THE BINDING TIE

MADERLIN BIDMEAD

Disclaimers: See Part One

Feedback: As always it is more than greatfully received both good and bad maderlin@yahoo.com OR maderlin@yahoo.co.uk

Notes: I apologise for the delay in posting, and the fact that this still has a little way to go, so I am posting chapters as they are finished from here...3 more chapters left!

CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT

The black truck moved with stealth along the narrow country road.With headlights turned out and windows tinted, it was barely distinguishable form the night around it.Suddenly, without warning, the SUV veered into the surrounding woodland, disappearing in the treeline.Moving with surprising accuracy through the nigh the large vehicle managed the perilous journey without incident.Several minutes after entering the woods, it finally came to a halt, well hidden from any prying eyes.

The ignition turned off, leaving only stillness in its wake.The sounds of the night, silenced by the purring of an engine, came back with vengeance as it stopped.Crickets and night owls sang their area to the royal moon and its loyal subjects, the stars.Occasionally the giant black shell, looking like the lifeless body of a scarab, rocked slightly but left no sound.

In contrast the inside of the BMW was a hive of activity.Monitors lined one side of the interior, allowing the car to be driven in total darkness.The monitors were linked to small night vision, cameras mounted to the windshield.They also allowed the occupants to zoom in on the cabin, their objective.

"I can't see any movement around the perimeter of the house." Snake reported from his station.

"You know what?I can't see a single cop..."Even Savage, the head cynic, couldn't quite believe the fact.He scanned the area once more."I tell a lie, there's one measly car parked a little up the road.Must have powerful magnification gear.They are way too far away to do any good from there."The cogs on his head started to turn rapidly.Of all the slaves, he had the best training for this sort of thing."They must have a rapid response team very close.We're talking choppers and shit, if they don't want her running.Probably over the next ridge, close enough to get her but well hidden.The two bozo's in the car are their eyes."Four pairs of stunned eyes turned on the weasely man."What?...Hay, I got trained too."

"Alright, now we all need to stick to the plan, no heroics.We stick together."Wolf was tacking charge.

"Excuse me, I wasn't aware that we had finished the plan."Francesca was not going to be left in this damn truck.

"If you come with us, you will put us all in danger...I can't let you get hurt.Hunter would never forgive me if something happened to you!"He could see her mulling over his words.

"As we don't have much time, I'll make this brief.If I was in that house, she'd move heaven and earth to get me out, sacrific her own life.I realise that I can't be of any use on the inside but I can stay with Savage outside and play lookout.If she's really hurt, getting her out could kill her and if that happens I want to see her, talk to her one last time."Her eyes were hard, daring him to deny her this wish.And it was a wish, mot an order.

"Fine." He growled."But you stay with Savage, he runs and you run twice as fast, got it?"

"Whatever you say, boss."She couldn't help smiling, they were going to get Rhani out.

**********

Never thought I'd have to use this particular skill, pondered Wolf as he finished putting the black and green camouflage makeup over his face and hands.As warriors they had been trained in covert operations in case they were ever owned by a Master who wanted to hunt them.The ability to blend into the environment and be almost soundless would make them a much more exciting prey.Man hunting man because animals are more important, something very ironic about that.I'll have to wax philosophical about it with Hunter, later.He and the team had been much too valuable to ever worry about being used this way.

The five of them were dressed in the same outfits; black combat pants, tight black sweaters and black caps.Snake, Savage, Meg and Wolf each had a small handgun tucked into a small holster at the small of their backs and a hunting knife in their boots.Francesca didn't have a weapon, the bodyguards didn't want to put temptation in her way.There was no telling what the hot headed young woman would do to defend her love.

They had hedged the truck closer to the site of the cabin, they were now able to make out the lights from the windows through the trees, yet they were still concealed.They were at least six rows of trees between them and the log house.They would have to get closer on foot, or in this case, on belly.That way they stood little chance of moving the foliage and drawing attention to themselves.With all the screens inside turned off and the lights out, they were thrown into total darkness.Carefully Meg pulled open the door, which slid back on silent hinges.Soon they were all out of the safety of the shell and heading towards danger.

Wolf kept a careful eye on the heiress, although he needn't have.She kept low to the ground, unashamedly grovelling through the dirt with the rest of them.Her blue eyes tracked their movements, perfectly imitating what she saw with a precision that only Hunter could match. This woman could have made a fine warrior under different circumstances.Wolf was glad that she hadn't had to find out.

They kept in single file, never speaking a word.Meg lead, and Savage took the rear.Hand gestures, barely seen in the moonlight let them know when to pause.Soon the motley band were at the edge of the trees.This created a whole new set of dangers.Between the tree line and the cabin was a short space filled with a lawn.This garden area was bathed in the nights silver light.They would be exposed until they reached the wooden structure.Once they reached the wall they would be protected in the shadows that it cast.

"We need to hustle, boys and girls.When I give the mark up and run, fast as you can to the wall and hug it."Wolf spoke quickly and quietly.He waited for their affirmative nod before bracing himself for action.I hope the cops are too busy dunking doughnuts to notice us.

With a swift hand gesture from the large man they were off.Almost as one they sprinted the short distance, soon coming into contact with the cool side of the building.Taking deep breaths to calm her racing heart, Francesca felt a sense of elation.She was really doing this.She was helping to rescue the love of her life.For a change she wasn't the damsel in distress, no longer weak and powerless. In her heart she knew that she had these brave souls who stood beside her, to thank for her newfound confidence. 

Cautiously they slid around the building, looking into windows to try and find the location of the enemy.They moved past bedrooms, kitchen and dining room, before they found what they were looking for.There, in the lounge room was Hunter.She laid on the floor in a near foetal position.A toppled wheelchair was behind her and a tall blond woman stood over her.From outside they couldn't hear what she was saying, but she was obviously angry from the set of her shoulders.

Suddenly she turned to face the window.The five of them ducked out of the way just in time, remaining unseen.Before they ducked, Meg got a glimpse at the woman on the other side of the glass.The face was totally different, but she would know those eyes anywhere.Every slave that had ever fought with Hunter had seen those eyes.Pictures of that woman were circulated to them all, one of her smiling and happy, the other of her lifeless corpse.It was a lesson.Do as we say or die.Those blue eyes were unmistakable.

"Its Jordan."She mouthed the word, her face showing in the light spilling out of the window.All eyes widened in shock and confusion, before resolve once again settled firmly within them.They had to put this old ghost to rest.

**********

The back door was unlocked, a fact that surprised them all.That this woman, so adapt at running and hiding would be so careless.On the other hand, she obvious felt that she had nothing to fear.In the last few months she had outwitted the police at every turn and had no realise to believe that they had even found her current location.Placing a firm hold on the handle, her softly pushed it inwards.

It was time.With the door fully open, the three of them made there way into the dark kitchen with the skill of a swat team.They closed the door behind them, preventing any stray wildlife or cool air in to give them away.They moved through the house, it was a slow process, they could not storm in.If they did that they would put their friends life at stake.They left the kitchen and entered that dinning room.

Outside Francesca waited.Savage sat, almost negligently by the door.He was star gazing.Francesca didn't know how he could be so off hand with the lives of his friends hanging in the balance.On the other hand, the strange, slightly sinister man by her side, didn't seem to care all that much about the people he lived with.In fact he had been very loyal to Douglas.He definitely wasn't the noble warrior that the others were, this man was a mercenary.

Savage was pleased that he didn't have to go into the house.He was all for saving the short fighter, but not at risk to himself.He barely wanted to risk his existence for the people who owned him, so he certainly wasn't going to do it for people he only just like.And sitting in the moonlight with a very beautiful woman was something not to be sneezed at.He checked on her quickly and noticed her moving towards a window a little further along this side of the building.Catching her eye, he mouthed Žbe careful' and received a chagrined smile in thanks.

If she wants to see what's going on, more power to her.As long as I can see her, she can do exactly what she wants.He pulled his eyes away from the brunettes butt and kept his eye on the door.

**********

The sloppily dressed, fat man let out a sigh of relief as an arc of warm amber liquid hit the dirt.There was just no way he could have sat another minute in that car without his bladder exploding.Ned had enough problems in his life without adding bladder problems to the list.Yeah, just what I need, incontinence and a nagging wife. So there he stood, in the middle of the night, taking a leak in the woods.Getting back to nature.

Phil was still sitting in the car.The younger officer had pushed his chair back as far as it would go.He had his booted feet up on the dash and a cup of cold coffee balanced on his stomach.He did keep his eye on the feed from the house.As he was glancing around the confines of their temporary home, he caught a flicker of movement in the corner of his eye.The young man straightened in his seat and peered more closely at the picture.

"Ned!"

"Can't a man even piss in peace?"His question was purely rhetorical."What?"

"I can see something at the cabin, I don't know what it is, but there is a large shadow by the side of the building.I think somebody is out there."Ned fastened his trousers with an audible zip.

"Show me..."The screen was tilted to him.He looked carefully at the picture. There was definitely something there."We need to call in reinforcements.If she has backup, or if that is her we need help, stat!"

Phil didn't need to be told twice.He picked up the radio and made the call.

**********

Pausing in her tirade, the tall blond looked at the fallen woman in front of her.How had that happened?She didn't remember knocking Hunter to the floor.They had been talking, as they did most evenings.Then they had started to kiss.Now the injured woman was on the floor, looking like a broken toy.

With her breathing coming back to normal, and the haze clearing from her mind, Jordan could still not recall why the other woman was out of her chair.She must have fallen.I'll help her.She knelt down beside her downed lover she tenderly ran her fingers along the side of her scarred cheek.Hunter moaned softly in response.With practiced ease She used one hand to put the chair back on its wheels, while using the other to put the warrior in a sitting position.

Getting to her feet, Jordan hoisted the sturdy body of the other woman back into the leather embrace of her wheelchair.The chair was then placed back in front of the television.The ex-cop noticed a small trickle of blood at the corner of soft lips.

"I'll have to get you a band aid, baby."Hunter nodded feebly.

Jordan turned to leave the room, but a foreign sound caught her attention.It was barely noticeable, but this was a woman on the edge.She was on constant vigil, ready to run.Years of chasing criminals had heightened her senses to be almost as acute the other woman's.The feint click was definitely out of place.If I didn't know better, I'd say it was a gun.She wasn't about to take any chances.She pulled the key to the bureau out of her pocket and unlocked a draw.From the recesses of the wood she pulled her firearm.

Hunter was too out of it to made any sound.She barely realised what the other woman was doing until she crept out of the room.Not having heard the faint nose through the pounding of blood in her head and pain in her limbs, she had no idea what Jordan was doing.Maybe she's going to shoot me, put me out of my misery.It wasn't an unpleasant thought.

Jordan left the lounge and with a soft tread on the thick carpet of the hallway, made her way towards the sound.It had come from the direction of the dinning room, so that would be her first stop.The carpet muffled all sound as she made her way to the partially open door.The lights were off, to protect her from view.The room was accessible from both the kitchen and the hallway, and as she watched three figures were making their way to the hallway.

She couldn't see their faces, but that didn't matter.they were here to take Hunter away and that would never happen again.She had fought to hard to rescue her from the evils of the world.She had set her free and nobody was going to make her go back to a life of drudgery and orders. 

She raised the gun in her hand and fired at the first intruder.The blast from the gun flared brightly in the room before the body fell to the floor with a thud.In rapid succession the other two fell.She didn't even allow them to raise there weapons.They all lay unconscious on the floor.She could just make out the stain spreading over the floor beneath them.

"That'll teach them not to send people after me."She pulled the door closed and flipped on the light."Looks like its time to move on, again.They won't send another wave until they get a report from these clowns....Cops are so predictable."

TBC in Part 18


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