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   Chapter 16 Sixteen

Beauty and the Bad By Aubrey Wolfe Characters: 22464

Updated: 2019-05-31 12:41


Reece Hawken

"Reece, please, help!" Chloe's fear-stricken voice rings through the radio in my hand. I hear the muffled sound of static, then it goes quiet.

"Chloe? What's going on?" Still no response. "Chloe!"

My heart is racing in my ears. Without a second thought, I drift the next corner, taking a harsh U-turn and speed back towards the garage. I pass by Nathan's car and immediately get a call through my Bluetooth.

"Reece, where the hell are you going? We're minutes away from the shipping dock, " he says.

"Something is happening back at the garage; Chloe and the others are in trouble. I'm going back to see what's up, keep going and get this job done, meet me back at the garage when you're safe, " I say and hang up the call.

I'm relieved when I don't see his car turn around, but the brake lights come on momentarily, before he speeds off again.

I pray the entire way that Chloe is okay, but my stomach keeps doing backflips, my palms covered in sweat as I grip the steering wheel, not caring if I'm going over the speed limit.

When I get there, my heart drops into my stomach when I see the back door wide open – and a trail of blood leading out. I rush through the door, and instantly see Dustin lying on the ground. I check his pulse and relax a little when I feel it's steady, but strong heartbeat.

He's just unconscious, but he has a nasty wound at the back of his head. My eyes search around for any sign of Chloe, but the room is empty. I look over towards the computer and area set up around it, and see a hand sticking out from behind the couch.

Please, no.

For a small second I'm relieved when I don't see her familiar dark hair.

Instead, I see bleach blonde hair, and the rest of the arm sticking out is covered in tattoos, blood splatters covering his skin.

"Kyle? Kyle!" I shout, shaking him and feeling his pulse.

Nothing.

I flip him over, and see the large gunshot wound in his chest, his face drained of all color and icy cold to the touch.

A sob heaves out of my chest, as I clutch onto him, waiting and hoping for him to wake up. But he isn't.

"What the hell happened here?" I mutter. Something shifts on the other side of the room, and I hear a groan. "Dustin?" I call out.

"Reece, is that you?" he asks, his voice panicking. He runs over to behind the couch, his steps faltering when he sees me holding a lifeless Kyle.

"Oh god, no. Fuck, no!" he cries and falls to his knees next to me, touching Kyle with a trembling hand. "What happened?" he asks.

"I was hoping you could tell me. Where the hell are Chloe and Karl?"

Dustin looks around, seeing no one else is here. "T-they took her, these men in masks and black suits, they took her."

"How did they take her? How did they get in?"

Dustin tells me how he went outside for a smoke, when a black van pulled up and three figures got out. They didn't see him at first, so he was able to overhear their conversation about catching the girl. He had enough time to turn around and run to the door before they spotted him, and try to warn Chloe.

The last thing he remembers is being hit over the head, a gun being aimed at Chloe, and a loud bang before everything went black.

That reminds me of the trail of blood I saw leading out the back door, and my heart stops. I rush back over to inspect every inch of the area, for any sign of if it was Chloe's blood or not. It could be Karl's, which doesn't make me feel any better.

I stop when I look out the door, and see that the trail of blood doesn't stop anywhere near the property – it keeps going past the gate, and where Dustin said the van pulled up. If they took either of them while they were injured, it would have stopped at wherever the van was parked.

Why does it keep going?

I call over to Dustin, who is setting Kyle's body on the couch, and we follow the trail out past the property, and around the corner.

There, we find a hunched over Karl, the front and back of his shirt seeping with blood and it still looks fresh.

"Karl, man! What happened to you?" Dustin runs over and props him up, quickly finding the gunshot wound in his shoulder. Thankfully it seemed to just be a flesh wound, but he has still lost a lot of blood from how pale and chalky his skin is.

"They wanted...Chloe and...me, " he manages to get out between deep, ragged breaths. "They tried to shoot her, but I stopped it. Then, they took her out back, and Kyle tried to grab me and run, but...they..." Karl stops and lets out a sob, wincing in pain.

He takes another deep, unsteady breath. "They shot him, and tried to take me, but I managed to kick the guy in the leg, and ran as fast as I could over here. I couldn't run anymore, I'm sorry man, they got her–" He winces again and inhales sharply. Dustin pushes him back down.

"It's alright, man, you did good. We need to get you to a hospital, " Dustin says and lifts him off the ground.

"Reece, wait, " Karl calls and takes something out of his pocket, tossing it to me. He hands me a chain necklace, with a fancy letter A attached to it.

I can recognize this sign anywhere.

"I snagged it from the guy before I ran, I think they were all wearing one, " he says, then allows Dustin to lead him back to his car.

I tighten my grip on the necklace, knowing exactly where I have to go to find Chloe.

The Alliance.

***

I wake up to the sound of quiet arguing, everything moving around me. I open my eyes, but I'm only met with more darkness, something material covering my face. I move my hands and feel that they're tied behind me, as well as my feet.

With strained ears, I try to listen to the arguing behind me, or it sounds like it's coming from behind me, and get a sense of my surroundings without making it seem like I have woken up.

"I don't get what you're so upset about. We got her, didn't we?" I hear a man say.

"That isn't the point!" A female voice hisses. "You almost shot her, point blank. You could have killed her, and the boss specifically said to bring her alive. So, what the hell was that?"

I hear the man grumble. "Sorry, this is my first time doing this, and I saw the tattooed kid go for something in his pocket. I panicked and just aimed, but at least he got in the way."

Oh, no. Karl.

My chest clenches, hoping he and Kyle made it safely to the hospital, and everyone is going to be alright. I remember seeing Dustin, still lying on the floor, praying he wasn't knocked out too hard, and would soon wake up.

"God, this is such a mess, " the woman grumbles.

"Why? We got the girl unarmed, which means the other ones going to come for her. Everything is still working out, " the other man says.

The woman shushes

at means he got Karl to a hospital, and everyone else is at least safe for the time being.

Until they kill me, then kill Reece. Who is next? Nathan? Thomas?

Where the hell is he, anyway? Did he really leave town?

Maybe that is for the best, considering the way things are going.

"What do you want, Angel? Why all this?" Reece finally speaks, his voice loud and commanding. I see her composure falter a little, his intimidation getting to her, but she recovers quickly and narrows her eyes.

"You know exactly what I want. You gave the order to have Jeremy killed, you sacrificed your own member, to murder him. I want what anyone else would want; and eye for an eye." She gestures over to me, and Reece follows, his eyes finally settling on me.

"Chloe!" he cries and tries to rush at me, but Caroline and Allan have a tight grip, even for him.

"Stop struggling, it's no use. This is going to happen, whether you like it or not, " Angel says and knees Reece in the stomach. A cry bursts out of my mouth as he groans and falls to the ground. "Now, I'm going to kill your girlfriend here, and you're going to sit there and watch. Sound good? Good!" Angel claps her hands and skips over to me.

I want to vomit at how cheery she is during this seriously grim situation. She was just giving Reece shit for murder, yet is going to carry out the same thing, with a damn smile on her face.

I saw the look in the eye of the man who killed Jeremy; Ethan's father. I saw the instant regret and sorrow he felt. There was no way in hell he had a smile, or felt any happiness, towards ending Jeremy's life.

This isn't revenge. This is sadism.

"You're a lunatic, " I spit at Angel when she's within distance. The smile is instantly wiped from her face, and she strikes me across the face with her gun, the metal hitting my teeth and almost breaking them. Blood pools in my mouth, causing me to lean to the side and cough it out.

"Angel, stop it! Killing her isn't going to bring you anything, and it isn't going to bring Jeremy back, " Reece cries, still struggling, even though his face is twisted in pain.

Angel rolls her eyes, but doesn't take them off me.

"I know this isn't going to bring Jeremy back, nothing is. This will at least bring me comfort, and maybe pay off some of the debt he still owes me." The smile appears back on her face and she harshly picks me up from the floor, making me stand.

I feel her push me a little with the front of her gun and take a few steps back. Caroline and Allan drag Reece over and place him a few feet away from me, forcing his head to look directly at me.

"Any last words of romantic exchange, before this is all over?" Angel asks.

My breath catches when I look at Reece, and see streams of tears flowing down his face, his eyes completely blurred.

"Angel, please, don't do this. She doesn't deserve this, " he pleads, his voice cracking on every word. Seeing him like this makes me burst into tears. I just want to rush to him, hold him and have him tell me everything is going to be okay.

I want to be back in his room, just the two of us, pretending like there are no worries or secrets in the world. Like we're safe, and happy.

"Last chance, " she growls.

"Reece, I love you so much, " I whimper out, saying the only thing I want to be my last words to him. I want him to know how much he means to me.

He cries out and struggles against his hold again, thrashing like a wild animal. I almost think he's going to break through, until Allan overpowers him, putting a knee in his back and pushing him to the ground.

Caroline comes over and yanks his head up, enough to clearly seem me.

"Say good-bye, lover boy, " she whispers.

"No, please!"

A loud bang, and searing pain. But I can't react, my entire body is in shock. I slowly look down and see the large circle of red quickly forming on my shirt, covering my stomach.

"Chloe! No!" I hear Reece shouting, but he sounds like he's in a different room, not right in front of me. Black dots start to cover my vision, and I feel woozy. I fall to my knees, feeling the life drain from my body.

I still hear him calling, shouting my name, over again.

"Stay with me, Chloe! Please, I love you so fucking much, I can't live without you. You have to keeping fighting." I can't see anything anymore; I don't even know if I hit the ground or not.

I just hear Reece, and his voice. The voice I love so much.

I will always love.

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