Chapter One

Bethany Mailstrom ran down the alleyway. Behind her she could here the pounding footsteps of her pursuers, four heavyset thugs that had been sent to silence her.
"This can't be happening!" she thought frantically, "This type of thing doesn't happen in the United States!" Unfortunately though, it was happening and there was no one around to save her. Not that anyone would, muggings and "disappearances" happen daily in New Delphi, Nevada.

Turning a corner, she skidded to a stop when she realized it was one of New Delphi's infamous dead-end alleyways, where illegal activities took place and the bodies where found the next day. Spinning around to face the men, she clutched the thick leather folder she carried to her chest and pulled out her small taser. Not that it would do any good, considering the smallest of her soon to be killers was at least six feet tall. Holding it in front of herself, she prepared herself for the worst.

A thickset thug smelling suspiciously of booze and cigarettes was the first to reach her. Grabbing her throat, he slammed her against a near-by brick wall, dislodging her taser and turning her vision black for several heartbeats. Bring her knee up, she attempted to hit him where it hurt while trying to summon her five years of self-defense lessons, but that plan went downhill when all she did was tick the man off. He slammed her against the wall a second time before dropping her on the ground and backing up to join his buddies,

"Whas tha matta sweeth'art? Did ya really tink ye cou'd snitch on tha boss an' get away wit it?" the first one slurred drunkenly, while the other three nodded and mumbled their agreement, "We're a gonna fix ya up good!" The others laughed as they stepped closer, backing her into a corner and efficiently blocking off all chances of escape.

"Keep away from me you intoxicated Neanderthals!" she screamed at them as she scrambled to her feet, snatching up her previously dropped taser and clutching her folder even closer, if possible.
"What did ya call us, ya little snitch!" the smaller thug snarled as he stepped forward and grabbed her hair, yanking her head back painfully as he got close to her face with a sneer, "I don't really think yer in any position ta be rude!"
"I was just saying exactly what you are: drunk illiterate errand boys trying to make some quick cash so you can drink it away at your next opportunity!" she snarled back, trying not to let her fear show.
"Yer gonna regret that statement," he hissed in fury as he yanked on her hair again. She grimaced in pain before bring her taser up and slamming it into his chest. The man doubled over in pain as she shoved past the other thugs, adrenaline fueling her movements as she used there surprise to her advantage.

She only made it a few feet before she was grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground so hard her vision danced. Thug #3 grabbed her throat and started squeezing as hard as he could. Bethany gasped for air and clawed at her attacker's hands, but couldn't dislodge him.

Just as her vision started to blur and go black, the man was violently yanked off of her and thrown to the side. Vaguely comprehending that she had been saved, she watched as a tall young man with fiery hair beat off her attackers alongside a two much shorter teenaged boys and a tall shadow. As she lost her grip on consciousness, the fiery haired one knelt infront of her,
"Are you alright?"

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