New York Rain(7)

By: Riley Moreno


One of them grabbed her wrist with one hand and clamped his other clammy, sweaty hand over his mouth, while the other man pulled out a flick-knife and flashed the blade in front of her face.

“Don't say nothin',” he growled. “Get in the alley.”

His companion pulled Jade roughly off the street, into the dark shadows of the alley.

Panic flooded her system, and fear screamed silently in her ears. All of a sudden her pulse was racing terribly, and an awful heat was boosting its fire across every inch of her skin.

“Look, look, just take my purse,” she heard herself saying, feeling as if she was in some kind of terrible nightmare. “There's a few hundred dollars in it, please, please just take it and don't hurt me.”

The men, both of whom looked to be just out of their teens, and who were dressed in ragged street gear and who had wild, dark eyes, grabbed her handbag and ripped it off of her shoulder. One of them started rifling through it while the other, the one with the knife, kept the blade of his weapon pressed against her throat.

“Don't move,” he hissed. “Don't say nothing, don't make a single sound. I'll cut you if you do, I swear to God.”

“Hey!”

All three of them turned to face the loud, brazen voice that had interrupted them.

“Let her go right now and you won't get hurt.”

A tall, powerful figure was standing at the entrance of the alley, silhouetted against the light.

“Get the hell outta here man, or you're gonna get killed!” snarled the man with the knife.

“I'm not the one who's going to get hurt here. You might, though, if you don't start running right now.”

Without saying another word, the tall man charged into the alley. The man with the knife shoved Jade against the wall and spun around to attack the man. He lunged forward in a stab with his flick-knife, but his opponent was way too fast. The tall man easily sidestepped the clumsy stab, and grabbed the man's arm with his left hand, immobilizing it. Then he planted a heavy right hook with precise power onto the man's jaw. The sound of the impact echoed through the alley; it was a deep, crunching thud. The knife-wielder's knees crumpled beneath him, and he fell to the ground, knocked out cold.

“Your friend's just hit the ground, and you're next,” growled the voice – which was somehow familiar.

The other mugger took one look at his friend groaning and bleeding on the floor, and he dropped Jade's bag and sprinted away.

Jade, meanwhile, was breathing hard with terror, her big eyes even wider than usual with fear. In the darkness of the alley, she couldn't see the face of her rescuer, but she had somehow recognized his voice.

“Th-, th-, thank you,” she managed to stammer.

“It's alright, Jade. No sweat.”

“Wh- what? You know who I am?”

The man stepped into a pool of light, and Jade's heart began to race as she saw who the hero was.

“I met you earlier this afternoon,” replied Brenton Huxley with a sly grin.





CHAPTER 4



Jade's legs were still trembling as Brenton led her to his car, which he had hastily parked on the road just outside the alley. The sleek red vehicle's engine was still running, and the bassy rumble of the powerful engine seemed to vibrate the concrete beneath their feet with its depth and strength.

“Are you sure you don't need to get to a hospital?” asked Brenton. The tone of his voice was soft and kind; far different to the cool, flat tone of indifference he had spoken to her with earlier that afternoon.

“No, I'm-, I'm fine,” Jade managed to stammer. “They didn't hurt me. I'm j-, just shaken up.”

“Are you sure? Is there anything you need? Anything at all?”

A pair of strong arms around me, holding me close, telling me that it's all going to be okay. A powerful torso to curl up into and feel protected by. The deep and rich scent of manliness to drown in, to fall asleep in. That's what I need. I'm so tired of being alone...

“No, nothing. I-, I don't know how to thank you,” she replied.

“It's nothing. I'm just happy that I got there before anything bad happened. Look, at least let me drive you home. You can't feel too safe walking the rest of the way after what just happened.”

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