Warning: There’s violence in this chapter and the next chapters will be worse.
The sun was just starting to come up and it was peaking through the filthy windows, its beams pouring down on the three panicking boys, making the whole scene seem a lot sunnier than it actually was. Julian raked his hands through his hair, his eyes huge as he watched Derek and Logan move through the room.
“What are we going to do?”
Logan grunted a curse and he zipped his bag open, reaching inside and pulling out a couple of guns. He threw one to Derek, who caught it in surprise, and handed another one to Julian, green eyes looking doubtful as the actor grabbed it without hesitation.
“Do you two even know how to shoot?” the sniper asked urgently, slinging the bag over his shoulder and hooking some of his guns to his belt. The sunlight was playing in his hair and it looked more golden than the sun itself at the moment. Logan’s silhouette—his broad shoulders, his muscled arms, his long legs—was sharply outlined as he stood in front of the window, and Julian found it difficult to look away.
Logan noticed the actor’s preoccupation and when he normally would’ve made a cocky comment, he got annoyed now. They didn’t have time for things like this and Logan snapped his fingers impatiently, making brown eyes flash back to focus.
“Attention, Larson! Please pay me some of your almighty attention if you want to survive this—”
Julian glared at him, crossing his arms defiantly. “Fuck off, Wright,” he sneered, forcing himself to focus on Logan’s words and not on his lips.
Derek was watching the two with a slightly amused expression, but when they heard cars pulling up outside, the amusement disappeared at once. They immediately dove out of sight of the open windows, hearts in their throats, clutching their guns tightly.
“So, do you know how to shoot?” Logan whispered sharply, pushing the other two boys around a corner that led to a hallway. “I need to know this, guys.”
“I know how to shoot!” Julian hissed back and he cocked his gun as if to prove his point.
“When have you ever learned how to shoot?” Logan retorted irritably, not believing the spoiled actor for a second.
“In action movies—”
“Are you fucking kidding me? This isn’t a movie, Julian!”
“They made me take shooting lessons, so I could get more into my character! And I brought Derek with me, so yeah—I know how to shoot!” Julian snapped angrily, gesturing to Derek, who nodded in agreement.
“We were the best in our class,” Derek added, traces of a smug grin on his face.
Logan stared at the two for a moment, disbelief coloring his expression. But when Julian and Derek just stared back and didn’t deny anything, he rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I’ll just have to believe it then, I guess,” he mumbled, pushing Julian back and peaking around the wall toward the front door.
“You sure they’re coming in through the front door?” Derek asked. “I mean, isn’t there a back door, too? And windows…?”
“Shut up, I know what I’m d—,” Logan hushed, but he got interrupted when Julian suddenly gasped and hit him hard in his chest. “Ow, fuck, Julian—what the hell—?”
“Shadows!” Julian whispered, hand trembling as he pointed to the windows. Even though there were dark curtains hanging in front of the windows, they were so battered and torn that the fabric still let through light. There were shadows gliding over the old floor in the room, indicating the presence of people outside. “Oh god,” Julian looked nauseous as he stared in absolute horror at the dark shapes.
Derek grasped his wrist, unconsciously pulling his friend closer as he looked around at Logan. The young sniper was studying the movements behind the curtains carefully, expression cold and calculating.
“What are we going to do now, Lo?”
Logan merely shook his head, tearing his eyes away from the windows and gazing around the room, not trying to show his growing distress as he searched for an escape, for a way out… but he came up empty.
And at that moment, the front door blasted open with a gigantic slam, the wood splintering and the hinges falling off with another loud crack. Logan cursed, pushing Derek and Julian back as they watched men bursting in, carrying guns and grim expressions. Julian hissed in fear, his hand reaching out and grabbing Logan’s arm as they slowly walked backwards.
“Okay, here’s what’s going to happen,” Logan whispered as the men continued to barge into the house. “We’re going to sneak upstairs… and maybe we can escape via the roof or something—”
“—maybe—” Derek looked pale.
Logan took a shuddering breath. “A big maybe. Alright, listen to me. Keep your eyes open, if you see anything move, shoot. If you hear anything, shoot. I don’t care if you’re unsure about it, you just shoot, okay? Because if you don’t shoot first, they will. Don’t ever hesitate.”
Julian and Derek nodded, their faces lined with worry and stress, and both gripped their guns tighter.
“Okay then,” Logan eyed the staircase in the hallway, not far from the front door, but well out of sight of the intruders. He could hear the heavy footsteps of Clavell’s men vibrate through the entire building as they searched the ground floor. “Be fast and careful, guys. We have to go… now—!” and he lunged forward, both his friends on his heels as they sprinted through the hallway and fled up the stairs.
The staircase was old and their footsteps were louder than they’d imagined, the cracking of the steps echoing throughout the house. Derek and Julian winced and looked at each other with wide eyes, almost stopping if it weren’t for Logan, who set his hands in their backs and pushed them further.
“They heard us,” Logan shoved Julian impatiently and the actor almost tripped on the steps, his free hand barely grabbing the banister in time to keep him on his feet. “Faster, faster—guys, movefaster!”
Men were running into the hallway just as the trio set foot on the first floor and dashed away from their sight. But Clavell’s men had caught a quick glimpse of them and they started yelling, their screams and demands to look everywhere bounding through the entire house.
Logan grabbed Derek and Julian by their sleeves and pulled them through the landing, pushing a door open on good luck and barging in. To their surprise they stumbled in yet another hallway and Julian cursed as he quickly closed the door behind him.
“This house is too big! It’s like a freaking maze, we’ll never find a way out!”
“Shh!” Logan hissed and he urged his friends to start running again, determined to get out of here alive. Determined to get at least his friends out of here alive… he owed them that much.
The boys had never gotten the chance to investigate the house and Logan was regretting that now, for he had no idea which way he was running, no idea whether this was a safe way to go; he had no idea how to get out of here alive. When they rounded a corner and stumbled on yet another staircase, leading to the ground floor again, Logan swore loudly and wheeled around again.
There was no way they could go back through the hallway, though, for there were furious footsteps coming from that direction; fast and menacing as they reverberated through the corridor. Julian was gripping Derek’s arm so tightly and his brown eyes were so wide with fear that it broke Logan’s heart, but he had to make a decision and he had to make one now.
Looking around feverishly—the hallway behind them, the staircase, and the few doors that certainly led to rooms without a way to escape—he gestured with his gun to Derek and Julian, beckoning them closer.
Time was running out. Yet again.
“We’re going to the ground floor, we’re going to the living room and we’re going to fight our way out. We’re getting out of this, okay?” Logan’s piercing gaze swiveled back and forth between Derek and Julian, who were both looking at him with terrified yet determined expressions, putting their complete trust in their long lost best friend, now a trained sniper with absolute knowledge about these kind of situations.
The footsteps in the hallway were getting louder though, and Logan realized that they didn’t have enough time to get off the staircase safely. Not with those men so closely on their heels, not with the barrels of their guns breathing down their necks… He bit his lip as he tried to control his heavy breathing.
“Change of plans. You two go,” he whispered decisively, moving to stand in front of his friends, facing the hallway, his gun ready. The footsteps were so close now… so, so close…
“What…?” Julian was panicking and he was looking at Logan with large, wild eyes. “No—what?”
“Just go!” Logan snapped and he turned the two around by their shoulders, almost pushing them off the stairs. Derek tripped and it was all Julian could do keep him from falling off the steps. “Go, don’t look back, just go!” Logan roared just as the first men appeared from behind the corner. They immediately started yelling, eyes glinting violently, aiming their guns with precision—
“Fucking go, Julian!”
The first gunshots were like ferocious thunder cracking through the sky in a furious hurricane—the sounds booming through the old house as if through a scared forest, making the abandoned building tremble and shiver on its foundations, making everyone inside alert, ready, and anticipating.
The first gunshots weren’t from Clavell’s men.
Logan’s eyes were a furious green as they stared coldly at the two fallen men on the floor, blood already forming pools under their still bodies, the sunlight falling through the windows giving the red liquid an odd, macabre glow.
Behind the sniper, two separate gasps sliced the air. Logan didn’t turn around, just cocked his gun again and snapped at his friends to “get the fuck out of here!” and to “run, goddamnit!”. Finally, Logan heard them run off the stairs, so fast they could’ve been falling off. The sound of different running announced the presence of even more of Clavell’s men, and Logan pressed his lips in a thin line as three of them came to a stop before him. Having heard the gunshots and seeing their comrades lying dead on the floor, the men didn’t hesitate as they aimed their guns and started shooting at the blond.
Logan ducked immediately as the bullets flew over his head, drilling into the wall behind him, narrowly missing his head. Beneath him, he heard a yell that could only come from Julian and he had to fight the urge to look around, to run down that stairs and help his friends out.
But his attention was acquired somewhere else. And even though he had to use every ounce of willpower he possessed to not wheel around and see how his friends were doing—to see howJulian was doing—he kept standing, convincing himself that they were strong and smart enough to keep each other safe.
Logan had his own fight to win.
The men underestimated him. They were far older than Logan and they were laughing derisively as they almost casually aimed their guns for the second time, having no idea of the experience of the young sniper, having no idea that he’d killed far more people than they’d ever had.
Logan didn’t even blink as he pulled a second gun from his belt, raised his arms and cocked both guns. Giving the men no chance to run or to even think about the danger they were in, he narrowed his eyes and pulled the two triggers at the same time, the thunderous sounds tearing through the room viciously. The one living man yelled and screamed in fury as his two companions sagged onto the floor, their last gurgling breaths barely audible, the blood streaming rapidly out of their bodies.
“No!” Wild with anger and frustration, the man didn’t even aim when he raised his gun and shot at the blond.
Logan whirled around as he tried to avoid the bullet, groaning when he didn’t duck in time and it grazed his shoulder, leaving a shallow wound that stung viciously. He gasped and cupped the wound with his hand, blood already oozing out, leaking from between his fingers and staining his clothes.
“I’m going to kill you!” the man screamed and his gun rose again, both of his hands around the cold metal, his expression absolutely livid.
Logan was faster.
While holding his hand on the wound in his shoulder, the young sniper raised his hurt arm and pulled the trigger in the same second, not needing much time to aim properly. The bullet cut the air almost gracefully, digging into the man’s chest before he’d had the chance to even cock his gun.
Without waiting for him to collapse, Logan had already turned around and he was dashing off down the stairs, worried sick for Derek and Julian. When he got downstairs, his feet immediately got soaked in blood and he looked around the room in shock, feeling sick to his stomach as he took in the scene. A few bodies lay limply on the floor, covered in blood and dirt, and he realized that he’d completely missed the shooting going on here with everything that had been going on upstairs.
Not wanting to give away his position, Logan didn’t call out, instead stalking noiselessly through the destroyed living room and checking all the hallways attached to it. The sudden silence was so different than the loud chaos from just moments ago, it sounded deafening and dangerous, and it chilled him to the bone.
When someone tentatively touched his shoulder, Logan whirled around, fully intending to blow off that person’s head. He nearly had a heart attack when he saw wide sepia eyes staring right back at him.
“Don’t shoot,” Julian whispered, voice hoarse and scared, his eyes so wide and dark that Logan could see his own reflection in them. “Don’t shoot.”
The blond panted, lowering his gun and closing his eyes in relief. “Screw you, Julian—don’t sneak up on me like that. I nearly blew your head off-” his green eyes flew open again, scanning the actor for injuries. “Are you alright? Are you hurt? Where’s Derek?”
Julian bit his lip and shook his head. “I don’t know. We had a fight with those guys and we got separated and he ran off somewhere. Shit, Lo—” he raked his hand through his hair, making brown strands stand up everywhere. His face was flustered and there was blood on his clothes and skin. “What are we going to do?” Then his gaze fell on Logan’s arm and his eyes widened in shock as he reached out towards his friend. “What happened to you? Did they shoot you—?”
Logan was just about to shake his head and comfort the stunned actor, when a loud voice boomed through the bloodied room and both boys wheeled around at once.
“Logan Wright! I know you’re there, you disobedient, conceited asshole!”
Despite his fear, Julian frowned, his eyes narrowing as he tried to spot the person that was talking. “I know that voice…” he mumbled, more to himself than to Logan.
Logan wasn’t going to give the speaker a chance to show his face though, because he recognized that voice too and he knew very well what its owner could do to them. He grabbed Julian by his elbow and turned around, making a dash in the opposite direction.
“Come on, come on,” he snapped when the actor tripped and almost fell over. “We have to go or we’re dead. Fuck, he’s here. Why is he here?”
“Who’s here?” Julian panted, hating to be left in the dark, hating not to know everything that was going on.
“The man who wants you dead,” Logan’s breath was heavy as they opened a door and ran into another huge room. “The man who hired me to kill you,” there were several doors on the sides of the room and Logan glared at them in frustration. “The one who set all these men up to hunt us down and kill us,” he continued as he dragged Julian to one of the doors and opened it forcefully.
“But who is he? Why would he want me dead?” Julian pressed, watching as Logan closed the door to the closet furiously and reached out to the one next to it.
“I don’t fucking know, Julian! All I know is that Clavell wants you dead because of “personal” reasons, whatever the hell that means—”
This door opened to another room and Logan reached behind him to grab hold of Julian again—only to see the actor standing rooted to the floor, his eyes so big they swallowed his face, his breathing fast and irregular as he stared at Logan in utter shock.
“Julian? What the hell are you doing, we have to go,” Logan snapped, but Julian didn’t move.
“What—what did you say? What’s his name—?” the actor croaked.
Logan frowned, starting to get annoyed and impatient with the actor who was, yet again, showing his inner drama queen. “Julian, we don’t have time for this—”
“What was his name, Logan?”
Logan exhaled sharply. “His name is Clavell, Julian, I just said that. Are you happy now? Can we go now? You know, to save our lives? What’s the matter with you? We have to go. We are dead if we do not run right now!”
“Adam Clavell? Is—is his name Adam Clavell?” Julian whispered, his voice breaking when he spoke out that name.
When Logan nodded shortly, confused and agitated, Julian groaned and he buried his face in his hands. “No, no, no—”
“Julian, what the hell—?”
“That’s not possible, Logan!” Julian suddenly burst out, kicking the wall in a horrible rage. “He was dead, Derek killed him! Why is he alive? What is he doing here?” His expression went from scared, to furious, to horrified in a split second, and Logan got only more confused from watching the display of emotions. “Where is Derek?” Julian choked out, all the color draining from his face. “Ohgod, Derek shot him, Derek shot him, Logan! Where is Derek?”
“What the hell is going on?” Logan lunged at the actor, grabbed him by his shoulders and shook him violently. “What the fuck are you doing? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but our lives are in fucking danger, Larson! Get a grip on yourself! We have to move!”
“He was my stalker!” Julian screamed, not calming down at all, his heart thumping so fast it hurt, his breath stuck in his throat. “He was my stalker! When I was nineteen and he wanted to kill me and—and—Derek, Derek shot him—” He was hyperventilating. “Oh my god, fuck no—no no no no—fuck!”
And then everything clicked in Logan’s mind, and he remembered the conversation from what seemed like ages ago. He remembered a picture, the paper old and wrinkling in his tight grasp, dark eyes and a careless smile staring up at him. And he remembered the confusion.
“You want me to assassinate one of the most famous stars in Hollywood?”
The hateful sneer, the twinkle of something sad and passionate behind dark, furious eyes…
“You want me dead?”
“I want you to do whatever it takes.”
Logan closed his eyes and shook his head, almost as if he wanted to deny it… even though he knew it was all true.
“You’ve got to be kidding me, Julian… Your stalker?”
But Julian looked up at him, brown eyes wide and scared and so honest it hurt Logan’s chest.
“Why the prima donna?”
Clavell’s furious determination, his passion that had crossed the line to obsession a long time ago, his unfathomable fury…
“Fuck,” Logan breathed. A long time ago—it seemed like a lifetime—he would’ve been glad to figure out the reason behind Clavell’s demands, but at this moment and with those sepia eyes boring into his, he felt sick and violated.
Julian shook his head and he stepped forward, his fear obvious when he asked in a trembling voice the one question that was his highest priority right now—
“Logan. Where is Derek?”