Page 39 of Flesh (Flesh 1)

“Group was ten strong when they came in. After the losses they took in the supermarket, I’m guessing they’re down to six,” Finn said. “Enough to keep us pinned down for the foreseeable future.”

The man nodded. “Alright. How do you want to do this?”

“One at a time and very, very quietly.” Finn rested back on his heels, pleased there wasn’t a pissing contest looming. At least not today. “We need to corner them, draw them in.”

“Sounds dangerous.” Al gestured with the pistol again and, loaded or not, he snatched it off her on principle.

“If you need to talk with your hands then do it without a gun in them,” Finn said.

Al opened her mouth, paused and rethought whatever words she had been going to lob his way. “Sorry. You know, I could play bait. That would work. Get them off the motorbike …”

“No,” said Daniel.

“It would work,” Finn confirmed, much to Dan’s displeasure. The man’s fingers flexed like he was warming them up, readying for a fight. “We do have to get them off the bikes, you’re right about that. But they’d never believe you would be on your own.”

The big guy’s frown morphed into a grin. “You suggesting I play bait, kid? Keep this up and I’m going to start thinking you’re trying to get rid of me or something.”

“Neither of us want her hurt,” Finn answered without hesitation.


“But we need to get the upper hand in this situation.”

“True again.”

“Dan, I won’t let anyone touch her. That’s not going to happen.”

“Serve and protect, hmm?”

“What are you two on about?” Al barked, voice strained. “You’re not bulletproof, Daniel. You’re not doing it on your own.”

“Neither are you, Al.” Finn rubbed the pad of his thumb against the side of her gun. “Neither am I for that matter. However, I think we can safely assume they still want you alive so they’re going to hesitate to shoot … at least at first. Dan’s covered you bodily before so they’ll be comfortable with that scenario. They’ll be expecting me to put in an appearance but it can’t be helped. If we don’t give them time to think, it won’t be a problem. You show your face then dart for cover, that’s al ,” said Finn. “Lure them in one at a time. I’ll deal with them. It’s a viable plan. Probably the best we’ve got.”

“We should take turns at jumping them,” Daniel said.

Finn shook his head. “No offense, but it’s better if I take care of it.”

The man gave a reluctant nod.

“They’ll figure out what we’re doing. There’s …” Al’s hands fluttered about. “No. They don’t know Dan survived yesterday. If we do this then I’ll be the bait on my own. The less people at risk the better. It’s bad enough Finn could get hurt.”

“It’s too dangerous, and worrying about you would split my focus,” said Finn. “I want to know someone’s watching out for you. We only need to take out a few to even the odds. To my mind it’s worth the risk.”

“I agree,” said Daniel.

“I don’t.” Her eyes cut to the doorway. “Finn—”

“Enough.” The big man cleared his throat and sat up like an Indian Chief, cross legged with his palms on his knees. “No God damn way you’re doing it on your own, sweetie pie. It’s against my better judgment to even have you involved. So, you’re going to be a good girl and stay behind me or I’ll get Commando Kid here to bind and gag you while I play lure. You know, I’ve got this funny feeling he’d jump at the chance. I think he enjoys being in control.”

Finn did his best to confirm nothing with a smile.

“Babe?” Dan reached out a hand to her, but she made no move to take it. After a long moment, the big guy let his hand drop back to his knee. “You won’t even chip a nail, pretty girl. I promise.”

She stared at his hand. “Not funny, Dan.”

“Not meant to be, honey. You gonna play nice for us?”

“I don’t have much choice.”

“That’s true, Al,” Finn said. “You really don’t.”

An expression promising all sorts of pain turned Finn’s way. He was past being concerned that he liked it. Her attention was its own reward.

“You know, you’re growing on me, kid.” The big man beamed. “So, now that we’re all in agreement, where do you want to set it up?”


Outside, no one commented on the lack of rain. Daniel had never been so irritated to see blue sky. Fires would be raging in no time.

This particular house and garage sat side by side, a clear view to the street. The garage door was pulled up and Finn waited within, tucked away out of sight. Daniel and Ali lurked in the slim corridor between the two buildings, waiting on their prey to come find them.

The tension wasn’t only getting to him. His girl stood beside, and ever so slightly behind him, tapping the barrel of her gun against her leg. Tap, tap, tap. In time to some beat playing out in her head. Finn had dealt her and the weapon one sharp glance then let it go. It was probably for the best.

He had a feeling they might have used up their cooperation points for the day. Dan did, however, find it interesting the way her gaze kept returning to the other man. Very interesting.

There was a body or two close by. The smell of rotting flesh permeated the air. Nothing quite compared to it, especial y when you knew the remains used to be people.

Finn turned, glanced back at them as the sound of a motorbike drew closer and closer. Checking they were still with him. Dan gave him a nod.

A big shiny Harley idled along, slowly moving up the block toward them. The bastard rode one-handed, fussing with something, not watching where he was going.

The kid was about to signal when glass shattered down the street. There was the “whoosh” of a Molotov being thrown, the crackle and pop of the fire gaining momentum. Next came the scent of petrol and the sight of smoke bil owing into the air. Damn but the smell had reached them fast. It made Dan’s stomach lurch. Things were moving in their direction.

Finn motioned them forward while he himself moved back, blending into the shadows of the garage, out of sight.

It flowed fast then.

His girl took three fast steps forward, planting herself out in plain sight. The biker was so surprised to spot his quarry standing out on the front lawn, he came close to stacking his big ride.

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