tagRomanceShackled Ch. 17

Shackled Ch. 17

byStory_Spinner©

Emma felt the sting of Bonnie's stare clear through. If looks could have killed, she would have dropped right then and there. Thankfully, Simon shifted and steered her away from the evil glare towards the food. Giving Liam one last little glance, she smiled softly and went about fixing Simon a plate and then settled on the bench with him. They bent their heads close and began talking logistics while everyone buzzed on about their own parts that they would play.

Unable to stop herself, her gaze returned to Liam again and again and each time she was usually met by that ice cold Bonnie gaze. Simon caught it as well and bumped gently against Emma's arm. "You okay?"

"Mm?" Her gaze flickered back to her partner and she felt herself flush slightly. "Oh...yeah."

His own gaze moved over to Liam and then Bonnie before sliding back to hers. "I've known you for some time now Em and I hate to say it, but..." His voice dropped lower, keeping it between the two of them, "you've never had a date as far as I've known you and you certainly weren't making gaga eyes to any men on staff."

Emma blinked and chocked on her next bite, clearing her throat. "I am not making gaga eyes."

Simon grinned, "Yeah, yeah you are. But you better watch your step, someone isn't happy about it."

Shifting uncomfortably she shook her head slightly, "I have bigger issues to deal with. Whether or not there is anything between Liam and I is really...well, sadly, inconsequential compared to our work right now."

"Sure about that, Em?"

She met Simon's gaze with uncertainly. "No...not sure of much these days. Only that I can count on you and I can count on Liam. Bonnie...well, she might leave hanging if it wasn't for Liam. For him...I have a feeling she'd do just about anything. Like it or not."

"If it makes you feel any better sweetheart, I think Liam would do the same for you. Guys know this sort of thing...I can see it in his gaze. They might have a past, but that's what it is. A past."

With a soft snort, she grinned. "Since when have you become the Love Doctor, Simon." She nudged his side and pushed away her finished plate of grub. "Don't worry about me. I'll return what I know best and that's science. No heartache or confusion there. Together we'll make it work and let the chips fall where they will. Assuming I'm still alive before this all done with."

On impulse she pressed a kiss to his cheek and smacked a hang to his knee. "So you talk to Victor and I will go and get unshackled."

The thought was depressing. Where she had once felt helpless and trapped, now the thought of being torn apart from Liam left a strange ache in her chest. Laura wasn't even truly a threat to her, but in her eyes, Bonnie was. Bonnie was special, while Laura was a playful fun romp in the sack. So what did that make her?

****

Some time later they were in Bonnie's car. It wasn't technically Bonnie's car, but a car she'd stolen from a garage on their way out. They'd only need it for a short time. The meeting had ended later than Hansen had expected so it was dark and they were about a hundred meters down the street from Simon's apartment block. Hansen and Carl sat in front while the trio of women were in the back. Bonnie was explaining the situation.

"He usually only turns up at around six thirty to seven," she said. "He must treat it as his last visit of the day."

"How many SPFs watch it normally?" asked Carl.

"Two cars," said Bonnie. "Each with two men."

Carl nodded.

"I say we get the guns and hand bombs and blow the fuck out of them and then take the top cop."

Laura.

Carl sighed and Hansen smiled to himself. She would never allow herself to think that there was a subtle option, a path of least resistance. Bombs and guns were always her style.

"Maybe we want to do this quietly," said Hansen. "That way we'll have longer with the cop before they find out anything's wrong. At the moment, they think Simon's safely locked away in there and under their surveillance."

He turned around and grinned at Laura. She smiled back lightly and rolled her eyes. "You never show a girl the fireworks," she said with a giggle. "Well, not till the end of the evening anyway." She winked at him.

Hansen winced. He didn't really need to get into this, even jokingly, with three women in the car that all meant something to him.

"So where are the SPFs?" asked Hansen.

Bonnie breathed out and made a noise with her lips as if it was obvious. Hansen smirked. This was a good sign. She was getting into the task at hand. She pointed out two cars at either end of the street. They were not the usual black vehicle favored by SPF operatives.

"And what does our man normally do?" he asked again.

"He normally comes from the city end of the street and parks his car behind the car there. Then, one of them will walk with him to just outside the apartment and meet an SPF from the other car." Bonnie paused. "Then they stand out there and talk for about fifteen to twenty minutes. They might have a cigarette and sometimes they have something to eat like a small cake or something."

"So, the cars have only one operative in them for that time?" asked Hansen.

Bonnie nodded. "Yes."

Hansen looked over to Carl.

"Looks like that's the time. Easier to take out one person in a car than two," he said. "Then we take the top cop and....er....handle the other two."

Hansen didn't want to sound too cold with Emma there, but he knew they'd have to kill them. Emma was sitting directly behind then. He couldn't see her, but he slipped his hand between the seat and the car door and reached back quietly and gave her knee a squeeze. They were about to begin speeding things up and he wanted her to feel safe.

As safe as you can be when the SPFs are after you and you're shackled.

"I think," said Carl, "that when our friendly cop arrives, Laura and I take out a car each....without bombs and shooting." He looked at Laura and she had a mock pout on her face.

"What's a girl got to do to get some fun around here?" she said.

"Then," continued Carl, "Bonnie, Laura and I take out the other two guys and we grab the cop."

The two women in the back nodded that they agreed with the idea.

"Yes," said Bonnie, "then we don't risk Liam being separated from the girl."

The girl? Bonnie was sitting next to her. Geez.

He reached back and gave Emma's knee another squeeze.

"Ok, well you go and get into position," said Hansen, "and we'll stay here." He patted his waist and felt the gun shoved in there. "Remember, if you need anything, just signal. We can see the whole layout."

Carl, Bonnie and Laura got out of the car.

"Oooh," said Laura, looking to the others with a smile on her face, "do you think we should leave them alone in the car like that? They might get up to things. You know, like....funny things."

Carl rolled his eyes and gave a light laugh.

Bonnie pulled out the small rifle she had and loaded it with a loud 'clack'. She didn't smile.

"Just be ready if we need you," she said curtly to Liam. "If I need you."

In seconds, they'd disappeared, leaving Hansen and Emma in the car. He was still in the front seat, with her in the rear. He turned to look at her.

"Well, it's all about to start happening now," he said.

He knew she'd been quiet, but this was all so foreign to her. He wasn't even sure if she knew what they were about to do. They would probably have to kill all of the SPFs down there to get to the top cop. He hated doing all this in front of her, but it was necessary.

And Bonnie wasn't exactly making her feel welcome. He was going to have a word to Bonnie, but not in front of the others. He owed her that much.

He reached over and rubbed Emma's cheek with his hand.

"You ok?"

****

It was no secret that Emma was the outsider in the group -- thrust in the middle by no choice of her own. Or Liam's for that matter, but he certainly didn't seem to mind. She listened quietly, not in the least surprised by Laura's thirst for excitement. She slid her gaze out the window, avoiding Bonnie's looks as a small smirk played on her lips. So the doc liked to get dirty. In more ways than one. And Bonnie was the cold calculated queen when it came to trying to make her feel less than welcome.

She could feel Liam's tension as Bonnie's words hit home. Emma was glad she couldn't see his face, but found herself smiling softly as he reached back and squeezed her knee, not once but twice. Big bad Liam, trying to protect her from the women of his team. Emma gently brushed her fingers against his hand and said nothing until the plan was set and everyone sprang into action, Laura adding her own little jab towards Bonnie as they left.

Blowing out a long held breath, Emma leaned back against the seat and forced her body to relax. Every muscle in her body seemed tense, ready to bolt at the first sign of trouble. The concern in Liam's eyes warmed her a little, her skin tingling where he brushed his hand against her smooth cheek.

"I'm fine. You worry too much." She murmured softly and then cleared her throat. Her eyes held his steadily as she reached up and grasped his hand, giving it a squeeze. "I know this is new to me, but you don't have to baby me. It's bad enough that I'm in the way here, I don't want them thinking I'm a simpering little girly girl."

She bit her tongue, knowing that the last part came out a little harder than she meant, but she was tired of Bonnie's looks. Laura didn't bother her as much anymore...she liked to play while Bonnie was the hard core gamer. Blowing out another stead breath, she leaned forward a little to get closer, wanting the warmth of his body, but resisting the urge to grab a hold of him. "I also understand that...people are going to die in this situation Liam. They already have. There might not be bombs involved like Laura disturbingly wanted, but I get gist of things. I'm not going to crumble or crack. So do me a favor big guy..." her voice dropped down to a soft purr as she leaned in just a little further, her breath fanning his face sweetly, "stop worrying about me. I know you have a big gun and know how to use it."

Drawing back she winked and giggle softly. "Seriously, this is it. We're doing what we planned to do and after this, we're not going to be joined at the hip. I don't want you to worry about me, Liam. Besides...it's obvious that there are...unresolved feelings between a certain real Irish lady. I'm afraid if you keep hovering over me she'll either shoot me or you or both of us."

Jealously nagged in the back of her mind, but she tried to ignore it. Breaking her gaze away, she shifted it out the front window, looking for the team to return. Time was ticking and it wasn't really the time or the place to be hashing out feelings.

****

"Worrying is what I do and it's kept me alive so far," Hansen sighed. "It's not your fault that now I have someone else to worry about. Someone else that I care about...."

He trailed off and looked at her, so beautiful and plucky, but she really didn't realize what they were going to do. They had to get the shackles off and the chance of the senior SPF helping them without some form of coercion was minimal.

She looked at him directly, her resolve obvious.

"I'm not babying you...." he tried say, but she pressed on.

She winked at him and he smiled back at her.

"Yes," he said, "you certainly took all my best shots!"

He chuckled lightly.

He hadn't heard anything yet and he could see the senior SPF's car at the end of the street parked behind one of the surveillance vehicles.

What were they up to?

Emma interrupted his thoughts. She was talkative.

He didn't mind. He liked that now.

Like?

Shit, I think I ....


He smiled wryly at her for a moment and then his face returned back to its serious countenance.

"I'll explain about Bonnie, but now is not the time," he said. Then with a smile again, he added, "She won't shoot anyone I don't want her to shoot. So don't worry about her."

He paused for a while, turning around in his seat to look down at the scene below him. Now something was happening. The senior SPF was out of his car and knocking on the window of the car in front of him with no response.

Fuck.

He smiled to himself.

In the time he'd been talking to Emma, they must have taken out the surveillance vehicles and their occupants.

"Emma," he whispered, "it's about to start."

The cop was peering into the car and tapping on the window when he went down suddenly onto his butt, his legs collapsing from under him. He was stunned for a moment.

A moment is all she needs.

Laura slid out from under the car in what seemed like a millisecond and planted a kick in his face. He wobbled in his sitting position for a moment and then slid over onto his side. He was either concussed or incapacitated with pain. She stood over him for a second and then the others came to her side. Carl bent down and scooped the cop up like he was a bag of fruit and started to make his way back towards Hansen and Emma. The women peeled off, probably making sure that the scene looked as "normal" as possible to delay the discovery of the SPF's abduction.

As the Carl made his way up the hill with his human package, Hansen turned to Emma.

"It's long and it's complicated. Yes, I loved Bonnie. Actually, I still love Bonnie and she loves me," he said and took another deep breath. "But I'm not in love with Bonnie."

He turned fully and very quickly gave her a light kiss on the cheek before any of the others arrived and quickly returned to his position in the front seat.

He looked forward, through the windscreen, towards Carl who was only fifty metres away from him. Towards the two women who understood him and loved him unconditionally. He sighed.

Don't do it.

Shit, it sounded like The Voice. He was at least three days early! He'd need to take the drug, but he couldn't afford to be out of action while it worked.

It spoke again.

Don't say what you're going to say.

What was I going to say?

I'm in your head, dickwad, I know.

Fuck you.


He continued to look out of the windscreen.

"I can't be in love with Bonnie," he said in a whisper just loud enough for Emma, as if saying it quietly might reduce its meaning, lower its importance. "Because I think I'm in love with you."

There. I said it.

Hansen sat back and waited for the others. He'd said it now and couldn't take it back.

Great. What a romantic thing to say while you're on a killing spree. You're smooth.

I wanted her to know....

You've known her less than a week.

Fuck off or shut up. Your choice. Help me, but I won't let you hinder me.

You went so well with Jess and Cass without me.

So help me.

I will if you can keep your dick in your pants.


****

Emma slid her bottom towards the middle of the car to peer through the front window and caught sight of Carl who was lugging along their package. She listened to Liam talk and felt her heart melt as he turned to kiss her cheek softly. The rasp of his unshaven face was strangely soothing and when he gave her the warning, she braced herself for whatever came her way.

What she hadn't expected was his profession of love. Everything inside her stilled for a moment before her heart kicked into high gear. Her eyes focused on the side of his face. What was she to say? I love you too? It seemed completely and utterly crazy and yet she couldn't deny that connection she felt with him. How everything seemed to fit, physically, emotionally, in every way. It was true, he wasn't trying to babysit her, only trying to keep her safe.

"Liam..." She breathed out and reached forward to clasp his shoulder, giving it a squeeze. She forced him to look at her and saw the shift in his face, his body a little more tense and ready. "I love you too, so there. I said it as well. Our timing couldn't be more off, but in light of our situation, I'm glad you know." Her gaze sharpened on his handsome face as she swiped her thumb over his lower lip. "Something else is going on, isn't there?" she whispered.

But there was no time for a response before Laura opened the door and slid inside, shoving Emma back into her seat. "See?! I told you. Can't leave the two of them alone for one minute!" She announced.

Emma let out a soft grunt and rolled her eyes, "As if you could control yourself if left alone with him?" She shot back and crossed her arms.

Laura blinked at her, a little surprised, but quickly recovered and laughed. "Someone is feeling spunky. Seems like he's rubbing off on you in more ways than one."

Touche. Emma felt her cheeks flush warmly. "Don't be jealous, Laura. You had your turn."

Laura laughed, clearly enjoying the jabs. "Shut up, the pair of you." Bonnie snapped, her green eyes glaring.

Emma sat back, trying to absorb it all. Everything was moving so quickly, it was a little overwhelming. Leaving her feeling giddy and yet also frustrated. This wasn't the moment for love and romance, crammed in the back of a car with two ex girlfriends while a body was being piled into the trunk of the car.

The added weight jostled the vehicle and Emma shook her head. So much for her tidy little mundane world.

****

Carl sat in the driver's seat.

He always drove.

"Here we are," he said.

Thank God, thought Hansen. The banging in the boot from the captured SPF officer was driving him mad.

They were sitting in the car, a block from the SPF Headquarters, but they could see it's roof towering above all the other buildings in the area. There was an air of palpable tension in the small vehicle and it wasn't just about what they had to do in order to defuse the shackles.

Women.

Christ, haven't you got anything better to add?

Women.

Thanks.


"So how do we plan on getting in?"

Bonnie.

Hansen turned in his seat so he could look at everyone as he spoke.

"It's like any SPF facility. It will have electronic and biometric security," he said. "I'm assuming our friend kindly gave us his security passes?"

He smiled at Laura. She would have been the one to claim them.

She reached inside the neck of her sweater and pulled out some cards from her bra without a hint of self-consciousness. She smiled as she leaned forward and handed them to him.

"I should have let you get them out for yourself," she said with a sly smile and a wink.

Hansen felt his cheeks grow warm. He was used to Laura's teasing and flirting, but the women in the car were making him tense. He didn't need any further aggravation.

"Um, just knowing where they've been will be enough for me," he shot back.

"Oooh, a card fetish," she said. "I would have put them somewhere else then if I knew that...."

"Geez, Laura," said Hansen, rolling his eyes. "This is serious shit."

She giggled.

"So we have the cards," said Carl, interrupting. "That means the electronic security is taken care of. What about the biometrics?"

"It'll be more than one," said Bonnie.

"What do you mean?" asked Hansen.

Bonnie took a deep breath. She didn't look happy, but then, she would never be if Emma was anywhere near him. She could handle Laura, or at least she didn't fear her as a threat. But Emma....

"I mean more than one access method. It will be a combination. There'll be fingerprint or palm technology. They'll probably also have iris recognition."

"What about facial?" asked Laura, serious now that the business at hand was being discussed.

Bonnie shook her head.

"They don't use facial since the incident a few years ago. Plastic surgeons are too good these days."

Hansen was thinking, his brain going through the options.

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