Accession: CATU Book 5 Ch. 17byJoeBarnosky©
Coast of Sydney Australia
Stone breeches the surface and takes in several long breaths. Once his lungs recover he turns his attention to the super yacht. He breaks the surface right next to the jet skis hatch and quickly realizes his dilemma; there is no way in.
Despair wells up in him as his mind races for a solution. Then something nudges his leg. No, not something. He knows exactly what it was. He is probably still bleeding and if not he is a target in the feeding frenzy taking place below the surface. He could try to swim but his leg hurts like hell at the moment and he knows he wouldn't get far.
Just then the hatch pops open and a hand is thrust out. He gratefully accepts the hand and climbs inside.
"Need a hand?" Dupree asks.
"Damned if I'm not glad to see you," Stone says trying hard to mask his excitement. "What happened to you?" he asks after getting a good look at the woman. She is covered in dirt, grim and dried blood. Her hair is a mess as well as her clothing and she has a rather large bruise just above her left eye.
"Long story," she says gruffly. "And we don't have time to tell it."
"You can say that. Hop on."
Stone does just that sliding onto the back of one of the jet skis. He takes a quick examination of his leg. It stopped bleeding but he is going to need some stitches. Then he wraps his arms tight around his partner and the moment the Jet Ski hits the surface she guns it.
They are headed inland away from the Cephalopoda and nearly a hundred and fifty meters when they hear the roar of a helicopter. Stone looks back and shudders.
"Black helicopter? Heavily armed?" Dupree yell over the wind and churning water.
"Friends of yours?"
"Not really. It seems we weren't invited to the party."
"Party crasher!" he jokes trying to relieve some of the stress and tension. He doesn't know if it helps any so he just tightens his grip and hopes his partner has a plan.
Dupree smiles despite their current situation. Leave it to Jonathan to make a joke. He is a hard man to warm up to but once you do he is full of fun. She only hopes to make it out alive to enjoy that fun. She pushes the throttle to its max, pushing the Jet Ski for all it has.
The attack helicopter steadily gains on the two agents. Once it is in firing range it begins sending a stream of bullets in their direction. When the first set of bullets impacts the water around them, Dupree throws the small machine into a series of erratic behavior dodging left and right at random.
Bullets hit the water spraying the two agents sometimes too close for their comfort. From what she can determine they are still sixty meters from the shore line and there is going to be no way for them to make it. Even if they did, once on foot it would only take seconds to gun them down. It is then an idea formed.
"How well can you hold your breath?" she yells back at Stone.
He smiles and says, "I've been holding it all night!"
"Good! When I say jump, you drop into the water in your best impression of being shot!"
She waits until the next volley of gunfire comes then gives him the order to jump. The bullets slam into the rear of the Jet Ski a second after Stone falls into the water. She joins him a fraction of a second later. The bullets cleave through the small watercraft and ignite the gas tank. It blows up sending pieces sprawling outward. The fireball quickly dissipates once the little bit of gas is consumed and leaves the surface scattered with wreckage.
The helicopter does a couple passes scanning the water. Once the occupants are certain neither agent lives to see another day, it turns and heads back to the super yacht. Dupree and Stone's heads break the surface seconds later.
"Somebody wants us dead," Stone remarks.
"I don't think we were necessarily the targets."
"Excuse me? Nobody chases you in a helicopter and not want you dead."
"They were there specifically for Baldur. When they stumbled onto me the guy asked what he needed to do with me. I don't think they expected us there."
"It's going to be hard to cover that up then."
They are looking at the ship in silence when in the distance the helicopter lifts off the pad and heads away from both them and the ship. Fifteen seconds later the entire ship erupts into a massive fireball.
The agents shield their eyes, dropping them seconds later when the ship stops erupting in explosions.
"Not too hard," Dupree says. "Think you can swim?"
"Think you can keep up?"
Back at their hotel Dupree sets to work on stitching her partner's leg. While Dupree herself doesn't suffer from any major injuries, she does have bruises that are going to take awhile to heal.
"Nasty gash you got," she remarks after making him take off his pants.
"It's nothing," Stone says adding a little bit of pride to his voice. "Only a flesh wound."
Dupree's only reaction is a smirk which she makes clear for him to see. She goes to work on his leg with a threaded needle and receives a reaction she never would have expected.
"Oww! Where the hell did you learn to fix wounds?"
Oh come on you big baby," she says. "I wouldn't take you as someone without a threshold for pain."
"Oh I can handle pain, but this," he emphasizes his point gesturing at his leg with his hands waving. "This is something else entirely."
"Well then let's talk about something to take your mind off it," she offers. "What's the most unusual thing you have ever done?"
"The most unusual?"
"That is what I asked."
Stone lays back and thinks for a moment wincing each time the needle digs into flesh. "When I was fourteen I fucked my sister."
Dupree pauses and looks at him with uncertainty. She has known him to be a wise guy, but still she can never be too sure. "Are you serious?"
"I am." The look on his face says just as much. Dupree is also good at reading people and can tell when someone is lying. Stone isn't lying.
"That's, um, odd," she says not sure exactly what to think about it.
"She was sixteen and we were both virgins. We figured it was best to lose something like that to each other than someone else," he offers as an explanation. "If you saw my sister you'd even think she was hot."
"Still an odd choice to make." She comments.
"Yeah, but it in a way helped us decide our course of sexuality."
"Well, I was more open to talking with girls and got laid more often then I probably would have before and my sister stayed celibate until she got married."
"So you scarred her," Dupree says smiling.
Stone laughs. "Not at all. We did it a few more times after that," he says adding that same hint of pride once more to his voice. "She later told me she just hadn't found anyone worth trying it with again. That is until she met her husband."
"Well once your leg heals you'll be ready to please more of the ladies." She taps his leg and stands up.
Stone examines the wound and lets out a low whistle. "Not bad. Not bad at all doc. Do you think it will leave a scar?"
"If I'd known you wanted a wicked scar I wouldn't have sown in a straight line." She smiles and Stone returns it in kind. "I'm going to hit the shower. Why don't you call Grines and give him an update."