Justice Page 23

’’They are breaking through from the living room,’’ Jessie warned softly. ’’I\ll cover your back, guys.’’

’’Damn it, Jessie,’’ Trey hissed. ’’Stay down and find a hole. I\ll try to cover our backs from this location.’’

He wanted her to hide. If the three men got behind Trey and Mike they would be trapped and without cover in the long entryway despite her team leader\s bluff. He knew as well as she did that they were pinned down. He\d admitted it already to everyone.

’’I\ve got your back,’’ she repeated more firmly.

She heard someone step on glass as it crunched loudly. She took deep breaths and jerked around the doorway, stepped into the hallway and crept to the end of it. She paused there, gripped her gun tightly and peeked around the corner into the living room. She raised her gun arm, saw a man stepping through the shattered window, pointed and fired. He screamed, going down. Bullets from his two companions tore up the wall near her. Jessie jerked back and ducked. The other two were already inside.

’’One down,’’ she said softly.

’’Jessie,’’ Trey hissed, ’’find a hole.’’

She ignored the order. She took another deep breath and glanced around the corner, on her knees. One of the men had inched closer to her along the living room wall. His eyes widened when he jerked his chin down to stare at her in surprise. She opened fire and two bullets hit their mark. One found purchase in his chest and the other hit him in the face. She jerked back right as she saw the third man throw himself out from behind the couch to shoot at her.

’’Two down,’’ Jessie whispered to her team. ’’One to go.’’

Jessie had an idea. ’’I\m not really shot. I\m going to fake his ass out and have him come to me. Hug the walls and make yourself smaller targets, guys. I\m sure he can\ see if you\ e in the closet area right inside the door. The cabinet should block his view of you.’’

’’Jessie!’’ Trey hissed. ’’Don\ do it.’’

’’Shut up and hug the damn wall,’’ she hissed back. She made a loud sobbing sound. ’’I\ve been shot. Oh My God. I\ve been shot. I\m dying. I can\ move. Someone help me.’’

She eased back onto her feet to duck walk as far as she could to squeeze behind the dryer. It was a tight fit while she waited. The guy obviously believed he was a better shot than he actually was. He suddenly jumped into the doorway and pointed his gun at the floor where Jessie should have been. Jessie didn\ hesitate as the man\s gun exploded when he fired at the floor feet from her. She shot him three times in the chest.

His gaze widened, his mouth opened and blood poured out before he just collapsed backward.

’’Three down,’’ Jessie got out in a shaky voice. ’’I\m checking vitals.’’

’’Don\ move, Jessie!’’ Tim roared. ’’Wait for backup.’’

Oh, he\s pissed and I\m in a world of shit. She hadn\ really had a choice though. Trey and Mike had their hands full, were pinned and both needed to hold back the jerks outside. They needed that door from the living room to the entryway secure. That meant someone had to watch their backs. That left Jessie available to watch the living room and she\d done it.

Jimmy\s voice sounded. ’’Four down. I repeat, four down. The second floor is secured. No female here.’’

Trey and Mike were still exchanging gunfire at the front door until another task-force team arrived to handle the attackers who were pinned without cover. Two of the property\s security guards were dead but another three gave up at that point. Jessie walked out from the laundry room into the hallway once an ’’all clear’’ was called.

Trey reached her first. He studied her grimly before leaning down to kiss her cheek.

’’Good job.’’

’’Two are down in the living room but I haven\ checked to see if they are still breathing.’’ She avoided looking at the dead guy in front of the laundry room door.

’’He\s definitely dead. I got him square in the face.’’

Trey glanced down. ’’Yeah, he\s a toe tagger. I\ll check vitals on the others.’’ He strode away to do that.

’’Someone\s gonna be in trouble,’’ Mike called out as he swaggered down the hallway holding his weapon cradled in his arms. ’’We were pinned down and you did good, kid. Thanks.’’

Jessie nodded.

Trey returned from the living room. ’’Make that three toe taggers. You got one in the neck and the other one in the face and chest. I think all that gun-range target practice is paying off, Jessie. The bad news is that there\s no female here. The mansion was just cleared by our teams. The garage and staff living quarters were cleared by our teams. They must have moved her before we arrived.’’

Jessie frowned. ’’They were guarding this building for a reason.’’

She spun, nearly ran and searched the lower floor. She glanced at the stairs and headed that way but Trey grabbed her arm. ’’It\s been secured, Jessie. I\m sorry. If she was here she isn\ now. I know it\s hard to accept but we missed her.’’

’’Did you find a room they would have kept her in?’’

’’No. None of the team reported that. They would have.’’

’’They were protecting something. It\s a guesthouse but it\s empty. All those bodies are security. The dead guys have patches. Why station four men at this location for no good reason and then send eight more out here?’’ She refused to give up hope.

Trey shrugged. ’’Maybe the four lived here.’’

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