Sharon’s note: Less a story note and more a life note: Girls, learn how to fight. I hear too many women say that they fear men or that they can’t stand up to them. Most guys are good people, but there are scumbags of every gender and, like any predator, they will target the weak. Don’t be weak. This means not only learning physical self-defense, but social self-defense as well. Look them in the eye, and let them know that you are nobody’s victim. With a fist if they give you no other choice. Too-Late-Warning: Author on a soap box. And now back to our story . . .
Anice turned a corner into an alley and held up her phone like she was looking for a signal. About halfway to the next turn she saw in the camera over her shoulder that the two men were following her. They had to be the same two from earlier, the ones that had grabbed at her as she tried to leave the club. She put her phone in her pocket and picked up her pace.
After a turn or two past more old brick buildings, the two men broke into a run. Anice took flight, leading the chase even deeper into the labyrinth. The hunt abruptly came to an end when she came face to face with a brick wall, nearly crashing into it on a sharp turn. Spinning in place, she started to dash back the way she came thinking she had enough time to find another way. The men were closer than Anice had thought, and she was out of time. That was fine, she braced her feet and prepared to fight.
When they saw that she was no longer running, the men stopped. The shorter of the two men stepped forward, a sick grin blossoming on his face even as he panted from the chase. The man behind him said, “Damn, we had to earn this one.”
“Don’t touch me.Touch me and you’re dead.” Anice hissed.
The shorter man brayed and casually reached for her. Anice’s hand flew and grabbed his thumb across the back of his hand, seizing a good portion of the meat of his palm. Sharply wrenching the hand over, she pulled his arm towards her while pushing her thumb into the back of his hand and tried to make his fingers point straight to the ground.
The man yelped and tried to jump, only to cause himself even more pain as he launched himself against the lock. That was more than enough of a distraction. Anice kicked his knee out, causing him to crumple. She let go of his hand as he fell to the ground. He swore as he sprawled, and she picked up her foot and stomped down between his legs.
The taller man had skipped back to avoid his falling companion. Now, he stepped forward having produced a short pocket knife from a pants pocket. He brandished it at Anice with an unpracticed hand. She took a step back, not against the brick wall, but near it. The tall man had to step around his curled up friend and made an awkward lunge with the blade as he cursed her.
Anice stepped to the side and put a hand on his arm as it passed her, not grabbing, but guiding. She guided it right into the brick wall behind her. The metal clinked as it stabbed uselessly at unyielding brick, and clattered as it wrenched from the man’s hand to fall on the cement. With an angry howl, he reached up and seized her ponytail, pulling her towards him.
Anice allowed him to pull her in and used the momentum to launch an elbow into his throat. The shock of the blow made the tall man release her hair. He tried to grasp his throat, but Anice darted forward to grab the back of his neck, fingers laced. With a hop, she slammed a knee into his groin. His head lowered in pain, so she took the opportunity to introduce her patella to his solar plexus.
It was then that she saw the first, shorter man slowly picking himself up the pavement. From his pocket he drew a small revolver. Anice drew the taller man’s head up to her shoulder and tucked it in tight, keeping him in front of her as a shield.
From somewhere above, a dark figure in a long, flapping coat dropped onto the man with the gun. For a moment the man on the ground was covered by the new figure. There was a brief scream and then silence. The long-coated figure stood and turned. He was dark haired with blood trickling down his chin. As he took a step towards Anice the man against her shoulder was starting to struggle. She heaved and shoved her attempted attacker towards the dark haired man.
The dark haired man snatched him and latched his mouth onto his neck. After a moment, he dropped his victim’s body to the ground and grinned at Anice. She crossed her arms and glared.
“And where were you?”
“I’m sorry, babe. I got held up.” The dark haired man’s smile turned sheepish.
“Held up?” Incredulity laced her voice. “I could have been shot, Jack.”
Jack winced. “I know. I’m sorry. Really, though, I was mugged outside the club. I had to deal with it.”
“Uh huh.” Anice crossed her arms and Jack knew he was in trouble. “And did you stop to eat?”
He folded his hands in front of him trying to look sweet. “Well, I figure I didn’t need to worry about you since I have the world’s most kick ass wife.”
“Don’t try to flatter me!” Anice wagged a finger at him.
“Why?” He took a few steps forward and wrapped an arm around her waist. “Is it working?”
Anice smiled in spite of herself. “It shouldn’t be.”
Jack chuckled and leaned in for a kiss. Anice jerked back. His eyes widened, confused. “What?”
“Don’t kiss me until you’ve brushed your teeth.” She shoved him away. “Right now you taste like rapist.”
Jack laughed. “I love you.”
Anice shook her head but smiled and said, “I love you too.”