Enemy of the state.
I wasn’t sure if that was what I was considered or not.
To my relief, Teagan stayed down once struck, not fighting any longer. Either that or he’d been knocked out. I couldn’t be sure as they dragged me up two floors.
Once there, Haynesworth dismissed the other men and escorted me to a room at the far corner of the building. Once inside the conference room, I saw both Father and Elena sitting in chairs on the far side. Then I noted the ropes securing them in their seats, as well as six armed guards standing around them. All indicators pointed to the fact that we were done for.
I refused to show any fear.
“What’s going on?” I demanded as Haynesworth prodded me forward and shut the door behind me. “Father?“
“Your father is none of your concern,” Yaron’s icy voice interjected, the back of a chair from the far end of the table turning to see me. From his vantage point, he’d been looking out the window over the city. Pitch dark eyes glared, looking straight through me. “I’m in charge now.”
That boded ill. So he’d inserted himself as the Presidente? As my eyes swiveled toward my father, he sputtered out, “This is outrageous!”
“Shut up,” Yaron barked out forbiddingly. On his cue one of the guards smacked my father on the head from behind. Then Yaron’s eyes settled back on me with pensive scrutiny. “But there is still a question as to what to do with you. You’re a spy.”
I refused to betray my trepidation as he left that accusation hanging. “And what evidence do you have of that? That the Lynx decided to come to me in an emergency instead of you? That a woman ambushed me in the dressing room yesterday and scared me? I mean, I’ve sat on the knowledge that my father murdered my aunt for years now. What makes you think I’d side with the Forge now after I’ve remained silent for so long after learning that?”
As I said those damning words, my father paled and looked down at his lap. More to my interest, Haynesworth shifted from where he stood in the corner, eyes widening with understanding. Apparently he hadn’t known about Lola after all.
“I’m not concerned with where your allegiances lie,” Yaron sneered, clasping his hands together. “Or why you decided to disobey orders to leave. My interest is why the Lynx would visit you twice. Perhaps even more than you’re willing to let on…”
Then the question came as to what he was planning to do about his musings. Before I could question him, he flicked a finger at me. “Take her and dispose of the others. I’ll meet you after the press conference…”
A thrill of fear hit me square in the chest as both Elena and Father were immediately seized and secured, guns aimed at their heads. While I hated them both, I didn’t want to watch them die firsthand either.
“Dispose?!” my father bellowed, though not fighting them as he was hauled to his feet.
“Your position is at an end, Francisco,” Yaron replied calmly, much like he’d been bothered by a mere fly. Death apparently didn’t disturb, move, or deter his conscience. “You overstepped your bounds. You are of no more use to us…”
I looked away as he and Elena took to begging, pleading for their lives and assuring their loyalty to the Hacienda. Though with morbid amusement to the highest, I noted that neither of them pled on my behalf or even considered me at all. I meant nothing to them.
As Haynesworth came over and snatched my wrist, I didn’t fight him. I walked compliantly alongside him as he escorted me out, stifling my conscience as Elena and Father were left behind. Surviving was my concern for now.
Especially as we rounded the corner and I saw ten men waiting, all in riot gear. As Haynesworth pushed me forward, I knew I had to move quickly. Wait until they were least expecting it and then run. Otherwise I’d never get away.
Haynesworth said nothing to me, acting as if he’d never met me before in his life. Now knowing that he’d easily sacrifice me to save himself, I put my hands up and allowed myself to be ushered along. He likely wouldn’t hesitate to shoot me if his own salvation depended on it.
But as we came out to the main part of the floor next to the elevator, off to where patients were, a new kind of dismay came to me.
As the elevator opened, I swallowed hard as an orderly wheeled out a stretcher. On it rested Kit, lying on his side. They must’ve been transferring him up to the floor for intensive care.
Pausing in sipping on the soda they’d given him, his eyes riveted on me as he was wheeled past. Then they swiveled around between the ten armed men surrounding me, inclusive of Haynesworth. “Aiyla?”
A cat-like smile appeared on Haynesworth’s face as he prodded me forward, knowing exactly what he was doing. “Get in.”
“Go home, Kit,” I whispered brokenly, looking at the floor.
Gunfire echoed from the hall we’d just vacated, prompting me to jump violently and nearly fall over, skittering back instinctively at the sound. With my nerves shot, the sound startled me.
As I accidentally knocked into one of the men behind me, he responded viciously. Stars erupted in front of my eyes as he struck me in the back of my head, presumably with the butt of his gun.
Landing on my knees, I cried out as my hands were pulled out from under me and I was pinned down from behind. Giving up on the idea of peacefully complying, I kicked out as my head was slammed hard into the linoleum.
In the back of my mind, I heard a roar from my other side, Kit lashing out at those who’d abused me. Managing to look up regardless of being pinned, I saw him launch off the stretcher. Despite being so grievously injured, he threw his orderly off as they attempted to restrain him. “Get your hands off her!”
“Kit, don’t!” I cried, knowing that the police would have absolutely no qualms about shooting him if he posed enough of a problem. As I tried to sit up, I was slammed back down, this time by three men.
“Sedate her,” Haynesworth ordered with open boredom, gesturing at me. “Easier to transport her then.”
Crying out as I saw Kit likewise being tackled to the ground, I stifled a sob. Despite my warning and all his injuries, he was doing his best to fight his way to my side. From my vantage point, I could see his eyes. They remained focused on me with steely determination, desperation etched on every feature as he fought to free me.
Throwing off a second orderly as they nabbed him, he managed to get a few feet further before being taken down and pinned to the ground by two more who had run up. But as they produced a taser to try and subdue him, I screamed out, “Don’t hurt him! Leave him alone-“
I cut off as my head was jerked, pulled up by the hair and a needle jammed into my neck. I barely felt the sting, my mind too preoccupied on the man before me.
“Aiyla?!” Kit cried out, still struggling as a heaviness fell over my mind. Everything started to slow with a sluggish haze as the drug hit me, my body shutting down despite my best efforts.
In the slowness of the moment, Kit’s face crumpled into despair, eyes locked on mine. His voice came out with a whimper as he called out my name again and began to cry over his failure, the sound almost as desolate as the feeling overcoming me.
I tried to respond but couldn’t as the drug incapacitated me. I was released as I sagged forward, hitting the ground front first. I tried to keep my head up but couldn’t. Control fled from me as I slid one hand toward Kit, reaching for him despite the haze sliding over my mind.
All I could see was his sobbing face as the darkness swallowed me whole.
Next week’s chapter promises to be explosive. Until then, love and hugs…
Author Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel
Copyright 2020 Del Muerta Sanctum of Hell Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel