CHAPTER ONE - Welcome To New Orleans

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Staring into the eyes of yet another stone cold killer, I felt the atmosphere around the pin-drop silent library darken to a bleaker shade of grey. This was my home. Over run with criminals and ex-cons. Why am I even surprised?

Advancing at double the speed my small feet could retreat, the six foot goon's mouth curled up into an impatient snarl. Tossing the, I think biggest, blade I'd ever seen a few centre metres into the air he caught it with a firm grip. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I glared at him. "Nowhere left to run little girl..." Little! Is he describing that tooth pick he calls a dick? My subconscious barked at this assholes audacity, demanding she be treated like the twenty two year old woman she is. Men. Always thinking they're superior, as though they have some god given right to order women around.

Tossing the jagged bladed knife once more he caught the hilt, with a slap, before it could fall back into his palm. Slicing it through the air several times he practically growled. Letting out a wild cry I backed right into a mess of chairs. Tumbling over them, I crashed to the library floor with a painful thud. "Fuck-don't!" Our audience let out a panicked protest, but nobody had the courage to step forward. Eyes wide I felt my heart exert itself with rapid beats. I wasn't going to beg.

"I know we're not a having a party without me..." The goon's head snapped in the direction of the library's entrance. Giving me a split second to spot the black Renegade bandana wrapped around his forehead. Fuck. Whistling Jose —the official town gangster and unofficial town jester— barrelled towards him.  "My ass is the party!" Jose sang. Rolling my eyes I fought the urge to throttle him. Fucking idiot.

Before the goon could switch the blade's trajectory, Jose clocked him square in the nose. Cringing at the cracking, that preceded a thick stream of blood leaking from the goon's nose, I eyed the shimmering silver of the knife's blade. My eyes following it carefully. Gang brawls were a sad reality in this town, no one could escape it. Mostly people —save the cops sporting a hero complex— just learnt to steer clear or cooperate.

If it weren't for the The Rising Son's protection, of sorts, the Renegade's would have further corrupted the people of New Orleans. It was my daily endeavour to keep a healthy distance from all things gangster... from one guy in particular, but I wanted out. Out of the darkness that had become my personal living hell.

Jose slammed the goon into one of the heavy book shelves to my right and several large hard covered books fell towards me. I shuffled back rapidly—carpet burns the least of my worries—desperately trying to avoid being decked by an anatomy textbook. They both continued to brawl, unconsciously moving towards me. To my horror my body met the back of the library, the cream coloured wall gloating at having trapped me. Hastily I scrambled to my feet. Jose's back slammed into one of the large timber tables at the same time. Instinctively, I advanced to help him. Stupid. The Renegade shoved me back effortlessly, forcing my spine to smash into the concrete like wall. Narrowing his eyes into slits he growled at me again, fuck he's like a rabid dog! My subconscious snorted whilst climbing into a hazmat suit.

Wincing I doubled over, despite the impact being on my back, Jose recovered abruptly. Gripping the back of the Renegade's head he slammed his face down onto the corner of the table. I could have sworn I heard his nose break a second time. Groaning, he worked the blade through the air several times just barely missing Jose's muscular torso. Dodging the rapid, sloppy, attacks Jose continued to back up until he was only centre metres from me. Pressing against the wall —determine to sink through the plaster—I flattened my palms against the cool, smooth surface, in silent prayer. Fuck. We're both going to die.

Forbidding my lungs from releasing even a breath I heard the blade cut through the air again. The Renegade drew back his knife, at double pace, before thrusting the sharp tip towards Jose's stomach. Gasping, Jose lunged to his left narrowly escaping the attack. Within the course of a second Jose's body had shifted to reveal the guy plunging the blade towards me. Sealing my eyes shut, I clenched my jaw firmly.  Awaiting the stabbing pain as the cool metal rotated into my flesh, I cursed up a storm internally.

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