Out Cold

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~Emily's POV~ (Revised)

Tonight had been such a wonderful evening.  It was the happiest I had been in three weeks.  James had taken me to see a movie, then we went to a great Mexican restaurant for dinner and dessert.  We spent the whole time talking about old memories and laughing about the way Hope flirted with the police men.  It had almost completely taken my mind off of everything that happened. 

We started walking towards the house until James said, "Look at that lazy ass!"  He was pointing to Officer Johnson's patrol car.  I looked and saw the dark silhouette of the officer lying in the driver's seat with his hat pulled over his eyes.  He was sleeping!!

"Can you believe that!?"  James said, "That idiot is supposed to be watching the house and he falls asleep!  I'm gonna go give him a piece of my mind-"

I grabbed his arm.  "Forget about him.  Let's just go inside and check on Hope."

"Okay, but I'm gonna make sure his dumb ass gets fired." 

James grabbed the doorknob to twist it open and I glanced back at the officer.  I got a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Something seemed wrong.  The way he was lying there looked unnatural. 

It was almost like he was....

Stop it, Emily!  You're letting your imagination get the best of you!

James pushed the door open and stepped inside.  All of the lights in the house were off and my feelings of dread returned.  It was only eleven o'clock, and Hope never went to bed before midnight.  I put my hand on James shoulder and said, "James, I'm scared."

"Relax."  He replied, fumbling around the wall to find a light switch.  "Hope, we're back!"

No answer.

"Hope?" 

He finally found the light switch and flipped it on.  My eyes widened in terror when I saw Vincent standing in the corner of the room with a sadistic look in his eyes.  "Welcome back, Emily.."

"James, it's him!!!"  I screamed.

"Son of a bitch!" James said before lunging towards Vincent.  He grabbed his shoulders and pushed him against the wall, but Vincent easily knocked him out with a lamp that he was holding. 

I screamed as James fell to the ground with a loud thud.  There was blood coming from the top of his head.  Vincent raised the lamp to hit him again until I kneeled myself beside him.  "Why are you doing this!?"  I cried, wiping blood from the top of James' head.  "Why can't you just leave me alone!?"

"Don't be angry with me, Emily."  Vincent said way too calmly.  "He was in the way of our love.  I had to do something."

"You sick mother-" Before I could finish that thought another terrifying thought occurred to me.  "Where's Hope?"

"Why do you always think about other people?  Can't you think about us for once?"

"Where is Hope!?"

I stood up and began beating my fists on his chest as hard as I could.  "Where is she!?"

He grabbed my wrists.  "Stop it!"

I pulled myself away from him and started running around the house, desperately searching for my friend.  "Hope!!  Hope please answer-" I ran into the kitchen and that's when I saw her. 

She was sprawled across the floor.

She wasn't moving.

"Hope!!"  I screamed again, running towards her until I felt Vincent's arms around my waist.  He clamped his hand over my mouth so no one would hear me screaming.  "I never wanted to hurt them..." He breathed in my ear.  "But I couldn't have them keeping us apart.  I need you, Emily."

He pulled his hand off of my mouth and started digging in his pocket.

"Please let me go!" I begged, trying to pry his arm from around my waist. "I don't want to go back to-". Before I could say another word, a rag was pushed against my nose and mouth.  I tried to hold my breath as nauseating fumes filled my nostrils.  Vincent sighed and his grip around me tightened.   "Don't fight it....just breathe. Breathe for me, Emily."

My head started pounding from the lack of oxygen and it was only a few seconds before I heaved in a breath. The fumes from the rag filled my nostrils and my vision started to blur. 'He's too strong.  I can't fight him.' That was the last thought that ran through my head before everything around me grew dark and I blacked out.

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