It took my twenty minutes to clean up the mess that had been made when Juliet tripped me. The conversation I had with Colin lasted another five minutes as we debated what should be done. In the end, Colin decided to give me a ten day paid vacation. I tried to stop him, but he wouldn't relent. That's my boss for you. As soon as I was finished talking with Colin, I grabbed my jacket and purse and walked out to my car. I opened the driver's side door just as my cell rang. I took out my phone and sat down in the seat before answering. "Hello?"
"Emma! I've been calling your cell for the last half hour!" It was my neighbor Susan Briggs.
"I was at work. You know I work on Thursday nights Susan."
"Are you off work now?" Susan asked urgently. What was the matter? What could be so important that Susan was in a panic.
"Yes, what's the matter Susan? You sound really upset."
"Emma! I can't find your little sister anywhere! She was outside playing the backyard with the dog and my kids and I went out to bring them in and she was gone!"
The blood drained from my face. "I'm coming home right now Susan. Keep your girls inside and call the police." When my father had been thrown in jail eight years ago, my mother had skipped town and Susan had taken me and my eighteen month old sister in. When I had turned sixteen, I had rented a trailer next to Susan's house. I couldn't lose Carrie, she was all I had left. I shoved my key in the ignition and started my car. Or rather, I tried to start my car. I had forgotten to fill up the car with gas
I let out a strangled wordless cry and hit the steering wheel over and over again. It took me a few minutes to calm myself. I didn't have time to find someone with jumper cables. I needed to get home and find Carrie. That was all that mattered.
I took my purse, phone, and keys with me when I got out of the car and slammed the door shut. I put my phone in my right pocket, my keys in my left pocket, my purse (which was actually a shoulder bag) in place and began to jog. It was around sunset and the nights were already getting a little chilly. The movement kept my blood flowing so that I didn't start freezing up. I used my fear for Carrie to keep me moving.
Someone stepped out in front of me from a car. Three other guys came out behind him and surrounded me. "Are you Emma Bryant?" The man in front of me asked.
"Excuse me, who? Look, if you don't mind, I really need to get home. My parents are going to have a hissy fit if I'm late again. Last night, my dad came out with his shotgun! Can you imagine?" I lied with a laugh.
"Then that little girl isn't your sister and we can just kill her." I turned to where the speaker was pointing and saw Carrie.
"You let her go you bastard!" I yelled lashing out of the man. One of the other men grabbed one of my arms and twisted it sharply behind my back.
"Emma! You leave Emma alone!" Carrie yelled hitting at one of the men. He scooped her up in his arms easily and threw her over his shoulder.
"You should tell your sister to behave or bad things might happen to her and you," the first man cautioned.
"What do you want?" I groaned.
"You're coming with us Emma. If you're a good girl, we might even let your little sister live."
"Don't touch her!" I yelled, the guy holding my arm gave it a sharp jerk making me cry out.
"I don't think you understand the gravity of this situation Miss Bryant. You're not in charge. We are."
"Let Emma and the kid go now," I recognized the voice that spoke instantly. It was one of the new brothers, the one who had caught me.
"This isn't your concern kid. Keep walking before you get yourself hurt." The speaker snapped.
"I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation you are in," The speaking brother said softly. The other two brothers were moving around to surround the four men, Carrie, and me.
"Do you want to be responsible for the death of a little girl?" The speaker asked. Carrie was tossed the fourth man who caught her and forced a knife under her jaw.
"Carrie! Leave her alone!" The man holding me put his arm around my throat as I struggled to get away from him and reach my baby sister.
"Emma!" Carrie sobbed bringing tears to my eyes.
"What kind of man uses a child to manipulate others?" The large brother growled. His gold eyes glowed in the fading light and his face looked like stone. He was pissed. But if he could save Carrie, I didn't care.
"You think you're so tough big guy?" The man who had originally grabbed Carrie demanded. "Why don't you show me what you're made of?" The man rushed forward. The large brother felled him in one blow.
The man holding the blade to Carrie's throat pushed her to me and the man holding me, relinquished his hold on my throat and grabbed Carrie. The other two men (including the speaker) went for the large brother and the black haired brother.
I took my chance and rammed my elbow backwards into my captor's stomach. The arm went out of his lungs in a rush and he released me. I turned to grab Carrie only to meet the man's free fist. The man was grabbed from behind and he released Carrie trying to claw at the arm choking him. "Big mistake," the first brother said. His gold eyes glowed with rage as he chocked the life out of the man. I held Carrie close to me and looked away, afraid to run.
It seemed like an eternity before silence came and consumed us. "Emma," the first brother whispered and pushed some of my hair from my face. "Are you and Carrie alright?" He asked softly.
"Please don't hurt us," I begged. "We won't tell anyone." I promised holding Carrie tight.
"We're not going to hurt you Emma. My brothers and I only want to protect you. My name's Kayne Volkov by the way. The big guy's Fang and my other brother is Xavier. We would never let any harm come to you."
"You just killed four men," I said trying not to sound hysterical. "How can I trust you?"
"If I wanted harm to come to you Emma, I wouldn't have saved you twice in a matter of a few hours."