Take My Hand Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

            He crashed against the crates in the alleyway, his heart pounding, blood rushing through his head to echo the beat of his heart. Blood dripped from a cut below his eye, his nose, and his lip. He could feel it seep through his hair as a nice bump formed where his head had just become acquainted with the unforgiving brick wall of an abandoned apartment complex outside the bar called The Devil's Playground. He had little desire to continue the fight and little desire to do anything less. Life had become little more than a cycle of picking fights and healing wounds sustained in those fights. It was a convenient way to take out the aggression that had built up in his system throughout the years, feeling like acid streaming through his veins. It was an unhealthy acquisition since he had become as he now was.

            He shied away from those thoughts as he drew himself up, fed up with the nonsensical fight with the humans before him. They were drunk, and the five of them had thought they could take care of him as easily as they could swat a fly that had made a nuisance of itself. How foolish. He supposed it was unfair of him to start what he knew the poor fellows had no chance of finishing, but it did provide a much needed outlet. And a certain measure of amusement, of course.

            He drew a deep breath, closing his eyes and raising his head toward the night sky, before letting out an unholy hiss as he snapped his black eyes back to the men who stood frozen in confusion. His fangs were bared, and his muscles were tense as he prepared to pounce. Grabbing the one closest to him, he slung him to the other end of the alley, watching the body crumple like a rag doll as it slammed into the bricks of an old warehouse and slid to the dirty concrete below, knocking over a few trash cans and scattering rats and insects in every direction. The man didn't move again.

            As he turned back to look at the four remaining men, their faces had changed from victorious aggression to shock. Nonetheless, drunk as they were, two of the men charged at him again, spurred on by their alcohol induced bravado. He snarled angrily and grabbed one of them by the shoulders, lifting him straight off the ground and staring straight through to the depths of the man's mind. He could see the things the man had done in his past; he was no model citizen to be sure. None of the men present were. He had chosen to pick a fight with them for that very reason. Who would miss them? Each had a horrible past of assault, drugs, and, with this one in particular, rape and murder. He took no mercy as he subjected the man to mental torment, allowing him to feel the pain that this man's past victims had. The man screamed in agony, closing his eyes and clenching his fists as he thrashed about. He waited until the man ceased his movements before dropping him to the ground and turning to the other man, only to discover the man had stabbed him in the abdomen while he had been concentrating on his delinquent counterpart. This one had taken advantage of his distraction before backing away in horror as his cohort screamed and died.

            He slowly stepped toward the three men, ignoring the shooting pains from his abdomen and leg, which he now felt must be badly broken. He paid no heed to either. His attackers turned to run, but he enjoyed a chase as well. Let them run. He smiled devilishly before running after them, his strength restored momentarily as the predator roared at the chance to hunt.

            Jocelyn was waiting outside of the local all-night diner where she worked. Her friend Nora was supposed to pick her up, but obviously something had come up. She had tried to text her, but there was no response. With a sigh, Jo gave up and started walking toward her apartment. It was two in the morning, and though she had confidence in the self defense she knew, and it was only three blocks to her apartment, she also knew she had to pass by a bar with a bad reputation and a shady neighborhood in order to get home. Lovely. Had to love having dependable friends.

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