CASeries #1: KNIGHT
Chapter Six: Abducted
Although Valeriana had that nagging feeling eating away at her guts that said something bad was happening to Seraphina, she couldn’t stop her feet from running. She managed to grab a cab and have it drive her home. The look on her face stopped the driver from asking anything.
The ride was fairly uneventful save for the Mariah Carey singing in the background. It took a few minutes of anxious silence before she was dropped off safely. She ran the lawn like it was a cross-country marathon and broke through the door. In a moment, she found herself in her room, covered in cold sweat.
Her mother heard her arrival and was quick to knock on her door.
“Valery! We still have to talk.” Her mother’s soothing voice echoed from the other side.
“Mom,” she answered back. “I’m so sorry about a while ago, but . . . can we have this some other time? Please?”
The tiredness and the hint of anxiety seeped through her tone and this must’ve sparked worry from her mother as her voice lowered octaves, becoming far gentler and more delicate when she spoke next.
“Valery, baby,” she said. “If there’s something you aren’t telling me . . .”
“No . . . not at all, mom. It’s nothing.”
She heard a soft sigh echo from the other side. “Alright. I had your salmon wrapped up. If you want to eat, take it out the fridge and reheat it, okay? Or do you want me to do it for you? I can still—”
“It’s alright, mom. I’m not hungry. Thank you.”
Her chest rose and fell and beads of sweat traveled down the sides of her face. Although Seraphina was a particularly strong warrior, her new opponent had a fair share of that confident air about him. No doubt he was just as experienced as she was, maybe even more.
She fell face first on her bed and muffled her moans with the sheets, paying attention to her mother’s footsteps while she left.
What exactly is happening with my life?
She closed her eyes for a second to try and drown out the thoughts to calm herself. The exhaustion nagged on her muscles and a headache appeared out of nowhere. She grabbed her pillow and curled up with it in her arms, closing her eyes when the languidness kicked in. When she opened her eyes a while later, she felt the drowsiness from sleeping and yawned out loud. She shifted on her bed and scratched her head in confusion.
“Dammit, did I fall asleep?”
She glanced towards the clock and saw the hands pointing at four in the morning. It was still dark out as well.
“It’s a dream . . . it was a dream,” she muttered to herself before raking her hands through her hair and climbing out of the bed.
That was when she realized she was still in the same clothes as before. However, the comforters were pulled over her body and her shoes were removed. Her mother must’ve come in to check on her, saw the state she was in, and attended to her while she was asleep.
“I guess it’s not.” She padded her way towards the window as she thought back on what happened between Seraphina and that Emmett guy.
Rubbing the crust out of her eyes, she took a deep breath and thought for a moment. She had to go back. She just had to know.
Valeriana climbed down the staircase and winced at every creak it made. After reaching the landing, she made a dash for the door and rushed out of the house.
There weren’t many taxis driving around, so she had to take the bus. It took a while before she reached the park. It was deserted—so painfully quiet that it was disconcerting. There were occasional joggers who were up early, but they were still scarce.
She quietly made her way towards the spot where she last saw Seraphina and looked around. Aside from a flickering lamppost, a few bushes, and small trees, there was nothing to see. The skies were dark and covered in clouds, but the moon and stars occasionally peeked through and shed some light.
Valeriana took a step back to leave when she found nothing, only to have a glint catch her attention. Although it could’ve been just a piece of broken glass, it still made the girl curious. Perhaps it was something that could serve as a clue to what happened.
What she found lying among the bushes made her heart jump.
It was a sword.
Valeriana only saw it a few times, but she was sure that it belonged to Seraphina. She slowly reached for it, wrapping her hands around the hilt. The cold metal was firm, heavier than she expected it would be.
“So you came back. How convenient.”
“Sweet baby Jesus!” She jumped from where she crouched, her hands tightening around the weapon. She turned to the familiar voice and saw Emmett. Wary, she brandished the sword at him shakily and tried to look menacing with it. “You . . . stay away from me!”
Emmett’s was undaunted by her threats. “Using a weapon you have no experience with is foolish.”
In a flash, he caught the sword by the blade and wrenched it out of Valeriana’s grip with his bare hands. It landed among the bushes where she found it.
“Come.” He advanced forward in long strides. Having no means to fight, Valeriana ran off. He caught up with her effortlessly and grabbed her wrist. In response, she tried breaking free.
“What did you do to Seraphina?”
She was then caged in his arms.
He didn’t answer.
Sure she might’ve not had the luxury of taking karate lessons from a pro, but her father taught her a thing or two about defending herself. Despite having an outrageous potbelly, he was far more experienced in fighting than anyone would expect.
She stepped harshly on his foot and took the time crushing it under her feet. She could hear the grunts of pain erupting from the back of his throat. Still, he kept a firm grip. Given no other choice, she swung her head back and repeatedly started hitting him—head to head.
“E . . . nough!”
Luckily, before she started feeling dizzy about smashing her own head against his, his hold finally slackened. She took advantage of this opportunity and elbowed him in the ribs. Valeriana managed to slip away. However, he recovered quickly, so she stepped away and threw her fist forward, hitting him square on the face.
He stumbled, and at the same time, she screamed, “Bloody murder!”
Her fingers ached from the impact, her hand losing all its strength from the strike of pain. She dismissed that, even so. She ran away as fast as her feet could take her while he was still stunned—though she knew it wouldn’t last long.
“That’s it,” the man said. “I am done playing games.”
He sprinted. Valeriana threw a quick over her shoulder as her shoes squeaked in protest at her exertion. Immediately, she regretted it. He was goddamned fast. His legs were long, so his strides were the same. Valeriana urged her legs to carry her forward faster, the adrenaline fueling her endeavor. Even so, he still caught up.
“Get away!” she screamed. “Help!”
She felt a sharp jab on her neck before her vision turned black.