Chapter 11

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              My fingers squeezed the trigger almost spasmodically on three, and the rest was a blur.

              My ears were ringing by the gun shot, and I could barely here the sputter or another engine around more gunshots. They barely reached us, but their effect was still jarring.

              I was peeking over Kidnappers shoulder, looking at the three people who were headed straight for us, when I heard Kidnapper yell loudly, and then choke on his own voice. I quickly looked at him in terror.

              He had dropped an oar-thankfully on the boat- and was clutching his left hand tightly to his side. His face was contorted in pain, teeth bared and clenched together, but torchorous groans and gasps still escaped them.

              His other arm still rowed the boat, but jerkily, as though the spasmd from one hand were shooting straight to the other.

              The boat was slowing down, and changing direction.

              Thinking quick, I turned around, sitting on a stool infront of him, as close to him as I could, and grabbed the oar he had dropped. Using both hands, I rowed quickly, bringing the boat back to the same direction and speed. I had gone canoeing before, ofcourse, so I knew what to do.

              I could here as well as feel him heaving loudly behind me, and with every breath that came out, a strangled groan escaped him.

              I shifted further back on my stoot, and said, "Lean on me."

              I felt his shoulders touch my back, and then his chest too. While his upper arm was squeezed against his side, his bent forearm came forward to clutch my waist. His chest was moving hard and fast, his breaths hot and uneven against my damp neck. I shivered, and the muscles in my stomach clenched involuntarily. He even leaned his forehead on the back of my head, but still refused to put any of his weight on me.

              "It's okay, I can handle it.", I half whispered, tilting my head slightly to look at him. And finally, he put heaved a sigh, and put his weight on me. I had to strain my waist a little to handle his weight, but I was okay with it. I could feel the wetness of his blood soaking into my top, and pushed my back carefully against his injury, trying to stop the blood flow.

              Everytime his hand rowed, his fingers at my waist curled slightly, and it made my breaths come out faster, other than the fact that I was straining hard to row as fast as I could.

              After what felt like a really long while, when my muscles were burning, my lower back was spasming and I was wheezing, we finally broke out of the marsh, and saw the shore. A little past it was a dense forest.

              We reached the shore, and I stumbled out, pulling the boat to the shore with all my strength.

              Kidnapper climbed out and tried to take his suitcase, but I grabbed it before him and handed him my plastic bag instead; I couldn't possibly carry both, and my bag was lighter.

              He tried to protest, but I shut him up by giving him a hard look and saying, "I don't want you to die on me.", and looking pointedly at his bleeding wound.

              I quickly lifted his shirt up a bit, and tucked the gun in the waistband of his jeans. As if the peak at his stomach wasn't enough, my fingers brushed against his warm skin, and they tingled, along with the rest of my body.

              We ran into the woods, and after a while of running, he stopped, leaning on a tree trunk, and grunting in pain. He slid down to the base, and sat back, panting. I sat down next to him, wheezing hard. It was a while before I could talk, and even then I had to swallow repeatedly to moisten my parched throat.

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