Sunday, October 8, 2017

Will Love Prevail - Chapter 21

I feel I need to give you, my dear readers, a warning. This is probably one of the most violent chapters I have ever written. Even as I wrote it, read over it, and edited it, I gave myself chills and my heart beat faster. It has language and it has violence but it's where my heart and brain took the story. This story has taken me on a different path altogether and even for me it has been intense to write. So even though this is a tough chapter to read, it's part of the story. I hope you will still follow along with Chiara's and Mark's fate and believe in their love beyond all the darkness. 

Chapter 21

Mark made it to his apartment at around eight thirty. It was snowing heavier now and the snow was sticking to the ground. He turned his car off and grabbed his back pack from the back seat, then set up his TiLite next to his car and transferred over into it.

Two cars were parked across the parking lot but all four persons sat in one of the two cars, a dark colored SUV with tinted windows. Each one of them had a gun in their waistband, one of them with a silencer on his gun.

They were observing Mark from afar and now discreetly got out of the SUV. Mark didn’t think anything of hearing car doors getting shut from across the parking lot. The apartment complex was large and consisted of about 300 units, all three-story buildings with apartments, people were coming and going all the time.

The snow stuck to his wheels as he pushed his rims and rolled over to his apartment door. He had his back pack on his lap and at his door he pulled his key out from in between his thighs.

He stuck the key into the door and unlocked it. Just as he pushed the door open, he heard swift commotion behind him. It was muffled enough where none of the neighbors could hear it, but noisy enough that Mark was about to turn his head to see where the commotion stemmed from. Over his shoulder he only saw four male figures rush over into his direction.

Before he realized they were actually sprinting over to him, Mark couldn’t react quick enough as they aggressively pushed him into his apartment, slammed the door shut behind them and locked it with the chain.

It all happened so fast that Mark was completely stunned as they pulled the backpack off his lap and threw it into a corner. One of them came from behind and jerked Mark’s head back, pressing a large strong hand onto his mouth and holding him in a choke hold. Instinctively Mark still gripped his rims, trying to keep from falling over backwards with his TiLite as the guy just yanked his head back. Mark couldn’t see the faces of the people because the light in the apartment was still off. He tried to somehow defend himself or get to his Beretta in his waistband but he had no chance as he was trying to keep himself in the wheelchair while he was held in a choke hold, a large hand pressed firmly onto his mouth so all that came out was a groan.

He gripped the push rims of his wheelchair tight and was trying to somehow push in any direction to somehow get loose but they held him back. He couldn’t scream and all he got out was gasps and groans trying to somehow make a noise. The light was still off and he heard Ranger meow loudly from somewhere in the apartment.

They now dragged him out of the wheelchair and shoved him to the ground with such force he had to keep his head from hitting the floor. Mark heard Ranger meow again and as he tried to pull himself up, a foot in a heavy boot kicked him so hard to his face that he fell back again and this time he couldn’t break the force with which his head hit the floor.

It all happened so quick and within moments he had a thick piece of cloth stuffed into his mouth and he heard duct tape getting pulled off a roll and quickly it was secured so tight over his mouth that he couldn’t move any mouth or face muscles anymore. His hands were pulled violently behind his back as he laid on the ground and endured a couple more kicks. Some of them landed on his upper chest but some apparently landed below his T-4 because he couldn’t feel any pain but just knew that he was being kicked. And some more kicks landed on his head, he felt his head sting and like his brain had just endured a strong blow.

All four of the men seemed large and strong. They didn’t speak but just man handled Mark violently and without mercy. They found his Beretta in his waistband and took it from him. His cellphone which had been between his thighs had fallen to the ground somewhere with his getting pulled from his wheelchair.

Without any words his hands now were duct taped and zip tied behind his back. As he laid there, trying to see or make some sounds, he was kicked into the stomach and against his head again. Eventually the light in the kitchen was switched on. Mark now could make out some more of their faces but all four had bandanas tied over the noses and mouths so he only saw their eyes.

They pulled him up and dragged him through the apartment to his bedroom. His arms were twisted and hurt as they violently dumped him in the bathroom and Mark’s head again hit the tile floor hard. He instantly felt blood run from his nose and causing a small puddle next to him on the floor. His cheek touched the cold tiles and he tried to make out anything, but in the bathroom it was completely dark with no window and not even any lights from any electronics.

Mark had no chance when he got kicked a few more times into his chest, stomach and probably other parts of his body where he couldn’t even feel the blows. Stomach acid rose in his throat but it had no place to go and he had to swallow somehow only using his esophageal muscles. His whole body was shaking violently from the force and even though he couldn’t see, he knew his legs were trembling. His head hurt so bad he feared he was about to lose consciousness. He was certain that he had already suffered a concussion. The blunt force to his head with feet in heavy boots had been violent and painful.

They left him in the bathroom on the floor, closing the door. He was trying to breathe as his eyes were filled with tears, not from sadness but from extensive pain.

He tried to get his breathing under control, he tried to move his hands but they were taped up with lots of duct tape into two fists really.

He then heard one of the men outside, “What the fuck? It’s a cat; get that fucking cat and break its neck.”

Mark stopped in any wriggling, any movement and really stopped breathing momentarily as he heard this.

The other voice was deeper and replied, “Just throw the thing against the wall a few times.”
“You fucking asshole, you want neighbors to get suspicious with banging noises? Dude sure ain’t banging bitches in here.”

The voices were muffled and not very loud but Mark listened as good as he could and hearing them talk about Ranger in that way terrified him. He tried to make some sounds for help but nothing but a weak grumble came out.

He heard them again, “Just break its fucking neck man.”

The water in Mark’s eyes was not from pain anymore but sheer terror now.
He listened and he heard Ranger meow. He couldn’t do anything for Ranger but heard as they debated some more what to do with him.

“Just grab it and get rid of that fucking thing. Just choke it out or something. Break its neck.”
Mark then heard Ranger clearly meow fearfully a few times and he heard the voice again, “Just do it man.”

Now he heard a high pitch disturbing screech from Ranger and Mark squeezed his eyes shut. He tried to move and tried to wriggle his hands free, he tried to scream but he couldn’t do any of those things. He was barely able to breathe through his nose.

One of the voices hissed, “Fucking cat scratched the shit out of me.”

Apparently, Ranger was putting up a fight but Mark felt tears run over his face.  

He heard Ranger scream once more and then it was quiet and he heard one of the men again, “Get rid of it.”

It didn’t take long and as Mark lay there on the cold tile floor, his nose bleeding, tears running from his eyes thinking about what had just happened, the door opened and for a moment he saw a large male silhouette in the door frame with the light from the hallway falling in behind him and the lifeless, limp body of Ranger was tossed into the bathroom and landed next to him with a heavy lifeless thud.
“Here’s your fucking cat.”

Mark just saw momentarily Ranger’s body next to his face and even felt Ranger’s fur brushing against his cheek lightly and then the door was shut and he was in darkness once again. Tears were streaming from his eyes now mixing with the blood from his nose. He stretched his face over some and touched Ranger with his forehead trying to feel if there was really no life anymore in Ranger. Ranger’s body was still warm but motionless and without life.

Mark tried to swallow as tears were streaming from his eyes and he could barely breathe. Ranger was dead. Mark felt his whole body charged and trembling and he tried to wiggle his hands but the tight duct tape didn’t budge an inch. His hands were fully wrapped up in the tape and he felt like the blood circulation was getting cut off from his wrists.

He heard his legs thud about on the tile floor, his feet in sneakers jumping on the floor making low thumping noises. He knew his legs were spastic and the intense trembling of his legs even moved his body slightly.  

He was trying to breathe through his nose and he felt the moisture of the blood partly running into his throat and leaving a trace of a metallic taste in the back of his throat.

Ranger’s dead body lay next to him and Mark was absolutely helpless. He didn’t know what to do and think. He felt his heart beat fast and his head was pounding with the blows he had endured already and having hit the tile floor in the bathroom. His mouth hurt and he felt the cloth material soak up the saliva in his mouth leaving it parched. He tried to collect himself and his thoughts. He knew Chiara would be waiting for his call to let her know he was safe at home.

Chiara knew that Mark had been planning to stop for dinner and she was going to give him some more time. She thought he may have gone into a restaurant or store to pick up some dinner. She was sleepy, the surgery ordeal still lingering. She was on heavy pain medication still and her leg was somewhat pulsating with the things that had been done to it during the surgery.

Just as she was about to close her eyes the surgeon came into her room and stood next to her bed for a little while, talking to her and informing her that the surgery had been successful.  He had to insert some screws and metal plates to get Chiara’s ankle bones in place. She had to keep her foot elevated and no weight bearing at least for eight weeks. After the swelling would be down a cast would possibly be applied but he told her it may also just be a boot or brace. Chiara listened only half way, she was still tired and was glad when the doctor was done with her. She looked over at the clock on the wall, it was almost eight now and Mark should be calling any time.

Mark lay in the dark of the bathroom thinking about who those men were and if they had anything to do with Chiara’s past or if he had just been the victim of a random attack.
He lay like this for a while but didn’t know how much time had gone by when the door opened again and two figures appeared in the door frame.

They now grabbed him and pulled him from the bathroom into his bedroom.

One of them said, “Fucking cripple is heavy and we’re supposed to drag him around and shit, what the fuck!”

They shoved Mark to the ground in the bedroom. The only light fell in from the hallway but he saw all four men now in the bedroom, two of them standing and one sitting on his lounge chair and one all the way up on the bed with his shoes on, leaning on the head board.

Mark tried to look up some but couldn’t make out much and they all still had the bandanas wrapped over their mouths and noses. His vision was blurry and his face felt wet and he saw some blood drip from his face onto the floor next to him.

The one in the lounge chair replied, “Shut the fuck up you pussies. Yeah, you’re going to drag him around unless you want to sit him in his fucking wheelchair and push him around.”

Mark tried to move some but he couldn’t. He saw his legs were still shaking and twitching on the ground and he felt his whole body cramp up really. He took quick breaths through his nose only.

One of the two guys standing now kicked his legs, “What the fuck is with his legs?”
The one in the chair spoke again, “You fucking idiot, give him a blow to the head, he can’t feel shit on his legs.”
The one he had called an idiot replied, “But his legs are shaking and shit, so they still move.”

Now the one on the chair got up and came over and Mark tried to make out what he saw but he didn’t have time to even look up when he got kicked in the head a few times and with a gasp he just let his head fall onto the tile floor. He felt he was close to passing out from the constant blows to his head.

The one who had gotten up from the lounge chair and who had kicked Mark in the head now squatted down next to him. He pulled out a large hand gun and he pushed the barrel with a silencer under Mark’s chin and with that forced Mark to look up somewhat.

Mark felt the barrel pressed under his chin as the guy said, “So you’re Mark? The one she texted? The one who told police about us and then the pigs came out to get us?”

Mark could not see much, but made out dark longer hair and dark eyes looking at him.

Now the guy said, “I’m Chiara’s boyfriend. You know Chiara, don’t you?”

Mark couldn’t reply but only took quick breaths through his nose and making some gasping and groaning sounds. He still had the barrel of the gun pressed into his chin, being forced to look up at the guy.

It was apparent to him now that this was Trey right there in front of him.

Trey now said, “I didn’t know Chiara had a thing for cripples. It kind of pissed me off when I found out you know. There I’ve been taking care of her all those years and gave her a decent life when she really only came from fucking shit and then she betrays me with some motherfucker in a wheelchair.”

Mark could only lay there and listen. His legs were shaking hard and his wrists behind his back hurt. Trey kept the barrel of the gun under his chin and seemed to press it even harder into Mark’s skin.  

Trey now turned to his cohorts, “Leave me alone with him for a little while.”

The three other guys left out the room and Trey walked over to the bedside table and turned on a light. Mark followed him with his eyes as good as he could.

Trey came back over and actually got down on the floor next to Mark, playing with the gun right in front of Mark’s eyes.
“You know I somehow imagined meeting you was going to be different. I’m kind of disappointed how weak and fucked up you already are. And I had all those plans how you and I would have a good old fight, you know like in the old days when knights fight for the heart of a lady. I pictured that Chiara would have gone for a different guy, someone a lot stronger and capable of holding his own. But you’re really just a weak piece of shit. Does your cock even work still?”

Trey just sat there on the ground next to Mark. Mark felt his body tremble and he closed his eyes as the pain in his arms and head was strong and his vision was blurry.

Trey continued, “I’m debating what to do with you. It feels kind of unfair because you’re obviously not a match for me. I mean even if I untied your hands really you wouldn’t be doing shit. I was going to beat the shit out of you, I was going to hurt you bad and then kill you. I would have liked for Chiara to know about it too. Where is she anyways? I miss her you know. Is she at Swedish hospital? I’d really love to see her.”

Trey sat there and played with the gun in his hands. Without a warning he then sent the barrel of the gun right into Mark’s face with a violent blow. Mark’s head jerked back from the blow and he felt the blood ooze from the open wound Trey had inflicted.

Trey sat completely calm though and looked down at Mark and then to his legs, “What the fuck is with your legs man?”

Trey kept his eyes on Mark’s legs for a moment, then said, “It must be frustrating if you can’t fuck a bitch anymore. Chiara likes cock you know, like hard and big cock, she gives great blow jobs. She also takes a cock in the ass sometimes. I’m kind of picturing how you would have done that. Like I would love to see you get up on your knees and shit. I don’t know if that works though, probably not. Just know my hard cock has been in her mouth and pussy a thousand times.”

Mark felt his face hot and moist, sweat and blood was running over his skin and the pain was almost unbearable.

Trey now looked at Mark again, “I would really love to let you talk to me. I think you may have a lot to say. Would you promise not to scream like a scared bitch if I take this duct tape off your mouth?”

Trey now seemed to smile, “I know what I’ll do. I’ll have one of my friends take the shit off your mouth but I’ll hold my gun to your head. I have the silencer on already so if I have to shoot you, it won’t be so loud.”

Mark closed his eyes and really didn’t do anything. He had no strength left, his legs were spastic, falling around on the floor and his body was giving in to the violence.
He felt the blood run through his veins and pulsate in his head and neck with his racing heartbeat.

Trey walked out for a moment and then came back in with one of the other guys and Mark blinked at their silhouettes over him.

He heard Trey say, “Take the duct tape and shit off his mouth. I want to hear what he has to say.”

Trey’s helper roughly tore the duct tape off and pulled out the saliva-soaked material from his mouth.

At the same time Trey pressed the silencer on the end of the gun barrel against Mark’s forehead. Mark didn’t intend to say anything at the moment, but instead tried to catch his breath. He had his eyes closed instead of looking at Trey. He felt the pressure of the barrel on his forehead and he knew he was one bullet away from being shot and killed.

Trey now said, “Oh, by the way, I’m sorry about your cat man. I imagine it had been the only pussy you’ve had around for a while. But you know I have a cat allergy, it’s kind of severe and I didn’t want to break out and shit, so cats are not good to have around me.”

Trey sounded like he was having an ordinary conversation, speaking in a calm but cool tone, “I really have this urge to beat the shit out of you but again I think it’s unfair. I think we should fight it out somewhere though. Like I could also stay on the ground or something. Would you like that?”

Mark didn’t respond, he was too occupied to deal with the pain he felt and the trembling of his body.

Trey shifted, “Should we do that? Like fight on the ground since you can’t use your legs and shit?”

And with the gun in his hand Trey inflicted another painful blow against Mark’s head. Mark moaned from the pain and felt dizzy for a moment. It hurt and he could feel his body wanting to give in. His eyes felt swollen and he felt blood run over his face. He rolled over onto his back somewhat but his arms behind his back prevented anything else. His legs were still twitching.
He swallowed and he tasted blood.

Trey shifted and came closer again and pointed the gun at Mark’s forehead again, “So do you have anything to say to me before I fuck you up or kill you?”

Even if Mark wanted to talk, he couldn’t find his voice. Instead his body shook and trembled and he was trying to breathe somewhat normal. He tasted blood and sweat running over his face, into his mouth, from his nose and he felt severe pain. 

Trey now stated, “Well Mark, if you won’t say anything, let me say something. I really wish you wouldn’t have stuck your nose into my very personal business. I’m a pretty busy guy and my business was really flourishing but you kind of fucked that up by making some stupid decisions. You think you have Chiara but she’s not yours and she’ll never be yours. She’s first and foremost my bitch and you made a fucking huge mistake trying to interfere with all of that. I want to keep her cock sucking hole quiet and I want to make her remember where her place is, which is with me and on the streets where her ass and pussy belongs. You do realize hundreds of motherfuckers had had a piece of her ass before and fucked her brains out a thousand times. She’s nothing but a piece of flesh that actually brings in fucking cash for my business. I kind of like her I guess, I do buy her shit and I think I treat her decent. I have known her for a long time you know and so we have a history. I don’t want that history or my future with Chiara get destroyed by you. But I need to make sure she doesn’t turn on me or all her friends and even though I don’t want to do this I kind of have to. I’m still not all the way sure if I want to kill you or just fuck you up. A slow death would be kind of a cool thing. I could hurt you really bad but not kill you all the way. I mean you’re already fucked up in a wheelchair so I’d have to be creative with what I could do to you to add on to make your life even shittier.”

Mark now opened his eyes and looked up at Trey. The gun was still pointing at his forehead and he swallowed hard, trying to find his voice.

His words didn’t want to come out right as he struggled to talk, “I don’t give…give a fuck…if...”

He had to stop talking as he had to take some quick breaths.

Trey leaned down closer to Mark and said, “Give a fuck if what?”

“If I die…I’ll die…loving her.”
Mark coughed and took some gurgling breaths, then kept on, “Just let her…go. You…you can kill me but…but let her go. Just leave her alone…”

He gasped for air and coughed with gurgling sounds.

Trey pretended to be surprised, “Wow, did you guys hear that? He’ll sacrifice himself for her.”

They all laughed and Mark felt his heart race at his own words. It was really not far-fetched that Trey would kill him any moment.

Trey then asked, “You actually love her?’

Mark tried to swallow but felt his throat restricted.

He was barely able to speak, “I do…and I…I beg…you to let…let her go and…have…”
He stopped, breathing quick in gasps, then continued, “Let her...let her have…a chance for…for a normal life…she’s tired and she wants…wants to be free from…all of it.”

He was exhaling and inhaling quickly through his mouth now, feeling his anxiety increase and his body give in to its tremors and the pain he felt.

Trey was still staring at him right there, “Shit man, you’re so fucking boring. You’ve literally no fighting spirit in you. I wanted this all to be so different but like this I just have to finish you.”

Mark coughed and closed his eyes again, he felt tears come up in his eyes now and he felt the strength leave his body as he felt dizzy. He could barely hold it together anymore. His hands were numb from being tied up, his body felt cold and he was shivering now. He really had no idea how his legs were holding up. They were twitching like they were trying to run away but instead looked like flopping fish out of water.

Trey glanced at his legs, “Shit, your legs are seriously fucked up, man.”

Trey pushed the gun harder against Mark’s forehead and Mark expected that this would be the end and squeezed his eyes shut. He didn’t dare look up at Trey anymore.

Instead he barely brought over his lips once more, “I loved her like I’ve…like I’ve never loved anyone in my…in my life before and just…just so you know…she was into me…into me like no one else. She wanted…all of this…she wanted my…my fucked-up body so much…because…”

Mark could barely talk anymore and only gasped the next words, “She’s…is into fucked up legs and…and guys who…who can’t walk. I’m…I’m exactly the kind of guy she…she thought of…when you fucked her a thousand…thousand times. If she even came…came with you inside her…it’s because she…thought of guys like me with fucked up…legs.”

He had no more strength and he was sure that would be his end. Trey would pull the trigger and the bullet would race into his head and maybe come out on the other side and he immediately would lay there in a puddle of blood and take his last breath.

This didn’t happen though but instead he now got more kicks to his face, to his chest and to his arms. Trey was furious and full of rage now. Mark’s words had triggered him to unleash all of his fury on him now.  

He went at Mark for at least five minutes and Mark couldn’t do anything. Trey’s three cohorts stood by and watched as Trey unleashed an overload of rage on Mark.
Mark opened his eyes once more and saw Trey over him kicking and gasping and the last thing he heard him say before he passed out was, “She’s mine and she’ll always be mine. Fuck you cripple.”

It was now nine o’clock and Chiara woke from a nap and when she looked at the clock on the wall, she was shocked and quickly she called out for the officers outside her door, “Excuse me.”

Officer Barrington had come in at eight and was pulling the evening shift duty. He sat outside the door on a chair at a small desk and heard Chiara’s trembling voice from inside the room.

He walked in and Chiara was sitting in her bed and before he could ask what was going on, she asked, “Did my boyfriend call this evening since he left?”
Officer Barrington shook his head, “No, not that I know of. I can ask Officer Newland.”
“Yes, please ask him. My boyfriend was supposed to call when he got home after he left here. He’s been calling when he gets home. I’m worried about him.”
Officer Barrington walked out and came back in shortly after, “So, no, Mark has not called since he left. There are no recorded calls.”
Chiara felt her body start shaking and her hands tremble, “I need to call him. I need to make sure he’s okay.”
Officer Barrington thought for a moment, “We’ll call him.”
Chiara felt panic creep up, “Please do it now. I’m very worried. He wouldn’t forget to call. He knows it’s important to me. Please do it right away.”
She could barely sit still and Officer Barrington nodded, “Okay, okay. I’ll call him right now.”

He had all of Mark’s information in his computer and brought up Mark’s phone number, then dialed it and waited.

After a few moments, Mark’s voice mail came on and Officer Barrington hung up, slightly wondering about this.

He came back into the room, “So, it went to voice mail.”
Chiara’s heart was racing, “That’s not possible. He has his phone on him for me and he was going to call me like he did every night since I’ve been here. Please call him again.”
Officer Barrington dialed again, this time on speaker and before the phone went to voice mail, he said, “If the voice mail comes on, don’t say anything.”

And right then Mark’s voice mail came on again.
He pushed the end call button and looked at Chiara.

Her face was full of fear and worry, “Something is wrong. Something happened to Mark. You need to send someone to his place or track his phone and find him.”
Officer Barrington was thinking about this and debated about the urgency of this situation, “Maybe he just can’t get to the phone right now.”
Chiara now felt tears come up in her eyes, “No, he always has his phone on him, especially right now with everything going on. Please go to his place or please find him, I beg you.”

Officer Barrington heard Chiara’s obvious anxiety about this situation and he started debating on any further action. Trey Espinoza was still on the loose and there was a slight chance that Trey would be back in Seattle.

He looked at Chiara, “I’ll make some phone calls.”
Chiara said with a trembling voice, “Or call Officer Collins, he’s Mark’s friend. He can go check on him.”
“I’ll make some phone calls.”

Chiara was absolutely terrified now about something having happened to Mark and she started crying.

Officer Barrington did make some phone calls and deliberated with the Seattle PD police chief on what to do. After some considerations about the current situation with Trey being on the run, Mark having basically led the police to where Trey was and the danger Mark could find himself in, it was decided that a Police patrol would be sent out to Mark’s place and check on him to see if he was all right.  

Officer Barrington informed Chiara and she was crying, “Please do it soon.”
“They’re already on their way out there.”
Chiara looked at Officer Barrington with glistening eyes, “I can just feel it. Something happened to Mark. Trey Espinoza is very dangerous. If he’s out there, everyone needs to be careful, even the police officers.”

Officer Barrington decided to go back out and make another call, maybe just a patrol wouldn’t be enough. If Trey Espinoza would for some reason be at Mark’s apartment, this situation could get very dangerous and needed to be handled in a different way.

Shortly thereafter a SWAT team was activated to go out to Mark’s place. According to the newest update the chance of Trey being in Seattle again was very high and all indications were pointing to his wanting to go into hiding or maybe taking revenge on Mark for having assisted in the bust in Portland.

Chiara sat in her bed with Officer Barrington and the nurse by her side as she cried and was scared and worried. Anxiety took over and she was getting so nervous and scared that she had to be given a slight sedative to calm her down. Even with the medication though she constantly talked about something having happened to Mark and what she would do if that was the case. She basically talked about ending her life if worst case scenario had happened to Mark.

The nurse held her and Officer Barrington watched and stayed in contact with Seattle PD.

It was shortly before eleven that night when ten members of the Seattle PD SWAT team heavily armed and in full combat gear silently got out of their armored vehicles at Mark’s apartment complex. They didn’t want to stir up any neighbors or anyone really. They set up their formation outside his apartment door and were ready to bust it open. 

From inside the apartment they heard the TV on and they heard male muffled voices laughing and talking. And it wasn’t only one voice but several.

Everything happened in an instant when the door was busted open and four SWAT team members stayed outside and six members of the team stormed Mark’s apartment and caught four men sitting in the living room by surprise.

Fire was opened right away, shots were fired, and people were screaming and after about three minutes the shooting stopped because four men lay dead in Mark’s apartment.

The TV was in pieces, blood pooled on the floor, guns were scattered next to bodies, and holes were in walls. The SWAT team quickly assessed the situation squatting down over the four bodies and confirming their deaths and talking on their radios relaying the information to headquarters. All four men had been armed and had been shooting at the officers. None of the SWAT officers was down, they had been wearing all their protective gear and bullet proof vests.

Mark’s TiLite wheelchair was over on the side but Mark was nowhere. None of the four men was Mark. Two officers still armed and ready made their way through the hallway toward Mark’s bedroom and following protocol quickly stepped into the bedroom assessing if there was any more threat. No one was in the bedroom, only a dim lamp on the bedside table was on.

The bathroom door was closed and again they snuck up to the door, ready with their weapons and two additional officers coming into the bedroom behind them, two more were out in the hallway, all pointing their guns toward the bedroom, ready to shoot to kill if there should be any more threat of a shooter.

One of the officers carefully opened the bathroom door and pushed it open, quickly both officers pointed their guns into the dark bathroom. A faint light from the bedroom shone into the bathroom. The officer switched on the light and the bathroom was bright now.

They discovered the body of man, blood drenched in the tub and a dead black cat next to him.

One of the officers called out, “There’s a person down in here. Not sure if he’s still alive.”

All the officers now came over and one of the officers had already squatted down next to Mark and put his fingers on his aortic vein in his neck, “He’s still got a pulse. Call an ambulance!”

Mark was a bundle of blood and motionless body in the blood drenched tub. His face was covered in blood, his hoodie had been torn and his T-Shirt was drenched in blood. His Jeans was hanging halfway off his hips, his boxers were showing and in his crotch his jeans were saturated with urine. His legs had stopped twitching a while ago, his body had given in to the injuries and the violence. His heart rate was slow, his blood pressure had dropped dangerously low.

Mark was barely breathing anymore, his eyes were swollen shut, his lips were busted and bloody, his face had been kicked and beaten and was streaked with blood, his arms were still tied behind his back. His hair hung stringy, wet from blood and sweat and his body was covered in dark bruises from the violent kicks and blows he had endured for almost three hours.

The ambulance got there and the EMT’s were shocked to see Mark in the state he was in but tended to him quickly. He was barely breathing and didn’t make a sound or any kind of motion when they tended to him. Ranger was placed in a plastic bag.

Officer Barrington walked into Chiara’s room. The nurse was holding her in her arms and Chiara looked up expectantly with tear filled eyes.

Officer Barrington then explained softly, “They found Mark, he’s alive but seriously injured. They’re trying to save his life at the moment. He’s en route to the hospital.”

Chiara broke down and nothing and no one could calm her down. After Officer Barrington had told her about Mark she was screaming and crying and she didn’t stop until they actually gave her an IV sedative.

That night in Mark’s apartment Trey Espinoza and three of his men were shot and killed. The SWAT team had done exactly what they had to do as they came under fire right when they stormed the apartment. With the death of these four men, an underground prostitution ring had been cracked badly and it was just a matter of time now when more people would get arrested and other women would be freed.


  1. What an intense chapter. Can't remember that I've read something like that before on this blog. But I like the suspension and action.

  2. Wow so intense! Dani your writing is great

  3. Suspenseful and incredibly well written. Thank you for an amazing chapter.