Jessica cringed as she watched one man hold Jack’s head back while the other man landed three solid punches into Jack’s gut. He barely flinched as each blow landed, but she did. Jessica felt responsible for the pain, realizing the noise which had distracted the man from touching her had been no accident. Now Jack was paying the price. She didn’t understand why he had done it, but was thankful.
As she was shoved into the van, the two men released Jack and assumed their places in the front seats. She hit her head on the floor and winced as a sharp bolt of pain shot through her skull. Jessica struggled to right her balance, rolling around to a sitting position with her back against the van wall and bracing her feet to keep from tumbling over as the van jerked forward and bumped along down the dirt road.
One man drove, one sat in the passenger’s seat turned around with his gun pointed at them and the third sat at the rear of the van with his weapon at the ready to prevent anyone from trying to escape the back door.
Jessica sat quietly. She looked over at the two girls and tried desperately to remember their names. For some reason Megan and Ashley sounded right. Her heart went out to them. Jack had saved her from the unpleasant treatment they had received, but Jessica feared it wouldn’t be the last bullet she’d have to dodge.
The balding man was Gilbert something. She remembered him because he had a loud mouth. He was always talking about real estate deals and was apparently very successful at it, because his wife was far too young and beautiful to tolerate him unless his wealth had clogged her ears and blinded her sight.
She glanced over at Jack and their eyes met. She hadn’t paid attention before, but now noticed his lids were heavily lashed and his eyes a deep, dark brown that held little warmth. There was something dangerous and mysterious in the depth of the darkness which made her shudder. Unlike everyone else, there was no fear in his eyes, only contempt.
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