CHAPTER 14-HELL IN CLOSE QUARTERS
Logan and I started walking towards the living room where the rest of my team were waiting for us when I got such a terrible feeling it almost made me double over in pain. Logan didn’t know I was pregnant so he thought it was just issues from the last pregnancy. I knew better. I knew it meant something was coming. Maybe it was the Indian in me but I swear I could feel the ground below me trembling. I looked up at Logan and told him to run to the living room. He gave me a funny look at first but I think something clicked with him, or maybe it was the look I was giving him because he took off in a dead sprint all of a sudden. I had just rounded the corner right after Logan and screamed for everyone to get down. I think I saw some sort of recognition as they tried but it was too late.
The room exploded around us knocking everyone off their feet and around the room. It seems I felt the trembling a moment too late. I felt the explosion and my body flying through the air almost in slow motion. I swear watching Logan’s body flying towards the wall helplessly was even worse. I felt so hurt watching his arms flail as he tried catching himself and the blood slowly flowing down his face and into his eye from the large cut where he was hit by a shard of the exploding coffee table. This was exactly what I didn’t want to happen.
I was able to catch a glimpse of Madison flying through the air as well. She was curled into a ball clutching her stomach which Jojo seemed to notice, so he grabbed her wrist and clutched her to him so she landed on him. I think she was grateful but a little stunned. I was as well, but we’ve all been together for so long that I think there really can’t be any secrets between any of us; we’re just all too in tuned with each other. Christiaan caught Berdina in the same way. I guess that means I shouldn’t have been surprised when David did the same thing with me. I love my brother; he’s always looking out for me. I think he had his own suspicions about me being pregnant again, and even if he didn’t then he was going to make sure that there was no further damage to my stomach causing me to be unable to have any more children, not that he was even sure that could still happen. I think David was suspicious of it though.
I was grateful for my brother but I think Logan wasn’t as appreciative as I was. I think he was thinking it should have been him to catch me. I didn’t have time to think about his hurt feelings or feeling left out at the moment though, because about forty men were pouring in the giant hole that was currently in my wall now, so we had to get up in a hurry and worry about the pain and furry of everything coming once it was all over.
We all managed to get to our feet within a matter of seconds and spread out effectively with me shoving Logan into the nearest corner that’s distanced from any doors or windows so his back would be protected. At the moment, however, I wasn’t sure that would even be helpful to him; the men were still pouring in the giant hole in my wall that looks as though it were made with an AT4. When all the men finished filing in Mr. Tressler came in with a Cheshire grin on his face, almost as if he had already won. All total there were just over sixty men, not counting Mr. Tressler, against our eight, so we were outnumbered more than eight to one. Now, my team and I have been outnumbered worse than that before so this wasn’t that bad, but I was terrified for Logan.
I was also scared of losing another baby or for Madison to lose hers. No matter how scared I was for that, though, I couldn’t let my fear control me. Not right now, at least, because if this didn’t get finished now, then my family will constantly be in danger until it got finished; until this man was dead. The only problem is I don’t know how good these men and women are, and I doubt they’d be bad. Not to mention the hole in the wall from the AT4 proves they came prepared.
Everyone stood there assessing each other. Them looking at us grinning as they saw that we were outnumbered, and us looking at them trying to decipher how much of an opponent they’re going to be. The only person I was looking at was Mr. Tressler and I was the only person he was looking at. I think he was a little more than surprised to see me there when he had just gotten a phone call saying I was in another state checking on my grandmother, yet here I stand.
I bet anyone on the outside that would be looking at us would see the stare down and think I would be intimidated, or at least should be, but I wasn’t and it was obvious. He knew it as much as everyone else and to be honest, I think that scared the people Mr. Tressler brought with him just a little bit. Mr. Tressler was a decent size man and I was pretty tiny, but size isn’t always everything. Although, if I remember correctly, he will be a decent adversary considering no one can go through what he’s been through, or become invisible like he’s done without being pretty damn good at a lot of different things. That means that he’s not much different than me. I’m very good at a lot of things as well and I won’t be beaten by someone who thinks he’s God; someone who believes he’s unbeatable.
After about a thirty second stare down I finally spoke up. “If you all are smart enough to get the hell out of my house right now and not come back, then I won’t have my people kill you all. If you stay here I can promise you, the only thing that you’ll get is pain and death. Not all of you will die quickly either. I will make sure that I get any and all information out of you. Now, do you still want to come at us and hope you win when the odds are stacked against you, or do you want to wizen up, turn around and walk away now?”
There were lots of smirks and chuckles as I finished what I was saying. They all looked at each other and then back towards us, almost as if they thought they should be saying what I had just said to them. Maybe it was just confidence or the rush from the danger, but either way I knew that this was what I was good at. This was what I excelled at. This was what I didn’t lose at. This, the rush, the danger, the adrenaline, all made me what I am; a killer, and a damn good one. With that, all my stress melted away and all I could do was smile. I wasn’t worried about my safety anymore because I knew that there wasn’t anything more this man could do to hurt me. There wasn’t anything he could do to me that hasn’t already been done, not counting harming my children, which technically was done the day he had their brother and sister killed in an attempt to kill me.
Suddenly, I was hungry for this fight. I wanted it. I needed it. I was anxious to the point where I started to shake with the desire to tear this man’s head from his shoulders, to cause him to feel the amount of pain that he made me feel when I lost my babies; when I watched my children cry for their dead siblings, when I watched my husband cry for the children he never got to see live. I wanted to make this man feel as much pain as I felt the day I lost Jill to all of this bullshit that got planned years ago. I needed this man to bleed every last drop of blood he had in his body; one for every twinge of pain he has ever caused for me or my family or even my team. I could almost taste this man’s blood and I was loving it. The anticipation for this fight was the worst part of it. I hated waiting for something I wanted.
I could tell that the rest of my team was foaming at the mouth, figuratively speaking, for the fight to begin. I could see their hands opening and closing repetitively as they were standing there glaring at the people that were swarming us. Madison and Jojo even looked like they had their teeth barred. I knew what that meant, that meant they tasted blood the same way I did. Of course they would be though, how could they not be? Madison had a child on the way and a new man, and Jojo had a fiancée, my sister, and a baby on the way with her; not to mention they both lost someone close to them as well. David lost his niece and nephew as well as almost losing his sister so he’s way beyond motivated to get this done. Logan lost his children and almost his wife. Gary almost lost someone he thinks of as a daughter as well as kids he thinks of as grandchildren. Christiaan and Berdina were fighting for the people that were hidden away in an attempt to keep them safe and not have to go through what the rest of us have been going through already.
We all had good reasons to fight and all of which were all very strong motivators for us. There are just some things that can’t be pushed under the rug, and unfortunately for Mr. Tressler, this was one of those things; he couldn’t just walk away from this. He will have the fight of his life here, and judging by the way his eye is starting to twitch in the corner as he’s attempting to stare me down unsuccessfully, I think he’s finally realizing that. I won’t go quietly; ever!
I gave a sideways glance to Madison, Berdina, Jojo and Christiaan since they were stuck in the other corner away from us, being effectively split down the middle. David stayed where he was but Gary moved closer to where I was. Then, when I started moving towards the center of the room Madison and the others slowly began moving towards where I was, closing the gap between us making it a little harder on the men coming in. It took a couple seconds but they finally noticed what we were doing and started to move to stop us but Mr. Tressler put his hand up to stop them knowing it was too late for that already.
I started moving forward a little at a time to make my way towards the center of the room just as Mr. Tressler did coming towards me. We stopped when we were about a foot away from each other. I hated that smug grin on his face and he knew it. The more I glared at him the more he smirked. We stood like that for about ten seconds before he opened his mouth to say something. I didn’t give him a chance, however. As soon as he opened his mouth I kicked him in it without moving the rest of my body an inch either way.
That kick knocked him backwards and he rolled through his men towards the hole in the wall. When he was finally able to stand up again he gave me a wicked glare and then nodded towards the few men that were looking towards him instead of at us. They knew the shit had hit the fan this time and they were in for one hell of a fight. Only, they all looked a little too smug for just some thugs Mr. Tressler happened to come upon which was making me think that maybe he picked them all, all sixty-four of them, for a particular purpose. I was pretty sure that purpose was us. Mr. Tressler, Josh, has been after me and my team for over eight years so I’m pretty sure he thinks he knows everything there is to know about us, but the catch was we have never shown our full potential to anyone or on any case yet so what he thinks he knows about us compared to what we can actually do is a big difference.
I also noticed certain people picking out certain members of my team. Once they found them they never took their eyes off of them. They had to be the original targets they were given, but that doesn’t exactly make sense. Why would he give them one target when they may not have even been there or if they were then things could have ended up just like they did; with some people on the opposite side of the room from where they are, just like now. If this was his plan then he didn’t think this through enough, and if there isn’t a plan here then why are there people picking out certain people on my side like that’s the bone they want to be chewing on? I think Josh is trying to play me by using his people. Or maybe I wasn’t supposed to see what was happening there. And I don’t think Josh noticed what I was looking at either, but my team did. They picked up on what the others were thinking as well.
We were all looking towards the others slowly and trying to make it as unnoticeable as possible as well as signaling to each other without any of the other men and women noticing. Josh was too wrapped up with watching me that he didn’t see anything else going on. One thing I made sure to hone was my ability to use my peripheral vision. I was able to see at least two guns and multiple knives on quite a few different men and women, not to mention some having throwing stars, grenades, and some even had gas masks showing which tells me that some of them either had smoke bombs, flash bangs or gas bombs and since they had masks I was betting on the gas. I was curious as if anyone had any rockets left to the AT4. That could be a big problem. Although that was a question that didn’t take very long to answer considering as soon as I thought it I got my answer as the pool shed exploded.
I think I felt my heart explode as the ground shook below me. I knew what happened before Madison looked out the window and confirmed what I thought happened with a single nod. I saw Logan start to panic as well but David took a quick step in front of him as Josh started to look towards him thoroughly making sure the look of panic on Logan’s face about the pool shed exploding wasn’t visible; At least not to Mr. Tressler. We didn’t need him to have any indication as to what direction the kids were. No matter how fast we finished what was about to go down tonight it was still going to be at least a few hours to dig out the kids from below the pool shed. This was going to be an extremely long night. I just hope like hell that it doesn’t become any more stressful than I’m expecting it to be. I don’t want to watch any of my people get hurt or even die. I think if Madison lost her baby it would be the worst thing for her, for me as well. I couldn’t survive the loss of another child. This man wasn’t going to be the person to hurt me anymore. Now, the only person that can hurt me is me, if I allow it to happen, and I’m not allowing anyone to hurt me anymore.
When the ground finished shaking from the collapsing structure not far from us we all knew that everything was about to get started. Josh looked back towards me and then back to his men and after the briefest of seconds, maybe in an attempt to let me reconsider, as if that would happen, he told his men to go and about half came at us in what looked to be the running of the bulls.
Some of the men and women went towards specific people but the majority didn’t care and just wanted to kill whomever they could as quickly as they could which was what they tried to do. That caused them to fail quickly. After what seemed like hours, when it was really only a matter of ten or fifteen minutes, my entire team were breathing harder with some cuts and bruises but still all upright as we looked over the pile of dead bodies that lay before us. There were about half of the men and women Mr. Tressler brought that were dead on the floor while the other half stood there looking at us with something on their face. I wasn’t sure if it was amusement or anger. Maybe it was even frustration but the look they were giving us was something that closely resembled the look Mr. Tressler was giving us at the moment and the same look that I normally gave my enemies whenever they thought they had the upper hand.
I knew there was more to what was planned here by that look and I think the men and women standing across from us were the proof of that as they stood there smiling at us. The ones we had just put down were no push overs either. Some of them were very good; good enough that I would have recruited them if I would have had the chance which was what made this so very disappointing. But the fact remains; you always send the pawns first which was what the now deceased ones were that lay on my living room floor. So what does that make the ones still standing there ready to attack us?
With a snap of his fingers Mr. Tressler signaled for the rest of his men and women to attack. All but one. These men took longer and they were definitely the men and women I would’ve looked for and still continue to look for now for my team. They were good. I could tell that some of them were Special Forces, Army Rangers and even Navy Seals so they worked with each other very well. The problem was we all knew every move they would make because I trained my people in all of those ways. We knew all of their hand gestures and even all of their countermoves which they quickly figured out. The fight soon dissolved into a street fight using anything you could to get as far as you could in the fight, because even though they had the numbers, we had the training necessary to continuously be one step ahead of them if not more.
To be honest it looked like a three ring circus or a gymnastics club in there with the way that we had bodies flying every which way and over anything and anyone that was in the way. The sounds of necks breaking rapidly and people gurgling their own blood as they took their last breath from being stabbed was a sound that I was used to. I use to take comfort in that sound, like a predator that thrived off of her enemy’s pain knowing that I was always better. Now, it was just a sound that reminded me that more people were dying and never being able to live out their life with their family or loved ones because one man decided to twist everything they knew and make their reality into something corrupt and dangerous. I think if I knew these people and knew whether or not they were truly bad people that deserved to die then I wouldn’t be as irritated about killing them, but as it was, I didn’t know them, I didn’t know whether they were good or bad or just being lied to and twisted to believe something wrong like the General had done with Jill and me not that long ago.
No matter, I couldn’t dwell on the fact that I was killing potentially innocent people. I couldn’t think about the fact that they weren’t much different than me or my team. I couldn’t even let myself think about whether they had a family that they were trying to protect or not because at the moment they were the ones that were trying to kill my family.
I noticed a rather large man making his way across the room towards where Logan was as three more came downstairs and another two rounded the corner coming from the other rooms in the house, all of which were shaking their heads no at Josh telling him the kids weren’t there. He looked extremely aggravated but I think he decided he would settle on taking Logan to get back at me which was why the giant was making his way towards Logan and Logan was too enthralled in the two men he was fighting to even notice the giant threat coming at him. He was the man Josh kept behind when the others began fighting, most likely for this purpose.
I could tell quickly that this behemoth had to be Josh’s number one man. It was easy to see that all the others were intimidated by him. I could tell that he was very good just by the way he moved. I could see every joint in his body as he walked or pushed people out of his way with determination. He was very flexible for being such a big man which means that he was very determined and very dedicated to what he did. His eyes told me all I needed to know, which was that he was determined to get Logan at whatever expense. He wasn’t planning on failing. David and Madison noticed this man right after I did and they both looked at me between the people advancing on them with concern and questions as if I wanted them to go protect Logan.
I shook my head no at them and jumped up flipping over the man that was in front of me as I grabbed his neck, effectively breaking it as I landed on my shattered couch. I ran the length of the giant sectional and jumped flipping myself through the air in the direction of Logan and felt a pinch right before I landed. I figured maybe I had pulled a muscle where I had the C-section a few months back so I didn’t really give it much thought. The truth was I didn’t have a chance to give it much thought because I landed right in front of the giant that was going towards my husband intent on killing him or taking him hostage. I only had one second to think of the next step in my plan before this big man realized what the hell just happened because he was already stunned by my landing in front of him when he never saw me coming. I could tell he registered exactly who I was and how dangerous I was and he was thinking up a plan as quick as he could. That meant that I had to be quicker, even with the funny feeling I was getting standing here.
Right before this big man started to narrow his eyes, meaning he had come up with a plan of attack for me, I felt the familiar ooze running down my leg which meant the pinch I felt must’ve been a knife or throwing star or something that hit me in the stomach just above the hip. I pulled it out as soon as I realized this before it could do any further damage but my very sensitive nostrils smelled something and I knew instantly the funny feeling I was feeling was because the tips of the throwing stars were laced with some kind of poison. I’ve always been pretty immune to most things that should kill me, normally only getting a little dizzy so I wasn’t as worried. I could wait to find out what poison this was and call grandmother if I didn’t know the herbal antidote.
Josh was smiling a little bigger than he should’ve been with me just pulling that throwing star out of my side, indicating to me he was the one that threw it, and also that he thought I wouldn’t win this fight against his giant. I smiled myself without looking at Josh and as soon as he noticed me smiling right back he faltered a little more than I think he would’ve liked to.
The big man didn’t waste any time going straight for my throat. I pretended to be slower letting him grab me by my throat and pick me up off the floor and even pretended to struggle for a few seconds while he stood there smiling. Logan started panicking and killed the two men in front of him very quickly and started coming for me before my brother, David, shoved him back in his corner between the six men he was fighting and Logan instantly had two more men in front of him making it impossible for him to get to me.
After about thirty to forty-five seconds of feigning a struggle I stopped struggling and smiled very wide at him. This time he lost all confidence and looked extremely confused. That worked to my advantage as I twisted and turned flipping my body around with his arm until I had my legs around his neck flipping backward taking his arm with me effectively tearing his entire shoulder damn near off his body at the same time I twisted my hips sideways snapping his neck and letting go so I landed with him dead between my legs on the floor beneath me and me in a crouching position staring dead at Josh and smiling.
His smile finally disappeared and he looked worried. I, on the other hand, looked more than snide which wasn’t what I was going for but at that very moment I didn’t care. Josh quickly yelled for as many to come for me as possible, I guess thinking the numbers would do the trick or at the very minimum some damage but he was wrong. All it did was free up the others to kill the people in front of them quicker than usual and making their numbers dwindle even faster than before. Josh noticed this and started to turn around to take off for the gate so he could get away and I nodded at Madison for her to go get him but Logan didn’t notice and went that way as well. Or at least I think he didn’t realize I sent her because he was hot on her heels going for Mr. Tressler in his pursuit to get away.
Madison caught him effectively tackling him and turning it into a one on one fight between him and her. Josh took out a couple of knives and Madison just smiled knowing she could take him even with no weapons, even though she had a minimum of at least twenty weapons on her not counting what she’s taken from whomever she killed, but Logan, thinking he would be better suited to fight Josh, or trying to be the hero one of the two, pushed Madison out of the way after Josh’s first jab at her narrowly missing her stomach because she took her eyes off of him for a split second noticing Logan approaching. All Logan noticed was Madison got her shirt stabbed and a small cut on her side but not that she wasn’t stabbed so he pushed her out of the way when Josh jabbed the second time.
Madison, slammed her head on part of the rubble that now lay in my yard from them blowing through my walls, completely dazing her so she was unable to get up right away and get back into the fight with Josh leaving Logan to do the fighting. I was done with all the men and women in the house and was making my way outside as Josh caught one of Logan’s attempts at a jab and spun him around putting him in a headlock and pinning his arm behind his back while holding a knife to his throat.
I have to admit I was scared shitless at that moment but I never faltered in my running full speed ahead for the both of them. I was hoping I could take them both down knocking Logan out of harm’s way and getting Mr. Tressler all to myself. That wasn’t how it worked out though, as he seen I was unwavering he decided to just stop me and knowing exactly how to do it. He took his free hand and stabbed Logan right in the stomach, then twisted the knife just a little making it even worse. Logan grunted but never made a sound refusing to let me see how much pain he was in or Josh to see what little victory he had just claimed.
He then dropped Logan and took off in a dead sprint for a black SUV that was parked outside my gate beside a whole line of others while I kneeled down beside Logan checking his injury. The rest of my team came outside just then and rushed to our sides with Christiaan checking Madison and making sure she was okay while the others were jumping on the phones calling 911 as well as the military clean-up crews we have on stand-by for just such occasions. The paramedics got there and looked confused when we told them not to bother going in the house and to only take Logan, especially with the amount of lacerations and bruises we had on all of us.
I wanted to ride with Logan in the ambulance but I had to get my work started here before I could get to the hospital, so I sent David with him while I started the process. I also told the EMT’s before they left that I knew he would need abdominal surgery and the type of wound as well as the type of anesthesia and agreed to the procedure and would sign the paperwork when I got there. That confused them but they hurried on their way while I had Jojo contact our construction crews as soon as he hung up with the clean-up crews to get out here now and start clearing off the panic room and rebuilding everything as well as getting rid of all debris.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
At the moment Christiaan, Berdina, Gary and Jojo were overseeing everything at my house and I was sitting in the waiting room of the same hospital I was in only a few months prior when I had my babies forcibly ripped from my body and buried. Madison and I finally agreed to let a doctor look us over in the waiting room just to get them off our backs.
Madison had a concussion as well as needing stitches in a few different places and some butterfly stitches in others. I needed a few stitches, mainly in my stomach above my hip where Josh got me with the throwing star and they identified the poison used and tried giving me the anti-venom so to speak but when I refused giving him the correct herb I can use to eat as well as the one to put on the wound which will not only pull the poison out of me but my baby as well, he seemed both a little impressed and a little annoyed by my rejecting his therapy. He was even more thrown off and pissy when both Madison and I denied any kind of meds to numb us for the stitching. The glare I gave him when he started his rant cut him short, however, and he looked me squarely in my black eyes and backed out of the surgical waiting room quickly.
At the moment I was worried for Logan but knew he would be okay and the surgery would go fine and he would heal up fine, but I was also so damned mad at him for intervening with Madison. She would’ve been able to finish this thing, tonight, if he wouldn’t have gotten in the way and gotten himself hurt. Why doesn’t he listen to me? I told him he wasn’t trained like us and he would end up getting hurt and distracting me letting Josh get away, and that was exactly what happened. If he wouldn’t have gotten himself hurt then I could’ve finished this whole damn thing. He isn’t one of us, damn it!
I never would’ve let this happen six years ago before I had kids or got married. I wouldn’t have cared who was lying there hurt at the moment. I would’ve finished what needed to be done and then check my wounded. I’ve gone soft but that’s going to end right here and now. I won’t let this happen ever again. Logan will know where I stand before he comes home. He will NOT interfere with any of my military missions ever again. He won’t make me soft with these things. For that matter, he won’t interfere with anything other than the kids, home and the Companies because apparently I can’t trust him not to almost get himself killed.
The surgeon came out and told me that Logan was fine and in recovery and they were able to repair the wound which I already knew since I had seen it enough times. I thanked him and went into his room while Madison followed along. He was just coming out of the anesthesia and looked at me smiling.
I said, “I love you, Logan. I’m glad you’re okay, but Madison is going to sit with you here while I go help the others with digging the kids out and fixing the damage. I’ll be back to visit you later. There will always be one of us here guarding you so don’t even think of going anywhere without Eddie, once he gets here, and whichever of my team that are here.”
Logan nodded and said he loved me and to let him know how things are going with the kids. I asked Madison if she was good for a while and if anything happened to call me. She nodded at me as well and sat in the chair beside the bed pulling out her bag she had stowed in my car. That gave her a fresh change of clothes and an E-book reader. She’ll be good for a few hours until she reads all the books she’s downloaded over the past few days then she’ll spend the next six hours searching for another few hundred to download.
I stopped at the door and looked back and Logan was already passed out again from the anesthesia not completely being worn off and the pain meds. Madison had settled in. I went to the nurses station and gave them my number in case of emergency as well as telling them that there will always be “bodyguards” in his room that are under orders to never clear the room unless they get the orders from me, which she said she understood since Logan was who he was. Then I sat off for home with David beside me freshly stitched, stapled and glued back together.
MEN ARE LIKE STEEL. WHEN THEY LOSE THEIR TEMPER, THEY LOSE THEIR WORTH-CHUCK NORRIS