Jack was already breaking the rules by being out this late. The sun had long since set; the cold air stinging his nose and fingers. As he turned onto Thatcher Street heading home, he heard a scream rip through the silent night. It was coming from the east side of the city. The clean side; where the privileged and the wealthy congregated. Normally Jack would have kept walking, but he had never heard a scream like this before, one of pure terror. Immediately he turned east, and started running.
It was easy to tell when he entered the rich part of the city. All the lamp-posts were lit, the ground free of litter, and the stench of sewage was no longer over-whelming; though still present. The girl screamed again. A high-pitched wail. He was getting close. After two more blocks he saw them. Two large brutish looking males were walking toward a girl. The girl was wearing a thick, crimson cloak with the hood pulled over most of her face. Jack guessed that she was his age.
Jack studied the situation. The men kept advancing on her; forcing her down an alleyway. Jack felt a sudden wave of anger. At the men for pestering this girl, and at the girl for being so thoughtless as to let herself be put in this situation. No lady should be out alone at this time of night, thought Jack. Something else bothered Jack in the back of his mind. Why hadn’t anyone else shown up?
Something gleamed in one of the thug’s hands. Jack froze from his spot behind the lamp-post closest to the alleyway. The man was holding a long silver dagger in his hand, moving it side to side in a sinister manner. The girl let out another whimper as they disappeared from sight. Jack let loose a stream of profanity that would have the devils impressed, before following the men toward the alleyway.
As Jack got closer, he began to hear the voices of the attackers. They were rough and gravelly.
Reaching the start of the alleyway where the men and girl had disappeared, Jack peeked around the corner, his face scraping against the faded brick. “There is no where for you to hide now,” jeered one of the men. The only light came from the surrounding street lamps and the full moon, setting one man’s red hair aflame. His companion laughed; a mix between a smokers cough and a dog being strangled. Jack grimaced.
The girl was now facing the assailants, slowly back-pedaling. The hood of her red cloak was pulled low over her face, hiding it in darkness. The two men were so large, and the passageway so narrow, they had to walk in a single file line. Remembering his training, Jack took note of this, knowing a fight would be in his advantage. Even though one of the men had a dagger, it wouldn’t be of much use in such close quarters. A man of his size didn’t have the mobility required to make the dagger into a real threat. Jack starts forward, then freezes...
The girl had pulled down her hood, finally showing her face. Suddenly, all the air in Jack’s lungs was forced out. She was more beautiful than anyone he had ever seen. She had blonde hair that curled over her shoulders and high cheekbones. He had been right when he guessed that she was his age; she didn’t look like she could be over seventeen. Strangely, Jack couldn’t shake the feeling that he had seen her somewhere before.
Jack was even more compelled to save her. But the look in her eyes stopped him. Her dark blue eyes were focused intently on the men in front of her. It was a look that turned Jack’s blood to ice. This wasn’t any normal girl, he thought.
Jack noticed the two brutes had stopped moving forward. He couldn’t see their faces from the entrance of the alleyway, but based on body language, they knew who she was. When the red-haired attacker whispered her name, the wind carried it to Jack’s ears. Scarlett Beaumont.