Our feet all fell in time with each others as we rushed down the main hallway. We heard screaming from what we thought could have been the Film Department. As we bounded up the stairs, I gripped Jade's hand tighter, and I still refused to let go of her. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if something happened to her and I wasn't around to do everything I could to stop it. I turned my head as I got to the last step, waiting on her to catch up before I began speeding again.
"Robbie!" Tori yelled through the halls, desperately. The lights were all off, and the only real glow was through the windows of the building. "Trina?"
With no answer, their pace quickened. Tori was in the lead, while the couples stayed behind the rushing girl. Cat was holding on tightly to Andre's hand with her left one, while her right hand held a clump of her sparkling, light purple dress. It was the only thing keeping her from freaking out. I could tell that she was scared, but Andre seemed more so. I think I can actually hear his teeth chattering from here.
Then he dropped.
I heard his foot skid out from under him as he toppled over something in the shadows of the already darkened hallway. He yelled out an obscenity as he hit the ground with a thud. He groaned in pain as Cat quickly came to his aid, "oh my gosh, are you alright?"
"No... I think I might have landed in something wet," Andre said as he began to stand to his feet, looking down at his body. He took a few steps, limping slightly as his legs readjusted from the trauma. As he hit the brightest part of the glow that cascaded through the window, he noticed the deep red of the liquid in the fabric. In a panic he spun around, hoping that the light would let him see a little farther than before. "What did I trip over?"
Tori walked carefully towards it with her Pear Phone on illuminate as she held it towards the ground in the path before her. She noticed that her feet were touching whatever liquid Andre had fallen into, and she couldn't help but mutter, "this is the worst thing to do while in open toed heels."
As the faint light traveled down the hallway, the liquid grew darker. Cat squeaked out a sound before any of us even noticed what the glow had revealed. A shoe, connected to a leg, thankfully. "We're walking in blood."
All of us reacted differently, but with the same thought; Cat threw herself into Andre's arms as she began to cry out in a mixture of emotions, while Andre couldn't form a sentence as he held on tightly to his girlfriend. Jade just gripped my hand tighter as she tried to keep herself composed. I on the other hand felt like I was going to throw up my thirty dollar dinner.
The stench of the drying blood was getting to me as my free hand flew to my mouth as I tried to breathe through it, "Oh, I'm gonna be sick."
I began coughing erratically, and I had to turn away. Tori was letting the tears stream silently down her face, while Cat still had her face buried into Andre's chest as he held on tight, whispering comfort into her ears. His hand was buried in her hair, and the other was wrapped around her waist. His jaw was on the floor.
Jade's hand pressed gently against my cheek as she lifted my face to look at her flawless one. She attempted to get my mind off the murder scene in front of me. Her hazel eyes caught my brown one as she looked at me softly, tilting her head to the side a bit, "you're fine, Beck. Look at me. You're fine."
She took my hand in her own as I let out a shallow breath. I squeezed tightly before maneuvering my fingers to intersect hers. My eyes stayed level, not looking down at the blood or the body. Jade on the other hand guided us around the blood, looking down every step of the way to make sure we avoided it completely. The deep red liquid seemed to be the only thing that I was really afraid of, in the nervous sense, not the run for my life kind. Luckily, she knows how to calm me down and snap me out of it.
"Where's Trina?" Tori asked with a quiver, her arms crossing over her chest as if she was hugging herself for comfort. I felt sort of bad for her, to not have someone to hold onto. We had to find Trina.
"We should split up and look for her. We don't know where she went," I prompted as we gathered away from the cold boy.
"Split up? Robbie just tried that, and look how it turned out for him," Andre mumbled the last part, moving his girlfriend so he could hold her hand.
"Jade and I will go towards the art hallway, you guys go towards film," I stated.
"If Tori finally apologizes to me," Jade sad placing her free hand against the curve of her hip.
"That sounds okay... I guess," Cat said. She didn't care what happened, as long as she stayed with Andre, her knight in shining armor. The red headed girl turned to Tori quickly, realizing she was speaking for her friend, "If that's okay?"
All eyes fell on Tori as she looked around as if she didn't know what was going on for a moment. But even she couldn't stand the fact that she was wrong. She threw her hands up in defeat, "Fine. I'm sorry, Jade. I didn't mean to blame you. You're just sort of evil, and this could be something you do. You like horror stuff."
"But I didn't," Jade said with a huff. She began to pull me behind her as we walked to the right, towards the art department, assuming that if we left, they would head in the opposite direction. She kept walking down the hallway until we reached the double doors. Jade let me catch up to her stride and I wrapped my arms around her for a moment.
This could be the last night I get to spend with her. I swear that I'd take a bullet for this girl if the point arose, but that means that she could be without me, and I would never have her again. I wanted at least one last kiss, one last hug, one last I love you.
"Tell me you love me," Beck said as he held her close to his chest, his arms wrapping around her tightly. His nose nuzzled against her head before he placed a kiss to it.
"I love you," Jade said as she let his hands fall to her hips when she pulled back to catch his gaze. She had tears in her eyes and I could tell she was trying her best to keep her composure, but it was slowly getting out of her reach. I placed a kiss against her nose before pressing my forehead against her own. I looked into her hazel eyes.
"I won't let anything happen to you," I told her, holding her hips a little tighter for a moment. "I promise, Jade."
She could only look at me, her eyes still held fear, but it began to fade little by little. "I'm scared."
"I know, babe, I know," I said, hugging her close again. I smelled her hair, the hints of vanilla going through my nostrils made my sense go wild. I pulled away from her before I pressed my lips gently against her own, but my girlfriend had a different idea. She pushed me back harder, wrapping her arms around my neck before forcing the kiss deeper. I wasn't complaining as she pushed me back into the first classroom in this hallway.
She pushed me back through the door and against the desk that stood in front of the room. My knees buckled and I sat back onto the wood, keeping my lips against Jade's. I bit her bottom lip because I knew how much she liked it. I felt her press her chest against my own, and I pulled her waist closer to me. For a moment, I forgot that we were in a life or death situation.
That was until I heard the click of the door open. It was faint, but I noticed. I quickly pushed Jade away from me as I tried to stand between the door and my girlfriend. My hand was on her wrist as I made sure there was as little distance as possible. "Hello?"
"Yes, that's exactly the what you should ask the person who is about to kill you," Jade said in an angry whisper.
"It's my reaction to someone coming into the door," I said back, rolling my eyes. She would start a fight at a time like this. "Sorry."
She didn't say another word, but her other hand was now gripping onto my wrist, and I could instantly feel her nails digging into my skin. She was scared. I tilted my head back to look at her, "do you see any-"
That's when she was ripped away from me. She screamed once, loudly and horrifically as the masked man pulled her back against the second story window. His hand shot up and covered her mouth to stifle any screams that might have arose from the girl. Her eyes began to leak a stream of steady tears, letting her mascara run down her cheeks.
We both watched in horror as the man held a large knife to the girl's neck, pressing enough to draw a tiny amount of blood along her flesh. She winced, squeezing her eyes shut as she struggled to get away from the blade.
"Stop!" I said rushing towards the man, but as he pressed harder, and as I heard Jade's muffled scream, I stopped in my tracks. I was only a few feet away from the man, but this was getting worse. I looked into her pleading eyes and knew instantly.
I had to do something. I had to save her.
Just then, a loud alarm sounded, and water began pouring down from the ceiling. It was just enough of a distraction to get Jade away from the guy. With my quick thinking, I pulled Jade's arm and got her out of his grasp, but unfortunately my arm got in the way of his utensil. I felt it pierce though the back of my bicep, cutting a long gash up to my shoulder. It was the last thing on my mind when the man kept coming towards us.
I pushed Jade towards the door, and thankfully she got the hint and began to run towards the door. I looked on the desk quickly as I rushed by, I saw a very heavy, metal stapler perched on top of the computer, and figured it was my only hope. I picked it up and turned quickly enough to get a good shot at the man's head.
Jade seemed to have the same idea as me, and when the stapler impacted against the man's skull, I caught a glimpse of an open pair of scissors flying past me and cutting into his shoulder. He groaned out in pain as we took our only chance of getting out of there. I pushed Jade to move faster as we made our way out of the art department, slamming the doors behind us.
We attempted to block the doors with a trashcan, even though we both knew better. We kept running, soaking wet and freezing, as we made our way into the film department. As we got to the first set of doors, Tori, Andre and Cat ran out of them and towards us.
"You guys are alive! Thank God," Tori said as we met in the middle. She noticed the blood dripping from my arm and a look of horror crossed her face. "What happened?"
"The guy was trying to kill Jade," I said as I looked at my grief stricken girlfriend. Without a word I could tell what she was thinking, "it's not your fault."
She ignored my comment and went on with a new conversation, "Why did you pull the fire alarm?"
"How did you know we pulled the fire alarm?" Cat asked, tilting her pretty little head to the side.
"Ohhhhh, Caterina," Jade said with a roll of her eyes. "Other than the fact Andre's hands are blue with the gunk that sprays out when you press it, the only other alive people in this building were with Beck and I, so it had to be you."
"Oh..." she said as she looked down at her hand that was slowly turning blue to match Andre. "Look, we're turning into Smurfs, haha."
"Yeah, yeah, sure," Andre said as he looked at my arm with a cringe. "Anyway, I pulled the alarm because I figured if it went off, the fire fighters, and maybe some police would come to get us out of here. I mean, if the school's on fire, they're gonna freak, right?"
"Yeah, then they can get us out of here!" Tori said excitedly. That was when there was just enough silence to hear the distinct sound of sirens racing towards them as the water began to slow to a drizzle.
We all began to rush down the stairs, but we took our time walking towards the door. Our feet moving through the inch or two of water made it hard to tell one footstep from another, so when an extra joined, no one noticed.
Tori was suddenly out of my peripheral vision, and as I turned to see why, I was faced with a similar situation as before. She was being held by the neck against this killer's body exactly how Jade had, but this time instead of a knife, his finger was on a trigger. The barrel pressed against the teenager's temple as she held completely still, shock probably overtaking her body, but not her desperate eyes as they darted around at the faces, helplessly.
"Don't do it," I tried to plea, but the masked man just shook his head. I could see his mouth beneath the cover, form into a smile. Before anyone could say another word, he put pressure on his finger. The shot was fired as the sirens arrived in the parking lot. Cat began crying and Andre dropped to his knees as the murderer dropped to his knees. I looked to Jade, grabbing onto her wrist and pulling her behind me a little more. I caught a glimpse of her face, and if I saw it correctly, a tear had leaked from her duct and was falling down her cheek.
I felt my own heart sink as I turned my head to the side. I couldn't manage to look at the limp girl who was now gushing liquid from her head. Jade's hand pressed against my bicep as I moved in front of her more. A gun was a different story than a knife.
The gunman took a step over Tori, and towards us. His vicious eyes fell onto Cat as Andre tried to move her behind him for protection, much as I was doing. Only the red head wasn't cooperating. Her head tilted to the side, as she squinted to get a better look. Her brown eyes shot open as we all looked at her with confusion, "Tyson...?"
A manacle laugh flew past them and towards the flashing lights shining through the doors. The man reached up and ripped his ski mask off, showing a vicious scar crossing below his left eye to the edge of his chin. I couldn't help but cringe at the sight of it. I felt the back of my arm tingle as I remembered the gash I was the owner of.
A man with Cat's eyes looked at us. His mouth formed into a crooked smile, metaphorically and physically. She took a step away from Andre, and towards this man she knew. "You know him?"
"He's my brother..." Cat said with a hand over her chest, pressing against her panicking heart. I didn't need to look at my friends to know that our expressions were the same; our jaws dropped to the floor in unison.
"Your brother just murdered half of our friends..." Andre said in complete and utter shock as his pupils dilated in size. "What the fuck...?"
"Cat..." Tyson said, taking another step towards his sister, the smile still on his face. He extended his hand, offering her his open palm. "I did this for you."
Instead of landing in his hand, her fingers brushed against her bottom lip. Her feet began to move away from the man out of instinct. She shook her head in disbelief. "You took my friends away from me. How was that for me?"
"Because you're the star, Cat. The only star."
"Then why did you kill Trina?" She asked without hesitation.
"Not the time, Cat." Jade said with a sigh, gripping my hand tighter. I couldn't tell if it was out of frustration or fear, but I let the pressure continue.
The clomping of footsteps got closer, thankfully. I could hear the chattering of the cops and fire fighters, yelling orders and trying to make sense of the fire without smoke. Before another word could be spoken, there was banging on the doors, attempting to break through the glass to reach the inner hallway.
I turned back, looking to the confused law enforcement. They were banging on the glass as if we could let them in. Then I noticed one of them finally lay eyes on the man behind us, and the bleeding heap on the floor behind him. His hand grabbed onto his partner's arm, pointing and yelling through the glass. That's when the struggle to get in took another step up as one member of the squad began to shoot at an angle towards the window at the bottom of the door.
"You're the one who is going to make it shine, Cat. The only one who can." He said with that insane smile still pressing against his cheeks.
I took a step backwards, making Jade stumble a little. The only thought in my mind was to get both of us to the doors as fast as we could manage. I tried to get Andre's attention while his gaze was on the murderer and his sister, I couldn't manage to grasp it, but at least I had Jade moving with me.
I heard the first full voice come from behind the door, with almost no barrier in between. "Sir, put the gun down!"
The door clicked audibly, and I don't know what came over me, but I had to run. I had to get out. I was pulling on Jade's hand so she had to rush with me. I heard another click, but this time, the sound was behind me, sending a bang to follow after. I couldn't have turned fast enough.
I felt the grip on my hand tighten before it eased out of my touch. A round of shots flew past me as the world moved in slow motion. I turned on my heels, looking down at the girl kneeling before me. Her gorgeous face was contorted with pain and shock. I couldn't stop myself from dropping to her level, wrapping my arms around her tightly. I felt my hand soak in a gushing red liquid.
Her face was distorted in shock and I could find traces of pain in her eyes. She slowly let her knees buckle beneath her as she dropped. I felt myself kneeling with her in a panic. "Jade? Jade. Jade! Fuck."
Jade's hands grabbed onto my forearms, digging in her nails. Her hazel eyes looked into mine. I have never felt so much pain rush through me from just one look. I was grabbing onto her sides as I tried to keep her focus on me instead of the gushing hole through her back.
"Beck... I... It-" She closed her eyes. Her grip on me was beginning to tighten. It felt like she was holding on for dear life, and all I could think about was how I hoped she was acting.
A paramedic slid on the floor to stop next to us, as a heard of policemen charged the gun man. I remember catching a glimpse of Andre grabbing onto Cat's arm to pull her out of the way as he was tackled to the ground. The sound of gunfire and wrestling filled the hallway, but it didn't matter. Jade mattered.
I had the love of my life dying in my arms right now, and there was nothing I could to do fix her. Here I was, supposed to be protecting her and now look what I've done... "I'm so sorry. Fuck. So. So. So sorry, Jade. This is all my fault..."
She leaned forward and pressed her forehead against my shoulder as the man in the white shirt pulled her her shirt and began to apply pressure to the wound. I kissed the side of her head as my hands tangled in her hair. I was glad I caught it when she whispered, "I love you" through a stifled groan of pain as the pressure grew.
"And I love you," I said was I stroked her hair. My eyes shifted from the man's hands, to his face. I looked at him with a questioning stare, and in return he gave me a comforting smile.
"She's going to be fine, if my calculations of trajectory are accurate. It missed your spine, and luckily any of your vital organs. It's just a little deep, but nothing a quick surgery won't fix," the man said with reassurance.
Regardless of his assumption, I still felt like I was losing her. She was still in pain, and it wasn't going to stop for at least an hour. I wish this was me instead of her.
"I'm so sorry," I whispered to her once again as the paramedic went out of the front doors to fetch a stretcher and a little help.
"Shut up, it's not your fault."
"Yes it was."
With a sigh I gave up before smirking, running my hand down her hair once more before kissing her exposed cheek. My difficult girlfriend. This is why I love her. "Whatever you say, Jade."
"That's right," she said as she adjusted herself a little more, shoving her face into the crook of my neck. I looked around; Cat and Andre were talking in a corner while her brother was getting dragged out into the cool night air as the stretcher finally came into view, followed by a few others with body bags prepared for our late friends. Through all of this, I knew that I was never going to forget tonight...