#BlogBattle Week 13 Theme: Rope
The thought kept spinning through her head. Grecca had emerged from the car with her best show smile in place, all contentment and laughter, but inside she was still seething. The entire car ride to the horde at the old capital building had been made in silence.
Grecca now found herself in the midst of the horde, encased in loud music and voices, dancing with several strangers who vied for her attention with endless passion. She pretended to smile at them all, but her mind was distracted by the stupid driver standing in the shadow of the giant maple tree against the wall.
Why was he standing there? Why didn’t he wait with the car? Why did it feel like his eyes, which she couldn’t see in the darkness, were boring holes in to her. She was beginning to think her father had only agreed to this Aries guy staying on if he also played babysitter. She wouldn’t put it past “Daddy.”
At first, distracted, Grecca didn’t notice the crush of people, growing in intensity and insistence around her. In fact, until someone’s hand wrapped around her hair and pulled it back she thought nothing of it.
“Hey, creeper, let go!”
“Redhead, huh? Never pictured you as a redhead, but it works.”
“Pantheras? You psycho! I thought it was some dumb space cock grabbing my hair. Leave off.”
He released her hair, but not before Ariston, having swooped down from his leafy perch, squeezed the other young man’s wrist and twisted it back.
“Ow! Get your hands off me,” Pantheras cried out.
“Let him go you big idiot.”
“I’m sorry Miss Phoenician, but this . . . person was out of line.”
“No, Aries, you’re out of line. Go wait at the car.”
Grecca was livid. Her shock and disgust were plain upon her face. Her arm raised and finger pointed toward the half-crumbled parking garage, but Ariston didn’t move. He didn’t even blink.
“Are you all-the-sudden deaf, Aries? I said, get back to that car, now.”
“I heard you, but I’ll not be going. And it’s Ariston.”
“What?” She was ready to lose it, but a crowd formed around them to watch the spectacle. Between gritted teeth, she almost growled at him. “Whatever. Just get away from me. You’re full of bad vibes.” She turned her back on Ariston and attempted to relax into another smile. “C’mon, Pantheras, let’s get something to drink. I’m parched.”
Pantheras looked over his shoulder at Ariston as Grecca led him away, but she missed his triumphant smile, not that it would have mattered to her unless she knew for sure it had ruffled Ariston’s feathers. He was a peacock, proud and prancing. She loathed him.
When Grecca and Pantheras stopped at the impromptu bar shadowed under the canopy of maple and ash trees with a few rare cedars interspersed she took the opportunity to look down over the rebuilt railing onto the dance floor below. In the midst of the gyrating throng of people stood Ariston, looking up at her, unmoving, unblinking. She shivered. Something in his eyes made her uneasy, but she dismissed it with a shake of her head.
“Here’s your drink, Grecca.”
Pantheras handed Grecca a tall slim glass with a bluish-green liquid in it. “Thanks. Panther.” She tipped the glass back, and the ancient ocean themed drink slid down her throat like satin sheets on her skin. But no sooner did she swallow than her head began to spin, she felt herself tipping sideways but couldn’t stop her body from the sensation of toppling over the rail.
Pantheras wrapped his fingers into her crimson red hair again and placed his other hand behind her back while he leaned toward her ear to whisper. “Don’t worry, I’ve got you. Let’s go for a little ride, Grecca.”
His words disappeared into a haze, and everything went black.
She woke with a start, her neck ached from sleeping in a sitting position. She didn’t remember falling asleep, but when she attempted to reach for her sore neck, her hand wouldn’t move. Grecca’s dry, gritty eyes popped open. She jerked both her hands again, but neither would budge; they were strapped together behind her back by something scratchy and hard.
“You’ll give yourself rope burn if you keep that up,” an amused voice sounded from the darkness beyond her little circle of light.
“Please, let me go. My father is rich, and he’ll pay you whatever you want.”
“I don’t want your money, Grecca.”
Silence followed. Beads of sweat made Grecca’s designer jumpsuit stick to her back and thighs. “If you’re trying to scare me, it worked. If this is some kind of joke, it’s not funny. Please, let me go.”
The woman, dressed entirely in red, stepped from the shadows. She was small and old, but her eyes were raven keen–full of intelligence. “This is no joke. All I need is your eyes.”
“My eyes? For What?”
If Grecca hadn’t been already leaned against a dank wall, she would have scooted as far away from the woman in red as she could get.
“They are the key to the vault.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Please just let me go.”
The older woman squatted down in front of Grecca with a placid smile adorning her wrinkled old face. “No, I suppose he wouldn’t have told you.”
A slamming sound came from the darkness behind the old woman. She stood in one swift movement and disappeared into the shadows to Grecca’s right.
The next thing Grecca knew, Ariston was standing in front of her, disheveled and breathing hard.
“Thank God!” Ariston dived toward Grecca, going behind her to untie the rope from her hands. “I thought I was too late.”
“Ariston? What’s going on?”
“Can’t explain now. We’ve got to get out of here.”
He stood. She stared at his outstretched hand for half a second before taking it. For the first time she noticed her bare feet and was distracted by the thought someone had stolen her favorite open-toe pumps.
That feels like such a mean place to end it. haha Until next week. I wonder what the word will be! 🙂
NEXT UP: Grecca Steals a Frog