Zoey Rogue - By Lizzy Ford

Chapter One: Zoey

Wrong place, wrong time. As usual. Chrissy couldn’t help the thought or the sob that accompanied it. She stumbled and staggered through the darkness, her hands outstretched in case she hit a wall. She smashed her shin into what felt like a metal block and fell hard to the ground.

Pain radiated through her leg, and she clutched it, unable to help the new tears that squeezed from her eyes. She barely contained a cry of pain. If she screamed, they might find her, the three men whose own journey through the dark house sounded as painful as her own, if their shouts were any indication. Her leg hurt so badly, she didn’t think she could stand.

“Flashlights, candles, anything!” one of them shouted.

She heard him rummaging far too close to her.

“Find that fucking girl! We’ve already lost two safe houses this fucking week!” Another shouted from the direction she had come.

She pushed herself to her feet. Her shin throbbed. Limping, Chrissy continued in her search for a window or a door or some way to escape. She had never been any place so dark before; she saw nothing. The carpet beneath her bare feet silenced her footsteps. Her favorite dress was ruined – torn by her pursuers in their attempt to rape her – and her expensive high heels lost somewhere within the two-story house.

If someone told her that her entire life could change in the course of a few minutes, she never would’ve believed it. A mere twenty minutes before, she had entered the house in search of a party. It wasn’t the first time she wandered into a frat house on a Friday night. It looked like a typical college fraternity from the outside: a boxy, restored, early twenty-first century two-story home with Greek letters hung on the façade. While located farther away from campus than normal, it wasn’t so far as to cause suspicion. She arrived late to the party – just fifteen minutes earlier, although it felt like a lifetime – to find the front door unlocked.

Somewhere in the house, a girl had been screaming. Already buzzing from too much alcohol, Chrissy hadn’t stopped to wonder why and entered, searching for the partygoers. From there, things went horribly wrong. Hearing the screaming girl was one thing; seeing why she screamed was another. There were a dozen college-aged men in the house, and two had been holding her down while a third did unspeakable things to her.

Chrissy had backed away, her alcoholic high plummeting with the adrenaline that filled her. She tried to run, but three of them caught her. She fought them; it was useless. They ripped her clothes off and forced her to the ground.

And then, the lights went off. The entire house turned dark. Somehow, she broke away and ran. Disoriented, she hoped she was headed to the front door, but she never imagined it was so far away.

Resting against a wall, Chrissy listened for the sounds of her pursuers. The screaming stopped soon after the lights went out. Her breathing was so loud, she thought for sure those after her would hear it. Aware of how close one of them was, she began inching away in a painful limp, through the doorway into what she hoped was the living room she crossed through earlier.

The light from street lamps outlined the front door, and her hope surged. She smacked the coffee table, and this time, she did cry out.

“Found her!” one of them called.

Chrissy bolted to the door as fast as she could on her damaged shin. A few feet before she reached it, someone tackled her. She gave a frustrated yell and clawed at him, desperate to reach the door a few feet away.

“I don’t need light to fuck you,” the man on top of her snarled then shouted to the others, “Living room!”

He pinned her hands above her head and tore off her underwear. She began to cry, unable to shake him.

“You do need your head, though,” a female’s voice answered him from the darkness. “Lights, Ginny.”

The next few seconds passed as if she were in a dream – or a nightmare. The sudden flood of lights blinded her. Someone dressed like a shadow moved with inhuman speed across the room. A flash of steel, the sound of a knife slicing through meat, a gurgle.

Her eyes adjusted just as the man on top of her slumped to the side. Warmth covered her arm. She looked down, disoriented, then clambered out from under