*a continuation of One Last Thing, Part I
Seven Uzbek mobsters aim their handguns - a variety of weapons ranging from American M1911s to Czech CZ75s - at Cray and Drew. Cray's HK G36 and Drew's HK416 return the favor. The two Americans know that they might die here, in this dusty excuse for a warehouse in Denau, but it's gonna be a fun time if they do.
Cray tries very hard not to laugh. The situation has all the setup of a bad joke, though Mexican standoffs in Uzbekistan aren't as unusual as one might expect. Organized crime is widespread here and the double cross is no surprise to either Cray or Drew. What is a surprise is that Dame Helen Laurie, one-time MI6 agent and fling of Cray's, is pointing a Walther P99 at the back of Cray's head.
"Hey, lady," Cray says, smiling. He knows she can't see his lustful memory-inspired grin, but he's sure she can hear it. "Still mad about Eisenach?"
"Please," she almost purrs, "I wasn't even in the room when you jumped out the window."
Alisher Beruniy, the Uzbek henchman in charge of apprehending Cray and Drew, looks perplexed. "You know these men, Elizabeth?"
Beruniy's English is serviceable, but his attempt at an American accent is almost hilarious. This, however, is not why Cray finally starts laughing.
"Elizabeth? Really? Come on, love."
Drew, only having met Helen once before, is quite aware of her reputation. "Cray. Now might not be a good time."
"Oh, shut up, Drew," Cray mock-commands, stifling another chuckle as the seven Uzbeks - including Beruniy - replace aggressive expressions with bewildered ones. Cray very much wants to turn around and get a good look at Helen. She's just under twelve years younger than him and he's interested to see if her body has held up since he's last seen her. He licks his lips in honor of her favorite after-party favor, a gesture mistaken for arrogance by one of the Uzbek gunmen.
"Ah, shit," Drew mutters, as the gunman reacquires his aim and pulls the trigger.
Cray ducks out of the way and rolls to the left. Out of reflex, Helen adjusts her fire and shoots the Uzbek directly in his forehead. Drew's 416 spits randomly in the direction of the other gunmen as he rushes for cover to the right.
Gunfire explodes and chaos ensues as Helen follows Cray to his hiding spot behind a metal filing cabinet. She squeezes in close and Cray inhales deeply, enjoying the scent of her hair and her perfume. That there are hints of gunpowder doesn't really bother him. "I thought you were retired."
"I thought that of you," she replies humorlessly as she takes out another Uzbek. "I'm supposed to be working for these men, Cray."
She shoots him a scolding glance and lays some covering fire so Drew - already across the warehouse - can shift firing positions a bit more easily. "Are you going to help?"
God, Cray loves her accent. So proud, so proper, and so sexy. He halfheartedly fires the G36 around the cabinet, not really paying attention to where Drew is.
"God dammit!" Drew sounds pissed. "Whose fucking side are you on?"
"Don't kill Beruniy," Helen pleads. "We need intel from him."
"Who's we?" Cray asks as he places a hand on her ass while she drops to a knee and fires down a corridor. She slaps it away without looking and, to Cray's delight, without stopping her fire suppression. "Oh, shit, woman. You're still active."
The reports of rapid and random gunfire slow down and are replaced by Drew's well-aimed shots, which are soon replaced by silence. "Clear," Drew calls out.
"Clear," Helen responds.
Reaching around her waist, Cray slides a hand between her legs and feels her crotch. "Oh, all clear," he mumbles with a snicker. She turns and pistol whips him - ever so gently, of course - across the temple.
When Cray comes to, he and Drew are in some field away from any settlements. Helen is nowhere to be seen.
"How's your head?" Drew asks, not really caring.
Cray laughs - today's been rather funny. "About the same as the last time she clocked me."
Drew hands Cray a manila envelope. There's a dossier and some satellite imagery inside. "She gave us this."
"Well, shit. She still loves me."
"Not from what I could tell, she doesn't." Drew grabs Cray's arm and lifts him to his feet. "We gotta clear out of here." Drew starts walking toward a highway in the distance. "Thanks for the help in the warehouse, by the way. You get injured or something? Or did the sight of a piece of ass put you in a trance?"
"I think I pulled a muscle."
"Yeah, your brain."
"Drew, you dumbass. The brain's not a muscle."
"Not yours, anyway."
*to be continued...