Chapter Thirty

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An agonizing sense of frustration settled deep in my chest as I tried to continuously push away from the grip of my captor to check on Seth as he lay with an oozing wound on the back of his head, but my attempts were futile; the fight was only tiring me down as my culprit's grip on my neck tightened, restricting the amount of oxygen that traveled through my windpipe. The salty tears that had run down my cheeks were leaving an itchy trail behind, but I couldn't wipe them away as my hands were clawing and scratching at the grip around my throat.

For a moment, I was about to drop my arms to my sides and give up the fight I had put on, as it had seemed pointless and I was growing very, very tired. But a momentary glance at Bella suddenly washed away that sense as fast as it had come. Her tear-filled gaze stared back at me helplessly as her burly captor fixed his hand on her mouth so tightly, deeming it impossible for her to speak, with his robust arms wrapped around her feeble arms and waist securing her completely in his grip. He looked like he was suffocating her, and it enraged me. Not only had they knocked my friend unconscious with a possibly life-threatening head trauma, but they were close to hurting another innocent. And I wasn't going to have that. Not when I knew it was me they were after.

With newfound strength, I suddenly jerked my right arm forward and with a strong force shoved it backwards to elbow my captor in his liver, earning a loud groan. I reached for his arm and within his weakened state, grabbed it and twisted it so his grip was entirely off my neck, and I turned with his arm in my hold and raised my knee, hitting him in the groin. As he hunched forward, I quickly turned around and delivered a blow with my elbow to his nose, hearing a slight crack as he fell backwards to the floor.

As I set my foot forward towards the man holding Bella, she let out a muffled scream in warning, and within the same moment a burly arm encircled my waist and pulled me back. I scratched at the arms of my second captor, drawing blood to the surface, when I suddenly heard the slight creak of the old kitchen door. The instant I shifted to look over my shoulder I heard a loud crashing sound and the man behind me groaned in pain, his hold on me loosening and allowing me the opportunity to scurry away. I turned and gasped at the scenery where Ariel stood trembling, a crashed vase on the floor beside my unconscious captor's bleeding head.

"Ariel-!" I exclaimed, about to yell for her to run, but the words got stuck in my throat as the first man who had caught me recovered from the blows I sent his way, and reached out for Ariel, pulling her violently by the hair and retracting a silver knife from his back-pocket. I gasped, my hands immediately coming up to surrender. "No! No, please. Let her go!"

But Ariel, in her freaked state, screamed and thrashed in his hold unaware of the weapon in his grip. She scratched at his face and in return, he slashed deeply into her arm.

My scream echoed that of Ariel's as a deep gash in her arm was slit open and within seconds crimson blood began to trickle and flow down the length of her arm and drip onto the wooden floors. An uncontrolled sob escaped my throat, my body beginning to tremble as I started to hyperventilate.

"That's enough!" One man yelled, entering my line of vision. He lifted up his gun with one hand, shifting it in the air to shine light on it. "I won't hesitate to empty my bullets in the bodies of your friends to end this once and for all." I began to shake my head uncontrollably. "Now, do you want us to go on with this the easy way, or the hard way?" He sneered.

I let out a choked sob. "S-stop." I whispered. "I'll go with you. I'll leave willingly just let them go!"

Ariel was trying desperately to fight back with her single unharmed arm, her other limp at her side as it dripped blood onto the floor.

"Good choice," I heard the man mumble, slowly nodding towards his followers. Simultaneously, the man holding Ariel and the one holding Bella both released their grips, and I watched as the girls both scurried away from them. Bella fell to the floor beside Seth as she gasped for air, releasing a loud, choked sob. Her trembling hands hovered over his body, desperate to check his injuries but afraid of causing further damage.

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