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Vanquish the xander king.., p.2

Vanquish (The Xander King Series Book 2), page 2

 

Vanquish (The Xander King Series Book 2)
 


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  “You all gonna be okay up here for a while?” Xander asked the group.

  Kyle leaned back in his seat, spread his arms out wide, and worked up the biggest shit-eatin’ grin he could muster.

  “I got everything I could ever want right here, brother.”

  Xander knew just how much his friend meant that and couldn’t help but laugh to himself. He smiled and made eyes back and forth between Kyle and the girls.

  “Perfect. You girls okay?”

  They said they were perfect. Xander dipped Kelly over, and as if she could read his mind, she grabbed the bottle of King’s Ransom.

  “Perfect. There is plenty more to drink behind the bar, and the bedrooms are down the hall on the left and the right. We’ll see you in the morning.” Xander gave them a wink and Kelly raised her arms in the air as he carried her inside the cabin, headed straight for the master suite.

  This is going to be one hell of a night, he thought to himself as he laid her on the bed and she undid her top.

  If only Xander had turned on his cell phone and checked his messages. Then he would have seen just how right he was about what kind of night it was going to be.

  Hell.

  Paradise Lost

  A couple of hours, half a bottle of bourbon, and two magical sexual encounters with the absolutely scintillating, Kelly, later, Xander was awoken by a weighted pressure in his bladder. A fog hung over his brain and he rubbed his eyes to try and clear it.

  Still drunk.

  The curtain that covered a rather amazing view of the ocean from the bed had separated from where it met the wall, and a strong ray of moonlight poured in, uncovering yet another amazing view. Kelly. The beam of yellow-white light lay perfectly across Kelly’s bare torso. She was lying on her back, the sheet just high enough to cover her most private area, one arm across her stomach and the other resting back behind her head. If he were in charge of a sexy photo shoot, he wouldn’t have changed a damn thing. Her head was turned toward his, and even as she slept, she looked flawless. He became lost in her beauty until his bladder reminded him of the reason he had awakened. He really had to go. Before he got up, however, he couldn’t help but lean over and run his lips along the outside of her breast, the softest and most supple skin on a woman’s body. Kelly opened her eyes, smiled, and ran her hand through his hair, tracing her thumb over his permanent five-o’clock shadow, then up along his razor-sharp cheek bone.

  “I’ll be right back beautiful. You need some water?”

  She nodded her head and mouthed the words thank you. He kissed her forehead and swung himself up and out of bed. It wasn’t until the first step that his body reminded him just how drunk he still was. He wobbled twice, staggered once, and then proceeded more cautiously toward the bathroom. After, he staggered back to bed, water in hand.

  Kelly sat up, took a big swig of water and let out a sigh.

  “It’s amazing how delicious something plain like water can be when you really need it, isn’t it?”

  Xander laughed.

  “It is. And it’s startling how amazing you look in the light of the moon.”

  Xander took her water and sat it on the nightstand, then took her once again in his arms. His appetite for her body was insatiable. All he could think about, drunken haze and all, was being with her again. Just as the heat began to rise between them, Xander heard something in the distance. He leaned back from on top of her and cocked his head toward the ceiling. Though it had to be more than a mile away, it wasn’t a sound that Xander, after years in Special Forces, could ever have mistaken.

  “A helicopter,” he said aloud, to no one in particular.

  Kelly pulled him back toward her but Xander’s mind had already made the leap. He didn’t know who it was or what they wanted, but he knew it wasn’t good. Fortunately for everyone on the boat, Xander had prepared for this moment and he had prepared his yacht, and his crew as well.

  “Xander? What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

  A flashback ripped through his mind. What he was about to tell Kelly, he had told Natalie almost the very same thing before his home in Lexington had been invaded in the middle of the night.

  “Kelly,” he took her face gently between his hands, “I need you to listen to me now, and I need you to do exactly what I say. Okay?”

  He looked up to the ceiling again as the helicopter was all but on top of them now. He didn’t have time to wonder who it was. He only had time to get everyone to safety. It sure would help if he wasn’t still hammered drunk.

  “Xander, you’re scaring me.”

  “Good. Now, I’m about to hit a button that will let the crew know that there is danger. They will be ready for you and your friends in the panic room at the bottom of the boat. Go right now and get them down there. I don’t care if you have to carry them.”

  “Panic room? Xand—”

  “Kelly, this is not a game.”

  Either it was the tone of his voice that made the difference, or the depth of seriousness on his face that did it, but she got the picture and bolted out of bed. She grabbed a robe from the chair in the corner and started down the stairs. She stopped just before disappearing.

  “You’re coming, right?”

  “Yes, I’ll be there in a minute.” Xander answered as he hit a button on the wall beside the headboard. It lit up red and a loud, continuous—MOCK-MOCK-MOCK—alarm began to blare throughout the entire yacht. Between each siren blare he could hear the thumping of the helicopter rotors directly above them.

  This was about to get ugly.

  Xander knew as soon as Kyle heard the alarm he would get the ladies where they needed to be. They had been over this every time they boarded the boat. Xander’s only concern, as was his concern for himself, is that Kyle might be too drunk. Just as that thought hit him he heard the distinct sound of boots hitting the top of the boat above him and he knew they had been boarded. He moved quickly down to the floor and pulled a long, hard-leather case out from under the bed. He almost face planted as he hit his knees, the liquor still heavy in his bloodstream. This was the worst case scenario. Innocent people on his yacht and he wasn’t even properly sober to defend himself, or them.

  “Pull it together X,” he said to the empty room. He then gave his head a shake, hauled the case on top of the bed, and pulled on his white linen pants. He opened the case, grabbed the sawed off shotgun with a pistol grip, strapped Rambo—his trusty knife—to his leg, and, as best he could, readied himself for a fight.

  “Xander still hasn’t answered his cell.” Sam announced to Sarah. The look of worry on Sarah’s face matched the feeling deep in the pit of Sam’s gut. When they landed the jet at Cyril E. King Airport on the island of St. Thomas, they immediately jumped on a waiting helicopter. The pilot informed her that another helicopter had left there no more than five minutes before them. Nine men dressed in tactical gear, carrying several large cases. He had no idea where they were headed.

  Sam did.

  Fortunately, Sam kept a tracking device on all of Xander’s toys so she gave the pilot the yacht’s exact coordinates. While Sarah strapped on her bulletproof vest, Sam readied the rope for a quick rappel down to the boat.

  “How far out are we, Sam?” Sarah asked over the thump of the chopper’s rotors.

  “Three minutes.”

  “Nine men did he say? Oh God. Sam, will we be too late?”

  Sam grabbed Sarah’s worried eyes with a hard gaze.

  “If he’s sober? He’ll have already taken them out. If he’s drunk...”

  She left it at that. Sarah gave a worried nod. Every indication had been that Xander and Kyle had been celebrating all day. Sam had mentioned that the last time she spoke with him, he had just boarded the jet in Las Vegas. Sarah tried not to let it show that she was bothered when Sam had mentioned the group of women tagging along. She tried, but she didn’t think she had succeeded. Sam had just shaken her head with a laugh. “Boys will be boys” she said. Sarah knew she had no right to be jealous. He
ll, she hadn’t even spoken more than a few sentences to him. But, the last six months of her life in the CIA had been dedicated solely to Xander. That plus quite a few hours alone with his picture.

  “Have you had a lot of field training, Sarah?” Sam asked as she clipped the rappel rope to her harness.

  Sarah shook out of her daze.

  “I know how to put a bullet in someone’s head if that’s what you mean.”

  “That’s exactly what I mean.” Sam turned her head toward the window and noticed a faint glow rising up from the dark ocean off in the distance. Sam loaded her sniper rifle. “There it is. You ready?”

  Sarah cocked the hammer back on her nine-millimeter and clipped the rappel rope to her harness.

  “Let’s get these assholes.”

  Xander had stumbled his way down to the main level of the yacht. There were two entrances from that level, the sliding doors leading out to the deck at the back end of the yacht, and the service entrance on the starboard side that lead into the kitchen. Xander knew that if it were him, he would enter through the kitchen. That is why he went directly to the oven, turned it on broil, and stuffed it with as many paper towels and napkins his blurred vision could find. The smoke would give him an advantage. He would need every single one he could get. He was now posted by the large sliding glass doors that lead from a large living room out to the deck. The sheer white curtains were closed so he knew no one could see in, but the yellow lights still glowing on the deck would enable him to see shadows as they passed. Listening for the men would be futile, what with the alarm continuing to blast. He positioned himself where he could see both someone entering from outside, or from the kitchen where a steady rise of smoke now emerged. He also could keep an eye on the stairway that led down to the service quarters and to the panic room. The only light where he stood was the red alarm light flashing on and off, momentarily turning everything red, then everything black. It was playing tricks on his inebriated eyes, further compounding his condition.

  At that moment a shadow passed outside along the deck, causing a flicker in the yellow lights beyond the curtains. Then another shadow, then another and another. Four men. So far. Xander slowly opened the sliding door and slinked out onto the deck, the shotgun extended in front of him. The sound of the alarm wasn’t as loud outside so he could hear the helicopter had moved on. He could, however, still hear it out in the distance. If he wasn’t mistaken, it was getting closer again.

  Weird.

  He checked the stairs that went up toward the wheelhouse, where the men had come from and when he moved his shotgun around, it felt like slow motion. Xander knew his reaction time wasn’t up to his standard and it was at that moment that he decided waiting for them to make a move would be a massive mistake.

  He needed to go on the offensive.

  Just as that revelation washed over him a man walked around the corner and Xander blasted him with 12-gauge power. The jolt of the slug against the man’s protective vest was so hard it blew him off the side of the boat. A moment later, Xander heard his splash.

  A full half-second slow, Xander internally assessed his reaction time of that shot. He knew that much delay could be just long enough to get himself killed.

  “Put gun down Xander King!”

  Xander couldn’t see anyone, but he certainly heard the Russian in the man’s accent. Xander racked the slide on his shotgun and moved toward the long walkway down the side of the yacht where the first man had come from.

  “Put gun down now! Or friend dies!” A man’s voice shouted from above Xander.

  They have Kyle.

  Just then two more men came out from the living room and pointed their Uzis at Xander. Pops from their guns clamored through the night air and Xander dove for the walkway around the corner. On his way down to the ground he felt a burning pain seer through his left calf muscle and he fired his shotgun at the man that had been waiting for him on that side of the yacht. The dark haired man’s head disappeared in a pink mist. At least he thought it was dark hair. He didn’t have long enough to really take it in before the man’s head blew off in pieces on the walkway behind his now headless body. The two men behind Xander continued to fire as Xander checked for a hole in his leg. His left hand found it and the blood on his fingertips offered a sobering moment.

  Two dead, two firing at me, and at least one more holding Kyle—or someone they shouted as my friend—at gunpoint.

  The gunfire stopped but the thumping of helicopter rotors grew louder and louder. If there were more coming, he had to get rid of the men that were already on the yacht.

  Right now.

  “All right! All right, I give!” Xander shouted, giving him a moment to pull two spare shotgun shells from his pocket and load his gun. He then rounded the corner and shot both gunmen dead where they stood on the back deck. Xander heard three pops from a pistol come from the direction of the sliding doors, right after he heard Kyle scream his name.

  It was too late.

  A bullet ripped through Xander’s stomach and blew him back against the half-moon lounge chair he’d been partying on a few short hours ago. He was able to hold on to the shotgun and through the pain he pointed it at the man holding a gun to Kyle’s head. Hot blood leaked from his stomach and sharp, burning pain singed all the way to his back.

  At least his leg didn’t hurt anymore. Silver linings.

  With everything he had, he forced himself up and over the back of the chair, and took cover behind it. He maintained his shotgun point toward the man holding Kyle.

  “Let him go!” Xander shouted. His voice didn’t carry the weight he would have liked it to. It’s difficult with a hole in your belly.

  The man walked Kyle forward into the yellow light. He was about the same height as Kyle, but unlike Kyle he was wearing more than board shorts. He was in full military gear, all the way up to his hideous buzz-cut hair. Xander wasn’t sure if God made a mistake and put his legs where his arms were supposed to be. Or, they could have been tree trunks.

  “I make demands now. You are in no position.”

  “Who sent you?”

  “Still with the questions. You don’t listen so good.”

  Clearly he was Russian, but what the hell were Russians doing invading his yacht in the middle of the night, in the middle of the ocean? Four more men walked out onto the deck and spread out, two to the left and two to the right. Xander never would have guessed nine men. And in a matter of seconds, God only knew how many more might be coming out of that second helicopter. Xander could feel himself becoming weak. He glanced down and couldn’t believe the amount of blood that had pooled beneath him.

  “W-what do you want?” Xander managed. His voice losing steam fast, as was the rest of him. He could feel a wave of blackness coming toward him.

  He was going to pass out.

  “You. My boss would like word with, you.”

  Xander tried to ask who his boss was, but it wouldn’t come out. The men moved in closer. He took a deep breath and a long blink. The helicopter hovered above them now. He had failed. The Russian started to say something else but all Xander could hear was a very distinct and unmistakable voice.

  “WHOOP WHOOP!”

  Sam.

  Xander looked back up at the Russian just before a bullet blasted through the side of the bull of a man’s head. Everything moved in slow motion as Xander lost his grip on his shotgun. He fell down to his side and could only watch what was happening in front of him. The man that was shouting at Xander and holding a gun to Kyle, collapsed, and Kyle fell with him, the man’s blood splattered all over him. It looked like Kyle was screaming but Xander could no longer hear.

  He was going into shock.

  The four gunmen that were left turned their attention to the helicopter when a flash bomb popped in the middle of them. As they shielded their eyes, Xander watched as a figure dressed in all black, complete with long blonde hair, rappelled down and landed on one of the gunman, putting a bullet in his head. Immedia
tely after that it was a brunette that hit the deck, did a front roll and shot the gunman crawling toward Xander. Blood sprayed like an open fire hydrant from his throat. Xander blinked again and saw the brunette bend down over Kyle as the blonde shot the other two—still stunned—gunmen in the head.

  As the blonde walked toward him, he could swear he’d seen her somewhere before.

  Then, everything went black.

  Is This a Bad Time?

  “Sam?”

  The only thing in front of Xander was darkness. Pure black. Had he even actually said her name out loud? And what is that beeping noise? Xander tried to clear the darkness, but it was like his mind was hunting for the light switch. Unsuccessfully. The last thing he remembered was being on the yacht, watching Sam and some blonde-haired woman take out the Russians that had—for whatever reason—invaded his yacht.

  Sarah Gilbright.

  He remembered the blonde’s identity. What in the hell were Sarah and Sam doing together? How had they known to come to the yacht? Wait, was he still on the yacht? Are they still fighting the Russians?

  They need me.

  Xander tried to use the muscles that it took to get up from the ground. Specifically, what it took to get up from the deck of a yacht, with a hole in your stomach. However, nothing changed. He tried again, his mind willing his body to move. What if Sam, Sarah and Kyle needed him? He remembered he dropped his shotgun just before he fell. It must be close. He reached out. He felt something—definitely something—but not a shotgun.

  A hand?

  It was definitely a hand, and he felt it squeeze around him.

  “Xander?” He heard from some far off place. “Xander, it’s all right.” The voice closer—British.

 
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