Chapter Thirty-One: Mal
One Step Closer!
He winced when bullets hit the wood they were hiding behind.
"Too bloody many!" Kaden whispered as he cowered behind Mal.
Mal waited, letting the guards fire all they wanted. When there was finally a break in firing he made his move. Mal peaked out from behind the cabinet, getting his bearings, he could see the access to the staircase they were after just behind the men. Both men were reloading, it wouldn't take them long and they'd have a full clip to unload at Mal and Kaden. Not willing to let that happen, Mal took his shot. His aim was a little off apparently on one guard.
He watched as one man collapsed to the floor a bullet hole in his chest. The other man staggered back, groaning in pain, he'd dropped his weapon when he'd been shot. Mal holstered his gun and went after the man with his fists. He didn't enjoy killing, and if this guy was lucky enough to live through this then so be it. But Mal couldn't have him calling for backup while they were searching for their quarry.
It wasn't much of a fight. The guard was in too much pain to really defend himself. He did get one good punch into Mal's arm where the bullet had hit him earlier though.
Mal grunted as the pain radiated up his arm, then he knocked the guy clean out. The guard collapsed to the ground. Mal took a second to see if he was still breathing. He was.
Kaden ran up beside him and started fussing with his arm.
"We really need to get this seen to," Kaden admonished.
"We will, just not now. There's no time." Mal leaned down and placed a tender kiss to Kaden's forehead. "Thank you for worrying, but come on, we have to move."
The staircase to the left had a card swipe restricted access. Mal went back to the two guards swiped a bunch of keys and a key card from one of the men's belt.
The light on the access panel changed from red to green when he passed the card through. Mal pushed the door open and he and Kaden disappeared into the stairwell. The stairs were well-worn with years and years of use. It looked like they were using the servants stairs. The main staircase would be lavish in plain view of anyone and everyone and Mal wanted to keep off as many people's radar as possible right now.
"How do you suppose the others are going?" Kaden asked quietly as they started to make their way up to the third floor.
"I don't know. I hope no one else has been seriously injured though."
"Yeah, I hope Aegeus is going to be okay," Kaden said, a hint of sadness in his voice.
"He will be," Mal said with conviction.
"How do you know?" Kaden asked him.
"Because there's no way Edwige is going to let him die. She's a fierce little thing and I have complete faith in her abilities."
"True." Kaden offered him a smile.
They passed the second floor and kept going up. The sounds of all the fighting and gunshots from earlier slowly died away the further up they went. When they finally arrived at the third floor Mal and Kaden paused at the door, ears pressed against the wood, to see if they could hear anything on the other side.
"Anything?" Mal asked. "Your hearing is much more acute than my own."
"I can't hear anything. I don't know if that because there's nothing out there to hear or if there's some kind of dampener on this door. I think it's the former, but I can't be a hundred percent sure. Sorry."
"Nothing to be sorry for. We'll just proceed with caution, like we have been at every other turn in this bloody castle."
Kaden nodded his agreement.
Mal pulled his gun, checked the clip, he was once again running low on bullets, but he couldn't dwell on that right now.
He took the key card and swiped it through the access panel. The light turned green and Mal carefully pulled the door open a crack. There was no immediate gun fire so he counted that as a win! Slowly he opened the door further and peaked into the passage outside, not a single soul in the hallway
Mal released the breath he'd been holding in a loud exhale. He opened the door fully and he and Kaden stepped out into a plush carpeted corridor. There were no old couches or antique armoires they could hide behind if someone came looking for them with weapons drawn. This passage was long and lined with doors on either side, each door had a nameplate and title underneath it, they also had card readers to the left of every door handle. It looked like they'd found the administration offices.
"Come on, the library was this way if I'm not mistaken," Kaden said, pointing down the passage to their left."
Mal nodded and they took off down the passage, the plush blue carpet muffling their footfalls.
Mal read every nameplate to their left and Kaden took all the ones on the right.
"Mal," Kaden hissed at him.
Mal came to a halt and realised Kaden had stopped two doors back. Mal backtracked to Kaden and stared at the door his wolf was standing in front of.
The name plate read:
Vizepräsident - Forschung und Entwicklung
Mal swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat at just seeing her name. Kaden took his hand and squeezed it.
"We can leave if you want. No one is forcing you to do this," Kaden said quietly.
Mal took a deep breath, squeezed Kaden's hand in return, stepped forward and lifted the card they had to the reader. Before Mal could swipe the card and see if it would give them entry the door buzzed and the light went from red to green.