Lexi stifled a moan as she looked out of the window from beneath lowered lashes. The car was moving too swiftly for her to recognise where they were going. Her head throbbed from the blow Carl had given her before dumping her unceremoniously on the back seat of his car, blood seeping from a cut in her lip.
Carl should have been her saviour but he was far worse than the man she had been trying to get away from. He had come to her rescue after unwelcome advances from a chap at the bar. One look from Carl and the bothersome man had slunk away like a dog with his tail between his legs.
It had been comical at the time but Lexi wasn't laughing now. Carl, she realised too late, was a dangerous man. He expected recompence for his timely intervention in what could have been a sticky situation.
The car park had been empty when he walked her out and he took the opportunity to tell her what he wanted from her. When she flatly refused he became abusive, his fist striking so quick she had no time to dodge the blow. Before she knew what was happening he had dumped her in his car and was driving off at high speed.
Carl slowed the car considerably when the road became less even, street lights getting few and far between as they left the city behind. Where was he taking her and what would he do to her when they got there? Too late she remembered the spate of murders that had plagued the headlines in the local news recently. All four women had been battered and sexually assaulted, their bodies found naked and bound in the forest, the soles of their feet cut to shreds, as if they had been running barefoot through the undergrowth for hours before being brought down and slaughtered.
The car slowed to a halt beneath a canopy of trees and Lexi knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that within minutes she would be running for her life.
The drivers door opened then slammed shut and the passenger door at the back was opened. Carl dragged her out, pushing her to the ground and straddling her, pinning her hands above her head.
'Are you prepared to give me what I want?'
'No.' Lexi squeezed her eyes shut as Carl's face loomed closer to hers. His breath smelt of stale tobacco and alcohol. She almost gagged when his lips, rough and hard, mashed into hers, his teeth scraping her bottom lip. She winced at the pain in her lip from where he had hit her.
Carl chortled as he shifted his position, using one large hand to hold both of hers and his other to knead her breast. Lexi struggled, throwing her head from side to side to escape his foul breath, bucking her hips to try and throw him off of her.
'That's it baby, struggle. It makes it so much more rewarding.' His hand tore at her blouse, popping the buttons and ripping it, exposing her breasts to his gaze, the nipples puckering in the cool night air.
'No.' Lexi screamed as he bent his head, her own head clashing with his as she tried to stop him. Pain ricocheted around her head making her dizzy.
'You bitch.' His fingers gently probed his head, making sure there was no blood but feeling the lump that was forming. 'You are going to suffer for that.'
He struck her hard across the face. She fought to keep the blackness at bay. If she blacked out now she guessed he would kill her before she had a chance to run. At least if she ran there was a slim chance she could get away from him, escape the death he was planning for her.
She lay still, letting the dizziness pass as Carl turned to remove her panties and shoes. He grabbed her arm and pulled her to her feet., tossing her items into the back of the car, saving them as a trophy as he had with the others.
'I'm going to count to a hundred then I'm going to come after you so you had better run fast. Once I catch you you're mine.' He pushed her towards the trees and started to count.
Lexi ran like she had never run before, the pain in her feet nothing compared to what he would do to her if or when he caught up with her.
She fell several times, scraping her hands and knees, branches whipping at her, clawing her skin. So far she was still alive and she wanted to stay that way. Her strength was leaving her though, her muscles protesting at their continuous use. It felt like she had been running for hours and she wasn't sure if the wet feeling on the bottom of her feet was blood or squashed bugs. Maybe it was a mixture of both and the thought made her heave.
Entering a large clearing she knew she was done for, she could go no further. Her heart was racing and she had little strength left.
Brett watched the woman stumble into the clearing. He felt the fear oozing from her, could hear the footsteps of the other, knew he was chasing her. The scent of the man was familiar. This was the one he and his brother were looking for, the killer. Tonight he would put a stop to the man's killing spree.
He's here Nate, in the clearing, chasing down his prey. Get here as quick as you can. Brett hoped his brother was in range or their telepathic link would be broken.
I'll be there soon bro. If needs be kill him. Don't let him take another victim. Nate responded.
Carl was closing in fast on Lexi, his footsteps loud in the quiet of the night. Lexi sank to her knees, resting against a tree at the far side of the clearing, her heart hammering in her chest as she gulped in air, trying to ease the burning in her lungs.
She slid around and down the tree, resting her back against it, slumping in defeat as Carl came crashing in to view, a huge smile on his face when he saw her, knowing he had won the chase.
Brett inched forward. He was going to stop this maniac once and for all.
The snapping of twigs to one side of the clearing had Lexi glancing in that direction. Carl didn't appear to have noticed. She almost screamed when she saw the huge wolf, it's eyes riveted on him as Carl approached her, telling her exactly what he was going to do to her, tasting her, fucking her and then cutting her.
Brett's gaze flicked to her when she gasped and Lexi thought she was going insane, sure the wolf winked at her. She didn't have time to wonder. Carl reached for her, insanity clear in his eyes. The wolf growled at that moment and Carl turned as it sprang at him, knocking him to the floor, tearing at his flesh.
Lexi closed her eyes at the horror of the scene before her, bile rising in her throat. Carl's screams of agony cut through her like a knife but stopped abruptly. Lexi gingerly opened one eye. The wolf had Carl by the throat, its fangs buried deep in his flesh, blood gushing from his wounds. Just as suddenly as he had attacked the wolf stopped. Carl lay dying, his life blood seeping into the parched earth around him.
The wolf sat then turned to Lexi, eyeing her warily. Lexi huddled shivering in shock against the tree, trying to cover herself the best she could, her clothes little more than tattered rags. Nate chose that moment to come bounding into the clearing, the smell of blood strong in his nostrils. Lexi screamed as the second wolf sidled right up next to her and her world went black as she fainted.