I reach out and grip his neck, bringing his lips to mine, kissing him brief and hard before standing and gliding to the door. Vlad joins me, pulling his guns out. He carries .45's, and I've never seen him miss.
"Anyone got a cell phone?"
"I do," Shannon says, pulling her phone out of her bra.
"Rhett, call Monroe. We're going to need an ambulance and cleanup crew."
"Yeah, only one left wounded will be Dresden."
"No mercy?" Rhett says smiling. His green eyes shine.
"No mercy, Adder. Vlad and I are Romanian . . . duh."
"You got it," Rhett laughs, moving to Shannon's side.
I throw open the door, stepping into the hall. To my right stands a mammoth of a man, three times my size. I raise my guns and let loose a barrage of bullets hitting him in the chest and head. He drops to the ground with a thud. Gunfire sounds behind me, and glancing over my shoulder, Vlad's arms point toward the other end of the hall.
Here we go . . .
Moving into the main room, Vlad and I come face to face with fifteen assailants. Two drop with headshots as Vlad charges into the room. I fire on another, putting a bullet through his throat. They return fire.
Crouching down behind the sofa, I have a clear view of Vlad, flush against a support pillar. He nods to the main room. The tip of a shoe appears at the end of the sofa as I pull my switchblade from my pocket.
Leaping up, I grab the intruder by the arm, spin him around, and run my knife across his throat. A gunshot resounds and a hot, stinging sensation spreads through my bicep. His body sags and I hold him in front of me, using him as a shield.
"Viper, we got you on cam," Hayato says in my ear. "Were you hit?"
"Grazed, I'm fine," I growl. He reset the communicator so I wouldn't have to press the buttons. This is why Hayato is the expert, he thinks of everything.
Bullets bite into the body as I push forward. Vlad moves around the pillar, shooting down two more in rapid succession.
I throw the dead body down and grab a guy standing to my left. Driving my knife into his shoulder, he drops his gun, falling to his knees. I twist behind him, place my hands around his head and snap them toward one another; the crunch of his neck breaking vibrates through my hands.
"Behind you," Hayato yells in my ear as thick arms wrap around me.
The assailant lifts me into the air and throws me back. I hit the wall, and pain explodes through my skull, dazing me, my body slumping to the floor. I roll to the left, barely avoiding his boot as he kicks at my face. I jump to my feet, spinning to face him and throw my right arm up in time to block a punch aimed at my face.
I block two more blows and he lands one into the right side of my face followed by a kick to my knee, sprawling me on the floor next to my guns. Grasping them in my hands, I roll onto my stomach, hiding them from view. The assailant grabs my shoulder and rolls me over. I lift my guns and squeeze the triggers in rapid succession, hitting him several times in the chest.
He staggers backwards and falls, crashing into the fireplace. I take several deep breaths, trying to steady myself.
"Get up, Viper, now!" Hayato says with urgency.
I get to my feet as Vlad shoves his hunting knife through the back of someone's neck, the tip protruding from his throat. He pulls the knife out and his bracelet rattles, a faint, eerie jingle moving through the space. My eyes focus on movement behind him.
"Rattlesnake, move!" I lift my arm, firing two bullets. Vlad whips his head around in time to see a small man holding a knife drop to the floor.
"Vlad look out— "
I try to yell as we're tackled— two on him, one on me. I struggle against the mammoth of a man throwing punches into my ribs as he holds me in place by my hair. This is the reason I usually keep my hair shorter. I land three punches, but he twists me and pins me against the wall with his body, my back to his front.