Page 68

The Skull Crusher (Skull 2) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:52:06

Now I really started to panic.

Gunshots erupted in the alleyway, so loud because it happened right next to us. Two bodies dropped and thudded against the ground.

The men that handled me released me and turned around.

Another fell to the ground.

Now only two were left. They rose to their feet and reached for their guns.

A deep voice filled the alleyway, instilling more terror than those gunshots. “You want a go, huh? How about a go from me?” Balto emerged, his gun pointed at my first assailant. He looked uninjured. But he also looked pissed. He shot one in the arm then knocked the gun out of the other’s hand.

I stayed on the ground, still frightened even though I’d been saved.

Balto gripped one by the neck and slammed his fist into his face over and over, making blood spray across the concrete next to me. He held the man suspended from the ground at the same time, hitting him until his body went completely weak. The screams stopped when his face was completely caved in. Balto dropped him to the ground.

I deliberately looked the other way so I wouldn’t have to see it.

Balto moved to the other man, who lay injured on the ground. He dug into the man’s pocket and fished out his phone. Then he made a call using the camera on the phone. “Lucian, I just thought you’d like to know that your men gave it everything that they had.” Balto pointed the camera at the man as he placed his boot against his skull. The man started to heave with terror. “But in the end, seventeen men still aren’t enough for the Skull King.” He slammed his foot down right into the man’s head.

He screamed in terror.

Balto stomped his foot again. “I suggest you bring more men next time.” With another stomp from Balto, the man’s skull cracked and his screams were silenced. Death came for him, merciful. Balto pointed the camera back at himself. “Have a good evening, Lucian.” He tossed the phone on the ground and stomped on it.

I lay there, my wrists still cuffed together. The threat was over, but I was still terrified, terrified that Lucian almost took me back. The men threatened to rape me, and they didn’t hesitate before punching me in the face. Lucian was pissed, and he would be far crueler to me than he ever was before if he got me back.

I’d watched Balto shatter that man’s skull, and now I couldn’t unsee it. It was permanently ingrained in my mind.

Balto fished the key out of the man’s pocket then kneeled down next to me. “Alright, baby?” He loosened the handcuffs then helped me sit up. His hand moved into my hair, and he examined the swelling in my face.

“I’m fine…you saved me.”

“You really thought I’d let them take you?” The corner of his mouth rose in a smile, like this was all a game. “Not a chance, baby.” His thumb swiped over my cheek as he felt the puffiness.

I gripped his wrists and closed my eyes, my heart beating so hard it actually hurt. Those few minutes were the most horrifying of my existence. The idea of returning to Lucian was far worse than the years I actually spent with him. I was so scared—and I wasn’t afraid to admit it.

Balto held me that way for a long time, patiently waiting for me to calm down. “Baby, you’re alright.”

“I know…” I kept my eyes closed.

He gathered me in his arms then lifted me from the ground.

My arms hooked around his neck, and I buried my face in his shoulder.

Effortlessly, he carried me from that alleyway and back down the street where the restaurant was. As we approached the building, I heard the sounds of people gathered on the sidewalk, talking about the shooting that had just taken place. The police were there, but they didn’t stop Balto. He put me in the truck then drove away, as if nothing happened, as if I hadn’t almost been taken and raped by Lucian’s soldiers.

Instead of staying in my seat by the window, I scooted to the middle and hooked my arm through his. My face moved to this shoulder, and I closed my eyes as I relaxed in his comforting presence. Somehow, he defeated seventeen men entirely on his own—and saved me from a fate I couldn’t accept.

This man had been my captor for the last few months.

But now he was my savior.

I carried Cassini out of the elevator and to my bedroom down the hallway. The incident tonight was normal to me, something I did on a nearly daily basis. There were always shootouts and battles that took place on the streets of Florence.

But she’d never seen anything like that.

I saw how scared she was as she lay on the ground with her wrists cuffed. I saw how she nearly burst into tears when the men threatened to rape her. And I saw the way she looked at me when I rescued her, the way her eyes filled with endless gratitude. She gave me a look I’d never seen before, like I was the only face she wanted to see.