Gangsters, Part Three

By Lizahontas

Chapter 6

Capricia threw herself out of her car and ran towards the building deemed as Andrew’s headquarters, panting hard as she struggled to run in her high heels. Breathlessly she uttered the password to one of the gangsters and quickly walked through the door that was flung open. Her eyes scanned the room nervously. Inside she shook with an inner terror that thrust her heart into an alarming rapid set of beats that thrummed against her chest. No one here can help me, she realized helplessly as she scanned the various members of the mob.. They’re all on Andrew’s side.. they’ll just turn me over to him once they find out.... A few of the older gangsters glanced at her strangely, noticing her discomfort. Calm, I’ve got to act calm and be calm, she told herself as she realized that they could see that she was upset. And I’ve got to find a way to help Leonardo myself...who knows what has happened by now? Anything...he have defeated Andrew or he could be hurt or in big trouble or....Capricia tried cut off the flow of troublesome thoughts that suddenly plagued her. Determinedly she composed her face, straightened her hair, and sauntered over to the curious onlooking mobsters.

“What’s up, guys?” she asked casually, giving them a coy smile. Inside she hoped that it didn’t look as awkward and forced as it felt.

Their faces relaxed and they seemed glad that she had returned to normal. “Nothing much, but now that you’re here...” one of them drawled carefully, a well tanned and toned man who put his arm around her shoulder and let his fingers ever so slightly caress her skin.

Capricia’s flesh burned at his touch, and a crawling sensation turned her stomach. She smiled even more, through this sickening inner torture, and told herself, Leonardo needs me. I can’t give up now. “You wouldn’t have happened to have seen Andrew, now would you?” she cooed, moving slightly closer to the man.

“I might have,” teased the man, slowly letting his hand drop to her waist. He pulled her a bit closer.

Just tell me! screamed Capricia’s brain in the madness. But, coolly she asked, “And where might that be?”

“He just passed through here a minute ago and told us not to bother him...he must be waiting for you,” the mobster replied slyly, winking at her.

“Uh, okay, thanks,” Capricia mumbled, dislodging her body from his grasp and walking hurriedly away. Oh no! Something’s not right.. where is Leonardo? Andrew has to have done something with him.. no, no. Her brain spun crazily with fear. She stopped for a moment in the safety of the empty, dark hallway and held her head in her hands, trying to steady it.

Meanwhile, in the crowd of gangsters, Zak watched Capricia walk off, his curiosity aroused. She was upset, he realized, his sharp skill of observance not fooled by her act. Something has happened, and I have a feeling it has to do with my partner. He rose from the group and headed in the direction Capricia had gone.

Capricia quietly walked with haste down the hallway, carefully removing her high heels before moving on. Her body tensed, her eyes and ears alert, as she passed each door, hoping for some clue that Leonardo was still alive and hidden away, not lying somewhere with a bullet in his heart. Her breathing seemed shallow and panicked despite her many attempts to draw in deeper breaths of air into her lungs. The sickening thunderous beats of her heart in her ears seemed continually threatening to give her away at every thump. Who knows where Andrew could be lurking about, she cried in the haze to herself. And if he’s not lurking out here, then he’s somewhere -- doing something horrible -- to Leonardo.

Suddenly, a soft thump was emitted from a nearby room. Capricia leaped a little at the noise, so wrapped up was she in her thoughts that gave the voice to the hallway’s silence. Calm down, girl, she told herself, slightly smiling to herself a little worriedly. I wonder what that could be? Curious, she crept over to the room’s door and waited for some other hints as to the source of the thump.

On the other side of the door, Leonardo groggily twisted and turned a bit in the heavy chair, desperately trying to free himself from the cuffs and shackles which held him there. He longed to try to call for Capricia, but a huge strip of metallic tape chafed his mouth and hindered any lip movement. “Mmmffhh..” he mumbled, attempting to make some noise, any noise, that would call someone to aid him in his plight. But the noise practically died on his lips and Leonardo, for the moment, resigned himself to his bondage. Anyway, he thought, the wrong person may hear me.. not necessarily Luke (well, Zak right now) and my Pocahontas.. Where could she be? What if Andrew found her when he returned to the warehouse? Is she in trouble? He’ll hurt her, I just know it. In his anger and worry Leonardo gained his second wind and struggled ever more at the cuffs and shackles. He tried to ignore the biting pains of whiplashes on his chest and the raw soreness of a bruise on his face.

Outside, Capricia straightened up all at once. I heard something else in there! she thought. It sounded like someone trying to speak! And I know I heard more thumps! It’s gotta be Leonardo! She charged into the room, certain that her premonition was right, not even giving one thought to the consequences if she was wrong.

“Leonardo!” she cried out, running to him. She gazed at him, her heart aching at his disheveled appearance and the cuffs and shackles that held him to the chair. She pulled the tape off his lips and squatted beside him.

“Ow!” Leonardo uttered as the tape was torn from his mouth. “Pocahontas, you’re, you’re okay...” His head rolled a little to one side tiredly towards her.

“But you’re not,” said Capricia seriously. Tenderly she brought her hand to his face, brushing strands of hair out of his eyes and carefully avoiding putting pressure on his bruised cheek. “What a horrible bruise! He gave that to you, didn’t he?”

“Well, yes, but....” began Leonardo.

But Capricia wasn’t listening. Her eyes had trailed from his face down to his loosened shirt and were staring, aghast, at his chest. “Wha-what did he do to you?” she demanded, her voice sounding as if all the breath had been knocked out of her. She moved the shirt slightly and brushed her hand over several long, thin burns whose red impressions trailed from his pecs to his midriff. “Pocahontas, you are not to worry about this,” Leonardo told her, his voice unusually deep and grave. “I am just fine.” “He -- he whipped you, didn’t he?” she said, with quiet fury. “Because of me, because of our kiss...” “Pocahontas, I told you, I’m fine,” insisted Leonardo intensely, his blue eyes penetrating hers. He stared at her with compassion, wishing that she had never discovered this or gotten messed up with everything...but oh how glad he was to see her, even in this dangerous moment. I can’t let my feelings put her in further danger, though, he told himself fiercely. “This is all my fault,” murmured Capricia, distraught, as her head drooped dispiritedly, casting a smooth sheet of hair down, obscuring part of her face and shoulder. Her hand dropped to her side and she came to a kneel beside the heavy chair.

Leonardo wished with all his heart that he could caress her hair, take the hand which had dropped away into his own, and bring her into his arms, telling her that everything is going to be all right. He wished he could kiss her tender lips once more and smooth away the small wrinkles of worry in her face. But Andrew’s measures prevented all this, he thought ruefully. “No, no, it’s not, Pocahontas,” he said gently, instead allowing his voice to provide the caress he couldn’t give physically. “Don’t ever think that. It’s worth it to me to pay with this pain for having a chance to know you and love you.”

A tear brightened Pocahontas’ cheek as she lifted her head back up to meet his gaze. “I love you, too,” she returned quietly, her joy at the declaration mixed with sorrow at the situation. “But my love is hurting you beyond what it’s worth and brought you into this whole mess to begin with. He’ll kill you when he’s done torturing you...” She raised to her knees and brought her arms around him, her hands grazing around his face and resting behind his shoulders. Gently she brought her head to his shoulder for a moment, then said, “I have to figure out how to get you out of here, so you can escape this gang.” She released her hold on him and took his cuffed hands, examining the lock. Maybe I could try my hair pin on this...”

“No!” ordered Leonardo. “Get out of here! Get away from this gang! Every moment you waste here with me is putting you at further risk of being discovered and hurt by Andrew. Leave this place..”

“I won’t,” Pocahontas said determinedly, fiddling with the lock. “I left you once and look where it’s brought you. I’m not about to leave you again. Besides, you were the one meant to leave this place. It’s too late for me..I’m a part of this place now.”

“But Pocahontas, you have suffered enough..” Leonardo was determined to save her, to get her out of this situation at whatever cost. “I can take care of this myself...someone will come for me...” he thought of Luke (Zak) and wondered if Luke had realized that his partner had been gone for an especially long time. “Go,” he said desperately.

“You can take care of yourself? Like this? Here?” cried Pocahontas, still working with the lock. “No, no I won’t leave you here...I’ll never forgive myself if I do when there’s no one else for you to turn to...” Suddenly there was a small creak emitted from the lock, and the handcuffs opened, releasing their grip on John’s wrists. “There!” said Pocahontas triumphantly. “Now, if I can just get your legs free..” She bent over his ankles, and stuck her hairpin into the lock of the shackles.

Ruefully, Leonardo rubbed his wrists, whose skin had been left with angry red impressions from the chafing cuffs. “Thank you so much Pocahontas...but I can take it from here.” He begin to lean over and take the hairpin from her, but a spasm of pain in his chest overtook him and he paused, his breathing shallow and laborious.

“See? You need me,” Pocahontas informed him tenderly. “You’re in pain.. you can’t get out of here by yourself. See why I can’t leave you?” She started to lean back over Leonardo’s ankles, but this time, as she started to work, a dark, hulking shadow fell over her, obscuring the fluorescent lights overhead. “Leo ??” She gasped questioningly, looking up from her work.

To her great chagrin, the deep shadow’s owner was Andrew! He towered over her, a glower darkening his features. “Capricia, dear, “ he sneered. “So nice to see you again.” With a large, hammy hand, he grabbed her by the arm and roughly pulled her to her feet before she could physically react.

“Andrew!!” cried Pocahontas, her mind so paralyzed with fear that she hardly knew what to say or do.

“Yes, ‘Andrew!’ ” imitated the mobster sarcastically. “Caught in the act, aren’t you? It’s just too bad I had to come and spoil your little love fest here...what, do you think I’m stupid? That I wouldn’t dare to think you’d try to come and save this jerk’s neck?” He clenched her arm harder, his knuckles whitening with the effort.

“Let me go now, Andrew,” Pocahontas ordered, her voice low and fierce. She struggled against his iron grip with little success. “You’ve had your fun with me - and Leonardo. Why don’t you just let him go?”

Meanwhile, behind Andrew, John struggled awkwardly with the hairpin, ignoring the pain surging through his chest from the whip burns as he tried to wrench his feet from the shackles to help Pocahontas. He knew that things were taking a bad turn, but did not verbally interfere yet, not wanting to call attention to himself so he could escape and somehow get Pocahontas and him out of there.

“Oh, you’re wrong there, sweetheart,” sneered Andrew. “I haven’t had all my fun with you yet!” He shoved her into a corner of the walls. Pocahontas recovered quickly from the hard jounce and sprang to her feet. But Andrew was prepared, and he lost no time in cornering her and blocking any escape. He pressed his palm to her arm and pinned it, with much force, against the rough, smudged wall. “Oh, I kissed you and admired you and stuff, but you were too good to go to bed with me, weren’t you? ‘Saving it all for after the wedding,’ huh? And yet you weren’t above flirting with me and taking my money, now were you, sweetheart?”

Stricken at his harsh words, Pocahontas forgot all attempts to unpry the unyielding fingers which held her against the wall. Her throat let out a sharp low cry, as she tried to keep from crying. “I made a mistake,” she choked out. “I never meant to flirt with you. You have got it all wrong!”

“Oh, I have got it all wrong, huh? Do you feel bad? Are you gonna cry?” asked Andrew, his features contorted with false sympathy. He brought his hand to her face and stroked it for a moment. “I’ll give you something to cry about!” he roared. The stroking hand suddenly bawled into a fist and jabbed her face with a pounding blow.

“Pocahontas!” shouted John without giving consideration to his plan to lay low and make an escape.

In the meantime, having trailed Pocahontas (Capricia) earlier, Luke Vittori (Zak) was outside the door and could tell serious trouble was brewing. I can’t wait any longer to bust this guy, he thought grimly. My partner needs me in there, and the best thing I can do is call for Control. This Andrew means business. Luke pulled off his left shoe, in reality a walkie talkie, and connected to Control.

“Mother Bird, are you in?” He whispered urgently.

“Yes Alpha Bravo, we are ready and waiting,” answered an anonymous member of the secret police department of Control.

“I need backup, and pronto! My partner is in trouble. We are looking at a possible hostage situation.”

“How many people are involved?”

“Two.. John Smith and Capricia, the mobster’s girlfriend. We need you ASAP.”

“Right, we’re on our way.” “Oh, and Mother Bird?” “Yes?” “Wait for signal 404K. Do you copy?? Signal 404K.” “We copy. 404K. Over and out.” “Over and out.” answered Luke. Oh, I hope the team is at their fastest, Luke thought anxiously, thinking of his partner. Things are getting bad. He replaced his shoe and sprinted upstairs, where he exited through a narrow doorway to the roof. Luke prepared a few flares and waited for signs of the arrival of the SWAT team.

Back in the small room in which John had been held prisoner for so long, Andrew had continued his rampage. “Back off, punk!” He shouted in response to John’s voiced concern for Pocahontas. “Haven’t you done enough?”

“Oh, he’s done enough!” cried Pocahontas, regaining her spirits in a charge of hot fiery anger. “More than you have ever done! He cared about me, he comforted me, he made me feel like somebody special! Not like some object to be paraded around and used to satisfy lust!”

Andrew’s head snapped around back to face her. “I took care of you! I gave you a home and clothing and food when you had no one to turn to! And now that you have all you want, you turn on me just like that!” He snapped his fingers, producing a dull sound from the fingers that was sharply painful to Pocahontas’ ears. “I used you? You used me! Why should you be treated like someone special? You’re just a whore who acts like a prissy, naive little girl! I should blow your head off for doing this to me!” Still holding Pocahontas against the wall, Andrew reached into the depths of his suit suddenly. With a growing, sickening feeling of suspicion, Pocahontas watched as the powerful hand reappeared to produce a small, metallic gun. He means it this time, she thought, deathly frightened beyond any fear she had felt before. He’s got that look in his eyes--

John rose to his feet, finally free of the shackles. “Andrew, no,” he protested quietly, trying not to provoke the gangster into squeezing the trigger with any sudden moves or sounds .

Andrew brought the mouth of the gun against the flesh of Pocahontas’ throat, his eyes brimming with a strange glee. John, noting this, knew that the gangster had been pushed far beyond rage to an almost maniacal state. Fear balled in his stomach and pushed rising naseua up into his throat. “Andrew, come on, listen to me,” he pleaded. He stared at Pocahontas, whose eyes were naked with plain horror.

“Why should I listen to you?” demanded Andrew, his voice strangely gravelly.

John moved cautiously towards Andrew. “Because,” he began, pausing for a moment. How should he handle this delicate situation? “Because I think it would be-- horrible to waste her without gratifying yourself,” he finished, changing his tactics and slipping into his gangster veneer. He watched Andrew carefully, hoping his probe for an apparent weakness would work.

“Gratify myself?” Andrew seemed to falter suddenly in these words, and John took it as a sign that he was starting to listen.

“Yeah, man, gratify yourself.” John twisted his mouth with great difficulty into a leer. “you got her under your control now, you can make her do anything you want..”

“But I thought you liked her,” said Andrew suspiciously. The gun did not waver for a moment, John noted worriedly as he listen to the mobster. “And besides, why would you help me at all after I hurt you and stuff?”

“Come on,” John said, inserting a fake note of warmth in his tone. “once a gangster, always a gangster. We’re brothers, man! I would never choose a slut over my own brother. Besides, if it had been you who had kissed my own girl, I woulda done the same thing.”

“ mean, you woulda tried to,” Andrew agreed, relaxing some and nodding a little bit. He turned slightly from Pocahontas to give John a little punch on the arm. “I still like you, Leo. No hard feelings?”

“Well, not with anyone else,” John stated, not wanting to regain the guy’s suspicions by being too agreeable. “ but since we’re like brothers, I guess so.”

Andrew now completely turned from Pocahontas, bringing the gun closer to his side. “Put ‘er there, brother,” he growled affectionately, extending a large paw.

This was the moment John had been waiting for! As he reached out his hand, he glanced briefly over Andrew’s shoulder at Pocahontas, who still cowered in the corner behind him. She raised frightened, questioning eyes to his, and he answered with a short jerk towards the gun almost dangling in Andrew’s hand. Reassured by this silent exchange, Pocahontas sprang into action. As the two men shook, she raised one leg and, in one hard snap, released its muscles into a kick. Her foot made contact with the metallic barrel of the revolver and sent it cartwheeling into the air.

To Be Continued..Sorry guys, I meant for this to be the concluding episode but there was too much to be wrapped up in it for just one more episode! And I didn't want to delay posting this one any longer since everyone has had to wait so long for it already! --Lizahontas 8:o)