Eve is Down
At the shout of GUN, I pushed Natalie down and covered her with my body. I heard the gunshot, I heard the thud of the round striking home, the crack of the supersonic bullet, and the report of the shot. “Cover her,” I told Abaddon, he was protecting Meghan as I pushed her in front of him.
I turned to where the shot had come from, seeing the motion on the rooftop of a building two blocks away. I took two steps, using one of the big speakers to jump up off. I put my left hand down on top of the barbed wire top of the ten-foot security fence, ignoring the pain as I flung my body sideways over it. I let go, the barb tearing my hand open, and dropped and rolled on the hard ground on the other side.
I ignored the pain, ignored the screams and activity behind me as I ran towards the shooter. I pulled my pistol out with my right hand, flicking the safety off as I ran fast towards the building.
I reached it maybe a minute after the shot, and ran around the left side. As soon as I got around the corner, I could see a man jumping into a red Corvette convertible. He tossed the rifle into the empty passenger seat and started the engine as I ran towards him. He started to peel rubber away from me, and I got off a few shots but didn’t think I hit anything. He turned the corner, and I heard more shots then a crash.
I had kept running, and when I turned the corner I stopped cold. The Corvette was crashed into the corner of a building, the driver draped over the hood, his body halfway through the broken glass. He wasn’t moving, but it was the other body that caused my stomach to drop. I ran to the broken body by the curb, checking for a pulse, but there was nothing.
Donuts was dead.
I grabbed his radio microphone, keying it. “OFFICER DOWN! One block north of Willow Lake on Judson Road! Need ambulance!”
The radio crackled to life. “This is dispatch, identify yourself.”
“I’m his friend, he’s been run over by a guy who shot into our party. He’s not breathing, no pulse. Starting CPR, get help here NOW! Willow Lake and Judson!” I let go, rolling Donuts onto his back. I could see brain matter on the side of his head, he’d hit something hard and his head was split open. His legs were broken, his eyes open and pupils blown. I started compressions, hearing the ribs crack underneath me as I started my count. I could hear sirens in the distance, and feet running towards me.
“Holy shit,” Crash said as he ran up. “Fucking Donuts?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Make sure that asshole is dead, but don’t touch anything.” I continued compressions as he checked the guy.
He shook his head as he came back. “He’s dead, broken neck,” he said. “Ready to switch?”
“Next breaths,” I said. I finished my thirty and gave the two breaths, checking for a pulse. “No pulse, resume CPR.” The first police cruiser arrived during his first set, and the officer brought his AED from the trunk. He hooked it up while Crash finished the set, then turned it on. It went through the shock pattern, nothing happened, so we resumed CPR.
The street was soon filled with cop cars and an ambulance, nothing brings a crowd like an officer down call. The paramedics loaded him into an ambulance, keeping up the CPR, but you could see on their faces they knew it was pointless. Still, they closed the door and headed for the hospital. One of the detectives pulled us to the side, we were both upset and coming off the adrenalin crash. He had us sit on a bench away from what was now the crime scene, tape going up everywhere. They asked if we could come down to the station and give our statements, and we agreed.
It was times like this I really missed the Pack link. I had no idea what was going on back at the Clubhouse, and they wouldn’t let us use our phones. An hour later, an officer brought us back in an unmarked car. The parking lot of the Clubhouse was taped off as a crime scene, and a narrow pathway to the front entrance was left open. I could smell the blood from the stage as we walked towards the gate.
Everyone was standing back as EMT’s opened the door and wheeled out a gurney. A gurney with a body bag on top. Hats were placed over hearts, people were sobbing, and I could see Snake, Mia and Adam trailing behind like they were in shock. Viper and Kelly were holding on to each other like they were going to fall apart at any moment. The paramedics loaded the body into the back, and they took off with lights flashing as the remaining party-goers comforted each other. I couldn’t believe it, Eve was dead.
The Club members went back inside. “Church in five,” Snake said. His first hours as President were a disaster.
I recognized the moving dot and my training kicked in before I even thought about it. “GUN!” I leaped forward, grabbing Eve around the chest and pushing her to the ground. We hit hard, and then I heard the shot. I felt blood spray onto my neck and face, and I suddenly couldn’t move because I was pinned down by a heavy weight. My mind was processing, it was a large-caliber rifle, fairly close since there wasn’t any delay between the bullet crack and the sound of the gunshot.
I freed a hand, pulling myself higher on Eve’s body. I felt a sharp pain in my neck, ignoring it I kept moving. She had been hit in the shoulder, blood was pouring out the wound. I put my hand on it, applying pressure. I heard shouting, and the weight was suddenly lifted from my legs and hips. “Get him up to the clinic,” Meghan shouted. She knelt down next to me, quickly checking Eve. “These two as well. MOVE!”
Two men came and picked Eve up, holding a towel to her wound. I sat up, wiping at the blood dripping down my chest when I felt the sharp pain again. “You’ve been shot, Mackenzie,” Natalie said as she came over with another man I didn’t recognize. She put a towel on the wound, and I sucked in my breath as I felt the pain. “Can you walk?”
“Yeah,” I said. The man helped me up with a hand under my shoulder, then held onto me as he led me inside. We followed the trail of blood upstairs, where we made our way to a rather busy clinic room. I was led to some chairs across the hall.
“She can wait,” Meghan said as she was cutting the clothes away from a man I recognized.
“He was right behind you, the shot must have gone through him and into Eve. Your neck was grazed, it’s like a bad cut.” I closed my eyes, trying to calm myself. My neck was throbbing, and my heart was in my stomach. A fun party had turned tragic in a moment.
I recognized Snake in the room, he had scrubbed and put on gloves and was assisting Meghan. They had a bag of blood hung, and she was cutting into his chest. Forceps dug in, and I heard the clink of metal as she tossed the bullet fragments into a pan. Ten minutes later, she was closing up. I could see Eve lying on a bed, her shoulder bandaged. The two of them pulled off their gloves, and Meghan came out to look at me. “Let’s see this,” she said as she pulled the towel away. Some of the scabs opened up and it started bleeding. “Not too bad, I need to clean this and they I’ll suture it. The wound is too wide for butterflies.”
“How are they,” I said.
“They will be fine,” she said. “Gabriel took the brunt of it, the bullet hit a rib and shattered. The biggest piece punched through, grazed your neck and went into Eve’s shoulder. It was shallow, though, so she’ll be fine. I pulled it out when she got up here, while we were getting Gabriel ready. I got three fragments out of him.”
“So he’s going to be all right?”
“He’ll be fine in a few days.” She went back into the clinic, coming out with a kit and a stitch tray.
Meanwhile, Steven, Dagger and Snake were having an animated conversation. “We’ll never have a better chance to do this,” Dagger said. “We have all these witnesses that saw her get shot. Being dead is the safest place she could be.”
“I’ll have some guys dress in the uniforms and bring the ambulance over from our place,” Steven said. “We can bring her out in a body bag, make a show of it and drive her out of here with everyone watching. Every former werewolf in the country will hear about this, and not from us.”
“What will you do with her?”
“Take her up north,” Steven said. “I’ll send most of my guys with her, they can go back onto their Pack lands. We planned to buy a house and land adjacent, we can do that and keep her there. Out of sight, out of mind. We just have to pay off the coroner to give us a death certificate, then we get her a new identity. You have to decide soon, because if the real cops come up here, we lose control of this.”
He didn’t hesitate. “Do it, keep her safe.” Steven pulled out his phone, setting things in motion. “Dagger, help me get her into a body bag. Meghan gave her a strong sedative, she’ll be out for a few hours.” Snake opened a cabinet and pulled out the black bag, unzipping it and setting it out.
Meghan appeared with a stitch kit and a needle. “I need to numb the area, this looks like it will take a good number of stitches to keep it from scarring too badly.”
“I’m fine without the painkiller, I’ve had worse.”
“You’re not allergic, are you?” I shook my head no. “I’d prefer to do this, I know you’re tough, but it makes it harder for me when you move.”
“Fine.” She injected me a dozen times, and soon the area was numb. It took her almost fifteen minutes to patch me up, during which time Snake had brought Viper and Kelly up. They quickly agreed to play along. We moved Gabriel to a spare room, and quickly put the bloody clothes and sheets into a garbage bag and stowing it in a closet. Eve was put inside the clinic on the exam table, her body zipped into the heavy black plastic. Meghan got up, giving her a shot that she said would slow her metabolism down enough that she would appear dead.
We could see the flashing lights from the cops outside, the crime scene now including the stage and the parking lot.
Two police officers came upstairs. “Doctor, may we speak to you?”
“If you don’t mind me working, I have to stitch this up before the anesthetic wears off.”
“We understand you had three wounded brought up here after the shooting?”
“Yes, Mackenzie here will be fine, she was grazed. Gabriel was shot through the chest, he’s out of surgery and recovering. Eve Hardigan didn’t make it, she was DOA. Her body is in there.” They went into the room, unzipping the bag and zipping it back up just as quickly. “Has the coroner been called?”
“We’ve got transport arranged,” Snake said.
“The bullet fragments I recovered are in the pan by the table,” I said. The men opened an evidence bag, pouring the pieces into it.
“Ma’am, we’ll need statements from the victims as well as from you,” he said.
“Tomorrow. I’m tired, it’s been a bad night, and I need to write up my reports before I sleep. Stop by tomorrow and I’ll give you copies of the reports and my statement. I’m keeping Gabruek and Mackenzie here overnight for observation, you can speak with them tomorrow as well.” She finished the stitching, covering the wound with a bandage. “Don’t get that wet, your sister might have to help you bathe.” She said she would, my arm, chest and face still had blood on them.
The officer wasn’t happy, but he backed off. Snake took a call, hanging up quickly. “Look, the ambulance is here to take Eve. She’s my daughter, these people outside and downstairs are her friends and family, and none of us really know anything. I heard Mackenzie yell GUN, there was a shot, and we got them up here and treated them. Now, I need you guys to stay out of the way, so we can pay our respects.”
The officers went downstairs, and a few moments later the elevator opened and a gurney was rolled out. Dumah and Haniel were in uniforms we’d copied from the local ambulance service, and temporary decals would make our old ambulance look like one of theirs. They rolled it into the clinic, lifting Eve’s bodybag onto it and strapping it down. Snake, Viper and Kelly followed them to the elevator, and a minute later I heard the silence broken by wails of grief as she was rolled out.
There was something different about these people, something they were hiding. I didn’t know what it was, but I was damn sure going to find out. There was no such thing as werewolves, much less former ones.
“Come on, you need to rest. I can put you in the room next to Gabriel, it’s got an attached bath and a bed big enough for you and your sister to share.”
“Just like old times,” Natalie said.
“I want to look in on Gabriel first. He saved my life.” If he hadn’t knocked me down, the bullet would have done a lot more than graze my neck.
He was sleeping soundly, and my hand cupped his face as I leaned down and kissed his forehead. “Thank you, Gabriel,” I said. “Don’t die on me.”
I let them guide me next door. I couldn’t get my mind off him while I was being bathed, and my dreams were filled with him as well. One vivid dream had us sitting in the grass, three daughters in our laps. The prospect of motherhood scared the hell out of me, but he was the first man I’d met in a long time that I saw as a potential husband and father. I woke up smiling, and my first thought was of him.