The Road Between

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Chapter 19: Failure

Liam's POV

Thinking back to when Aviana had guessed my motivations for accepting the deal were false, I remember thinking she had some knowledge in the business. As it turned out, I was correct.

She was brilliant. She had a very strategic mind and could be flat out diabolical.

Then there was the fact she planned out every little detail, even ones that we normally would overlook. Things like what car would be the quietest or who was best suited to check the hidey holes in the basement.

With her help we got everything planned and everything ready to put into action a week ahead of schedule.

The day of our raid however, she was a nervous wreck.

She kept saying we were missing something, but I knew we had everything planned perfectly.

I couldn't comfort her the way I wanted to, because I was nervous too. I hated leaving her here with just the girls and James, but she insisted I take all of my fighters with me.

I had hardly left her side the past few weeks. From holding her hair back as she threw up in the mornings, to sharing my bed with her at night. She had quickly become not only my best friend and better half, but my whole world.

I hated leaving her, but I knew it was the only way to be sure she was safe.

Over the past weeks several of Jacobs' men had managed to find the house, I had hid this from Avian not wanting to scare her more. None of them had made it to the door thanks to security and Asher, but I knew she was right. Jacob wanted her and was willing to do anything to get to her.

If we left them alone eventually we would slip up and Aviana could get hurt. Not to mention I couldn't insist that she be babysat permanently, she would kill me.

She had gotten very comfortable around me and was sassy and not afraid to speak her mind. In this way she reminded me of Scarlet.

However she was still reserved around most other men, especially any she didn't know.

We both hated the idea of being separate during such a consequential day, but I had to protect her.

So as I watched my house getting smaller in the rearview mirror, I was sure I was doing the right thing.

We snuck up to Dan's house, which still acted as a home base for the Falcons, we easily silenced the dogs before they could give us away.

Taking the house was much easier than we had expected. It appeared as though they had all gotten blackout drunk. Most were passed out and easy to tie up, only a few fought back and they were easily contained.

In ten minutes every lead member was accounted for except Jacob and Brent, who Aviana had been sure would step up as Jacobs right hand man.

As I hurried down the stairs I stopped at a cell with an iron door that was open inward. There was a pile of, long dried, blood stained clothes on the floor. As I looked closer at the ratty t-shirt and torn jean shorts it was clear that they were a woman's.

Worse then that I realised they were about Aviana's size. There was also a small wad of long auburn brown hair thrown on the floor.

As I looked at the amount of blood that stained the walls and floor as well as the living conditions in this cell I felt my stomach twist.

I was suddenly eager to get home. I wanted to see her, to know she was okay. It seemed impossible anyone could survive these conditions as long as she had.

I turned on my heel deciding unconsciously nobody would be further down the dimly lit hall. It was a mistake.

I wasn't sure if I heard the shot first or felt the sudden biting pain as the bullet lodged its way into my right shoulder.

The shot had its desired effect as I heard my own gun clatter to the ground and skid across the cold, grey cement floor.

As I looked up at the ash blond man from the docks, he grinned down at me. From what Aviana had said this was Brent, Jacobs new right hand man. He had his gun trained on my chest.

Though side by side with Jacob at the docks he had appeared almost docile, here his malicious grin seemed demonic.

How down right evil Jacob had to be to make a man like this appear so compliant. I guessed even a demon could appear friendly set side by side with the devil himself.

He chuckled walking forward slowly. "Wow, so here stands the mighty Reaper King."

His brutal laugh echoed through the sound proof cave of a basement. I knew nobody had heard the shot, nobody was coming. Aviana had warned me over and over about this.

However if only I could just get him a little closer.

I pretended not to notice as he took another step forward. "Not so special now are you?"

"Never was." I said calmly, trying to appear as harmless as possible.

Just a little closer.

"Jacob was furious when Dan gave his little doll away." He took another small step closer, just one more. "You see Dan had already said Jacob could have her when he took over. That's why Jake shot Dan in the confusion of that little squabble."

The man chuckled and finally took the last step. He had gotten too close, underestimating my skill and my reach.

It was his mistake, and would be a fatal one.

I spun my uninjured left arm in the air knocking the gun from his hands before kicking him in the chest. He fell to the ground as I bent and grabbed the gun, turning it on it's owner.

Anger coursed through my veins and I smiled down at the man crouched on the floor still trying to catch his breath.

"He will never touch her again." I hissed furiously, "None of you will."

To my surprise he laughed.

A chill ran down my spine and I suddenly felt that same urgency to make sure she was safe, as well as a feeling that I was missing something that should have been obvious.

"Where do you think Jacob is your royal highness." His voice was pained but there was still a tinge of glee in his tone.

A icy chill ran down the length of my body as fear quickly replaced the rage in my chest.

I pulled the trigger twice and was halfway up the stairs before his body hit the ground.

"Adam! Ian! Get in!" I shouted, jumping into the car. I had the car moving before they even had their doors shut and we raced towards home.

The others would have to squeeze into the other car. There was no way I was waiting around.

"Liam your bleeding, did you get hit? What's going on?" Adam said, seeming dazed by my actions.

"Jacob is at the house! He knew we were coming. Thats why this was so fucking easy he played us! He's going after Avi!" I was still shouting.

"That's impossible. How would he know? How do you know?" Ian asked as he leaned forward between the front seats.

"Brent told me and I don't know how he knew. Maybe one of his men did get in and out without us knowing." As unlikely as it seemed I had no other ideas.

"Dammit, Avi warned me not to underestimate him, but I never thought..." I trailed off unable to finish my sentence.

I yelled pounding my hands down on the wheel and ignoring the pain this movement caused my shoulder.

Even as the speedometer read 90mph it still felt too slow. I should never have left her.

"We are almost there. What's going on Scar?" Adam asked hurriedly into the phone. "Well get a gun and shoot the damn lock! Get the hell in there!"

"We are parking right now, check on James and call Jay." Adam said less angrily.

We jumped out of the car not bothering to turn it off. Adam was already off the phone and talking to us.

"He knocked out James then locked himself in the rec room with Avi before the other girls knew he was there." He spoke clearly despite the fact we were now taking the stairs two at a time.

Before we got to the bottom, however, we all froze as the sound of a gunshot reverberated through the hall of stairs.

"NO!" I screamed.

I didn't have my gun to shoot the lock. So I bolted down the last few stairs and used all of my momentum to throw myself against the door. I ignored the screaming protest in my injured shoulder.

There was a loud, satisfying cracking sound as the locking mechanism inside the door snapped.

As the door swung open, what I saw there froze me in place.
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