Resisting Ryann

By: Alyssa Rae Taylor

I watch Gage repeatedly slap the woman in front of me. With the rest of the crew aiming their AK-47’s, her tortured gaze begs me to step in. I wonder if she can see through me … if she knows I’m not one of them. She’s young, probably in her mid-twenties, possibly thirties. There are a couple of kids running around—not an ounce of fear apparent on their faces. Maybe this is a regular scene for them. Their father’s gotten himself into some serious shit, and now his family is suffering the consequences. My eyes move to the five men surrounding me. If it weren’t for their weapons, I could take them, but it would defeat the purpose of why I’m here, working under the thumb of my scumbag father. It’s the only way to put an end to him once and for all—to keep Reese safe.

He cuts her open with the next blow. She cries out in pain as blood splatters from her lip and onto the wall. The little boy finally notices. Running to his mother’s side, she tries to shoo him away, but Gage already has him in his grasp. My fingers twitch. I could reach out and snap this guy’s neck, yet I do nothing. “You,” he says, pointing to me. “Tie the bitch up.” He shoves the trembling kid into the corner next to his sister. My gaze flicks to them before landing on the woman. There’s no way I’ll let that happen.

“Move!” Gage shouts, turning around to find me in the same spot.

I’ve never been good with orders. “She doesn’t know where he is. Look at her.”

“We’re wasting time, boys,” Marcus growls.

Gage’s features darken. He ignores him and slowly steps my way. “I said, ‘Tie. The. Bitch. Up.’” Each word is clearly pronounced, but I don’t back down. He looks like a skinhead on crack with a face that’s covered in sores. His gun is the only thing giving him confidence. I envision taking the AK and shoving it up his ass. “Think you can fool me, Romeo? I know who you are. I’ve been watching you a long time.” He tilts his head and laughs.

“He knows we’re after him. He’s not going to tell her where he is.” Gage takes another step, lifts the gun, and presses it against my forehead, then cocks it with shaky hands. That’s when I raise mine.

“Whoa … there are kids here, man.” Not that it makes a difference; he’s out of his mind. A slow smirk stretches across his face.

“Gage, let’s get out of here,” Marcus says. Sirens play in the distance, all the while Gage is still deciding on whether or not to shoot. His agitation grows, as the woman’s cries get louder. Sweating profusely, he keeps glancing her way.

“Shut up!” he yells. “Or I’ll shut you up myself!” Clearly distraught, she attempts to muffle her sounds. I try to distract him by pressing harder against the end of the barrel. I’d rather him shoot me than the innocent mother in the corner.

“C’mon Gage let’s go!”

I narrow my eyes, neither one of us pulling away. It’s a game that we play until he presses the gun harder and violently yells, “BANG!” I flinch, and he lowers the gun, smiling proudly before making his way out the door with a wicked cackle.

My gaze moves from the boy and girl to their mother, who looks just as relieved as I am. A weak smile of gratitude appears on her face.

I search for something to say then settle for, “I’m sorry,” before shutting the door and making my way toward the parking lot.

I climb into the van, and Gage tells me, “You’re lucky I didn’t cap your ass back there.”

I give him a lethal stare and fantasize about the hundred different ways I could pummel him. We’re all piled together in one vehicle, headed to meet my father. He won’t be happy about the news, since we didn’t get what he’d been hoping for. Gage is lucky I’m in the back. The guy brings out the worst in me.

“You can thank your daddy for that. Figured he wouldn’t be happy if we came back without his pansy-ass son.”

“You got a problem?” I point to the AK resting in his lap. “Lose the security blanket, and I’ll help you with it.”

“You know what? Blow me. Once your dad finally gets what’s coming to him, and he will,” he reassures, “I’m gonna find you, and I’m gonna kill you.” He grins. “After I tap that little whore of yours and make you watch. How ab—”

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