“Status report. Thad, you and the trainees good?” Andrew asks.

Andrew’s vehicle swings wide of where we’re parked.

“Bryant’s dead. Mark and I are mobile, but we’re in the fucking open,” Thad answers.

I watch as Andrew’s car heads towards the two men before slamming on the breaks not too far from them.

“We’ll pick up an angled position from the front of the plane. They won’t be shooting out again without having to pop a window,” Andrew says.

“Affirmative,” I say into the mic.

I can feel cold sweat running down my back as I position myself next to Johnathan. Both of us waiting for something more to happen.

Is it my mortality I worry about or Meredith’s?

“Going to take out a wheel, then put shots into the tail wing. I don’t trust that engine not to blow in a bad way if I hit it,” James says.

“Roger,” I confirm.

Watching the plane drop to the front, I turn toward the tail and lift my rifle. “I’m going to help with the tail wing. Let’s ensure they know they can’t move from here.”

Pulling the trigger in five rapid bursts, I put holes throughout the tail wing and then watch as more appear from James and Johnathan.

“Shit. Fast moving BMW from the rear,” Andrew says over the radios.

Turning to my right, I see that it’s one of Asad’s men. Damn.

“They’re going to be desperate. If they can take out enough of us, they’ll try to make a run for it.”

“Door opening in the back,” Johnathan calls, pulling my attention from the rapidly approaching BMW.

“They’re going to make a break for it!” I shout before a lone arm comes out of the open doorway of the plane and with it a grenade comes tumbling towards our way.

“Grenade!” Johnathan shouts. He sends three rapid shots into the open doorway then follows behind me as we run away from the explosive.

The grenade stops just on the other side of the SUV we were taking cover behind. And it must be one hell of a good one because both of us are lifted off our feet as the explosion lifts the Escalade onto the tips of its wheels.

Thankfully it slams back down on all four wheels.

Landing not too far away, I thank myself for being intelligent enough to make sure we always buy the best when it comes to armored vehicles.

Moving back towards the Escalade, we’re almost there when the BMW comes screeching up on us. Thank the gods there’s only two men inside it.

The passenger leans out of the vehicle and aims a small semi-automatic rifle at us.

Grabbing my collar, Johnathan shoves me out of the fucking way as bullets tear up the ground around us.

“Going for the driver,” I shout out as I aim at the driver. My bullets find their way home, slamming through the window and hitting the man.

“Passenger—” Johnathan grunts out as he stumbles against me, his weight almost knocking me off my feet.

“What the fuck?” I yell at him as I lift the rifle again and fire at the passenger.

Almost all my shots go wide as Johnathan falls into my legs. But as I fall down in a heap with him, I see my last shot go through the window and hit the man through the neck.

“Johnathan, where are you hit?” I ask as I can think of only one reason for him falling into me like he did.

Grabbing him by the collar, I pull us to the safety of the vehicle’s large body as bullets from the open door of the plane start flying all around us.

“Two minutes out,” Lucifer says over the radio.

“Get here quicker,” I shout into mic. “Andrew move here. Johnathan’s wounded.”

“Fuck, on my way. This is gonna suck.”

“Embrace it, bitch,” I snap into the mic.

Fucking whiney assholes. We need to hurry, this is turning into the bloodbath I foresaw, and it won’t end well if we don’t finish this quickly.

I look down at Johnathan and assess the situation. The blood leaking from his leg is coming out slow enough, I suppose. But the wound on his left side is starting to flow.

Shit, they’re using hollow-points. They’re probably Teflon coated to go through our vests.

Dirty fucking bastards.

Kneeling down beside Johnathan, I grab my switchblade from my pocket. Time to make some decisions.

“Fuck… I’m bleeding out,” Johnathan grunts as he pulls his rifle close to him.

Leg or stomach… Fuck.

Reaching over, I start cutting off the long shoulder strap on his rifle. “Going to need to tourniquet the leg wound first. Then we’ll get some compression on your wound up there.”

Pulling out my flashlight, I first wrap the strap around his leg then grab the flashlight and use it to turn it tight.

“Ah, fuck!” he shouts as I cinch it tight.

“Hold it shut,” I say then pull his hand from the rifle.

I place his hand on the flashlight to keep the twisted material of the strap tight on his leg.

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