Cooper strained to open his eyes. Around him, he could hear gunfire, and shouting. He could see three men dressed from head to toe in black running through the hole in the wall. Two quickly moved toward Teresa, but the third approached him, and drew a .45, pointing it at Cooper. “I’m gonna be famous. I’ll probably get the Medal of Honor.” the man said. Behind him, his two companions lifted Teresa off the floor. One of them rasped “Forget him! Help us with the General’s wife!”, but before he could respond, he jerked backward once, then twice, then a third time, and fell to the floor. Cooper turned his head to see Agent Roy, crouching in the doorway, his gun smoking. Agent Roy held his hand to his ear, and was clearly trying to get back up, but the sounds of the firefight outside intensified. And after what seemed like an eternity, he slowly made his way across the two feet from the doorway to where Cooper was laying, watching the remaining intruders dragging Teresa out through the hole in the wall, to some unknown rendezvous. He couldn’t determine the condition of her limp form, and wondered if she was alive or dead. Agent Roy crouched over Cooper, assessing his condition, when he also jerked, once, and a growing bloom of crimson began expanding on the white shirt he wore under the black jacket. Cooper said “Agent Roy, you’ve been hit.”
Agent Roy was gritting his teeth, and said “That’s not important right now. We have to get you to a doctor.”
Cooper looked around for some help, and saw that Rick was back in the doorway. Rick made his way over to Cooper and Agent Roy, and Cooper said “Get Roy out of here! He’s been shot!” Rick shook his head, and said “No can do, buddy. You’re the priority here. And your fiancée’ would kill me if I didn’t get you to safety.” Rick looked at Roy, who said “Get him out of here. I’ll cover you.”
Rick started to drag Cooper to the back of the house as Agent Roy stood near the opening in the wall, and looked before firing a few shots out toward the fleeing invaders. The sound of gunfire was tapering off, and Cooper watched as Rick dragged him down the hall, succumbing for a second time as a black hole opened beneath and swallowed him up. The last thing he saw before darkness overtook him was a bullet tearing through Agent Roy, and the Mountie falling to the debris strewn floor. All he could think was “NOOOOOOO! Not for me!”
Cooper came to, with a medic checking his vitals, and Lise checking him out. “Jake?” he whispered.
She stopped, took his hand and smiled. “He’s safe.”
“Hell, he isn’t just safe. He’s probably safer than he’s ever been.” Rick said, with a grin.
“You’re friend hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for exaggeration,” said Lise “I did nothing out of the ordinary.”
“Don’t let her fool ya, buddy. When one of the teams came in through the front door, she dispatched them all without batting an eye. I don’t think they even had time to clap eyes on Jake.”
Cooper looked at Lise, uncertain if the tears he felt welling up were from what he’d just heard, or the goose egg on his head that was growing by the minute. Still holding his hand, she brought it to her cheek, tilted her head, and said “I wouldn’t…I couldn’t let them hurt Jake. I couldn’t bear what that would do to you.”
Cooper turned his hand to stroke her cheek, more aware with each passing second of the screaming headache that radiated from the rising welt on his head. “Where is he?”
“Safe.” she said quietly. The visitors have gone, and no less than three teams are with him in the reinforced part of the house. “And Teresa?” Lise’s smile faded. Before she could respond, Rick said “She fell the same time you did, but she was closer to the blast. I didn’t see a lot of blood when they took her away, but I couldn’t tell how badly she was hurt…”
“Or if she was dead.” Lise said flatly.
“Regardless, ” said Rick “I don’t think her visit was sanctioned. The troops seemed more interested in getting her than they did you.”
“And Agent Roy?”
“He’s down, but the docs think he’ll make it. I think those Newfoundlanders are almost as hard to kill as Texans. He’ll be back.” Rick said with a smile.
“I want to know when he can have visitors.” Cooper said.
“Probably before you can, if this delays our wedding.” Lise said with a smile, but Cooper could tell that the smile was covering something, but he couldn’t really suss it out through the flashes of pain in his head.
“We’re right behind you.” Lise said as the ambulance doors shut, and it sped away from the safe house under heavy escort.