She held her knees and rocked. I didn’t have time to deal with her, but hell, she’d saved my life. Why? Who knows. I couldn’t do much, but I could get the gun away from her. It would look to everyone like I’d shot him. There was nothing to suggest that the girl had done it.
Well, apart from the witness.
I approached the sobbing girl with care, slowly kneeling to pick up the gun. The metal felt cold to the touch as I wrapped my fingers around the grip. I always expect them to be hot. Gun in hand, I raised it towards the only threat left in the room. She might not be a threat to me anymore, but even if this girl didn’t want to kill her, it would a lot easier if someone did.
“You came sooner than we expected,” the woman said with shallow breaths.
“Expected?” I said, racking my thoughts to give me any reason they would expect me.
“You came for your friend didn’t you?” she said. “You must really like this kid.”
Did she mean Tom, how’d they know that’s what this was about? I didn’t think the connection between us would have been that obvious. No one had ever seen me with the boys. I had to start moving, but I needed all the information I could get… I said the first words into my head, hoping she’d continue, “Uh, we didn’t really get along. Besides, I only met him a few days ago.”
“What?” When I said it like that, it didn’t make sense to me either. It was clear she knew who I was. I guessed tales of my actions had been passed around. “Listen, just get out of here. You can’t help him. Run, they’ll be here soon and they aren’t going to mess around.” She wasn’t wrong about that. But I couldn’t just go. I looked to the girl. “I’ll say you did it, just get the hell out of here.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Why not? She shouldn’t pay the price for your life.” Her brow furrowed, her voice more wrought with emotion than before. She cared for something at least. But just as soon as the emotion appeared it was gone, replaced with cold cynicism, “Besides, Nick was a dick anyway.” She nodded to the body.
I heard a distant shout. I didn’t have time for idle chatter. I had to move. The events had transpired in a relatively short amount of time, but long enough for someone to come to the sound of gunshots.
And I still didn’t have any shoes on. With my first priority: finding the closest most lethal object and making sure it was sitting firmly in my hand, satisfied, I was left to search for my footwear. I couldn’t see my boots anywhere, they must have been among the wreckage of the ceiling now scattered around the huge bed. I didn’t have time to go digging. I had to do what I came here for and get out as fast as possible.
I skidded to the body, still warm, with the hope of finding whatever keycard he’d used to get through the locks. I was imagining this place would have a few.
As I was crouched over him my ears caught the echo of footsteps. The door slammed open. It caught me in the back before I could turn, throwing me forwards across the corpse and its growing pool of blood.
There was no shots though, I must have caught him by surprise. I guess you don’t expect your enemy to be lying in a pool of blood in front of the door. I rolled to my back, raised the gun in both hands and pulled the trigger.
It was so easy. Point and pull, then bam. Someone dead.
You didn’t have a chance to think about it, it was just instinct. The consequences… well, my immediate problem was the fourteen stone of muscle that toppled forwards onto me. I tried to get out of the way but blood, it doesn’t help with traction.
I didn’t even know how many times I’d fired the gun. How could I not know that?
He crashed onto me and took my breath away. In the bad way. Literally. However much armour you have it’s not going to protect you from something just crushing you like a pair of bellows. I coughed as I tried to re-inflate my lungs, struggling to push the mass of meat off me.
He wasn’t dead, not yet.
One of the bullets must have hit him in the neck. I was bathed in a warm sticky mess. Inches away from my face I could hear him gurgle. I could feel an animal groan as his lungs tried to force air through an exploded windpipe.
I tried to get my knee under him and lever his weight off. But he was a big guy. Didn’t do him much good. If he’d been a foot shorter I’d have missed.
I could taste iron. My lips were glued together with sticky warm blood. It clogged my eyelashes, I had to blink and spit to try free myself from it.
“Hold it!” Ah. I wasn’t in a good position. I tried again to pushed the corpse off myself. “I said, don’t fucking move!”
No you didn’t, you said ‘hold it’ and that doesn’t even make sense when I think about it. Hold what? Damnit I’m fucked. A boot kicked at the gun I was struggling to hold and it was gone, sailing off into the room I couldn’t even twist and see.
Then it came down and pressed against my face.
This was going well.
“She got in through the roof. Dan, go check it out,” the one with his foot on my head said to one of the other men in the room, who promptly left. No, bad idea, don’t do that. I hoped Mike and Jack were long gone as soon as they saw this plan had all gone to hell.
I’d like to say I could take the two guys that were left, but the one that wasn’t holding me to the floor was keeping a frustratingly sensible distance as he skirted around the room to the woman I’d been fighting. I had no doubt he wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger, and he was close enough to pull off a shot to the face. Hell, even if he hit me somewhere unprotected, like my leg, it would end badly for me.
“I’m fine.” She batted away his attention and pulled herself to her feet slowly. “Unlike these two. No way Jon’s alive but check Nick – two bullet’s to the gut. He could be lucky.”
She retrieved her, or a, gun and lifted it to aim at me. Three. I can’t win this…
“Dead,” was announced to the room.
“We got her Gib, and you said she was some stupid ghost!” I felt every shift in his weight as he ground my ear into the floor, knowing all the time that I could break his leg if I was given a few seconds to move, if I was quick at getting the body off me. He thought he was displaying his physical power over me when it was actually the almost complete power of a loaded gun, a loaded gun he didn’t even have. Two people could put any number of bullets in me before I could move more than a few inches…
“She still killed them two, we weren’t expecting her this early. That stupid kid messed up.” The name, the voice… Recognition flooded through me. I couldn’t see his face well from my position but his shifting gait, that was painfully familiar. He’d been scared yesterday. He’d run as soon as he could. His friend paid for underestimating me.
That just drilled into me how difficult it would be to underestimate me right now.
“It doesn’t matter, we’ve got her,” the guy replied. “Let the boss know, let’s get her out of here. We don’t want him seeing this mess.”