Chapter Twenty-Nine: Mal
"Was that Tibo?" Kaden asked him.
Mal glanced to the left and then the right, where his friends should have been in rooms, Tibo's room stood open, as did Ashe’s.
"We need to get out of here, and see if we can either locate this Cynthia person or try and find Akemi and find out what the fuck is going on," Mal said.
He gripped the handle of the gun firmly, squeezing the grip before loosening his hold once more. If he got too worked up and lost his concentration then he'd get sloppy, and they couldn’t afford that right now. His knives comforted him, strapped to his body.
When the coast looked clear, Mal led Kaden out of the room and into the hall. They hadn't taken more than a half-dozen steps when two men came around the corner, guns drawn.
They took one look at Mal and Kaden, their eyes widening in recognition. Mal wasn't waiting around for them to kill him and Kaden. He fired center mass on both of them. The second guy got a shot off before he too dropped to the floor.
Mal cursed a blue streak as he looked at his left arm, blood dripping from a hole in his leathers.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, " he swore. He'd had worse before, being in the Australian Army Rangers, practically guaranteed he'd been shot in the line of duty. But his leathers were no longer intact and that pissed him off to no end.
Kaden pulled Mal to the side, hiding behind a large display cabinet, the glass lay shattered on the floor all around them, the contents toppled and broken.
"Here, let me look," Kaden said, as he crowded into the small area and examined Mal’s wound. He lifted Mal's arm slightly to get a look at the back. "Looks like a clean through and through."
"We need to slow the bleeding. Give me one of your knives."
Mal didn’t question Kaden, he was one of the very few people Mal trusted right now. He made sure the safety was on the gun, then shoved it under his arm, he then reached for a knife, handing it to Kaden.
Kaden took the knife and started cutting a strip off the bottom of his shirt.
Kaden jumped and cried out when a bullet hit the cabinet just over Mal's head.
Mal placed his hand on Kaden's chest, pulling him in closer and out of sight of anyone down the passage. He grabbed the gun again, clicked the safety off and carefully peered around the corner.
He ducked back behind the large wooden cabinet seconds before another shot hit the wood.
"There are three more of them and I'm down to only eight bullets."
"What do you need me to do?" Kaden whispered as he quickly wrapped the cut piece of cloth around Mal's left arm, tying it tightly. "That should hold until we can get you fixed up properly."
"Thank you." Mal leaned forward and placed a quick kiss to Kaden's lips. Keep the knife for now, you might need it."
"Mal, I've never…"
"I know, but if it comes down to you or them, I'd prefer it to be them."
Kaden nodded and swallowed.
Another bullet hit the wall, just behind where Kaden had been standing seconds before.
Mal took a deep breath, centering himself, then glanced around the edge of the cabinet, firing twice before hiding again.
He heard someone cry out, so he knew he'd hit his mark, but whether he was out for the count or not was another matter.
Mal's eyes widened when he saw, coming down the opposite end of the passage, two more men with guns.
He aimed and was about to fire when he recognized one of the men. He'd been at the house at some point in the last few days.
Mal really didn't know if he could trust anyone right now, considering someone had to have betrayed them for this ambush to have been so well set up, but he was out of options.
He trained his gun on the men, but when they didn't lift their own in his direction Mal relaxed a tiny bit.
They silently communicated, using hand signals.
When the third finger was raised Mal once again looked around the cabinet and opened fire, this time he wasn't the only one. Shots came from further down the passage to join his own.
When his clip clicked empty Mal cursed.
He dropped the gun, it was no use to him now. He'd pick another one up on the way if he spotted one, for now, his knives would do.
He guessed the way was clear as the two men who’d helped him carefully made their way towards him and Kaden.
"What is going on here?" One of the men asked him in very heavily accented English.
"Have you seen Akemi?" Mal asked instead of answering.
They both shook their heads.
Mal swore, he hoped she was alright.
Mal pointed to the interview room they had been in. "Matteo has been shot, he needs medical attention. I left Mia in there with him."
The men's eyes widened, then they turned and sprinted back across the passage and into the room Mal and Kaden had exited shortly before. They obviously knew Matteo by their reactions.
"Come on, we can't stay here, I'm sure there'll be more coming shortly. We need to check to see if any of the others are still here or if they've all fled."
"I'm right behind you." Kaden said, squeezing his hand gently.
Mal pulled one of his knives, feeling better having a weapon.
Checking the coast was clear, they made their way to Ashe's room first, Mal quickly checked inside, but there was no one there.
Medics arrived quickly and raced into the room Matteo currently lay hurt in. Several people ran through the corridor, looking harried and scared, there were still sounds of fighting taking place in the castle. Mal had no idea who was fighting and he really didn't want to hang around to find out.
Tibo's room lay open, bodies on the floor, blood pooling under them. Mal didn't stop to check for a pulse, neither of them were his friends.
When he made it further down the passage to the room Nootau, Aegeus and Edwige were supposed to be in he noticed the door was open a crack as well.
He carefully pushed the door open so he could see inside, what he saw made his heart stop.