1pm came, Jason still didn't see his dad, and his dad was usually never late but gives himself an entrance. Jason, Kayla, Captain Everett and everyone scanned the sky for any jets or air planes, only a bird came in sight. At least everyone thought it was a bird before the parachute, Jason found his dad alright, free falling from the sky. Jason wondered what would be able to top this entrance. Everyone was too busy watching the sky that only Jason noticed the Humvee pull up and several guys get out. Kayla seemed to notice too because when her dad stepped out, she ran to him and threw her arms around him, like she would when Jason showed up at her house to hang out in the days before the war. Jason missed those days, even more than ever.
Captain Hernandez landed just down the street from the apartment complex and walked his way to the building, stopping in front of Jason, and giving him a salute.
"It's good to see you again Jason, as well as you Kayla and Nathan. You all have grown since last time," Jason's dad said. "Though, it would be a great honor to fight along side my own son and his rebellion for what's right."
"It's been four years, James, what do you expect?" Commander Morales asked.
"You have a point, Ethan, just remember who saved your ass from losing your head three months ago in Idaho, moron," Captain Hernandez teased.
When it came to Jason's dad and his friends, they dog on each other every chance they get. The only time they don't mess with each other is when a situation was serious and things actually had to get done. They seemed to know when the time was serious and when it was okay to jack around and be total idiots.
"So what's our next move, Jason?" Captain Hernandez asked.
Jason saw the transition, so sudden, like a cobra strike. He didn't see it coming until it happened. That's one of the things that saved his father in Afghanistan when he was taken hostage by the local militia, they couldn't even tell whether he was playing their minds or trying to cooperate. Jason knew one thing, what ever his dad had done, the militia didn't stand much a chance at all. He knew what it took to make a good soldier, but he knew better what it took to get inside one's mind, that's what made Captain Hernandez deadly.
"If our Intel is right, you were able to get most of the militaries men on our side, we would have enough man power to overthrow the President and overpower any force left fighting for Barkley. With that, we'll be able to rescue our people in the villages. I'm not sure if there are anymore villages in Canada, but we're positive about Quebec," Jason said. "They've kept us blind on the outside, faded our information transmissions, figured out our routes of travel to pass on information. Since we were deprived of what was to know, we stuck to our original plan: Fight till we stand as victors of the area. We knew very little that you were working an inside rebellion, much less that you intended on turning your men to fight with mine."
"Exactly, if you knew my plan, you make your tactics obvious which would compromise the whole operation. That's why I made it where you had to figure it out on your own, formulate it in your own way, that way when I arrived like now, we would be ready for the battles ahead of us," Captain Hernandez said intelligently.
Jason nodded and walked to his room, "And in the mean time, we rest for the traveling that lies ahead. Any room on the 4th floor and above is available, make yourself at home, I plan on leaving here tomorrow morning since today's events compromised that."
The teams that arrived made their way to their rooms, Kayla went with her dad whole Jason went to his unit alone. As he walked in, Jason made his way to the bathroom to look in the mirror, muttering curses to himself. I will kill him, his head will be mounted on a wall, he took everything from me, now I will take his life! Barkley will pay for his crimes… Jason's thoughts were as dark as night, his lust for revenge would put him at the top of the food chain with Barkley as his ultimate prey. He knew what he had to do and how it would have to be done, the only problem was getting everything lined up for the perfect assault, leading to the perfect assassination. The fire burned bright and hot in his chest, he knew his plan could work, he felt the flame burning through his soul.
Jason left to bathroom to go to the kitchen to make lunch for him and Kayla, grilled cheese sandwiches, one of the first things his mom taught him to make when he was younger. As he was spreading the butter, he heard a quiet click from the door handle. Instinctively, Jason unsheathed his pistol and hid since his rifle was on the bed. Kayla would usually walk right in, who ever this was, wasn't her and Jason could tell. As the suspected assassin moved quietly past the kitchen, Jason peeked out to see what he was up against. G36C silenced, tactical knife, USP .45 side arm, a large amount of C4 explosives, and a nice leather jacket. Jason knew it was a female by the body structure, though her identity covered with a mask.
The assassin moved quietly into the bed room, careful not to make a sound. Jason followed in the same pattern, closing in on the intruder. The assassin was a few feet from the door when she turned aimed at Jason, he sidestepped and kicked the gun from her grasp, putting the barrel of his pistol to her temple.
"I don't know who you are, but you have some explaining to do," Jason said, before switch on his radio. "Kayla, get a team and come down here, we have a situation."
"On my way," she replied, panic resonating in her voice.
Jason turned to the assassin, took any weapon she had on her and removed the mask, shocked by who had tried to kill him: Azella Cross, one of his fallen team members.
"What the hell are you doing?" Jason demanded. "You were killed twp years ago in Illinois, how are you alive after the bombing run in Cicero?"
"I was just as surprised as you are, when the CTA building collapsed, I was trapped and nearly died. Some of Barkley's men rescued me and I personally met Barkley in the flesh. He offered me to start new and to be with my family if I agreed to kill you, plus, you never came back for me! You left me for dead, and you always said no one left behind, but you left one of your best friends behind!"
"The building fell on you and they were dropping bombs everywhere, no one could've survived that! We had no choice-"
"Liar!" Azella interrupted, pulling a hidden knife from her sleeve, tackling Jason to the ground.
Her knife came at Jason like lightning and he was lucky she missed, the knife stuck the floor and Jason flung her off him, throwing her against the wall. Jason grabbed the knife and lunged at her, full speed and burning anger. Missing by only half an inch, Jason sliced at her, aiming for the throat. As Jason made came around for another slice, Azella side-stepped and knocked the knife from his hand and going for a low sweep, catching him in the back of his knee. As he fell to the floor, Azella threw a punch, catching him squaring him in the jaw. After about the fourth punch, Jason bucked her off and grabbed his pistol and miss-fired as she palmed the gun from his hand, dropping low to grab her ankle gun, and aimed for the middle if Jason's forehead.
"Now to do what I came to-"
Before she the chance to pull the trigger, Kayla and a whole squad of freedom fighters and several men from Delta and Bravo teams busted through the door, surrounding Azella.
"Put the gun down, Azella. This isn't what Alex would want you to do-" Kayla said, getting abruptly interrupted.
"Don't say his name!" Azella yelled, shooting Kayla in the stomach, watching as she fell to the ground.
Jason bellowed out with rage and tackled Azella to the ground, bashing her head to the floor, knocking her unconscious. He got up and ran to Kayla, touching where the blood was draining from her. Icy fear ran through him, pain piercing his heart like a poison arrow. Kayla looked at the wound then at Jason, a scared expression appeared on her face which was ghost white from the blood loss.
"We need a need a medic!" Orlando ordered from outside the door.
Captain Everett pushed Jason aside to grab Kayla, but Jason resisted and punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground as Captain Hernandez walked in followed by Commander Morales. Shock illuminated on his face, tears streaming down his cheeks.
"My little girl, no, my little angel," Commander Morales wept, falling to his knees.
"Step aside, let me have a look at the wound. Step aside!" the field medic from Bravo said, pushing through the crowd. He kneeled to look at the wound. "We're going to have to do emergency surgery. Somebody help me move her to the bed."
Three guys from Delta grabbed her arms and legs and carried her to the bed. As the field medic removed her armor.
"Nothing to see, get moving!" Captain Hernandez ordered.
As if there were a bomb in the room, everyone cleared the room almost as fast as a bullet flying from the barrel of a gun. Jason could barely move, paralyzed by fear, afraid of losing the girl he loves. Commander Morales sat against the wall, head between his knees, shaking with fiery anger. Jason noticed Azella returning to the conscious world, before he could take control of himself, Jason got up to punch her in the temple before blacking out. Before Jason knew what was going on, the world went dark.
When the world came back, Jason woke in a chair at Kayla's side. Looking around, he noticed Kayla was barely awake, her entire midsection wrapped in ace bandages and cotton padding. Jason reached over and grabbed her hand, feeling how cold it was against his, wishing this hadn't happened. His heart full of sorrow and regret for calling her to come help. Jason felt it was his fault for what happened, he knew he should've just killed Azella.
Kayla's head slowly turned, eyes barely open, and whispered with effort, "It's good to see you awake."
Jason could tell she was struggling against the morphine, "Save your energy, your going to need it. We decided to stay here one more night, tomorrow we'll head out. They have transport coming from the southern states. We won't have to be on foot, I didn't want you moving too soon."
Kayla smile appreciatively and struggled harder against the morphine, "Thanks, I'm love having you by my side. I couldn't ask for better."
Jason showed a sad smile before a tear ran down his face, "But it's my fault this happened to you, I should've just killed her when she attacked. I'm so sorry, I just couldn't do it."
"No it's not, Jason," she said, putting her hand on his cheek. "She was one of our best friends, we all thought she was dead back in Illinois two years ago. Neither of us could've done it, you know that, Jason."
"I know, but she thinks we left her to die, we both know we would've been killed if we stayed behind. We all saw that building fall where she was, we all almost died when that happened. None of us could save her," Jason said, falling into thought. "When she came after me, that wasn't her. She seemed deranged and untamed, she used to always be calm and with no regrets."
"Go talk to her, maybe you knocked her back to her old self when you knocked the crap out of her," Kayla joked.
"I will later, but right now, you're my first priority. When the war is over, you and I will start new, we'll go where ever you want, over seas if you want. I just want the best for you, te amo con todos mi corazón," Jason said, speaking from deep down in the soul.
"I'd like that," she said, smiling.
"Get some sleep, it's getting dark and you need to rest, I love you."
Jason leaned down and gently kissed her soft lips, her beautiful flowing image barely seeable in what was left of the dim light. Jason knew that if he lost her, he would be lost. Jason held her hand, softly stroking it with his thumb, admiring how dazzling she looked in dim light. Jason waited until Kayla was asleep to talk to Azella, kissing Kayla one more time before leaving.
As Jason walked out of the bed room, he found Commander Morales sitting on the couch. He looked up and gave that look saying 'Just leave me be.' Jason found his rifle, pistol and gear in the kitchen, on the counter. He felt better knowing he had it. Jason walked out of the apartment and saw one of the men from Bravo walking along the catwalk.
Jason walked over to him and asked, "Where is she being held?"
"Apartment 320, we have her chained up tight," the soldier replied.
Jason made his way to the apartment in the cool air, wondering what they did to make act the way she did when she came after him. He began wondering to himself, why would she do that? Why would she come after us when she could've joined again? Jason was outside the door when he heard talking inside.
"You know you could've come back, it could've been us again. I miss you, the way you were two years ago," a voice said.
"I know, and I'm sorry. They messed with my mind, made me turn on all of you, made me hate you for what happened to Alex. I tried getting out-"
"What happened to Alex is in the past, we were like brothers, even after we were together. You don't think I still remember watching him die? I was there too, I was there for you and for him. Ever since Illinois, I get distracted for the slightest second, it's almost killed me several times. I've missed you more than anything."
"I've missed you too, I wanna be with you again, I wanna fight side by side with the freedom fighters again. You don't know how hard it was trying to fight what they did to me day by day, though I was with my family, my mind was corrupted. Once they felt I was ready, they sent me to kill him. I hope he'll-"
"I know he'll forgive you, he still thinks of you as his friend. I know he does. He thought of you as a sister, he doesn't hate you, you scared him today."
"I shot the girl he loves! Scared isn't anywhere near the word, if he decides to kill me tomorrow, I'd understand. And by the big bruise he left on my head, I'm sure I pretty much pissed him off, pushed him passed his limit," she said, drowning in sorrow.
"I know he forgives you, he didn't kill you. He won't let this hold him back, you gave him more strength to fight, though it kind of made him black out. But don't worry, I know he won't hate you. We all thought you were dead to begin with, you really surprised him. If he does decide he wants you dead, I'm going down with you."
Jason had heard all he needed to hear, the only person her knew was with Azella was Orlando, Jason hadn't known how much it affected Orlando until he heard this. In all honesty, Jason didn't hate Azella, he was shocked and scared after the events of the day. Jason just wanted his friends by him as much as Kayla and his family. He want his friends to suffer either, he knew that would be one of the biggest downfalls to rebellion. Jason decided to knock on the door, feeling pain and regret for his actions in the previous hours.
"Come in," Orlando said, panic slightly pushing it's way into his voice.
Jason walked in and saw the damage he had done, beaten face, bloody temple, bloody cheek from where he sliced her face. He walked over and sat by sat by Orlando, sorrow filling his heart, knowing he intended to kill his best friend earlier. "I apologize about earlier, I overreacted. I should've controlled myself, I'm s-"
"Don't apologize, I'm the one who should be apologizing. If Barkley's men had just left me to die, none of this wouldn't have happened," Azella said, coming to tears. "I shot my best friend, tried killing you, and I couldn't control any of it, it just wasn't me. Jason, you don't know what they did to me just to cooperate, you should've just pulled the trigger when I was in your apartment earlier."
"No one left behind, remember that? Kayla forgives you, she knows that wasn't you back there. I lost it when you shot her, by the way, sorry about your head," Jason said. "I think Barkley meant for us to turn on each other when he sent you, to make us want bloodshed so back that we start picking each other off."
Orlando looked up, curiosity in his eye, "Turn us against each other and watch the rebellion fall apart from the inside out."
"Exactly, he's not going to try this version of the plan, but he's probably working on something else. He knows his plan almost worked, he's most likely going to work on something guaranteed not to fail," Jason said, looking worriedly at Azella. "She was just the test run, now that he's seen the flaws, he's going to send someone else who will stop at nothing to finish the job. If he does that while we're in Quebec, it will scatter us like a wolf in a herd of buffalo."
Orlando nodded and gave a look saying he wanted to be alone with Azella again. Jason understood and walked out of the apartment, feeling the cool air of coming night. Jason found it really comfortable, leaning against the rail, looking at the sky. Strangely, he couldn't remember where he had been in the similar position, without the war and wounded girl friend. He felt some what at peace, like he slipped away from the reality of the war, pain and suffering. Jason had barely noticed his dad beside him, looking up at the stars.
"How are holding, Jason?" he asked.
"I'm fine, I just wasn't expecting this to happen. I mean, we all thought she was dead back in Illinois, that wasn't her in the apartment earlier. She's never lashed out like that, I don't know what they did to her," Jason said.
"It'll be okay, kiddo. Go get some rest, tomorrow we'll leave in the transports. She won't have to be on her feet for a few days," the captain said.
"Okay dad," Jason replied, walking down to his apartment.
As Jason was walking to the door, Kayla's dad walked out, looked at Jason, then walked to his unit. Only, the look that he gave Jason was the look a father would give his son. I know he accepts me, he feels I'm right for her, Jason thought. Jason wanted to marry Kayla after the war, he was sure Commander Morales already accepted his proposal. He was pretty sure that while he was talking to Azella, the commander was talking to his daughter. Jason was sure of that, he still had the ring Kayla dropped, he wondered if she remembered that she dropped it. He paused outside the door, looking at the ring, decided to hold on to it until after the war, then he would propose.
Jason walked in and saw Kayla sitting at the table, wrapped in a blanket over the ace bandages, "You need to rest, save your energy."
"I wanted to talk to my dad, plus I was hungry. The morphine made my appetite grow big enough to eat a cow," Kayla joked around, smiling.
"Well you sure have enough energy be funny, how are you feeling?" Jason asked.
Kayla placed her hand just below her rib cage, "Sore, but I'll live. No one is going to me from you, no matter how hard they try," she said smiling. "Jason, if we win, what do you see in the future?"
Jason smiled and grabbed her hand, gently stroking it, "You, me, our family, out in the country, living like we used to on my grandfather's ranch. I would never give you up for anything in the world, I'd protect you with my life, and I love you."
Kayla leaned over the table and kissed Jason, "I love you too, win or lose, I know I have you. Now, let's get some sleep, I wanted to wait for you."
Jason smiled and helped Kayla to the bed room in the dim candle light, set out since the power was gone for the whole building, leaving Jason with a beautiful angel beside him. Laying her down on the bed, she gave that provocative look, pulling Jason down to the bed giggling. Cuddling up to him, she kissed affectionately, laid her head on his chest, listening to his heart beat. Jason stroked her long black hair, feeling like he was on top of the world.
"Jason?" Kayla said, looking into his eyes.
"I can't wait to start my life with you," she said putting her head back down.
"Neither can I," Jason said, kissing her goodnight, and listening to the sounds of the world outside, but couldn't seem to find sleep.
This is going to be a long night, Jason thought to himself.
Jason laid in the dark, unable to sleep. The vision of watching Kayla being shot haunted him even though he forgave Azella. He thought of The Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Azella being Peeta, attacking the people she cares about. Jason knew different methods must have been used when brain washing Azella, remembering the Bourne series. Funny how he had the same name.
Jason gently kissed Kayla and quietly got out of bed, walked to the door and stopped. He looked back at Kayla and knew no one else could ever have his heart like she does. The song I wouldn't mind by He Is We echoed into his mind, when he was younger, he barely got the meaning. Now, the meaning was in the same room.
Forever is a long time,
But I wouldn't mind spending it by your side,
Tell me everyday that I get to wake up to that smile,
I wouldn't mind it.
I wouldn't mind it at all…
Jason walked out of bedroom quietly and left the apartment, going to his dads unit. He needed some fatherly advice he hadn't got in years, the fate of the war depended on it. Jason was outside the door, about to knock, when he saw his dad walking towards him.
"How come you're not asleep? You need rest," he said, sounding tired.
"I couldn't sleep, I'm haunted from earlier. Every time I come close to drifting away, I see it, it seems like it burned itself into my memory," Jason said with worry. "I don't what to do, if I keep going on like this, we could lose this war horribly along with all of our loved one," Jason said, leaning against the wall, lost without a compass.
"Protect her, make it known that you're not going to let anyone hurt her. I understand how you feel, it was the same when your mom was pregnant with you and Nathan, I had nightmares until you were born," his dad said understandingly. "I always had nightmares that the worst would happen, with every night, it got worse and worse. I was so relieved when you both were born, years apart but after you were born, I nearly fell apart. Fear had a firm grasp on heart."
Captain Hernandez placed a hand on Jason's shoulder and continued, "Just don't let her go, I know you love her, after everything you've both been through, you've held on to each other. It takes teamwork to make something like that last, the both of you have the strongest relationship for any teenage couple I've seen. Looks like Ethan and I made the right choice of introducing the two of you. I can see you two together several years from now," he said giving Jason's shoulder a slight squeeze.
"Goodnight dad," Jason said going back to his room for the night.
Jason knew what he meant, he saw Kayla being walked down the aisle by Ethan. Even Jason knew it would've been safe to wait for that kind of proposal, especially with a war going on. Jason began going into deep thought of what it would've been like without the war, if they would've last. As he was thinking, he pulled out his thinking knife which he had made out of scrap metal when he was ten. Playing with it to clear his mind, giving it a couple throws like there was a target, driving itself deep into the door of the apartment just 3 doors down. Walking over to get his knife, Jason heard rustling from a tree in the court yard. Normally Jason would've gone ghost protocol ready to attack, but he didn't feel any danger, he realized how tense the war had truly made him.
Pulling his knife from the door, sheathing it, Kayla called from their own encrypted channel, "Jason, come back to the apartment."
Jason picked up the fear in her voice, but didn't have his rifle like an idiot, "On my way, stay put."
Jason quickly unsheathed his sidearm and called through the radio, "Orlando, get a team to my unit, I think Kayla's in trouble."
"On it, ETA: two minutes to your room."
Jason's adrenaline was pumping trough his veins, flying down the stairs, eyes poised to find some kind of movement anywhere around him. He found Orlando with six heavily armed men from Delta Squad ready to strike.
"Take three of them through the front door," Jason whispered. "The other three will come around the back and through the sliding door on the balcony. Don't go in until I give the order, otherwise, if they come out, don't make too much noise. The residents wouldn't be too happy if you do," he said cracking a smile.
Orlando nodded and his portion of the squad positioned themselves while Jason and the rest of the team bolted down the stairs and around the building, stealth being their best weapon.
"Everyone, suppressors on, make this quick and every shot has to count. We don't know what we're up against," Jason ordered everyone.
Jason and his portion of the team climbed to the balcony, slightly peeking in to get a glimpse of any movement. All he could see was the living room in dim light and the bedroom door was open, dark but not empty.
"In position, on my mark, go in quietly," Jason said. "Three, two, one, mark!"
The team slipped through sliding door, taking position. Jason signaled them to halt, waiting for an ambush. He crept to the bedroom door, the cool flow of adrenaline coursing through his veins. Listening for step patterns, he only heard Kayla coming to the door. Jason came around the corner, meeting her face to face, embracing her in his arms.
Holding on to him, she whispered, "It's a trap."
Jason understood and let go, quickly signaling one of his team to throw a flash grenade in the room. Orlando and his team came through door, weaponless and at gun point by Azella. Why is it every time I leave, some sort of trap has to be set up? Don't I feel special... Jason thought to himself.
"Azella what are you doing? I thought we-" Jason was cut off.
"You thought! I will not fight for you, not again! You left me in the dark, and I almost died you ungrateful son of a-"
A man in a suit walked out of the bedroom, smiling coldly at Jason, "That's enough Azella, stand down. As for you, the legendary Jason Hernandez, it's a pleasure to finally meet you."