Within five minutes the door was open and two of them were barreling down the stairs.
One of them had a gun. I hadn’t predicted that development, but I did know he wasn’t going to be about to use it. They wouldn’t want to damage the “merchandise,” as it were.
Terry, though, ducked behind the wooden boarding by the stairs. Which wasn’t the best place for her. She’d be best off in the stairwell, but there was nothing I could do about it. I was on the floor, but shifting into their path.
Then I exploded upwards, my fists aimed at the gun. He had been turning to try and cover both of us, but focused on me. It flew into the air and landed on the floor. I hoped Terry would have the presence of mind to grab it, but I wasn’t about to count on any help from her.
Instead, I followed up with a blow to the jaw – and he went right down. The tough guy had a glass jaw. I wasn’t about to laugh, though, because the other one was turning and diving for the gun. I kicked it away from him towards Terry.
“There’s six of us upstairs. You won’t get anywhere.”
I smiled. Just that. I wasn’t about to respond to his threats. Instead, I stepped into him as he reached to grapple me, let him do so, then simultaneously brought my fist into his solar plexus and my knee into his groin.
He groaned and fell to the ground. “Goodbye,” I said, moving to grab Terry, who seemed frozen, and drag her up the stairs.
“I know. As soon as you get an opportunity run. Find a phone. Call the police.”
The police would only be so much use, but at least I wouldn’t be calling them into a nest of supernaturals this time. I released her as soon as we were up the stairs. The room was smoky, and I saw only two of them in it. They were no better fighters than their friends. Terry bolted for the front door while I dealt with them, and out into the clear air. Even if she didn’t call the cops, at least she was out of the way. As harsh as it might seem, the girl was a liability. So was Lugenia, but I didn’t see her. I pinned the second man to the wall. “Where are the rest?”
“They went out back. Did you do this?”
I just nodded and tossed him to the ground. He scrambled to his feet and then headed for the same exit Terry had taken. Hopefully she was well ahead of him. The smoke was probably ruining everything and it was already beginning to make me cough. Getting out of here struck me as a smart idea, and I glanced at the door myself.
No. Lugenia was here somewhere and I wanted to show her what kind of person Miguel actually was. Instead, I ran into the back yard, seeing shapes through the window before I emerged into light and clean air.
Four men stood there. Front and center was Miguel. He had a knife to Lugenia’s throat.