Chapter Twenty Six
The sound of shotguns loading makes us all freeze and stop what we are doing the girls push Robert and I behind them and then close around us hiding us from sight as the three leather clad women walk up to our group their guns pointing at Ed.
‘Well girls look what we have here, ain’t you pretty,’ One of the women says as she walks up to Ed and takes his chin in her hand inspecting his face. Ed puts his hand up and pushes her away with a growl. ‘Don’t you disrespect me,’ in a blink of an eye she hits Ed with her gun sending him crashing to the floor and fresh blood pouring down his face. Marina gasps and sinks to her knees next to him her hand going to his neck to feel for a pulse.
‘You idiot you could have killed him, in fact you morons nearly killed us all,’ Marina hisses cradling Ed’s head in her lap. ‘This is my man, how dare you touch him,’ She glares at them venom in her voice. As Paula steps forward her mouth in a thin line as she towers over the woman.
‘We are Romani you have no business attacking us woman,’ She growls and the woman steps back slightly.
‘You have two of our Adams and we have come to reclaim them,’ the woman glares at Paula.
‘Any Adam within our camp has sanctuary you know that, or do you want to break the treaty and cause all-out war?’
‘I like war?’ The gun going off is such a shock that everything seems to stop and then Paula crumples to the ground. I grab Robert and slowly back away as the girls get over the shock Marina takes Eds pistol and shoots the woman that shot Paula as the girls snarl and converge on the remaining two women who start shooting randomly. I pull Robert away and start to run as fast as I can to find some sort of cover as the shots ring out. I feel Robert stumble but pull him up and just run. I end up in a field away from the campsite. There is a small stream running through it and a lot of reeds that are easily taller than me. I scramble down the bank and sit hidden, letting the angry tears flow. Robert crouches next to me his face buried in my shoulder as his body trembles from shock.
‘Ed,’ he stutters. ‘Aaron, I hurt,’ he glances up at me as his face pales and I look down at him his shirt blooming with blood.
‘Damn Robert, where?’ I pull his shirt up and I see the mess some pellets have peppered his side. I remove my shirt and tear it into strips and use it as padding and bandages putting pressure on it, but I know it is futile.
‘I am so tired; I will just sleep for a bit,’ Robert looks at me and then slowly closes his eyes.
‘No Robert stay awake, stay with me, please don’t leave me?’ I beg holding him in my arms rocking as tears drip onto him from my chin, I hadn’t even noticed I was crying.
‘Not leaving you, just gonna have a nap,’ Robert whispers a small smile on his lips. ‘You have a right phobia about being left.’
‘Yeah I do so stay please,’ I beg.
‘Not going anywhere just gonna have a nap,’
I know the minute she is next to me.
‘I hate it here, I want to be dead I want to be with Rita,’ I answer wiping my face with the back of my hand. ‘You should leave me, give me back to Gen-Corp before I get you killed,’ I gaze up at her so like my Rita.
‘No that is not happening any of it,’ her hands grasp my face as she looks deep into my eyes. ‘I love you idiot,’
‘You shouldn’t, I can’t love you back,’ I let my gaze drop.
‘I know,’ she reaches across and her lips touch mine.
‘He is gone,’
‘I…I know,’ I whisper back, I had felt Roberts body relax as he slipped away and now, he lay still and heavy in my arms.