A/N: I know, I know, I really shouldn't be starting a new story now but I couldn't help myself. :D In this, I decided to take the 'bad boy' theme a notch – or, okay, a few notches – up.

Hope you enjoy it!


The explosion shook our house to its roots. The book I was reading fell out of my hands, landing on the floor with a soft thud. Not that I could hear it over the din. My eyes widening worriedly, I rushed over to my window, staring outside.

The night sky was a pandemonium of wild colors – orange, red and yellow. The thick, suffocating smoke was doing a frenetic dance on top of the frenzied flames. People – my own neighbors – were running about, screaming in terror. Hair and hands were flying frantically.

I stared in horror. My own neighbourhood, my home, was in wrecks. I blinked, trying to break away from the nightmare. It couldn't be. Our peaceful neighbourhood would have been the last place for a terrorist attack. In fact, the whole county was not a potential candidate for experiencing terrorism. My home was a tired old place where the biggest event of the year was when the county fair would set up.

So, the big question was: Why the explosions here?

I was rooted to the spot. Despite the mayhem below, I couldn't take my eyes off the scene. The flames and the smoke…they were entrancing. The fire was dancing seductively, each flame bringing down the aged houses with one blazing lick, and the whorls of smoke were swaying precariously on top.

I was only broken out of my stupor when the dust particles in the smoke went into my nose, making me cough roughly. I quickly closed the window but then something caught my eye. Or rather, some people.

Squinting down, I noticed that among the people dressed in their bed clothes, there were many men – or women, I couldn't be sure – dressed in completely black. Looking closer, I saw that they were the ones wielding guns.

The door to my room suddenly burst open. I screamed, whipping around sharply, my heart in my mouth.

"Suze!" my mother cried, clamping a hand on my mouth. Her hair, chestnut brown just like mine, was standing on end.

I almost sighed with relief. Almost.

"Mom! What's happening? Why is…?" I shouted over the noise.

"Susie, quick, we have to GO! Hurry up!" my mom cried, dragging me out of my room and down the wooden staircase.

We couldn't get far, however. We were at the landing when my mom, who was in front, gave out an ear-splitting scream. Looking down around her, I saw with a sick realization that the men in black had invaded our homes.

"Suze! Go back! Go back and jump out the window!" my mom was screaming deliriously, pushing me back up the stairs with all her might.

I was crying in terrified gasps by now. Falling down and scraping my shin painfully against the edge of a stair, I felt my mom, who was crying fearfully too, pull me up and push me again. Running up the stairs as fast as I could, I went into my stepfather, Andy's, and mom's room.

Amid the mass of feelings and noises closing in on me, I didn't feel my mother's vice-like grip on my arm loosen and, finally, let go. Nor did I hear her scream as she was pulled away by one of the gunmen.

I was in my parents' room when I saw my eldest stepbrother, Jake, climbing out their window and, before he could see me, dropping down to the backyard. I heard him usher my youngest stepbrother, David, away below. The fragment of my mind which was not saturated with untamed fear, felt a sense of relief at knowing that at least two of my family members had gotten away.

It was then that I noticed the absence of my mom's hand on my arm and her urgent cries in my ear. Looking around, dread conquering my mind and body, I saw a flash of black and then three men were standing in front of me, blocking the doorway.

They were dressed in tight trousers and fitted turtleneck sweatshirts. Black bandanas were wrapped around their heads and their faces were covered with black clothe too. I could only see their eyes and foreheads. Their hands too, were gloved in black.

Fear filled my body as if I was dipped in an ocean of it, just like water fills a sponge when it is dipped in it. They were all tall, muscular men. Next to their powerful presence, my petite frame felt positively frail.

"W—what have you d—done to my mom?" I managed to whisper, mustering up the last shred of my courage. I didn't even know if they spoke English.

All three of them continued staring down at me silently. Menacingly, I thought. Slowly, inch by inch, I backed up against the window. I was so intent on my escape, that I didn't notice the little nod the man in the centre, the tallest one, gave.

Instantly, the other two rushed forward at me. Moving faster than I had ever moved in my entire life, I whipped around and tumbled out of the window. Landing hard on the grass – the fresh green grass that Andy, so vigilantly mowed every weekend, I thought, tears coming to my eyes – I cried out in pain. Trying to ignore, the throbbing in my ankle, I pushed myself up and hobbled as fast as I could towards the fence. It was a good thing I was a fairly tough girl.

I screamed in frustration as I heard the thuds of the men as they landed – more gracefully than me, I should think – on the grass. I couldn't help it. I had to turn around to see how far behind they were. It was only human.

And that was my big mistake.

As I swivelled around, my eyes widened at their close proximity. 'They can't be that close!' I thought frantically, thinking of the head start I'd gotten. I opened my mouth to scream, but no sound came out.

Just as I was about to turn back and run faster, the tallest one, the one who had nodded and who I presumed was the leader, came up behind me and clamped a powerful hand on my mouth. His other arm snaked around my waist, pressing me into his hard chest.

I thought then that it was fear. But now, looking back, I think it was a spark of electricity. A charged bolt which should have warned me about the dangers beyond physical harm, or even death, which lay for me with this man.

One of his arms left the grip on me and reached into his pocket, bringing out what looked like a soaked hanky. Chloroform, I thought. Why doesn't he just kill me and get over with it?

He brought it to my nose. One of my flailing arms went to his face, pulling down the clothe he was wearing to cover it. The last thing I saw was an incredibly exotic face, and then I fell into a dreamless slumber.


A/N: I know, I have a tendency of writing a little short first chapters. Don't worry, folks, there'll be longer ones next time! Please review!