Billion Dollar Baby Bundle 2By: Simone Holloway
Selene grabbed him by his hair and pulled him away. “Look!”
Confused at first, Ethan stared at Selene liked she’d gone mad. Then, looking over her shoulder he saw the source of the shadow.
He lifted Selene off the window seal and threw her to the floor. He landed on top of her, shielding her with his body.
Bullets shattered the glass, flying within inches of them. When the gunfire stopped Ethan jumped up, grabbed a chair and threw it through the window. The already fractured glass broke into hundreds of pieces, cutting Selene’s legs and stomach.
Ethan didn’t hesitate. He leapt from the window and chased after the man.
Shaking, Selene rose to her feet. Careful not to cut herself further on broken glass, she cautiously peered over the edge. Ethan disappeared into the woods, in pursuit of a man.
Turning her back to the window she gathered her clothes and dressed slowly. The situation felt surreal. Someone was trying to kill them, the words repeated in her mind over and over.
When she was dressed she walked to a mirror and stared at her reflection. She touched her face: it was flushed red; her hair was wild. She began methodically straightening it with her fingers. In that moment nothing seemed more important than making sure her hair was perfect. A small part of her realized she was in shock and this was her minds way of trying to find control. Her physical appearance was the one thing she could fix.
She continued combing her hair with her fingers until drops of blood on her hands caught her attention. She held them out in front of her: blood dripped from a dozen tiny cuts. Her hands began to shake. She moved away from the mirror and sat down.
The sound of birds chirping and the scent of pine drifted through the broken window.
Selene sat staring at the square of light reflected on the floor. Just moments before she had been entranced by their shadows. With a shudder she realized it could have been the last thing she ever saw.
A crash and the sound of a man swearing temporarily brought her out of her state of shock.
Ethan entered. He had a small, round bald man in a choke hold. The man was bleeding from his nose and a large gash on his brow. Ethan looked no worse for wear. He didn’t appear to be hurt except for a few small lacerations on his hands similar to Selene’s cuts.
Ethan’s face was a mask of anger and concentration. The cold expression on his face scared Selene. She was again struck by the feeling that this was not his first time in a situation like this.
Ethan released his choke hold on the man. “On your knees,” he ordered.
“I thought you were smarter than this,” he said to the man. “Did you really think it would be that simple? You could just kill us and walk away? Are you that stupid?”
The man looked as if he might cry.
“Do you know him?” Selene asked timidly from her seat on the couch.
Ethan turned. He looked surprised, as if he had forgotten she was there.
“Yes,” he said, “this is- was my private detective.”
“They threatened me… my family… I couldn’t- I had to take their money,” he said pathetically.
“If they threatened you, then you should’ve come to me. I would’ve protected you. We could have stopped them. Instead you chose to try and kill my girlfriend, not to mention me.”
Selene was momentarily taken aback by Ethan referring to her as his girlfriend. Was that what she was now? Her words from earlier echoed in her mind: we’re in this together now.
The man reached in front of him picking up a large, pointed piece of broken glass. He swung it at Ethan, but kept his distance.
“You can’t stop them!” he said. “You think I want to do this? That I want to hurt people?
I don’t want to hurt anyone.” His voice broke up and tears filled his eyes.
“Easy,” Ethan said, “just tell me who they are.”
“You can’t stop them,” he said again weakly, tear streaming down his face.
The arm holding the glass dropped and Ethan stepped towards him. Selene sat frozen on the couch, she could tell Ethan was going to attempt to disarm the man. The thought terrified her; she was certain he would be stabbed to death.
Ethan took another step closer. The man’s arm shot up. “You’re already dead and you don’t even know it,” he said. The man then brought the glass to his own neck and slit his throat.
Later, all Selene could remember was blood. It poured from the man’s neck and onto the floor in a flood of red. Then things went dark.
The next thing she knew she was in bed, back in Ethan’s mansion. Months passed. She stuck to her corner of the house. Ethan would attempt to comfort her, Selene would resist, on and on it went.
She would lay in bed all day haunted by the sounds of footsteps above her. Ethan’s wife never slept. She paced through the attic and down the halls at night, yet Selene never saw her and Ethan never spoke of her. Her belly grew and suddenly things changed. It happened the first time she felt the baby kick. It was like a light in the dark.