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It took me a moment to gather my composure, and that one moment may be what cost me so dearly. I started walking as fast as I could toward my house without drawing undue attention. Our house was a small, two-bedroom cottage on the edge of town, so I had a little over a half mile to walk. Before I was even halfway there, several men burst through the door to the pub and started screaming at me in Russian. I had no idea what they were saying but I am absolutely certain it was not, "Please come back. We are not going to hurt you. We have realized what dumbasses we are and we want to be your friend." That would have been too easy.
They started running after me. Do you know how terrifying it is to be a young woman, alone in the dark in the middle of a snow-covered Russian street with about half a dozen angry men barreling down on you in the dark? Now that's some scary shit. I turned and ran as fast as my little legs would carry me. I was pretty lazy most of the time, though, so I definitely wasn't going to win any records at the Olympics. I could see the light on in our front room and started screaming for Steven. Just then, the men caught up with me. One reached out and grabbed for my hair. My hat had fallen off when I began to run, so he had an easy time getting a firm grip. It hurt like a you-know-what when he did that. I had been running as hard as I possibly could, and he not only brought me to a complete stop, but jerked my head back so fast I thought my neck was broken. My feet flew out from underneath me and I landed on my back on the ground, staring up at six pissed off Russians.
They began beating me and kicking me without reserve. I screamed and screamed for Steven but I couldn't see anything through the flurry of fists and feet. One of them pulled out a thick stick and started whacking at my ribs, and that put a quick end to my screams. I fought desperately to curl up into the fetal position and protect my bruised organs.
Other novellas in the Vampire Assassin series
Blood & Tears