Kahtarina shuffled through the snow, avoiding the bicyclers slushing along the walk. Just another beautiful day in Amsterdam.
She hurried into the pub on the corner. “Usual, Franco,” she told the bartender as she slapped her coat and shook snow out of her hair. A steaming mug of hot chocolate appeared on the counter. “Thanks.”
She scanned the room as she let the cup warm her frozen hands. The Netherlands played Turkey in a qualifying match for the World Cup on the telly. Hooligans, decked out in white, red, and blue, some wrapped in flags, cheered or argued every play. A lone man, salt and pepper hair cropped close, sat in the far corner of the bar, sipping a coffee and staring out the window.
Kahtarina sighed. Anna’s late as usual. She raised her mug. Before the sweet heat could caress her lips, a black leather jacket bumped into her. Her beloved chocolate turned on her as it cascaded down her front, sending a shudder of pain through her body. “Klerelijer!”
She rounded on the perpetrator, a thin man with a five’o clock shadow and rimless glasses. “I-I’m so sorry, miss,” he sputtered as she glared.
She snatched a napkin from the bar and scrubbed her shirt. The man glanced around, noticing several of the hooligans crowd closer around him. “Um, ma’am?”
Kahtarina glanced up and her hand gave a small wave. The hooligans backed off, grumbling. “Uh, thank you?” Leather jacket’s finger pushed his glasses higher. “I’m Jacoby, by the way.”
He winced when she cut her gaze back to him. “I don’t really care who you are,” she said, turning her attention back to her ruined clothes. “Franco, tell Anna I’ll call her later, if she ever shows up.”
She shrugged her coat back on as she headed for the door. Jacoby surveyed the room reflected in the mirror behind the bar. He scurried after Kahtarina when he noticed the lone man staring at his back, eyes hard. “Wait up!”
Kahtarina turned at his cry, eyes colder than the weather. “What do you want?”
He reached into his jacket, and she caught a glimpse of a gun-butt hanging from a shoulder holster. Her eyes widened and she bolted, feet thumping down the treacherous road.
“Wait!” Jacoby yelled. He pounded after her, more careful of his footing. He frowned as Kahtarina hit an icy patch, her feet flying out from underneath and back of her head meeting the asphalt with a crack.
He slid to a halt beside her, cursing. He pulled off his gloves and placed two fingers on her neck, breathing a sigh of relief when her pulse ka-thumped against his fingers steady and strong.
Jacoby slid one arm under her knees and one around her shoulders, groaning as he strained to lift her. A peek down the road revealed the man with salt-and-pepper hair walking toward the two of them.
Adrenaline surged and he struggled to his feet. He swayed and slid to his car, depositing Kahtarina in the back seat. The man following them shouted and started running.
Jacoby started the vehicle and stomped on the gas, showering the stranger with snow as he escaped.
This is for Cognitive Reflection’s Picture Writing Challenge. This is another part in the saga of the Pleasant Family.
Happy Reading and Writing!