Ann Marie Tajuddin
Anxiety flooded his senses and he again struggled against the ropes, feeling them cut deeper into his flesh, but unable to stop. The stranger touched him again, softly, and he subsided with an effort. "Who are you?" he asked, needing to hear his companion again. "I'm..." He paused, as if uncertain of his own identity. "My name is Derrick. I'm a friend. I can't untie you just yet, but I'll be back. I'll get you out of this mess, okay? You've got to believe me - you've got to hang onto that." He nodded in the darkness. "I have to go, but I'll be back soon, I promise." "Wait!" A hand touched his face and wiped away the single tear, as if he knew it would be there. "I promise, Al." Then he was gone.