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I’m reawaken from my deep, but spotty, thinking by a very- very- light and nervous touch on my arm. Taking a quick account of myself, I find I’m still sitting on the dirt look out of the ocean, knees still propped up, arms folded and resting on them, and forehead resting on my arms. My eyes aren’t visible to Denzel, who had ever so slowly shifted over to me, and was reminding me he was there. This made my eyebrows draw together in a glare at the dirt I could see through the space between my legs, he’d seen Kit do the same thing a hundred times. I can hear his heart fluttering, he’s worried I’ll attack him again but needs to tell me something else, something important enough to risk rough waters. Closing my eyes, I breathe deeply, though my eyebrows are still glaring, and try to calm down.
It’s not Denzel’s fault that no touch has been truly caring, or humane in some cases, for the past how many years, and it’s not Kit’s fault either. It’s my fault. My decision, my fault. Repeating this in my head, I finally sigh and look up at Denzel; he tries to give a comforting smile that says he knows what I’m going through. But how could anyone know what I’m going through, or what I’ve gone through when most of it I’ve never told anyone? Just like with Misty, what happened to her, and the second 5 years of my childhood lost from any file, I think detachedly with a small smile. Denzel pulls me back to the present again with a furrowed eyebrows look that questions what I’m thinking. Then I smile again at how we are speaking without words.
Then pain enters my lower back, near my left kidney. A split second later I hear a sharp crack echo through the air. My face contorts, I lean forward against my still bet legs, and a slight groan escapes me. The pain only gets worse as the bullet reaches my loose rib- I really need to get that stupid thing removed. My loose rib is my last rib on my left side; it’s a twisted, feeble, old thing that’s practically decaying inside my body. The only reason it hasn’t been removed is because from where it leaves my spine to its razor sharp tip is covered in a cm, at least, of nerve endings, veins and blood vessels. It’s like my physical Achilles’ heel. - The pain becomes nauseating. I could have ran, fought, done almost anything if the bullet hadn’t hit that freakin’ rib. Whimpering soundlessly, I stand. One of the most painful things I’ve experienced in a long time, like as if the fall I had a few days ago from 20-30 stories had only landed and bruised on one spot.
My thoughts are growing sluggish as Denzel gets me into the back of the SUV, but one thing’s for sure, this wasn’t random and it wasn’t just aimed at me. I realize I’m lying in the floor between the driver’s row and the one behind, and glare at the back of Denzel’s head. I don’t know how, or why, but he’s a part of this. Whether he led them here on accident or on purpose, I bet this is his fault. Frustrated with myself, I mentally scold my second layer for not warning me … then I realize how badly out of it I really am. Mostly I’m frustrated because I can take six shots to the torso, upper part preferably, before I start to slow down. But this one, not lucky but purposeful, shot has me almost helpless. The shooter had to have known of the rib, and I doubt Hunter’s people would know about it.
Shaking my head, I force white blood cells to the bullet area so I can heal enough to think. A second later I’m thinking normally, despite a distant headache and nausea. Rolling my shoulders I get on my knees and peer through the front windshield. We’re heading the wrong way, we’re speeding back to the city I just escaped. Denzel see’s my anger through his rear view mirror, and swallows hard.
“Where are you going?” I snarl in his ear.
“Back to town. You need a doctor.” I growl, rumbling in my chest, at the thought of not only going back to a town filled with my enemies, but also to be poked and prodded by a mad man in a lab coat. I’m not fond of doctors, especially after being tested on like a lab rat, and almost being dissected … along with many other uncomfortable things.
“There’s an inn about five miles back that I was going to switch cars at!”
“Oh ya, right after you flung yourself off that cliff!”
“You and I both know that a small dive into some water won’t kill me.”
“That ‘small dive’ was a 100+ FOOT CLIFF!”
“That wouldn’t kill me either. And neither will this bullet. Now turn this thing around, or I will crash it!”
“Fine! But only because you are willing to kill us both.” Denzel muttered the last part as he flung a U-turn sharp enough to purposely fling me into the car door. I right myself, swearing grouchily, only to duck as a bullet smashes through the front windshield. There is a blockade a head, several large vehicles, as well as black clad figures kneeled and shooting. Denzel takes another U-turn. A quick glance gives escape. Smiling I tap Denzel’s shoulder.
“If you want to escape with your life, jump with me off the cliff!” I shout over the roar of the wind from the broken window. He looks at me like I’m crazy, maybe I am. But I love my freedom with a burning passion, and if it means that Denzel wants to stay behind and get caught, then fine by me. “They are either going to cut you off or shoot you down. You said Kit doesn’t know you’re here, so he won’t know till it’s too late he’s downed on of his own.” I open the side door; the wind tries to close it, but as I hold it open my attackers help me by attacking the door.
They shoot the door off its hinges and it flies back toward them, as though seeking revenge. “If you’re jumping, aim at where I hit, there should be no obstructions there!” I shout out the last comment then jump.