He gripped the backpack slung over his shoulder. “What’s going on?”
The shaky voice didn’t belong to a man with a backbone. Penni considered herself a good judge of character. Shade had often bragged to his friends that she could guess which of them had swiped another beer out of the refrigerator or who had taken the last piece of chicken leftover from dinner. Penni would bet her last dollar the stranger gawking at her was going to run.
She felt her own legs give out under the weight of the man she wanted to save.
“Please …” Penni flinched at the womanish sound that emerged from the man at her plea.
The stranger across the room released a squawk before the coward ran across the room, sliding between her as the stranger hanging on to her released his final breath.
The man who had jerked his knife out of his victim’s back tried to stop his escape, slipping in the blood that showed the brutal evidence of his crime.
“Striker, hold on. Be cool.”
Another feminine groan brushed past her ear, and the coward disappeared out of the closing door.
“Fuck me!” Penni toppled over when the murderous rage was directed to her as his other victim escaped out the door behind her.
“Bitch, you’re going to pay for that!”
Penni found herself trying to struggle free from the limp body pinning her to the ground. She finally gathered her senses and managed to scoot out from under the body to make her own dash for freedom. A hand burying in her short hair brought her to a sudden standstill.
“Who the fuck are you?”
Penni tried unsuccessfully to pull her hair out of his grasp. The more Penni tried to tug away, the harder he held her.
“Let me go!” Penni’s demand was ignored as he pushed her farther inside the bar.
Penni blindly stepped over the blood-soaked man she had been unable to save.
She was released, finding herself staring up at an angry male face. It wasn’t the first time she had dealt with that reaction, but she wasn’t used to having a knife pointed at her. For the first time in her life, Penni found herself speechless.
She felt the sharp point of the knife under her chin.
“Who are you? This is the last time I’m going to ask!”
“Penni!” she barely managed to gasp out.
“Your DJ’s girl?”
“No.” Penni tried to shake her head yet stopped when she felt the knife nick her skin. “I don’t even know who DJ is.”
A tug on the back of her hair had her figuring out the man lying near her feet was the unlucky DJ.
“You were with Striker? Did he have you waiting outside?”
Penni didn’t flinch as his hand threatened to cut out her throat if he thought she was lying to him.
“I ran out of gas.”
Her eyes widened when she heard him begin to laugh.
“You don’t know DJ or Striker?”
“I’ve never seen either one of them in my life,” Penni confirmed truthfully, praying he would believe her.
The smug look filling his face did not bode well that she would escape unscathed.
“Then you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Nope, it isn’t going to go down well for me at all, Penni thought dismally.
“You’re not going to let me go, are you?”
“What do you think?” His sarcastic reply had her unobtrusively searching for her purse, which wasn’t easy with the knife pointed at her.
“You could just let me leave,” Penni mumbled with forlorn hope when she saw the spark of desire in his eyes as he glanced down her body.
Penni’s breath caught in her throat. The beating of her heart sped up when she felt the danger race toward her as he moved closer to her.
“That could be hard to do since you’re out of gas.”
“I can walk.”
The man didn’t seem to appreciate the humor.
“That doesn’t work for me. You might decide to call the cops.”
Penni wrinkled her nose as the smell of alcohol on his breath wafted closer.
“I know you don’t know me, but I’m really good at minding my own business.”
“Shut your trap.”
Penni winced as a drop of blood slowly dribbled down her throat. She didn’t dare glance toward her purse. Carefully, she used the heel of her tennis shoe to drag her purse closer.
When the stranger cupped her breast in a forceful gesture, Penni didn’t scream, trying to keep him distracted.
“Are you just going to leave him there?” She nodded toward the dead body.
“Why not? It’s not like he’s going to complain.”
The man became even bolder when she didn’t struggle against his hold. Her top was slipped from under her jeans as he burrowed his hands underneath, wrenching several buttons loose on the front of her blouse. Penni was tempted to use one of the chairs on a table to brain the man intent on raping her.
Biding her time, she used her tennis shoe to reached for her purse. She bit the inside of her jaw, ignoring the sensation of his tongue entering her mouth. She damn near vomited. She wanted to rake her hands down his face. Instead, she pretended to like it as she searched her purse for what she wanted. The disgusting excuse of a man really believed she was responding to him. Thankfully, her fingers curled over what she wanted.