Cut & Run, page 52part #1 of Cut & Run Series
“Shut up,” Ty ground out as the side of their car squealed against the concrete. The cab smashed into their side again and the metal of the passenger door screeched and crumpled alarmingly. Ty glanced over at it, taking his eyes off the road for a second to see Zane leaning and struggling to pull his arm away from the door. If the cab smashed them again, one of them was getting hurt, and Ty could easily see who it was going to be. He glanced in the rearview mirror again, seeing that the traffic they had passed was slowing and giving the two dueling cars a wide berth. “Hold on,” he breathed as his peripheral vision caught the cab swerving for another impact.
He slammed on the brakes to avoid the coming collision. The back wheels smoked as they locked, and the vehicle fishtailed dangerously as the Ford struggled to go from eighty to stop in no time flat. Despite the seat belt, Zane was thrown forward and his free hand landed on the dashboard to catch himself, his gun thumping to the console between the seats. The cab veered into their lane, finding nothing to slam into since they were no longer beside him, then it accelerated in a burst of black smoke as the Ford finally fishtailed out of control and hit the wall with its back left panel. The front tire blew, then the back, and the rental car left the ground, spinning gracefully into the air and then crashing back down onto its side.
Zane gasped aloud as the seat belt caught him painfully across the chest and snapped him against the door when the car upended. The Ford smashed against the blacktop on the passenger side and slid, only to slow and slam against a hapless motorist before crashing back onto all four wheels.
The crumpled car finally drifted to a weaving, smoking stop just inches from the concrete as the cab disappeared out of sight ahead of them. Ty sat with his hands clutching the wheel, knuckles white and breathing hard as sirens began to sound somewhere in the distance.
Beside him, Zane leaned against the crunched passenger door, his entire right side a mass of swamping pain. Glancing over to the driver’s side, Zane didn’t see any blood on Ty as the man sat staring out the windshield.
Zane glanced up around them to see if help was close, only to see the cab about fifty yards away—facing them—and he could see the tires spinning as the driver held down the brake and revved the engine. All traffic on their side of the highway had come to a stop; the lanes littered with wrecked cars and stunned motorists.
Zane’s voice was strained and stunned as he spoke. “Ty. Ty, we gotta get out. Get out of your seat belt. ” He tried to pull away from the passenger-side door and excruciating pain tore through his entire body in burning waves, taking his breath away.
Ty sat staring at the menacingly crushed front grill of the cab in the distance, unmoving as Zane gave the ruined door several weak sideways kicks, trying to free himself. Calmly, as if in a daze, Ty reached up and began plucking away what shards remained of the moonroof’s glass.
Zane swallowed hard as his vision began to fade and blur. He was going into shock. “I can’t get out that way,” he told Ty, gritting his teeth.
Ty looked at him, still in a calm, detached sort of haze. “You’re stuck,” he murmured as he reached across Zane’s chest and prodded the metal where the other man’s arm was captured. He glanced up at the cab, then reached across Zane’s lap to the seat handle that would lay the seat back. It didn’t budge, and Ty turned his head slightly, his nose brushing against Zane’s cheek. He glanced again to see the cab begin its run, heading toward them on a sure collision course. It would gain speed quickly, and then the impact would come. The heavy steel construction of the old car would tear the battered Ford to pieces.
Ty clambered to stand on the middle console, rising up out of the moonroof as he drew his gun. He waited a half-second and then opened fire.
The yellow paint on the hood of the cab began to dent and explode as the bullets hit, and the safety glass shattered, but didn’t break. The illegal tinting inside the windshield kept it from falling apart as it was riddled with bullet holes. Ty couldn’t see the driver or tell if he was hitting him. He lowered his aim and began trying for the tires, but his gun clicked empty and he shouted a frustrated curse.
He reached for his backup as the cab barreled toward them, but he couldn’t reach it in the small confines. He contorted with difficulty and snagged Zane’s gun from where it had landed on the dash during the roll and straightened back up, aiming for the lower part of the car.
“Damn it, Ty, get out of the car!” Zane yelled, his voice breaking as the pain began to overwhelm his emotional control. His eyes flickered between the oncoming car and his lover, and he pushed against Ty’s legs with his free hand.
One of the front tires blew out as Ty emptied the clip again, ignoring Zane’s demands, but the cab continued to limp toward them at alarming speed. It was almost on them. If the crash didn’t kill them, the man inside the cab would.
Ty fired the last round, then reared back and chucked the empty gun at the cab in utter frustration before he ducked back into the car. He just shook his head wordlessly, awkwardly kneeling on the console as he tried to free Zane’s arm from between the torn metal of the door and the crumpled frame.
He knew that even if he got Zane free now, it was too late. But it wasn’t in him to give up.
“Shit, Ty, you can’t take my damn arm off! Please … baby,” Zane’s voice cracked with agony as he pleaded between uneven gasping breaths.
“Get out of the car,” he ordered weakly.
Ty responded with a small, chaste kiss. As he heard the roaring of the battered cab’s engine coming closer he curled protectively around Zane, hoping to shield him from the brunt of the crash. He tried not to tense, but his physical discipline was no match for simple human instinct. As the cab barreled toward them, he hunched his shoulders and prepared for the impact.
“I’m sorry,” he breathed as he closed his eyes tight and waited.
“Ty…,” Zane choked out as he curled his free arm around Ty’s back, holding him tight and turning his face into his neck. Christ. Forget about not being there. This. This was Zane’s worst nightmare.
The sound of the sirens was closer now, and through his closed eyelids Ty could see the changing light and dark that told him the flashing lights were on top of them. There was a sound of squealing tires and the smell of burning rubber. He raised his head and opened his eyes, knowing the impact should have come already. He turned and looked out the cracked window at the yellow blur of the cab as the driver turned at the last minute, spinning out right beside their wrecked Ford on the highway. He turned out of the spin, gunned the engine, and headed off in the other direction. Several squad cars gave chase, flying by the wreck of their vehicle in a blaze of light and sound.
The driver knew he couldn’t finish them off and still get away. He had chosen to fight another day, and he’d left Ty and Zane alive to do it.
When Ty shifted, Zane opened his eyes to blurrily see the cab retreating and police cars stopping around them. He started to shake. Shock.
He was going into shock. His arm was already numb, and the pain was still shooting up into his shoulder and down his back. His side was screaming and he couldn’t feel his leg. “When we get out of this car I am kicking your ass,”
Ty didn’t respond. He was already climbing through the roof and holding up his badge and his empty gun, handle first, calling out the code for an officer down.
ZANE sat in the back of the ambulance with a blanket over his shoulders and lap as the EMT worked him over. He stayed put, cowed by a tiny woman who barked at him when he’d tried to leave without medical treatment. All he’d allowed was an IV of clear fluids, and he’d checked the bags. What she was doing hurt like hell (he’d also insisted on no painkillers after a very few words with her about the past addiction record) so he was focusing hard on what was going on away from the ambulance.
Ty stood talking with some of the cops. Luckily, they’d not given
“Doing okay, Special Agent Garrett?” the EMT asked.
“Still here,” he answered hoarsely after pulling away the oxygen mask. His eyes were still glassy and glazed with pain.
“Feeling light-headed again?” she asked, pausing in her examination.
“Just get it over with, huh?” he said weakly, leaning his head sideways against the wall.
“I told you already, I can’t do anything more for you here. You’re going to have to go to the hospital and—”
“Just do whatever you have to do,” Zane interrupted. “I have to be able to use that arm. ” It would be his right arm. He swallowed hard. “Set it and do whatever. ”
The EMT stared at him silently. When she spoke, her voice was thin.
“You know how much you’re going to hurt?”
Zane turned his chin so he could look at his mangled arm and then at her. “Yeah, I know. Just do it. ”
Frowning deeply, she got to her feet and climbed into the ambulance with practiced ease. Zane just closed his eyes. He was going to pass out; he knew it. When he opened his eyes again, he found that Ty had finally managed to break away from the cops who’d been asking him questions and was making his way hastily toward the ambulance.
He glared his way past a man who tried to stop him, and he came up to Zane with a twisting sensation in his gut. He could take pain himself, but he couldn’t take watching other people go through it. Especially not people he cared for.
“Why haven’t they drugged you yet?” he asked Zane in outrage.
Zane pulled the mask away to answer, but the EMT beat him to it.
“He declined pain treatment,” she said, voice clearly disapproving.
“Well, fuck that, give it to him anyway,” Ty demanded with an impressive scowl.
“No,” Zane said sharply. “You pump me full of something strong enough to help, and I’ll be out of commission for two days and then suffering another week of cravings. ”
“A local won’t cause drug cravings, moron!” Ty shouted angrily.
Zane merely shook his head stubbornly.
The EMT looked between them, scowling heavily. “Special Agent Garrett, please reconsider,” she asked, voice soft. “The pain from the broken bones is just going to grow worse; you’re already well in shock. And your partner is right. I can give you a local for your arm and it has nothing to do with—”
Zane looked up at Ty and shook his head, cutting her off. “Go make arrangements for a car,” he rasped to his partner. “You didn’t listen before.
Listen now. Go and come back. ”
“Fuck you,” Ty huffed. “Give him the drugs,” he told the EMT.
“I can’t give him the drugs if he doesn’t consent,” the woman said helplessly.
The corner of Zane’s mouth turned up triumphantly, although his eyes drilled into Ty. But he was still shaking slightly.
“He’s severely injured,” Ty argued calmly, looking at the woman intently. “He’s not mentally capable of making the decision,” he said pointedly.
Her eyes narrowed and she looked from him to Zane and back.
“What? The hell I’m not,” Zane said hoarsely. “What are you trying to do to me?” he demanded of Ty.
“I’m trying to keep you out of the fucking hospital,” Ty snarled.
“Give him the shot,” he told the woman. “You know if he goes catatonic from the pain you’ll just have to do it then, and take him to the hospital, and shoot me because I’ll have to kill someone. ”
“Ty, goddammit, we have things we have to do. I can’t be stoned out of my mind for an hour, much less a day—“
“A local wouldn’t do that!” Ty interrupted in frustration.
“What if that son of a bitch comes back after … what the hell?” Zane stood up in a rush and his head snapped around as the EMT stepped back, pulling an empty syringe from the IV feed line.
Ty pointed at her and gave a triumphant little, “Ha!”
“Now, Special Agent Garrett, you’re exhibiting strong symptoms of shock,” she said soothingly, laying her hand over the IV shunt in his arm, making sure he didn’t yank it out. Her eyes shifted from Zane’s badly broken arm again over to Ty. “You need to sit down right now. I’ve given you a sedative and something to help with the pain. ”
Zane took two steps right up into Ty’s face. “You can’t do this to a partner and expect there to be any lev … level of tr—trus…. ” His knees started to give out as he blinked slowly.
Ty took him by his good arm and eased him toward the stretcher he had refused to use before. “We’ll talk about trust later, Special Agent Garrett,” he cooed as he forced Zane down.
Wobbling as he sat back down, Zane’s eyes glazed. “Ty,” he said pleadingly as he sagged against the stretcher, laying out flat as Ty and the paramedic moved his nearly limp body. “Don’t. ”
Ty held him down until he was certain Zane wouldn’t thrash around when released. “I’m sorry,” he murmured as his hands slipped away once Zane’s eyes closed. He looked up at the EMT and sighed dejectedly. “Thank you. ”
The woman smiled, but looked nonplussed. “I can’t believe he’s not out cold. We should take him to the hospital. ”
“Can’t do the hospital,” Ty told her softly. “Not safe there. ”
She nodded as if she understood, then looked between them thoughtfully. “So he’s your partner?” she asked carefully.
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