Danica opened and closed her fists. “Before I met you, I didn’t have to have a stewardess ask if I was hearing voices before serving me a second beverage. I could walk out of a hotel with dignity and without having to explain my movie selections, and best of all, I didn’t have to wash my hands every time I retrieved one of my scientific markers.” Danica retorted. “So there’s no question to where the link is.”
The fallen intruder Danica had struck on their way in had gotten himself up, shaking his head to clear the stars, all the while, snarling with moist sounds as he held his open palm to his face. He rubbed his lower jaw through the mask and within seconds, saw his own blood trickling between his fingers. His nose appeared to be broken.
His consort in behind him looked equally furious through the open slits of his face covering.
Hayden turned towards the two figures, but speaking to Danica. “It appears we’ve been rather negligent with Carlos’ guests.” He gestured to them both. “Us having a private conversation in front of them and all. It must seem rather rude.”
Danica took a ready stance to station herself for the incoming attack. “Let’s rectify that shall we?”
Hayden quickly asked aloud to the masked men. “Are those getups for you or for us? I mean, if you’re the ugly mugs we saw at the auction this afternoon, I’m thinking for us, so before we begin, let me say thank you for sparing us another appearance.”
Danica chuckled inwardly, amazed at Hayden’s bravado.
The two intruders on the other hand seemed to shake violently, losing any sense of control.
The first intruder pulled his hand away from his mask and seeing the blood for the first time. He stared at it, wide eyed and filled with rage. His eyes locked on Danica. “You whore!” He hissed.
“That wasn’t very nice.” Hayden responded. Then he paused, casually turning to her and back to the bleeding first intruder. He spoke to her again. “Unless...” Hayden smiled. “When we first met in the jungle and you turned me down… was it simply a matter of money? I mean, it would have been a long drive in all, but I could have found an ATM?”
“Hayden…” Danica said through clenched teeth. She waited a few seconds. “Remember on the way in when you told me to remind you when you were really pissing me off?”
Hayden envisioned how easily she delivered that front kick and replied. “Point taken.” He winked at her. “But I do have twenty five thousand dollars now.”
Danica responded with. “”For you, it would have to be a Hell of a lot more than twenty five thousand.”
Both intruders annoyed with Danica’s and Hayden’s comical discussion in front of them motioned to attack.
Hayden lowered his body frame for a fight. “So it’s only a matter of price. I can work with that.”
Danica grinned at his persistence, grateful he was at her side. He was the kind of man she would want with her in a fight.
The first intruder charged, head down, body compressed, directly at Danica.
Hayden dived downward at the first intruder’s legs, as his former rugby coach Robert Radway taught him. ‘No matter how big a tree is, it can always be brought down if you chop the base.’
The first intruder not expecting such a low aimed assault found himself falling forward, directly into Danica’s knee, which she delivered upward into his turning cheek, followed by a palgup chigi elbow strike to the back of his head sending him face first into the coffee table, crushing it beneath him.
The second intruder was already in motion, running forward, launching up and off Hayden’s crouched form into the air at Danica, perceiving based on her martial arts training, she was the more imminent threat.
Hayden let out a grunt at the weight of the attacker as he shoved off him. “Come on now. What am I? A stepping stone?”
Danica saw the second intruder catapult towards her. She pivoted off her right side, shifting all her weight low to deliver a too sul maneuver, which diverts the attacker’s force against him, driving him downward. She spun around with him sailing past, face first into the library shelves, sending books everywhere. “And me without my Matador’s cape.” She challenged. This was followed quickly by, “El Toro!”
Hayden was up and back at Danica’s side. He yelled out. “Carlos, we may be doing some damage in here.”
Carlos fired back from the hall. “It’s all replaceable. I have insurance.”
The first intruder was back on his feet and swinging hard at Danica.
Danica dodged under his fist, it still grazing her shoulder, which based on his sheer size, sent sharp pulsations down her arm. She did an uppercut motion with a four knuckle strike directly into his chin, causing him to twist back and slam into the wall.
Two plaques dropped to the floor with a crash, sending broken glass everywhere.
The second intruder was acting on instinct, dazed from heavy books slamming into his head. He moved toward Hayden, both hands before him. He swung haphazardly, only to miss, his momentum carrying him past and into a second shelf unit, this one filled with booze; fine wines, expensive Cognacs and some very old scotch.
Hayden sighed at the loss.
The second intruder was already in motion again, pure reflex. He pulled himself out of the liquor cabinet, wiping chips of splintered wood and chipped glass caught in his sweater out of the way. His clothes were soaked with booze. He fired back at Hayden, furious as his having missed twice, murder in his eyes.
Hayden spun left, shifting back and shoving his body forward, as he leveled a right handed haymaker punch directly into the attacking behemoth’s lower chin.
The second intruder staggered back, rubbing his face for a good ten seconds, holding himself up. He shook his head and muttered almost amused, “Is that the best you…”
His sentence was cut off when he was hit across the chest and chin with an oak dining room chair Hayden had grabbed in those seconds, breaking it across the second intruder’s unprepared body, sending him up and into the apartment hallway.
“That’s nowhere near the best.” Hayden chanted dropping the broken pieces to the floor, finishing his sentence for him.
The first intruder was standing, holding his busted nose, blood filling his mouth. He took a football stance and charged at Danica again.
Danica pivoted on her rear ankle, parrying aside and around, leveling her elbow into the closest shoulder blade of the intruder as he shot past and under her arm. Using his momentum, due to his immense size, unable to stop the kinetic force, she sent him into the television.
The unit cracked beneath the attack. The fifty two inch LCD television flipped down off the brackets, falling forward, and cracked across the intruder’s back which was followed by a heavy grunt.
Hayden saw it and yelled. “I really hope good insurance Carlos.”
Danica casually swung around, stared at the splinters of wood, broken glass and pools of expensive booze she missed before. She yelled. “Sorry Carlos.”
Carlos was on his feet, amused they were more worried with his property than themselves.
The second intruder rushed towards Danica, but this time, Carlos was in motion, using both fists like a battering ram, he cracked them across the chest of the second attacker, sending him up and over the couch, tipping the frame of it with him.
Hayden brushed himself off. “I’m feeling a little neglected here guys. Always going for the girl?”
Danica hopped up and delivered a bone crunching roundhouse kick, striking the second intruder mid-chest and sending him back through the open patio door. He caught the railings before going over. “Guess they find me more attractive.” She declared.
Hayden dropped an elbow across the back of the first intruder trying to get back up. “I find that extremely sexist. I should file a complaint.”
The second intruder furiously reentered the apartment. “Don’t you two ever shut up?!”
Police sirens wailed in the distance through the open patio doors.
Hayden piped up. “The local constabulary.”
The two intruders slowly came together in front of the doors, the eight pages held tight in the second man’s hands. “We got what we came for! They can go... For now...” He exited quickly over the side.
The first intruder limped to the patio door as the police sirens increased in volume, glaring at both Danica and Hayden. “This isn’t over.”
Hayden offhandedly shrugged. “Of course it is. You’re scurrying away like the cowards you are.”
The first intruder’s eyes went tight, his fists clenching and opening, preparing to race back in when he felt the hand of the second intruder on his foot through the bars. “Father would be most displeased if we were caught and lost the pages.”
The first intruder obviously fearing that more than seeking revenge disappeared over the railing and into the night.
Hayden and Danica came together and relaxed.
“So.” Hayden said, turning to Carlos. “Is this what you Brits do for fun? If so, would you perchance have cold beer?”
Danica rolled her eyes. “If you don’t give him one, I’ll hear about all the way back to the hotel.”
Carlos smiled in total disbelief. “You both intrude here uninvited, fight off two men trying to kill me and when they run off, the only thing you ask for is a lager?” He slapped them both on the backs and let out a huge laugh. “Canadians. Who can’t love them? Follow me to the kitchen. I have a keg.”
Hayden was overjoyed. “Am I glad I suggested we drop by.”
Danica was thinking to herself. ‘The only thing is…Our assailants took the pages. Like the auction, too little, too late.’
Failure number three.