Elemental: Earth

Elemental: Earth by L.E. Washington

Book: Elemental: Earth by L.E. Washington Read Free Book Online
Authors: L.E. Washington
her reputation and job. She didn’t really know what she was without the job.
    “Let’s just go and get this done,” Dara huffed and planted her feet firmly as she popped up off of the sofa.
    “For once, I completely agree,” Melissa said as she stood to join Dara. “The less time we have to spend with The Weasel, the better. And I’d like to have some breakfast afterward, so let’s go. I’m starving already.”
    “Well, you’re just going to get your appetite ruined,” Gillian offered. “Do what you can to fight it, though. He’s gross, but he’d relish the thought of affecting you so badly.”
    Everyone knew what Melissa’s first love was-- food. No one could tell it by looking at her, but she never turned down food, and she’d never met a food she didn’t like.
    “Let’s go. We can be early and perhaps that will gain us a few points,” Tessa said. The girls headed to the rented Suburban in the last hour before dawn. The safe house was only a matter of minutes away, but hidden by forest and groves, so they would have to go off-road for a bit.
    “Seat belts,” Dara said as she strapped herself in. Then the sound of clicking metal arrested all the girls’ movement.
    “Yesss,” came a hoarse, guttural voice from the very back of the truck. “We want to keep you safe.” A man appeared over the seat right behind Dara and Gillian. Two other men with machine guns approached each side of the car, taking advantage of the fact that Dara hadn’t yet closed her door, giving them access to their prey.
    Tessa’s mind was whirling as it ran through scenario after scenario of how to get them away from these men, but the tequila still had a hold of her and slowed her usual quickness. And this is why I don’t drink very much, she thought sardonically.
    “We have been waiting for what seems like forever,” the man in the back said. His English was good, but his accent was clearly not Argentinean. It sounded to Tessa more Colombian, which put her on edge knowing the Colombian drug lords were infiltrating once-virginal Argentina. “You’re very smart girls, but finally we catch a minute you’re not so smart.” The two men at the side of the car laugh, and the one nearest Dara grabs her hair with one large hand and begins to pull her out of the car.
    Fighting against the just-locked seat belt, Dara screamed and coughed as a device once used for safety began to cut into her skin and choke her. Gillian reached over and pushed the button to at least give Dara the ability to breathe. Dara tumbled out of the truck onto the ground before the large guy, landing on her knees, coughing and gasping for air. In the dark with no sound, she looked like she was merely on her knees shining his shoes until the point of his cowboy boot came up and struck her squarely in the stomach, robbing her of breath once again.
    “Leandro, you have had your fun,” came the voice from the back. “We can’t play favorites, you know.”
    “Get out,” the man on Gillian’s side of the car barked as he poked her with his gun. “You in the front, too.”
    Melissa and Tessa glanced at each other in the darkness. They felt they had little choice for now but to comply and seek an opportunity for them to fight back when a door opened. They slowly moved from the front seats to outside of the truck with their hands up. Melissa glanced down at Dara now lying on her side on the ground wheezing and coughing to get her breath.
    “Don’t even think about helping your friend,” Leandro said. Then, maintaining eye contact with Melissa, he bent down, found Dara’s shirt, and picked her up, barking at her to stand up. Melissa actually felt sorry for Dara probably for the first time since they had been introduced. Gravel was stuck to her cheek and her hair was a nest of tangles from his grip. Her throat boasted a dark red vertical burn where the seat belt had choked her, and she was white with panic and pain.
    The man in the back of the truck

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