Chapter 9

Temptation and Onslaught

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This was the second time I was falling from this tree house. It must have been bad luck, the brunette thought. Though these thoughts were not entirely calm. They raced through her mind, as if dragged by a racehorse, resulting in a pounding headache which worsened from that godforsaken gravity. Before she knew it, Katrina was mere feet from, what she thought would be, her unfortunate death. More thoughts jumbled through her mind, ones about her affection for the unconscious boy above her. At least he was safe, but she couldn't possibly think anymore as her vision caught sight of two people below her. It was either she died now, or wish she was dead as she fell into the arms of the sick psycho beneath her. Her thoughts were cut short, as she felt her whole body ache with pain, not realizing she had crashed into a long, thick tree branch. Katrina felt herself slip off, although she tried to cling to what could have been her saviour, one of her hands had become completely numb with pain, and she failed to grasp the wood. She cried out with the tiniest voice, as tears escaped her now shut eyes. She wished for nothing more than to lose consciousness, but she was wide awake when she felt someone's arms lock around her waist, ceasing her deadly fall. She didn't dare open her eyes, for the touch of him disgusted her enough to even bear looking at his masked face.

"Are you hurt, love?" his sadistic voice pounded in her head. "I can make it all better. I promise. I just saved you, if you didn't know. You owe me your life." Dan lowered her feet to the ground gently, cupping her chin in his fingers, his other hand closing the space between them as it circled her waist tightly. He leaned near her, caressing her cheek with his fingers, her nerves tingling. Katrina could feel the chill crawling up and down her spine, but it wasn't something to be nervous about. She was confused, being in his arms and the touch of his fingers, even his voice seemed to soothe her. He must be hypnotizing me, she thought warily.

Katrina turned her head slightly, hesitantly opening her eyes. She glanced at the floor where Dan's flashlight rested against the cold, solid ground. That was there only source of light, for everything around her was cascaded in darkness, awakening another fear within her. She took a short breath as she cautiously moved her eyes up, stopping at her vanquisher. His masked face reflected eerie shadows caused by the swaying branches of the trees which surrounded them.

His lips were close to her ear when she heard him whisper softly. "I know you want me, my dear Katrina. You want pressure on those tempting lips of yours, the taste of something warm to caress your mouth, and I won't deny you of it, my love."

She could feel her heart beating more rapidly in her chest. She became flustered, and her lips were anticipating the wanted pressure. Dan pulled her face closer to his, their lips antagonized by mere seconds.

"KATRINA!!" a voice yelled, awaking the flustered girl from her desired kiss. She jerked her eyes open just as she felt pressure on her lips. Dan's lips were warm and moist, and he pulled her back into the desire as she closed her eyes again, opening her mouth to return the kiss.

Robert, atop one of the many tree branches, could not believe what his eyes were seeing. I must be hallucinating, he thought frantically. How could Katrina kiss Dan? She loved Cory, didn't she? "Katrina!!! Stop!!!"

Katrina jerked her eyes open and realized just what she was doing. She pushed him away from her, but failed to gain much distance. "STOP! GET OFF ME! I HATE YOU!" she shrieked.

Dan chuckled and looked into her eyes, tempting her to stare into his heated ones. "That's not what your mouth was just telling me," he whispered as he licked his lips slowly, her attention being drawn to his mouth. His lips shined as he enticed her once again. "You want more of them, my Katrina?" She watched his lips peculiarly as he said her name. Something about the way he said it repulsed her. He cupped her chin, moving closer for another kiss, but Katrina was regaining her senses.

"No! You get away from me you love sick psycho! I don't love you! And I never will!"

"Hush my Katrina, or you might make me angry." He looked at her dangerously.

"I'M NOT YOURS!" Katrina screamed. She was sick of him, sick of the night, sick of everything. Not only did she kiss him, but she had wanted to! What was wrong with that? What was wrong with her! She loved Cory, she longed for his lips, not Dan's! He seduced her with his sickening description of a desirable kiss. She loathed him for that.

"Katrina.....you will always be mine," he whispered gently, but his voice soon filled with vehemence. "Even you want me! YOUR DENYING YOUR OWN DESIRE! GIVE IN! You know you want to, my love!" He embraced her tightly, stroking her back soothingly, as if to tempt her nerves once more.

From a few feet above them came a rustling noise, as a familiar bleached blonde boy jumped to the ground, silently approaching Katrina. His eyes were cold with hatred as he looked at Dan, the murdering mental case. Robert remembered the promise he had told Katrina as short as 10 minutes ago, he said they were going to be okay. And they were, he would not break such a vital promise. Dan will not have Katrina, nor will he have the pleasure of holding or tasting her again. He swore to himself this night would not end with Katrina kidnapped.

"So you think you can just walk over here and pretend to be the hero. Well I should warn you, I am not afraid to kill you. I will spare your life if you leave my Katrina with me. If you refuse, you will pay with your life." Dan's eyes studied the boy vigorously searching for any signs of trembling; fear. But to his dismay, there was nothing that had disturbed the boy the way in which he had hoped.

"If you wish to kill me, so be it," Robert stated boldly. "But know that if I am to die, you are not an exception. I will take you down with me. For your sick soul belongs in the deepest depths of hell, you bastard!"His words infuriated Dan's calm composure, as he threw Katrina into his comrade. "Take her NOW!!" He roared, his smouldering eyes flickering like dancing flames.

Robert smirked wickedly, knowing Dan's ego had been toyed with. All he needed to do now was bury that ego deep within its long awaited grave. And that's just what he was going to do.

"So why do you have a mask on anyway? Your disgusting now, so I can't imagine what's behind it. Is that it? Are you hiding?" Dan looked at his opponent dangerously. Robert could only laugh. "I suppose I have to take it off, that way I can screw your face up even more." He thrust his right fist into Dan's stomach, the enemy catching his breath uneasily. Robert dodged a blow to his head effortlessly as the staggering Dan regained his footing and swung his right leg into the bleached blonde. Robert winced as his body felt the sensation of pain progress through his legs and upper torso. But the adrenaline running through his veins numbed the pain, allowing himself to throw countless rough punches into the unaware teen before him.

"I'll take your life before you even get the chance to blink!" Robert smashed his fists into his enemy's face. "And I can't wait to watch you beg for mercy!"

Dan dodged the last punch as he shoved his large hand into his pocket, pulling out a knife stained with fresh blood. "You'll be begging for mercy after I cut off both your hands and watch you bleed until you beg me to end your misery. Then I'll have my beloved Katrina."

"You won't have anything!" Robert yelled, as he pulled out the pocket knife he had previously used to cut the rope ladder leading up to the tree house. The same knife he had used to kill Dan's buddy. He still couldn't shake the uneasy feeling the he had really killed someone. I know he deserved it, Robert thought, but not as much as Dan. He's already carved his own tomb. And I will not let him get away with murder.

"Ready to die?" Dan whispered, his eyes anxiously watching his opponent.

"After you!" Robert shot back, his eyes narrowing slightly.

"You lie!" Dan snapped at him, thrusting his knife into Robert.

"Gah!" Robert cried as he stumbled backwards, the knife grazing his left arm. He clutched his arm tightly as he felt the painful stinging. Good thing I'm a righty, Robert regarded silently.

"ROBERT!" Katrina called anxiously, "Are you okay?!" Dan glanced at where the source of the voice had come from. His eyes instantly fell behind Katrina, frowning at the boy whom was holding her.

"YOU IDIOT! I SAID TAKE HER AWAY! What are you still doing here Scott?! Go to the main house! Use the shortcut through the--ugh!" Dan winced in pain as he felt his shoulder grow cold. He had been cut short of his sentence, and he looked at his interrupter. The bleached blonde.

"....you....ah!" Dan could feel his mask being pulled off. He shot his good arm up, desperately trying to keep himself from being exposed, but he had been too slow. He glared at Robert, his eyes growing with amusement as he eyed the boy's expression. Dan was slowly regaining his calm composure.

"....Daniel....Fra....cello? Y-you go to our school! Your....you're a senior..." Robert was astonished at the teenager in front of him.

"....how...how could....you--" Katrina started, but failed to finish as she felt a hand cover her mouth painfully. She could hardly breathe as she became more and more ashamed of herself. She had willingly kissed a senior from her school who was trying to kill her friends. What was wrong with Daniel? He always smiled in school! That's when it hit her. He was always smiling at her in school. Every time I saw him, she thought frantically, he looked at me! He would never stop staring at me either. Katrina's eyes widened. I...I just thought he was being friendly! But he was....he was stalking me! Daniel was always watching me, and I had no idea, Katrina cried in her mind. Silent tears crawled down her cheeks, stinging the cut on her cheek gently. The scab forming blocked most of the pain. By now, her right hand had become rather swollen, and Katrina could no longer move it without a tremendous amount of pain surging through her wrist. She took a small breath of air, fighting the urge to collapse.

"Keep walking Katrina!" Scott snapped, his hand still clutched tightly around her mouth. The other was around her waist to secure her from moving nothing but forward. "So did you like what you saw? I'm sure you'll just love Daniel after he cuts up your stupid friend. Right, honey?" Scott sneered. Katrina frowned, becoming agitated at the question inquired. Was he really that stupid in thinking she could answer the question when his hand was firmly pressed against her mouth? She glowered, purposely slowing her steps to cause Scott annoyance.

"Walk faster you annoying brat! I still don't understand why Daniel even likes you! You aren't even that pretty!" Scott roughly jerked Katrina forward, causing her to collapse in front of him. He let go of her harshly, his face plastered with a scowl. "Get up," he told her firmly.

Katrina mumbled something incoherent, as she steadied herself with her wrists. "....gah!" She had briefly forgotten about her wrist, which was presumably broken. She fell to her elbows as she grasped the dirt with her left hand and curled her toes, trying to ease the pain she felt. Her wrist throbbed, the pain tearing up her arm.

"I said get up!" Scott said through clenched teeth. Katrina was beginning to piss him off. He eyed her impatiently, narrowing his eyes at her pathetic attempt to stand. She seemed to be in tremendous pain, but it was her own fault. I hate this girl and she's so pitiful, Scott thought insensitively.

"...ah...ow....augh...." Katrina mumbled, as she managed to push herself back up on her knees. She fought the urge to fall back down, letting her wrist rest on her lap. She knew this was the only chance she had to escape, but with the condition she was in, she didn't know if she could get up, let alone run. What was the point anyway, Katrina thought bitterly. Robert could be dead already, Jason and Cory were stuck in the tree house, and she was here drained of energy. I don't know why Daniel is so infatuated with me....it's disgusting.

"...and Cory....I miss you..." Katrina whispered to herself. She pictured him in her mind, and she suddenly felt the strength to get up. I have to get up, she thought, I have to get help. There is a point; I want to live. Katrina picked herself up slowly, making sure not to cause Scott suspicion. As soon as her feet were planted firmly on the ground, she pushed off her right foot bringing the other one forward, breaking into a run. She clutched her right arm to her chest, preventing it from shifting.

"GET BACK HERE!" Scott shouted fiercely. He dashed after her, her footsteps guiding him through the murky woods.

"AH!" Katrina cried as she stumbled over a tree root. Oh no, she thought, he's going to catch me! She picked herself up as quickly as she possibly could, and turned to her right. I know there's a street down there, and I'm going to get help, Katrina told herself firmly as she thrust herself back into a run. Her heart pounded rapidly in her chest, tightening with every raspy breath she took. She was going to collapse if she didn't find a phone soon. Her legs pumped rapidly, but her pace was beginning to diminish.

"I...I can't.....go...much longer," Katrina whispered to herself, a knot tying itself in her abdomen. Her wrist was beginning to throb again when she nearly crashed into a tree. She proceeded to hold her hand up from then on, so she could tell if there was a tree standing in her way. She could hear Scott's footsteps blaring in her head; or maybe that was just the hammering headache echoing in her head. Breathing was becoming increasingly difficult which each step she took, and her knees became weak with exhaustion. She was going to collapse in a matter of seconds, but something caught her eye up ahead. There was a dim light penetrating the backs of the tree trunks, illuminating Katrina's vision. Her eyes flickered with hope as she sprinted with renewed energy.

"Hang on guys....I'm going to...get help," She whispered, determined to call the police before something worse happened.

"KATRINA! GET BACK HERE!!" Scott fumed, tightening his fists until warm liquid trickled off his knuckles. "That girl will not escape." He said venomously, his eyes watching the fleeting silhouette. His footsteps echoed thunderously as he raced after her.

The woods were steadily becoming visible as Katrina approached, breathing heavily from fatigue. Her lungs were screaming at her for air, but she had no time to stop. She hastily took a breath, eying the brightening glow with anticipationand continued forward. She let herself slip back into her thoughts,ambition being plagued with restless thoughts of Scott catching her. If I'm caught, she thought uneasily, there's no hope for any of us. That thought implanted itself within her mind many a time. Another ragged breath sent her lungs into excoriating pain, while her throat burned from the loss of moisture. She blinked a few times, making sure what she saw wasn't a desperate illusion. Indeed her mind wasn't playing tricks on her, for she could see the outline of a street post, leading up to the glow in which she had longed for.
"I made it," She breathed, swiftly edging towards the street light with a refreshing smile on her lips. She had craved to see a house, a sidewalk even, the instant she ran into the very woods she was finally escaping. Her heart squeezed tightly as she reached the clearing, stopping a mere seconds to grasp the freedom she felt surging through her veins. But it was short lived as Katrina realized she had almost forgotten about her friends, and she dashed to the closest house with energy not even she knew she possessed. Beads of perspiration were forming upon her forehead, her brown tresses affixed unpleasantly. Her legs burned as she staggered up the stone steps, one hand clutching the sturdy rail distraughtly. She quickly lifted her trembling hand and began pounding her fist into the door, the sound echoing hopelessly with every knock. Salty tears clawed at her eyes, but she kept them caged as she stumbled back down the steps, all but running to the neighbouring house. She shot a fretful look at the window, something she hadn't thought of at the previous house. Her anxious eyes reflected the light emanating from the bay window as hope, and her pace quickened until she roughly collapsed on the terrace. Her left arm felt awfully heavy, and the only thing she could think to do was scream.

Someone must have heard her, for she could almost feel the vibration of shuffling footsteps running to the front door. She heard the unfastening of locks and voices muffled before she felt a burst of air pull her forward. Katrina's eyes climbed unsteadily until they rested upon the face of a young woman. Her facial expression was plastered in complete horror, and it must have been a few seconds before she hurriedly knelt down to aid the distraught girl.

"What happened? Are you alright?" The woman half expected the girl to stop breathing, as she watched her take in painful, laboured breaths.

"Please," Katrina breathed, "....please call the police! M-my friends.....in the woods....they....they need help.....someone...." She took in a few raspy breaths and looked up at the woman with pleading eyes. ".....someone is trying t-to kill them....!" Her voice was hoarse, her breaths short and threatening. The woman immediately twisted her body to the open door.

"TOM!! Call the police!! Someone is after this girl and her friends in the woods!!" The woman shouted, her eyes softening as she turned back around, placing her hands gently on the girl's trembling shoulders. "Don't worry, everything will be okay.....you'll be alright." She smiled knowingly and gave her a warm embrace. Katrina could only nod as she heard a muffled response somewhere in the house, and then everything fell silent except for her distressed breathing. If she didn't start taking normal breaths soon, she would fall unconscious, and she could not afford to do such a thing. Not when they needed her to help find her friends who were desperately trying to fight for their lives.

A man silently emerged from the doorway, a cordless phone still in his hand. His eyes fell on Katrina, softening in a fatherly way as he knelt beside her as well. "What is your name?" His voice was kind and full of sympathy.

"....K-Katrina...." The girl whispered, her eyes finally caving in as salty tears spilled like little rivulets down each side of her cheeks.

"Katrina, you are going to be okay. The police are coming now and they won't be long, I promise." His voice held such sincerity that Katrina couldn't help it to give him a small smile.

"This is Tom, and my name is Susanne," The woman said politely, gesturing to the phone in her husband's hand. "Would you like to call you parents now?"

Katrina shook her head slowly and took the liberty of standing, steadying herself with the marble railing. She wanted to make sure Robert, Jason, and Cory weren't coming of the clearing. She slowly descended the stairs, making her way towards the opening she had so anxiously wanted to run away from.

"Katrina! Please, it's best if you stay here. Katrina?" Susanne called worriedly, following her down the steps. Though Katrina had already stumbled to the neighbours house, and was now approaching the lamp post.

"Katrina?"
Her head was pounding immensely, and she could barely keep her legs straight. They were numb, almost to the point where she would no longer be able to feel them at all; collapsing in a instant. Her ragged breathing had subsided vaguely, gradually allowing her to take deeper breaths of the crisp, night air. Her right arm was help up against her with the left, as it had been when she was running. Shadows taunted her as she eyed the clearing, as if beckoning her to get lost in its dreadful darkness. Her vision caught something moving towards her, at a speed in which she doubted her friends could be running. Fear sank within her stomach as she helplessly watched someone throw themselves at her, tackling her to the rock-solid ground. She gasped in pain as strong hands clasped around her throat, ceasing her breathing. Her eyes widened as fresh tears spilt from the corners of her eyes. Scott had caught up to her, and now she was unmistakably dead.

"I told you to come back, and you didn't listen! SO NOW YOU DIE!" Scott screamed at her, his eyes darkening with hatred. He tightened his hands around her neck, making sure no air could possibly save her.

"...au....gh...." Katrina could feel her body become weaker with every second, and she closed her eyes, not wanting to see the disgusting smile Scott had on his face. She could hear sirens in the distance, but they were of no use to her now.

"Keh....you're as good as--" Scott was thrown into confusion as strong arms lifted him off Katrina, pulling him backwards. He threw himself forward, but his attempts of breaking away were futile. His arms were securely locked back, and all he could do was writhe in frustration.

"Katrina! Oh honey, are you okay?" Katrina felt someone circle her in their arms, and she knew it was Susanne. She gasped greedily, filling her body with the oxygen that had been painfully stolen from her. She barely managed to lift her eyelids, only glimpsing the bottom of Susanne's worried face. She tried to answer the question, but her voice failed her, and she coughed instead.

"Tom, don't let go of that psycho!" His wife cried, horrified at what the girl in her arms had just experienced. She stroked Katrina's back gently, successfully calming the girl somewhat, her breathing becoming more steady. Susanne quickly turned her head in the direction of wailing sirens as they were increasingly getting louder. Her eyes watched anxiously as red and blue lights blinked furiously, speeding down the street at a divine speed.

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Wow, this took me forever to write, but I am really sorry for the delay of an update! I really wrote a lot, this is 5 pages and two lines on the 6th! I hope everyone enjoys this chapter, I did enjoy writing it. I'm sorry to say that I only have one chapter left, but I'm sure you don't mind as long as I finish! Please review because I think I improved :)

fast sprinter