The glass shattered as an explosion rocks the mansion, throwing us off our feet. We jump, taking cover as pieces of glass, broken boards and other debris fall onto the patio.
Adonis, Raphael and I take cover behind a privacy wall near the pool. The floor shaking beneath us. The pieces of glass rip into our suits, drawing blood but nothing too serious. The ring in my ears the worse thing to come from the explosion.
‘-iano… You know what fuck a signal! You check out the warehouse while we head into the fight! Get going, now!’ Shanice exclaims as my hearing comes too, an engine revving to life.
The dust from the explosion clears and I aim my gun breaking the corner. Giovanni and his team took cover under the tables and chairs, the explosion shocking them as much as it shocked us.
The first shot I fire hits him in the arms, snapping their attention to me and I dive behind a large potted plant, as the sons return fire. Adonis and Raphael break their position, advancing guns drawn, placing them under rapid fire. I move from my position watching as the sons try to cover their father’s escape, Elia and Daniel’s daughter with him.
Aiming my gun, the shot rings loud before lodging itself in the bitch’s shin. She drops to the ground with a yelp, drawing Roberto’s attention long enough for Adonis to land a shot in his dominant hand.
As he drops the gun leaving himself vulnerable, the chivalry arises to their rescue, a dozen men shooting at our party of three. Abandoning my position, I run for the wall as the bullets pelt down like rain. Adonis and Raphael already hidden behind said wall look at me.
“Kill everyone but the girl. Elia and Giovanni are mine…”
The need for his blood is as evident as the beating of my heart.
“Si, Capo,” They say in unison as the bullets hit the wall against our backs.
Looking to my left, my eyes zone in on the large glass windows leading to the Mansion’s kitchen.
“I’ll distract them so you can get a window. Take care of them,” I say as I approach the window, kicking out the glass and climbing inside, the pieces crunching under my feet.
I walk calmly through the kitchen, the large balcony doors giving me a clear view of the patio. I must thank that fucker for installing so many windows.
The men have yet to notice me, too busy focusing their efforts on advancing towards the partition.
Not alert, there lies their first fatal flaw.
The glass scatters as the first bullet hits the skull of its target, the second hitting another’s chest and the third, his neck. They draw their attention to me.
Their second and equally fatal move.
One by one, they drop before they can fire their guns, no match for my second in commands.
Unloading the cartridge on the floor, I reload and grasp the gun firmly in my hand, my senses at their peak. I advance towards the living room, a group of men present with guns cocked.
I smile, the demons in my mind free to roam and wreak havoc.
My body moves fast, seeking cover as dodge the rapid succession of bullets while returning fire. I dive behind the couch, figurines scattering as the bullets impact them. Dropping low, I shoot three of them through the ankles, then in the chest as they fall. The other three men aim and fire at the area I was once at, missing me by a few seconds.
My heart thuds, the adrenaline heightening the pleasure of the chaos happening around me. The gunshots sound from either side of the mansion, bodies falling with a thud and men crying their dying breath.
I can hear the soft hum of engines approaching the mansion, indicating Shanice will be here soon. The battle around me causes my bloodlust to intensify, the feeling euphoric but I find myself tensing as the sound of a louder, harsher engine running fills my ears. A helicopter.
‘Ferrez and his men are heading towards the helipad!’ Daniel yells into the line and I tense. ‘I’m going after him! I need backup.’
That fucker is not escaping.
Grabbing the table leg in front of me, I pull it forward grabbing the decorative, glass ball that falls into my hand. Moving deftly, I rise from behind the couch, chucking the ball at the man nearest to me. It shatters against his skull as I grab him manoeuvring his body so he shields me from his mates’ fire. They barely have time to blanch at the misfire, before I place a hole in each of their foreheads.
I drop the man, grabbing the large semiautomatic weapon from his body, making my way to the helipad.
‘I’m headed your way…’ I reply, ascending the stairs.
Giovanni’s men try to stand in my way but they fall dead at my feet. Darting around a corner, I duck missing the bullet that finds its home in the wall. First, I shoot out his legs before landing a hit in his throat. Feet thunder towards me and I curse, rolling left as more men enter the hall.
“¡Mierda! Otro hombre muerto. ¡Encuentra y mata a esos cabrones!” the man hisses in anger. “El jefe tardará un poco en salir con la niña, Encuentra a Silvestre y sácalo antes de que los encuentre.” Fuck! Another man dead. Find and kill those fuckers! It will take a while for the boss to get out with the girl. Find Silvestre and take him out before he finds them.
Diana was in the mansion all this time. Giovanni played us and now, my mother, Johnattan and Dimitri may be dead…
The man shouts for them to split up and I move into a crouch, placing the gun on the ground. Footsteps approach my position and I lift my pants, unsheathing my blade. There are two of them; I only need one.
As they round the corner, I pounce. I kick out the feet of the man closest to me and as he drops face first, I lunge at the other. He barely has time to react as I swipe my dagger cutting his throat. His blood splatters me but I don’t slow down, dropping onto the other man, my knee between his shoulder blades.
The first man splutters before dropping dead as I press the blade to the back of the second’s throat.
“¡No! ¡Por favor, no me mates!” his voice comes out high pitched and fearful and my brows furrow. Please don’t kill me!
Placing the knife at his throat, I lean forward keeping my ears alert. I grab the man’s head, turning it to the side. He isn’t a man, he looks no older than seventeen. A fucking kid.
He whimpers and I can tell he’s close to pissing himself. He has fucking kids doing his dirty work… Pathetic fucker.
Another explosion rocks the house, followed by shouts and additional bullets firing as others join the party. I grab a strategic point on his neck and he’s out cold. Grabbing my weapon, I rush down the hall making my way up the wooden stairs.
I step onto the second level, cutting down the guards as I race to the third, the engine sound getting louder.
‘Why the fuck are there children here?!’ Shanice curses and I hear rustling, grunts and cries of pain before silence. ‘Disarm and subdue them! Do not kill them, anyone who does has me to deal with!’
I peer from behind the wall watching the hall which houses the stairs to the third floor. There are five men; all armed patrolling the hall.
They seem to talk via an earpiece and the man closest to me becomes distracted, listening to whoever is talking on the other line. I sneak up on him, breaking his neck with a deft manoeuvre. Shooting the two men that turn upon hearing the crack.
Using his body as a shield, I take out the other two, dropping the semiautomatic and pulling a handgun from the holster from my right calf. Voices become louder and I can hear Giovanni and that bitch’s voice above the noise of the helicopter.
“Grab the kid and let’s go!” Elia yells.
“No stop!” Diana!
I head up the stairs spinning as I hear slight movement behind me. I spin aiming my gun but before I can fire a shot the man falls and Daniel is standing behind him, gun raised. Footsteps sound from above the stairs and I spin, taking out the first man. Daniel advances hitting a few in the chest as I take out the legs.
‘They…ali…on rou... to hel...’ One of the men speaks through the earphones but I barely catch what is said.
We rush up the stairs, bodies rushing towards us and falling as we break through what looks like a bedroom, into the slab roof. We’re almost blown away by the wind caused by the circular movement of the helicopter’s blades.
The helicopter is lifting from the ground and the blood in my veins boil as I see those frightful blue-green eyes, staring at me through the casement window of the helicopter. Behind her those ice blue eyes glimmer at me, a smirk on his lips.
I hear footsteps behind me and Daniel and I turn at the same moment to come gun to gun with his daughter and the youngest Ferrez.
“Shaneil. Don’t do this,” Daniel whispers and it is almost inaudible over the wind.
She stares at him her hand shaking and a battle in her eyes… I can’t hurt his daughter but I need to stop that helicopter.
“Don’t trust him DD. He’s a murder,” the young Ferrez says, not taking his eyes off me and my eye twitches.
The helicopter is moving farther away, evident by the wind blowing around us which slowly fades.
“I didn’t ki-” Oh, fuck this!
The sound of gunshots silences Daniel’s next words and both the young Ferrez and I are thrown back as our bullets find their mark. I drop to the ground, grasping my side as another shot rings out and Daniel and she daughter find themselves in a struggle.
The shot I planted in the young Ferrez’s chest caused his aim to change. So while he drops to the ground, wheezing as his chest caves in on him, I’m not affected. I groan, pulling the bullet from my side, the vest doing its job at lessening the blow but not well enough.
It hits my injured abdomen.
I feel blood pool through my shirt but I ignore it, crawling to my feet with my gun in my fist, eyes on the helicopter as it starts to leave the mansion. The metal sparks and groans as bullets are aimed at it and my throat catches in my throat.
“Don’t shoot! My fucking daughter is in there!” I yell into the earpiece before running towards the railing.
My men cease fire immediately, the helicopter escaping over the open sea. The shore is littered with bodies and debris, signs of an explosion and I swallow the lump in my throat.
“Stop!” Daniel yells and I glance back before dismissing the sight from my mind. His daughter, his problem, not mine…
I need to get to the ground floor! I had to follow them… Giovanni is not getting away!
I look around and my eyes land on the gigantic pool below me. Without thinking twice, I climb on the railing and I jump off, the wind slamming against my body followed by the water.
The chlorinated water, the coldest akin to my soul, engulfs my body. I push to the surface, deftly pulling my weapon and shooting the men that had changed their focus to me. Adonis and Shanice move towards the pool covering me as I swim to the edge, pulling myself out.
“I need to follow that helicopter!” I yell at Shanice. She is the one in charge of the boat fleet.
“There’s a boat near the rocks that wasn’t destroyed by the explosion! Go!” Shanice yells and I take off running towards the shoreline, them covering my back.
I take down men as I go, stepping over dead bodies before I find the speedboat. I dive into the sea, swimming towards the boat. By the time, I’ve manoeuvred it towards the open sea, the helicopter is a great distance away.
I will not fail!
The salty air slaps me in my face as I push the boat to its full potential and it eats up the distance remarkably. The water splashes against me but it doesn’t quench the determination pumping within me. I am not giving up until Diana is in my arms.
The helicopter door is abruptly flung open and I swerve right as bullets hit the windscreen of the speedboat. I aim my gun returning fire, careful not to hit the area with the gas tank.
I curse, the boat jerking left as a bullet lodges in my arm, another hitting my shoulder because of the closeness. I jerk right pulling away from them, blood soaking my suit.
‘Cristiano!’ a feminine voice yells across the line and my stomach clenches.
“Dria?” She’s alive?
‘We’ll have a shot clear shot of the helicopter in five minutes,’ Dimitri’s says and my gut plummets. ‘Keep pushing them to the left.’
“Diana is on that helicopter!” I yell cursing as another shot hits the boat. “Don’t you fucking dare take it down!”
The waters become darker as it deepens and in the distance, I can see fins popping to the surface. Sharks.
I swerve, returning fire at Roberto who hangs from the helicopter, a grin on his lips.
“Shit!” Dimitri and I hiss in unison.
My heart flies to my throat as my hand tightens to a death grip on the wheel. It happened so fast.
Roberto moves back.
Giovanni and Diana appear at the door of the helicopter.
He pulls out a blade cutting into her forearm, blood gushing out as she cries in pain and then he let her go.
Helplessly, I watch as my daughter screams before she crashes into the water.
The shark-infested waters.