tagRomance"Don't Miss," He Said Ch. 01

"Don't Miss," He Said Ch. 01

byKyoketsu_Shoge©

All Characters, places and events are fictional. Author reserves rights to use. This is a preliminary exposition chapter, and, as such, is mostly action, not much XXX. More serious stuff to come, though. No fear. The following chapters are greatly influenced by reader votes and feedback, so please, do just that. Enjoy.

--Kyoketsu Shoge


*************

Before that day, I wasn't sure whether or not I loved her. What matters is that, between the present and that morning, there were events which changed both of us, and our entire class, for better or for worse. I shall attempt to recount the details. They are...not to be missed.

I felt that something bad would happen that day. Maybe that's why I had called my brother for help. I was hoping that I could keep her safe too. Here we are though, two of twenty against the far wall, looking out at the sun-bleached lawns of Creekmount. I am Alphonse, eighteen years of age, and the younger of two men from the family Rosethorne. At the time, I was attending the school for my final year. She...Elena, was also attending for her final year.

*************

Elena was my equal in most everything we had the blessing of sharing. Her one aspect which none could rival was her beauty. Such fragile and demure beauty one could not find in finely crafted porcelain. Her hair, alchemy of gold and sunset, cascaded effortlessly behind her wherever her lithe body would take her, and her eyes scintillated like emeralds encased in glass. Until that fateful day, I did not fully notice her beauty. Perhaps none of us did. The men did, though. That was why they kept her for...I digress. Grant me a few moments more for exposition.

Creekmount's uniform was becoming of Elena (as it seemed for all the girls), but her personality seemed an ill fit. This was the shield with which she defended herself; not arrogance, but something more humble. Elena carried knowledge of books and lore. What she lacked in life-experience, she could recite from memory. The day I saw her fully, her knowledge could not defend her. That is why I helped her—why I continue to help her.

*************

The day before the...incident, we were in physical education. I was watching the ongoing basketball exercises. Elena and another girl, Catherine (who would also endure the incident) were competing on free throws.

"You're doing well today, Elena," Catherine commented, upon finishing her fifth consecutive throw.

"I can hold my own in this sort of thing...There. One more and I've got you beat," Elena responded in her charming, cheery, pseudo-soprano.

"It would be a first," scoffed Catherine.

Be assured, dearest readers, that your humble narrator (at the behest of his male instincts) was only slightly aware of how important it was that Elena make this next basket. At the time, I was more concerned with how lovely Elena's shapely butt looked in the Phys-Ed shorts. I wanted to encourage her, let her know that I had faith in her. Instead, I reverted to my usual mode of talking to her: awkward humor.

"Elena," I called to her, "If you don't make this next basket, I'll be forced to beat you in the German test tomorrow."

She looked at me quizzically, and responded, "What?"

"Don't miss, I said."

"I'll do my best," she called back, flashing a cheesy thumbs-up sign.

I watched as Elena stepped up to the line. She readied herself, and turned slightly, giving me a happy yet determined smile. She shot the ball.

The three of us watched, as the ball went through the basket, and beyond the fence, the tallest of the men chuckled, as he and the rest observed the prospective targets.

"Heh, so she made it. She looks to be the best I've seen."

"But then, there's not a bad looking one in the whole class."

"This is the senior class-B, right?"

"Yeah, that's how it looks. And, if they move as one unit, the so-called German class might be the best time to do it. This is our chance. Let's not miss it."

And the four men grinned at once. They knew when they would strike. But then, they had already gotten their supplies ready weeks ago. Masks, ropes, guns--Dog Day Afternoon in a bag, really. I just wish that they had been after our money.

*************

The morning was chilly. I wore the uniform coat that day, as did Elena. I hated how it hid her body, but it was how I started a conversation that morning. I inquired what the fabric that made up the liner was, and Elena stifled her cute laugh with her slender fingers.

"That's easy, silly. It's on the tag."

Elena walked in front of me and slipped her hands behind my neck to lift the collar. The chill which rode upon her fingers sent shivers throughout my body, but their feather-light softness warmed my soul. As she reached the tag under the collar, she read off, "liner: 70% cotton, 30% poly..."

She stopped short of polyester when she saw my eyes. I had been watching her as she read, and as our eyes met, a long second froze us colder than the air around us. As the bells from the school began to toll, we stepped apart. Elena and I shivered once more, as the spaces where we had touched became cold again.

"Five minutes before morning announcements. We should hurry," Elena said, shakily, breaking the silence.

"Oh, right. Let's double-time it, eh?"

"What?"

"Double-time, it's the military term for...uh, jogging. My brother taught me how."

"Alright then, let's go."

"Right, keep in step with me then."

*************

So, here we sit, up against the wall. Elena and I are separated by little more than a freshly dead body. The four men have already killed six of our class, including the teacher. Two of the men are keeping watch over us, the hostages. The other two are across the room, near the window--with Catherine.

One man holds a gun to Catherine's head, and the other...is forcing himself on her. The bearded man slams into her again and again. Her screams of pain fill the room, but the bearded one couldn't care less. The screams spur him onto his second orgasm.

Before he deposits his third load, Catherine's screams have stopped. The man with the gun put her life to an unceremonious end. This makes seven dead.

The tall one zeroes in on Elena, and my heart begins to race. I hated the men for killing the seven they had, but I think I would rather die than see them violate her. The tall one lifts Elena by her collar, and removes her winter coat.

"Please, you can't do this," Elena begins to plead, the tears for her fallen classmates renewed for her own mortality.

"Now what makes you think that we can't? Didn't we just get done with seven other broads?"

Elena stays quiet, save for her tears and whimpers. I refuse to.

"Listen to her, don't do it," I say with as much authority as I can muster, attempting to stand.

"Shut the hell up, kid," he remarks as he kicks me back off my feet, and continues to disrobe Elena. "Then again, maybe I won't," he says slyly, as he pauses just short of removing her blouse.

"Whaddaya mean, boss," Asked the bearded one after putting Catherine with the other dead. "Wasn't she the one that decided it, that we'd do this class, I mean?"

"Shut up, you mook. I know that. I just thought that mister brave here might like it better," the tall one said, draping Elena face-down on a desk. "What's your name, punk?"

My bravery building, I responded, "This one is Creekmount High School Student 623236; Senior Class Treasurer. And who are you?"

"Arrogant punk...I said your name, none of this title shit!"

"It's customary to give one's name before asking another's."

"You can just call me Matthew for now," he said. "This one's Mark, and that one's Luke, and he's John."

The man with the beard, the one they called Mark piped in, "They're not our real names you see. They're the names of--"

"It doesn't matter what the names are. Jesus, it's like dealing with fucking kids."

Elena and I couldn't help but laugh as our captors continued to argue. Matthew finally noticed us and remembered his previous thought.

"Enough," Matthew said, ending the quarrel. "You," he said, pointing a handgun at Elena's temple. "What is Mr. Arrogance's name?"

"Al-Alphonse," she said, going limp with fear.

"You two know each other?"

"He's a good friend of mine, and--"

"That's enough. John, get her ready; over there by the windows. Go," ordered Matthew, as his cohort wrestled Elena over another desk at the far window. Matthew then knelt down close to me, and motioned me close. As leaned towards him, I was immediately stricken with his foul scent.

"So you two are friends, yeah?"

"Good friends, yes."

Matthew cast an offhand glance towards Elena. "Not too bad looking' either, eh? Don't think I didn't see you looking yesterday with the basketball, and the jumping, and the shorts."

I knew what the man meant. Elena was, to me, the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. I doubted I would ever find another girl as witty or ravishing as her. After that morning's tag incident, I had it in my mind that I should try dating her.

"Yes, she's...an amazing girl. I've grown much attached, I'd say."

"How 'bout you say that a little louder, so she can hear it. John, turn her over here."

I was embarrassed to even spill my emotions to this criminal, and practically turned white in the face once Elena turned to face me. The one whom they called John had draped her torso over a desk facing me, her hands behind her back. Her breath was heavy, and her eyes seemed distant. In this position, she seemed so fragile. This was the essence which Elena's wit and knowledge did enshroud. This was the true Elena Wallcroft.

Eventually, after seeing her so vulnerable, I spoke, saying, "You're an amazing girl. I've grown much attached to you, Elena."

Elena's eyes sparked from within, shining right towards me, their emerald hue refracting without tears. I could tell she knew my true feelings. Our eyes locked for the second time that day, and for a moment, I forgave my captors; they made this beautiful moment possible.

"Bet you'd like to fuck her eh?"

I fell from grace. Our eyes displayed twin expressions of shock and panic. I tried to rally my bravery yet again. "Why me? Why Elena," I asked.

"Well, John's al tuckered from his last one, Mark and Luke are keeping watch, and I'm the guy asking you if you want to stick in that hot piece of ass on the desk over there."

The beautiful moment was tarnished. What must Elena have been thinking? That I'm a filthy pervert who'd profess false love to a girl and then screw her to please a bunch of criminals? That I would enjoy every second of it? That I...had planned this?

No! Not this, not to the woman I love. I could never defile her in such a way. At that moment, our eyes locked for the third time, with looks of dread and uncertainty. Seeing her like this, I couldn't let it happen. My expression changed; determined and strong.

I stood from the wall, and faced the one they called Matthew. "I wouldn't hurt her in such a way. I couldn't betray the friendship, the bond we share."

"Well," Matthew responded, "How about you get over here and give us a good show, or Elena here starts losing skin." He walked over to Elena and removed what was left of her blouse. He pulled out a large knife and slit the front of her bra, setting her breasts into vision. "Maybe we'll start here," Matthew remarked.

I started to walk towards him, telling him, "Leave her alone. You won't lay another finger on her, or any of our classmates. You people are the lowest of the low, knowing we won't resist lest you kill one of our friends. Our classmates, you killed them with our love!"

Elena looked up. "Alphonse," she said weakly, before turning her gaze away.

"Shut up and screw the broad, kid," said the one called Mark, from across the room.

"I'm not a kid. You think that I'll let my hormones cloud my judgment, making a decision that I could never live with? I'd rather die than live with myself, knowing how much I hurt Elena."

"Well then," said Matthew, "maybe we can arrange that. If you really don't want the girl, maybe we can trade. The girl, Elena, goes free, right after you die."

And readers, know that in that instant, your dearest narrator did falter for a moment. He saw Elena as an object of his lust, for her breasts were full and raised, her whole half-naked body was quivering with fear and cold. He looked upon her as would an animal. But, reason won out.

"Brother, I hope this...is what you were waiting for. It's a shaky conclusion either way," I said to no one in particular.

"So you choose death," Matthew quizzed, "Alright: John, Give the girl her clothes. She can leave once this punk's on the floor. I'll put this fucker's brains on the windows."

I walked calmly past Elena, past Matthew, and towards the windows, and looked across the vast lawns that surrounded the school. They were poorly tended, and the forest border, three-hundred odd yards away, seemed to grow closer every day. The lawns were bleached and barren, and the forest was dark and foreboding.

I turned to the left, and came face to face with the tall Matthew's gun barrel. "Know what this sucker is, kid," he asked, getting in m personal space.

"What you hold is a chrome-plated double-action .357 magnum revolver. Effective at--"

"Good enough." He stuck the barrel, cold at first, under my chin. "Now, listen up. After you're dead, I'm going to have the girl myself. In fact, we'll all have her. I just wanted you to know, lest you go dying with a sense of accomplishment."

I tried to come up with some wit, but found none. These were my last breaths. I turned and saw Elena, and gave her what smile I could muster. This time, I avoided. Humor: "Thank you, my classmates. Elena...Goodbye, Elena. And you, Matthew..."

"Get on with it," Matthew said.

"Don't miss."

I closed my eyes. My classmates watched. Our captors watched. Elena looked away. John made her watch. Matthew smirked. The window shimmered. The wind stopped. The grass on the lawn went still. The forest went still.

The forest moved. The window shattered.

Blood, brain matter, skull fragments; everything flowed from the head. But it was not my head. Everything stood still, shocked, and I opened my eyes. I began counting. One. Two.

"Alphonse," Elena said, trying to stand. Three.

Four. I saw the relief, the love in her eyes. Five. I yelled to her and the students, "On the ground!"

The forest moved twice more. As we fell to the ground, Mark and Luke joined Matthew on the floor. John ran to the windows, trying to see the shooters.

I walked over to Elena, my coat in hand, draping it over her shocked, shivering, half-naked form, and told John, "good luck seeing anybody. If they're doing their jobs..."

John fell. Pulled out the window, and replaced by a more welcome form. A man entered the room from the shattered window, dressed in dark brown, undergrowth decking his head and back.

As I pulled Elena to her feet, she noticed the ghillie-suited man. "You're a..."

I finished her sentence, as the man removed his grass hood, "a sniper." Three more nature-clad forms entered from the window as I continued. "This is fire-team Able of Charlie Company. Special designation: Tactical Operations and Sharpshooting."

Our classmates gradually stood up as I went down the line of four, introducing them to their saviors. "This is Sergeant Gibalev, medic. This is Private First Class Manstir, tactical maneuvers. Here we have Corporal Peterson, linguistics and intelligence. And last, but not least, this is Staff Sergeant Rosethorne, sniper.

Elena looked confused, and I waited for her to connect the dots in her mind. She finally spoke, "Rose...thorne?"

I responded, introducing again, the last of the four. "Elena Wallcroft, this is my brother, Albrecht Rosethorne, the Swift Thunder."

"I think I need to sit down for a moment," Elena said, slumping to the floor.

"You had me sweating bullets back there, Albrecht," I remarked. "It took you long enough to line it up though. Catherine might still be alive..."

"The angles were off. Fucking wind on the lawn. You're lucky we came at all."

"Everybody gets one, that's Able's thing, right?

"Hmm," he said, running his hand through the close trimmed hair, stained with the mud of an hour's wait.

I went to Elena, who still looked dazed and confused. Gibalev made his rounds, but Elena and I walked from the room. We left through the doors and out to the lawns. She walked beside me, as we had that morning. My winter coat surrounded her, and she clung to it, it being the only warmth she had.

"Alphonse," she said, pausing in her stride.

"Yes, Elena?"

"About before, you wanted to die. You said that you would rather have died than to hurt me...To do those things to me."

"Yes, and I meant what I said."

Elena's eyes began to birth tears as she cast her gaze downwards. "Did you...did you only say that because..."

"Because why?"

"Did you only say that...Because you knew your brother would save us?"

I thought for a long moment. It had always been my intention that my brother would save us. I responded, "At that point, after watching the teacher, Catherine, everyone die, I had already given up hope of rescue. I thought that...That the least I could do was to save the life of someone I care about."

Elena met my longing gaze.

"The life...of the one I love."

Elena and I walked towards one another, and met in an embrace. We warmed each other in the close grasp, and with awkward advances, we managed a light kiss. Feather-light touches that surpassed her fingers were begotten from her lips. Such a simple gesture sealed our fate.

*************

My whole life, I had been living in my older brother's shadow. With him in the military, he was the model person who I never dreamed I would become. I was twelve when he first joined Able Company. He told me that if I ever was in fear of my life, I could signal him, and he would do his best to help me. I didn't know it, but this was a gesture that our parents, God rest their souls, made him give me.

At that moment, standing there on the lawns of Creekmount in the winter's midday chill, I finally felt that I had out-stepped my brother's shadow. Nothing else mattered as I stood there holding Elena close, trying to calm her shivers of cold. I felt the warmth of the sun finally come through the clouds, and it was as if this perfection was the work of a one of God's angels, firing an arrow of love which penetrated both Elena and I; as though he had received his orders directly from God himself, and the orders simply said, "don't miss."

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