By: E.K. Blair

\"What do you mean they cancelled? They"ve been on the books for weeks."
"I don't know. I didn't take the call, but we've gotta fill that slot in the next couple of days. Classes at U-Dub started today, so this weekend is gonna be busy as hell."
"Shit!" I pause for a second, frustrated as fuck. "It's too late to do anything about it tonight. I'll make some calls tomorrow and try to get another band booked. Oh, hey, if those fuckers call back, tell them to find another bar to play."
"Right, boss. You heading out soon? It's past midnight already."
"Yeah, in a little bit. I need to finish this paperwork and I'll be gone. Go ahead and go."
"See you tomorrow, man."
"See ya."
I try working on the inventory supply sheet that I need to get in to our liquor distributor, but my mind is elsewhere. I really need to call Gina and tell her to not come over tonight. She's starting to become so damn clingy. I can't stand chicks like that. The last thing I need to deal with is her needy shit. Gavin had warned me about her, but fuck if I listened. I was just looking for a one-night thing, but her stopping by my place and calling me all the time is getting annoying.
A clatter outside snaps me out of my thoughts. I look down at my watch to see it's nearing one in the morning. Shit. When I start packing my things up to head home, I hear more commotion from outside. I shake my head knowing it's probably just some drunk guys heading back home from a party. People are always cutting through the back alley.
I start locking everything up and make my way downstairs to the back door. "Crap," I whisper to myself, realizing I left my cell in my office. Walking back up the stairs to my office, I grab my phone off my desk. Then I hear screaming. A girl screaming.
Bolting out of my office, I quickly run downstairs to the back door and out to the small employee parking lot in the alley.
"God, please! Stop!" a girl shrieks.
Before my mind can process what I'm seeing, the bastard smashes his fist into the girl's face.
Adrenaline courses through my body, and I run. Yanking the guy off her, I start slamming my fist in his face over and over. I completely lose control of myself and relentlessly whale on him. My knuckles start to burn as the flesh begins to split open. He manages to get a few swift hits to my jaw and ribs, which allows him a quick moment to work out of my grip and flee.
Before I can charge after the guy, I catch a glimpse of the girl. It doesn't take but a split second for me to refocus. She lies there, completely unconscious, bare, with her clothes ripped off of her. My stomach clenches and my chest tightens as I slowly approach her and kneel down on my knees. Too scared to touch her, I take off my shirt and cover her naked, battered body. Her face is scratched and covered in blood and dirt. The side where the fucker's fist landed is already starting to swell and bruise, and her knees are ripped open and covered in gravel. My heart pounds and my gut is in knots.
I pat my pockets for my cell but it's not on me. I must have dropped it as I ran out here. Not wanting to leave her, I look around and spot her purse. I lean over and grab it in search of her phone. When I find it, I swipe the screen and dial 911.
As I sit next to her, she lies there, breathing peacefully. Whatever is running through her head right now has to be a million times better than the hell she's going to wake up to.
What the fuck just happened? I stare at her. I don't know what else to do. She is so small, and when I look at her tiny hands, there is bloody flesh under her nails. Shit. I notice a little heart tattoo on her lower hip that is still exposed. Sliding the shirt over a little to cover it, I finally hear the sirens.
"Thank God," I whisper.


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