Sunday, December 10, 2017 | By: Drotuno

Heaven & Earth Chapter 8 & Pics

Chapter 8
“Okay, Daddy. I love you. Be safe.”
I shook with the need to see my kids, to speak to Edward. My hands balled up into fists, my brow broke out into a sweat, and tears stung my eyes, not because I was upset but because I was pissed at this asshole in front of me and I couldn’t do a thing about it.
Mickey nudged my shoe with her own. “Easy, Bells.”
I was shaking my head before she even spoke. Glancing around the room, I checked on everyone. Jake was in pain – I could see it in his bruised jaw and the way his eyes squinted. Angela was calmer but looked a bit pale. Dean was listening to the radio on Kim’s hip. Carlisle was eerily still next to me, watching and waiting for what it meant now that the power was off. Cho and his daughter were speaking so softly, I couldn’t even hear them. However, Seong looked shaky.
I hadn’t given it much thought, but it was now the middle of the afternoon, and we’d been trapped in this sitting area for a couple of hours. I tried not to worry about what another hour going by meant as far as the employees downstairs.
What I did know was that we needed food and water…and trips to the bathroom, if I were to be honest.

Turning to Carlisle, I muttered those very things, jerking my chin toward Angela, who was looking pretty rough.
“Fuck,” he hissed, closing his eyes. “Okay.” He stood up, immediately receiving the muzzle of an automatic rifle in his face, but he didn’t even flinch. “I’m willing to sit here and let your fucking trained monkey try to break into my system, but I’m unwilling to let you ignore basic human needs. These people need food and water, and I’d really like to take a piss. And that goes for the people you’re holding downstairs, as well.”
Mickey smirked, glancing between Carlisle and Kim.
“I do not care, Mr. Cullen.”
“You should care. It’ll be damned hard to negotiate when your hostages are sick.” Carlisle raised a deadly eyebrow at him, reminding me so much of Edward that I almost laughed out loud. “Lose us, and they’ll just break these doors down to get to you. There won’t be a fucking thing to stop them.” He shrugged nonchalantly, linking his fingers together despite the bound wrists.
Kim sighed deeply, and I swear he rolled his eyes. “What do you expect me to do about it?” he asked.
“Water.” Carlisle pointed to the small fridge over in the corner by the bar. “Bathroom,” he drawled, gesturing to the open door in the other corner. “It’s not hard.”
Kim snapped his fingers, and the guard in the window moved, opening the fridge. He tossed several bottles of water across the room, and Kim handed one to each of us. Finally, he grabbed Carlisle’s shoulder and spun him toward the bathroom.
“Go. And leave the door open.”
Kim walked away, and the window guard stayed on Carlisle.
My gaze drifted to Dean, who said, “They’ve cleared the building to the east of us. He doesn’t know that yet. When he does, be prepared.”
Mickey leaned toward me. “That guard on the window is a twitchy little fucker.”
“Indeed,” I agreed with a nod. “That window looks a bit…unstable. Don’t you think?”
She snorted, looking back to me with a wicked gleam in her eye. “You and me?” she asked, and I shrugged, but she knew what I meant. “Wait for it, Bells. I think we should cause a bit of trouble.”
“Roger that,” I whispered, making sure Carlisle was okay when he left the bathroom.
Once he sat back down, Seong and Angela were next. I rubbed my left boot against the inside of my right one. If Edward taught me anything over the years, it was how to hide weapons on my person without anyone knowing. One of his knives was carefully tucked away beneath my cargo pants, socks, and boot on the inside of my leg.
Another snap of Kim’s fingers, and one of the guards at the door walked to the pile of our belongings over by the bookcase. I watched his every move because I wasn’t quite sure if the safe house was empty. Bethy and Esme had gone quiet on my earpiece. However, he paid no attention to the bookcase; he did, however, find Jacob’s laptop and handed it over to the guy at the desk.
Kim pointed to all of us. “Whose is it?”
“M-Mine,” Jake admitted softly.
“Log in.”
“My login will work for the laptop but not the server if it’s been remotely shut down,” he explained, getting up from the chair and walking to the desk to type his password in.
“We’ll take the server. Don’t you worry.”
“No, you won’t,” I heard Alice over my earpiece. “IGOR, send my virus files to Jacob Black’s laptop. Lock it down.”
“Pixie dust…” Mickey sang lightly.
Dean cracked a smile on that one but said nothing, hiding it behind his water bottle.
I stood up when Angela was escorted back to the sitting area, and meeting her gaze, I whispered, “How far along?”
“Three weeks.”
Nodding, I squeezed her fingers briefly before taking my turn for the bathroom, and Mickey was right behind me. I reached for the door to close it, and our jumpy little guard shook his head, using the rifle muzzle to keep it open.
“You like to watch, punkin?” Mickey asked him with a wicked grin. “Some golden shower action? Little freaky, yeah?”
“Aw, now…you can’t judge him on what gets him off, Mick. Everyone has a little freak in them,” I added with a laugh to my tone, raising my eyebrow at her.
“No shit… You know, this one time? I was in California. I’d met this girl,” Mickey started, a fake dreamy look on her face. “She had the biggest tits.” She cupped her hands as best she could while bound in front of her chest.
Apparently the guy spoke enough English to understand the gist of what she was saying, because his eyes widened behind the ski mask.
“Careful. He might not be able to handle that story.” I went to close the door again, but I left it cracked. “Buddy, you’re not watching me pee. I don’t give a fuck what you do with that gun. Got me?”
Mickey leaned in the door jamb with her arms crossed, smirking at him and shrugging a shoulder. She was giving me a second to check my knife and move it from my boot to the inside of my right sleeve. I was grateful for the shirt being long sleeved and a touch too big. The knife, however, was the length of my forearm. While I was sitting there, I let my gaze rake over the bathroom walls and ceiling. Above me there were the typical office ceiling tiles – white with the little holes in them – and there was also an AC vent, though the latter wasn’t all that big. Being a bathroom, however, I’d have been willing to bet that behind those flimsy tiles were some strong electrical wires and even stronger pipes.
When I was finished, I took Mickey’s place at the door, meeting my guard with an unwavering glare. His ski mask didn’t hide everything, and that included his wandering gaze, his sweat rolling into his eyes, and his slightly nervous shifting from one foot to the other.
“Do I make you nervous?” I asked him softly, slowly, tilting my head a little.
Mickey chuckled softly behind me, and if she was carrying a weapon of her own, I had no idea where she’d hidden it when she opened the bathroom door all the way.
“I think we both do, Bells,” she said, batting her eyes up at him. “We do, don’t we?”
“Girls,” we heard Carlisle from behind our guard. We both looked his way, and one shake of his head told us to hold up, to not take the chance.
At least, not yet.
With a smile toward each other and then back to the guard, we said, “Bye, handsome,” in unison.
Several sounds of laughter met my ears. Some were in the room – Carlisle and Dean – but some were over the radio – Rose and Mack. However, Alice was the one to speak.
“I see you rooted out the weak link,” she muttered as Mickey and I took our seats. “Just so you know… All the baby bears have left the nest with Mama Bear. The safe house is empty, but the bears are still in the forest. I’ll keep you posted.”
I was trying to avoid using the radio, but I glanced up to the video camera in the corner of the ceiling, mouthing, Thank you.
My eyes then landed on the bookcase. Just knowing the kids and Esme weren’t on the other side of that door made me both nervous and relieved. Bethy knew every shortcut in this building. I’d taught her all of them throughout the years, and Sammy too when he’d come along. They loved it, treated it like an adventure from the books and movies. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would become a life-or-death piece of information for them to know.
Thankfully, Edward knew them too. And that knowledge was what I was banking on to get them out of this goddamn building. Hell, it wasn’t even five days ago that we’d used them ourselves to shamelessly fool around. I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep the smirk off my face at the memory of all the deliciously naughty things Edward and I had done while the kids had been at the movies with their grandparents. The conference room we’d been in earlier had seen things that would make a hooker blush.
The sound of something slamming and breaking, along with raised voices over the radio, brought me up out of my safe and happy memory quickly. It was like coming up out of cold water.
Kim was giving loud and angry orders into his radio, shooting glances our way. He snapped his fingers at one of the guards at the door, who spun around and left the room. That made me raise an eyebrow at Carlisle.
“Well, something certainly pissed him off,” Dean muttered. “I think something’s gone wrong somewhere.”
Grinning, I shook my head. “Only my husband could make someone that angry.”
Mickey chuckled softly but muttered, “Hot damn! Go on, Pretty Boy. Kill ’em all; let God sort ’em out.”
I shook my head at the old mantra that the crew used to use, but the sound of the rifle engaging snapped me back to reality.
“Who’s out there?” he asked, the muzzle of the gun at my temple. “That’s not police or FBI. They have rules to follow.”
I looked Kim in the eye. “Not everyone follows the fucking rules.”
The parking garage was darker in comparison to the outside. The thick concrete surrounding us caused sounds to echo up, bounce off everything, and carry in weird directions, but that had its advantages, as well. The assholes standing guard at the doors of Twi Tech Tower had no fucking clue as to exactly where we were.
And they did exactly what I’d expected – they sent out men to hunt for us.
Using car windows and windshields, we stayed put behind a small SUV. Alec’s smirk was priceless as he decided to let them come to us.
I snorted, rolling my eyes. “You laugh now. We’ve got fifteen floors of this bullshit.”
“Yeah, I’m aware. Let’s just hope Carlisle’s got this garage insured from here to kingdom come, because some of these cars are not going to survive us,” he countered, grinning like a damned fool as he pulled out a flash disk from his bag.
“And we’re about to end the silence,” I added, jerking a chin at the two approaching soldiers slowly making their way toward us. “Ready?”
Alec nodded, clicking the button on the flash disk and sending it racing across the garage floor. The pop was loud, the flash bright, causing the soldiers to cry out. Alec and I braced our arms on the hood of the SUV, popping off several rounds before darting up a few parking spaces. The shots fired caused the anarchy I’d expected. Shouts and gunfire followed our path, but they really couldn’t quite see us yet due to the smoke from the flash disk.
We were aiming for the stairs in the center of the garage, which would take us up each level.
Another car’s hood and another round of gunfire, and Alec and I darted across the garage floor and into the stairwell, the dogs right with us. We stayed low as bullets shattered the walls around us. The majority of the shots were coming from the doorway that led inside Twi Tech.
Alec pulled out a grenade, handing it to me. “How’s your pitching arm?”
I simply grabbed the damn thing, pulled the pin, and tossed it at the cluster of guards. We moved up to the next level as the explosion shook the building. Car alarms started to sound, merely adding to the din of noise we’d created.
The second and third levels were just about the same. The fourth gave me one of their automatic rifles and a bag full of ammo, not to mention a ruined Mercedes that was now burning all to hell.
By the fifth level, we were held down under gunfire for a moment behind a rental box truck. We stayed behind the cab, waiting for the next wave of soldiers heading our way.
“Edward Cullen, do you copy?!” I heard over the ear piece. “This is Eleazar. Come in!”
“Yeah, I copy,” I answered him gruffly.
“What’s your location?”
“El, I’m kinda fucking busy…” I rasped out, reloading the rifle and dropping to the pavement.
I unleashed a shit-ton of bullets on four sets of legs, dropping every last one of them. I shot again before they could open fire from the ground.
As I stood back up, Eleazar yelled again.
“Ed, I need a status report from you. I don’t want friendly fire, but I need to get in there with you.”
“Okay, okay.” I sighed, trying the door of the truck because I had an idea. “The eastern neighbor is under my control. You’ve got an eye in the sky on the fourteenth. There is an airborne enemy. Canadian chopper loaded with an RPG and more, so watch your sky.”
“Roger that. I’ll have air support shortly.”
“Ten-four. The north and west neighbors are hostile, but I haven’t gotten there yet,” I said sarcastically, causing Alec and El to laugh roughly.
Crawling across the seat of the truck cab, I reached for the wires beneath the steering wheel and pulled hard.
Turning my head to look at Alec behind me, I said, “We’ll never get up there without some sort of block. This fucker should do the trick.”
Alec nodded, dropping to the ground and firing off several rounds. “Well, you better hurry, kid. They’re sending out another group.”
I pulled out my knife, severing a few wires and thanking Mickey in my head for teaching me this shit years ago. Sparks flickered in the floorboard of the truck, but the engine roared to life.
“Get in! Let’s go!”
I slid over to the driver’s seat, staying low as shots thumped against the truck, and Alec lifted the dogs into the space behind the bench seat before slamming the door closed. I backed out of the space, taking out the car next to me as well as a truck behind me. However, I grinned at the group in front of us, especially when Alec aimed through the windshield with a shower of bullets. I yanked the gear shift into drive, spinning out and aiming for the up ramp.
“How many grenades you got left?” I asked him, bouncing in the seat when I ran over guards, curbs, and speed bumps as I rounded up toward the next level.
Alec rummaged around in his bag, finally saying, “About seven or so.”
“Good, you’re gonna use those. How’s your pitching arm?” I snarked, grinning at his snort and eyeroll.
Alec tossed grenades at every doorway into Twi Tech Tower as we screeched our way higher and higher. Starting at the tenth floor, Jasper was able to catch visuals and give us a hand. By the thirteenth floor we’d run out of grenades, and the truck’s engine was smoking, not to mention we’d lost a tire. Sparks flew from the metal wheel as I turned onto the fourteenth level, coming to a stop facing the doorway.
“This truck is done. We’ll use it for this door and then take the top on foot,” I told him, taking the rifle I’d stolen and bracing it between the gas pedal and the seat. The engine roared, smoke billowing out from beneath the hood, and Alec got out of the cab, calling for the dogs as they took cover in the stairwell.
Before jumping down, I slammed the truck into drive, rolling out of the cab and behind a car for cover. The tires squealed, the flat tire sprayed sparks, but the truck took out guards, guns, and the doorway in an earsplitting crash. The truck continued to rev but finally overheated until the whole thing blew, causing the entryway to collapse around it.
“Move, move, move,” I panted, following Alec and the dogs up to the final floor.
“Edward, freeze!” Jasper called over the radio, and all of us stopped at the last landing before the fifteenth level. “You’ve got air coverage, and you’ve got several men spread out over the top of that parking garage. Stay low. Don’t move. I’ve got a solution.”
“Roger that.”
The eerie sound of Jasper’s high-powered sniper was intense. Along with the ping of each bullet came cries of agony and the humming sound of his calm-as-hell demeanor. I couldn’t quite tell what song he was singing to himself. I was pretty sure it was “Dust in the Wind,” which made Alec start to laugh and shake his head.
However, Emmett’s command caught everyone’s attention.
“Incoming!” he yelled. “Jasper, move it now!”
Alec and I scrambled up to the rooftop parking garage, spinning toward the building we’d taken. The chopper that had taken down the police unit was opening fire on the balcony. The hiss of the RPG sounded before the balcony disintegrated. Jasper had already vacated his spot, but I waited until they both called in before turning to Alec.
“We’ve got to run for it. Use the cars as cover, but they’ll turn our way as soon as we move.”
“On three… One, two… Three!” he said, pushing out of the stairwell, and I was running with him. The dogs were on either side of us.
A few straggling guards popped up, but I used my Glock to either end them or send them diving for cover. However, it was pounding of the chopper blades combined with fifty cal bullets raining down on us that caused us to run even harder and faster.
“The door, the door!” I ordered, and we opened fire on the doors, barreling through the shattered glass and taking cover just inside on either side. “Lock and Load, on me. Down!”
The RPG caught the concrete overhang of the doorway outside, destroying it completely, but it missed us, the hallway, and the interior. I collapsed back against the wall of the dark building, sighing in relief when the chopper turned sharply and flew away.
“Christ,” I panted, wiping sweat from my brow on the sleeve of my shirt. “Alec, you okay?”
“Yeah,” he groaned, his head thumping back to the wall behind him as he tried to catch his breath.
The whine from one of the dogs made me turn my head sharply. “Ah shit! The glass. Lock, c’mere, buddy,” I said, crawling to him and taking the paw he was holding up.
Thankfully, it was one small piece of pebbled glass, and I plucked it from his pad. He wasn’t even bleeding that much, but I received a lick of thanks to the face anyway. I rubbed his head, and then Load’s as well.
“Everyone check in!” I commanded on the radio.
“We’re good, Ed,” Emmett stated. “Jasper may have shit himself, but he’s okay.”
“Shut the fuck up, asshole. I’m fine. I’m pissed I left ammo behind, but…”
Alec, with eyes closed, grinned from his spot against the wall as he tried to catch his breath. “I’m too fucking old for this shit.”
“Jesus, Edward, are you leaving anyone alive for questioning?” Eleazar asked.
“Ask me a serious fucking question,” I replied harshly. Standing up from the floor, I checked my weapons, my ammo, and offered a hand to Alec to pull him to his feet. “I’ve cleared the east building and now the parking garage.”
“Roger that, Ed.”
“You ready to help? Because you’ve got four…count ’em four garbage trucks surrounding this building with at least the same count of RPGs. You’ve got snipers in the north and west buildings, and we’ve zero visibility into my dad’s office because it faces the damn park. And I’m about to clear the woods of Momma bear and baby bears. I need an escort for that, El. I need them out of this goddamn building before we go another fucking step further.”
Facing the doorway, I shook my head. We would not be going out the way we’d come in. We’d have to figure out another way to get Esme and the kids clear from the building. My gaze drifted down the hallway, where I knew the conference room to be. I needed to set eyes on those kids, on Esme, and I needed them safe. In fact, I wanted them in Eleazar’s protection as soon as fucking possible.
Eleazar went silent for a beat or two. “Okay. We’ll wait for your signal. I’ll send a unit your way.”
“Copy that. Emmett, Jasper, you find El’s location and join him. You might want to clear the buildings surrounding us, leaving only the assholes in this one.”
“Ten four,” they both replied.
“My info team,” I called softly.
“Edward, we’re here,” Mack answered. “You guys okay?”
“Yeah. I’m on the fifteenth floor. Give me a status of movement, please.”
“Hold on,” she said, and I could hear her typing. “FYI, cell service is back up. And the baby bears are holding steady at the west side of the building. We’ve got eyes on them.” She sighed deeply. “Also, you’re clear to the end. No movement on any security feed on that floor.”
“Thank you. We’re moving in,” I advised, smacking Alec’s shoulder slightly.
“I will give you a heads-up, though. There seems to be a few armed men leaving the front of the building and taking the stairs. I’ll keep you posted,” Mack stated.
Flipping the safety off my Glock, I met Alec’s gaze and jerked a chin down the hallway. We needed to get to the opposite side of the building, which made for a long damn way when we had doors on either side of us. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust the girls, but they were watching a shit-ton of security videos. Mistakes could happen, assholes could be missed, and I couldn’t be mad about it. Better safe than sorry.
The closer we got, the faster we moved, until we were almost at a full run by the time the double doors of the conference room loomed in front of us. Pressing an ear to the door, I shook my head but turned the knob.
My heart sank to the pit of my stomach for a second or two because the large room I’d been in just a few hours before was completely empty. I started to panic…until Alec smacked my shoulder and pointed to the table. Rolling silently down the long conference table was Sammy’s drone. It whirred into life, lifting up off the tabletop and zoomed up in front of us. It dropped down to the floor in a rough landing at the same time the storage closet doors burst open.
“Thank God,” I barely breathed aloud.
“Daddy!” both Sammy and Bethy called, rushing to me, and my knees hit the carpet so I could wrap them both up. “I have all the bears in the forest,” I advised over the radio, and I barely paid any attention to the calls back.
I hugged my kids tightly, and I heard Alec with Abby. I caught Esme’s gaze and thanked her over the top of Bethy’s head. However, it was Caleb my eyes fell to, because he was searching behind us and looking a bit lost.
“Hey, buddy, c’mere,” I said, waving him over. When he got to me, I put my hand on the top of his head. “Your dad is fine. He’s with Uncle Jasper. Okay? We’ll get you to him.”
Caleb nodded. “Thanks, Uncle Edward.”
I ruffled his curls and then looked Bethy. “You guys okay?”
“Yes, but Mom…”
“I know, little sweetness, but you guys are first. Always. Got me?” I asked her, and she nodded. I looked to Sammy, who was clinging to my shirt. “Hey, that was smart thinking, pal.” I pointed to his drone. “We coulda been anyone.”
He smiled softly. “Yeah, we weren’t sure…”
“Awesome job,” I whispered against the side of his head. I kissed Bethy’s forehead before standing up and facing Esme.
“Son, what do you want us to do now?” she asked, cupping my face and eyeing my temple, which wasn’t even an issue at this point.
“We can’t go back the way Alec and I came in. We’ve got to—”
“Edward, Edward, Edward! Come in!” Alice frantically called over the earpiece. “You’re gonna have company in a minute. Kim sent someone from Carlisle’s office, as well as some men from downstairs. They’ll be reaching your floor soon from above and below you. You can’t go back the way you came, and you can’t take the stairs…at least not yet.”
Alec and I locked gazes, and he rushed to the door to lock it, not that it would stop them, but it would at least slow them down.
“Dad!” Bethy whispered, tugging my sleeve. “The closet, Dad. We can hide there.”
I glanced around me at the room and then back down at my daughter. In that moment, she was her mother made over. I always saw Bella in Bethy in small ways, but the girl in front of me had every ounce of her mother’s strength, bravery, and quick wit. She was fierce, with sharp eyes that matched my own.
Shrugging a shoulder at Alec, I said, “You heard her.”
He grinned, shooting Bethy a wink. “On you, Bambina.
“Edward, you’ve got one on your floor…now.”
Alice’s voice was nervous, but we stayed silent on our end. Alec and I opted for hand signals instead. Everyone scrambled quickly – Sammy picked up his drone, Bethy and Caleb took the dogs, and I guided Esme. Alec took our six as we all went through the storage closet and into the hidden stairwell. We’d just pulled the secret passageway door closed when we heard muffled voices and banging from the other side of the locked conference room door.
The banging on the doors increased and then stopped. I had a feeling they were about to blow them, so I put a finger to my lips for the everyone to be quiet, to brace for it. All of us jumped when the doors exploded. Commands and radio calls in Korean became louder, which meant they were searching the whole room, closet included. Suddenly, I was very grateful for Charlie Swan’s quirky need for secret passageways.
“Edward, I know you can hear me,” Eleazar said over the commlink. “I need you to lay low for a few. Find a safe place and hole up. We’re taking the neighbors to the west. Then we’ll get you that escort you need.”
Alec and I locked gazes. We knew we couldn’t stay here, not with the doors gone. We needed a place to hide.
“I know where!” Bethy barely said aloud. She nodded, pointing down the stairs. “Fifth floor. The gym. It was… There wasn’t anyone there when…” She stopped when more voices sounded in the conference room, but they were fading away at a run.
I racked my brain trying to remember exactly where on the fifth floor the gym was in relation to the parking garage. What I did know was this hidden stairwell emptied out into the towel room. At least there was always somewhere to hide should someone sneak up on us.
Worst-case scenario, we’d lay low until El could get Esme and the kids away from this building, even if we kept using this secret stairway. My worry was these assholes would eventually figure out we were in the walls like rats, as Alec had put it.
“Okay, I’ll take the lead. Alec, you take our six. Everyone stick together and stay as quiet as you can. All right?” I told them, waiting until everyone nodded.
Load took the lead with me, and Lock lagged back with Alec. By the time we’d descended ten flights of steps, the dogs were panting messes. The kids had stayed quiet, and I held up a hand to stop everyone on the fifth floor. Pressing an ear to the door, I listened for voices, movement, and even radio noise, but it seemed clear. I called Alec to me silently, signaling to clear the gym before letting the kids out of the stairwell.
With guns raised, we split up, checking the showers, the locker rooms, and the main gymnasium.
“Clear,” Alec called softly, turning the lock on the main door slowly and quietly.
“All clear,” I said, opening the door. “We may be stuck for a bit, guys. Okay? Just find a place and settle in.”
I straddled one of the weight benches and sat down, and Sammy joined me, sitting between my legs. I wrapped an arm around him, kissing the back of his head.
“I’m worried for Mom and Poppy,” he whispered, turning a bit.
Nodding, I said, “Me, too.”
“You’ll get her, right? You’ll get these bad guys?”
I squeezed him closer, noting that everyone was listening from the spots they were sitting around the gym.
“Sammy, I’ll tear this building down if I have to, but I’ll do my best to get them out.”
That seemed to be the only thing he needed to hear, and he settled back against me to wait.


Anonymous said...

Intense as hell.... I love it. :)

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