All this shit’s going on and all I can do is grind my teeth at the slow fucking pace we have to keep. I want to charge in and murder every fucking soul in this damn building.

Sliding along the wall, I move toward the stairs. If they haven’t decided to move toward us in the stairwell yet, they will soon. I don’t want to be a fucking fish in the barrel. I hate stairwell fights, topside always has the advantage.

“Moving up,” I say as I start sliding my body around the outside of the stairwell, trying to get the best view I can of what’s above me.

“Hold up,” Andrew says. “Fucking hell, you’re trailing blood.”

Looking back to the wall, I growl. I don’t have time to be injured. But there it is, a trail of my blood smearing against the wall as I move.

“No time to patch me up,” I grunt as he shoves his hand against the wound.

“You got a fucking chunk of metal in your shoulder, I need to get this fixed up,” Andrew says.

“After,” I say, before I feel him ripping at my shirt. “What the fuck are you doing?”

“Putting a temporary bandage on there to keep you from bleeding out like an asshole,” Andrew grumbles before I feel him pushing something against my shoulder.

Pushing around the wound, he says, “It’s a compress with blood clotting shit in it. I’m going to need to remove that chunk of metal as soon as we can, though.”

“Thanks, Doc,” I mutter and wait for him to finish up.

“Looks like he stuck a maxi pad on you,” Johnathan says with a chortle.

“It’s not,” Andrew says with a small laugh himself. “But I’ve used ‘em before when I had to stop someone from dying on me.”

Moving forward, we quick-step up to the second floor of the building. It’s a three-story building, but James has seen all activity on the second floor through the heat signature scope he’s been using. I’m guessing the guys that got onto the roof used the stairwell at the opposite end of the building.

My hands start to jitter. Not good. I have to remain calm. I have to remain in perfect fucking control of my body. I can’t fucking wait for this shit to be over and done with. I need Meghan fucking safe. This waiting shit is for the birds.

“Taking target down,” James says into the comms. “They don’t seem to understand that windows are bad places to hide in front of.”

“Exiting stairwell on three,” I say into our comms before quickly kneeling on the floor.

Johnathan quickly pulls the door open and I lean around the edge to look out.

Bullets hit where a man’s chest would be above me.

Spotting the two shooters standing behind a desk of some sort, I blast a hole through the throat of one guy and the forehead of the second.

Andrew moves into the long room as I stand up from where I’ve been kneeling.

Standing up though, I can feel a warm fresh pulse of blood seep out of my wound. Andrew was right about me needing to get this fixed up, but now’s not the time. If we don’t get moving, we’re going to lose the advantage.

Jogging in the lead of our trio, I stop when I come to a door leading down a long hallway.

“Anything on the heat scope?”

“One coming out of the office on my side. Your right,” James says quickly.

Kneeling again, I wait for them to poke around the corner. Lining up my sights on the M4, I shoot the guy in the knee while Andrew blasts a bullet through the head of our target.

“Fucker. We’ve got a big heat signature rushing back to the suspected room with Meghan. You need to move. I don’t see any more discernible targets,” James says in a rush.

“Moving,” I shout into my comms and start off at a quick pace.

Each pounding stomp of my foot brings a jolt of pain through my body. That piece of metal isn’t the best thing to have hitchhiking inside me right now.

With each step, though, I can feel the anger in my blood boiling. Boiling so fucking full of hate and rage. My eyes want to glaze over in a berserker-induced blackout, but I can’t allow myself to do it. Not with Meghan in so much danger right now.

“I’ve got a shot. It’s going to be through the wall, but I’ve got one I feel I can take without endangering Meghan,” James says

“Any idea who it is?” Andrew asks.

“No, but taking it now,” James says.

I hear Meghan’s high-pitched scream coming from up ahead of me.

“Target One down. Second is ducking behind Meghan and the dead body that collapsed on her,” James says.

“Fuck,” I spit out.

“Distance to the office?” I ask quickly.

“Fifteen feet,” James says. “Ten… seven… four… You should be close to the entrance now.”

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