I laid on the lumpy, uncomfortable cot and tried to hold back the sobs that desperately wanted to accompany the hot tears that poured down my cheeks. I didn’t want Justin know that I was crying. He’d gone through enough torture already and I wasn’t even sure about my feelings towards him.
Of course, I was happy that he was here and the fact that he’d risked his life to come after me was even more heart warming, but our reunion wasn’t quite how I’d pictured it. I’d imagined that the minute I saw him, I’d want to thrust myself into his arms and stay there forever. Instead, the only thoughts running through my head was how much pain he’d caused me—even though he HAD apologized. I was just so confused!
I heard the faint sound of clinking metal and I turned to see Justin sliding out from under his cot.
“Ouch,” he said as he bumped his head.
I opened my mouth to ask him if he was okay, but instead, I involuntarily sniffed. I quickly tried to wipe away the tears that had forced their way down my face as he walked over to me.
“What’s the matter?” Justin asked as he held his head.
I placed my hand on top of his. “Are you okay?” I inquired instead of answering his question.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” He said before gently brushing away my tears with his thumb.
Justin pulled me into his arms and I melted into a fit of emotions and tears. “I’m scared.” I admitted.
“I’m going to get us out of here, Caity, I promise.” Justin kissed the top of my head. “I promise.” he repeated.
“How?” I whispered as I cuddled closer to him.
Justin shifted slightly as he dug into his pocket and pulled out a pocket-sized Swiss Army knife.
“Where did you get that?” I asked him.
“I had it in my pocket all along. I had forgotten until I tried to lay down on my side and I it in my pocket. It has a screwdriver,” he told me. “So, I’m going to use it to take apart the cot. I already looked and it should be an easy task.”
I felt my eyebrows scrunch together in confusion. “How will disassembling your only place to sleep, help anything?”
“I’ll show you,” he said as he knelt down in front of my cot. “See?” he asked as he pointed to the structure. “First off, they’re metal, which makes it sturdy. Second, if you unscrew these, they have a ragged edge.” he ran his fingers across it. “Therefore, when I strike Seth with it, it’ll cause considerable damage. At least it’ll provide enough time for us to either get our hands on another weapon, or to make a run for it. When the time comes, I’ll tell you exactly what to do.”
“Smart,” I commented.
Justin beamed proudly, “I know.”
“The only thing is—”
“What?” Justin interrupted.
“How are you going to keep Seth from knowing what you’re doing?” I asked.
“Well, I’m just gonna have to take a chance on that one.”
Finally, after what felt like a decade, Justin had taken apart his cot and we’d heard the sound of Seth’s friends leaving.
My heart pounded in my chest as Justin explained the plan to me for probably the hundredth time.
“I can’t do this,” I said as I tried to slow down my rapid heartbeat.
“Look at me,” Justin said.
I slowly lifted my eyes to meet his milk-chocolate ones.
“You’re one of the strongest people I know, Caitlin. We’ve got this!” he said as he pulled me into a tight hug.
“We?” I repeated as a smile played on my lips. “I like the sound of that.”
“Me too,” he whispered as he stared straight into my eyes. A warm feeling encompassed me from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. Justin kissed me on the cheek. “Let’s do this.”
We both took a deep breath as I walked over to the locked door of the room and banged as loudly as I could.
“Cut that out!” Seth’s slurred voice shouted.
I continued to make as much noise as possible while Justin held one of the metal bars firmly in his hand.
“Hey!” Seth screamed again. “Don’t make me come in there!”
I glanced at Justin and he gestured for me to continue knocking on the door.
Within seconds, I heard the uneven sound of Seth’s footsteps. He was obviously wasted. Usually, I would be scared, but the confident look on Justin’s face set me at ease.
The door swung open and just as we’d planned, Seth stood unarmed. Justin leaped into action and whacked Seth in the face with the metal bar. Seth was caught off guard and instantly fell to the ground. He tried to get up, but Justin hit him again and held the sharp end of the bar against Seth’s neck as he stepped on his hands. Seth stared up at him in shock.
“Where’s your gun?” Justin demanded.
Seth opened his mouth to protest, but Justin pressed the metal prongs against his neck so that they dug into his skin and droplets of blood landed on his chest.
“I can’t breathe,” Seth gasped as he tried to clutch his throat, but Justin dug his heels into Seth’s hands so that he couldn’t move.
“Good,” Justin growled. “Now tell me where the damn gun is, NOW!”
“K-k-kitchen. T-t-top cabinet on the right.” Seth stuttered. For once, I saw fear in his eyes. “You’re—you’re not gonna kill me—are you?”
“Why shouldn’t I?” Justin questioned.
“It’s—it’s not decent.” Seth choked.
“Decent? Decent?” Justin roared. “Do you think it’s decent to use women as sex toys and punching bags? Huh?”
“But she deserv—” Justin dug the prongs deeper into his flesh.
I turned away in horror.
“Shut up!” he told Seth. “The more you talk, the more you’re making me want to blow you to smithereens.” he spat. “Caitlin, go get the gun.” Justin ordered without taking his eyes off of Seth. “Make sure you don’t get your fingerprints on it.”
“Why—” I began. Justin’s harsh tone and actions were scaring me.
“Just do it, Caitlin.” he said. His voice softened slightly, but his firmness remained.
I wandered through the nice, upper middle-class home until I found the state-of-the-art kitchen. I found the pistol exactly where Seth had said it would be.
I found a towel and used it as a glove as I picked up the lethal weapon.
My whole body shook as I carried it to Justin.
He grabbed it from me and was certain that his fingers never touched the metal.
He pointed the pistol at Seth who was now shaking.
“Where did you put our phones?” Justin questioned.
“L-l-living room. On the coffee table.”
“Caitlin,” Justin turned to me. “I want you to go get your phone and go outside. Close the door behind you and call for help, okay?”
Justin’s words were gentle, but something in his eyes sent a cold chill down my spine.
“Justin—” I spoke, but he cut me off.
“It’s going to be okay, Caity.” he said. “Just do as I say.”
I hesitated for a moment, but I finally began to limp away.
I looked over my shoulder to see Justin watching me.
I bit my lip. “Please don’t do anything you’ll regret later.” I whispered.
Justin nodded, but I wasn’t sure if he’d caught the meaning of my words or not.
As much as I wanted Seth to die, I didn’t want Justin to have to spend the rest of his life knowing he’d taken another man’s life.
I found my phone lying in plain sight on the coffee table and I grabbed it.
I hobbled out the front door and I allowed it to slam behind me.
I turned on my phone and found Adam’s number listed first. I pressed the dial button and began to listen to the sound of ringing.
“Hello?” Adam answered. “Caitlin? Is that you?”
I was about to answer just as a loud gun-shot sounded.