10- surprise guests

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The next morning, Tyler spoke to me less than usual. Which was saying a lot. 

Since I was no longer tied up, he seemed to barely pay any attention to whether I wanted to leave or not. I wasn't going to threaten it anymore cause we both knew I wouldn't. Just like he wouldn't threaten to hurt me in any way. We were at a standstill, both in this situation cause we didn't know what else to do. 

The next couple of days went by at the pace of a 150 year old turtle. I came up with a routine that entertained me somewhat, and involved lots of floor exercises and drinking. Sometimes at the same time. 

The boredom was persistent enough that I craved school. I craved reading, and writing, and sitting in a lecture that I used to despise. I asked Tyler if I could borrow his laptop to do schoolwork but he refused. 

That was the extent of our conversations. Me asking for something and him saying no. 

Thursday night, Tyler left for work again. I began my usual routine of drinking and watching The Office. I started a game that involved drinking every time Michael made a joke that no one laughed at. Needless to say, I finished that first beer pretty quickly. 

A loud knock got my attention right as I was about to start the next episode. I glanced at the door with wide eyes after putting the glass down. 

"Tyler, open up." It sounded like the man from the first day. With the lights on and TV playing, there's no way I could pretend that no one was home. 

I watched as the door handle started to jiggle. I knew they had a key, but the deadbolt would delay them. As I sat on the couch, frozen, a million scenarios ran through my head. There was no way I could run since this building lacked a fire escape, not to mention all the stuff I'd have to take to make it look like I was never here.

Finally, I made up my mind. I ran to his bedroom and put on a sweatshirt and a pair of his sweatpants to cover myself up. Then I walked over to the door, which was thankfully still closed. Taking a deep breath, I flipped the deadbolt and watched as the door started to swing open. With the chain still in place, I could only see through a couple of inches. That was more than enough for me.

"Tyler's not here." I told them in my sweetest voice. The man's face seemed vaguely familiar but I couldn't place it. 

"Who the hell are you?"

"Cassandra." 

"Open the door Cassandra."

"Tyler told me not to."

"I don't care what Tyler said." Suddenly, a gun appeared, the barrel of it pointed directly at my skull. I ducked back behind the door. "Open the fucking door, Cassandra, or I'll make sure you regret it."

I really didn't know how he'd do that, seeing as he didn't get a good look at my face, but I opened it anyway. The last thing I wanted was for them to blindly fire through the wood. 

I watched the light above the door turn red as soon as the door opened, then I was looking at the barrel of a gun. It was held by the larger of the men, one with teardrop tattoos on his face along with some other symbol that I didn't recognize. He was big, at least two hundred pounds of mostly muscle, with light skin and a bald head. His companion was a couple inches shorter with about half as many tattoos, but still pretty intimidating with piercing blue eyes and a gun tucked in his waistband.

"I can call Tyler over if you want. He's just at work." I offered, despite not knowing how to do that with neither a phone nor his number.

"What are you doing here?"

"I wanted to surprise him. I haven't seen him since two days ago." 

"Sit in that chair and don't move." The bald man ordered. I didn't hesitate.

They must have assumed that I wasn't much of a threat and put the gun away. Sitting still at the table, I watched as they tore apart Tyler's apartment. While I had been discreet with my snooping, these guys were like a freaking hurricane. After only five minutes, they'd turned everything upside down. 

"Nothing." Blue eyes said as he met with his boss in the living room. Suddenly, both of them turned to me. 

"Well, Cassandra, I'd really hate to come all this way for nothing."

"I don't have whatever it is you're looking for."

The sick smile that spread across his face was enough to make bile rise to my throat.

"Oh, but I think you do." Both of them started to advance on me and I realized they beat me by almost three hundred pounds. Yeah I could fight them off for a little while but there's no way I'd win. 

Then, with the most perfect timing ever, I heard the door open. I looked past the two men and saw Tyler standing in the foyer, pissed as all hell. "What are you doing here?"

Baldy looked back at him. "'Bout time you showed up."

"Why are you here?" Tyler repeated, more forcefully this time.

"Just making sure you aren't holding out on us." Baldy replied.

"I'm not. You can go now."

"We're not leaving until-"

"Not you. Her." Tyler said as he turned to me, his deadly expression making my blood run cold. 

The bald man looked back at me, his eyes travelling up and down my body before returning to Tyler. "Not gonna share?"

"No." Tyler's voice was low and threatening, the hardness of it leaving little room for debate. There was some tension that passed through them, neither side willing to budge. I knew Baldy wanted to fight him for it, but Tyler's clenched fists and tense shoulders told me he was more than ready to defend me. I guess he was serious about not wanting me to get hurt. Though it was a completely inappropriate time to be more attracted to Tyler, I was. God, I was.

"Get out. Now." His voice was low but cold as ice. Though I might be some kind of stupid, I wasn't going to refuse. Shrugging past thing one and thing two, I walked towards the door with my eyes still on Tyler's. Seeing his soften just for a moment as I passed by, I shot him a sliver of a smile in thanks as I walked out of the apartment.

I raced down the stairs without turning back. Walking out into the cold night air, I was happy to be wearing sweats but as I took a step onto the hard pavement, I realized that I still didn't have shoes.

Not that it mattered, since I wasn't planning on going very far.

I glanced around the street to get my bearings and recognized the buildings pretty quickly. Just a couple doors down was the entrance to Dave's. I almost let out a laugh upon seeing my proximity to the glowing sign. Of course he lived just feet away from his place of employment. Otherwise he probably wouldn't have left me alone.

Sounds behind me caused a panic to rise in my chest. They were already leaving. I quickly scouted around for a hiding spot, the only option seeming to be a dark alley. The shadows concealed me as I stood far from the street, watching as they walked past. 

Letting at least ten minutes pass before coming out, I peered down both sides of the street before darting out into the light and back into his building.


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