Smoke

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Chapter Thirty

I got to the door of their house as I rang the doorbell.

Craig answered it as he held a huge double-barrelled shotgun and cocked it as he answered with such a serious face.

But it wasn’t too long until his face changed, and he began laughing as I raised a brow.

“As my sisters only guardian, I felt I had to do the father thing and threaten you with a gun. Sorry Kat, I thought it would be funny” He says as I chuckle at his stupidity.

“I’m not sure that at twenty-five I need a guardian Craig” I hear Lydia giggle as she comes down the stairs in a gorgeous red halter neck dress which came up to her thigh, she was beautiful.

“Wow…Lydia you look gorgeous” I breath.

“Thanks Kat, you look great too” She smiles. But then we all frown as a gunshot rings off as Craig drags me inside.

“What the fuck was that?” I snap looking out through the window as Craig is ringing someone on his phone.

“What the fuck is going on in there?...Who?...God damn it!...” Craig hangs up and gets a key from his belt as he grabs three guns.

“Kat, I’m trusting you with my sister and niece right now. When I go out you stay here and lock the door. Me and Connor have keys. Don’t let anyone else in. Understood?” Craig says to me.

“Nothing will happen to them” I nod as Lydia looks to us in shock as he hands both of us a gun.

“You know how to use it, but don’t if you don’t have to. Let Kat deal with it” Craig says as she looks at me in confusion but nods as he kisses her and runs out the building.

We lock the door behind him as Lydia sits on the stairs as she stares at the gun.

“The safety on?” I ask as she nods.

“Lydia…This isn’t how I thought our first date would go…” I lift her face to meet mine as I kiss her lips.

“Mummy…what was that noise…” a little voice comes from the landing as I take the gun from her hands.

“You don’t need to explain, go be with your daughter, I’ve got this” I smile as she kisses me.

“Thank you. We’ll talk when Craig gets back, and this is over” She says before rushing upstairs as I hear more shots go off.

My phone rings and I notice it’s Connor.

“Kat! Just listen, get Lydia and Hayley into your car right now and take them to your house. We can hold these guys off but not for long!” He says.

“Shit! Lydia! Get your kid! We gotta go!” I shout upstairs as I hear her rushing about as she comes down with a bag that looked ready to go.

“What’s going on?” Lydia asked.

“Connor, I’ve got them…” I say

“Ok, when I say you run for your car and go. We’ll come get you when this is over” Connor says, and I relay it to Lydia who has her girl in her arms.

“We’re ready Connor” I answer.

“Ok, now Kat!” He shouts and we yank the door open as we run to the car, ducking a few shots as I shoot at the guys while Lydia and Hayley get into the car.

“Go!” I hear Craig and Connor shout as I take the wheel and the tires squeal against the ground as I race off.

“Are you two ok?” I ask.

“Yeah” Lydia says as she’s trying to calm down her little girl.

I use my Bluetooth in order to make a few calls.

“Mason! There was a shootout at the gang house, I’ve got Lydia and her little girl with me, but Connor and Craig are still back there!” I call out as Mason answers.

“Shit, get home, I’ll meet you there” He says and hangs up.

“You guys are belted right?” I ask as I notice we were being followed.

“Yes…Why?” Lydia looks frightened.

“Someone’s following us” I say as she looks back.

“That’s Craig’s car!” She exclaims.

“Ring him” I say as she grabs her phone and makes a call.

“Craig! Are you ok? Is that you behind us?...What do you mean they stole your car…So that means…Shit…” her eyes look panicked.

“Put it on loudspeaker” I say, and she does.

“Craig?” I call out.

“Yeah, listen if you’ve got a tail right now, you need to move. We’ve got a handle on things back here, but we can’t get out to you right now. You gotta lose them Kat”

“Do you guys trust me?” I ask.

“I do Kat. Keep my girls safe” Craig answers.

“I trust you” Lydia says as she holds her girls hand.

“Then I guess my uncle teaching me how to drive and lose a tail is going to help finally” I say as I press harder on the pedal as we begin to speed away as Hayley is crying.

“Talk to me Lydia” Craig says as I focus on the road as cars beep at me, but I hadn’t lost the tail yet.

My phone rings and I put it on the Bluetooth.

“Where are you?!” Mason shouts.

“We’ve got a tail Mason I’m trying to lose it!” I growl as my wheels spin as I take a sharp turn.

“Head on the main road to the office, I’ll drive by and block them” He says as I spin the car onto another road.

“KAT!” Lydia screams as a gunshot goes off.

“Shit! We’re coming Lydia! Kat do what you can and keep my family safe!” Craig shouts as I hear doors slamming on his end of the line.

“Mason I’m nearly at the office” I say as I look back, we’re still being followed.

“Ok, take the tunnel, I’m going to block it and you take the back roads. Tell me when you’re in line with the office” He says.

“Mason…You’re going to get yourself killed” I gulp.

“I’ll be fine” He says, but I don’t believe him.

“Kat!” Lydia and Hayley scream as shots are fired again.

“Mason! Now!” I shout as I race forward through the tunnel as a car pulls up behind us as we race away and the car following us ploughs straight into Mason’s car.

“Craig! Mason drove in front of them, I’m out! Get to him!” I shout as I turn the car and head towards my own house as quick as I can as I’m trying to keep myself calm, even though the tears want to fall.

“We’ll get him. Get home” Craig says and hangs up.

“Mummy…Are the bad men gone?” Hayley says lifting her head from her mother’s grip.

“Lydia?” I look back.

“Mummy?” Hayley shakes her and I see the blood.

“OH shit. Hayley, my name is Kat, can you tell me if mummy is breathing?” I ask as she nods and puts her hand on her chest.

“Yeah but there’s blood on her chest…Did mummy get shot?” She cries.

“Ok, can you see a hole anywhere baby girl?” I ask as she moves Lydia’s hair out the way as I change course.

“Found one…In her shoulder” She says as I see it in the mirror.

“Ok, I need you to be a big brave girl and you see that hoody in the back, I need you to hold that on the hole and press tight. Ok?” I ask as she nods and does exactly what I say.

“Like this?” She asks.

“Perfect Hayley. We’re nearly there, I’m taking us to my friend who is a doctor who is going to help mummy ok?” I say and she nods.

“Mummy wake up” Hayley murmurs.

I race along the street and pull up on Travis’s drive as I notice Bobby’s car is here too.

“Travis!” I scream as I rush out the car, phone tucked in my chest as I get to the back. I take Lydia off of Hayley.

“Hayley I need you to pick up mummy’s phone and follow me ok?” I say and she does it and nods as we run to the door.

“Travis!” I shout as I kick the door.

“What the…” Travis opens the door as I push past.

“What happened?!” Lila notices us as she signals to put Lydia on the table as she moves everything.

“Gang house…Shooting…Tail…Mason…” I cry as Hayley hugs into me.

“Kat!” Lucy bounds up to us as she sees what’s going on with Bobby close by.

“Mummy!” Hayley cries.

“Hayley, I need you to be a real brave girl remember. This is Travis and Lila. Travis is a doctor and Lila is a nurse. Now this is Lucy and Lucy is going to sit with you a minute while I make a call to your uncle ok?”

“Hi Hayley” Lucy smiles and nods to me as Hayley clings to her.

Travis is hard at work on Lydia as I walk outside with Bobby.

“What happened?” He asks as I explain everything and then dial Craig’s number.

“I’m going to tell Travis what’s happened and check the girls. Come back in when you’re done” Bobby says, and I nod.

“Kat? Where are you?” Craig answers.

“Travis’s” I answer.

“Why? Why aren’t you at your house Katrina?” He growls.

“Lydia got shot…” I cry as I hear him talking to Connor as doors slam and tires squeal.

“Is she alive?” Craig’s voice wobbles.

“Yeah, it was in the shoulder. Travis and Lila, his wife, are working on her now. Lucy has Hayley. Craig, what happened to Mason?” I ask.

“I’m not going to sugar coat it, he’s in a bad way Kat” He answers, and I sob.

“Is Connor with him?” I ask.
“Yeah, I’m on my way to you with a couple boys, just in case, but we think we finished the lot. Connor is with Mason and he’s ringing Bailey so he’s not alone. Connor will come to us when she’s there” Craig answers as I hear tires squeal down the road.

“Craig, tell me that’s you coming down this road…” I say.

“We’re two miles out Kat…” He says.

“Shit!” I say as a shot rings out and I fire at it as I back into the house.

“Kat!” I hear Craig shout as my phone drops from my hand as I’m taking fire from three guys in a car.

“Travis! Get them out now!” I shout as I’m shooting.

“Kat! Come on!” Lucy shouts as Bobby and Travis are carrying Lydia out the back as Lila has Hayley in her arms.

“Lucy! Go!” I shout as she looks between her family and me.

“I’m not leaving you!” She shouts at me.

“Lucy! Go! I can’t keep you safe and shoot these guys!” I say.

“You better not get shot” She says before she runs after the others.

I hear another set of wheels as I’m shooting at the guys up front.

“Need a hand?” Bobby sneaks beside me, dodging a shot as I see he has a gun in his hand.

“Go back to the others” I growl shooting as the guys get closer.

“I’m not leaving my sister defenceless” He says.

“And I won’t have Lucy lose you!” I shout.

A bullet whizzes past us as I sit back, it narrowly misses my head.

I shoot and manage to hit one.

“Bobby go back right now!” I say as I notice the guys are almost on the house.

“Shit…” He says as I’m shooting back, we hear tires squeal outside and another set of bullets sound as I peek out.

Craig was here.

“Go! I have back up! Go!” I shout as I shove Bobby away and he runs.

I shoot another guy in the back of the leg as Craig finishes the others as I slide against the door, hissing at the pain of a bullet that had found its way into my arm.

“Kat!” Craig rushes up to me.

“Through there!” I nod towards the back door as I hide the bullet hole and blood from him as he races off.

I get up slowly, hissing at the pain as Connor arrives and deals with the fallout of the neighbours and police that had turned up. No one had noticed me yet.

“Kat?” Hayley comes around the corner as I’m pressing an old hoody to my arm.

“Hayley, go back to mummy” I groan as her eyes widen.

“You got shot!” She shouts as she runs off out back as I swear.

“Kat!” Travis bursts around the corner as I fall back to my knees as he checks my arm. Their shouting must have got to Connor as he ran up to us too.

“Katrina. No, no, no, not you too” Connor panics.

“Go back to Mason” I whimper to him as he shakes his head.

“Bailey’s with him”

“Connor…It’s your brother. Go now!” I growl as Travis pushes hard against me as I scream in pain.

“He’d kill me if I let you die on us” He snaps.

“Is she going to die?” Hayley murmured.

“No sweetheart, I’m not dying” I shake my head.

“Connor get going” I growl as he groans and kisses my head.

“Don’t you dare go anywhere” He growls and runs off.

“Hayley, go back to mummy” I say as she whimpers but runs off.

“This is really going to hurt” Travis says as I notice he’s trying to take the bullet out. He hands me another jacket to put in my mouth as I do it.

I scream as he’s digging into my arm as Craig and Lucy come around the corner and see what’s going on.

“I told you to protect my girls, not get shot! God damn it Kat!” Craig rushes over as Lucy takes my hand.

“Got it!” Travis says as I’m sobbing.

“Lydia…” I cry out.

“She’s passed out, she’ll be fine” Craig answers.

“Luckily no main arteries were hit. This is going to take a while to heal Kat and it won’t be pretty if I don’t take you to the hospital” Travis says.

“No hospital” I growl as he nods, he knew I hated that place.

“Then bite because I’ve got to stitch you up” He says as I cry but bite onto the jacket.

I’m screaming in pain as the others are making their way back in.

“Get Hayley out of here” I groan as Lucy heads off quickly to grab her and take her into the lounge as Lila looks at me in shock.

“You told me to leave…You got shot…You told me to leave Kat!” Bobby shouts.

“Shouting at your sister will not help Bobby. She saved my sister and niece today! So did Mason, so shut up, go in there with Lucy and take care of Hayley while I help your sister” Craig growls as Bobby sighs and gives me one last look as I scream at the pain in my arm before going in.

“I owe you big time Kat” Craig says and takes my hand.

“Travis! We need to take Lydia to the hospital” Lila shouts as Travis is halfway through stitching me up.

“Go” I groan.

“I need to finish” Travis says.

“GO!” I snap taking the needle from him.

“You can’t do it yourself Kat” He snaps back.

“She doesn’t need to. I’ll do it. Go save my sister” Craig says as Travis nods and rushes off as the others bolt outside with Lydia and Hayley.

“I can do this Craig, go with your sister and niece” I tell Craig.

“She’s safe with them” He sighs and starts to stitch me up.

“You don’t need to do this Craig, I can manage” I hiss under the pain.

“I’m sure you can but I’m doing it” He says, and I bite on the hoody as tears fall down my cheek.

Soon enough he was finished, and I sat against the door controlling my breathing against the pain.

“Go be with your sister. You’ve stitched me up now go” I urge.

“I’m not leaving you here alone” He sighs.

“Craig if you don’t go and be with your family I’m going to shoot you myself” I growl as he chuckles.

“Ok tough cookie, but first I think I should take you home, I don’t want you on your own with your wound” He says.

“Fine…But no one’s at home…Ollie is at Nathan’s right now.” I sigh as Craig helps lift me up.

“Then we are heading to your brothers. But we need to lock this place up” He says as I point to my handbag. He grabs it for me and takes a set of keys out.

“That one is to this place. We need to go in Nathan’s car…Oh shit…He’s going to kill me for the holes…” I groan.

“We’ll get it sorted. Connor will get it fixed” He smirks.

“Ok. But Nathan is still going to get angry about all this” I sigh as we lock up the house.

“I’ll deal with it” Craig says as he helps me into the passenger seat before telling the boys that were left to clean up and head back home.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t stop Lydia getting shot” I cry.

“Don’t cry Kat, it’s a risk we all knew about in the gang, I’m just glad you were there to keep her safe as you could. My family are alive because you, Mason and your family helped them. I can’t thank you enough” Craig smiles and grips my hand.

“I’m so scared Craig, what if Mason doesn’t make it? What if someone comes after us again? I’ve killed…again…The worst part is, I fucking enjoyed the thrill of it…” I cry.

“Firstly, it’s ok that you’re scared, we all were. Mason will be ok, he’s tough and has his brother with him. You’ve had a hit of life with a gang and it’s ok to enjoy taking out a bad guy, the thrill is the adrenaline pumping in your veins as you protect what is yours. It doesn’t make it right, what we do, but it helps. We only do this shit to protect what is ours. We don’t go looking for it like others do” Craig says.

“What I don’t understand is why they were so intent of getting to us…” I say as I hiss at sudden pain in my arm as I knock it against the door accidently.

“Leave that to Connor to figure out. Are you bleeding again Kat?” Craig asks with worry as we pull up outside Nathan’s house.

“Shit!” I groan as my hand hovers over the wound and notices the blood seeping through the bandage.

“Will your brother have a kit?” He asks.

“Yeah”

Craig rushes round the car and helps me out as we head to the door. Craig knocks loudly as I hear Nathan swear coming to the door.

“Will you shut up! I’ve got a baby sleeping in here!” He growls as he opens the door and eyes go wide at the sight of us.

“We need your first aid kit now Nathan. We’ll explain everything once I’ve sorted out Kat” Craig pushes us inside as Nathan rushes off while I sit on the dining room chair.

The bandage is removed, and Craig looks at me, concern is flooding his face.

“So, how bad is it doc?” I smirk through the hiss of pain.

“I think we need to take you to the hospital. The bleeding isn’t stopping Kat” He says taking a fresh bandage from the first aid kit.

“What the hell happened? Did you piss Lydia off?” Nathan asks.

“Gang war Nathan, that’s what fucking happened.” I say as I can see the fear and anger in his eyes as he looks at the wound on my shoulder.

“What?!” He cries out angrily.

Craig and I give him a quick run-down of what had happened, and he sits in shock.

“Do you have any idea which gang?” Nathan asks Craig.

“I have an idea…” He replies.

“I don’t feel so good…” I groan, nausea filling my stomach as I began to feel faint.

“Shit! She’s losing too much blood! Nathan ring an ambulance!” Craig orders as Nathan gets too it before I fall into Craig’s arms as we tumble to the ground as he tries to hold the gauze to my bullet wound.

“Stay with me Kat” Craig mutters as I pass out.

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