Chapter 25: The Attempt

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The man was about my height, a large gun in his hand and a clown mask on his face. "I've been given strict instructions from the Joker to make sure that you don't leave." He said confidently. But I was determined, I had gone too far to get caught now. I kicked his gun out of his hands, punching him across the face. He then grabbed my arm and moved to throw me to the ground, but I was quicker and flipped myself so that I was straddling his neck and I pinned him to the floor with the force of my weight. I pulled out a gun from my jacket and I him him upside the head, knocking him out. I scrambled to get up to see that Jerome's followers were gathered to my right. One of them was phoning Jeremiah, the others were shakily pointing guns at me. I knew that Jeremiah would never let them hurt me, and I saw out of the corner of my eye that the elevator was coming up from the third floor. He was coming. But I reminded myself that I had the upper hand here, and I ran to the platform that would lift me up to the decoy building disguising his hideout. As I was lifted up, I heard the elevator ding and I was grateful that I didn't have to face him. One I reached level ground, the platform began lowering again and I quickly stepped off of it and ran out of the building. I knew that my husband was on my heels, and he not only had men of his own that would be looking for me, but he also knew every criminal in Gotham. It wouldn't be long until he tracks me down, so I had to outsmart him. I looked around me, unsure of where to turn. Suddenly I heard Jeremiah behind me, he was striding towards me, a murderous look on his face. A part of me wanted to drop what I was doing and go back with him, as I wasn't sure if I could follow through with defying him this far. "Harley, get your ass back here!" He yelled and my flight instinct kicked in and as a utility truck drove by I grabbed onto the handle on the back and it lurched me onto the moving vehicle. As I was carried away, I watched as Jeremiah ordered his men to get his car so he could follow me. I felt like I was going to throw up as the reality of my inevitable return sunk in. I would have to face my very pissed off husband soon, and I concluded that the longer I can delay that, the better. I knew I had to get off this truck before Jeremiah caught up to me and threatened the driver to stop the car. I surveyed my surroundings desperately, searching for an escape. Then I spotted something peculiar... It was Selena on top of a building, she was dressed in all black. She saw me staring, recognizing me instantly and she jumped down from the building, landing agilely on the ground. Jeremiah's purple Lamborghini was catching up to me, weaving through traffic with ease and gaining ground. I looked back nervously and Selena seemed to understand that I needed help. "Jump!" She yelled and I looked at the moving sidewalk like she was crazy. But as the sidewalk was running out I knew that I had limited time. So I jumped, tumbling against the sidewalk twice before getting on my feet. "We've got to move!" Selena yelled, grabbing by jacket and pulled me into the shadows of Gotham City. We watched as Jeremiah's car came to a screeching halt, realizing that I had jumped off. "This way!" Selena ushered me as she removed the grate off a storm drain and I followed her into the sewer as she placed the grate back in place. We carefully made our way through the grey water, Selena knowing exactly where she was taking me. I heard footsteps and voices from above getting closer to the grate, and it motivated us to move quicker. We finally made our way to this cellar full of life. There were huts everywhere and children in every corner. This must be where Selena had grown up, in the streets of Gotham. I put my hood back up, as it had fallen during my escape. Selena grabbed a scarf off someone's drying line and handed it to me. "Cover your face, no one can know that you're here." She said hurriedly as she brought me over one of her friends huts. We both went inside, and we both were finally allowed to take a breath. "What the fuck Harleen?" She whispered roughly. My hands were shaking, my pulse spiking as my mind raced with how much trouble I had just gotten myself into. I had just made everything so much worse by running. "Are you okay?" She pressed and I nodded. "I'm okay, I just... Needed to get some air." I lied and she glared at me. "Okay fine... We got into a fight... I'm not allowed to leave, so I did. And now I'm terrified of going back." I revealed and she stared at me incredulously. "You are so incredibly stupid! You've just put my life and the lives of everyone here in danger over a fight?" She spat at me and I sighed in defeat. "I'm sorry Selena, I didn't know what else to do. I won't stay here long... I just had to prove to myself that I could get away from him if I needed to. Incase something were to happen along the road." I continued and she seemed to accept that answer. "So here's what you're going to do, Jeremiah will find out that you've been here within the hour... I'll stall him for as long as I can while you run. Try and find Ivy, she's probably the only one in Gotham that can protect you." She informed me and I nodded. Selena then handed me a knife and I looked at her quizzically. "If you thought the area we lived in before was ghetto, these parts are the most dangerous in the city. Trust me when I saw you'll need this." She explained and I pulled her into a brief hug. "Thank you, Selena." I said sincerely, and she gave me a small smile. "You'd do the same for me." She responded simply and I nodded. I would do anything to protect my friends, especially after the ones I had lost. "Go!" She pushed me and I stumbled to my feet and got out of the hut, wrapping the scarf to cover my face underneath my hood and I quickly made my way out of the cellar, following the instructions that Selena had given me to find my way to Ivy's Garden. Apparently that is the place that she works on her connection with the plants, and it is one of the most dangerous places in Gotham for those who don't like her powers. I walked along the stone cylinder for a few miles until I reached the manhole cover that lead to my destination. I carefully lifted the cover off the street, checking my surrounding carefully before I felt it was safe enough to emerge. Right in front of me was a white building overridden with plants. I made it, Ivy would protect me and keep me hidden until I was ready to return to Jeremiah. Hopefully when he's calmed down. As I stepped onto the grass on the front lawn of the building I suddenly heard a gun click behind me. "Hello Mrs. Valeska." A man said and I turned to see that Penguin was pointing a gun at me. This was certainly a turn of events. Then his phone rang, and he answered it with his free hand. "Yes? Okay, I'll tell her." He talked to the other person on the line and my stomach sank. "It's your husband, he wants to talk to you." Penguin said, a smile on his face at my horrified expression. "Go on." He prompted, holding the phone out for me to take while keeping his gun on me. I hesitantly took the phone from him, and placed it up to my ear. "J?..." I asked into the phone timidly. There was silence for a period of time before he finally spoke up. "Return with Penguin, or I will kill Selena and all of her street trash friends..." Jeremiah threatened, and I knew by the anger in his voice that he meant every word. Selena was right, it hadn't taken him long to find them at all. The thought that he could harm someone so important to me made me feel sick. I couldn't let that happen. "Yes, Jeremiah." I said, my voice small. I knew exactly what he wanted to hear. "I'll be there soon." He said smugly, knowing that he had won. I felt defeated, but most of all, afraid. Afraid of the repression's of tonight, and of the reality that I could never escape him.

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