Authors: J.L. Hendricks
if you have any nightmares and need a hug, you know where to find me.” Ash said
while winking at me, and then he walked out the door right past an astonished
there something going on between you and Ash?” Lancer couldn’t even look at me
when he said that. He watched Ash walk down the hallway. But I could see the
sadness in his face from his profile.
are you jealous?” I almost hit myself for saying that out loud. I couldn’t
believe I was being so brazen.
do you mean?” He had a total deer in the headlights look and I almost laughed
but caught myself before a small smile made its way to my lips.
I was just joking. Now, if you would be so kind as to let me sleep? Unless
there was something else?” I knew my cheeks were red but for some reason I
didn’t want him to leave yet.
turned around and wished me a peaceful sleep as he walked out the door.
down on my cot and put my elbows on my thighs and dropped my head into my
going on? Do I have feelings for both of these guys? I know that I can’t
succumb to their fae charms now since I am part fae as well. This is very
bizarre. I can’t possibly have feelings for one man who can’t love me in return
and another who can’t stand to be in my presence, can I?
decided it must have been something from being kidnapped and thinking I was
going to die only a few shorts hours ago. A nap was what I needed. So I laid
down and fell into a fitful sleep.
When I woke up the next morning I knew something had to
be done about my sleeping arrangement. I had a spasm in my back and my neck was
so tight I was getting a migraine. I went to look for Lancer to see if he could
get me a good bed and pillows. But found Ash instead.
“Good morning Ash. Do you know where Lancer is?”
“Good morning, babe. How’d you sleep? Did you dream of
I wasn’t laughing. “Ash, I need coffee before I can
handle your jokes. Walk with me to the kitchen?”
As I was fixing myself coffee and a bagel, Ash told me
that Lancer had left early that morning for some recon.
“Can you take me to get a better bed today? I don’t
think I could sleep another night in that bed. I am so sore from everything
going on and sleeping on a stupid cot.” I actually pouted, and it wasn’t the
flirty kind either.
Ash came up behind me and put his hands on my waist and
leaned towards my ear. “I have a bed that is very comfortable and would sleep
two. You wouldn’t have any pain after a night with me, only pure bliss.”
I spewed my coffee all over the kitchen counter as he
said that and moved out of his reach.
“Ok, let’s get something straight here. I am not going
to share a bed with you, or anyone else. And I would appreciate it if you would
tone down the flirting, especially in front of Lancer. It is very
unprofessional to do that in front of our squad leader.” I tried giving him by
best reproachful glare, but I wasn’t sure I was able to pull that off with my
cheeks burning red from his statement.
“Can you be serious today and help me find a new bed?”
He stood up straight and looked me in the eye and said,
“Yes, I can be serious and take you shopping today. How about we do that after
our morning work out?”
“Great, I’ll meet you on the mat in fifteen minutes. I
just need to make a fresh cup of coffee.” I walked back over to the coffee
maker and started to make another cup since he caused me to spill most of the
were out looking for a new bed we also went to dinner and did some clothes
shopping for me. This meant we didn’t get back until well after eight pm.
course Lancer was waiting for us both in my room when we got back.
I said a little bit too loudly when I walked into my room. I stopped abruptly
and Ash ran into my back and dropped the shopping bags. “What are you doing
waiting for you to get back so we could train. I told you we were to train
every day.” The anger was clear in his voice. He looked at Ash and I swear
steam was coming up from his head.
looked for you this morning but you were gone. So I worked out with Ash on hand
to hand combat. Then he took me shopping and out to dinner. I needed a few
things. I was going to ask you, but since you left without telling me when you
would return, I asked Ash.
not allowed out of the warehouse until we can get you trained. What if the
rippers found you tonight? I doubt you would be so lucky as to get away again.”
Now he turned his glare to me, but his eyes softened a little bit as he took in
my pained expression.
wrong, you look to be in pain.” Now Lancer seemed to be more worried about me
than he was mad as he walked closer to me and took my hands in his. He walked
me over to my cot and sat me down next to him.
couldn’t take another night on this awful cot! I woke up with back pain and a
migraine. Cots are not meant to be slept in every night. I needed a new bed. As
well as some more work out gear. And don’t forget, my only uniform was
destroyed. I picked up several sets of pants and two more pairs of boots.”
that moment to say that I could take his bed and he would sleep on my cot until
the new one arrived. He planned to go pick it up tomorrow since we shopped so
looked up to Ash and asked him to give us a few moments, alone.
turned to walk away I said, “Ash, thank you for a great day today. It felt
almost normal. It was fun shopping and pretending that we were normal people,
even if only for a few hours.” I got up and went to him and kissed his cheek.
turned around, I saw the hurt look cross Lancer’s face only for a moment before
his usual stern look took over.
Ash closed the door, Lancer took a moment to collect himself and I heard a deep
sigh before he turned to me. “B’Lana I’m sorry I didn’t think about your needs.
I wish you would have told me sooner about the bed situation. You’re right. We
have these rooms with cots only for soldiers who stay for a few nights, a week
at most. Please let me know right away if you want or need anything else. We
aren’t used to having females here with us for more than a few days. You really
should start making your room yours. Whatever you need, just ask.”
started to move his hand towards my face but stopped and stood up abruptly.
“But I need you stop spending so much time with Ash. He is a womanizer and once
he gets what he wants from you he will move on. I don’t want to see him break
I got up
at that point and slapped his face so hard he stumbled back. The startled look
on his face brought me up short. I realized I just hit my superior.
I am not falling for his tactics. He isn’t going to break my heart. And what do
you care anyway? Once I am trained you plan to send me to a different location,
right? So what’s the harm if I have a little fun with Ash? I know he can’t be
serious with me and he is a total flirt.
that’s not what today was about. You weren’t here so I went to the second in
command of our squad to help me. Isn’t that what I was supposed to do? Yeah, he
flirts and sometimes it can be distracting, but I am not going to lose my heart
to him. I know the deal with him. So please stop acting like my big brother and
stay out of it!” I had started to get quite angry and my voice got louder with
the last few sentences.
there with my hands on my hips and once I said my peace, I let out a big breath.
Lancer came over to me and grabbed the back of my neck and brought his face
down to mine and said in a steely voice, “I am not your brother, nor do I want
to be.” Then his lips crashed into mine.
hesitated a moment before I kissed him back. The kiss was much more passionate
that I thought him capable of. I brought my hands around to the back of his
head and ran my fingers through his long hair. When he deepened the kiss I
thought I might have moaned just a bit. Then he pushed away from me and strode
out the door without a backward glance.
the heck was that?
I couldn’t breathe. That had to be the best kiss I have ever had. I bent
over and put my hands on my knees to try and catch my breath. My whole body
tingled and it took me quite some time to calm down and think clearly.
day was a big op and both squads were preparing to go out that night to search
for the rippers. I tried to avoid Lancer as much as possible and was so happy
when I saw my name next to Toren’s for training that day. Toren was one of the
new warriors assigned to Squad 2. His specialty was fighting with knives.
two hours going over the different types of knives I could carry on my belt and
throw at the enemy. It turned out I had a knack for throwing knives. I asked
him about throwing stars and he just laughed at me. “B’Lana, those things would
barely even nick a ripper. Why would you care to use any of them?”
about it and realized that they would only be good on humans. Rippers were too
tough to care about some metal hitting their skin and barely grazing it or
sticking in less than an inch. Most likely, the stars would just bounce off
our two hours on the range, I was consistently hitting the inner three rings on
the targets and could hit the eyes at least seventy percent of the time. While
a knife to the chest of a ripper wouldn’t kill them, it would slow them down.
Maybe even enough to decapitate them. But a knife through the eye was a kill
feeling pretty good about at least one skill.
Now if I could just do better
with hand to hand
. Toren told me that another guy, Cash, in his squad was
really good with hand to hand combat and I should ask him to work with me. I
set up some training with him for the next day. He said he would be happy to
demonstrate some moves.
the rest of the day in my room. Not to avoid Lancer, or so I told myself; but
to set up my new bed and arrange all of my new clothes. Ash had gone out and
picked up my bed while I was working with Toren.
had dinner together that night before the big op. I was still trying to avoid Lancer,
as I wasn’t sure what to make of the kiss the previous night, so I sat between
Toren and Cash and chatted easily with them about some of the ops they had been
on in the past.
catch Lancer looking at me a few times during dinner. He was on the opposite
side of the table but at the other end next to Ash. Who kept looking between Lancer
and me. I knew he had picked up on the fact that Lancer and I were avoiding
each other. I tried to keep my attention on the guys in squad two.
dinner I went to the surveillance room and took up my spot as both squads
geared up. They each had their own vehicle. The general had agreed to buy two
black Hummers in hopes that we would blend in better when out on missions. They
both came with four wheel drive and the following week were scheduled to get
outfitted with bulletproof armor and camera’s that covered all angles of the
vehicle. After my abduction from the van, it was decided that all vehicles
would have cameras and we would start requiring passwords when opening blind
doors out in the field.
Hummers also had compartments already installed in the floorboards as well as
under the seats to hold our weapons. I was convinced they had taken these from
some drug kingpin who used them to transport their drugs.
Commander said that he bought them from a used car auction. It must have been a
government car auction. I hoped those drug dealers were all in jail and
wouldn’t be coming back looking for their Hummers.
came and both squads had split up the search area on their maps. When they left
I had a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach that this wasn’t going to end
well. I just hoped I was wrong.
search started out fine, squad one started a grid pattern search along the east
side of Joe’s Taco shop and went past the 101 freeway. And then south.
two went west of Joe’s Taco Shop past Staples Center and then south. We
overlaid a diagram of the sewer system with the streets of LA and only checked
the streets and alleys that had access points down to the sewer.
that the area directly around Joe’s was a hot zone, but since we discovered that
area none of our patrols had seen any signs that the rippers continued to use
the tunnels there. The humans from the dress shop, who worked with the rippers,
were being monitored. Early in the mornings after sunrise, but before the
stores opened, a few of our warriors had gone out and set up CCTV cameras to
watch the dress shop from all angles. We hadn’t noted anything out of the
ordinary coming from there.
about three hours, squad two found a group of six rippers dragging humans out
of a night club. They called it in and squad one immediately left their
location to provide back up. I was watching our Hummer feeds as well as Toren’s
pocket cam. Squad two was holding position and waiting for backup to arrive
before they engaged with the rippers.
really ticked me off. They weren’t concerned with the humans at all. They only
cared about getting the rippers. I was yelling at Coven, the squad two leader,
to get in there and do something to help those humans, but he wouldn’t listen.
I had to
watch as one of the rippers decided he was hungry and pulled a girl to the
nearest alley and drained her of her life blood. I couldn’t hear anything but I
could see the girl trying to get away from the ripper and watched her hit him
and scratch him until she was too weak to move. Squad two just sat there
after, two of the other rippers were arguing about something. We didn’t have
audio but it looked like one of them was hungry as well. The other ripper must
have been telling the rest to not drink any more. I begged squad two to
intervene. But they ignored me.
before the rippers could kill any more humans, squad one showed up. They drove
right up to the rippers, jumped out, and started attacking them. With the
element of surprise, two rippers were killed immediately. One ripper corralled
the women into the alley while the other two were fighting the warriors.