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45. “We are leaving. Now.” 34.“Blood. Blood everywhere.”
Danger, her gut told her. There is danger ahead.
Stella tightened her grip on her Glock. The tunnel ahead of her was narrow and dark and she didn’t have a flashlight. She could just make out a speck of light at the other end, but it was so far away. She didn’t know they if they would make it. She turned to Hank, where he waited beside her.
“Up to you, Sherlock,” he said, smiling down at her.
“It’s dark,” she answered.
“Really? I can see fine.”
“Follow me, then.” He walked away from her into the tunnel and then turned to beckon her.
“We are leaving,” she called after him. “Now.”
He moved backwards into the darkness. “Is that what you want?” he asked, just before he disappeared.
“Hank!” Her voice echoed off the walls of the tunnel, but otherwise it was silent.
There is danger ahead.
Stella trained her weapon at the darkness and crept forward. There was a noise and she startled, discharging her gun three times in quick succession. It sparked in her hand she stood stock still, listening. A gurgle and a wet cough broke the silence.
“Stella…” Hank’s voice, distant, in pain, calling her name.
She ran towards the speck of light and then dropped to her knees when she saw him, lying prone in the dirt. Blood. Blood everywhere. Oozing from the three holes in his chest. Pooling around his shoulders. Seeping from the corner of his mouth.
“Stella,” he whispered and coughed, splattering blood onto his chin.
“Don’t talk,” she said. “Stay still.”
“I know. I know and I’m sorry.”
“Not your fault, Sherlock. You did warn me.”
“I was wrong, Hank. I was wrong.”
“It’s too late.”
Stella woke with a jerk of her shoulders and a shiver. Her eyes took a few moments to focus and adjust to the green glow of her alarm clock. 3:21 a.m. She brought her arm out from the covers and opened the drawer to the nightstand, patting her hand around inside to find her journal. Once she had it in her hand, she paused, ultimately leaving it in the drawer.
Quietly, Stella turned over in bed and faced Hank. He was sprawled on his stomach, head turned away from her. His shoulder glowed with a sliver of moonlight. She could see the rise and fall of his back as he breathed, but she needed to feel it for herself. She sat up and pulled his t-shirt over her head. She’d started the bad habit of pilfering them from him before going to bed and she couldn’t stop.
Bare-chested, Stella straddled Hank’s hips and then lay herself down on his back. His skin was warm and soft, but it was always warm and soft. She slid her hands over his arms, framing them with her own; the left bent up by his head and the right outstretched and under a pillow. Her body rose with his as he breathed deeply and then grunted.
Hank shifted and stretched under her and then he turned his head. She brushed his cheek with hers and bent her head to press her mouth into the curve between his shoulder and neck. Her top teeth sank softly into his flesh and her tongue swept across to taste his skin. His warmth took the chill of her dream out of her body.
“Did you wake up in the middle of the night feeling amorous?” he asked, his voice more of a grunting slur.
“No. I just needed to feel you.”
Under the pillow, Hank slid his thumb out from under hers and caressed the side of her finger lightly. “Everything alright?” he asked.
louis’s jho performances keep getting better and better but nothing will ever kill me as much as the first one, when that boy got up on stage, still raw with emotion and poured his heart and soul into that performance. he got up there, he truly looked like he would rather be anywhere else. my baby looked like a kid up there, like he wanted to crawl under the covers and just ignore the world. but he didn’t. he did it. and every time i think about the strength, and courage it took to get up on stage it just blows me away!! he blows me away. i am so proud of him and who he is. and not even 24hrs ago he got up on stage to a crowd 160k and rocked it and he hasn’t given up and im ??? i don’t make it a habit of calling people strong because it’s not all that flattering when u feel everything but, but im just so amazed by him and i love him so much. all the stars in the sky are are his he deserves them