CHAPTER 7-You Can Never Escape Your Past
This morning I was up at about 5 A.M. I couldn’t sleep at all last night and kept thinking I was hearing or seeing things. This was exactly what Robert wanted, me paranoid and worried about the kids. I finally gave up on trying to sleep and started getting my things ready to go.
First, I made my way into the closet and got my weapons and clothes ready and into the bag, along with all my ammo I had on hand. I packed enough clothes for a week. From there I would just have to wing it, like always. Secondly, I made my way into my office and sat there looking at the blank screen for a while. Then, I finally got over the fact that I was doing something I never thought I would have to do.
I was writing out a Will in case something happened to me. I started with listing that all things are left to my children, who will be left in the custody of Jill Green if anything were to happen to me. She is their Godmother so that makes sense. If she is unable to take care of them because of an accident work or death then they are to be left in the custody of Christiaan Facko, their Godfather. Again, if he is unable to care for them due to injury or death then they are to go to the care of…that was where I stopped and hesitated. I didn’t have anyone else. Dad was almost dead and the rest of my team arent family people, other than the family we have with each other. It only took me about 30 seconds to decide, and I don’t know what it was that made me think of it but if Christiaan Facko is unable to care for the children due to injury, work or death then they go to the care of Logan Winters. I knew he would take care of them.
I’m not quite sure how I knew he’d care for them but I just did. I printed the paper and signed it, then went to find Gary because I knew he would be up. Once I had found him I had him sign as the witness. His eyes widened when he read it and he gave me that look that a father would normally give a daughter. He seemed almost regretful.
When I started to walk away he spoke quietly. Rain, I know I’m not as elite as you or your team but I can be of use. I was hoping to tag along since I know you’re leaving to make your move now.”
His sentiment actually brought tears to my eyes. This man I’ve known a week is willing to risk his life to help me and my children. I hated having to tell him no but I needed him here. “Gary, as much as I appreciate it, I need you here. I know you can handle your own and I need to know my children will be safe while I try to get rid of the threat. As of right now, their father is the biggest one and he’s at the top of my list so no matter what, make sure you don’t let anyone get past you saying I gave them permission. Other than Mr. Winters and Dante, the people that are working here are the only ones that should be here.”
He lowered his head and quietly said, “I understand, but here me on this. He’s still their father so it will be hard on you when the time comes. When it gets to the point of you or him, don’t hesitate, because he doesn’t deserve to win. You’re needed here. He isn’t needed at all.”
I thanked Gary and told him where to find my will in the case it’s needed. When I got back to the room Logan was starting to stir. He was feeling around and when he noticed I wasn’t in the bed he sat straight up yelling for me. I told him to quiet down because I was right there. He gave me the most sincere, and most scared look I’ve ever seen.
Logan whispered to me, “Rain, I know you’re the best in the world, but you’ve been out of the game for almost five years. I’m scared of losing you. What would I do? What would the kids do?”
He looked horrified and it was gut wrenching. I finally find someone that genuinely cared about me and I have so much danger surrounding us that we may never get to be together. I’ve never known what it was like to be loved other than the love of my children but I knew at that moment this man does love me and I do love him.
Oh wait, what? I love him. Hmm…he’s the first man I’ve ever fallen in love with and now this. Great. Just my luck. I told him I was going into my office quickly and would be back in the room in a few minutes.
While he was getting dressed I was writing two letters. One to my kids telling them that if I’m not around, I only left them to protect them and I was sorry for not being able to get back to them, but for them to know how much I loved them. So much so, that I walked into the Valley of Death willingly to keep them safe. I told Jesse to always look after his sister and told Rory to treasure her brother always because all they had was each other. I told them I loved them again, then folded it up and put it in an envelope addressed to them and set it aside to write one more.
You’ll never know how much you’ve changed my life in the short time I’ve known you, and you’ve changed it for the better. You made me open up and feel a part of myself that I didn’t even know existed. I’ll never regret meeting you and will always be grateful for everything you’ve done for me and the kids. You’re the first and only man I’ve ever loved and I should have told you that before I left but I was too scared to. Always remember, what I did, I did to protect the three people I love. Never regret our time together as I don’t. I thought every man was the same until I met you.
Time is the best teacher: Unfortunately it kills all of its students. I was told once: To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people merely exist, that is all. All this time I didn’t understand that, but I do now. I just existed until I met you and after, I lived. Even though I fought it every step of the way because I didn’t like the attraction I felt towards you from day one. You made me come alive and if you’re reading this, then know I died feeling more alive than I ever have protecting you and my children. I don’t regret that choice and would make it again.
Please don’t look back on this and be angry that things couldn’t have worked differently. Just accept you changed my life. Accept that I loved you.
When I was finished with this letter I did the same as the other. I folded it up, put it in an envelope and sealed it, with it being addressed to him. I went and gave both of these to Gary. I didn’t have to tell him what they were for, because he already knew. He took them, looked at me, and shook his head.
Gary said very lowly, “Hopefully the time won’t come for these, Rain, but if it does, I’ll take care of it.”
I didn’t say anything to him I just smiled and walked away. This man has seen what he thought was the worst, but I think he was seeing his worst nightmare now. This was why he got out of the military, and yet he’s in the same situation he was in many other times with lots of other soldiers.
Soldier. That’s funny. I’ve never been referred to as a soldier, even though that was what I was supposed to be. Instead I was always referred to as a weapon. At first I took pride in that, but after a while I started wondering why I was only a weapon and not a person.
At about 7 the kids were up and dressed and coming down for breakfast when they stopped short. Jesse looked at me, and after seeing what I was wearing, he teared up. I went over to him and asked why he was crying.
Jesse mumbled between his sobs, “Mommy, I know what those clothes mean. They mean you’re leaving us for work. The work you did before you had me. Why are you leaving us? Did we do something wrong?”
Immediately my regret sprang to the surface. How could I have even let my kids think this? “No, Jesse, definitely not! You and your sister are so important to me, and you could never do anything so bad to make me leave you. You’re right. I am leaving for work for a while, but it’s to help Auntie Jill and Uncle Christiaan. I have to help them catch some bad guys. I don’t want to leave you, but they really need Mommy’s help. While I’m gone you’re going to have Ben, Andrew, Gary, Justin, Hazel, Becky and Katie here looking after you and making sure you get everything you need. You have to make Mommy proud and take care of sissy while I’m gone, and do all your homework and do what Becky asks you to do okay?”
Jesse stopped tearing up because he understood getting the bad guys was important. He had way more intuition than most kids his age did, or even twice his age.
“One more thing, Jesse, while I’m gone you listen to those feelings you get. When you know someone is bad, or feel like someone is watching you or sissy and they shouldn’t be, you make sure you tell Ben right away, or whoever is closest to you. Make sure you also tell Gary as soon as you can. You’re a smart boy and you know when something isn’t right. Trust yourself because that will keep you and Rory safe. Do you understand what I mean?”
He shook his head yes and I could see he knew exactly what I meant. We all ate breakfast together while we watched the new security team make their sweeps. Out of the blue, Logan announced He and Dante would be staying at my house while I was gone to keep an extra eye on the kids as well. I wasn’t surprised like I thought I would be. I almost was expecting it.
At 8 it was time for the kids to go to school, only this time they were going with an army. They had Ben, Andrew, Justin, Gary, and Dante with them. I was a little surprised Logan was sending his personal bodyguard to guard my children but didn’t question it. Right now, I’ll take all the help I can get. Saying good-bye to them, however, was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It really felt like I was never going to see them again, and I think they felt the same way, because they seemed to hug me a little tighter and for a little longer. Then, as they pulled out of the driveway and on their way to school I went back to get my bag I had left in my bedroom.
When I turned around, Logan was standing in the doorway looking at me.
“What Logan?” I asked.
He replies, “Somehow this feels like some sort of alternate universe. I mean for the past three years I’ve watched you and never seen you like this. There’s so much I know about you, but yet there’s still so much I need to know. I’ve always seen you as a serious business woman, and a doting mother, but right now you look like…well like G.I. Jane.”
This made me chuckle a little bit. I supposed he’s right. I was in my BDU pants, black combat boots, a black tee shirt, hair in a tight bun, and had a duffle bag with all kinds of fun toys and similar clothing.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
It was time for us to go as well. I started to send Logan in a different vehicle just as a precaution, but then I remembered that he sent Dante with the kids, so he’d be open and exposed. On the ride to the office I told him I thought it would be a good idea for him to get another bodyguard if he was planning to keep sending Dante with my kids. He didn’t agree, but he didn’t disagree either. He’s holding something back from me and I need to know now.
We pulled up in front of the WINTERS building and got out. I grabbed my duffle bag and he grabbed his briefcase. When we started into the building everyone was looking at me and backing away as if I were on fire. I couldn’t help but smirk at the looks I was getting. They were somewhat amusing.
Once in the elevator Logan put in the passcode and we shot up to the top floor. Berdina greeted us immediately as she was taking in my appearance. I told Logan we needed to talk right away. He nodded but didn’t say anything. I think he knew what was coming.
Inside his office with the door closed, I turned to him and calmly asked, “What is it you’re not telling me, Logan? You’re too calm for a civilian that just went through what you did last night and then to be sending off your bodyguard with no plan on getting a new one soon tells me you’re hiding something, and I want to know exactly what it is before my team gets here. I’m tired of surprises.”
Logan pauses for about a nanosecond before answering. “Rain, I’m not a civilian. Along with owning these companies I had a job before my parents passing, which I kept. These companies, though I do run them to the best of my ability, is a good cover. I work for Homeland Security assessing possible threats and targets for them. Maybe now you understand why I was as confused as to how there is so much about you that slipped by me. Your name came across my desk to look into as a possible threat but I never knew why. I was only told it was a possibility you were passing intelligence to foreign countries. I never found anything concrete on you, or even subtle for that matter, and told my boss that but was told to keep an eye on you. I did as I was told and the longer I watched you the more I fell for you. I understand there are a lot of things about you that I don’t know but there are also some things about me that you don’t know. Those are things we can work around, because I meant what I said. I fully intend on keeping you in my life if I can. I love you.”
I stood there looking at this man and assessing him as he was talking and as much as I wanted to drop kick him for not telling me this before sleeping with me, I believed him and still believed he was sincere in how he felt about me. So, I shook my head and turned around to call in Berdina.
Once in the office she looked from me to Logan and back again before asking, “Is there anything I can get for you Mr. Winters, Ms. Harvey?”
“You can drop the act now, Berdina. Would you like to tell him or shall I?” She looked a little stunned and stepped back, but then regained her composure. Logan, on the other hand, didn’t look as steady. She made no attempt to start the conversation so I did.
I stated, “Berdina, here, is no ordinary assistant. She works for the government as well. One of my units, I’m betting. Am I right Berdina?”
She answered very matter-of-factly. “Yes. You’re right. I’m number twelve. I was put in this office as a spy to make sure Logan did his job, but also to make sure you weren’t compromised. Something I obviously failed at. You chose me right before leaving. I was the leader of team three. I’ve been searching for Hammer trying to find him somewhere and keep coming up blank. The Russians that were sent last night, though, are only the first. If they’re not back to report in by tomorrow, with your children in tow, then the boss will be sending his top ten squads. I’ve been able to pick up certain communications and coms, but nothing concrete. They keep changing their plans. As far as Hammer goes, the last I heard, he was being sent here to try to snipe you off on your first day.”
At that, she stopped and took a step back while watching Logan and me. Logan looked stunned. “How the hell did you know she was one of you and when did you first figure it out?”
I smirked. It was all I could do at those kinds of questions. “I knew the first day. You see there are certain ways we speak, certain movements we make, looks we give, and certain efficiencies to us. It’s not something that can be duplicated. I knew right off as soon as she spoke to me. After all, I am the one that trains them. I just didn’t know why she was here. I was going to let it be and wait it out, but with the problems I have at the moment, waiting is a luxury we don’t have.”
I then turned to address Berdina. “Berdina, my team will be here in a few moments. And by a few moments I’d say about a minute, so would you be so kind as to go down and get them and bring them up. I’m sure you know what they look like. If not, you know what to look for with the four of them.”
“Yes, Mam.” It was a curt but efficient reply.
At that, she left and all the while Logan was still grumbling about how he’s the one in the intelligence business and yet it seems like everyone else seems to have more of it and gets it faster. Plus he wasn’t too happy that he didn’t know about Berdina.
I tried to pacify him, or distract him I guess. “Logan: Two things are infinite…The Universe and Human Stupidity. And I’m not sure about the Universe.”
“Who said that?”
“Albert Einstein. He was a genius. You shouldn’t worry so much about the small things you don’t know and worry more about the bigger things you need to know. Take life day by day and enjoy it. Are you living or just existing?”
He just looked at me and didn’t have time to reply because right after that the elevator doors opened and out stepped Berdina, Shadow, Cobra, Ghost, and Striker.
I walked out of Logan’s office smirked at them and headed towards the conference room. They followed me and began to shut the door when I stopped Striker. “Wait. Berdina and Logan join us.”
I got all kinds of funny looks from the four stone faces but once the door was closed I sat down a small machine and flipped the switch. No one within a 10 mile radius can bounce off of anything, including the cell phones to hear what was going on in that room. I knew there was a reason Logan had a lead lined conference room but never would’ve guessed this was why.
I started making the introductions then. “Guys this is Logan Winters. He’s the one that not only owns these companies, but he also works for Homeland Security. Logan, I bet these four have files that came across your desk as well, right?”
He shook his head yes. I continued then.
“This is Berdina. She’s number twelve and was stationed here to try to keep my cover as well as keep an eye on Logan. She’s been tracking Hammer and the Russians that attacked me last night.”
“Wait a sec, Boss. What the hell do you mean the Russians that attacked? We heard about one.” It was Ghost.
So I filled them in on the rest of what happened last night. I also told them what Intel Berdina managed to gather from the Russian coms.
Then I finished the introductions. “Logan, this is Jill Green AKA Shadow, She’s my number two.”
He looked her up and down, which almost made me jealous but I don’t think he was looking at her that way. Of course she was gorgeous. Five feet two inches, long blonde hair kept in a tight bun similar to mine, and a body and face of a model. Madison didn’t look much different, other than the fact that she was four inches taller and had red hair.
“This is Madison Zator AKA Cobra. The gentleman to your left is Jojo Fisher AKA Striker and finally the man moving about that you didn’t notice as he came up behind you is Christiaan Facko AKA Ghost.”
Ghost and Striker were both big men. Bigger than the men that were hired for my kid’s bodyguards. But then again, very few men were as big as Ghost and Striker. They were both about six feet six inches easily without their boots and almost as wide as the doorway to the conference room. All four of my team was dressed identically to me, as well as having a duffle bag slung over their shoulder crossing their torso.
Jill continued, “So now that were all acquainted here, how about you tell us what the plan is, Wolf, so we know what we’re doing. I’ll be damned if that fucker is going to hurt you or those babies again.”
At that they all seemed to notice Logan tighten his jaw and they looked to me as to question why.
My answer to their unspoken questions was brief. “I told him everything. He knows all about what I did and how I got into this situation in the first place.”
“HA! And he hasn’t run away screaming yet? Not bad for a federal weenie.” Of course it was Ghost.
Logan turned to say something to him but by the time he spun Ghost was already around to the other side of the table.
Logan stammered, “Okay, first of all, now I understand why they call you Ghost. (We all laughed.) Secondly, I’m not some federal weenie. I love Rain and I’m not going to stand by while some Jackass tries to hurt her or the kids. If that means that I get hurt then so be it, but I’ll die before letting someone hurt those kids. I’d say the same for Rain but I’m sure she’d just knock me on my ass again.”
He grinned at me while the others burst into laughter.
“Sounds like Wolf hasn’t lost her touch, even after all these years playing house.” It was Striker of course.
I spun and knocked him on his ass them with my knife at his throat. He grinned up at me. The others were cracking up hysterically, all except for Logan. He looked scared, of what I wasn’t sure though.
“Playing house is for little girls. I don’t see any little girls around here, do you? All I see are weapons. What do you see?” I said it with a hint of sarcasm.
He still found it amusing. “Okay, boss I get it you’re still the best and I shouldn’t tease you.”
I laughed and let him up while putting my knife back in my boot, and Logan seemed to relax immediately. We talked a little further about what we were going to have to do and what the best plan was. Hammer is obviously the biggest threat right now, but if Cera and her enforcer don’t check in by noon tomorrow then the Russians would be sending their top ten teams to eliminate me and my family. One man or fifty? It was hard to decide what the bigger threat was. We didn’t have to wait long.
I heard the ping of the elevator before I seen the doors slide open. I was immediately at the door to the conference room. The only people with the access code to get up here were in the room with me so that left one person. Robert had to have hotwired the elevator, bypassing the security code. I walked out of the conference room just as he stepped out of the elevator and turned to me. It was a stare down for about 30 seconds then he looked past me and noticed the others.
He sneered the names of the others in acknowledgement. “Shadow, Striker, Cobra, Ghost. Nice to see you all again. Oh and look, the Widow Maker is here too. And who’s this? Your new play toy? Logan, right?”
I twitched and he knew he hit a nerve but he was more concerned that Ghost and Striker started to head towards him, but before they could get a step in, I held up my hand telling them no. This was my fight. It was the reason he came here in the first place.
He continued reassured by my resilience. “So I see you’re still alive which means that woman and the other Russian were worthless.”
I almost burst into laughter. “Sorry to disappoint, Robert, but if you remember, I’m not that easy to kill.”
He laughed, hard. “As I remember it, you have a couple of weaknesses now, and the last time you only had one you managed to get yourself into a bad situation. How are those ribs of yours doing?”
Again, the team started getting twitchy and inching forward, and again, I had to stop them. However, it wasn’t my team I was as worried about. They knew to back off when I gave them certain signals. Logan seemed to erupt with anger when Robert mentioned the kids and my ribs which only made Robert that much more self assured.
That was it. I wasn’t going to let the man I love stir the bee hive and possibly become a target any more than he already has, so I instigated Robert. “So, if I’m so easy for you, then why do you have to send other people to do your dirty work? What, did the Hammer lose his head?”
I knew this would provoke him and get things underway. My adrenalin was up way too high for me to just stand there, especially after he tried to have someone kill our children. I looked back and in a glance told my team to hold and make sure Logan didn’t try to get in the middle of things. If I was unable to take out Robert, then I knew they would. He couldn’t get away from them this time.
He lurched forward and jabbed a knife at what would have been my ribs. I jumped while arching to avoid the blade from going into my ribs. He then swung the knife backwards towards where I jumped. I grabbed his arm and twisted his wrist causing him to open his arm. Then I popped the knife from his hand and had it in mine.
The entire time Logan is trying to push past Ghost and Striker saying he needed to get to his office and get his gun because he couldn’t let Robert hurt me. I had no weapons on me where as Robert had a bunch. They both looked down at him and laughed.
Ghost said, “Who are you kidding? It doesn’t matter what she’s wearing. She always has a minimum of three weapons on her at all times. In her uniform, I can guarantee she has at least six, not counting the knife she just took from him. If you want to help her just stay put right there so she’s not worrying about whether or not you’re going to get hurt and can focus on the fight she’s in right now.”
This seemed to temporarily pacify Logan, though he still looked like someone was dying in front of him. I guess someone would be.
Robert pulled another knife and was trying to stab me at any point he could. He was swinging wildly and I kept moving about. The moment he’d see me and start to swing I was moving somewhere else. He began growing restless and took to standing up straight and looking at me half crouched waiting for his next move. He grinned that grin I knew so well, which meant he was going to throw his knives now.
I stood straight up and moved towards a wall that was away from the others so they wouldn’t be hit by a ricochet. He pulled out six knives, appropriate for him as he is number six, and threw the first at me with more force than I remember him throwing with. I dodged it by moving to my left and it lodged into the wall. He did it again with the second through the fifth and was extremely angry by then because he missed every time. He prided himself on never missing. He had one blade left and I just stood there waiting for it. This time, he took aim, and threw directly for my heart but I was just a little faster and grabbed the blade as it was coming at my heart spun with it and threw it back at him with just as much force. Mine didn’t miss.
It nailed him directly in the heart and he dropped. “I told you no one would hurt my children.”
That was all I had time for because the blade severed his aorta and he bled out within a few seconds. I walked over and knelt beside him. This man that I was once so close to, I once thought I loved this man. He fathered my two children, and then tried to have us killed. I just put this man down. It was just like every one of my other kills, only now I’ve just taken a member of my team. I took the father of my kids. Even if he was an absent or bad father he was still their father. Now, he’s nothing more than a stain on the floor and a part of my past.
Shadow called the general to have the coroner come to get Robert’s body and to tell him we were on our way to go question the two assassins from last night. Logan sprinted towards me and grabbed me hugging me.
He started kissing me all over my face. “Oh my God, is that what your life is always like? I don’t know if I could handle standing there and watching someone I care about come that close to death. Damn, I didn’t know you were that fast or deadly. At least I know now not to piss you off.”
Sadly I said, “Logan, what you just saw was nothing compared to what we normally do. Unfortunately, it just had to be against one of our own this time. Going against the people I train is something I’m used to. If I’m not that fast or deadly then I’d be in big trouble when it came to putting them down when they get outta line, huh?”
Logan looked at me so confused. “Putting them down? You say it like they’re animals or something.”
I had never thought of it that way before but I guess he’s right. “I told you, I can compartmentalize better than most and it’s the only way we’d be able to do what we do so ordinary people can go about their happy little existence never knowing that they’re always in danger.”
That was something he definitely understood from his own job. “I see, well, all I care about is the fact that you’re ok. Hey, Ghost said you always have at least three weapons on you at all times no matter what you’re wearing and a minimum of six in this uniform. Is that right?”
I laughed. “No. I have 28 weapons on me right now, and I normally have 5 on me in my every day work ware.”
Logan’s jaw fell open. “Where the hell are you hiding 28 weapons on you right now and where do you put the five when you’re in a dress suit or dress pants? Where were you hiding five weapons in that dress last night?”
I just smiled at him and told him maybe he’d find out someday. I started checking Robert for any Intel he may have had on him and found two phones and lots of weapons, but other than that, nothing. Seconds later the elevator doors opened and the General popped out as well as other men that came to collect Robert’s body.
After looking at Robert’s dead body the General looked at me and said, “Well, Harvey, It seems you haven’t lost your touch.”
“General, you’ll know when I start to lose my touch because it’ll be you I come after then.” He didn’t like my reply.
His eyes widened and sputtered that I couldn’t threaten him or he could have me put away.
My entire team broke out into hysterical laughter at that point. I sputtered through my laughter, “Do it! I dare you! You know damn well you can’t do shit to me because I’m needed much more than you are. Now, we’ll be at the facility in 20 minutes. I expect we’ll have full access to the prisoners?”
He shook his head yes and walked back into the elevator to leave.
I walked over and picked up my duffle bag from the floor and pulled the knives out of the wall and added them to my bag. I walked up to Logan and told him that if he doesn’t hear from me then talk to Gary. He didn’t seem to understand, but I knew he would. I kissed him, then my team and I left, while I kept Berdina in place and in cover, to keep feeding us whatever Intel she could gather.