Within 10 minutes, they approached the front lawn of the mansion. Instead of driving to the garage, Geoff parked at the front door. She breathed a tiny breath and followed Geoff inside. He led the way to the dining room where all 12 members met before. Everyone was there, Hugh was at the head of the table, along with Blaine, Jill, Xavier, Zachary, Eve and Thomas, Quinn and Kathy, and Mr. Barnes sat next to Hugh. There was only one open seat next to Jill. Geoff made his way to the empty seat as Jae stayed at the door.
“Wait for me in my study please.” Hugh’s voice was in control as it echoed around the room.
She nodded and shut the door behind her. Once she was outside the room she wanted to run. She took a deep breath and sighed. She needed to finish this and it needed to be done now. She could’ve left during the minutes at the police station but she didn’t. She had plenty of chanced to run back to Rhys but she didn’t take it. She had another chance now but she stayed put. It was easier if she was already there instead of showing up unannounced, guns blazing in the mission ready to kill everybody.
The door opened behind her and she turned to see who it was. Geoff looked over her and motioned her to follow him. They went to the adjacent bathroom and he pulled her in.
“Why are you still here?” he demanded.
He interrupted her. “You should’ve run. I should’ve let you go.”
She stared at him alarmed by what he was saying. “What are you saying?”
“Look I don’t have time to explain.” He said pulling out a gun at his rib and handing it to her. He pulled the one behind the mirror and handed it to her too. “Take these and go, go to Canada or to China, just get out of here before they kill you.”
He burst out the door and made his way to the dining room.
“Go!” he whispered back to her as she watched him disappear into the door, shutting it behind him.
She wanted to know what they were talking about and why Geoff was so keen to see her run. She took the guns and placed it at the back of her waist band. There were two other guns in the vicinity but they were too bulky or ridiculous to run with. The pistol beneath the piano bench was the closet choice. She ran for it and hid it in her sock. There was a twist of a door knob and she sat on the piano seat, as if she was sitting there all along.
“She’s right here.” Hugh called out loud.
Behind him she saw Geoff mumble, “Oh I guess I didn’t look there.”
Jill punched his arm playfully and gave Hugh a look.
Hugh returned that look with a nod and motioned to Jae. “I’ll meet you in my study I have some last minute instruction to Eve and Thomas. Go to my study.”
He turned and Eve and Thomas followed them out of the mansion. They walked from the dining room to the front door, not paying attention to anything but Hugh. Everyone else filed out of the dining room. She saw Zachary and Xavier talk with one another joking and staring at her. Blaine did the same thing but he went downstairs to the basement. She knew there was a shipment of goods last week. It was probably in the shooting range before it was sorted in the equipment room. She saw Quinn and Kathy give her a sadden look as they made their way out of the mansion. Mr. Barnes was the last to exit the dining room as he shut the door behind him. He sneered at Jae and turned to the kitchen. She had an uneasy feeling as she climbed the stairs to the second floor to Hugh’s study.
She entered the study and found the room bright in the late afternoon sun. She walked out to the balcony and fixed her shirt. She stared into the grisly forest. She hated it. She pondered if a stone fence was more appealing than acres of thick woods. She felt reminiscing as she looked over everything she once hated. They looked so peaceful once she started to live away from the mansion. She sighed and turned to the study. She jumped as Hugh was in the door way watching her reaction.
She let out a shaky breath and chuckled to herself. “I don’t remember you being so sneaky.”
“I wasn’t trying to sneak. I am an assassin myself, long ago.” He said staring off to his past. “I know what you’re feeling.”
He gestured her to enter the room and to sit in her winged back arm chair. He followed her and sat at his chair.
“I know you’re feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what happening. Let me assure you that it has nothing to do with me. I wanted you to live in the mansion so I can keep track of you. I know you wanted to live by yourself and to assert your freedom but after some changes to this company… I want you to know that I’ve always loved you, as a child and as my daughter.”
He took a breath and readjusted himself.
“Can you move back to the mansion and end your relationship with your boyfriend. I know you were staying at the motel off of the freeway. I know you slept in room 118 and I know he’s there right now.”
Her world dropped as Hugh relayed what he knew. She was so careful. She wanted to know how he found out and how long were his spies keeping a watch on her.
“Am I bugged?” she said doubt colored her tone.
“I have my sources.”
“Spies.” She corrected.
There was a moment of silence as he watched her.
“Will you come back to the company and forget this rebel behavior? It doesn’t suit you.”
She shook her head. “I said I’m out. Nothing you can say would change my mind.”
He sighed in defeat and looked over her once more. “You can come in.” He called out loud.
The door opened behind her. She turned to see Jill and Mr. Barnes entered the study; she had on a smile on her face as Mr. Barnes was smug.
“I thought this was between you and me?” Jae said with half a smile. She didn’t want her to voice to sound concerned but that was how she was feeling. Something about the meeting without her and Geoff’s attitude was truly disturbing.
“Yes it is. However what happens to me happens to Mr. Barnes. Apparently whatever happens to you happens to Jill.” He eyed her leg, as it there was a bull’s-eye on her right thigh.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Jae said curtly curling her leg absent mindedly.
“I know I shot you.” Jill said making her way around to face her. “I saw the blood and I saw you fall. Arms up little sister.”
A gun was on Jae faster than a blink. She raised her arms and forced to her feet with a prod of the gun. Jill’s hands searched her body and found what she was hiding.
“How did that get there?” Jill said pulling out the two guns and placing them on the vacated seat. She pulled out her cell, her cash and her driver’s license from her pockets.
Everything was laid on the chair; everything she owned was looked over with scrutiny. Jill opened the phone and laughed as she saw the background. It was a picture of Rhys and her in bed. He was kissing her cheek as she took the picture.
Jill shoved it in her pocket still laughing.
“Give that back.” Jae demanded.
“It won’t be of use to you where you’re going.” She gave an avert smile to Mr. Barnes and looked over at the gun. Her face fell slightly. “This is Geoff’s, where did you get it?”
She grabbed the gun and showed it to her younger sister.
“Did you take it off him while he was in the restroom?” She shouted.
“Jill, calm yourself.” Mr. Barnes said making his way to the women in the room.
“This is Geoff’s gun!”
“How do you know that?” Mr. Barnes questioned
“I gave it to him as a gift for our anniversary. That’s how I know.” She said sneering at Jae, and never taking her eyes off her. “Where did you get it?”
Jae stayed quiet. She wondered if Geoff knew what he was giving her, or was did he really want her to run. She didn’t get time to think anymore as a sharp pain shot across her face, throwing her down to the floor. Jill was on her faster than Jae’s mind caught up with the situation. A punch landed on her stomach as Jae wrapped her legs around the angry woman. She caught the mad woman by the neck and pulled her down on top of her, tightening the arm around her neck so she was gasping for breath.
Arms reached for hers and released her grip with much difficulty. Jae kicked away from Jill and stood up waiting for another attack. Mr. Barnes was speaking in her ear as her eyes flashed her anger. She let out a snarl and made to attack her but Mr. Barnes interrupted her. Jae didn’t like what was Mr. Barnes whispered. Jill gave Jae a dirty look and made her way to the door. Hugh let Jae go and she stood staring at Mr. Barnes amazed. When did Mr. Barnes start giving orders and when did Jill start taking them?
She watched as Mr. Barnes gave Hugh and himself a large brandy.
“What’s happening?” Jae said, uneasy as she was never out of the loop.
The room was silent. The two men were at their leisure as they drank from their goblet and stared in opposite directions.
“I put it to a vote.” Hugh said with a deep sigh.
“It’s a majority rule.” Mr. Barnes took over while Hugh looked away. “We decided that your skills and accuracy doesn’t pardon you.”
Her eyes went to Hugh who ignored her pointedly.
“You’re out and by my understanding,” With a glance at Hugh, Mr. Barnes continued. “You die.”
She knew what was happening now. She didn’t want to believe it but with Hugh avoiding her, and Mr. Barnes’ face in a leer it was clear. Someone was called to finish her. Within the second, she reached for a gun on the seat, but her hand only felt the set of the chair and nothing else. Zachary and Xavier were standing behind her. Zachary’s fist collided with Jae’s cheek. She fell to the floor on impact and covered her head on instinct. Her ears were ringing as Xavier’s large foot collided with her stomach. She curled up into a little ball, trying to protect herself from their attack.
Their foot stomped and their fist collided with her back, her legs, all over her already sore body. She tried to drown out the attack but nothing she thought of pulled her out of the nightmare.
“That is enough,” Hugh said in a quiet voice. His voice reached everyone in the room, and everyone stopped moving. “Dispose of her.”
Jae was groggy when a pair of big hands pulled her up by the hair. She fell limply onto the floor as her legs gave way under her weight. There was muttering about her as she made a mental checklist over her body. There was pain everywhere but her legs were working, her arms were working, and her brain tried to find a way out of her situation.
The ground was suddenly gone and a rough shoulder replaced it. She could tell it was Xavier from the sound of his voice. She heard Zachary led the away as she on the shoulder downstairs. She was thrown into a cold room with stone on the floor. Her right leg was throbbing as she landed on it painfully. She heard a door shut behind her and she knew she was alone. It was strange not knowing where she was at, even though she knew everything about the mansion. When her breathing was calmer, and her body was less painful, she stood up and looked around the room.
A voice sounded to her right, echoing around the room. There was another noise, the sound of a gun cocking.
She knew where she was and she knew who the voice belonged to. She was in the shooting room and Blaine was keeping an eye on her as he tinkered with his toys. She sat on the cold floor and leaned against a cold wall and waited for something to happen. She thought of a way out of this room. However Blaine to her right was an obstacle she didn’t have energy to fight. If she didn’t have energy to overpower him she would just relax and keep from exerting too much energy. She lied on the cold hard stone and shut her eyes to everything around her. She concentrated on slowing her breathing and relaxing every muscle in her body.
Hours later, a door opened to her right. As her eyes adjusted to the bright light, she was forced to her feet by her hair and was marched out of the room.
“Have a nice time.” Blaine said cheerfully.
“Why don’t you join us?” Xavier called over his shoulder.
“Can’t, Hugh wants this done by tomorrow afternoon.”
“You’re missing out.” Zachary said.
Blaine waved them away and continued working.
It was night as Zachary and Xavier marched her outside. They dragged her in a steady pace towards the encroaching forest. They walked for several minutes and stopped in the dead of the woods. A series of fists and foot pounded her body one after, causing her to fall down onto the dirt. Zachary and Xavier laughed and kicked her a couple times.
“Get up you bitch.” Xavier’s voice reverberated in her ear. He pulled her by her hair and she stood. His fist pulled back to punch her stomach but she reacted with a scratch across his bald head. Four long gashes stretched across his forehead to his neck.
“You crazy bitch.” Xavier shouted and another punch reached her body.
Her body reacted to the punch and she found herself a couple feet away from both men as they converged over the injury. Jae’s body was to hurt to try anything else. She wanted to claw his face from his skull but she only managed a small scratch. She sighed into the ground, gathering up her energy and resting her muscles for her next attempt at escape. She chuckled at the word ‘attempt.’
“What’s so funny?” Zachary’s voice shot through the quiet woods.
“Hugh has to send two unworthy men to finish me off? You two are pathetic, crying over a scratch.” She said in hopes to send them over the edge.
Zachary’s large hand grabbed a fist of her hair and pulled her to her feet.
“We’ve always kept our distance from you because you’re Hugh favorite girl.” Zachary said. “Now that you’re out of the company and minutes away from your death we want to have a little fun. You know I’ve always wondered how you taste like.” His voice rubbed over her tender face.
“You’re not off limits anymore.” Xavier laughed as Zachary’s hands reached between her legs.
She wanted to squirm away but that would only excite them. Her breath was calm as they took turns verbally bashing her. Her body was calm as their hands were rough on her body.
“You know I hear she’s still a virgin.” Xavier’s voice sounded in front of her.
“I’ve never had a virgin before.” Zachary’s voice was delighted.
“It’s the best thing you’ll ever feel.”
Their laughter was bouncing off the trees. Xavier’s face stretched into a smile over his bloody face. His eyes watched as Zachary’s hands were rough on her body. Her hands were pinned in Zachary’s large hand as his mouth was rough against her neck and her bruised face. He pushed her roughly away and turned to face him.
“I don’t want to kill you just yet, so why don’t you undress. You don’t want to die a virgin right?” His voice was like silk, but it ran crudely over her ears. He shoved the gun in the back of his jeans and watched her.
“Now,” Zachary started. “Take off your shirt for starters.”
She unbuttoned the first button. Zachary shivered as his eyes watched her take off her shirt. She was wearing a bustier which made his eyes budge.
“I didn’t know you wear these, turn around, I want to see all of you.” He said a cruel smile stretching his face.
She shut her eyes and took a deep breath. She turned around in a circle and watched Xavier laugh at her humiliation. Xavier’s eyes drank her in as he leaned against a tree five feet away from her and spot his gun still pointed at her. She was between their greedy eyes. She felt like vomiting on the. She completed her circle and stared at Zachary again. The leer on his face was hungry as his eyes roamed over her exposed skin.
She shivered slightly as the cold wind nipped at her exposed skin, leaving goose bumps.
“Those jeans have to go too.” Xavier voiced behind her.
She didn’t want to take them off but she didn’t really have a choice. She turned away from Zachary and unbuttoned and unzipped her jeans. She gave Xavier a partial view of her body as she stepped out of her shoes and gently rolled the denim over her injured thigh.
“Now what happened here?” Zachary said, crouching down and touching the tight bandage.
“I guess Jill was right. She shot you and you pretended it didn’t happen.” Xavier laughed from the tree.
Zachary was standing so close to her she felt the heat radiating off of him. She reached for his shirt and yanked it off of him to distract him from Xavier. His body was hard beneath her hands as he pulled her roughly against him. His hands pulled her hands to her side, restraining her from any other movements. He pressed his face to hers and she didn’t protest. Their kiss was soft and gentle, not as rough as she would’ve guessed from before. His lips were powerful and strong, like the hands that was holding hers to her side. His hands pushed her chest to him and her hands reached for his wide shoulders. Their tongues danced in the other’s mouths as the minutes passed. His demanding lips went to her cheek and to her neck.
Her eyes found Xavier’s thick frame as it rest against the tree. He placed his gun in his holster and sighed into the open air. He looked away from the couple and took out a cigarette and lit it with a lighter. Zachary was caught in the moment of tasting her skin and pushing her hips against his. He didn’t notice her hands trail down to his spine and to the gun in his waistband. Before Xavier inhaled the second puff of his cigarette, Jae shot him in the abdomen twice. He stumbled onto the tree and pulled out his gun, squeezing the trigger at Jae in a late reaction. The silent bullets struck Zachary in the back. Jae rolled to the side and shot twice more in Xavier’s head. As Xavier toppled to the grown she turned her attention to Zachary, who was choking on his own blood. She shot him twice in back of his head and he stopped moving.
She took a deep breath and shook her head from the images that burned in her mind. Her rummaging fingers found two clips. That meant thirty rounds to kill Hugh, Mr. Barnes, Jill, Blaine, and possibly Geoff. She didn’t want to think about Geoff. She dressed in her clothes and rolled the jeans over her injury. She took another deep breath and sighed. She had to do this in order to live peacefully. She kept to the shadows and made her way to the back door. She turned the knob but it was locked.
“Damn.” She said to herself.
She checked all the doors on the ground floor and thankfully the dining room door was unlocked. She assumed after the meeting, after she was sentences to death, the people in the room were too occupied to notice that this door was unlocked. She noticed cigarette butts in a cup that Jill was out here, or any number of people who smoked. She took a breath and twisted the knob slowly. Her footsteps were sure as she quickly shut the door behind her. The room was dark, along with the kitchen and the entrance hall in front of her. She kept to the shadows as she walked around the room. She mentally calculated who was in the mansion. She remembered Quinn and Kathy leaving as soon as the meeting was over, along with Thomas and Eve. Zachary and Xavier were dead. There were five people in the mansion that have to die tonight. It was easier then she thought, she should have done this earlier. Hugh and Mr. Barnes would be up there in the study; Jill and Geoff would be in a bedroom; and Blaine would be in the weapon room, fidgeting with whatever he was working on before. She felt naked and vulnerable without a gun on her.
Blaine would be the easiest or the hardest to defeat right now. His knowledge of guns and the fact that he was in a room of weapons was the hard part; though he was alone, and if she needed some things in order to kill everyone the room would be open to her. She wished she was in her bedroom; there was a gun under the night stand and one beneath the flower pot outside. She would have to risk killing Blaine first.
She crept through the entrance hall, weary of someone lurking in the shadows. The shotgun in the jacket closet was the closest weapon she could think of. It was that or a musket framed above the front door. She wished she hadn’t grabbed the pistol underneath the piano bench earlier tonight. The pistol was easier to carry and less bulky.
The stairs groaned under her as she took them to the weapons room. She had to be quiet because Hugh’s study was just around the corner as well as the bedroom Jill and Geoff would me making up. She thought about Geoff and wondered if she was able to kill him. Shaking that thought from her head she crept closer to the room. There wasn’t any light coming from beneath the door, or the sound of rap music coming from the door, it was definitely empty. She lowered her gun and made her way to her old bedroom. She could use the shotgun later, she had to get smaller weapons. Her bedroom door opened quietly as she remembered. The layout was the same, but without her favorite furniture it looked a bit empty. She made her way slowly to the side table, avoiding the creaking floorboard and the lion claw foot board, she knelt down to retrieve her gun.
There were footsteps behind her, entering the bedroom. In a panic she climbed underneath the bed and watched the shiny shoes pace here and there. She placed her head on her clasped fingers and waited for him to leave. She knew it was Mr. Barnes, the only person who would wear shiny shoes, and of course he was living in her old bedroom. He walked to the bathroom and after a minute or two of silence, the shower finally came on. She waited a few seconds and crawls out from the bed. She recovered her guns and listened as he sang show tunes in the shower.
She was poised and ready as he exited the shower. He whistled carefree as he entered the walk in closet naked. She enjoyed the look for 3 seconds. She aimed the gun and shot him three times in the back. He crumbled to the floor, red painted his back. She walked up to him and rolled him over. He was coughing blood as one of her silence bullets pierced his lung. She leaned down and gave him a kind smile.
“Under different circumstances I would have dated you. With your British accent and your amazing physique,” she gave herself a giggle. “You must realize I have nothing against you. But over the last few times we conversed; you were really getting on my nerves. You are guilty by association and I can’t leave anyone alive.”
She stared and aimed the gun to his head. She knew he was dead as she exited closet. The deaths she committed were fairly easy; they were too busy with the lives to notice anything out of the ordinary. They were too confident in Zachary and Xavier. How wrong they all were. She crept through the bedroom door and towards Hugh’s study door. On second thought, she turned around and went through Geoff’s bedroom door. It was dark as she made her way to the balcony. Like before, she jumped over the gap and landed quietly on the other balcony.
She listened as there was a knock on the door. She pressed her ear to the window but she didn’t hear anything distinguishable. The voices were whispers as she thought about the owners. One had to be Hugh; he was the one who opened the door. The other one she couldn’t place. Maybe it was Jill call a good night before she went to bed for the night. From behind her, she heard an almost silent thud. Before she realized something was behind her, something hit her back from behind. She lunged forward unexpectedly as something hard collided with her head, knocking her unconscious.