*Sorry that it took me so long to update. I've been more busy than you can possibly imagine!!! Well, I hope you like this chapter! This story will be coming to a close after a few more posts! Thanks for sticking with me this far! Enjoy!*
I had just dozed off, when suddenly I heard the door creak open slowly. It woke me up completely, but I let my head hang; maybe they would see that I was sleeping and leave me alone. I closed my eyes tightly and prayed it wasn’t some horny guard who had been around men for too long. I felt the ground tremor slightly as the being’s footsteps echoed into the walls. I remained as still as a statue. Terror was spreading through my lungs, and I found that I had stopped breathing entirely.
Then, suddenly, the man shook me slightly. “Mademoiselle?” Came a deep trembling voice. “Réveiller! S’il vous plait-” Wake up! Please…
My hair covered my face as my eyes opened and I frowned. This guy was begging me to wake up? It definitely wasn’t one of the men around here. Maybe I was being rescued! Hope stung my brain as I slowly lifted my head. My heart pounded in my ears like seventeen million drums. The first thing I saw was a pair of legs, clad in black pants which were tucked into dark boots. The next, was the tip of an AK sniper shotgun. It looked even more menacing this close to my face, even though it was pointed at the ground.
I felt my lungs constricting from lack of air, but my body refused to breath. Worry crowded my features as I slowly raised my head, tilting it farther and farther north. I then saw a belt, loaded with random things like bullet magazines and a communication device of some sort. It looked almost like a walkie-talkie without the antennae. Then, to my eyes appeared a black shirt covered by a bullet proof vest. I saw the buttons mismatched slightly, and wondered how fast this person had gotten dressed. Then I saw a strong jaw line covered by a black mask, similar to the ones you would wear in a paintball game. It covered most of the man’s face; all the way up to just below his nose.
His eyes were sheltered by a pair of black sunglasses, but they looked pretty heavy duty. On the top of his head was a dark round looking helmet. It covered most of his head, and I was actually surprised that his face didn’t have a shield protecting it.
“Who are you?” I suddenly croaked. The breath in my lungs was pumping fast, so my gasps were short and hurried.
“A friend. I’m here to rescue you,” the man gargled.
I let out a sigh of relief and a huge smile took over my face. “Please get me out of here fast, I’m tied up and I can’t move!” I pleaded, and the man rushed to the back of the chair and freed me from my bondage. I felt like jumping around in glee; I was finally being saved. Emotion that I had never felt before over took my entire being. I was still grinning, but my happiness was dulled when he ordered me around, roughly. “We have no time to waste. Follow me. Do exactly as I say and do not take your eyes off of me, whatever you do. This place is wired to blow in exactly ten minutes; so we don’t have time to delay.”
I nodded solemnly and if I wasn’t already committed to Freddie, I would have married this man right now. I loved him with all of my heart. He grabbed my hand and quickly but smoothly led me out of my room into the hall. I sucked in a surprised breath when I saw a guard outside my door, slumped onto the ground, dead. I tried to be brave and ignored the trauma of it all, and desperately struggled to forget about it by focusing on my surroundings.
It was exactly as I had pictured it. This place had to have been a hotel of some sort, because it had dozens of doors lining the hall in which we ran. The man was taking huge steps, and his humongous gun was ready for attack, carefully placed under his right arm. His other hand was still around mine, and I sincerely hoped that there was nobody behind us. We ran down the hall deftly, before rounding a corner.
“Stop!” I suddenly heard a voice shout. I looked to the hall before me and saw a man pointing a gun at our faces. Then, before I could even gasp, the man holding my hand fired his weapon, and soundly hit the enemy. I shrieked and closed my eyes, clutching the man’s hand ever so tight. My heart beat like a drum, and I felt tears falling down my face as we passed the corpse. I don’t know why I did it, and I can’t explain it, but something possessed me to glance down at the body as we sprinted past it.
The body was lying still, completely without life, and I let out a shudder as I momentarily squeezed my eyes shut, again. He was dead. He was really dead. My heart filled to the brim with pity and regret. I know that he was the enemy; the bad guy, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the man. I tried to shake off the feeling of outright murder, knowing that it was all for my safety. A wave of nausea hit me, hard, and I was thankful that I was in shape; running this fast would definitely be harder to do if I was a couch potato.
I couldn’t help myself, but every couple of seconds I glanced behind me. I had this awful feeling that someone was going to attack me by coming out of one of the rooms with a knife. This quickened my pace, and I was glad when the man sped up. I suddenly saw a door up ahead that said ‘STAIRS’ on it, in big, bright red letters. The officer in front of me smashed the butt of his gun into the old wood, sending the large slab falling to the floor before us.
His grip on my hand tightened, and for some reason it gave me a momentary burst of valor. I tried not to show how tired my lungs were but instead, my chin rose and eyes widened. I couldn’t believe that I was sleepy at a time like this, but lack of water and food can do that to a person.
I clambered over the splintered wood with ease, and I groaned internally as I saw the flight of stairs looming before me. I rolled my eyes as the officer hopped over three at a time, and my arm felt as if it was about to be yanked out of its socket. I bounded up the raised concrete as fast as I could, but this man’s legs were strong and ready for action. Plus, he had probably consumed at least some sort of nourishment before rescuing me, just now. As much as I, and he, didn’t like it, my exhausted body slowed both of us down. I could hardly breathe as I counted just how many flights of stairs we sprinted up; five. We rounded a bend and up the man and I jumped, bounding over the stairs as if they were hot coals.
My entire chest was starting to hurt from the constant exercise, but my adrenaline suddenly lurched as the man shouted at me: “This is the last flight of stairs, and then we’re on the roof! You’re doing great, Arianne, keep trying. We’re almost there!”
All I could do was nod, but hopeful excitement reached the darkened parts of my heart. Then, suddenly out of nowhere, I saw a humongous black figure jump out at us on the landing before the last flight of stairs. I screamed in surprise, and the officer let go of my hand as was about to shoot, when the figure commanded us to stop. Jameson stood before us, grinning evilly. He had a pistol in his hand, and he was pointing it at the two of us, daring our bodies to move.
“Well, well, well. Look who we have here. The princess to be and her little rescuer. Just keep your hands up and don’t make any sudden actions, or your little trophy here gets a bullet in her head,” Jameson told the man beside me. He swiftly swung the gun’s attention to my face, making me suddenly cringe at the thought of his aim. Jameson triumphantly snickered when he saw me cower in fear. Suddenly, the man beside me spoke and the suddenness of his voice almost made me jump.
“Look, if you let us go now, I can make sure that you can get off a lot easier than you would if you murdered an innocent young girl.”
I nodded hurriedly in agreement, just wishing that I could knock that gun’s focus off of my face.
“Oh really,” Jameson quipped back, “And what makes you think that I would listen to some insignificant little man from the Special Forces?”
“Because,” the man replied, suddenly pulling down the front of his mask and his glasses with one quick swipe, “What I say goes.”
The movement caused Jameson to move the gun to Freddie’s head in alarm. I suddenly balked at our sudden discovery. Freddie was the man who saved me? A feeling of awe washed over me. He had risked his ridiculously important life, just to save mine. He had willingly placed himself in this hellhole, just so that I could live. I couldn’t believe that he would do such a thing for me. Our hands were still connected and I squeezed it gently as he looked into my eyes with a slight smile.
“Hey there, doll.”
I almost melted on the spot. “Oh my gosh Freddie, you’re crazy for…”
“Stop!” Jameson suddenly shrieked at us. I frowned at whipped my eyes in his direction. He was glaring at the two of us and I could tell that he was slightly confused as to what he should do next. His expression suddenly turned sour when he looked to Freddie more intensely. “Prince Frederick. It is so good to see you here. Now all I have to do is kill the little brat and take you hostage. It will be much easier for you to sign the papers here instead of trying to capture you at your own palace.”
“I don’t think so, Jameson. Like I said, surrender now, or face the consequences.”
During Freddie and Jameson’s staring contest, the slow ticking of the timed bomb was ringing in my head. It was all that I could hear in the back of my mind. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Then, I noticed that the gun’s nub was no longer pointed at me. I rejoiced inside for two reasons; the first one, was obviously the fact that I wasn’t about to be shot any moment. The second, Jameson felt that he should hold the aim on Freddie instead of me, showing that he thought Freddie would be more of a threat to him than I would.
I suddenly smirked when an insignificant plan formed in my head. Jameson was seriously mental if he felt that I wasn’t a threat. I slowly let go of Freddie’s hand, and I felt the alarm in his body when I did so. He didn’t make it very obvious. I kept my gaze on Jameson; he was boldly directing every ounce of his attention onto Freddie, giving me the absolute advantage here.
“To surrender would be worse than death,” Jameson was saying angrily. “I will never do such a thing. You and Arianne will accompany me to Monsieur Reynard. You will sign the necessary papers and then the country will finally be-”
At this moment I lunged at Jameson, thrusting my leg out and piercing him directly in the kneecap with my foot. He screamed out in alarm, and a random gunshot went off in the air. I fell onto my butt, and then screamed at the loud sound, hoping fervently that Freddie hadn’t been hit. I looked up from where I was crouching against the wall and my breath picked up its pace as I saw Freddie tackling Jameson into the wall ahead of him. Freddie suddenly swung at Jameson’s rock hard jaw. I winced as I heard a crack, either from Freddie’s fingers or Jameson’s face.
I decided that this was too much for me to watch; my hands covered my face frightened tears streamed down my face. I heard the two men struggling against each other, and this encouraged my tears all the more. I heard another fist contacting skin. I screamed in horror as I imagined blood oozing out of Freddie’s mouth. The thought sickened me and nausea flew over my stomach almost instantly. I suddenly heard another loud crack, and then one of the men hit the floor with a grunt. Again, I screamed, tears helplessly running down my face as I prayed to God that it wasn’t my Freddie on the floor.
It was quiet for about two seconds, except for the clicking in my head, and then I jumped when I heard someone groaning in pain. My head buried farther into my knees, and I covered my head with my arms; as if I was a three year old and doing such an action would hide me from the seeker. I heard another pounding of skin on skin, over and over again. I suddenly became curious as to why there wasn’t the sound of a struggle any longer. I really can’t tell you where I summed up enough courage to actually lift my eyes from my knees, but when I finally did, I was glad that I had decided to do so. My stomach lurched as I saw Freddie leaning over Jameson’s unconscious body, pounding away at his face with his angry fists. I leaped over to the scene and grabbed Freddie’s arm right before he was about to strike again.
“Freddie stop!” I urged, as he struggled; blinded by absolute hate. “Freddie, please, let’s just get out of here. We’re running out of time!” I was holding back Freddie’s arm tightly, and I saw him glare at Jameson’s bloody face with blinded fury. His eyes were somewhere else, walking down a path of abhorrence and revulsion. Tears started to crawl down my face, yet again, and a small sob escaped from my throat. This seemed to be all that Freddie needed to wake up from his trance. He suddenly shook his head slightly and looked at me with guilt and relief. I quickly pulled his head to my shoulder in a quick embrace.
“Arianne,” he whispered urgently, but I cut him off.
“Not now, Freddie. Quickly, we’ve got to go; now! The bomb, hurry!” I pulled him to his feet after he nodded slowly; obviously still in a daze for mauling someone carelessly; like he just had. I ran up the stairs, blood pumping in my ears. I felt that I was a balloon, and if somebody poked me then I would burst from anxiety. We flew up the stairs, and then suddenly I saw it. My label out! I never thought that I would be so happy to see that wonderful four letter word in my entire life; ROOF. I burst out of the door and found myself on the large brown covering.
The wind was flying about mercilessly, and my happiness did a somersault through my soul when I realized why. There was a humongous helicopter waving its propellers, waiting for us in this crisp night air. I let out a cheerful squeal, and I felt Freddie’s strong, warm hand intertwining with mine. We sprinted to the helicopter and as soon as our feet touched the floor, we were being lifted into the air effortlessly. The door wasn’t completely closed in the flying machine, however, and Freddie suddenly grabbed the edge, trying to gain his balance in this moving contraption. I grabbed his arm to hold him in place; the copter was whirring around so fast that it was even hard for me to stay in balance. Then suddenly, a deafening boom caught me off guard and I shrieked at the pain that ruptured through my ears.
I suddenly felt a humongous wave of heat close over my entire body. It was so hot, in fact that I worried about the safety of the helicopter. What if it melted and we went falling to the ground? I realized that the building had just blown to shreds, with me and Freddie only seconds away from the mind-numbing explosion.
Then as if an afterthought to the dreadful heat, a numerous amount of shock waves burst into the fiery air. The helicopter suddenly shook at the impact of the jolt. I saw the driver grimacing when he expertly maneuvered his hands around the small steering device. Then suddenly, I heard a heart-wrenching, terrified scream. “Arianne!” My head flashed to where Freddie was crouching, and my heart stopped when I saw him losing balance; ready to fall into the sky.
I lunged out to grab him, but a nightmare occurred as Freddie was bumped out of the helicopter and went flying away, into the air. “Freddie!” I wailed in heartbroken terror. Then, as if by some immaculate miracle Freddie’s hands caught on one of the steps of the helicopter, and there he hung; suspending in the sky with only two hands to save him from peril. I dove onto the floor of the machine while tears were streaming down my face from the heat, dirt, and terror.
Somehow, in the midst of all this, I wrapped my feet around the leg of the nailed in chair, so as to create an anchor. My hands flew to Freddie’s wrist, and trepidation overtook my body as I clung to him, praying that he wouldn’t slip.
Everything seemed to go in slow motion as I clung to the love of my life’s wrist, holding on so hard that I’m sure he was losing circulation. Freddie let out a scream of horror. His despair only urged my emotions on, sending me into a near hysterical place.
“I won’t let go Freddie. I won’t let go!” I sobbed, clinging to him with all that I had in me. I watched, frightened, as my prince suddenly looked below him. “Don’t look down Freddie! Please, don’t look down.” The truth was, if he became frightened, then heaven knows that I would become a wreck, so I begged him to be strong, just for the sake of my sanity. Freddie screamed something to me, but I couldn’t hear him over the whipping blades of the helicopter, and the air that rushed by us at hundreds of miles per second. Dazed and slightly deaf, I looked at him, encouraging Freddie to repeat himself.
“I said let go! Let go, Arianne,” Freddie yelled at me. His green eyes held nothing but complete terror, but I also saw confidence written there, as well.
“Are you crazy?” I retorted. “I’m not letting go!”
“Arie, you need to trust me. You need to let go. If you love me then you’ll do this for me; please. Let go of my wrist,” he screamed in despair. My eyes were wild with emotion. I couldn’t believe that he was telling me to do such an awful thing. I would rather die before I let him fall to his death. I shook my head determinedly. Then Freddie looked at me with the most confident and beseeching look that I had ever seen him offer. “You need to trust me, before it’s too late. Let go Arianne.”
I shook my head again, he must have suffered one too many blows to the head, earlier. He was completely out of his mind. I suddenly felt him struggle against my grasp, letting one of his hands loose from the metal of the helicopter. I looked at him, eyes wide and questioning and I decided that as soon as we got back to the palace, he was going straight to a psychiatrist.
“What are you doing?” I yelled, angry and confused. “You’re going to die!”
“Please let go. They’ll be there. Just let go before it’s too late,” Freddie wailed. I suddenly looked into his eyes and saw that I needed to do what he asked. I needed to let go. I suddenly nodded slowly. “Alright. I will. Tell me when,” I said as quiet as I could over the noise surrounding us.
“One, two…” Freddie started to count. I gulped. “Three! Let go now, Arie, let go!”
I suddenly freed my hands from his wrist and screamed in distress as I saw him plunging to the earth. I couldn’t believe that I had just let go of the man that I loved. What kind of a sick minded human being did such a thing? I crawled back to the chair and sobbed; the cries wracking my body in humongous movements. I sub-consciously heard the driver angrily cussing at me in French. He was no doubt livid at me for letting go of the crowned prince at one-thousand feet over land. I ignored him and made myself believe that he was somehow alright. He had to be; he told me to trust him, I could see that he knew what he was doing.
Still, even with the assurance that I did Freddie’s exact wishes, the feeling of releasing a person from your grasp in the middle of the sky wasn’t exactly comforting. Suddenly, as if in a dream, I heard an echoing voice calling my name. I noticed that we had slowed down a considerable amount and the wind didn’t whip around in my face as much as it previously did.
“Mademoiselle! Regarde! Regarde!” Miss, look! Look! The helicopter flier spoke suddenly. He unexpectedly started to cheer and laugh, loudly, causing me to lift my head in perplexity. I saw his finger pointed to outside of the helicopter, and I cautiously moved closer to the open door, for I needed a better look outside.
What I saw then would be in my heart forever. Think about the best thing that’s ever happened to you. Think about your stomach when it churned and rolled over that one special emotion. Think of your wildest dream coming true. Imagine that feeling multiplied times one million, and you still wouldn’t come close to experiencing what I felt at this moment.
Parallel to my helicopter were two more of the same model. In between the two was taut a large net, and dangling in the air above the lush green meadows and beneath the shiny yellow sun, was my prince. He was frantically waving to me with a large grin, and I could hear his deep voice blasting my name across the open space. I yelped in amazement and for the first time in what seemed like forever, I laughed happily. Relief swept over my heart, mind, body; soul like a tsunami would on a small village. How glad I was that I trusted him, how absolutely thrilled I became when I realized that I had probably just saved his life. Sooner or later, if I held on, he would have slipped, and the helicopters wouldn’t be right there to catch him. It was risky, yes, it was scary, you bet, it was absolutely life-changing, of course, but I knew the reason that I had let go. Love. Selfless, true and undying love for Freddie was the only thing that brought me to trust him, like I had. I suddenly collapsed into my seat again, and tried to get used to the feeling that we had actually won. I smiled to myself as my eyes suddenly shut out of fatigue and lack of nutrition. The only word that passed through my mind before I fell into a peaceful sleep was the only name that had kept me going through all of this; Freddie.