I am ridiculously excited. This story is complete and I have all of the chapters uploaded into the doc manager. Just a matter of posting now! I think this story averaged about 7k words and technically could have been a one shot, but I like how this turned out. Also, so far this story has been solely from Juliet's POV. It's been a bit of a change for me, but I think it worked out better this way. Enjoy, everyone!
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Dusk was quickly settling upon them. "You should go," Carlton quietly told Juliet as she checked the window for the fifth time in as many minutes.
"You should shut up," she retorted, stalking back over to him. "I'm not leaving you like a sitting duck." There was no way in hell she would do that. Partners did not just leave each other alone to die.
He reached out suddenly, his long fingers closing around her wrist and holding her in place. "Take him with you. It's only a couple of miles to the highway."
She stared back at him, dumbfounded by his suggestion. Shaking her head, she pulled her wrist away. "It's not gonna happen. Forget it."
"You know it's the right call, O'Hara." He coughed quietly.
Leaning closer to him, she murmured, "I'd be a lot faster without him." Carlton was getting weaker and they were running out of time.
As if he could hear, Horst shouted out, "Hey, you. No secrets."
"You can't leave him with me," Lassiter continued, his eyes searching Juliet's. "I can't protect him."
Juliet looked to her right, in their witness's direction.
Horst caught her gaze and shifted uncomfortably. "Why-why are you looking at me like that?"
She exhaled deeply. Carlton was right. They had to protect Horst's sorry ass. Her gaze went back to Carlton's. "You better not die on me."
"I will try not to die. For you."
Juliet left Carlton's side and yanked Horst off of his stool. She dragged him close to the couch, then stopped. "Stay." Letting go of him, she bent down to look at Carlton. "Okay, look." She rummaged through their duffle bag until she found the glock she was looking for. She placed it in Carlton's hand. "This is for emergencies only," she told him firmly. "If anyone comes back, I want you to play dead." She looked at him, her eyes imploring. "Do you understand?" She found a clean spot of her shirt and dabbed Lassiter's forehead.
He held the gun in his hand and sighed. "Understood."
"I'll be back." She tossed the shirt aside and grabbed Horst's arm. "Let's go."
He planted his feet and refused to move. "I need my medical bag."
Juliet rolled her eyes and grabbed the bag, shoving it at Horst.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?"
"No, actually. It's a terrible idea." She glanced over her shoulder, back at her partner. Then she continued to push Horst toward the door.
Once they reached their exit, she pushed the door open and peered outside. Her heart sank when she saw the black truck driving directly toward the desolate hiding spot. They had waited too long… She quickly pulled back and shut the door again. "Change of plans," she said softly, dragging Horst back to the couch. "Sit." She forced him back onto his stool, ignoring his whimpers of discomfort and protest. "Our friends are back." She stalked over to the wall and peered through a dusty window. The truck had stopped and the man and the woman got out. The man had a bullet wound from one of their shots and the pair both still had guns. But they weren't alone as they crept away from the truck. A third man wearing sunglasses and holding a gun climbed out of the backseat. "All three of them."
"There are three of them now?"
A fourth man appeared and Juliet sighed. "Check that. All four of them." She saw the woman hold some device in her hand and study it intently. Then she showed it to her male partner before tapping it. Understanding dawned on Juliet and she pulled away from the window. "And they know we're here."
Her footsteps were loud to her own ears as she walked back to the couch. "Carlton, can you stand?"
"I think so, with some help."
Juliet nodded and took his arm, helping him to his feet. "Come on…"
"You setting up an ambush?" her partner questioned as she ushered him from the couch, toward the spot she hoped would be safer for him.
"If you can shoot."
"I can shoot," he responded evenly.
"Okay." Juliet stopped and helped him down to the floor. "Easy. Easy," she ordered, never letting go of his arm until he was safely seated.
There was a rapid beeping coming from Horst's direction and she turned to deal with him. "Come on, behind the bar," she ordered, pulling him from his seat and over to the spot where she wanted him.
"What are you doing? You gotta get me out of here!"
"Sorry, that ship has sailed." She affixed his cuff to a pipe, ignoring his protests.
"Oh come on, you can't chain me up. What if you two get killed?"
"Well, that'll be a sad day for everyone." But there was no way she was going to let her partner die. "Sit down and be quiet." Once more she went back to Lassiter. "Here's the layout. It's a four wall, cinder block box." She grabbed a round table and laid it down on the floor. "I'll take the oblique angles on the front and back entrances, draw fire." She grabbed another table. "Anyone enters through the front will see me first." She set the table in front of Lassiter and crouched down in front of him. "Wait until they're all the way in, then take your shot."
He looked slightly bemused. "I know the drill, O'Hara."
"I know you do." Even critically injured, he remembered their training. Of course he did.
"What about me? Do I get a gun?" Horst called out to them.
"No," both Juliet and Lassiter responded angrily. Juliet pushed to her feet and went back to the window. She could see the group had returned to the truck. "They're just sitting there."
"Probably waiting for nightfall, improve their cover."
"So now we wait." Juliet leaned back, reluctantly tucking her gun into the waist of her pants.
"You know, I saw something like this once in an old Glenn ford movie, you know. It did not end well." Horst looked them over pointedly.
Not for the first time, Juliet wanted to shoot him. But she focused on returning to Carlton's side. Grabbing her shirt, she gently dabbed at his forehead. "Hey...how are you doing? You holding on?"
"Listen, they used some kind of tracking device to find us." She set the shirt aside. "I saw her use it. How did she manage it?"
Lassiter stared ahead for a moment. "I don't know, but it's kind of...academic at this point, isn't it?"
Nodding slightly, Juliet responded, "Maybe." Then she sat down beside her partner, pressing against his side. "It'll be dark soon." The way they were touching, she didn't even have to think about it. When had that happened? More importantly, would it happen again after tonight?
"You should try to get out then." He drew in a shuddering breath.
"Yeah. We'll see." Her answer was short, noncommittal.
"Seriously, O'Hara. It's gonna get ugly."
"Look, it's a defendable position." That statement brought a faint smile to Carlton's lips. "Besides, look at you."
Her eyes darted to the window, though she could not see anything from where she was seated. "Carlton, when we get out of here…" When, not if. There was no if in this scenario, not when she had so much left to tell him. Turning to better see him, she brought her hand up and cradled his face in it.
His eyes closed as he leaned just a little into her touch.
"When we get out of here, we're going to talk." His eyes opened and their gazes met. A thousand words silently traded as he weakly grasped her wrist. She wordlessly willed him not to let go.
Their gaze broke and Carlton coughed quietly, touching his chest. Juliet glanced down at the plastic bottle, inhaling sharply when she saw a fair amount of blood in it.
Carlton caught her concern and he waved a hand slightly. "Just a little blood. Nothing to worry about."
Nothing to worry about, her ass. Filled with renewed determination, Juliet pushed herself to her feet and began going over the few weapons she still had left. She tucked one piece into her waistband, then collected a few extra bullets and gave them to her partner. "These are for...you know, in case I don't…" She swallowed hard. "You know." If she left through that door and did not come back for him. Only a bullet would stop her.
"Wh-What's going on? What are you doing?"
Juliet didn't answer Horst as she tore her eyes away from Carlton. "Just stay here until I get back."
"O'Hara. Be careful."
At his words, Juliet glanced over her shoulder at him and gave him a small nod before she went to the backdoor.
"Where's she going? What's she going to do?" Horst questioned anxiously.
Lassiter took a small breath, his eyes still on the door. "She's going to kill them...before they kill us." His eyes closed as he let his head fall back.
To Be Continued...
A/N: Badass Juliet. Let me know what you all think, and happy reading!