Crash and Burn - Chapter 21: Po'ipu mua

“...Navy SEAL is a dangerous calling. Very prone to accidents. I’d be careful, if I were you, agent Logan.”

Reena’s eyes snapped open and she huffed into the darkness. “Rats. There goes my beauty sleep. Again.”

She really should stop having that stupid nightmare. It’s been getting worse ever since she’s set the trap for Wo Fat. It was probably due to all the waiting. The guy really took his time, didn’t he?

She fluffed the pillow under her head, entwined her fingers on her stomach. A glance at her alarm clock told her it was just a little after one in the morning. Now what? Should she read? Listen to music? Watch a movie? Go down into the basement and kick the crap out of her sandbag?

Get up and investigate that subtle noise?

Reena blocked the sound of the surf coming in through her open window, strained her ears. There it was. That soft scratching noise.

She slowly sat up in bed, slowly opened her bedside drawer and pulled out her gun. She didn’t have a pet, and this was too posh a house to have rodents. At least she hasn’t heard any rodents scratching around until tonight. Which meant this was a rodent of a two-legged variety.

She swung her legs over her bed, rolled her eyes at Wo Fat’s lousy timing. If she were a criminal mastermind, she’d get things done sooner, not wait for more than a week. What a loser.

Padding barefoot out of her room, and down the hallway to the other side of the house, and her den, Reena inhaled and exhaled slowly, regularly, bringing her heart-beat down, focusing on the sounds around her. Focusing on any possible traps, on any possible intruder lurking in the deep shadows.

There was just the sound of tapping coming out of her den.

She grinned. Show time.

The door was open, her intruder sitting pretty as you please at her desk, gaining access to her computer. Well, trying to, it didn’t look like the attempts were successful.

“Dobroye utro, Jelena,” she said, her hand steady as she pointed her gun.

Jelena Zagorinskaya shot up from her chair, spun around, and glared at Sabrina.

Reena smiled at the startled expression on the woman’s face. Like she hadn’t been expecting her. She listened for other sounds from the house, but there was still nothing, so she decided to be polite a little longer. “Kak dyela?”

“Well, thank you.”

Reena made a moue. “Why won’t you let me practice my Russian a little longer?” She shrugged. “No matter. From where I’m standing it doesn’t look to go well at all.” She nodded toward her computer, still open on the login screen. “You do know you need a password for that, don’t you?”

Zagorinskaya scowled. “I’ll figure it out eventually.”

“Will you? Tell me, will that be while I beat the crap out of you or after I take you to jail?”

The other woman smiled evilly. “Neither.”

And Reena heard it. A scraping sound at her left. Then, a thin red beam appeared in her peripheral vision. She moved on autopilot, turned, took two shots, and her would-be killer collapsed in her living room.

The move cost her her advantage on Zagorinskaya, though. The other woman came at her like a valkyrie, kicked her gun out of her hand, and slashed forward with a vicious-looking knife. Reena sucked her stomach in, avoiding the blade by a scant inch.

Zagorinskaya, knowing victory was close with her opponent without a weapon, closed in, knife slashing, steering her away from her gun.

Reena ducked, danced out of reach, keeping one eye on Zagorinskaya and her knife and the other on her gun, mocking her from underneath her coffee table. That’s what she got for being careless. When things looked too easy shit always happened. Then her feet hit the dead guy and she went down hard.

Zagorinskaya kneeled on her opponents stomach and smirked. “This time we win.” She lifted the knife for the final blow. “I’ll make sure to say hello to your Navy SEAL.”

And Reena’s mind went blank. Blood roaring in her ears, she blocked Zagorinskaya’s wrist on the brutal downward swing, the impact sending a stinging pain up her own arm, but she could barely feel it. Another upward swing and the knife went flying. She thrust her other hand up, the heel of her palm connecting with Zagorinskaya’s nose. Cartilage crunched, blood spurted, and the Russian screeched in pain.

Swinging her legs around Jelena, Reena crossed her ankles at the woman’s throat, pressing her head back, swinging them both to the side, until she was free of Jelena’s weight on her stomach.

They rolled, grappling, fighting for the top position. Reena won. She straddled Jelena and punched her in the already-broken nose. Another punch. Another. On and on she went on autopilot, Jelena’s words ringing in her ears.

The Russian screeched in rage and pain, grabbed Reena’s hands using them to lift her upper body from the floor, and smashed her forehead into her opponents face. As Reena reeled back, Jelena brought her knees to her chest, and sent her flying back.

Reena landed on her back with a bone-jarring impact, but was on her feet a kip-up later. And not a second too late, for Jelena had stumbled toward her fallen comrade’s body and went for his weapon.

Jelena gritted her teeth, wiping blood from her eyes. She was done playing. Though the bitch deserved to die painfully, Jelena chose expediency against pleasure. She grabbed Dmitri’s automatic, swung around, and pulled the trigger.

When the hail of bullets hit the wall beside her head, Reena dove right. She slammed against the hardwood floor, pain shooting through her elbow, and slid.

Before Jelena could circle the sofa, Reena grabbed her gun, rolled onto her back and emptied her mag into the Russian.

When the woman’s body dropped, Reena lay back down, panting, sweating, and hurting, taking a few moments to do inventory. Nothing seemed to be broken, a quick glance showed no sign of bleeding. Feeling the shakes coming, she threw one arm over her eyes, weathering the adrenaline crash.

Then, when it was over, she groaningly rose to her feet, picked up the cordless phone, and, with a grimace to the destruction of her living room, dialed.

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