DISCIPLINE (BOOK 3, DSD SERIES)

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Chapter 15

“Get down!”

Heeding the warning, I duck as a man appears down the hall, the bullet he fires flying over my head. Raphael returns fire hitting him in the head and he falls to the ground.

Fuck! I stare at the body practicing my breathing as Raphael had said. I can’t freak out on him again... When he had shot the first guy killing him I’d had a panic attack. That was fifteen men ago. I need to keep myself under control if I want to make it out of here alive.

“Come on,” he says pulling off the ground, around a corner and towards a bifurcated staircase.

The sound of shots firing stops his advances and he presses us against a wall. He leans forward, observing the scene and I do the same. Men are kneeling behind a barricade of furniture leaned onto the railings and bags of ammunition and multiple weapons lie at their feet. They’re shooting at the men below who litter what looks like a living room.

The men are dressed in suits with various weapons strapped on them and some have what looks like bulletproof, plastic shields on their arms. A contrast to Dylan’s men who are in basically casual attire and bulletproof vests.

The men in suits start to advance towards the stairs, aiming to take charge of three-quarters of the battlefield. Dylan’s men noticing this pour more power into their defence, trying to dwindle their numbers. A few of them drop dead, but the enemy still pushes on.

Dylan’s men fire, reload and repeat. A guy receives a shot to his shoulder but he pushes on. He rips his shirt and ties the cloth around his wound before grabbing a large gun and firing like a mad man.

I’m so engrossed in the battle that I barely register the sound of footsteps behind us. I’m only alerted when Raphael in a swift move, flips our positions before aiming at the direction of the sound.

The man turns the corner and Raphael lowers his gun as he recognises who it is.

Capo,” he says as Dylan marches towards us without his suit jacket, a gun in hand and blood splattered on his shirt.

“Men are entering from the floors above us. I need you to get a team, go to the security room and put the house on lockdown,” Dylan states throwing Raphael a disposable phone which he catches.

“Call me when it’s done. After activating it each level will lockdown within a minute. You’ll have five minutes to make it to this floor.”

“Understood,” Raphael nods before turning towards the men at the staircase and screaming instructions in Italian.

Three men break the defence and make their way over to Raphael. With a nod towards their boss, the group makes their way towards the direction Dylan came from moments ago.

I watch as they disappear around the corner before placing my focus on the man in front of me. His eyes stare intently at me, gazing over my body, looking for something. He steps forward after a few seconds before grabbing my T-shirt and lifting it.

On a normal day, I’d kick him so hard in the nuts he’d throw them up, but today’s not a normal day. Plus, I know what he’s looking for and it’s not to get a peek of my breasts.

He studies the black vest strapped onto my torso, checking to ensure everything is in place before nodding and dropping the shirt. He then touches my hair, nodding at the braid that falls down my back.

Raphael had explained to me that my hair would cause problems during the attack so he braided it, quite well too.

“Stay by my side. If you fall behind or leave my side for any reason the men attacking us won’t hesitate to shoot you,” he states, placing his hand on my shoulder and holding my gaze. “Are we clear?”

I lick my chapped lips, breathing to calm my nerves before nodding. “Yes.”

“Good.”

Capo!” a man yells from behind me. “Stanno avanzando!” They’re advancing.

Dylan strides away from me and towards the defence. Standing at the same spot Raphael was at moments ago, he observes the battle. His eyes trail around the room scouting out the best course of action. After a few seconds, he seems to have found it.

Spara al lampadario. Una volta che è giù attacchiamo a testa alta!” he yells over the gunshots and the men nod. Shoot at the chandelier. Once it’s down we attack head on.

A group of men loaded the empty weapons distributing them to the others, getting ready to break the defence on command and fight. They also issue knives, grenades, etc. to the men as precautions.

Not every battle will involve a gun.

Turning to Dylan, the man gives him a signal. They’re ready. Dylan nods, holding up his hand for a few men to cease fire. The enemy progresses towards the stairs, thinking we’ve run out of ammo, paying no attention to the giant, glass chandelier above them.

The sound of gunshots is deafening. These men are here to kill. Breathe, Indie. Breathe.

In tre!” Dylan bellows holding up his hand. “Uno, due, tre!”

On his count, the men open fire at the chandelier. The glass shatters falling into the men below, next the wire comes loose and the chandelier free falls onto the men, crushing them. The ones further out get scratches from the glass as they fly in all directions, providing the perfect distraction.

“Partire!”

With that command the men break defence, running down the stairs whilst firing at the enemy. They clear the staircase and reach the living room, creating a massacre as they go.

Vibrations sound from Dylan’s pocket and I watch as he pulls out a black disposable phone, placing it at his ear. He nods, murmurings coming from the phone. “Five minutes. Meet me in the garage.”

He hangs up the phone, placing it in his pocket before turning to me and placing a handgun in my hand.

“We’ve both received lessons courtesy of your parents, so I know you can use it,” he begins before pulling out another gun and cocking it. “If anyone aims at you shoot. It’s you or them and I prefer you to remain alive. Can you handle it?”

I look at him shocked, I know how to use a gun but I’ve never killed anyone and I don’t want to...

“I-I don’t know,” I say honestly looking at the weapon.

Nodding, Dylan takes the gun and stuffs in under my shirt and into the vest.

“When you change your mind,” he says before grabbing my hand and pulling me along with him. “Stay close. We’re not going to fight, I’m going to get you out of here.”

He descends the stairs and I’m right behind him, watching his back. A man appears from my left and Dylan puts a bullet in him before continuing on his path. I catch sight of a man on our right and I alert Dylan, who shoots him down on spot.

He ventures further into the war zone keeping to the shadows mainly, and I keep an eye out so no one can sneak-up on us. He might not be the safest person here but he’s the only one protecting me so I return the favour. He shoots a few more men as he directs me to safety but before we can make a clean escape someone shoots, grazing my arm.

A scream almost rips from my lips but I bite it back, but not without releasing muffled cries. Dylan shoots the man in the chest drawing attention to us and soon a few of the enemies has changed their focus, aiming their weapons on us.

“Move it,” Dylan growls out, pushing me towards a door that leads to a kitchen.

I run gripping my grazed arm, fear pumping in my chest as shots fire close to my body.

I’m freaking out! What if I’m shot?! What will happen to Di–

An explosion goes off behind me and I’m thrown forward onto the wooden floor. I land roughly, pain shooting through my body, more specifically my knees. Debris falls onto me and I wince at the ringing in my ear. I groan loudly but I didn’t have time to wallow in the pain.

Rough hands grab me, pulling me to my feet. At first, I go to lash out but looking up I notice a unique colour of eyes.

Dust and debris are on his clothes and in his hair. Blood coats his sleeve and a cut mars his cheek but he shows no sign of pain or fatigue.

“Move!” he grunts out, pushing me forward and I allow him to.

We cross the threshold of the kitchen opening and Dylan pushes me to the left before crushing his chest to mine. My back hits the partition wall as gunshots fly through the opening hitting the island.

I jump gripping Dylan’s arms at the sound of the bullets, a shudder going through me and he pulls me closer to his chest... briefly. Wasting no time, he grips my arms, guiding me towards a steel door a few feet away from us.

A man enters the kitchen gun raised but Dylan takes him down before he fires. Another explosion goes off in the living room and I would’ve crashed to the ground by the force of it, if not for Dylan’s grip on me.

Breathe... Inhale, exhale... Come on Indie.

My heartbeat pulses in my ear and an ache drums against my skull but I push on. My safety is a top priority and I won’t let anything hinder me, not even my body that’s shaking like a maraca. He continues forward, thinking the explosion is enough to keep the enemy busy enough for our escape.

Dylan hits a panel in the wall and the top slides away. A keypad comes onto view nestled in the square out cut of the wall. Dylan moves hurriedly, pushing buttons and soon the door springs open in seconds.

“Get in,” he nudges me forward before slipping the panel back in place and following close behind me.

There’s a hall on the other side of the door. A dark, metallic and vacant one.

Seconds after stepping in Dylan pulls the door close. An electronic keypad illuminates the doorway, where Dylan stands pressing the screen. One by one, dim, yellow lights brighten the hall and I jump a bit startled by the suddenness of it.

Dylan continues to press the screen and I decide to walk down the hall, curious about where we are. Looking around, I see that multiple hallways are connected to this one. There’s one on my left and right and another straight ahead that splits into two.

I’ve seen something like this layout before. Mom and dad created passages between a few of the walls in our house in case of emergencies and judging by the setup, that’s what Dylan has here.

A thud behind me startles me and I whip around coming face to chest with Dylan.

His scent invades my nostrils and I find myself basking in his scent. I move, arms inching closer to his body and my face presses against his chest. His body tenses under me but my mind’s so overloaded with the familiar scent I don’t notice. My pounding heart relaxes and my body becomes calm. Something it hasn’t been since I’ve woke up here.

In this foreign place, this is the one thing I recognize. The one thing that makes me feel safe... that mouth-watering –

Thud.

I’m knocked out of my daze at the sound and I fight the heat rising to my cheeks. I sniffed him, I was leaning onto him and–oh my god, I’m gripping his hands!

I pull away abruptly, putting a good distance between us. I can’t believe I just did that... Imagine the look on his face, he must be smug right now. Fighting back my embarrassment, I look up at him and I find... nothing. Not a single expression on his almost stone-like face.

This is not what I expected and I itch to ask him why... Why is he so confusing?! He says he wants me so why isn’t there a smug, knowing look on his face.

His actions and words say one thing but his eyes and expressions say another.

Why is he so unreadable? He’s almost emotionless...

Thud.

“They’re going to find a way in soon,” he states motioning to the door, the source of the thudding. “We better get moving.”

I hold his gaze hoping to see some emotion slip from his mask but nothing. Nodding my head, I acknowledge his statement and he returns my nod before walking past me. He heads down the hall with a ‘follow me’ and trail behind him with a confused mind.

It didn’t take long for us to go through the maze of halls. Dylan knew the layout like the back of his hand and within two minutes we find ourselves at the vent that leads to the underground garage.

Dylan kneels, grabbing the metal covering and pulls. The sound of the covering lifting resonates down the empty hall. He removes it completely, placing it next to the opening before gesturing for me to kneel beside him.

“I’m going down first when I whistle two times you follow,” he says as I kneel next to him. “Clear?”

I nod and he places his hands on either side of the opening, pushing his feet through and slowly lowering the rest of his body. He lands below in a crouch with a soft thud, I look down to be greeted by darkness. Dylan’s body is dimly illuminated by the light in the hallway but the rest of the room is almost pitch black.

He moves forward away from my view and my heart pounds against my chest. What if the men finally got into the hall? How long do I have until they find me? And who’s to say the enemy isn’t below?

If he hurts Dylan... I don’t know what I’ll do...

My thoughts are silenced as I hear thuds, grunts and sharp cries below. My heart doesn’t slow its pace, my fear rising and I find myself worrying for Dylan. Minutes pass but to me, it feels like hours, sweat beads on my forehead and my breath is heavy.

What’s taking him so long–?

The garage is suddenly basked with light but it’s still silent... Two sharp whistles break the silence, scaring me and I nearly fall headfirst down the opening. I catch myself, my hand flying to my chest.

Two more whistles fill the air and I shake away my fear. I place my hands on either side of the opening, pushing my legs through. I slowly lower myself my arms burning from the effort, this is due to my lack of upper body strength.

Suddenly something grabs my legs and I jut, my hands releasing their hold. A sharp cry escapes my lips as I fall but instead of crashing to the floor, I fall into someone’s arms.

“Hello, again Ms. Blake.”

I open my eyes— that I just notice I’d closed— to look at the dark-haired gentleman. Raphael.

“It’s good to see you’re in one piece ma’am,” he states before gently placing me on my feet.

“Thanks,” I say flashing him an appreciative smile.

He nods before gesturing for me to follow him. He leads me around a corner and towards Dylan and one of the men who accompanied Raphael on his task.

If I remember correctly he went with three men...

“Good, you’re finally here,” Dylan states leaning forward onto the hood of a Ford Explorer, an open map spread on the shiny, black surface.

He straightens up, looking at me before tilting his head. “I said you were to follow after two whistles... Did you not hear the first two?”

“They caught me off guard and I nearly fell through the vent,” I say not meeting his eyes.

When I look up he’s closer, those beautiful eyes assessing me. “Did you hurt yourself? Is your arm okay also?”

He’s silent waiting for my reply and I shake my head. “No, I didn’t hurt myself and it has stopped bleeding, it’s just a scratch.”

He nods, before returning to the Ford and continuing to study the map. “As I was saying, we’ll be heading to Fountain Valley.”

Raphael moves to stand beside him and I follow suit, watching as he points to the word Fountain Valley on the map.

“It’s fifteen minutes or less from here. Its population is 56,000 give or take,” he states before showing us the route we’re to take to reach our destination and explaining the game plan. “We need to split up as soon as we’re in the town. I’ll take Indiana to a safe house within the area.”

His gaze holds mine briefly before looking towards his second in command. “Raphael, you and Zekiel will go to the nearest compound, get enough men and return to secure this one. Once that’s done contact me... I’ll tell you the next move.”

They nod and Dylan folds the map handing it to me. “Let’s move... We have three minutes until lockdown.”

Raphael and Zekiel move hurriedly, entering another Ford Explorer while Dylan pulls me into the one he was leaning onto. He gestures for me to go to the back passenger seats before he jumps into the driver’s seat.

He starts the engine and pulls out of the parking spot, Raphael trailing behind us. He hits a button on the roof of the car, before turning right. In front of us, the garage door raises and the bright light momentarily blinds me. I blink rapidly and soon I notice figures standing outside with guns pointed at us.

Fuck!

They open fire at us and I scream ducking but Dylan gains speed. Loud thuds sound as the car makes contact with what I’m guessing are people.

I raise my head, gulping as I notice the bullet cracks in the windshield. Our speed continues to rise as we drive down the asphalt road. Trees tower over us, sheltering our eyes from the sun rays. I look forward and my mouth drops as I see a pair of large golden gates. We continue to accelerate, showing no signs of stopping and I start to freak out. I look at Dylan and he’s relaxed. Who can he be relaxed at a time like this?

He presses another button on the roof of the car and the gates start to open... A path to freedom... I feel like jumping for joy but I stop when beyond them I see black SUVs blocking our path and almost twenty men standing with guns aimed at us.

“Hold on to something,” Dylan states as we hit 90 miles per hour.

I lean back quickly grabbing the seat belt, strapping myself in. I grab the handle to my left with a shaky breath as the SUVs continue to get closer and closer. I clamp my eyes shut awaking the collision.

Thud... I hear as our car rams into the blockage. I’m thrown forward with a yelp but the seat belt and my grip on the handle keep me from hitting the seat in front of me.

Gunshots hit the vehicle and I whimper gripping tighter onto the handle. The car swings left and crunching sounds before another collision occurs on to the right of us. He swings the car right, and the car picks up speed, heading the one direction.

I open my eyes, my sight a little blurry and I gasp as multiple cracks adorn the windscreen, the size of bullet holes.

It’s bulletproof... I deduct.

“Are you okay?” Dylan asks glancing at me in the rear-view mirror and I nod.

“I’m fi–” I start to say but the sound of a helicopter cuts me off.

Quickly, I look out of the window beside me and my mouth drops as I see the sleek, black helicopter hovering over us. A man is at the door with a really big gun, pointing at our vehicle.

“Dylan! Men...guns...helicopter,” I say staring at the helicopter in fright.

The men start to fire and I scream as the car is flung left. I’m thrown against the window as the bullets hit the car. Specifically, against the window, I’m currently leaning on.

A bullet hits the window, burrowing through the bulletproof glass, stopping inches from my eye and it’s almost like my heart stopped in my chest.

“Indiana hold on!” is what I heard before blacking out in shock.

***

“Let’s go,” Dylan says as he pulls the snapback over his head.

I follow him out of the small department store in a grey hoodie and black jeans pants. Raphael and Zekiel aren’t too far behind having opted for snapbacks, band shirts and khaki capris.

We make our way towards the market place across the road, blending in with the Fountain Valley people. We have been in the town for fifteen minutes now, safe from the enemy’s sight. I have no idea how we were able to lose the cars chasing us or helicopter but here we are in one piece.

Dylan grabs my hand pulling me to his side before slipping an arm over my shoulders.

“Stay close to me,” he whispers in my ear as we move into the denser area of the market place.

Nodding, I put my hands in the hoodie’s pockets, feeling the gun and bulletproof vest beneath. At least I was slightly protected under this.

I had woken up five minutes before we reached Fountain Valley. By then we were in a different vehicle with Zekiel and Raphael in the front seats while I was slumped across Dylan’s lap. I’d tried to get him to explain what had happened but he told me I missed it and it should remain that way.

I bump into someone and I murmur an apology before continuing to move forward. Soon enough, we break through the dense crowd, moving to a less populated area of the market. The exit is right in front of us, only metres away and so far no sign of danger has presented itself yet...or so I thought.

“Indiana?”

The voice is familiar to me and I stop spinning around to face him, a look of surprise slipping onto my face. He’s here... Why is he here?

There he stands in casual clothes, a black t-shirt and blue jeans. His hair is wild and curly and those blue eyes regard me in confusion.

“Rober—” I start to say stepping forward but Dylan grabs my arm pulling me back.

He, Raphael and Zekiel suddenly pull out guns, aiming at Roberto while keeping them out of public sight. Roberto’s eyes widen as his hands fly up in surrender.

Princesa... What’s going on? Why’s Cristiano Silvestre here with his men?” he asks in surprise looking at the guns pointed at him.

“Rob–” I start to explain.

“Cut the crap, Ferrez,” Dylan says sternly, a look of deep hatred in his eyes as he stares at the man in front of him. “You might have her fooled but you’re a dead man to me.”

I look over at Dylan in shock. What is wrong with him? Why is he so obsessed with incriminating Roberto? He’s innocent here.

“Dylan stop,” I say glaring at him and the gun in his hand. “He’s not a danger to any of us. Stop trying to prove that ridiculous idea! It’s just your jealousy!”

Dylan stares at me with disbelief, shaking his head. “If it’s just my jealousy talking Indiana. Why is he here? How did he miraculously find us?”

His question makes sense and my rebuttal gets stuck in my throat. I look over at the man in question and he gives me a look that reads ‘are you seriously doubting me?’.

Princesa... I’d planned to surprise you at Burbank for a night to ourselves before you went off the grid,” Roberto explains. “I was searching Burbank for you when you called me and the location was Santa Ana. I sent men to search and notify the police in the city and I decided to check Fountain Valley for myself. It’s a small town people barely know about, fifteen minutes from Santa Ana and with the mountainous relief... It’s an ideal kidnapper’s hideout spot.”

Looking at Dylan, he narrows his eyes. “Guess I was right. Why did you do it, Silvestre? What do you want with my woman?”

A vein in Dylan’s neck pulses and his grip on his weapon tightens. “She’s not yours.”

“She has been the woman I love for the last four years. She’s mine in every way,” Roberto says with a wink in my direction which enrages Dylan even more.

What are you doing Roberto?

Dylan starts to advance towards Roberto but Raphael blocks his path.

“He’s egging you on,” Raphael says bluntly, narrowing his eyes at Roberto. “Plus his excuse is flawed. He couldn’t have made it here from Santa Ana in fif—”

Bang.

A shot hits Raphael square in the chest and he’s thrown back onto Dylan. I scream grabbing my head ducking and I hear other people screaming around me. More shots are fired but they’re aimed at Zekiel causing him to back away from where I am.

Princesa!” Roberto yells from behind a stall a few feet away from me. “Run!”

I look towards him then at Dylan unable to make up my mind. Shots continue to fire around me but this time it’s between Dylan and I. They continue to move towards me and almost on instinct my body moves, running towards Roberto, away from the bullets.

My heart hammers in my chest urging me on and my body shakes but I refuse to stop, not until I’m safe.

“Ana, no!” Dylan yells as I jump behind the stall into Roberto’s arms.

He grabs me, pulling me to his chest with a grin. “Finally, I have you.”

He caresses my hair slowly letting my hoodie fall, before pulling back to kiss my forehead. The shots continue to fire around us, shocking me momentarily and I jut pulling myself closer to him.

“It’s okay, princesa. I’ll make it stop,” he says before a deafening whistle, originating from above me, resonates across the abandoned market area.

The shots cease instantly. Wait... What?

I’m taken by shock when my front is pulled away from his chest and I’m flipped so my back is against it instead.

“Wha—ah,” I start with a grunt, only to be cut off as he put pressure on the arm between my shoulder blades.

“You should have listened to Silvestre,” he whispers in my ear before pushing me forward.

I stumble a little, a ghost white, confused look on my face. What’s happening?

“So it seems I’ve captured the prize, Silvestre,” Roberto says as he moves us into clear view of Dylan and his men.

There is a group of five men standing around Dylan, Zekiel and Raphael — who’s thankfully not bleeding profoundly from his chest thanks to the bulletproof vest. Three of the men aim Dylan’s men’s guns at them with a lazy, ‘we’ve got you where we want to and you can’t do anything about it’ stance.

Dylan looks up at me, his eyes ice cold. At first, it chills my soul, then I notice it’s not directed at me.

“Your demand Ferrez.” is all he says deciding not to prolong the inevitable. “State it.”

“It remains the same as before,” Roberto states idly, gently brushing strands of my low ponytail off my shoulders.

“…and I’ve already said no,” Dylan states, narrowing his eyes at Roberto. “Demand something else.”

“No, no, no my friend.” Roberto chuckles humourlessly before grabbing my ponytail and pulling, hard.

I yell out in pain and he laughs, before looking at Dylan. “I’m the one with the bargaining chip and if you don’t do as I want... Well, mi princesa has always been into a little pain here and there. I’d love to see how far her tolerance goes.”

The threat rings loud and clear and yet my ears refuse to believe it. Dylan was right...

“Why?” I ask and Roberto’s eyes move to my face. “Why do this?! I thought you loved me.”

“I’m doing this for power and money of course,” he says with a roll of his eyes. “I’ve been in the shadows of the industry too long. It’s time to bask in the light. As for love... don’t take it personal princesa but you were a good fuck that’s as far as it went.”

A good fuck?! I was just a good fuck to him?! I gave him four years of my life and this is what he says about me!

“¡Maldito gilipollas!” I yell stomping my foot hard on his before elbowing him in the ribs. Caught off guard, he releases me and I step away from him. You fucking asshole.

He laughs, standing upright before throwing me a charming smile. “Feisty, just how I like it.”

¡Cuatro años, te di cuatro años de mi vida y me clasificas como un buen polvo!” I spit harshly at him. Four years, I gave you four years of my life and you classify me as a good fuck?!

“…and she took it personal,” he says with a shake of his head before stepping towards me. “Now listen here mocosa mimada, you are trapped here, with no escape. Your ex-lover is under my control now, he can’t help you. If you ever pull something like that again, my men will put a bullet between one of their eyes... Are we cle– I guess not.”

Roberto’s eyes widen momentarily as I pull the gun from under my shirt, clicking off the safety before aiming it at him. He steps back and two of his men break formation, moving towards me, aiming to protect their boss.

Using the evened odds to their advantage, Dylan, Raphael and Zekiel attack the remaining three, catching them off guard. Dylan disarms the first man, knocking him to the ground before taking out one of the men advancing towards me. Raphael takes out the second man after successfully taking down his opponent, followed by Zekiel.

The place goes silent and I stand, gun aimed at Roberto, who despite his situation has a smile on his face.

“Well, isn’t this quite a predicament?” he grins glancing at the two pairs of guns aimed at him.

“Raphael, grab him,” Dylan instructs and Raphael nods.

He moves towards Roberto cautiously, ready for anything while my ex-fiancé regards him with a smirk.

“Afraid of me?” Roberto teases, tilting his head. “You should be. I’m a fucking monstruo.”

He says the last word loudly and it resonates around us.

Contraseña aceptada. Eliminando enemigos.” We hear from somewhere around us and Dylan’s face goes pale. Password accepted. Eliminating enemies.

“Get to cover!” he screams and not a second later bullets hit the ground close to our feet.

I dive to the ground, crawling quickly towards an empty stall and press my back against it. The shots continue to fire at us and I scream as it hits the sign above my head, debris falling onto me.

“Can you see it?!” Dylan yells over the gunshots at no one in particular.

“It’s hidden, Capo!” Zekiel shouts before crying out in pain.

“Just stay hidden!” Dylan yells and I hug my knees to my chest, flinching as shots hit my stall.

This goes on for a minute until the shots cease completely. Hugging my knees I stay put, wondering if it’s a trap... If it’s a bait, to get us to come out of hiding.

Autodestrucción en 10.”

The words register in my head and my heartbeat quickens in my chest. It’s going to blow!

“Run!” Dylan screams but I’m already on my feet running away from the scene. I hear the thudding of footsteps behind me but I pay no attention to them pushing on.

I make it a few metres from the area when I hear. “3,2,1...

I dive as an explosion erupts behind me, landing on my stomach harshly. The debris flies over me as I clutch my head, wooden splinters falling onto me. My ears ring loudly, a headache pulsing against my skull and I look up with blurry eyes, trying to find Dylan.

Where is he?!

When my eyes clear, I see a tousle of dark hair buried under a large plank of burnt wood and I crawl over to him. No, no, no... I carefully pull the plank off him, ignoring the pain in my arms before spinning him around a gasp leaving my lips.

His face is battered and bruised, an eye swollen shut. His chest is unmoving and blood trails from a wound acquired by the stake protruding from his chest. His dark eyes are open, lifelessly staring at me and my heart aches for him.

Zekiel.

Rustling sounds behind me and I look over my shoulder to see Raphael and Dylan limping towards me. I feel the tears streaming down my face and a soft hiccup escapes my lips.

Dylan stands over me, looking down at the scene and his lips press into a sharp line. His eye twitches and a flare of emotions show in his eyes.

Raphael comes up on my left and he shakes his head in denial, not believing his eyes...

I close my eyes, before looking down at Zekiel’s body. He’s dead.

Sirens blaring and the screeching of tires fill the silence around us, the police are coming.

Kneeling beside me Dylan reaches out and closes Zekiel’s eyes, whispering something under his breath. A promise for revenge.

“Raphael, take him,” he instructs lifting Zekiel’s body with a grunt and passing it to Raphael. “We leave no man behind.”

He then pulls me to my feet and I gasp as I notice a piece of wood protruding from his shoulder.

“It’s fine,” he says noticing where I’m staring before pulling me away from the explosion site, Raphael not far behind us.

Voices litter the area behind us and Dylan grimaces, leading us away from the burnt debris.

“Let’s get out of here.”



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