Chapter 11

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      "HOW MUCH LONGER do you think this is gonna take?"

      I let out a sigh, glancing over at Tyler as he yawned once again. "I already told you the first fifty times you asked. It's only a few more blocks away. You should have just stayed home." The wind wrapped around my face and chilled my cheeks, eliciting a shiver. I wrapped my arms tightly around my chest. I should have brought a heavier jacket.

      He turned to glare at me. "I told you I wasn't letting you go on your own. If I went back inside, you were coming with me. Ring a bell? Lets just get this over with, Skye."

      I opened my mouth to retort, but before I could, a loud click echoed against my eardrums. All oxygen left my lungs in a heartbeat. Oh my God.

     "Step away from each other and put your hands on your heads," came a deep, raspy voice from behind us. Tyler did as instructed, but my fear made me hesitate. Cold metal pressed into the back of my head, and my hands went suddenly numb. "I'm not going to repeat myself!"

      My heart beat erratically in my chest as I flung my hands to my head as instructed. Instinctually, I found myself searching the areas around us for anywhere we could escape to, but came up short.

      "Turn around," he barked, pressing the gun harder against my skull before removing the metal entirely. "Slowly."

      We turned around to see a tall guy in a ski mask a few feet away, the same gun I'd felt on my head moments ago in his hand. He switched his aim between the two of us, hands shaking with his nerves. Black irises shifted frantically, and he kept shifting his balance from foot to foot. He's never done this before.

      "Please," I begged, voice shaking slightly as I spoke. I wasn't nearly as frightened as before after seeing the fear in his own eyes, but that didn't mean our lives weren't still in danger. I needed to distract him as long as possible and think up some sort of plan. If I didn't, we were as good as dead. "Don't hurt us, please."

      I watched the guys Adam's Apple bob as he gulped, his aim wavering. One hand let go of the gun in favor of wiping his sweaty palms on his jeans, then quickly brought it back up to the weapon.

      Got him.

      "I don't wanna hurt anyone. Just give me all the money you have, and I'll leave." He pointed his gun towards our pockets before returning it back and forth between our faces.

      "Please, sir, I'm pregnant," I lied. Please feel sorry for me. "Do you really want to take a baby's life, or the life of her parents?"

      I didn't risk a glance at Tyler, but I hoped to God his expression didn't give way to my lie.

      The man immediately tightened his grip on his gun, his eyes shifting down to my stomach. "Like I said, I don't want to hurt nobody. Just give me whatever money you have on you and we'll let you go."

      We'll let you go. There were more of them.

      I nodded quickly, glancing over at Tyler, who had a knowing look on his face. "I'll go first," he said, slowly reaching into his pockets.

      I watched the guy with the gun carefully, thankful when I noticed his attention was completely focused on Tyler's hands. I lunged forward, using a disarming move I'd learned from Jay before kicking the gun away. The man grasped at his wrist in pain before shaking it off and advancing forward. Heart in my throat, I did the first thing that came to mind.

      I shoved my knee between his legs.

      As the man doubled over his pain, I turned to Tyler, adrenaline pumping in. I ran over and laced our hands together as I shouted, "Run!"

      Tyler didn't bother to say a word in response and ran instead, keeping a steady pace with me as we charged to our destination—one of the spots I'd seen while examining our surroundings.

      "You little bitch!" The guy yelled from behind us. "I'll fucking kill you!"

      I cursed under my breath, hearing the sound of multiple footsteps behind us, soon followed by gun shots.

      "I take it . . . he had. . . friends," Tyler muttered between pants. My cheeks stung from the cold wind and my hand would be frozen if it wasn't for the heat from Tyer's palm.

      My ears rang from the sound of gunshots behind us. I stumbled and cried out in pain when one grazed my leg, tearing my jeans and staining them with blood. I cursed and winced when I regained my footing, each step sending sparks of pain through my thigh.

      I pushed the pain aside and struggled to pick up the pace. We were two streets from were I keyed the guy's car, and the memory of where I hid when he chased me flashed into my mind. "Just—just a little farther."

      When we finally made it to the street, I jerked Tyler's hand to turn him with me. I pointed to an old truck in somebody's yard that was half covered with a tarp and raised from work done on the rims. It was the same truck I hid under when the guy chased after me the night I lost my necklace. Tyler nodded, and we slid under the vehicle before our chasers rounded the corner.

      Or, well, I thought we had. Tyler's hand disentangled from mine as I slid, and he took off running out into the open road, directly in front of our chasers.

      "Tyler!" I shrieked, my entire body seized in panic. I tried to force myself to run after him, but I couldn't move a single muscle.

      He bent down quickly to pick up something glinting on the pavement, then turned on his heel and sprinted my way. My whole world switched into slow motion as a loud bang echoed through the air, followed by Tyler's cry of pain seconds before he slid under the car.

      My eyes widened in shock and horror as I watched blood ooze from a hole in Tyler's side. "Tyler? Oh my God . . . Tyler, I'm so sorry. This is all my fault! I shouldn't have dragged you out here. You should have stayed home! It should be me—"

      I was cut off as a hand slapped over my mouth. Tyler clenched his eyes shut from the pain. Blood oozed around him, increasing my panic. "Please, Skye. Just shut the fuck up," he wheezed. "It's not your fault, but if you don't keep quiet, it will be your fault if we get killed."

      "Why did you go out there?" I whisper-yelled. At the warning look Tyler shot me, I repeated the question much quieter.

      Tyler silently reached into his pocket and pulled out the metallic object from the road. My eyes widened with tears as I noticed it was my missing necklace.

      Tyler's eyes started to flutter closed, and I quickly tugged him to me. "Come on, Tyler. I need you to stay awake. P-please, Tyler," I whispered, voice cracking with every word. My heart beat continued to echo painfuly in my ears.

      I closed my mouth and pulled Tyler closer, listening for any signs that the men from earlier were still here. I lightly slapped his cheek a few times, trying to stir him back to consciousness. When I didn't hear anything more from our captors, I grabbed the phone and dialed the first name that came to mind. It took three rings before the words exploded from my mouth like a bomb.

      "Tyler's been shot!"

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