Gina screamed again and squirmed as she continued to be pulled into the darkness by the unseen hands. She had been taken by the guards before, but never like this. Never in complete darkness where she didn’t know who was there. In the years she had been there, she had never seen a blackout. Somehow, without the comfort of the light, everything seemed so much worse.
“Stop yer squirming, dammit!” Wayne said as he clamped his hand over Gina’s mouth again. He wasn’t supposed to be there. The ‘finders’, as they liked to call themselves, were never to come to the tunnels. Juan didn’t like it and if he knew Wayne was there, there would be hell to pay.
As Wayne continued to struggle with the girl, he wondered if all the trouble was really worth it. After Angel let the dark chocolate honey slip through his fingers, Wayne’s mind hadn’t been able to let the idea go. He’d never been with a black one before and the more he thought about it, the more fascinating the idea became. A few nights before they grabbed the girl in the park, he and Angel had picked up a slightly older one at the airport.
She was a wild one. Wayne felt his body respond as he remembered how hard she struggled. She would have been a good one to bend to his will. In fact, she was the one he had been looking for when he grabbed the feisty one he held in his arms now. He settled on her because at the last minute he decided that looking for the one he really wanted would take too much time. The tunnels were a maze to him and he could have gotten lost before he found her. He wasn’t so picky that he couldn’t make do with what he had. Besides, with the lack of lights, what did it really matter anyway?
Gina continued to struggle as the arms tightened around her. If she could just get her hands on the arrowhead, she could stab him with it. If she could stab him hard enough, he would let go and maybe she could find a way out of there.
Gina squirmed some more and was able to ease her hand into her pocket. Her fingers closed around the arrowhead. She gripped it in her hand and counted to ten before she brought her hand up and aimed for his neck.
Wayne turned his head and the arrowhead sliced through his cheek. The pain tore through him. His hand shot out and backslapped Gina which sent her sprawling a few feet away from him.
Gina pulled herself onto her knees. The slap shook her and for a few seconds she was disoriented. She had just gotten her bearings when she felt two hands grasp her shoulders. As she moved to a standing position, she swung her hands to defend herself against the new attacker.
Her hands moved to claw at the eyes of her assailant and when she felt hard plastic where eyes should have been, she drew her hands back in surprise. Her eyes squinted as she tried to make them focus on who or what was before her.
“We’re here to help…you,” the voice began. “Gina, is that you?”
Gina grew still when she heard her name. In the dark corners of her mind, she recognized the voice, but it couldn’t be right. She shook her head in disbelief.
“It’s me. It’s Lucky. Lucky Spencer. Gina?”
Gina felt a sob escape from the depths of her soul as she said, “Lucky? Really? It’s you?”
“Yes!” he said, pulling Gina into his arms to reassure both of them. He had thought she moved back home or maybe to San Francisco to be with her brother. Never did it cross his mind that she might be down here.
Nikolas watched the touching reunion with a smile until he became aware of movement a few feet away. The person…a man…began to come towards them. He held his hand to his bloody cheek as he tried to find his way in the dark. As he came closer, Nikolas recognized him as one of Dawn’s assailants. The one who had attacked Nikolas from behind and later tried to rape Dawn.
Nikolas felt the anger build and threaten to consume him. In a blind rage, he ran for Wayne and tackled him to the ground. He began to hit him in the face, the stomach, and anywhere else Wayne wasn’t able to deflect the blows.
Nikolas began to remember how Dawn showed him her bruised back and how she cried tears of humiliation and shame in his arms. Without a second thought, his fingers closed around Wayne’s neck. Wayne pulled at Nikolas’ hands but the grip was too strong. As Nikolas squeezed, the words came pouring from his mouth.
“This is for Dawn, you bast-“
Lucky released Gina and ran to his half-brother’s side.
“Let him go, man,” Lucky coaxed Nikolas, trying to pull his hands from Wayne’s neck.
“No,” Nikolas said. He could barely see Wayne’s face as the tears began to blur his vision. When Dawn told him what happened, he had remained calm for her sake, but now as the rage exploded within him, the calmness escaped him. The only thing he could do…wanted to do…was kill the man who had hurt the young woman he loved.
“Nikolas! Please!” Lucky said on the verge of screaming. “This is not the way, man. I know how you feel, but this is not the way. Let him go. Dawn wouldn’t want you to this. Don’t do it, man."
Somehow, Lucky’s plea broke through and in one swift movement, Nikolas released his hold and moved away from Wayne. He lifted the goggles and wiped the tears from his eyes. He took a deep breath and put the goggles back in place. Turning back to face Lucky, he said, “We can’t just let him go.”
“We’re not,” Lucky replied, holding up the rope.
Nikolas smiled and moved to help Lucky tie Wayne’s hands with the rope.
“Okay, come on out of there,” Roberto said. His rifle was aimed at the figure in the bushes and he had no qualms with pulling the trigger.
AJ came from behind the bushes and moved into the clearing. He held his hands up as an angry flush covered his face.
“I have every right to be in there,” AJ said.
“Mr. Morgan says you don’t” Marco replied, moving in to take over for Roberto.
“I don’t give a damn what Jason says. My girlfriend may be in there. I don’t care what you two thugs do. I’m going in,” AJ said, moving towards the catacombs.
“No, you’re not,” Roberto said. With the butt of his gun, he hit AJ in the back of his head.
“What did you do that for?” Marco asked, confused. Mr. Morgan had asked for them to detain AJ, not rough him up.
“I don’t like to be called a thug,” Roberto said, stepping over AJ to resume his watchdog position.
Keesha was scared. She had never been afraid of the dark, but now, she couldn’t prevent the tremors of fear that shot through her body. Did the guards cause the blackout as some sick joke or was something else happening, she wondered. She heard a thud outside her door and clutching the pick in her hand, she backed against the wall to wait.
Her heart leapt to her throat as she heard the squeaking of the door as it opened. Her grip on the pick tightened as she raised it to a defensive position.
She heard her name and the voice, but she wasn’t sure if she should believe it. Maybe it was trick. She didn’t know what to say or do, but the word escaped her lips before she had a chance to stop it.
“Jason?” she asked quietly.
Within seconds, she felt herself pulled in a hug which left her breathless. As he held her close, she recognized his body and new it wasn’t a trick. Jason was there. He was holding her. He’d found her.
Jason pulled his body away from Keesha to take a good look at her. She was dirty and bruised, but she was okay. Thank God, she was okay, he thought. His hands cupped her face and he bent his head to cover her lips with his own. She held back at first, but soon she returned his gentle kiss.
Jason slowly released her lips and pulled her closer in his tight embrace. He’d found her. And she was alive. Everything would be fine, he thought.
“I’m so sorry. About everything. But I promise, once I get you out of here, I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to you. I promise, Keesha,” he murmured as he rocked her in his arms.
Keesha listened to his softly spoken words and didn’t know what to think or how to respond. Who was holding her? Was it Jason Quartermaine or Jason Morgan? At the moment, it didn’t matter she decided as she returned his hug. She was relieved to know that soon she would be out of that hell hole.
Tommy was surprised to find the door unlock. With his gun drawn, just in case, he went in. His eyes filled with pain when he saw the empty room. His mother wasn’t there. The space was vacant. The makeshift pallet still on the floor, but there was no sign of Simone.
Tommy backed out of the room and ran back into the passageway.
“Jason! She’s not here! She’s not here!!” he yelled, his voice breaking as the pent-up anger and frustration overcame him.