I shook off the nightmare, opened my eyes, and realized the nightmare was happening in real time. Three big burley men, dressed in black, with black ski masks over their heads stood next to my bed. I blinked. This is not a drill the little voice inside my head told me. Your gun is on the dresser. You have to get it right now. I couldn’t believe I let myself get into this situation. My gun should have been next to me on the table, or better yet, under my pillow. Get a grip Montana, don’t freak out, they haven’t noticed you’re awake, yet. I glanced at them under half lidded eyes. The small sliver of the moon outside didn’t shine enough light in my room to see what they were doing. But at the moment they weren’t paying much attention to me, so I took a deep, quiet, breath and pounced out of bed with my arms swinging, going for my gun.
Slowly, I crawled back into my bedroom on my hands and knees, passed the bed and headed towards the dresser. I glanced up; sunlight gleamed off my gun, all I needed to do was reach it. I hefted my arms up, put my hands on the edge of the dresser and lifted myself at the same time. Halfway there my head began to swim again. I dry-heaved a few times, but kept going, taking deep breaths every step of the way. A million years later.., at least that’s what it seemed like, I held onto the dresser tightly, steadying myself.
Tears ran down my face from the effort I’d put into getting this far. And I wanted to cry more for the effort I knew it would take to get down to Chase and Killer. I wanted to crawl onto a ball on the floor and forget everything. Instead, I looked up into the cracked mirror to make sure I hadn’t been roughed up after I’d been knocked out. No visible bruises. I actually looked pretty good, I thought, smiling trough the tears. That a girl, positive thinking.
I imagined the guy I kicked, my smile grew, and I hoped he had a big bruise from it or better yet, a broken jaw. Maybe I broke the other guy’s ribs too. I glanced down at my foot; my toes were swollen; slightly bruised. It was definitely worth it. I noticed the red hand prints on my arms when I picked up my gun and sighed, I could live with a few bruises. I checked my gun for bullets then focused on getting downstairs.
I stepped wobbly to the wall, pressed against it, and slid to the second floor landing, taking small steps to the staircase. A bad sense of vertigo overcame me when I looked at the spiral staircase, my stomach curled. With no choice but to go down them I closed my eyes tightly and slid down the wall onto my butt, then slid down the stairs. The vertigo passed when I sat firmly on the solarium floor. Taking another deep, shaky breath I crawled into the living room, staying low, gun ready.
The boys laid dead still under the blankets. I closed in on them, saw Killer panting, and scooted around him to check Chase. He was breathing fine and began to stir. I let out the breath I held, scanned his arms for pin pricks, and found one. They both must have been knocked out like me. I leaned back against the couch and stretched until I felt my muscles loosen up. I found one hole in Chase’s arm and I had two. What did it mean? What did those men stick in me that they didn’t stick in Chase? I glanced at them, it would probably be better if I let them wake up on their own. Without disturbing them I slowly stood, gaining some strength back I wobbled to the kitchen to make coffee.
The coffee was hot and burned my throat going down, but tasted amazing. Functioning better, I poured a second cup and tiptoed back upstairs. After a quick shower I would go outside with my camera to see if the guys last night left any footprints or tire tracks. I’d also have to search the house to make sure they didn’t take anything.
I wondered what these men wanted and kept circling back to the psycho roaming around my property. Did I have information they needed? I didn’t think so. Were they from a different agency? What did they want from me? I had no idea what they were after, but my gut said this was about the psycho creature.
My arms started to shake as I got dressed. My body felt like I went on a drinking binge the night before. I plopped down on my bed, and lit a smoke. A moan escaped my mouth, my head pounded, tears streamed down my cheeks, and my legs felt heavy again. I was starving and nauseous at the same time. I lit another smoke, wondering what the hell those men had done to me.
I finally thought my system was returning to normal when my legs started losing their heaviness, and my head throbbed at a dull ache. That is, until I became plagued with worry and concern. I lit another smoke. I needed to get it together. I expected Bear to drop by soon. I glanced at the clock, I still had a few hours. The sensations became stronger as Chase ran into the room with Killer behind him. I vaguely sensed Killers happiness at seeing me, but Chases emotions came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks.
“What happened? Are you alright?” Chase shook. I started shaking uncontrollably.
“You need to leave,” I whispered, “go back downstairs and center yourself or something.”
“What are you talking about? What’s going on?” Chase’s agitation grew.
I groaned. “Your anxiety is killing me, it’s too much to handle, please leave.”
Chase stared at me for a moment, watching me shake and cry.
“I’m calling Max,” he said, stepping into my office.
I could feel him trying to calm his nerves. It wasn’t working.
“Please don’t,” I whispered, not sure if he heard me. Now he was worried and scared on top of being agitated.
I couldn’t take anymore. I grabbed my smokes and closed myself off in the bathroom. I could barely hear him talking on the phone, his emotions weren’t quite as intense anymore, but I was getting queasy again, and I had this crawling sensation under my skin. This is what they had done to me. This is what they’d done to me! I wanted to scream and not stop. Instead, I washed my face, screaming wouldn’t do me any good. Think positive. How could I be so rational about this? I must still be in shock. Okay, I would use this to my advantage, but I needed to get control over it now in order to do that. Then I needed to figure out how I would use this to my advantage.
I applied some makeup while picturing a shield around me, to protect me from unwanted emotions. I brushed my hair, letting the smooth strokes calm my nerves until I was as ready as I ever would be to face Chase again.
Chase sat on my bed patiently, waiting for me, when I opened the bathroom door.
“How are you feeling?” I asked, working hard at keeping his scattered energy from overwhelming me.
“Calmer, but I’m more concerned about you,” he checked me out, “I called Max. He’ll come back as soon as he gets the message.”
I sat on the bed next to him, refusing to let go of my control. “You need to call him back and tell him it was a mistake. Tell him I had a nightmare or something.”
“I can’t do that. He’d kill me if something happened to you.”
“You have to Chase. It’s because of him this happened.”
“I can’t and I won’t.” He handed me the note. “This was left on the foot of your bed.”
“HELP MAX,” was all it said.
“Someone he works for did this to me,” I whispered, crumpling the note, “but why?” The truth was too much for me to handle right now. “I don’t want Max here.” I didn’t want to know how deep his emotions ran for me. I would if he came back, because of the stupid injection. I shook my head, worrying about his emotions should be the least of my concerns right now.
“I don’t understand what was done to you, tell me.”
I took a deep breath. “You know how I could always sense who was around if I’d met them? Well I could also get a good sense of feelings and intentions too.” I sighed, wanting to cry again. I wanted my nervous laugh back. I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I didn’t know if I ever would again. It didn’t help that Chase’s emotions were too intense for me to handle right now, and if Chase was this bad what would Max be like?
“They shot me up with some drug, now I can feel those emotions more. It’s like they’re 1,000 times stronger than before.”
“What!?” Chase’s face turned red, his anger building.
“Stay calm. Please.”
Every muscle in my body tensed up, my anger rose, matching his. I felt like I was made of glass and at any moment would shatter. Then, all of a sudden, his anger subsided, making mine more manageable. I chuckled; I needed to learn that trick.
“I need to keep control over this and I need your help. Stay centered. Bear will be here soon. Let’s go get some coffee and set some food out. Okay?” I stated, hoping my muscles would loosen up enough to move off the bed.