Chapter Fifty-Three

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I was pulled back into an alleyway and felt my back slam against the brick wall. I couldn't tell who the person in front of me was. He wore a black face mask, hiding all features, but his eyes.

"Don't scream," a masculine voice whispered in my ear as I struggled. It wasn't like I could scream if I even tried, with his hand shoved over my face. At least I was still able to fight him. I just needed to land the right blow. A knee to the stomach...if I could get my hand up and into his face. Eyes were usually a vulnerable spot.

A rope began wrapping around my wrists and I tried to move away, but I couldn't. Somebody else was there, too. I couldn't see the other person, but I could feel his or her gloves on my arms. The rope tightened as a knot was tied, forcing my wrists together. 

The hand was removed from my mouth. I didn't scream.

"What do you want?" I spat at the dark figures. The alleyway I'd been forced in had little to no light so I couldn't see my captors. Neon lights made it so just the tops of the buildings on either side of us were lit up.

The figure in front of me didn't respond and I realized it was because the second figure had disappeared for a moment.

I was shoved backwards onto a chair. The two figures began discussing something with each other, acting like I didn't exist. I couldn't make out what they were saying because of how softly they were speaking.

"Hey! What do you want from me!" I shouted, doing directly what they'd asked me not to do.

It at least seemed to get their attention. The figure who'd grabbed me off the street was on me in an instant, his hand clutching my face as the gave me a death glare. "We can make your death slow and painful, if you'd prefer it that way," he sneered. His voice was muffled by the black cloth covering it.

I could feel my heartbeat quicken. The idea of dying after all I'd survived through scared me. If I didn't escape, it all would be over. Maybe I should have expected that. It reminded me of something from a while back....the poison. When somebody in the Snow Society had tried to kill me, but had ended up hurting Mace instead. Could these be the same people....?

It didn't seem logical. If it was, then that meant the person that was trying to kill me was one of the fifteen or so who actually made it this far. At least then I'd have something to work off of. There was no harm in asking.

"Have you...tried killing me before?" My words seemed to strike a nerve in the person with his hand still over my mouth. His eyes widened for less than a second, before narrowing.

"No," he lied. Based on his reaction, I knew I was right. Now I just had figure out who it was. And also figure out how to get out. If they were planning on killing me, shouldn't they have done so by now? Unless they were waiting for something. "If you speak again, I will shoot you in the head. Got it?"

I reluctantly nodded. Getting shot in the head wouldn't help me. I doubted that he was joking, too, since he already seemed to want to kill me. It would just be cutting this meeting short.

I focused on the rope tying my hands. It was the only thing keeping me in place. They obviously didn't consider me as much of a threat. The knot was tight, though, and I didn't know how I was going to escape. My fingers struggled to feel where the ends of the rope were. I could reach them.

I began pulling at the rope. It might've been tight, but that didn't necessarily mean it was a good knot. Judging by how informal the two figures looked, I guessed they weren't professional. Their barely visible outfits looked like something that could be bought at the nearest clothing store. 

The figure that wasn't the guy, suddenly turned around, distracted by something. My eyes were getting used to the darkness, and from what I could see, she looked more like a girl than a guy. My guess was given more evidence when she spoke. "I think he's almost here..."

The guy nodded in response. He began to speak, too soft for me to hear. But neither of them was paying attention to me anymore. This was my chance.

I yanked on the end of the rope, and immediately I felt the entire thing loosen. The rope fell from my wrists and hit the ground with a soft thud that couldn't be heard above the figures' voices.

Now I had to figure out how to get away.

But I was too late. The figures turned around suddenly as a third voice could be heard down the alley. They had been waiting on someone, and now that someone was here. I could barely see his face. All I could tell was that he had a beard. Besides that, the rest of his features were covered in darkness.

"Flare. It's nice to see you again," the girl said. She walked towards him, holding out a glinting object. It had sharp edges and a triangular shape, and it took me a moment to realize that it was a dagger. They were going to kill me before I had a chance to run.

Panic rose in me like a python, gripping my heart. The only thought on my mind was to get away from the dagger. I could take them by surprise and escape.

I was about to sprint, when suddenly, a new sound sliced through the air. The guy that the woman called Flare froze, still gripping the dagger, but no longer moving. He was immobile for a couple seconds before he suddenly fell over, a sharp, needle-like object protruding from his neck.

A swishing sound came from the direction behind Flare and a similar object slammed into the guy's neck, and then the girl's. Both of them fell down on the concrete like dominoes.

And then a fourth figure rose out of the darkness, dressed in the same clothes I'd seen him in earlier at the party. He looked relieved when he saw me, and walked over.

"Getting killed again? Seems to be a hobby of yours...," Asten muttered as he shoved the dart gun he'd been holding in his back pocket. He looked at my arms which were still behind my back, probably about to untie me.

I rolled my eyes and pulled my freed hands out from behind me, holding them in the air. "If you hadn't come, I would've totally saved myself," I commented. I stood up and smiled at him, even though the situation couldn't call for smiling. But I was happy to still be alive. My anger at him from before was gone.

"I'm sure," he replied jokingly. I could still only see the outline of his face and his bright eyes. But from what I could tell, he was smirking.

I playfully hit his arm. "I would've! You know I would've," I replied and grinned at him. It was easy to forget where we were and the unconscious bodies surrounding us.

He just laughed and looked down the alleyway towards the street. "I'd love to continue this conversation with you, but we probably should get back inside. We have a lot to talk about."

I followed his gaze to the neon lights and people streaming by on the sidewalks. This was an entirely other world that we hadn't been informed of. It was beautiful, but threatening because of how unknown it was. Asten was right. We did have a lot to discuss. "Agreed."

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