“Focus. Keep your eyes on your opponent, calculate their next move.” I command to the sweating, panting boy on the floor in front of me. Seriously Jason, we’ve only been at this for an hour.
I seriously don’t think he’d last in a fight.
He staggers to his feet slowly and takes a swing at me...I dodge effortlessly.
It’s official...he’d die.
“How is this easy for you?” he asks as he bends over placing his hands on his knees and giving me a look of surprise. “You haven’t even broken a sweat!” he shouts.
“Good to know your eyes are in proper working order.” Sarcasm dripping off my every word. “Now come on let’s go again. Remember, focus and watch me.” I say again. He groans.
“Hey you’re the one who asked me to help train you, and as your ‘coach’ I’m going to give you some helpful pointers” I pause, “Your footwork is sloppy, the power behind your swings is pathetic, your reflexes are defective, and your endurance sucks,” I state seriously while giving him an innocent look.
In truth, everything I just told him is complete BS but...I’m trying to give him some motivation to keep going and in my experience, making another agent angry always seems to do the trick. For some reason, other agents don’t appreciate being told off by fellow agents, if it’s a superior great, if it’s another agent...you might get shot. Luckily for me, I made sure all weapons were left inside.
He face darkens and again he begins to swing at me, this time with more energy than before. We continue to dodge and swing at each other with me winning.
Now from my experience anger can do one of two things, A) cloud your judgment and make you lose focus, or B) motivate you and help you perform better. For Jason, it’s the latter.
He pulls his arm back to swing and I move my arm up to block it while at the same time bringing my knee up into his stomach causing him to double over in pain. He throws his foot out in an effort to trip me but I dodge easily and deliver a right uppercut into his chin. He staggers back but doesn’t fall. Suddenly there’s clapping to my left. I turn to face Devin sitting on the grass about six yards from us stuffing his face with popcorn.
“This isn’t a TV show you can watch whenever you darn well please.” He is so weird.
“No you’re right...this is better!” he shouts back gleefully.
“He’s got a few screws loose.” Jason murmurs quietly so only I can hear.
“Really? What was the giveaway?”
“I can hear both of you.” Devin snaps while grabbing a fist full of popcorn and chucking it at us...only it landed several yards away. Jason starts laughing.
“Is that the best you got?” I watch Devin slide a throwing knife out of his pocket, aiming it straight for Jason who happens to be leaning against a tree, still laughing hysterically. Typical.
The knife soars gracefully through the air and only now does Jason see it. I let out a sigh as I reach my hand out and grab the knife by the blade, stopping it mere centimeters away from Jason’s face...he audibly gulps, before calming down and yelling at Devin.
“What the hell! You could have killed me!” he roars in anger and begins to advance on Devin who throws his bowl of popcorn in his way.
Great idea Devin, that’ll slow him down...not.
I twirl the knife in my hand, making it dance across my fingers as Cody and Chase exit the house and come into the backyard to see what all the commotion is.
“I could have but I didn’t,” Devin says with an innocent smile plastered on his face. “I think you owe Thirteen a favor now cause she saved your life.” He adds happily.
“I wouldn’t have to owe anyone a favor if you didn’t throw the damn knife to begin with.”
I decide to break up the fight now before someone-Devin-gets seriously hurt cause from the looks of things I don’t think Chase or Cody will do anything till it’s too late.
“Ladies, ladies” I call out, still keeping my distance. Yeah I may be reckless but I ain’t stupid. “You’re both very pretty can we get back to training now?” The glares I’m receiving are worthy of a horror movie’s ax murder.
“You’re training with her?” the disbelief seeping into Cody’s tone is enough to cause a three-year-old to stop believing in Santa Claus.
“He asked for my help so I’m helping him” hmm, time for a little fun...and ego bruising, “if you want I could help you too seeing as how you clearly need it.”
“What is that supposed to mean.” His tone takes on a cold edge meant to scare me...me scared? Haha, he’s funny.
“It means, you’re a crap agent.” Now it’s one thing to insult him as a person, to insult him as an agent...I’m basically begging for a World War III. I may have said I wasn’t stupid...but I never said I was the sharpest tool in the shed either.
Can you guess what he does next?
He lunges...shocker. Though I had already pointed out that there are two types of angry people...he’s the first one. This is going to be so much fun...for me. He’s on the floor within seconds and all I had to do was step to the side and stick my foot out...real difficult.
Yep we’ve got a world-class agent right here people, right there...on the floor...having trouble breathing.
He gets on his feet quicker than I actually thought he would but it doesn’t matter. Why you ask? Well guess where he is?
On the floor...again. If he is seriously one of the best agents in the agency...I’m going to need to have a long chat with Zero.
This goes on for another fifteen minutes. He attacks and then the next thing you know, bam-he’s on the floor. I think we could be a comedy act at this point. Jason, Devin, and Chase make no move to intervene or even try to talk to us...thank-you. You guys do have common sense.
I swear if he attacks me one more time I’m going string him up from the tree. I swear it.
“He’s turning purple.”
“I think you should let him down now.”
“How long before he passes out do you think?”
“Well I think he makes a lovely ornament.”
“This isn’t healthy.”
“Do you think he’s dead?”
“I don’t think he’s going to have any feeling in his leg for a long time.”
“Oh good then I can get a head start,” I say while listening to all the comments thrown my way as I watch Cody dangle from the tree by his ankle.
“Do you think he’ll kill us for laughing?” Jason asks.
“Dude, it was a crime not to laugh.” Retorts Devin.
“I’m right here.” Growls Cody.
“Seriously can we let him down now?” Chase presses softly as if he’s afraid I’ll strap him up there next.
“I never said you couldn’t” seriously boys listen to what I say, “All I said was I’m not going to let him down.” Chase sighs loudly as if he’s just done with me-hey I would be too-and walks over beginning to untie the rope holding Cody up.
“I’d be careful the rope wasn’t that-” Cody comes crashing down from the tree as the rope snaps, “sturdy.” I finish as I gaze down at Cody while he gives me a murderous glare. “Hey I warned him.”
“A little too late.” He snaps, before attempting to get back on his feet. I say attempting because well, Jason was right about him having no feeling in his leg. Oops.
Ever heard that saying, sorry not sorry? No? Well now you have.
I shrug my shoulders before turning and heading back into the house and straight up the stairs into my room. I flip open my laptop for the second time today, but instead of doing nothing I started my work on the information Lucas gave me.
By the time I was done I had come up with a list of twenty-three hideouts for these guys and only two of them were actually in Chicago...great. Now I’ll never find Tony. I run my fingers through my hair in exasperation. I lean my head back against the headboard of my bed and stare at the dingy gray ceiling. Seconds turned into minutes as I was pondering what to do next. I didn’t get to dwell on the situation that much as the familiar sound of a gunshot echoed through the house.
I froze and moved quietly to my dresser to grab my gun and knives. Is it possible the boys just decided to shoot each other for me? Just as that thought passes through my head the sound of splitting wood followed closely by rapid machine gun fire disrupts the once quiet household. That’s definitely not the boys. How the hell did they find us?
There was shouting and the sounds of a grenade going off causing the whole house to shake and undoubtedly catch fire. Yet I still didn’t move from my room even as the smoke began to rise. I quickly grabbed my duffle bag from the closet and began to throw guns, knives, grenades, passports, IDs, cash, and of course clothing.
I sling the bag up on my shoulder and open the door to my room only to see that the hallway is full of smoke and the stairs are completely engulfed in flames...of freaking course it is.
I quickly run across the hallway and duck into Chase’s room throwing my duffle bag on his bed as I proceed to raid his drawers and closet for anything we may need. I find more weapons as well as passports and IDs for all the guys, perfect. I grab a bunch of his clothes and repeat the same thing for Jason, Devin, and Cody’s room. I open the door to Cody’s room only to see that the hallways are completely covered in flames. I run back into the room and throw open the window. Thank goodness it’s only a two-story drop or I would be screwed.
I throw the bag down first before jumping after it, landing gracefully on my feet. I pick up my bag and put distance between myself and the burning house. I turn around to stare at the house.
You boys better have gotten out.
I start to run to make my way to the front of the house when I hear voices, and they aren’t the boys. I jump behind a set of trash cans placing the duffle bag down silently beside me.
“I’m not going to ask you again” a familiar voice drawls “where is she?” by she I’m assuming he meant me, but that’s just a guess.
“How the hell am I supposed to know I thought she was in the house that you guys so stupidly burned down. Now the firemen and the police are on their way. Amateurs.” Devin scoffs. A gun is pressed into the back of his head. “Do you really think you scare me? I’ve been hanging out with Thirteen these past few days and she’s terrifying when she’s angry.” He fakes a horrified look. Gee thanks Devin.
Just wait till I get my hands on you.
“Shut up Devin,” Chase mutters. Thank you Chase, at least someone makes sense here.
“I’ll ask you again, where is Thirteen?” He questions. I slide out from behind the trash cans and quietly make my way closer so I can have clearer view rather than looking through a crack in the dumpsters. I duck behind a car parked on the street and shove the duffle bag under it before peeking around the front.
There are twelve men on the sidewalk facing Jason, Cody, Devin, and Chase who happen to have their wrists handcuffed behind their backs, with a gun pressed against the backs of their heads. Not to mention the other eight men in the streets near the cars.
Totally the greatest agents in the agency without a shadow of a doubt...note sarcasm.
I can’t help but roll my eyes at their predicament. I can’t help it if I’m the brains and they’re the brawns. Not my fault...though Cody will find some way to blame me for this just cause I hung him from a tree...again not my fault.
I quietly unzip the bag and pull out my dagger, a gun, and ten throwing knives. Twenty against one...this should be fun.