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A Cold Fateful Night by Katerina Winters (1)

 

With his hands in his jacket pockets, Dorian Fields stared broodingly out the entrance windows. The deserted downtown Denver streets were covered in thick white snow. Turning his head from one side to the other he didn't see a single soul walking or driving by. Despite it being Friday he decided earlier that day to stay late and catch up with some work, ignoring the weather warnings from his coworkers and the news.

 

Turning away from the windows he began to go towards the elevator when he heard the loud draining whir. The power just went out. Quiet and dark the desolate office building echoed its barren state. Calmly he turned back towards the front entrance windows and observed the buildings across the street. The lights were out across the street as well.

 

With the lights out in the main foyer, the office building was draped in heavy darkness. The dim outside light cast a faint hazy blue tint along the edges of the darkness, but it didn't go far. The depth of the long foyer and black tile was too great and too dark for the small amount of light the windows had to offer. Pulling out his phone he used it as a flashlight as he made his way down the exit stairs towards the parking garage.

 

Opening the door, Dorian stopped in his tracks at the pitch black garage. Cursing inwardly in annoyance he scanned the nothingness in front of him noting the gated entrance and exit ramp heading up to the street. The sloped ramp was covered in thick snow piled against the grated metal gate. There were no emergency lights anywhere in the building or if there were, they sure as fuck weren't on. Narrowing his gaze at the gate, Dorian questioned if it would even work.

 

Letting the door to the stairwell shut behind him, he began to step forward.

 

"Hello!" The muffled desperate voice sounded in the darkness to his right. "Is anyone out there?"

 

Shining his phone light towards the voice, he could see the black metal doors of the elevator. There was someone trapped inside.

 

"Yes, I'm here." Setting his phone screen facing down, on the concrete in front of the elevator doors, he created a makeshift lantern.

 

"Oh my God thank you, I have been stuck here for a couple of minutes now, and my phone isn't working. I began…"

 

"Can you pry open the interior doors?" It was a woman that was evident by the light, airy voice penetrating the steel doors—a very scared, chatty woman at that.

 

"Oh…Umm no I tried I can't seem to get my fingers in between the seam." She sounded closer now as if she was pressed directly against the doors.

 

Pushing his fingers into the crease of the doors Dorian slowly muscled the two heavy doors apart until the doors' internal hydraulics kicked in easing them all the way open. Stepping forward he put a boot in front of the open doors and began to repeat the process on the interior doors.

 

"Can you call the police or fire department please?" Her voice was no longer muffled, Dorian could hear the nervous fear in her voice clearly. Gritting his teeth, he ignored the sharp pain to his fingers as he pried at the second set of doors.

 

"Are you still there? Please say something I…"

 

The doors opened, catching both off guard. With his hands outstretched on either side of him holding the doors, open Dorian looked down at the wide-eyed woman standing inches away. Dressed in a long leopard fur coat, the small brunette gave him a large grateful smile. Dorian had seen her before, once a few weeks ago when he first started the job. She was walking to the front door the same time as him, Dorian could clearly remember her soft thank you she gave him as he held it open. That day he only got a passing glance at her face, but he did notice her outfit, as well as everyone else she passed by.

 

The woman obviously had a thing for old clothes judging from his first encounter and what little of her outfit he could see now. The first time he saw her she was wearing an outfit reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy's infamous pink suit, hat and all. Picking his phone off the ground, she inadvertently cast the bright light across her face highlighting her high round cheekbones and plump round lips. Her light brown hair was piled high in a pillow curls around her collar and face giving her a warm, soft look.

 

Handing him his phone back Lasette stepped back as he let the powerless elevator doors slowly shut again. Grabbing his phone, he held it so that it still illuminated the dark space between them.

 

Getting a good look at her savior Lasette had to do a double-take. The man was huge. Built like an athlete the tall wide shouldered man gave her a calm accessing look. He possessed a fine classical handsome face that instantly attracted the eye, however, any attention his features might have captured were immediately turned away by the uncompromising hardness etched across his stern set lips and a unapproachable set-in glower that held not one shred of softness. The gray storm clouds he called eyes looked at her intently.

 

"Thank you so much, you have no idea, I was really starting to freak out in there," Breathing an audible sigh of relief Lasette smiled, nervously filled the silence between them. The man's gray eyes calmly stared at her as she rambled only making her want to ramble more. "I tried calling for help on my phone it but won't connect with anyone not even emergency numbers. I don't know what I would've done if you hadn't have come along when you did. I really…"

 

"We she could going," his calm, deep voice immediately quieted her as a gust of strong wind rushed through the gate.

 

Without saying anything, he began walking across the cavernous parking garage, his dark boots echoing with each step. Shoving her hands into her pockets for warmth Lasette rushed to keep up. Standing next to the automatic gate he looked around the machine they would normally swipe their key cards on to get out.

 

"Is there no manual release?" She asked, desperately wanting to leave and get into her toasty car and out of this godforsaken garage.

 

A deep grunt was the only reply he gave her as he flashed phone light around the gate. After a couple of minutes of searching, both of them using their phones to walk along the wall of the freezing garage, they met back up with nothing to report.

 

"Can we ram it?" At this point she is ready to try anything, her stocking covered legs felt absolutely numb from the blizzard winds whipping freely through the grated gate.

 

Lasette watched the man's harsh profile as he gave the large metal gate a calculating stare before shaking his head.

 

"No, we will just end up wrecking our cars if not injuring ourselves."

 

She sighed nodding her head in agreement, that definitely wouldn't be a good idea since they were alone with no way to call for help. Not sure what to do next she turned to him to ask for his opinion, but he was already walking towards the large black truck parked in the corner. The truck was the only other car on that level besides her own. Since it was a holiday weekend and a lot of people didn't come in today it made it easy to find a space at the top of the garage.

 

"We need to get out of here," opening his truck Lasette watched him take a few things out and stuff them into his coat pockets. Unfolding a knitted black hat that matched his black coat and boots, he pulled the material over his dark close cut hair.

 

"I suggest we go to Union Station and try to find a cab."

 

Pulling her coat around herself tighter she looked nervously towards the exit ramp to the barren, snow-covered street above. "Are you sure? We can’t just stay here until the power comes back on?"

 

Gray eyes coolly looked at her before looking down at his gloves which he slipped over his fingers. "I wouldn't suggest it. Not only will you be alone and hungry, you have no idea when the power will come back on, and I doubt your little coupe will last on gas through a three-day holiday weekend."

 

His deep matter of fact tone felt like a slap of blizzard wind across her face. Well it was very clear he was heading to the station with her without her, frustrated and nervous she turned on her heel and walked toward her car.

 

"Well, I can’t walk all the way there in this,” signaling to her clothes, “let me change.”  The train station was a good distance from their office building, walking all the way there in embroidered faux leather three-inch mary-jane hills would be considerably less than ideal, no matter how wonderfully cute they were.

 

Ignoring the hulking, silent man altogether she used her cell phone light and made it to her car. Opening her trunk, she said an inward prayer of thanks for continuing to ignore her brothers’ complaints about her junky car. She always did have a bad habit of keeping a bunch of stuff in her car in fear she might need it. Well ha, she thought as she pulled out her gym bag—guess who turned out to be right.

 

Using the light of the trunk only she began to unbutton her coat before pausing. Looking behind her Lasette saw the man's silhouette in the pitch black garage by the gate. It looked as if he was standing with his hands in his pockets with his back towards her. Quickly she unbuttoned her faux fur coat and her nineteen forties style wool dress. This was just crazy, never would Lasette ever imagined when she got ready that morning would she have to find herself layering her gym clothes on in the parking garage with some mysterious man a few yards away. Just who was he and why had she not seen him before? Surely she would've noticed the towering bulky man.

 

With two pairs of fleece lined running pants layered over her sheer stockings, her legs felt immensely warmer. Throwing on thin long sleeve running top and an extra sweater she found in her backseat she re-buttoned her fur coat over the sad ensemble. Tying her tennis shoes tight, Lasette stuffed her cute box purse and a bunch of other random things into her workout bag and closed the trunk.

 

Walking over to the gate she stopped when Dorian turned to look at her. "Are you ready?" He didn't wait for an answer. "Because once we walk out this emergency door, it will shut and lock behind us."

 

Thinking of her warm comfy car she gave let out a sad sigh and nodded. Following him out the door, they stepped onto the dark abandoned street. They both watched as the heavy emergency door slam shut echoing loudly off the desolate nearby building walls as if proclaiming loudly in reminder–there was no turning back.