Skyler's wrists burned. The ropes they'd tied him with dug into his skin, rubbing the burn deeper into him with every bump or curve in the road. Perhaps if he could see, he could've been prepared, but the blindfold made that impossible.
The choking cigar smoke, however, made it very possible to tell who he was talking to.
“Shouldn't'a run, thief. That was a very bad move.” Rossin. Oh, how he hated the man.
Skyler held his tongue. Whatever he might have to say at this point couldn't possibly help him.
“Bein' quiet? Hope you did that with whoever else you mighta met.” Rossin blew a huge cloud of smoke in Skyler's face, sending him into a coughing fit. “Glad ya didn't. Yeah, we know ya didn't go to the police. Like ya could, thief.” The mob boss poked the back of Skyler's hand with the cigar tip, leaving a small burn. “Wondering how?”
“You've been watching me.” Skyler spoke in a low, controlled tone. “Ever since I cleared out.”
“Heh.” Skyler could hear the smirk in the man's voice. “Long before that, thief.” Skyler tried to keep from tensing up. He couldn't give Emma away. “And we found somethin' interestin. Boys, it seems our little thief here has got himself a girlfriend. Lose the blindfold, please.” The huge man on Skyler's right ripped the dirty rag off his face. What he saw made him wish he hadn't.
On Rossin's lap rested a portable computer. The screen showed something he had never wanted to see: Emma tied up, blindfolded, confused. He barely refrained from crying out. Rossin's grin grew wider. “Yeah, see what happens when you run?” The cigar met Skyler's hand again. “The question is, what happens now?”
“Let her go. I'll do what you want.” Skyler tried to keep his face impassive, but it was nearly impossible.
“What? Before we even get to the threatening? Well.” Rossin raised one thick eyebrow. “This should be easier than I thought. But...” Skyler hated the way this man grinned. “Let's see just how much you like her, Thief.” He pushed a button on the laptop.
“Hello?” Emma's voice crackled through. “Is anyone there? I thought I heard someone.”
“Emma!” Skyler tried to choke it back, but finally failed. “Let her go!”
“She can hear you, lover boy.” Rossin sat back, his arms folded across his chest, holding the cigar between his teeth. “So, let's get started.”
“Skyler? What's going on? Who's that?”
“Enough talk.” Rossin pushed the button again and turned the laptop away from Skyler. “She's in good hands, don't worry. Worrn knows if he touches her, he's dead.”
“Worrn is with her?!” Skyler would've strangled Rossin, if not for rope and three bodyguards. “You know what he'll do!”
“Hey, hey, I warned him. If he touches her without my express permission, in fact, without my orders, you have my personal promise that he dies.”
“You...” Skyler shook with uncharacteristic rage. “You...”
“Me what? Monster? Uncreative. Heard it a million times. Oooh, how about devil? I like that one. Satan's a good one too.” Rossin sat back again and gave Skyler the grin that he so hated. “So. You're working for me again.”
Skyler only glared. “Right.”
“Glad we could come to an understanding, then. Boys?” The two huge men on either side of Skyler grabbed his arms. “I'll contact you when we need your expertise. Until then, stay in your apartment. If we see you going any further away than the nearest grocery store, Worrn gets a phone call. Are we clear?”
“Well, then. Show our good friend the door.” And with that, Skyler was tossed from a moving car.
The river was cold. It felt good on the rope burns. He didn't care anymore.
More random story bits. This one is kinda dormant in my head right now, but I wrote this bit a few weeks ago, and felt like posting it. Please tell me what you think.