Crash and Burn - Chapter 24: Po'ipu lua

4347 Summer Street, Kuli'ou'ou, Honolulu

As she drove past the Edwards’ residence, she didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. The gate was closed, their car was in the driveway...But she decided to play it cool nevertheless. She stashed her bike a few houses down and circled around back.

She peeked over the wall and everything inside her went cold. As much as it all appeared normal from the front, the backyard was anything but. Three members of Edwards’ private security detail lay unmoving on the grass.

Reena ducked and called HPD for backup. She didn’t get good news.

“There’s an armed robbery in process at the First Hawaiian Bank. We have two officers down. All available units have been dispatched.”

Of course. She could bet her bike on the fact the shakedown wasn’t strictly an armed robbery. What better way to get the entire force in one place—on the other side of town, than by shooting two of their own. Another diversion.

She had no more time to waste. She silenced her phone, stuck it in into her pocket, and vaulted the wall. When she neared the first body, she knew she wouldn’t have to bother with feeling for the pulse. His throat had been slit. Wo Fat certainly loved recruiting knife-wielding thugs.

A quick check showed they hadn’t bothered with taking his weapon. She grimaced at closer inspection. The nine mil was equipped with a silencer. Who did these bodyguards think they were, the mafia? You didn’t bother with being silent when your charge was in danger. She stuck the gun in the back of her cargos just in case anyway.

As she slowly moved toward the house, she checked the other two. They’d received the same treatment. She had no idea exactly how many bodyguards Edwards has hired, but she was sure they’ve all fared the same.

Her thoughts were confirmed as she peered through the open back door. One man, his throat slit, lay in the kitchen. She quickly cleared it, and slowly peered through the door into the narrow hall. Empty as well. She guessed they weren’t worried about any surprise interruptions.

She moved quickly and silently toward the back of the house, when she heard Grace William’s cry out, “No! Let go of my mommy! Let her go!” Then a calm promise, “Danno will kill you.”

And Reena clicked an imaginary switch and streams of thought stopped, her mind went blank. Until there was nothing but her slow, regular heart-beat and the Yakuza member lounging against the wall a few feet away from her, thinking he had everything in his line of sight.

He had another thing coming. She replaced her own gun with the one she’d taken from the dead bodyguard, dropped to the floor, and slid a few inches forward, enough to fit the silencer between the wall and the large flower plant in front of her.

Taking a slow breath, she closed her eyes, found her center, opened them again, and squeezed the trigger. Leaving the gun with a soft pfft, the nine millimeter round crashed into his throat at eleven hundred feet per second, severing the spinal cord and obliterating his brain stem. Very Miami Vice—the movie—but it worked. He went down without a twitch, the plush carpet effectively muffling his impact.

Reena didn’t allow herself to dwell on the fact she’s just killed a man in cold-blood. There would be plenty of time for that later. She was on autopilot, the only thing that mattered at the moment was keeping the family safe.

There was one more Yakuza stationed in the living room, this one a bit more alert than his colleague. He saw her before she could duck, yelled a warning, and started shooting.

When he emptied his mag, Reena went in low, hitting him in the stomach, and they both went sprawling. She was faster to gain her feet. She pulled her own gun and pumped three rounds in his throat before he could blink.

She quickly pivoted, gun pointed at the doorway, waiting for the guy’s backup. None came. There were only three. Good. Less work for her.

She stuck the man’s vicious-looking switchblade in her pocket, and then, gun loosely held in her hand, slowly moved toward the living room. Gun first, she checked the corners, before training the weapon on the scarred man holding a Glock against Rachel Edwards’ belly.

“One move and I kill her.”

Ignoring Rachel’s gasp, Reena smirked. “You’d have to aim a little higher for that.”

“Shut up!” he snarled. “I’ll kill the baby.”

She shrugged. “You kill the baby, I kill you. You kill the lady, I kill you. Either way you’re dead. Works for me.”

Rachel started sobbing, tears streaming down her cheeks as she stared accusingly at Sabrina Logan. How could the woman calmly stand there discussing her baby’s death like it was nothing. She looked so cold, so detached, like she truly didn’t care.

Reena ignored her, she had to if she wanted to keep them all safe, her hand steady as she aimed it at Scarface’s head. “Drop the gun, shonen, and I just might let you live. I can even offer you protection from your boss. I don’t think Wo Fat will take your failure lightly.”

He sneered. “I didn’t fail, bitch.” He pressed the gun more firmly against Rachel’s belly. “Vengeance will be his.”

Reena rolled her eyes and said softly, “Gracie, turn away. Stan, don’t let her watch.”

Scarface narrowed his eyes. “What are you planning to do, huh? Kill me?”

“Rachel, close your eyes and don’t move.”

“You can’t kill me,” Scarface raged. “I’ll kill the—”

A boom reverberated off the walls and windows in the living room and Scarface collapsed in a boneless heap on the carpet, a hole in his throat, his gun useless in his limp grip.

Feeling a light touch on her hand, Rachel opened her eyes to meet Sabrina’s soft gaze. There was a riot of emotions in those gray eyes and Rachel felt ashamed for thinking this woman was cold.

“Are you okay?” Reena asked softly.

“Y-yes,” she stammered. “Yes, thank you.”

A small smile. “You’re welcome.” Reena nodded toward Grace, huddled in Stan’s lap. “Go to your daughter.” She walked toward the doorway. “Then we’ll get out—”

An inhuman roar interrupted her and she watched as an enormous Samoan dude charged toward her. It was surreal, almost as if watching a move in slow motion...Then he slammed his shoulder into her midsection, lifted her off her feet, and threw her against the wall.

She tasted blood as her gun clattered toward a corner of the room. Before she could slide to the floor, he picked her up again, lifted her over his head in a weightlifter’s pose, and sent her flying again. She heard Rachel shriek and Grace burst into tears again, when she hit the bookcase full force.

Damn, the guy was strong, throwing her left and right like a sack of potatoes. She rolled onto her knees with a groan—she didn’t stand a chance against a mountain, but she sure could try to hurt him, when he was beside her once more.

Another inhuman roar—apparently he was unable to communicate in any other way—and she was up in the air again. But this time he didn’t throw her, he simply slammed her down on top of the coffee table. The measly thing didn’t stand a chance against such brute force. It literally disintegrated underneath her.

Reena gathered what was left of her strength to kick him where it hurt most—if one wasn’t an eunuch, but he squelched her rebellion before it started by straddling her. Her ribs protested, and were soon joined by her lungs, when the behemoth lowered his entire weight on top of her.

She tried to imagine how they must look like with him sitting on top of her, she was sure the image was hilarious, when he circled her neck with his fingers and started squeezing.

She thrashed under him, her punches, already feeble against his size, getting weaker, her lungs screaming for oxygen, her vision filled with his grimace-like grin. She adamantly refused to die with his face being the last thing she saw. Then she remembered the knife she’d taken off his cohort. Her own was too far to reach, tucked in her boot.

She strained, got the knife out of her pocket, pressed the button, and sank the blade in his throat.

He chortled, narrowed his eyes, and squeezed harder.

Reena clawed at his hands, tried to claw at his eyes, but couldn’t muster the strength to lift her arms. Black dots appeared before her eyes, growing bigger, merging. She opened her mouth, desperate to draw a breath...

And everything went black.

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