The sound of gun shots brought me onto my knees with my hands covering my head.  Great! Just when I had arrived here for my transfer to Los Angeles, this happens!

Ten minutes ago I was on my way to my temporary home, a hotel, when I realized that I needed to stop by the bank to take out some cash for spending later tonight.  I would soon regret that decision because now I was sitting on my bottom and my back against the front counter with a gun pointed at my face.  Well not just my face but everyone who had been unlucky like me just five minutes ago. We were all sitting around the lobby while three well built guys, two Caucasian and one African American, made sure everyone was complying to stay where they were.

Why does this have to happen on my first day here in Los Angeles? Seriously!? Why not when I am actually working instead!?  I scanned the frightened faces and was glad I didn’t recognize anyone or else I would have been panicking.  That might seem oddly weird but I would rather not have someone I know get stuck with me in my current situation or else I would be freaking out right now trying to figure out how to get them out of here alive. At least I can concentrate on my own wellbeing instead.

I was deep in thought thinking of how I could handle three tall and muscular men, armed with assault riffles, all by myself.  Everyone seemed frightened and no one was thinking straight. Then I heard the person sitting to my left whisper something to me.

“Don’t worry, you’ll be alright,” the deep and raspy tone snapped me out from my own train of thought. I turned and gave him a confused look. Well probably in any girl’s right mind they might actually find it quite charming for a guy to try and calm her down but I’m pretty sure I can handle myself in this situation.

“I know that,” I replied back in a whisper and turned to look at the man walking around the lobby floor just in case he might had overheard us.

“Well, I just wanted to assure you that you’ll be fine because your face looked like you were going to hyperventilate with that sour expression of yours,” the man’s sea green eyes pierced into mine.  I wanted to admire his beauty but instead I glared back challenging his stare.

“I was not going to hyperventilate!” my hazel brown eyes stared his down.  “I was coming up with a plan on how we can all survive this together.”  Was he seriously trying to lighten up my mood by telling me I looked like I was going into panic mode?

“Well, the names Leo by the way.  Mind including me in your plan?” the corner of Leo’s mouth rose up into a grin as his fingers combed through his short jet black hair.

Did he just flirt with me? This was no time to be picking up girls while being held hostage with three armed men giving us all the look of death.  “Are you okay?” I asked just in case he was not in his right mind.  He gave me a look that told me I had to be crazy to had asked.

“Perfectly fine, why?”

“Well you don’t sound fine to me, especially under our circumstances right now.  Aren’t you a little too calm?” I waited for his reaction.  Nothing.

“Well aren’t you as well for a woman?  Shouldn’t you be panicking and crying like the other ladies?” he threw back my own question.  Is he insulting us women now?

“Well I know how to handle myself in these kind of situations,” I told him and he gave me a weird but admiring look.

“So…you’ve been in many situations like this before?” Leo’s eyebrows rose with a questioning look.

“Yes I have,” he gave me yet another perplexed expression.  “Look, you don’t understand. I actually—“ I stopped myself before I could say anything more. I didn’t want to give him too much hope if he finds out what I actually do in life.

“You actually what?” he asked just when shots were fired into the ceiling.  Everyone screamed and shouted with pleas.  I ducked my head away from the sound and felt strong arms pull me forwards.  It was Leo’s.  He had pulled me away from the falling debris and held onto me tightly, cradling my head into his shoulder.

When the room went silent, with the exception of the whimpers coming from some of the men and women, I pulled back and away from Leo.  I was glad he had willingly let go as well because it would had been more awkward if I had stayed any longer near him.  He coughed and swallowed as I brushed away the debris on my dark brown colored hair.

“Are you two alright?” asked an elderly woman around her forties sitting just to my right.  We both turned to see her looking at us with teary eyes.

“Yes, we’re fine thank you,” I replied immediately not wanting her to worry about us.

“Are we all going to die?” her voice cracked when she asked the one question no one was willing to utter in fear of it actually becoming true.  I could feel my heart rip apart at the sight of this elderly woman crying.

“Am I never going to see Jasper ever again?” she continued to whimper.  Feeling torn inside, I bent over and pulled her into my arms.  I held onto her tightly as if she was my very own mother. 

We sat like that for a brief moment when I felt Leo set his hand on my thigh.  I tensed at his sudden touch and turned to give him a warning stare but his serious gaze stopped me from uttering any words.  I couldn’t understand why but in some way I knew what was going through this man’s mind just by looking through his eyes. He gave me an assuring smile and I did so back.  I felt safe somehow knowing he was there with me.

Just when things couldn’t get any worse, the Caucasian man who wore a black faced mask with a black hoodie strode towards my direction.  His gaze pierced through mine and I swore I would had stabbed him in the eye if he had stared any longer.

The man stopped right in front of me as I held in my own breath.  Did he overhear us talking? Is this the end for us? For me?  My mind was racing and I felt my chest begin to tighten when he pointed the tip of his assault riffle towards my head.

“Get up!” the man’s deep and menacing voice commanded.  I gasped when he pushed my head with his riffle.

“I said get the fuck up!” his voice shouted louder this time and I willingly complied.  I leaned forward and was about to get up just when I felt Leo’s big strong hand grip my elbow.

“No!” Leo shouted at the man and was now standing in front of me.

“Leo!” I shouted for him to back down but instead saw the man hit Leo in the temple with the end of his riffle. “Oh my god!”  I nearly screamed when Leo fell to the side.  I quickly hovered over him to check if he was alright and found that his head was actually bleeding from the hit. Leo shook his head and blinked a few times trying to understand what had just happened to him.  I heard the man shout orders again.

“Get the hell up bitch!” he instructed and pointed the gun in my direction.  I obeyed and got onto my feet once again.  Leo turned onto his back and let out a loud groan.  “Get him up to!” The man’s eyes told me that if I didn’t do as he commanded, I would be in for something I wouldn’t very much like. I did as told and helped Leo onto his feet.  He wobbled a bit but managed to stand as we were hurled off into an enclosed room.  Is this how I’m going to die? Here in a closed off room where no one can witness my death? Except Leo and the two scary looking guys who had followed in after us, locking the door behind themselves.

“What do you guys want?” I asked once the door was shut.  Leo and I stood there wondering when they were going to shoot us but then his next command caught me off guard.  Probably Leo’s as well by the look on his face.

“Take your cloths off!” he commanded and my eyes enlarged with shock.  Did I hear him right?

“W-what!?” I stared at Leo who also returned the same expression.

“Take them off or I’ll blow your brains out!” shouted the African American man who was pointing his gun at Leo this time.  Not wanting to be shot at, I nodded my head to Leo and he did so back.

There I was, taking off my jeans and shirt and was now standing almost completely naked in my undergarments and Leo in his boxers.  I blushed with embarrassment.  How did I get into this mess?

“Now you get on the floor,” he pointed at Leo who gave him a daring look.  “Now!” Leo complied and sat down in front of the two eager men who then looked up at me and ordered I do the same instead it was not on the floor but rather on top of Leo.

“No!” I shouted and they shot one round to the ceiling.  My whole body shuddered and immediately I did as told.  I gave Leo an awkward look before straddling his thighs slowly.  He looked away and so did I with discomfort.  How did I end up on top of a complete stranger who I just met ten minutes ago? This dream job about coming to work in Las Angeles is not turning out how I had planned it to be.

“Get on with it!” the man pointing the gun at us shouted and Leo turned to look at me, making our faces come inches away from each other.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered and I felt his breath brush against my skin.  I quivered from his sudden touch to my bare back with his warm hands.

“It’s not your fault,” I replied with a flushed face.  My eyes trickled up to see the already dried blood that had trickled down the side of his face from the wound he received protecting me from those men.  My eyes narrowed as I brought my hand to it and brushed over his wound lightly, not wanting to hurt him.

“I’m sorry you got injured because of me,” my voice softly spoke as the corner of his lip lifted into a small grin.

“It was worth it,” his voice came out soft and soothing with that raspiness to it.  I could feel my chest thump faster as he gazed down at my face while he said that.

“Stop talking and kiss her already!” demanded the larger man.  I closed my eyes and inhaled slowly, trying to cool myself down before I say anything rashly to get us both killed.  I opened my eyes to see Leo staring into mine.  His gaze was consuming as he slowly leaned forwards and clasped his lips onto mine.

I felt a sudden rush of heat twirl within the pit of my stomach as he leaned towards me for a harder kiss.  My mind began wandering off into its own world as I savored in the taste of his lips.  I didn’t know how long we had kissed before feeling him pull away from mine and heard the two man witnessing our intimate moment groan and chuckle with satisfaction.

I swore my face was burning red by the time I realized how wonderful it had felt when Leo's lips were on top of mine. I couldn’t look at him or even understand what had just happened between me and Leo, a complete stranger I had just met.

“By the way, you didn’t tell me your name,” I looked at him and our eyes locked for a brief moment before I glanced back down to his bare shoulder.  My eyes latching onto his alluring collarbone.

“I-its Nilla,” I quietly muttered.

“Its nice to finally get to know your name Nilla,” he smirked and I swore my face was flaming red hot.  He pulled closer to me and I felt the tip of his lips brush against my left earlobe and whispered.  I shuddered from his sudden closeness.

“When I say run, you run as fast as you can out that door alright?” he told me.  I couldn’t understand what he was trying to say until we heard a loud BANG come from the main lobby.  The two men turned their attention away from us and I felt Leo’s strong arms lift me off from him.

“Run!” he shouted and I was now on my bare two feet.  I saw him lunged himself at the man who had his gun pointed at us.  He turned to look at me as if making sure I had ran out the door and out of harms way but was only disappointed when I hadn’t.

“Run Nilla!” he shouted while struggling to hold down the large African American man.  I glanced at Leo, then to the other man.  Like hell I’m gonna run! Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I can’t defend myself!

I charged at the other man who was distracted at Leo’s sudden attack and gave him a good kick between the legs.  He let out a loud gruntled noise before falling onto his knees holding onto his groin.  I swung my left heel back and kicked the side of his head as he knocked out cold onto the carpeted floor. I breathed out in relief and glanced up just on time to see Leo knock the other man out cold as well.  He took a step back and sighed in relief before turning with a surprised look on his face.

“Where did you learn to do that?” he asked with curiosity and I just smirked with pride.  Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I can’t defend myself.

“You don’t want to know,” I replied.  He nodded his head then scanned me from head to toe.  Just then realized I was nearly naked and so was he. “Don’t look at me!” I shouted and his eyes diverted away immediately.  I rushed to where my cloths were piled on the ground and hurriedly putted everything on just before we heard the door slam open with a loud BOOM.

“Get down!” shouted an FBI agent who had his gun pointed at Leo.  Leo rose his hands into the air. “Clear!” shouted the FBI agent as he tucked away his gun back into its holster.  Officers crawled into the room and checked on the two passed out men.  I watched as the FBI agent, who I know as Agent Hansen from my interview with him a week before, headed towards Leo while the other officers handcuffed and dragged the two men out from the room.

“Wait!” I shouted, afraid Leo was going to be arrested as well.

“Agent Valeck, its nice to see you made it out alright,” Agent Hansen held out his hand to Leo.  I blinked with confusion.  Agent Valeck?

"Agent Hansen.  Took you long enough but its nice to see you again,” Leo shook the man’s hand as they chuckled as if nothing had happened at all.

“Aren’t you getting a little cold in that getup?” Agent Hansen joked and the two men laughed once again.  After they had exchanged greetings, Agent Hansen turned to see me standing there staring at Leo then back at him with confusion on my face. “Ah, I see you have met each other already,” Agent Hansen gave me a warm smile then turned to Leo.

“Agent Valeck, this is Agent Lyra who would be working with your team starting next week. I heard Agent Lyra was starting tomorrow as a new transfer but it seems like you both had met each other already,” Agent Hansen smiled.  Leo and I exchanged looks before he began walking in my direction.  My hands gripped the side of my shirt tightly as Leo came to a full stop right in front of me and reached out his right hand.

“Its nice meeting you Agent Lyra, I’m Agent Valeck your team lead,” I stared at his large strong hands, then back up at him before reaching out my hand and shaking his.

“Its nice meeting you as well Agent Valeck,” I replied with a flushed face as he gave me a charming smile. What have I gotten myself into?

 

 

End of part I to Beautiful Liar by Yeryer Vang

You can read this story as well in my personal blog at Dream Fantasy Magnolia.