Hero Inside

Chapter 11

The helicopters were flying around the entire length of the woods and would do so until they were told to stop. If Joan understood Annie's message, as Annie believed that she did, then the agents would not give up on them. Not unless they were told that they were dead, and even then, they wouldn't stop searching until they found their bodies.

That was how Joan was and what she instilled upon any agent who ever worked for her. Joan was always stern and sometimes cold, but she took care of her agents. Never once did those who work for her believe that she didn't care about their wellbeing.

Annie and Auggie kept running, looking for where they would be spotted from the helicopters circling above them. The longer they ran, the more difficult it was to keep up the pace. After running for what seemed like forever, Auggie stopped and put his head in his hands. Annie helped him walk a bit further until they found a place that was clear enough and helped him to sit down.

Auggie was the first to speak as he asked, "So, how's your arm? It's not getting infected is it?"

Annie was amazed that his first concern was for her. She could tell that he was obviously hurting, but he took the time to question her about a scratch on her arm, caused by a tree branch. She couldn't help but smile. That was how Auggie always was.

She finally responded, "No, honestly I'm fine. It's just a scratch. How about you? How are you feeling, honestly?"

"My head is beginning to hurt again," he answered. "They knocked me out last night with the butt of a gun, I think. When I came to, my head was throbbing. After awhile the throbbing softened to a dull ache, but all this running is making it worse. I don't think that I can run anymore, but you need to keep going. They will catch up soon and you need to get to a clearing if our agents are going to have any hope of finding you."

"We are in a clearing now and as I told you before, Auggie, I'm not leaving you," Annie replied. "We are getting out of this together."

Auggie sighed and asked, "What about your family; your sister, brother-in-law, and your two nieces. What about your parents? They will miss you if something happens to you and they won't ever know the truth about what happened. Is that what you really want?"

Annie looked at him and responded, "No, but I don't have a choice. What about you? You have a family too; at least four brothers that I know of. We're getting out of here. I'm not going to let scum like that kill either one of us."

"You are certainly stubborn, Annie Walker," Auggie replied. "I think that that is part of what I love about you. You never quit."

Once again, Annie looked into his eyes and smiled. He always knew the right things to say. Why did it take so long for her to realize how wonderful he really was? She loved Ben once, but she was in love with Auggie.

Annie leaned closer to him and was about to kiss him, but was interrupted by the sound of a helicopter flying overhead. If only they had some kind of flare or a way to signal to them, but they didn't. So, Annie patted Auggie on the shoulder and ran out into the open in hopes that they would see her all right.

Suddenly, shots came from the direction in which they had originally come and Annie ran back over to Auggie, who had ducked down as low as possible. Together, they hid behind the tree by which they were sitting by.

Annie couldn't tell at first, but after a few minutes, she counted two different guns being fired. She wasn't sure whether Richert, Greer, and his other hired guns were all out there looking for them, but she had to act as if they all were. If that was the case, where were the other two, she wondered?

"Auggie, we need to get out of here," she shouted above the noise. "The helicopter has to know we are here by now, which means we are going to get help quickly, but this tree won't protect us any longer. They are getting closer and they know we have no weapons. Are you ready?"

"Yeah," he replied. "Let's go!"

The two of them ran further into the woods, with at least two people shooting toward them from behind. They were a good distance ahead, but it wouldn't stay that way much longer. Annie had to come up with something to unarm them. It was then that Auggie tripped and Annie bent down to help him up.

As soon as they were back on their feet, Auggie suddenly turned his head to the sound of a branch snapping a few feet from them, followed by the sound of a gun being prepared to fire. Without even thinking about it, he quickly shoved Annie out of the way just as the gun went off. She fell to ground as Auggie fell on top of her. When he didn't get up, Annie gently lifted him off of her, turned him over, and lay him back down in her lap.

She realized that he was shot and when she looked over his body to find out where, she saw that he had been hit in the abdomen. She did all she could to try to arouse him, but she couldn't. He was still alive, but his pulse was weak. It was then that Annie prayed for the first time in her life that the other agents would get to them in time to save his life.

"Oh, God Auggie," Annie cried! "Stay with me, please. I need you to stay with me. You're going to be all right."

Annie looked around for where that shot had come from and that was when she saw Evan Greer walking out from behind the trees with a gun pointed straight at her head. He was smiling as he used his free hand to put his cell phone up to his ear.

After a few seconds he said, "Don, I got the blind guy. He's as good as dead. I'm bringing the woman back to the cabin. We will all be there shortly."

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