Chapter 11: Even the best laid plans…
Riddick was sitting on a corner stool at the bar of The Eclipse club. He had his back against the wall and his gaze fixed on the main entrance. From time to time, he would look around him to check the people dancing, drinking, and having the time of their lives. The Eclipse wasn’t much different from others clubs, but was by far one of the best that he had seen in years. It had plenty of dark corners.
According to their “plan”, Jack was going to hook up with a guy and let him take her out of the club, making Danielle believe that she was going to spend the night with him. His first idea had been for him to be that guy, but when Jack told him that Danielle had seen her cry when she saw him on the news, he discarded that idea. He probably would have to get to close to Danielle; and she would put two and two together as soon as she saw them. Riddick didn’t trust Jack’s friend enough; it would have been too risky. Once in the street, he would take care of the guy. She made him promise that he wouldn’t kill the asshole, he had said that he would try his best not to. This should be easy, even for her. But Riddick wasn’t so sure. Jack wasn’t the same and she might change her mind at the last minute. He knew he had to think of an emergency plan if that was the case.
He saw two girls walking towards him, they had caught Riddick’s attention, as well as the other men around him, as soon as they entered. He looked at the first girl. She was a natural blonde, mid size, a little too much curve for his liking. She was wearing a slinky turquoise dress and impossibly high heels. She was walking through the crowd like she owned the place, pushing at everyone who tried to touch her. She had “look but don’t touch” written all over her face. Riddick smiled at that. Maybe under other circumstances he would’ve played with her. Stop thinking with the wrong head Rick, he scolded himself. Beside, she’s not your type. Then Riddick looked at her friend. His heart skipped for a few seconds. Fuck! he thought, forced to take another look at her, just to be sure. Are you in there, kid? he asked raising his brows as his body had an unexpected reaction. Riddick stiffened and let out a surprised grunt.
Jack was wearing a black sleeveless tank that knotted around her neck, it appeared the back of it was missing. Her black leather pants were so tight that Riddick thought that they must have been painted directly onto her skin. They revealed every slight curve and hugged her ass. Hey, that’s a killer ass you’ve got there, woman! he cried out in his mind. Her brunette hair was loose and she was wearing her black combat boots. Mmmmm, now that’s my type of woman, he grinned and couldn’t help but picture Jack the way he had seen her in his dreams.
For a moment Riddick forgot he was staring at his little Jack, untill he looked at her face. She had a “touch me and I’ll kill you” look on her face, but that look was completely fake. He then mentally slapped himself. Shit, she’s just a kid, asshole. Your kid, he scolded himself. At least that look could pass for real to everyone else in the club, he thought. Except for me, he added. He couldn’t help but feel proud of her, he suspected that at this point of the game, faking that look, right here and now, was probably the most difficult thing for her to do. Yeah, she’s my kid. Fucking problem is she’s not a kid anymore, he admitted to himself.
When the girls reached his side of the bar, Riddick could smell Jack’s fear, and that was something he didn’t want to smell again, let alone in a place like this. Riddick frowned. I’ve got a bad feeling, he thought as the beast within him started to grumble.
Danielle made her way through the crowd of people in search of the bar. Jack followed while searching the people all around her. She couldn’t find Riddick. She tried with all her will to remain calm, but couldn’t help feeling scared with so many people surrounding her. Shit, where is he? she asked herself getting more worried.
Finally Danielle reached the bar. She then put two fingers in the air. “Two JD’s” she shouted, to make the waitress hear her over the music. The waitress smiled at her and a few seconds later, two shot glasses full of amber coloured liquor were placed in front of Danielle. She took one of them and handed the other to Jack. “For the new Audrey”, she raised her glass. “Bottoms up” Danielle grinned and swallowed the shot.
Jack stared at her own shot glass and smiled, trying to hide her fear. “For the new me” she said as she raised her glass in her trembling hand and gulped the liquid in one fast move. Jack’s eyes widened two seconds later as the liquid burned a fiery path all the way down to her stomach. “Oh my God, fuck!” she exclaimed as she carried a hand to her neck. She screwed up her face and scrunched her eyes closed.
Watching her, Riddick grinned. That’s my girl, have a little fun, you deserve it kid, he said to himself as he took a mouthfull of his own drink.
Danielle laughed when she saw Jack’s face. After an uncontrollable shiver Jack rasped out, “Damn, girl. This is pure fire!” Jack noticed her voice was cracking.
“Welcome to my world, little one”, Danielle laughed, putting an arm around Jack’s waist. “Ready to burn The Eclipse?” she asked as a devil smile spread across her lips.
Jack looked around. Still no trace of Riddick. Relax. He told you to play a role, she reminded herself. Jack frowned a little and then looked back at Danielle. “Lead the way”, she grinned. Danielle smirked at her and turned toward the center of the club. Jack sighed. A little fun is not gonna kill me, right? she thought and followed behind Danielle.
When they reached the center, Jack felt like she was floating. What the hell was in that shot? she asked, trying to clear her throat. Just a couple of minutes later they were surrounded by men. Jack tensed up and looked at Danielle, who was dancing side by side with two of them, like the cheese in a sandwich. Jack felt a hand rub her bottom. Shit, she thought. She turned around to see a man standing behind her, grinning and drunk. Where’s Riddick? she wondered as she looked around, feeling very nervous all of sudden.
Danielle was watching her. “Relax, Audrey”, she said in her ear. “We’re here to have fun. Feel the music and forget about everything else”, she grinned and took Jack’s hand and pulled them close together.
Riddick, from his spot in the shadows, tensed his body when he saw the guy touch her and growled. Keep your fucking hands off of my woman, fucker, he roared. The beast within him wanted to kill the man right here and now. He needed to regain control. Not in front of Jack, he thought, taking a sip from his drink. It’s part of the plan, you asshole, he reminded himself. Your woman? No. She’s not your woman, she’s your kid. Yeah, my little Jack, he reminded himself. You better get used to that idea, Rick. It’ll be better that way, he added as took another chug of his drink. He then looked at Danielle, it seemed like was having the time of her life, but Jack, Riddick frowned, something’s fucking wrong, he thought. She’s gonna run away anytime now, he stood and headed towards her.
Jack was faking her smile every time that her gaze crossed with Danielle’s. She was beginning to feel a little dizzy. She felt the men gaze at her as if she was the last serving of a banquet and they were starved. Danielle was dancing like there was no tomorrow, spinning and shaking her hips like a maniac, in a spiral of lust and desire at the rhythm of the music and lights. Jack looked franticly for Riddick. She could feel hands and bodies touching her. She had begun to think that it wasn’t a good idea to come to The Eclipse. Maybe all of this is a terrible mistake, she thought. After all, her life was here in Thalion. Her only family and job were here too. It’s all wrong, she thought. Suddenly she could hardly breath and drops of cold sweat were running freely down her bare back. Jack turned away from Danielle, came to a stop, and stared at the people surrounding her. They were dancing crazily, jumping and singing at the top of their lungs. Jack’s vision blurred and she couldn’t hear the music anymore. She shook her head and blinked a few times. People had started pushing her farther and farther from Danielle, untill she couldn’t see her anymore.
Riddick was pushing past people with a don’t fuck with me look in his face. Calm down, Jackie girl, he said making his way through the people who crammed the place in search of Jack. Calm down, kid, he repeated to himself
I’ve got to get out of here, I’ve got to get out of here, by this time she was shaking in a full blown panic. Jack felt her heart beating faster and faster every second. You promised Riddick, you promised me, dammit, she felt tears rising as her throat closed. She tightly shut her eyes and turned around, getting ready to run out the place. She felt her body crushed against a wall of muscle and lost her balance. Shit, she thought. Two strong arms encircled her waist preventing her fall. She slowly raised her head and found Riddick’s concerned gaze. Riddick, she thought as she felt her legs go weak. Jack grabbed Riddick’s jacket and stared at his face.
Riddick stared down at her. She was looking at him but he knew that Jack didn’t really see him. Fuck, she’s having a panic attack, he thought and cuddled her body into his arms. Jack felt her feet leave the floor and opened her eyes. “Riddick?” she murmured weakly.
Riddick looked down at the girl in his arms. “Yeah, kid. It’s me”, he said and carried her to a spot in the shadows at the far corner of the club.
I knew this would happen. Yeah, I really did it this time, he growled to himself. “Are you ok kid?” he asked her concerned, annoyed with himself. Jack’s eyes were blank, and she was gasping for air, but with the slight grasp of sanity she still had, Jack was silently giving thanks that Riddick’s body was supporting her, otherwise, she would have collapsed onto the floor. “Jack!” he raised his voice. Jack finally started to get a hold of herself and wildly nodded no as silent tears rolled down her cheeks.
Riddick sighed and leaned over her. “Shhhhh, It’s ok, Jack”, he said softly in her ear. Jack’s body automatically tensed when she felt the brush of hot breath against her skin. “Don’t be afraid of me, baby” his hand was now caressing her bare back. Jack’s body was shaking and she was quietly sobbing. “I’m here now. Shhhhh. Don’t cry, Jackie girl”, his voice was deep and sweetly grave.
Jack closed her eyes and pulled herself closer to his body. Now it was Riddick’s turn to tense as he felt Jack’s breast pressed against his chest. Shit, shit, shit, he thought as he took a deep breath trying to remain under control. A moment later Riddick could feel the slight change in Jack’s breathing as her sobs were subsiding. “That’s it, kid. Just breath” he continued in that low deep murmur.
Jack felt her racing heart start to calm with the sound of Riddick’s voice as she tried to calm her breathing . After a few attempts to speak, she finally found her voice. “Riddick….I.. I couldn’t find you….”, her voice sounded teary and weak.
“I’m here now. Just try and concentrate on breathing” he told her as his hand came to rest on her cheek.
He had to calm her down. Some people around them were staring at the couple. Riddick slowly lifted his goggles and rested them on his head. He then turned his gaze to them with a get the fuck away and mind your own fucking business look. In response they scurried away and left them alone.
Jack took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. Riddick’s warm hand was gently stroking up and down her back rhythmically. She couldn’t help but think that it was a bizarre situation. How could hands so dangerous be so gentle? she frowned. Now she could hear the music. She felt her dry throat and swallowed hard. She tried to speak again. “I’m sorry, I can’t…I”
“It’s ok, Jack. I should have known this would happen”, he cut her off and his voice sounded more serious that he intended. Jack winced and shut her eyes. He’s mad at me, she thought. Riddick mentally kicked himself and grunted. “Look at me”, he said, concern written all over his face. Jack shook her head no and kept her eyes tightly shut. Riddick could smell her fear again. He sighed and cupped her cheeks with his hands. He then raised her head gently. “Look at me, Jack”, he whispered. Jack slowly opened her eyes and stared into Riddick’s shined ones. His eyes reflected the lights of the club making them sparkle in the shadows with a mix of colours.
Jack swallowed at the proximity of his face. “Where were you?” she asked with a slight hint of accusation in her voice; suddenly she felt a little annoyed, but if it was with him or herself, she didn’t know.
Riddick arched a brow at her tone of voice. “Watching you”, he smirked, but at the same time he was mesmerized by the brightness in her green and teary eyes.
Jack’s eye’s were wide and her face flushed. “I… I think … I c.. can’t do this”, she swallowed, “I mean, … I … I don’t want to do th…th..this”, she stuttered and looked down at the floor.
Riddick saw how she had flushed, and grinning, pulled her into his arms. He started to frown as he held her. Just knock her out and let’s move on, get off this fucking planet Rick, he thought to himself and growled in frustration. Jack felt Riddick’s rumbling growl in her chest, unconsciously she pressed herself more tightly against his body as she circled his waist with her arms. His body tensed up. The things I get myself into, he thought as he stroked her bare back. Riddick let his mind fly free for a few seconds and pictured them in another place. It was a place he had seen before; a place in their future that he had always secretly dreamed of; but never wanted to admit to. An evil smile appeared on his lips. Get it together, Rick. Business before pleasure, remember? he shook his head and let go of her. “Plan b, then”, he said seriously.
Jack snapped her head up. “Plan b?” she frowned.
“Yeah, kid, that’s what I said” he looked around him. “What about a drink?” he asked, gently stroking his finger tips up and down her arms.
Jack narrowed her eyes in suspicion and arched a brow. Riddick let go of her completely and offered his hand. “Do you trust me?” he asked staring into her eyes. Yeah, Rick, ask a twenty yeas old girl whose lost her memory, and scared shitless of everything; if she trusts in a dangerous convicted murderer, he ended that thought smirking to himself. Jack looked down at his hand. Do I trust him? she asked to herself. Can I trust a dangerous killer? she found herself thinking about this. A moment later she realized she had taken his hand.
Riddick let out the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding; giving her hand a light squeeze, he headed toward the bar. Jack let him guide her as she looked around again. There were a couple of men in a corner of the bar who had shine jobs. She had been working on Thalion for quite some time, but she had never seen anyone who had one. Her job was inside of the complex and she hadn’t had any contact with the miners.
She noticed that the eyes of the others couldn’t be compared to Riddick’s, and she found herself staring at his eyes. He was talking but she wasn’t paying attention. Jack was so lost in his beautiful eyes that she couldn’t listen to him. Noticing, Riddick frowned and then grinned. “Here” he said, squeezing her hand to get her attention.
Jack shook her head and looked down at her hand. She was now holding another shot of the amber liquid. She looked up at him. “Bottoms up?” she smirked raising a brow.
Riddick chuckled. “Yeah, kid. Bottoms up”, he was grinning.
Jack lifted the shot glass and sighed, “For you, big guy” she said as she threw her head back and gulped the liquid. She scrunched her face as soon as the liquid poured down the back of her throat. “Fuck!” she exclaimed; slamming the shot glass on the bar.
Riddick’s laugh boomed, “Yeah, kid”, he gulped his own shot. “That’s my girl!”, he winked at her. I knew you were inside there somewhere, he grinned.
Jack couldn’t help but laugh with him as she shook her head, trying to refresh herself. Suddenly she felt really hot. Riddick smirked at her. How did I survive without your smile Jack? he asked himself as he watched her.
Jack went silent and stared back at him. She was unable to stop looking into his beautiful eyes, even if her life depended on it. Time seemed to stop around them. Stop staring at him, she scolded herself. What’s he gonna think if you keep looking at him in that way? she frowned as her face flushed. Riddick noticed but pretended not to; putting his cold-blank face back on. What just happened? he asked as he turned his head to look around him. Jack just looked down at her hands. They were still holding hands, fingers entwined.
Danielle had been looking for Jack more than half an hour. Where are you? she asked herself. Dammit, Audrey! she cursed silently for not keep an eye on her friend. She was headed toward the other side of the club when she saw Jack. Danielle sighed in relief, then narrowed her eyes in suspicion. She could see Jack laughing with a man in a dark corner, but she couldn’t see the man clearly. She took a deep breath and headed towards them.
“Hey, Danielle!”, a voice called her.
Danielle turned around and found Mark grabbing her arm. “Hi, Mark! What’re you doing here?” she asked smiling widely.
Mark smirked. “Right now, after finding you, I think I’m in heaven” he said in a deep sexy voice. Danielle laughed. “Are you here all alone?” he asked, grabbing her waist and pulling her closer to him.
Danielle looked back to Jack and her companion. It seems to me she’s having a good time, she grinned. “I came with a friend….” she turned her head back to him. I need some fun too, she thought. She had been dreaming about Mark’s body for the last couple weeks. “…. But now I’m alone, and I don’t like to feel like that” she said as she stroked one of his arms seductively. “Wanna dance?” she pressed her body to his.
“After you, princess” he grinned as he looked up and down at her sensual body. You’re going to be one of the best fucks in weeks bitch, he thought as he stared at her hips swinging in front of him.
Jack finally looked around her and saw Danielle talking with Mark. Jack smiled. If she wants, she gets, Jack thought as she grinned. Riddick followed the direction of her gaze and grunted. Jack turned her head to him. “What’s wrong?” she couldn’t hide the tremor in her voice.
Riddick was watching Danielle and Mark. He had a bad feeling. “You know him?” he asked, still staring at the couple that were now dancing and rubbing their bodies together.
Jack nodded,. “That’s Mark. A self defence instructor.” She looked back at Riddick. When he didn’t move but tensed his body, Jack put a hand on his shoulder and squeezed gently to catch his attention. Riddick turned his head to look at Jack. Jack’s eye’s widened before Riddick’s gaze. She could feel tension radiating from his body and squeezed harder. “He’s harmless. Danielle’s been dreaming about him since the first day she saw him”, she said in a soft voice.
Riddick arched a brow and stared at her, cold and deadly serious. Jack bit her bottom lip and looked again at Danielle. She and Mark were now on their way to the entrance of the club. Riddick growled as he saw them leave. “Stay here, I’ll be back in a sec” he grunted as he let go of her hand.
Jack could feel an air of danger surrounding Riddick and her spine shivered. “Where’re you going?” she asked nervously as she grabbed his arm.
Riddick looked down at the place where Jack’s hand was holding him. “Just stay here kid” he ordered her, his voice sounded higher than he liked. Jack flinched. Riddick cursed himself and sighed. Jack just stared at him, waiting for an answer, she had her arms crossed on her chest. She was worried and scared, but if it was for, or about, him, she didn’t know exactly.
Riddick slowly put a hand on her cheek. “Wait for me here, Jack” he said as he bent over and kissed her forehead. “Don’t worry, I’ll be back in a minute, ok?” he told her as he headed off toward Danielle and Mark.
Jack saw him walk through the crowd and headed after him without thinking twice. She got her hand bag and her coat at the wardrobe; then headed toward the street. There was no sign of them, so she decided to walk along the street to her right side. She had reached the end of the block when she heard Danielle’s screams. She froze and her heart stopped for a few seconds. Oh, my God, … she thought as ran towards the sound of Danielle’s voice. Tears were already running down her cheeks. He wouldn’t, …… but, she shook her head and reached the dark alley.