Flash Fiction ~ Ruins

It’s January, and like everyone, I’m trying to get back on track. Fell off the rail a few times, especially with blogging, but that was the past. This is now, so… let’s start off 2019 with a bang. Here’s the photo… and the resulting story is part of a WIP… not sure if/how much of this will be in it. I’m not to this section, yet, but in order to make time constraints fit, I’m staying with Colt… he’s the hero in book 2 of my new ex-military series, Warward Souls…

“I realize this is a warehouse office, and that the building is classified as vacant, but doesn’t it seem strange the door’s open when everything else has been locked?”

Brett moved in beside Ellis. He’d been so focused on  her safety—on preventing anyone from sneaking up on them, ambushing them—that he hadn’t really looked at the door. Not when Rigs and Blade had already cleared the space—removed the explosive devices the assholes had left behind. Christ, they would have killed whoever had stumbled upon them, let alone taken out several adjacent buildings. The casualties could have been significant, even for this area.

So, Brett hadn’t been concerned about Ellis tripping over a wire or opening a door and setting off a charge. But, he’d missed that door sitting slightly ajar—the sliver of black between the frame and the edge. A mistake that could turn fatal if someone was still scrounging around inside. Or if they’d somehow tracked him and Ellis down and were waiting to strike the moment she stepped through.

He shuffled over, stepped in front of her. “It’s more than odd. Stay behind me.”

“Seriously? I’m an operative, not an intelligence soldier anymore. I can handle some creep hiding behind a door without you taking lead.”

“Didn’t say you couldn’t, but the last time I checked, you were still healing. Or did I imagine you bracing your hand on the wall earlier? Catching your breath? And don’t pretend that I don’t’ see your hands shaking.” 

She cursed behind him. “I’m not so sure I like this new version of you.”

“Funny, last night I could have sworn you loved this version of me. Or is this your way of telling me you were faking?”

Her cheeks colored. “Must you be an ass?”

“All part of the charm, sweetheart. Now, stay behind me. You can go first the next time.”

She mumbled something he couldn’t make out but stayed on his six, one hand lightly touching the small of his back. The other no doubt palming the hilt of her weapon. The fact she hadn’t drawn it, yet, further substantiated his position that she wasn’t anywhere close to being healed. That just being here was most likely a colossal mistake.

He’d have to learn to say no to her. Listen to his gut, his damn head that had known she wasn’t fit to be investigating some beaten down warehouse. That going back to the place she’d been held was the last thing she needed to be dealing with.

But his damn traitorous heart—the one she’d unlocked and stolen before he’d had a chance to change the locks—ask for the key back—had crumbled. One look at the desperation in her eyes partnered with determination, and he’d caved. Agreed to bring her along. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust her to have his back. That she wasn’t skilled enough. It was knowing she’d risk injuring herself further—get herself killed—in order to uphold that trust. She’d been one hell of a soldier. She was an even better operative.

Brett inched forward, gun at the ready, senses on high alert. If this was a setup, there’d be more forces hidden nearby—ready to swarm them once he opened the door. And that meant being three steps ahead. Already planning on how he’d take the asshole inside out, first, then spin—keep Ellis behind him at any cost. Be the one to take a bullet if that’s how it had to go down.

He glanced back at her, nodded, then moved. Two seconds and he had the door open, was going in high, knowing Ellis would follow low. That it would keep her out of any sight lines. Another two seconds and he’d cleared the space—turned to face the door in case some jackass would attack from behind.

Nothing. No men. No ambush. Just silence.

And his damn pulse pounding inside his head. Damn it, he was better than this. His heart rate should be flattening out—going into full soldier mode. Steady. Calm. Completely removed. Except that he didn’t have Cannon or Six backing him up. Wasn’t teamed up with Hank, or Midnight. Didn’t have Ice waiting a few hundred yards off to rush in if things went sideways and he or his teammates started dropping. 

He had Ellis. Skilled. Fearless. Smarter than all of his team put together… And the one person he couldn’t allow to get hurt. Not that he ever wanted Cannon or one of his buddies to get injured. But…it had been a possibility every time they went outside the wire. That shit could go sideways—that no amount of preparation or skill could prevent a dynamic situation from turning ugly. And they’d all made peace with it. Knew their brothers would do whatever they could to help them—save their asses. But, sometimes, bad shit happened.

That wasn’t an option where Ellis was concerned. She wasn’t allowed to die. Not on his watch. Sure, maybe seventy years from now, but not like this. When it would be his mistake. His fault. When he’d have to live knowing he’d let her down. Again.

Not happening. If that meant dancing around her like a damn ballerina in order to cover every angle—block any possible shot—he’d two-step with the best of them. She didn’t have to like it. Hell, she could tear a strip off his ass if she wanted—as long as she was alive to do it, he’d take it.

Ellis crossed her arms once Brett had triple checked every direction—assured himself they really were alone. One perfectly sculpted brow arched as she stared at him. Her Beretta tucked back in her holster—had she even drawn it—one foot tapping the floor. “Are you done making a fool of yourself or should I give you more room to spin?”

“Wanting to keep you safe isn’t being foolish.”

“No. But putting your own safety at risk because you don’t trust me to have your back, is.”

“I trust you to have my back. But you’re the fool if you think you were ready to venture into the field. We both you’re here because my damn heart answered for me.”

Her foot stopped tapping, the firm press of her lips softening. She sighed, raked a hand through her hair, then nodded. “You’re right. I’m not close to being up to par. But…” She pointed a delicate finger at him, connecting with his chest. “I’m strong enough to stay alive. Help keep your ass in one piece. I wouldn’t risk your life if I thought I couldn’t do my share. So…stop trying to do both our jobs. I’ll tap out if it gets too much.”

She motioned to the room. “Though, it looks as if we’re a bit late. This place has been thoroughly trashed. Odd, since there shouldn’t be anything here if it’s really vacant.”

“I think we both know it wasn’t vacant.” He walked over to one of the few windows, drawing his finger along the charred walls. “Whoever it was went to the trouble of starting a fire then putting it out. Odd. They set bombs. Why not let it all go up when they realized the bombs had been defused and removed?”

“Maybe it wasn’t the same people?”

Brett sighed. “Great. So you have more than one faction after you. This just keeps on getting better.” He crouched, rummaging through some of the papers. “Anything in here look familiar?”

“Nothing I’d be sent in to uncover. These are mostly storage contracts. Waybills. Pretty normal stuff. I suppose it could be coded, but… It doesn’t explain…”

Brett glanced over his shoulder when she didn’t continue. “Explain what?” He waited, still watching her. “El?”

Had she shivered just then? When he said her name—the one she insisted only he’d ever called her by?

She blinked then focused on him. “I think I have an idea what this is about, but… I need to check something out, first. Don’t suppose you’re up for a drive?”

Did she have to look at him like that? All pouty pink lips and big blue eyes? 

He straightened, crossing his arms over his chest. “I guess that depends.”

She pushed to her feet, arching one brow. “On what?”

“On whether this trip will save your ass, or get it killed.”

And that’s it for me. Please hop on over and check out the rest of the gang… I’m sure they didn’t start in the middle for theirs, lol.

Bronwyn  |  Jessica  |  Gwendolyn  |  Siobhan  |  Kayleigh

12 Replies to “Flash Fiction ~ Ruins”

  1. Hmmm . . . Yeah! Hooked here. Write faster. I want to read the whole book. Been loving this series so far. No wait, this is the spin off of Brotherhood Protectors. Recognize most of the names. Can’t wait to read.

    1. Yes, it’s a new series of mine that isn’t directly connected to BP… though there will be some crossovers, and this will be one, lol. This is the second book. The first is Cannon’s story, who you met in Going in Blind. It won’t be a crossover.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *