Chapter 6: Don’t you remember me, kid?
Jack and Danielle walked back to the complex. Night had fallen and inside the building there was nobody around because almost all of them were at the party. Danielle asked Jack to come with her to another club, but she came up with a lame excuse so Danielle just smiled, said good bye to Jack and headed off to another girl’s apartment.
When the lift’s door slid open, Jack headed toward her apartment, but she froze at the door and waited. She pressed her ear to it and listened for a few seconds. No sound came from inside, so she fingered the key code and finally entered.
The apartment was in complete darkness, so she called the lights and when nothing happened, she called again. Again nothing happened, so she exhaled and cursing, she closed the door and headed to the kitchen, groping in the dark in search of the main control panel.
Riddick tensed in the armchair and decided that it wasn’t such a good idea to wait for Jack in her bedroom, so he stood and went to look for her. He then saw her on her way to the kitchen, stumbling over a chair and cursing softly as she rubbed her knee. Riddick grinned and leaned on the doorframe of the living room just as Jack froze and turned her head in his direction. She went still, staring at where he was standing. Riddick could have sworn that she was seeing him through the complete darkness though. Bullshit, he thought after a second. Obviously, she couldn’t see him, just maybe she could sense someone looking at her. Yeah, kid, can you feel my presence, he asked to himself grinning.
Jack shrugged, and exhaling continued walking to the wall where the panel was placed. Riddick crossed the living area thinking about what he should tell her, when he heard Jack talking to herself in loud voice. “I can’t see shit, damnit”, she hissed trying to open the control panel. He chuckled and closed the distance between where he was and the kitchen. He saw Jack standing with her hands on her hips and looking around as if she was thinking. After a moment, she just rolled her eyes and smiled wide. She turned and went to the counter, opening a drawer she pulled out a knife. She thought that maybe she could use it to open the control panel and remembered that there was a lamp inside.
“Hi, kid”, he said crossing his arms on his chest as he leaned on the doorframe.
Jack jumped as soon as the words came out of Riddick’s mouth and froze, dropping the knife. She cursed herself and turned around slowly, closing her hands into fists. In seconds, her mind was busy with all kind of thoughts. Someone was in her apartment, maybe a thief, but they didn’t have anything valuable, so why he was still there? Was he waiting for them, to rape them? Kill them? Maybe if she tried to talk with the guy, he’d just leave her alone, or maybe she could convince him not to hurt her. Or maybe,….. maybe ….. the voice …., she had heard that voice before, hadn’t she?. What to do? What to do? Her mind was racing and her hands were shaking.
Riddick watched her. She hadn’t said anything, so probably, she hadn’t recognized his voice. “How are you, Jack?” he asked softly.
Jack, who the hell is Jack, she wondered. Great, he’s looking for someone else, so maybe it’s not all lost. She might still survive this after all. “Sorry, but there’s no one called Jack here, sir” she said with a low tone of voice. That’s right, Audrey. Show him a little respect, she thought as she cleared her throat.
Riddick arched a brow. “Sir?” he echoed her. “They’ve taught you well, huh, Jack?”, he mocked and stretched his back.
She moved backwards. “I … I don’t know what you’re talking about, sir”, she said as she rubbed her hands. “I don’t know a Jack. With all respect, I think you have obviously made a mistake, sir” she continued taking another step back.
“Cut the sir shit, kid”, he growled as he moved forward. “How is that, Jack? You used to call me other things babe”, his voice was in a low sensual tone.
Jack again moved backward. “Who … who are you?”, she asked as she nervously stroked her hair.
Riddick froze. What the fuck is she playing, he wondered and then realization dawned. Of course, she’s mad and is pretending not to know you, Rick. What were you expecting? Ok, kid, two can play at this game of yours, he told himself. “Now, now, Jack. Maybe I should introduce myself”, he said as he moved forward and closed the distance between them, but not quite touching her. “Richard B. Riddick, escape convict and murderer”, he growled, grinning.
Jack moved back and realized she was trapped between Riddick and the counter. She winced and cursed herself. Stupid, stupid, she thought. She knew Riddick, she had seen him and his victims on the news. “Are you going to kill me?” She asked, and as soon as the words left her mouth, she covered it with one hand. Way to go, Audrey. Give him ideas, she scolded.
Riddick’s laugh boomed in the room and Jack cringed. Why is he laughing? It’s a logical question, isn’t it, she frowned to herself.
“Are you shitting me, kid?”, he growled. “If I want you dead, you’d be dead, and you know that, baby”, he stroked her arm up and down sensually.
Jack jumped when she noticed his hand on her. Oh, My God, he’s going to rape me, she screamed in her head as her eyes went wide and she gasped.
Riddick moved closer until his chest was pressing against hers. He bent over and his lips pressed fully to her ear. “I’m here to take you with me, Jackie girl” he whispered in his more sensual tone of voice.
Jack shut her eyes tightly as she felt his warm breath against her skin. Oh, God, please no, don’t let him hurt me, please, her mind cried out, Jack felt tears rising but she fought them back. Riddick smelled her fear and let her go like she was on fire and stared at her. Jack just fell to the floor with her eyes closed as she finally let a few tears roll onto her cheeks. Riddick watched her, she was shaking in complete panic. What the hell…, he frowned and growled. Jack heard him and covered her head with her arms.
Riddick was lost in thought, since when was Jack frightened of him? Maybe he had gone too far fucking with her mind. It was obvious that Jack wasn’t the same anymore. Riddick moved backward and took a seat on a chair in front of her. Looking at his little Jack, he felt his heart ache with pain. Suddenly he felt an invisible hand squeeze his soul. “Jack, babe, I didn’t mean to scare you”, he whispered. Jack raised her head as she heard his gentle voice. “I know you’re mad at me, but don’t pretend you don’t know me. Not after all we went through”, he explained trying to clear his thoughts.
Jack’ eyes had grown accustomed at darkness and she now saw his silhouette. He was looking somewhere only he could see. What the hell is he talking about, I’ve never seen him before, have I, she asked herself. Jack didn’t remember anything about her life that would have happened before five years ago. She was only fifteen back then. How would a girl that age meet a man like Riddick? She frowned and shook her head. Jack put her hand on the floor and noticed something cold and metallic a few inches from her. She did her best to suppress a cry of joy, The Knife! she cried out in her mind. “I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about” she gripped the knife in her fist.
Riddick growled when he heard her words. “What the fuck is with you, Jack?” he asked as he stood, “Stop this fucking shit, kid” he warned raising his voice.
Jack jumped to her feet and rushed him with the knife gripped in her hand going for his neck. Oh, shit, she thought. In two seconds she was on her back and Riddick was straddling her. “Tsk, tsk, tsk, how many times have I told you not to do that, kid?” he teased her.
“Shit”, she muttered and tried to get from underneath him. “Let me go”, she pleaded with tears in her eyes.
Riddick rose to his feet and grabbed her by her waist. “Didn’t I teach you nothing?” He asked as he hoisted her over his shoulder and carried her toward the living room.
“Put me down” she hissed.
Riddick let go of her and she dropped down on the couch. “I bet you already forgot everything, huh Jack?” He waited for her reaction. “Answer me, kid!” he cried. Jack tried to rise to her feet, but Riddick grabbed her arm and pushed her back on the couch.
“I’m not Jack, you fucking idiot! My name is Audrey Jacqueline Travis!” She shouted at him, rubbing her arm. “I don’t know what you want from me, but I’ve never ever seen you before in my whole fucking life!”, she cried out and tried to get up again.
“That’s it, kid”, he pointed at her with his finger. “Stop the fucking I don’t remember you game”, he took off his goggles. “I’m not begging your pardon. I’m saving your life here”, Riddick was tired of this game. “So you better stop this right now or I’ll beat the shit out of you kid, and I mean it” he warned her with his best menacing voice.
Jack froze when she heard his words and raised her head to look at him. She tensed her body and gasped for air. Staring at his eyes she saw how they were shining in the dark, and mesmerized, she forgot what was she thinking and feeling at that exact moment. All her thoughts were blocked inside of her mind and just a few words popped up. “How can I get eyes like that?”, she wondered, but didn’t realize that she had spoken aloud until she heard Riddick’s voice.
He looked at her concerned, “You’ve gotta kill a few people”, he said as gently as he could.
Jack stared at him. Why had she asked that? She didn’t know the meaning of those words. She was suddenly so lost she wanted to break something. She felt sad and alone. The fear had disappeared but she was trying to assimilate the actual situation. Her mind was racing again, but she knew what to say, so she said it. “Ok, I can do that”, she told him with a slight tremble in her voice, not because of him, but because of the words that had left her mouth.
Riddick watched her and saw she was lost in her thoughts. He crouched in front of her, “Then you gotta get sent to a slam where they tell you you’ll never see daylight again. You”
Jack cut him off.
“You dig up a doctor, and you pay him twenty menthol cools to do a surgical shine job on your eyeballs, so you can see who’s sneaking up on you in the dark”, she brought her face to his. Jack was fascinated and bewitched by the glow and beauty of his eyes.
Riddick looked at her right in her eye, “Exactly” he whispered and slowly he put his hands on her knees.
Jack didn’t jump or wince on this occasion at the proximity of Riddick, and she didn’t even know why. Her eyes reflected pain and sadness as silent tears rolled down her cheeks. She remembered that conversation between her and Riddick from the past, but back then he was chained in a dark place and she was a fifteen year old girl. She tried hard to remember something more about him, but she couldn’t. Jack wasn’t frightened anymore, but she felt as if her soul had been ripped apart, she felt like she was dying right here and now, like an indescribable emptiness was destroying her from inside.
Riddick sensed her pain and understood that Jack wasn’t pretending. What the fuck had happened with her, he wondered, and the beast within him growled for the first time since he found her. “You don’t remember me …..”, his voice sounded gentle and full of understanding. Jack couldn’t say anything, so she just nodded no as she raised a hand and caressed Riddick’s cheek.
“No, Riddick ….. I don’t remember you”, she was sobbing.
He closed his eyes and brought his face closer, so his forehead was pressed against hers. “I’m here and I’ll take care of everything. Don’t be afraid of me, Jack”, he sighed and placed his hand over hers and pressed it to his face, turning his cheek he kissed her palm. “You’re safe now”, he whispered.
Jack felt, for the first time in five years, that she was in the right place. In a place where she belonged. It was a strange situation. She didn’t know this man and that feeling was scary in itself, but at the same time, Jack was sure that this escaped convict and dangerous murderer, who had kill so many others, was giving her more tenderness and understanding than she suspected the rest of the world had given her before. She would be safe with him, but …… who was Richard B. Riddick? And a more bizarre feeling …. Who was she? Audrey or Jack?.