Chapter twenty four
Chapter twenty four
His eyes twitched. “Kill them?”
“Did I stutter?”
Something in me knew his promises would be empty, immediately I ran to Evan, shrouding my arms around him as his face collapsed into my mid-section. He didn’t want to see this unfold, as much as I didn’t want to either.
“But, sir. We have what we want. Can’t you let them go? Zee, at least.”
“I don’t care for you girlfriend, Jordon. She can be first, if you like?” He uncovered a pistol hugging his hips. Jordon shook his head, his eyes casted downwards. “Good. Now if you’d do the honours, Miss Reign first. It’s only fair she pays for her father’s mistake.” Upon hearing my name, Evan clutched onto me tighter.
Shooting both of them dirty glare, I focused my attention on Jordon, his sudden movements as he draw out his gun, pointing it to my chest. Maybe his humanity still resided within him, maybe if I just appealed to his good side, he’d show me mercy. “He’s going to use you and toss you aside when he’s finished. He has no loyalty, you know that Jordon. You’re better than this, you fight for good not evil. Don’t let what the Nations did to you define who you are.” It was like conversing with a wall, his expression blank as he unclicked the safety.
“Jordon. Look at me.” It was Zee, her smooth voice strained. And he did just that, hearing Zee his eyes wafted towards her. “We can figure it out, figure this out together. You and me. There’s no need for any of this. Come back to me.”
“I thought we were over.” The tension was rising, his chieftain waiting for him to execute his command, Isaiah pasted on the wall still dazed from being electrocuted trying to figure out a way out of this. Given our circumstances, the choices were thin.
But Zee, she remained calm, composed. As if there was something she was sure had to be done and for some reason she had to be the one to do it.
“As hard as I try, I’ll never get over you.”
A moment passed. His face scrunched up deep in thought. Slowly, he shook his head. “I’m sorry, Zee. The greater good, all those promises I made. I have to keep to it.”
The pressure of a trigger being pulled, exploded sending ripple waves through the foyer. I closed my eyes, coming to terms with it. Waiting for impact.
Again, I held onto my death. But nothing ever came, no bullets, no bleeding. Nothing.
But there was a gunshot, the boom sparked my eyes open. Zee stood there, in her trembling hands was a gun positioned to Jordon’s chest.
He dropped his gun, looking down at his injury and back up to Zee’s face, before he could make contact with the floor, she wrapped her arms around him, gently dragging him downwards.
She shot him and by looks of it. He wasn’t going to make it, the colour drained out his cheeks, the blood pouring out at an extremely fast rate. He just stared up at her, a look of betrayal mixed with understanding. This time, it looked like he death would be finalised. “I love you.” She whispered, but it was loud enough for us to all hear. She seemed so sure of her decision, that I didn’t see a trickle of tear come from her eye. I guess she’s spent enough time mourning his death and now it was arriving she could deal with it a lot better than before.
His superior finally somewhat registered what was going on, the initial shock dissipating. Suddenly, he reached once again for his gun, but before he could even pull the trigger, Isaiah lunged for Jordon’s weapon dropped on the floor and fired two shots. These rounds more intense than previous ones, I shielded Evan’s eyes away the best I could from the man in front of us stumbling before crashing to the ground. His head by the tip of my shoes, the blood oozing out around him, slithering it’s away into my shoes. Instinctively, I jumped back, in doing so pushed Evan further away from the commotion, he started tugging down on my sleeve. Hard.
I whipped my head towards him, his face wet with tears. “Someone’s coming.”
Immediately, I wrapped him in a cocoon, as the door smashed open, the air from the busted hinges as the door flew pushed past us. Frantically, I looked around trying to figure out if there was someone I could hid him, keep him safe from the imminent danger that was heading towards us.
Heavy footsteps followed and those flashbacks and nightmares that haunted me seemed to re-emerged. Soldiers stormed in, so much that I lost count. Floods after floods, wave after wave. They stood rooted, analysing the situation but before they could counter attack. Isaiah dealt devastating series of shots, taking cover behind an oddly place desk. They dropped like flies.
A protruding wall did it’s best to hide me, Zee, Evan and Jordon’s dying body, but for how long? We were currently out of their sight now but it wouldn’t last. “Evan. You need to stay with aunt Zee.” I fished around for his face that was stuffed into me, his green eyes peered into mine, confused. “She’ll take care of you, stay with her. I love you.” Placing a small kiss on his temple, I touched Zee’s shoulder grabbing her attention, she looked so unfazed with what was happening having Jordon held in her lap like once before, I was seriously doubting if she knew what situation we were currently in.
“Zee. Take care of him.” She nodded, absent minded, glancing back down to Jordon. That wasn’t good enough, gambling with my brother’s life, I needed to hear her say it. “Zee, look at me. Protect, Evan. I need you to protect Evan.”
“I will, Alexis.”
A series of repeated gunfire, ploughed throughout the room, I looked over where Isaiah hid, we locked eyes. He was clutched his shoulder, his head swung back in pain. He’d been hit.
Grabbing the gun that Zee used, I proceeded to crouch my way to Isaiah, only to be stopped the rim of a bullet that brushed past my hand. The heat lingered on my knuckles.
If I tried to stay low and made my way over there, I’d undoubtedly get shot, but if I shot at them at the same time, it d force them to take cover. It was risky, but Isaiah was injured and they kept advancing to where the bullets were coming from. He took down some, but not nearly enough to fight them entirely himself.
I slid up the wall, awaiting the best time. I knew the longer I waited the worst it would get. Releasing the safety, I threw myself into the action. Repeatedly pulling the trigger, wildly. The force ramming my shoulders backwards. Bullets flew past, yet it was almost like I was immune to them. Not one of them touched me, before they disappeared all together. They had taken cover. Using this as my only opportunity, I dove for the desk, crashing into Isaiah, easily he caught me with one arm. “I’ve got you.”
Quickly, I dragged myself out of his embrace, exactly as another hoard of bullets slammed into the desk. I could hear the wood cracking, splintering off from the force of the bullets.
“Now, I’m just convinced you have a death wise, Alexis.” He threw me a smile, using his one good arm to reload the gun, it was a mystery where exactly he got that from, but at this point it really didn’t matter. “That was impressive.” Referring to what I had just done, he took the gun from my hands doing exactly what he did to his gun to mine, before handing it back to me. “But, you shouldn’t have done that, now you’re stuck with me.” He didn’t say it with malice, but good-heartedly. Maybe, I just showed him that I didn’t need his protection all the time.
“There’s no one else I’d rather be stuck with right now, than you.” I returned his smile.
“Ready?” His finger sat on the trigger, ready to be pulled. I did the same.
I nodded. “Ready.”
We both revealed ourselves from behind the desk, repeatedly firing shots. One fell. So did another. And so did another. Considering this was my first time shooting anyone, point blank range, I seemed to be doing a good job. Despite them shooting to kill, I prayed that I only shot to injure. There was already too much blood on my hands.
All of a sudden, Isaiah’s hands shoved me from where I stood, before I could retaliate a round of bullets slammed through, most missing, but some hitting Isaiah. Only two soldiers remained, before they could even notice my presence, I fired multiple shots. They dropped, exactly like Isaiah did.
“Isaiah. Stay with me.” The bullets were lodged in his body and blood followed, scanning him as far as I could tell they missed all his vital organs and parts. If we got out of here, he could survive. He would survive. His eye drooped but didn’t close. Immediately, I forced an arm under him, supporting his weight for him, I dragged him up, we stumbled but still managed to stand.
“No, Alexis. Go. I’ll just slow you down, just get out of here.” He tried to pull away but I pulled him back harder.
“You must think I’m must stupid. I’m not leaving without you.” Seemingly, he was too tired to argue back, right now I was grateful for that.
I looked over to all the dead or dying bodies that littered the ground. I looked at Evan and held out a hand. He was curled into a ball next to Zee, his hands pushed tightly onto both his ears, trying the block out the noise. “Evan, it’s okay. It’s over. Take my hand.” I stumbled with Isaiah as he kept sagging, trying to keep his weight up for me. With hearing my voice, Evan glanced up, staring into my eyes. I nodded. “It’s okay.” Cautiously, he crossed over to me, grasping my hand tightly.
Zee was still there, leaning over Jordon’s whitening face. His eyes lifeless and distance, but his breathing stable and shallow.
“Zee.” She snapped her gaze to mine. “Zee. We have to go, you need to leave him.”
Quickly, she shook her head. “You can go without me. I did this to him, I need to stay until the end.” Whatever was currently running in her head, it was preventing her from crying which I knew she wanted to do.
“If we stay longer. They will find us. And it’s not only you that’ll be in trouble.” I gestured towards Evan and it was as if for the first time she noticed Isaiah go limp in my arms. “You need to leave him.”
Visible tears welled in her ducts, but she didn’t let one drop. Nodding, she bent down kissing him on his lips. “I love you. And I’m sorry.” Gently she got up, laying his head down on the cold floor, his lips parted as he was struggled to tell her something but all that came out was a strangled cough. Drops of blood stained the outside of his mouth.
With her back turned away from me, she started making her way towards where we all stood. But, those heavy pounding footsteps stopped everything, once again midway, a gun hoisted in the air at Zee, the finger already at the trigger. A bang. He crumpled to the door. It didn’t come from me, nor Isaiah.
We turned, following where the noise came from. Jordon, slumped up against the wall, a shaky hand used to support himself, a gun situated in the other. The force of the shot, seemed to be too much for his body the handle, the gun loudly clattered to the ground before once again he did the same, expect this time his eyes we wide open and no deep, shallow breaths.
Without wasting another second, she ran over to him, holding up his face which continuously fell back motionless in her hands. “He’s dead.” It was a question, it was a fact, a statement with all the evidence to back it up. He saved her even though she was the one that pulled the triggered that ended his life. Despite his betrayal, it was clear he truly loved her or she would be exactly in the same state as him.
Yet, I knew that if she hasn’t sacrificed her chance at happiness, since I knew it was highly doubtful that he’d go through with shooting Zee, but I couldn’t vouch for either me or Isaiah. But if she hadn’t done it, we’d be dead too. “Zee, you did what you had to do. We have to go.” I wasn’t willing for any more soldiers to catch up to us.
Once more she nodded, mulling over my words, then attempting to help me with Isaiah. But I shook my head, her attention needed to be undivided on Evan, she needed to use all her energy on him. “I’ve got it. Don’t leave him.” On cue, she took my brother’s hand leading all of us the only exit and entrance.
The blown out door landed me right back in the entrance way. Zee stared hard at the first prison, the same prison Elijah was in. She peered closer making eye contact with him, despite the stopper in his mouth, he managed a strained smile. “We need to get him out, Alexis.”
“No, we need to get all of them out.” Looking into every cell, it seemed that all the commotion, aroused curiosity, they’re eyes kept darting to and fro, wanting to know what was happening. Maybe even thinking that this would be their time for freedom.
Scouring the wall with a hand, I searched for something, a panel, a keypad. Anything. Time was running out, if I didn’t help them now I’d have to leave without them. I’m not going to risk anything with Evan here.
Something suddenly caught my eye, Evan clutched a black device in his hand, inattentively playing with it. “Evan, where did you get that?”
He stopped. “I found it on the floor. I think it belonged to one of the men with the big guns.”
I slipped a hand out. “Can I have it, please.” He nodded, placing the small device in my palms. I pressed one button. Nothing happened. Another one. Still nothing. Pushing down hard on the last button, secretly praying for something to happen. And it did. A hiss came from the glass door, the entire side of the door on Elijah’s side opening. But the other side, nothing. It was becoming increasingly clear that we weren’t able to save everyone. I couldn’t send Evan back in there. I needed Zee to help me with Elijah and the rest of the prisoners. And Isaiah could barely stabilize his own weight.
Elijah couldn’t move, the restraints preventing him from doing so. Each arm rested on the chair, with manacles wrapped around his wrists. Zee already sprinted ahead of me, but I pushed out a hand, stopping her in her tracks. “No. Help the others, we don’t have much time left. I’ve got Elijah.” She nodded, making a detour to the other cells, well the ones that were open.
Carefully, I laid Isaiah down, so that his back would be rested against the glass. “Stay here, I’ll be right back.”
“You’d be much quicker if you left me.”
I leaned in close, planting a kiss on his lips. “Not a chance. Stay.” Following my command, he nodded. “Evan, make sure he doesn’t go anywhere.”
With that I dashed into the secluded prison, Elijah eyes widened as he saw me. Focusing my attention, on the cuffs, I tugged at one of them, again and again until they broke off, clattering loudly on the floor. I repeated the other side. The gag. Ripping off the latch that was behind it, it come off easily. For the first time in months, I could see his proper smile. “Good to see you again, Reign.” His voice sounded different but not so much so, that I didn’t recognise it. It still had that deep, raspy quality to it.
“You too, Elijah. Come on, we have to go. Can you walk?”
“Having all that time off your feet, sort of makes you aching to walk again.” That was the cocky, confidence that I guess I loved about him.
“I thought you died.”
He smirked. Despite all the torment and torture he went through, he was still him. “So, did I. But I guess I beat all the odds. Like you said, Reign. We need to go.” He got up, knowing I was watching him carefully. Yet, he seemed fine. He walked fine. His strength seemed up to par. “I’m okay, Alexis. Really.” I guess I’d just have to believe that.
Brushing past me, he ran towards Isaiah, lifting him up, one arm underneath upholding him. By the time I walked out, Zee somehow manage to free one set of the prisoners, they began streaming out of their cells. Some trying to free others, some wanting to fight and some trying to figure an escape route.
“It’s going to get ugly, let’s go.” I grabbed Evan’s hand, pushing our way through the bustling clamour of people. Beyond that, it lead us to a path, spilt in two ways. One was a long winded corridor, the other exactly identical but this one had a battalion of soldiers marching upwards. We could fight, or we could make our escape.
Those back in the cells had no chances competing empty handed with guns, but neither we, our best shooter was injured and I was carrying a little boy. There was people, I knew I had to leave behind, my mother especially. I couldn’t get a grasp of how big this place was and if I didn’t know that, then it would be close to impossible to know how long it would take to find her. For now, I had to leave her.
“Mummy, Alexis, what about mummy?” If we could clearly now see the soldiers, that means they equally could clearly see us.
“We’ll come back for her, I promise.” Sometimes sacrifices, no matter how great had to be made.
“And Adrian.” Isaiah wheezed through the pain. “What about him?”
“We’ll come back for all of them. My main priority it making sure Evan is safe.” Without waiting for their response, I turned left, running as fast as my legs could possibly take me. Hearing them following behind, made my shoulders sag with relief. Momentarily, I looked back. Isaiah pace was slow but fast enough the evade the soldiers. I knew it was definite that some of them would follow. But if we could leave before they could catch up to us, it gave us the upper hand.
The faster we ran, the faster clicks the heels of boots trailed after us. The corridor whined and turned for what seemed like hours until a door was directly ahead of us. I didn’t know where it led to, it could have been outside, to another entrance way or to a room full of soldiers.
Alarm sirens blared. That was the signal that hoards of them would now be coming. With a kick to the metal frame, the door smacked open. Cold, brisk air hit me. It was outside. We were outside. I held the door for everything to pass. Zee. Then Isaiah and Elijah. Sweat poured down his face, the underneath’s of his eyes faintly red. “Elijah, take Evan.” He was waiting for some sort of explanation, but I didn’t need to give it to him. I wrapped Isaiah arm around my waist, my own arm supporting him.
We only made it a few steady steps before three cars skidded, stopping in front of us. Three big, black SUV’s.
A woman, pristine, clean cut climbed out of the car, swarms of men surrounding her. That warm face and glasses that hid the green eyes leering into mine. Mrs Velt.
Scanning us, her gaze landed on Elijah. She smiled. “It’s a honour to have you back, Mr St. Claire.” But Elijah didn’t react, reading the tension and decided against it. “Miss Reign, isn’t there something you’d like to give me?”
The necklace. She knew about the necklace, but how? I could pretend I didn’t know what she was talking about, but that would only eat up time we didn’t have. The truth was better. “I dropped it, back there-”
Evan dug into the pockets of his beige trousers, pulling out the broken pendant necklace. “Do you mean this?” I swear he was a little genius. I was too busy fighting, shooting guns and he had the initiative to retrieve it for me. Before she could get her claws into him, I used my free hand to push him behind me, grabbing the necklace in the process. Isaiah stirred beside me and his previously beating heart was dropping, dangerously low.
“Give me the necklace, Miss Reign. We both want the same thing.”
“How do I know that for sure? Jordon told us how you used to treat you agents, the torture. You’re blind with your thirst for war. I don’t want that.”
“I’ve taken that into consideration, the council thinks,” She cleared her throat. “The council thinks it’s best not to move into any rash, permanent decisions. As for the agents, I wasn’t the director at that time, when I was things undeniably changed. We may not see eye to eye on everything, but I assure you that we both believe in bettering the human race and not living this sad existence. Hand it over, I’ll make sure it falls to the right person.”
I tossed, it landed in front of her feet, she glared at me than ushered one of her soldiers to pick it up and hand it to her. She then proceeded to start examining it, holding it up in different corners, letting the moonlight reflection bounce off it.
“Mrs Velt, my mother, Adrian and other prisoners are still trapped in there. Please, help them.”
“Why should I? I have want I wanted.”
Was she being serious? “I did everything you asked me to, repetitively putting myself and those around me in harm. For what, for you? I did you job for you! You owe me!” She stared me down, but equally I stood my ground.
Yet still, she nodded. “Reinforcements are on their way. Tonight, is a victory. We need to treat it as such.” She turned to one of the nearest soldiers, pointing towards us. “Help them.” Before she retreated back into the SUV, leaving with the most importance necklace in the existence of the world.
That was it. It was over, everything was finally over.
As if feeling the same way I did, Isaiah languished in relief. On the ground, I peered into his eyes, he stared back. It was distant but that spark still glowed in them. He was going to be okay. Carefully, I laid my lips onto his, pulling back with a kiss on his temple. ” I’ve got you.”