III: Sai of Relief

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Staring down the barrel of the enormous hand gun that would make Dirty Harry proud, I did the only thing I could think of.

"Don't shoot!"

Really Phoenix?

But it worked, Chaz hesitated.

His brows furrowed, the barrel slowly lowering to his side. He tilted his head, eyes focusing on something beside me.

He reached down and ripped my mask off.

His eyes widened, as if he had just been awoken suddenly from a dream.

"You're...you're a woman!" he exclaimed, a euphoric expression surfacing upon his face.

Quick! Blow your stranger danger whistle!

He thrust the gun in his belt, tossing my mask away. The labored breathing of his friend was an afterthought as he reached down and rolled him aside.

I don't know if he'd forgotten what I had just done to his other companion, who still laid on the ground a few yards away, cradling his shattered elbow, or just hadn't seen a female since the day the world had gone to shit, but if he thought I was some helpless woman...

He would learn as his friends had.

Chaz grabbed my arms, his hands shaking as he did. I let him lift me to my feet, preparing myself for a fight. He easily outweighed me by a hundred pounds, there was a reason he led this group.

He ran one of his lunchbox size hands through my hair. "Red is my favorite color," his voice hardly above a whisper.

Holy shit this guy needs to get laid...not by you of course.

I shifted my left leg forward, my right leg just a few inches back.

Chaz seemed to be entranced. He brought his hand down over my cheek, mumbling softly. "Freckles on such beautiful skin."

His touch sent shivers down my spine, I'd had enough.

I looked down, acting shy to his touch. When he brought a hand under my chin to lift my head up, I bent my knees, launching myself upwards.

My head connected with his jaw, snapping his head backwards.

Look at those teeth fly!

Upwards I went, twisting my body as I continued my ascent. As he straightened his head, I snapped a kick out, connecting with his jaw once again.

Your dad would be proud of that kick. Look, more teeth flying!

Chaz stumbled backwards, amazingly staying on his feet.

He shook his head, staring at me with a look of bewilderment and pure hatred as he regained his senses.

"I'll kill you for that!" he bellowed, the veins on his neck threatening to burst.

Geesh, this guy is one tough cookie...good luck, Phoenix.

He reached down, grabbing his gun.

Or so he thought.

"Looking for this?" I asked, holding his revolver up, dangling it in my hand.

He looked down, his hands simultaneously darting towards his belt. "How did you-" he hissed, patting his empty waistline.

You're going to shoot him, right?

I looked at the gun, running a hand over the long barrel. "You know I hate guns, Kip," I replied softly.

From the Ash: Book IRead this story for FREE!