jeo’s grip, I fall to the ground, scraping my knees up and putting a big hole in my pant leg. The material immediately becoming a dark red in the scraped places.
I cry out as my head almost hits the pavement, bouncing back. My hair falls out of the careful bun and into a sloppy mess around my face.
“Get up!” Jeo cries as he ducks down, grabbing my arm and pulling up.
“Ouch!” I yell as he yanks my arm, trying to get me off the dirty ground.
“Sorry!” He says, throwing his hands up. “We’ve got to go!”
I look behind me and see the figure running towards us still. He was awhile away still, but it wouldn’t stay like that if I didn’t give up.
Looking up at Jeo, I shrug my shoulders. “Let him kill me.”
He cocks his eyebrow, looking at me in disbelief. “No.”
“We have five seconds to run.”
“I don’t care.”
“Well I do.”
“Again, I don’t.”
“Your not getting me up.”
“Two-” His eyes narrow.
My jaw set.
“One.” Ducking down, he scoops me up before throwing me over his broad shoulder, and began to run again.
“Put me down!”
Signing, I lift my head to look where our stalker was. About twenty feet behind us, the man was still chasing us.
“Jeo?” I ask.
“I’m not letting you down.”
“What?” He asks, still running.
“Why don’t you run into the store- where people are?”
He stops running, looks left, then right, and begins to turn into the store, his feet pounding against the tan sidewalk that was beneath us.
I have to say, we were quite a scene. Workers and shoppers look in our direction, their faces either disgusted or amused.
“Is he still behind us?” Jeo asked.
Lifting my head again, I spotted the man. He was standing in front of the big glass windows that made up the front of the store, peering in. He’s wearing all black, a hood shielding his face.
“He’s staring at us. Let me down?”
Jeo drops me on the ground, and a couple of little ladies in the corner gasp as I hit the ground on all fours, groaning.
“Get up, and let’s go.” He tells me, nudging me in the ribs with steel-toe boot clad foot.
“But the floor is so col-” Before I could finish, he grabs my hand and pulls, dragging me across the floor.
“Okay! Okay, let me go! I’ll get up!” In the corner, the ladies shook their heads.
He stops, looking down at me. I scowl at him, getting off the ground and dusting myself off. Turning around, I look to where the man was.
“He’s gone. Ran the other way when you were dying on the ground.”
Taking in my surroundings, I see that the store is close to the one in my town. The front is completely glass, the store logo in the middle where the glass started to turn frosty. When you walk in, the produce section looms, and then there is isles ranging from one to seventeen. The signs above them were green with the big numbers, along with a list of things that are in that isle. In the back I could see signs for the meats and dairy- along with frozen dinners and desserts.
“Let’s just shop and get out of here.” I tell him as I look around, my red hair dipping into my eyes. My glasses had slip a little bit, and I realize that I still had them on. I hadn’t really noticed them lately, and they hadn’t fallen off when I fell back in the lot.
Jeo didn’t say anything. He just turned around, walking towards isle five. Looking around once more, I turn to jog to Jeo. Catching up to him, I stand close to him. Awkwardly.
“Are you okay?” I ask him, smiling encouragingly.
“Yeah.” I can see his jaw muscles tighten, his hands ball up into fists. His tattoos seem suddenly very dangerous.
“No you aren’t.”
He looks at me, his dark eyes smiling. “Then why do you ask?”
“Because I care.”
We lapse into silence, walking towards the bread. But then I feel something- warmness. My cold hand is enveloped in warm. I look down, seeing Jeo’s hand there, almost twice as big as mine. It held my hand firmly. I looked back up, seeing him facing forward, acting like nothing was happening. I made a move to remove my hand, but he held tighter.
“Please?” He asked softly, not looking at me. “I need it.”
I relaxed, squeezing his hand softly before letting it hang between us silently.
We got back to the track without any sign of the stalker, but that didn’t mean that I was on edge the whole trip. The only thing stopping me from racing to the police just so I would be safe, or lying on the ground in fetal position until I died, no longer having to deal with all this drama that has become my life, was the fact that Jeo held my hand the whole time we were there. Actually, he let go to grab the case of beer on the top rack, but other than that, yeah. He held my hand the whole time, and in the car he told me that everything was going to be fine as I looked out the window, or jumped at every outside noise.
Normally, I would smack him, telling him that he should quit the act. He didn’t need to be nice to me, seem like he cares. But right then, when life got a little bit more scary, I needed it more than I would ever think.
And another thing happened too. I felt my stomach grow warm. Almost like I swallowed a pint- yes, a pint- of bourbon. Which I’ve only done once, might I say. It was the weirdest feeling though. I’m not used to feeling that light and happy. Not at all. So this felt unnatural. But it felt good. Like a foreign drug seeping through my veins. At least, that’s the first thing that came to my mind. I’ve only done drugs once, when I was a young teenager with rebel friends, but I never did it ever again.
As Jeo rolled to a stop in the basement, he let go of my hand, and the warmth was gone. My smile faded, and everything I felt before had vanished. He didn’t even look at me as he got out of the car.
And I felt empty.
“Why are hot dogs so delicious?” A man says. He has dark chocolate colored skin with equally dark eyes, and looked around twenty-five. His voice was gruff, but soft too.
When Jeo and I had returned, there were ten other people that weren’t there before. Three girls in tight black leather cloths and an arrangement of different colored riding gloves and matching stilettos that just made me feel worse about myself than usual, and seven men- tough burley men like the rest, with tattoos slathered on their arms.
“Because they’re made of pig teeth.” Another man says.
“No they’re not. Well, not anymore.”
Jerry takes a bite, ignoring the exchange. She had kept a close eye on Jeo and I since we got back. When Jeo pulled her to the side and told her what had happened, she looked at me like I was to blame.
I won’t lie. It hurt. It hurt that no one liked me. That my sister hates me. And I was also, and still am, mad at myself for letting my heart turn it’s back on the one man who may just break it’s barrier. Those feelings I felt- they were ignored. They weren’t wanted. So I pushed them to the side.
Jeo hadn’t really paid much attention to me either. He hardly looked at me. And that hurt.
After dinner, people parted to make their beds. I didn’t know where to go, so I stood there, looking around at the people moving around me.
“Sydney?” Came a voice. An instant warmth spread through my torso, traveling up to warm my heart. I turned.
“Lets get you settled.” He held out his hand, and I looked down at it, standing there like that for a long time. But then I took it. I don’t know why, since every cell in my body told me otherwise, but I took it, and I let him lead me to one of the corners, where a makeshift bed was laid. I let him tuck me in, smoothing the thin worn down sheet around me. But then- I let him walk away.
And I don’t know why, but I felt my heart constrict, before the pain started.
I wake up to someone yelling. It was still dark out, but voices filled the air. I don’t want to get up and when I try, I find that I literally couldn’t.
My stomach was warmer than the rest of my body, and I look down to see an arm encircled around it. An arm with tattoos covering it.
I lay my head back down, and then everything clicked.
And I scream.
“What the hell are you doing?” I jump up, ripping his hand from my middle.
Jeo looks at me with tired eyes, rolling over and placing his hands on his stomach. “Sorry. I was sleeping a couple of feet away, but then I guess I rolled over. Sorry.” He smiled, and I couldn’t help but smile back a little, before the anger consumed me again.
“What the hell is happening anyways?” I yell over the raising voices.
“Jerry found something I guess.”
“Is that important?” I ask, trying to yawn and look mad at the same time.
He shrugs, looking at me with his enchanting dark eyes. I sigh, feeling my hard exterior melting away. For now at least.
“Why don’t you have a shirt on?” I ask, noticing his naked torso enviously. It seemed like everyone here was ripped. But that’s what you can expect from criminals, right? Someone running for their life everyday probably wouldn’t be three hundred pounds. He even has a small tattoo on his bottom right abb.
He chuckled, bringing my gaze back to his face. “You enjoying the view?” He asked, smirking.
I feel my cheeks heat up as blush threatened to expose. “N-no!” I defend.
He winks before getting up, shaking his dark washed jeans out. That tell-all V disappearing beneath them.
Suddenly, I smack myself hard. When I open my eyes, Jeo is looking at me, still smirking. “What was that for?”
I roll my eyes, pretending nothing happened.
“Everyone! Get over here!” Jerry calls.
I look behind me at Jerry, who was standing in the center of the room and ordering people around, and when I look back, Jeo’s putting on his shirt. Thank god- I can actually think.
“Ready to go?” He asked me.
“Good. ‘Cuz it looks like the mission is starting now.”