Rory heard a lot of noise outside. Men yelling, doors shutting, and women crying louder now, before the unmistakable sound of gunshots quieted them down.
Oh, God. She had to escape. But how?
Just as she was considering yanking off the restraints with all of her might, a side door she hadn’t noticed before opened revealing a ghostly looking woman. Her eyes were bigger than her face, and her clothes clung to her bony frame. There was a wildness to her stare. Rory was suddenly afraid, waiting for the same ghosts that had taken over this woman’s soul to drag her to darkness as well.
“Hey.” Rory whispered.
The woman put a finger over her mouth and moved soundlessly to Rory’s side. From somewhere inside those long garments, she pulled out a knife, and used it to free her.
“You have to run. You’re still strong.”
“No. We’ll run.”
The other woman looked at Rory sympathetically.
“I died the second they grabbed me. He hasn’t touched you, yet.” There was bitterness mixed with relief.
“We can use that.” Rory, rubbing where cord had cut her skin, nodded toward the knife.
“No, this is my escape.” The woman’s words broke Rory’s heart.
Before Rory could convince her, a man came inside the room, pointing a gun at both her and the other woman.
“You bitch.” He pointed the gun to Rory’s rescuer but before he could fire, she used the blade to cut her throat, blood spilling furiously, before collapsing on the carpet.
Rory let out a cry of grief and fear, as she fell down to the woman’s inert body, before her eyes focused on the gun aimed at her.
There was a loud bang, and she closed her eyes, thinking she had been shot. Only there was a loud thud that followed. Rory opened her eyes, and it was all she could do not to faint, when she saw Owen lowering his gun and rushing to her petrified body.
“I got you now. I got you, babe. You’re okay.” His voice broke, before he gathered her in his arms, and she broke apart in his embrace.
“Shsh, it’s okay. It’s okay.” He held on to her, feeling alive again ever since learning of her disappearance.
“I……..” She sobbed, “I had to come. He……he said he would hurt Terry, Kyle. I couldn’t escape. I thought…………..”
“Hey, hey.” He pulled her away and smiled at her, tears gathered in his own eyes.
“I said I would always find you if you couldn’t escape, remember?”
She nodded, sobbed some more and pulled his lips to her quivering ones.
“I love you. I love you.”
“I love you, too. What do you say we get the hell out of here?”
He held her hand and pulled her behind him, shielding her body as they made their way to the bedroom door.
“Not so fast.”
Nathan aimed his gun at Owen’s back. Rory whimpered, as she saw him before Owen turned around putting her behind him.
“I guess my aim’s not so good. There’s a ghost in here.”
“I’m not a ghost. I’m a cop that will fry your ass in jail.”
Nathan’s gun moved from Owen to Rory.
“I don’t think so. Drop it.”
Owen held his gun firm, pointing it between Nathan’s eyes.
Nathan tsked and shook his head, a sick smile appearing on his lips.
“She has no bullet vest, I’ll kill her in a second.”
Owen didn’t think twice and knelt carefully, putting the gun on the floor.
“Much better. Come with me, sweetheart.” He used his free hand to motion for Rory to move toward him.
“If you dare touch her, you sick bastard…” Owen started to say.
“Oh, trust me, I already have. And guess what? Next time, you’ll watch.”
Nathan gripped the front of her blouse and ripped it away from her body. Rory tried to push him away but he had his hands around her, one already going down to undo the button of her jeans.
“No, please, don’t touch me.” She cried out.
Then, she was being flung to the side, as Owen lunged himself at them landing on Nathan. Both men fought with hands, knees, until Nathan recovered his gun and fired.
It all happened so fast. The shot hit Owen in his shoulder, and he went down, grunting in pain, while Rory yelled his name and struggled against Nathan’s hands, groping her body as he caught her before she could move.
“We’re going to have fun.”
Owen tried to stench the flow of blood coming from his wound, and fling himself at the escaping couple, but he stumbled and fell hard on his side, yelling in agony and despair as he could hear Rory’s terrified screams, fading away.
“Owen!” But her voice sounded so faint, he knew they’d taken the stairs and would head down to the garage to find an escape vehicle.
The door from where the woman had appeared burst open and Kyle stepped in, dried blood on his mouth, as he ran to his friend’s side and helped him up.
“He has her.”
“We gotta move. Can you walk?”
“Yeah, yeah. I’m fine.”
He and Kyle made their way between scared female faces, as they covered for each other, while Alexander’s men lay dead on the hallway.
“Stairs.” Owen grunted when Kyle asked where to. He gritted his teeth tight to keep the pain at bay, and focus on finding Rory. They heard more shots being fired outside, and a flood of relief washed over him as it was clear his captain and his men had made it on time.
They found the same door they had come in before spilling out into the night and chaos, then making their way around the house to the garage where Jackson’s men hadn’t arrived yet. There was a battle raging out in the front part of the house.
There were three cars getting ready to get the hell out. Owen knew Alexander and the Shadow were in one of them.
But where the hell was Nathan?
Then he saw them, as Rory fought hard not to be shoved in the third car, while Nathan shoved her and then kicked her in the back causing her to lose her footing and fall on her hands and knees.
Before Kyle could stop him, Owen stepped out of the shadows and right in front of the first car in the convoy and pointed his gun at whoever was in there.
“Police! Get out of the cars, now.”
Slowly, the drivers from the first and second car opened and the man who had been his boss for two years, and the man that had started his nightmare, the Shadow, aimed their own guns at him.
“You bastard. I can’t wait to put a bullet between your eyes.”
“Put the gun down, Alexander.”
“And the worst part is your girlfriend will suffer even after you’re buried into some shit hole in the ground.”
“Kill him.” The Shadow ordered, and several other men got down from the cars and aimed at Owen and Kyle, as he joined his ex partner in this suicidal stand off.
“Whatever happens, keep her safe.” Owen muttered to Kyle, who started to refuse when Owen lowered his gun to the ground, then lifted his good arm in surrender.
“Let her go. Take me instead. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of ways to punish me. A shot would be too merciful for a cop.”
“Owen, don’t.” Rory, who had been brought forward by Nathan, pleaded with him.
“It’s all right, baby. I love you, okay?”
“Please, don’t leave me.” She was crying, the sound already doing more damage than whatever Alexander and his men would do.
“You think we’re stupid? We know we have the cops all over us. She goes and you die.” Nathan shouted.
“Kyle, call them back.” Owen instructed.
“I said, call them back.” He turned to him, and then rolled his eyes to one side, where no one had seen their men perched on trees, ready to take Alexander and his men down. Understanding his plan, Kyle took out his radio and gave out Owen’s new instructions.
“Step back. They have Rory.”
“Copy that, Detective.” Jackson’s voice said from the radio.
“Now, let her go.” Owen began to move forward, his eyes always on Rory.
She was shaking so hard from the tears falling down her stained cheeks, she looked like a ragged doll.
“Boss?” Nathan asked, his hand still holding Rory back.
Owen knew Alexander’s ambition was far more important than a woman. He almost swayed with relief as the Russian asked his boss and he nodded, motioning for Nathan to make the exchange.
The other man swore and complained but one look from the Shadow and he clammed right up, taking Rory to the front and pushing her against Owen.
“No, no. Don’t do this to me. Don’t leave me again. You promised, you….” She buried her face in his chest and held on to him, before Kyle pulled her away.
“No! Don’t! Let me go!” She kicked and screamed, this time for real, while Kyle pulled her away and Owen walked to Nathan’s sick smile.
“We’re going to have fun, Owen.”
Then he saw the red dot on Nathan’s forehead and he ducked, before a fire of bullets rained over them, as police and thugs fired at each other. Owen felt the brush of another bullet on his back, before he took cover behind the second car, while glass shattered around him.
Then he heard the rest of the unit running toward them, before the man he’d only known as the Shadow appeared in front him, with a gun ready to blow his brains out.
“Now you die.”
“Don’t think so.” Owen rolled to his side then pulled the gun he’d been holding behind his back and shot the bastard three times in the stomach, before he went down.
“Now you die.” The cop muttered then blacked out.