Recluse Protection

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Chapter 7

I shut the water off and step out, grabbing the towel to dry off languidly; my thoughts still absorbed by the fresh information. My heart throbs out of pain; his words hurt like hell; I need to keep watching. I need to figure it out; I owe the man, the men that saved me. I pull on my panties, a plain pair of boy shorts. I slip an oversized sleep shirt over my head, brushing out my hair before throwing it up into a messy bun. I stare in the mirror, tilting my head to the side. The scars that surround my throat make me pause; this injury almost killed me, I had to stitch myself back together.

I can only shake my head, flipping the switch as I enter my bedroom; I pause in front of the window to admire the view of the land. I want morning to come, I can get out of the house away from the thoughts. If only I could get on Majesty, ride till I could bawl my eyes out and get the fuck on with this. Emotions aren’t going to help me figure this mess out. The pale moon casts a soft glow on the landscape; my eyes are drawn to new movement; unusual movement. I step back from the window to watch the movement of shadows, leaving the woods.

I inch towards my nightstand and grab the binoculars Gears had given me. My index finger flips the night vision on and enhance the scope. The shadow figure prowls over the property. I can’t see any distinctive features, or anything of use. He’s sneaking around, I don’t fucking like that. He pauses looking over his shoulder; he isn’t alone. Son of a bitch; dropping the binoculars onto my bed, I pull on my boots, grabbing my gun and it’s thigh holster. I strap my weapons to my body, forced to balance on one foot to get situated.

Once the last weapon is secured, I jog down the steps straight to my office. I unlock the door as fast as my hands can move; I’m pissed beyond belief. “What the hell set your ass on fire?” I hear Patriot grumble tiredly, making me throw a harsh glare his way.

“Y’all brought more fucking company. I’m betting all your asses were too distracted to keep your heads on a swivel.” Gear’s gun case stands proud in my office; I unlock it and pull out his baby. An M39 EMR, his sniper from his days in the service. I grab his Sig Sauer, adding the silencer before I slip it into its waist belt.

“What does that mean?” Rubble says automatically, going towards the window, reaching for the blinds.

“You better shut the lights off before you take a peek. I’m not going to be cleaning your brains off the floor.” I slam the gun case closed; I hate people on my property. “Monitor the house Forger, the rest of you better be ready to hit some shit.” I guess this is one way to earn my trust.

“On it, Hellion.”

“I can’t see shit; where were they?” I head straight towards the basement door, they’ll have to use the secondary escape route.

“I’m on the second story; I have the advantage. Property line headed towards the buildings. You guys can use the basement; I’m headed for the attic.” The door opens to expose the cold basement, the laminate panels that line the wall are easily moveable. I use my knife to peel the panels apart; exposing the ladder to the attic. After I learned to snipe; Gears helped me instal this little gem. My shirt is grabbed as I climb onto the first rung of the ladder; the sniper strapped to my back.

“What’s your plan?” Cobra asks, making me raise an eyebrow.

“I’m killing the fuckers that are trespassing. Why don’t y’all be useful and try to find targets? I don’t want my shit burned to the ground because of this.” I climb, pulling the shirt from his grasp. I don’t care that he can see up my shirt, I have bigger issues to deal with. Does this have something to do with Bear’s mistakes? That’s a question to answer later, I find myself in the attic. Crawling to the window, I slide it out of the way, setting up the sniper like Gears taught; I switch the scope to infrared.

Already having the location in memory, I track the path, scouring for the shadow’s movements. I easily spot the man I saw sneaking around; still using the shadows of the woods as cover. The full moon doing its job of lighting the landscape. I scan the woods slowly and I find three others; hidden in the wood line. “What do you see?” The whisper stuns me, I slam my boot right into Cobra’s chest, sparing the man a glare; prick.

“Do that again, I’ll fucking shoot you.” I pant, the hot air in the attic makes it difficult to take a calming breath. I place my eye against the scope again, once more scouting my targets.

“How many do you see?” Cobra asks again, making me force myself to focus; sighting in on each target.

“Four on the north eastern wood line, heading towards the mechanic’s building. Two are still in the woods, two are making their way along the fence.” I keep my voice low as I answer his question; his body inches up next to mine. Cobra repeats my findings into a phone, probably relaying the information to Rubble.

“That’s good; what else do ya see?” It almost bothers me; to be trapped up in the attic sweating balls with a man I don’t know settled up next to me. Now’s not the time; I inhale slowly and widen my scan, needing to see the bigger picture. No one brings four guys to a place this big; they have to have something planned. What would their end game be?

“They have something planned.” I state, I don’t know why I bothered, I’m sure by now he clued into that fun little tidbit of information. “Have Forger get a bag; I need to pack. This place has been found by someone; it ain’t safe to stay here any longer.” I’ll need to clear out the office; who brought them here? Was it really Cobra and them when they came? Maybe they’ve been watching me. Son of a bitch; I switch targets, adjusting the range on the scope.

“Forger, Hellion needs a bag packed. We’re pulling her out; it’s too dangerous to stay here on her own.” I want to growl at that statement; I know it’s true. Me against whoever these assholes belong to would sign my death warrant.

“What the fuck am I missing?” I growl to myself, trying to focus my mind. Looking up to higher ground, I spot heat signatures, registering one as a hot engine. I start my scan of the area, my heart pounding. I then see it, a prone body. “Move.” I call out to Cobra, I hear the echo of the gun firing off; scaring the birds into the sky. My finger twitches right as pain races through my arm. “Shit!” My leg is grabbed, pulling me with Cobra as he works his way back towards the ladder; the insulation behind us smokes.

“This place is about to go up in fucking flames.” Cobra remarks as he drags me backwards; I’m too focused on collecting the sniper to care about this new predicament.

“Go down the ladder; inform them.” I shake his hand off of my leg, trying to hold my breath as the insulation smolders quickly turning to burning embers. The fire sucks in cool air through the open window. I knew I was missing something really fucking important. I hear Cobra’s voice echoing up the chute for the ladder as he growls into the phone towards Rubble. I need shit from the office. My legs dangle into the hole, allowing me one last glance around; the attic is already filled with heavy, black toxic smoke.

Coughing, I ease down into the hole, climbing down as quickly as I can. Shit’s going to hell quicker than I can fight it. I shove past a partially stunned Cobra, I unlock the office door, grabbing my emergency bag and I load everything of importance. I’m about to lose my home, and my land. The only safety net I’ve had for the last ten years. Son of a bitch! My hand turns the lock quickly; I don’t have time for this, I shove all of my documents into a smaller metal lock box, needing to protect it. I grab my laptop and slip it in there. “What do you need us to grab?”

Forger asks, making me pause as I shake my head softly. What do I need? “Clothes, gear my gun bag. I don’t know get shit.” I finally growl out frustrated; my brain is slowly frying itself. Giving myself a shake, I finish collecting what I need from my office, contact books, support links. Anything I need to do my job.

“Keep your shit. We still have to fight our way out of this.” Cobra comments as he steps into the room, taking a chance to glance around. It’s easy for him to say, he still has his whole fucking world. Everything I knew and understood was shattered, blown up and destroyed in a matter of hours.

“Where’s Rubble and them?” I use this as a distraction, Forger appears with my gun bag. Grabbing that, I crack open Gear’s gun safe, pulling out the rest of his cache; the acrid smell of flames burns my nose. The ladder access becomes a smoke chute straight into the bottom of the house.

“They’re outside, scouting, you need to get shit packed away and loaded up. You’re being shipped out.” I’m in the mood for a fight, I know it’s piss poor timing; I’m confrontational.

“Fuck off! This is my land; I’m not leaving until I know these assholes have met their maker. If they want to take my home, then I’ll take their goddamn lives.” I force myself past him, keeping the bag with me. I know this land better than anyone. I’m not about to let these assholes scare me away before I spill their blood.

“Hellion, you gotta stay safe girl.” Forger speaks up, dragging my attention back to him.

“Don’t start that. They came here looking for a fight; I’m not letting them leave without one.” With that, I head down the stairs. Without hesitation I head for the open storm cellar door, I equip my sidearm, enjoying the comforting weight in my hand. With the bags secured, I make my way to the machine building. I already know I’m going to have a run in with someone. I hear soft footfalls fall into line behind me.

“I hope you didn’t expect to be walking out here alone.” Cobra comments. I sneer, I can handle my six.

“Where’s Forger? That place is filled with smoke. His lungs are shit he needs to be out of that house and heading to a safe house.” The door creeps open, a groan emits as I creep into the building, the extra transport vehicle comes into my line of sight. I keep my weapon steady and scan the area; opening the trunk of the SUV to toss my bags in. I won’t be here much longer. A soft scuttle gives away their position, granting me a heads up; I jump right as a pistol fires. The asshole shouldn’t have adjusted his position; I drop to my knee and slide back. Firing three shots into the prone body under the SUV. It jerks and I know I hit my mark. Fucking asshole.

“Jesus.” Cobra calls out, forcing my attention to him. A grin is plastered over his face. “You’re one hell of a woman.” I scoff, wanting to say many choice words to the man; a spark of humor shoots into my belly. I can only shake my head and stand to slam the trunk. The echo of the weapon firing makes my ears ring. Cobra and I both turn at the sounds of footsteps; we train our weapons on the door as Rubble steps in, already scanning the area with his weapon.

“We cleared three outside, the fourth slipped away.”

“No, Hellion took him out. It’s time we hit the road and head for the clubhouse. I think a meeting is in order.”

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