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    zanoGreen
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WARNING: This story contains graphic content such as sex, violence, death, and derogatory slang.  

Imprisoned - 11. The Great Escape

One thing was for sure, the General was working with The Order. I had figured that out when I saw the Dr. Jekyll emails. Dr. Jekyll was a codename for Dr. Grimm, I knew this because The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was my favorite book in high school. Knowing what I knew about Dr. Grimm, he fit the profile of the symbolic character from the famous novel. Dr. Jekyll the good scientist who would do no harm, and Mr. Hyde his evil counterpart.

No doubt that General Dreyfus’ codename was Mr. Utterson, the best friend of Dr. Jekyll. Maybe I was reading too much into it, but a part of me didn’t think so. Why else would you be using code names like that, and talking about an operation White Rider? I felt left with even more questions, and I was hoping that Alex, Riley, Ryan, and Cody were sifting through all the information we had gathered trying to figure out the answers.

I looked past the soldier to my right to peer out the window, we were screaming down the road, and it didn’t take me long to notice that we weren’t heading in the direction of the Police Precinct.

“Sit back.” The soldier threw his arm across my chest and forced me back into my seat. I clenched my fists tightly as pain radiated across my chest, fighting the urge to give him an elbow to the left side of his face.

“Your Riggs’ guy right?” The soldier in the passenger’s seat turned his head slightly over his shoulder.

Was I Ryan’s guy? I didn’t know, but it sure seemed like it with the direction things were going.

“What’s it to you?” I shot back.

The soldier chuckled and shook his head. “I wonder how he would feel seeing his boyfriend cuffed in the back of a humvee.” There was a hateful tone to his voice, something that told me he wasn’t exactly a fan of gay people, or maybe he wasn’t a fan of Ryan.

“Probably about the same as finding out that four of his men are rebel spies.”

There was a long silence, about the only thing that you could hear was the pavement underneath the tires as we barrelled down the road. I wasn’t a moron, I knew that if General Dreyfus was working with the rebels then there had to be more people at his disposal. He would be an idiot to operate alone at one of the largest military installations in the Republic.

The soldiers looked around the humvee at each other, clearly at a loss for words. It was the only confirmation I needed to prove my theory, they didn’t know I was testing them, but god dammit it worked beautifully.

“You guys really need to work on your poker faces." I added sarcastically, a sly grin spreading across my face.

"You don't know what you're talking about." The soldier to my left denied.

"Seriously? That's the answer you're going with?" I sighed and shook my head. "I mean you guys are gonna kill me anyways so why don't you just cut the shit."

The soldiers looked at me with stupid expressions, clearly underestimating how much I knew and how much I had caught on.

"The station is about two miles in the other direction and we're heading for the desert. I mean do you guys think I'm stupid?" I had a challenging tone to my voice, daring them to say otherwise.

"You're too smart for your own good." The passenger replied in an amused tone.

"Both a blessing and a curse." I joked.

"For a man that's about to die, you sure are a smart ass."

"Tell me something I don't know."

There was a silence for a few moments and then the driver spoke up, his voice was a deep baritone, and apathetic, completely devoid of emotion.

"The Republic is a flawed system that needs to be destroyed."

"Hey, I get it. The only thing I don't get is why you all want to kill millions of people in the name of your cause?”

“The people of Los Angeles are all Republic lovers, taking down the capital is a sure way to destabilize the government.” The soldier to my right spoke up, he had a confident tone to his voice.

“Or cause an act of war.” I replied.

There was another confirming pause as the humvee turned down a dirt road, leading us further into the desert. The vehicle shook and bounced around slightly at the uneven surface.

“Wait… So that’s what this whole plan is for? You’re going to drop a dirty bomb on LA and blame it on the United States?” I was genuinely shocked. This whole scheme turned from terrorists just wanting to cause damage and death, to a full blown plan of turning the Republic and the US against each other, essentially plunging us into another civil war.

“You catch on fast.” The driver spoke this time, his tone still apathetic.

“They’ll destroy us…” I gaped.

“Exactly.” The passenger confirmed with an evil smirk. “With the United States and The Pacific Republic in a civil war, we can do what our previous members failed to do.”

I gave him a quizzical look and his smirk never left. None of this was at all what I thought was going on, leading me down a rabbit hole of endless possibilities. Maybe I didn’t know what was going on.

“What do you mean your previous members failed to do?”

He shook his head with a chuckle. “Don’t you get it? The Order started the second civil war four years ago. This outcome,” he gestured around. “Was never supposed to happen. They were supposed to take over the United States, not have the Western states secede.”

The driver spoke up next, a grin set to his voice. “But, with this new plan, we’ll succeed where our predecessors didn’t.”

The humvee came to a slow halt, and so did my heartbeat. This was it, this was where it all ended. The soldiers hopped out of the humvee and began flanking it on either side, keeping watch.

“C’mon.” The soldier who was sitting to my right grabbed my bicep, tugging me out of the vehicle. My feet felt like they were encased in cement as he led me towards the front of the humvee into the flood of the headlights.

“It’s all you chief.” He said, pushing me in the direction of the man that was driving.

He stood a little taller than me, having to gaze down slightly to make eye contact. His eyes were hazel, like mine, but with a darkness swirling around behind them. He had a strong jaw and his face was stoic, definitely the look of a man who was about to execute someone.

He grabbed me by the arm and led me away from the front of the humvee, each one of my steps feeling like my last. I glanced up at the sky to see a beautiful array of stars, one of them shooting across the sky. I'm not a superstitious person by any means, but nevertheless I closed my eyes and made a wish.

"Please get me out of this."

I had given a lot of thought as to how I would die, but this, this wasn't on my list of how I thought my life would end. At least I would die out in the desert, under a beautiful night sky. A setting that reminded me of Ryan and I's first date, and the thought of that night brought a slight smile to my face. At least I had the chance to fall for someone again, something that I didn't think would be possible after James.

James

Would I see him again? Was there even anything after death? My scientific brain told me otherwise, but this weird new superstitious side of me wanted to object. A side of me was excited at the prospect of seeing him again, but another side of me didn't want to leave Ryan. I guess I didn't really have a say in that though, did I?

We stopped just at the edge of the headlights furthest reaches, nothing but blank darkness ahead of us, their "chief" standing behind me.

"On your knees." He said flatly, pushing down on my shoulder. I collapsed to my knees and stared straight ahead at the vast emptiness in front of me.

"I'm sorry Ryan. Please don't hate me."

I don't know why I was apologizing. Maybe because I should have listened to him when he told me the plan was a bad idea? Maybe because I could only imagine how he would feel, finding out that I was dead.

I heard the click of a gun being cocked, bringing me out of my self pity. I felt the cool metal of a gun barrel press at the back of my head.

"How's that cliche saying go..? Any last words?" There was a smirk behind his tone as he spoke.

"You're gonna pay for this." I gritted through my teeth, my somberness being replaced with anger.

"I doubt that."

BANG!

At that moment everything went black and my body went numb. Was I dead? I sure felt dead, but then again how would I know what that felt like?

"Elliott!"

"James?"

Did heaven actually exist? Was I wrong about this my entire life? I could hear the muffled sounds of gunfire, but I couldn't see where it was coming from.

Oh god, was I in hell? Would heaven have gunfire? I don't think so, but then again stranger things had happened.

"Elliott!"

There it was again. Was it James..? No… Not James…

"Ryan?"

This didn't make any sense. Ryan wouldn't be in heaven with me, or hell, or whatever this was.

I felt a pair of familiar hands cupping my face, warm and comforting. I tried to see who their owners were but my vision wouldn't clear up.

"Elliott, are you okay?" There was a long pause as I fought to speak, but for some reason my mouth opened and no words came out.

"C'mon, talk to me babe." Ryan urged.

"Am I dead?" The words finally spilled out.

There was a long pause as I felt thumbs massaging my cheeks.

"I think he's in shock." He spoke rapidly.

"Just haul his ass to the truck, we gotta go!" This time it was Riley who spoke.

What the fuck was going on? I felt myself being lifted over someone's shoulder. A familiar scent wafted into my nostrils, woodsy, musky, and a hint of sweetness, like citrus… Ryan's scent.

"You drive!" I heard Ryan say.

I felt myself being laid down on something firm with a slightly rough texture. Then my head was in someone's lap, a hand stroking my hair and an arm draped across my torso.

"C'mon Elliott. Snap out of it." His voice broke slightly.

My vision slowly began to return to normal, and the first thing I saw was Ryan’s face hovering over mine. He was misty eyed, a look of concern set to his face. We were in his truck, and traveling pretty fast judging by the way the truck bounced and shook on the rough road.

"What happened?" I asked stupidly.

Ryan made a relieved sound as he pulled me into a hug. My face was pressed into his warm chest, my nose getting a full whiff of his scent.

"I thought I died."

"You almost did, thank god Riley and I got to you in time."

"But how..?" The question trailed off.

"Alex, she hacked the GPS on the humvee so we could track you." Riley spoke up from the drivers seat.

"But how did you-" There were so many questions I had, but Ryan cut me off.

"Alex came to us immediately after you got captured and showed us the files you found. We knew they were gonna do something bad to you."

"Are they dead?" I didn't know why I cared, they did just try to kill me.

"They tried to kill you Ell! Of course they're dead." Riley had a flabbergasted tone as he spoke.

This wasn't good, once the General found out we killed four of his men we would be hunted down as fugitives for sure.

"It's okay, we're gonna figure it out." Classic Ryan, always being able to read my thoughts.

I sat up in the back seat, staying close to Ryan. I buried my face in my hands as I was flooded with new emotions of guilt and shame.

"Fuck… I'm so sorry Ryan. I should have listened to you." My sinuses began to burn as my voice broke.

"No, you shouldn't have," He had a stern tone to his voice. "If you didn't go through with the plan then you wouldn't have found out about the General. Now we can take this information to the capital and expose him and everyone who works for him."

He had a point there, but it still didn't erase my guilt. I had successfully blown up all of our lives by getting caught, and the aftermath that ensued. We would have to leave, go on the run, go into hiding.

"But I put you and Riley in a situation that you shouldn't have been put in. Now thanks to me we're gonna have to go on the run." I had a somber tone to my voice.

Ryan reached over and cupped my cheek, pulling my face up to meet his gaze. His expression was that of caring and seriousness and his tone matched it as well.

"I don't care about any of that, all I care about is you."

My heart lurched at that statement as we gave a sharp turn off the dirt road and back onto smooth pavement.

Why would Ryan risk everything for me? I didn’t think I was worth it, but maybe Ryan did. He put his arm around me and pulled me closer till I was resting my head on his broad shoulder.

A warm feeling began situating itself in my gut, settling into every crevice until it was the only feeling I had. It was comfort, warmth, and caring all wrapped up into a little ball that radiated across my skin.

We pulled up to a warehouse at the edge of the base and Riley screeched to a halt.

"C'mon." Ryan gently tugged on me and we exited the truck, making our way towards a little side door with a single light overhead. It flickered every now and then, giving the building an abandoned feel like it had long been forgotten.

Riley pulled the door open and we all stepped through into a dingey, mold smelling space.

It was large, about the size of a small house, and obviously vacant except for a Jeep and two figures leaning against it, talking in hurried voices.

"We're back." Riley announced as we got closer.

"Did you get him!" I heard Alex's nervous tone, she whipped her head in our direction and her eyes went wide as she saw me next to Ryan. "Oh thank god!" She all but sprinted towards me, wrapping me into a tight hug.

"Can't… Breath…" I gasped.

"Oh, sorry!" She released me and I could feel the air enter my lungs again.

"Glad they got to you in time." Cody beamed at me before pulling me into a softer hug.

"Me too." I replied.

"We're there any casualties?" Alex looked between Ryan and Riley, who gave her a knowing look. Her face went stern and she placed her hands on her hips. "You guys weren't supposed to kill them!"

"We had to! They had a gun pointed to his head!" Riley shouted, his voice echoed off the rust encased walls of the warehouse.

"There was no other way, believe me Alex, I would have tried." Ryan's voice was calm and reasonable, which made Alex relax slightly.

"Well… I suppose you guys had no other choice." She shook her head and folded her arms across her chest. "But this is bad, once the General finds out he's gonna want our heads."

"No, just ours." I spoke up. I wasn't dragging Alex and Cody into this mess, no way in hell.

"Don't be stupid man." Cody frowned at me. "We're a team, one of us jumps, we all jump."

"Not this time." I growled and shook my head. "I've already ruined Ryan and Riley's lives, I'm not gonna ruin yours."

"Our lives are already ruined. You saw those files, the General is gonna stop at nothing to eliminate us. He knows that we know." Alex argued.

I let out a frustrated growl and punched the side of the Jeep, it's alarm gave a warning chirp and made everyone jump.

"Aw man, that's a lease." Cody whined glancing at the fist sized dent on the back door.

"Elliott." I felt Ryan’s hands on both of my shoulders, his voice was low, calm and warm. "I know you're frustrated, and angry, but she's right. Whether we went through with the plan or not he was already targeting us. At least now we have a slight upper hand."

I gave a defeated chuckle, resting my forehead on the side of the Jeep. "We lost." I whispered.

"No we haven't, not yet." Ryan countered.

“No, you don’t get it.” I whipped around to face them. “Everything we thought we knew about The Order’s plan is wrong.”

They all stared at me with the same quizzical look that I gave the passenger back in the humvee.

“What are you talking about?” Riley asked flippantly.

“They're not dropping a dirty bomb on LA simply as an act of terrorism, they’re gonna blame it on the US.”

“Well but that would mean…” Alex trailed off, her eyes going wide.

“Wiat!” Riley spoke up, holding his hands out in a halt position. “So you're telling me that those Cobra Command wannabe’s are trying to plunge us into a third civil war?”

“Cobra Command?” A bewildered look split across Cody’s face.

“It’s before your time Cody.” I said impatiently, waving a hand in the air. I didn’t have time to explain the reference right now. “To answer your question, yes, that’s what they're planning.”

"Why don't you tell us everything that happened after you got captured." Ryan requested.

I nodded my head and leaned against Cody's Jeep, starting at the beginning when they took me away. I explained everything that the soldiers told me in the humvee. How the second civil war was their doing, how they’re planning on using the upcoming war to do what their predecessors failed to do. When I said it out loud it all seemed unreal, like it was more the plot of some old J.J. Abrams film. But we weren’t in some story, let alone a movie, this was our world as shitty as seemed.

“So what do we do then? We obviously have to warn someone.” Alex insisted.

That was a good question, what should we do? A more important one would be, who could we trust? They all looked at me expectantly as I thought about our plan of action. There was only one that I could think of.

“I obviously can’t stay here. Within a few hours every officer and soldier is going to be looking for me.”

“You keep saying this I bullshit.” Riley rolled his eyes. “Regardless of your little outburst, we’re still coming with you.”

I folded my arms across my chest and shook my head, stubborn, the whole lot of them. But maybe that was good, maybe I needed them to be stubborn so I would accept their help instead of going it alone.

As much as I wanted to do this on my own, and not drag them into it, I couldn’t. They were my team, my family, and if they wanted to see this to the end with me then who was I to stop them.

“I suppose if there’s any chance of stopping this, then we’re gonna have to do it together.” I gave them a warm smile, and I was greeted by similar smiles from them.

“So if we can’t stay here, then where do we go?” Ryan asked.

“We could lay low in the city, then we could try and get a meeting with one of the president's advisors.” Cody suggested, rubbing his chin while he thought.

"That would be a good plan, if any of us knew somewhere or someone that would be willing to take us in.” A snarky tone flew out of Riley’s mouth as he spoke, which was greeted by a scowl from Alex.

"I actually know a place" Cody rebounded. "What? I know a place." He responded defensively after noticing our questioning glances.

“Is it a daycare?” Riley smirked, making a jab at Cody’s age.

Cody flipped him off, giving him an icy glare.

"You can explain in the car we gotta go, quickly, before word spreads about your great escape.” Alex turned her gaze towards me.

Guilt began to bubble to the surface again, making me more aware that we were in this situation because of me.

“What about gear?” I asked as Alex opened the back door of the Jeep and climbed in.

“We got a bag in the back.” Riley stated as he slipped into the passenger's seat.

I nodded in approval as I slid in next Alex in the back. “Wow, you guys work fast.”

Cody was about to hop in the front seat but Ryan beat him to it, his large frame overshadowing Cody's more lean build.

"I'll drive, we'll use my credentials to get out." Ryan informed, sliding behind the wheel.

"Makes sense." Cody replied glumly and hopped in the back seat next to Alex.

Ryan fired up the engine and the tires screeched as we drove out of the warehouse and onto the street, heading towards the direction of the main gate.

It had been a whole forty-five minutes since Riley and Ryan rescued me, and I hoped that word hadn't traveled that fast yet. If it had then it would be hard for us to get out.

My fears came to light as we turned onto the main road in and out base only to be met by a line of cars. Soldiers were checking vehicles, shining their lights through the windows and requesting identification.

"Shiiit." Riley groaned, throwing his head back against the seat.

"What are we gonna do?" Cody panicked.

Alex looked over her shoulder and began rummaging around in the back.

"What are you doing?" I asked, craning my neck to take a look.

"Get in the back and lay down!" She hissed.

"What?" I gave her a bewildered look.

"Just do it!" She demanded.

I obeyed and climbed over the seat, laying on my back while Alex situated various things around me.

"What are you-"

"Shush!"

After she was finished she took a heavy green blanket and tossed it over me.

Alex was one of the smartest people I knew, but even these soldiers would see right through this.

"Alex, this is not-" I began to protest that this wasn't going to work, but she cut me off.

"Just shut up and don't move." She ordered.

I did as I was told, even though every inch of me knew this wasn't going to work.

"Alex, I don't think that's gonna work." Riley mimicked my uncertainty, but Alex quickly put it to rest.

"I've got a plan if it comes to it." She replied confidently.

"Okay guys, let me do the talking." Ryan’s voice was low and stern as the Jeep came to a slow halt.

"Identifications." A female voice ordered.

The Jeep shifted this way and that as everyone shuffled to get their ID's.

"Where you off too?" She inquired.

"Off the base for a few hours." Ryan spoke.

"I gathered that, but where to?" She responded with an annoyed tone.

There was a silence as I’m sure Ryan tried to think of something, anything to tell them.

“We’re totally fucked.”

"What's with this blanket in the back?" A male voice this time asked, he sounded close too, like he was right on the other side of the back window from me.

I tried my best to control my breathing, trying not to breathe too fast, my anxiety starting to ramp up slightly.

"It's a government prototype, we're testing it out in the desert." Alex informed.

"At this hour?" The woman scoffed, disbelief in her tone.

"It's classified, don't want people seeing it who shouldn't." Ryan explained.

"Well then, you wouldn’t mind if we took a look then would you?" The man responded and I heard the back door open, making my pulse race to extreme levels.

"Actually I would mind." Alex snapped, her sternness taking hold of the situation. "Unless you and your partner here want to be under the disciplinary board, I would suggest you step away from the cover."

"Under whose authority?" The man retorted.

"The General's. He asked me to build this prototype and told me it was for me and my fellow teammates eyes only, until it's finished. I can call him if you want, but at this hour he's not gonna be pleased and especially right now with whatever is going on." Alex had a challenging tone to her voice and there was a long silence as I'm sure the soldiers pondered what they wanted to do next.

I felt so vulnerable just laying under this blanket, I desperately wanted to see what was going on but I didn't dare try to peek through the cover and risk exposure. All I could do was hope that Alex's sternness and cunning would get us out of this.

"Whatever, get out of here." The woman sneered.

"That's what I thought." Alex remarked as the Jeep began moving again and I exhaled a sigh of relief. After a couple of minutes I felt a pat on my shoulder.

"We're clear." Alex informed me and I threw the blanket back, happy to be out from underneath it's stuffy confines.

"Holy shit babe, that was amazing!" Cody laughed.

"It's all in the confidence." She gave a dimpled grin, breathing on her nails and rubbing them on her shirt.

"Oh brother." Riley muttered, rolling his eyes.

The drive to LA from Bakersfield usually takes a couple hours, and that's without traffic. I was shocked when we made our way into the valley at an hour and a half.

At one in the morning the traffic on the five wasn't too horrible, but we were still going at a snail's pace.

"This is insane. I mean I had always heard about how bad traffic was in LA, but this is ridiculous." Ryan stated in a shocked tone.

"This is nothing, rush hour is a nightmare." Cody chuckled.

Fond memories of sitting in bumper to bumper traffic came flooding into my mind. People freaking out behind their steering wheels, flipping other people off, and also seeing the occasional nine car pileup. Yep, that was LA for you and I didn't miss it. I did however miss the beach, and swimming in the ocean.

"Okay Cody, where are we going?" Riley peered through the windshield at the row of taillights that stretched before us.

"El Sereno."

"El Sereno, are you kidding?" Riley gave him a bewildered look.

"We need a place to lay low, we'll have a house to ourselves there."

"Whose house?" Ryan asked.

"My house?" Cody replied slowly. We all gave him a questioning look, and he quickly explained.

"My Aunt left it for me, after she died."

"Well it's a good thing you kept it." I remarked.

"I couldn't get rid of it, too many memories. Plus I want to come back when I'm done in the Army."

That I could understand, and it made my thoughts drift back to my own home up in Seattle.

"El Sereno is on the other side of Downtown, it's gonna take us at least an hour to get there." Riley whined resting his head against the window.

"You're right Riley, why don't we go with your suggestion instead..." Cody trailed off with a wicked grin set to his face.

"That's not funny." Riley countered.

Alex chuckled. "Yeah, it kinda is."

I grinned at their bickering while staring out the window, watching as we slowly passed other cars, inching closer and closer to our destination.

I felt a hand grip my knee and I looked over to see it belonged to Ryan, his other hand gripped firmly to the steering wheel. I placed my hand over his and rubbed my thumb against the back of it. I saw a pleasant grin spread across his face at that, and it made me feel warm inside knowing that I put that grin there.

Riley was almost right about how long it would take us to get Cody's. It took us forty-five minutes, which might have actually been a record considering it was LA. But then again Ryan was driving, and he gave credit to being a cop at his superb driving capabilities.

Cody's house was a cute little brown bungalow style home with an enclosed front porch. It was in remarkable condition and actually looked like it had been remodeled recently.

"I had to fix some things after the earthquake." Cody explained, catching on to my observations.

"It's nice." I nodded approvingly.

Cody blushed and unlocked the front door, pushing it open so we could all step inside.

He flicked the lights on to reveal a standard living room with a brown couch and two overstuffed armchairs flanking it on either side. There was a chic wooden coffee table separating the chairs that looked like it was made out of recycled driftwood from a beach. A large flat screen tv hung on the wall opposite the couch and was framed on either side by two large bookcases and a buffet table that connected them at the bottom.

Everything was perfectly placed, every vase, every knick knack, every picture, as if someone had professionally come in and decorated the place.

“This is really nice Cody.” Alex gave him an adoring gaze, clearly proud of her man’s decorating prowess.

“Thanks.” Cody rubbed the back of his neck, a sheepish grin spreading across his face.

"You've never been here before?" Ryan gave her a confused look.

"No, never. I knew about it but with everything going on we could never make the trip."

“Yeah, I suppose this was worth the two and a half hour drive.” Riley plopped down on the couch and kicked his feet up on the coffee table.

“Shut up Riley,” Alex glowered and kicked his feet off the surface. “And feet off the coffee table.”

“Yes Mom.” Riley sneered.

I spotted a dining room off to my right, it was rather small with a square table taking up most of the room, two columns lined the entryway and I observed one of them, noticing marks etched into the wood and corresponding numbers for each of them. The numbers I recognized as age, so then that must mean the strike marks were height’s.

I had always heard about parents doing these sorts of things for their kids to memento their heights as they aged. My parents on the other hand didn’t do such things, “pointless” is what they called it.

I had never actually met a family who did this, so when I saw these marks I couldn’t help but run my fingers over them and smile at images of a young Cody, bouncing around excitedly as he grew over the years.

I stepped through the entryway and flicked a switch that lit up a chandelier, a nice rustic looking thing with edison bulbs that emitted a warm yellow glow across the room. I set my bag on the table and began pulling the files and papers that we had found and copied out, setting them on the table.

The others were still standing in the living room, talking about sleeping arrangements, where things were located and simple logistical things like;

“You have to turn the faucet all the way over to get the water hot, and then back it off to a bearable temperature.” and “You have to jiggle the handle slightly for the attic door, because it gets stuck on occasion.”

I sat down in a chair and groaned, the thought of having to flip through all these papers seeming more like a hassle then a necessity. But if we were going to figure out where the rebels were going to detonate their dirty bomb, it had to be done.

“Elliott?” I looked up to see Alex standing expectantly in the doorway. She had apparently asked me a question, but I was too lost in my own thoughts to have heard her.

“What?”

“Where do you wanna sleep tonight? There’s the bedroom in the attic, and one bedroom downstairs. Cody and I are gonna take the master.” She had a slight twinkle in her eye at the mention of Cody, which made me grin slightly.

“Oh… Wherever is fine, I’m probably not gonna get much sleep tonight anyway.” I admitted, holding the papers up in confirmation.

“Do you want some help?” She asked, taking a step forward and moving some of the papers around.

I gave her a gentle smile and shook my head. “Nah you go ahead and go to bed, you and Cody must be bushed.”

She gave me a warm smile and nodded her head. “Goodnight Ell.” and with that she turned around and headed off with Cody towards the master bedroom, which was situated down a narrow hallway off the living room.

"I think I'm gonna hit the sack too, I'm beat." Riley stated mid yawn, pulling his shirt off and collapsing on the couch.

"Why are you sleeping on the couch? There's like two other beds in the house." I cocked my head at him in confusion.

"Someone needs to stay out in the main room in case something happens. Besides you love birds are gonna wanna sleep together anyway, so that leaves me."

"I can keep watch, that couch is not gonna be very comfortable." I countered.

"I'll manage, besides, you look dead on your feet buddy."

"I'm fine." I insisted.

"Mmmhmm."

I felt a pair of warm hands on my shoulders and they began kneading and working their way into my sore shoulder muscles. I let out a low groan and lulled my head back to look at Ryan, his gaze meeting mine.

“You should get some sleep. You had a rough day.”

I gave a lighthearted chuckle. Rough was an understatement, in fact, I was surprised that I hadn’t gone completely fucked up over what I had gone through over the past week. But I was resilient if that wasn’t already obvious.

Sure I had the mental scars, but those would subside over time and as long as I had Ryan, I think I could manage.

“Sleep scares me.” I grumbled, thinking about the last time I had slept. Visions already began creeping into my thoughts, and I shook them away.

“C’mon.” A relaxed expression was set to Ryan’s face as he pulled on my hand.

I reluctantly followed, not looking forward to sleeping. But if I was laying next to this man then maybe, just maybe everything would be alright.

Ryan began leading us down the hallway toward the other bedroom but I resisted, instead eyeballing the staircase to our left.

"Let's sleep in the attic." I suggested.

Ryan nodded and gave me a gentle smile. "Okay." And he followed me up the steep and narrow steps towards the attic door at the top.

I always liked sleeping in upstairs locations. Even as a kid my bedroom was in a remodeled attic, not by choice, but when you were the youngest of five in a 3 bedroom house you kind of got stuck where you could fit. Over the years though I began to find the attic comforting, a sanctuary of sorts.

After jiggling the handle slightly and pushing against the door it opened and we were greeted by a rather large and open space. There was a single, double pane window situated over a queen sized bed, which was adorned in a taupe colored paisley quilt.

There was a large dresser situated against the wall to the left, and a comfy looking brown armchair situated in the corner next to the door. There was even a small bathroom with a shower, which upon looking at it made me desperately want a hot shower.

"Wanna take a shower?" Ryan asked, noticing my gaze.

"Yeah, that sounds amazing right now." I admitted, feeling the tension start to creep back into my shoulders. A hot shower would fix that right up.

"You go ahead, I'll wait up for you." Ryan gave me a gentle smile and kiss. I gave him a tired smile and began schucking off my clothes.

I could feel Ryan's eyes watching me as I stripped, which made my dick begin to go hard. I turned to face him as I pulled my underwear off, tossing them towards him.

Ryan gave me a hungry look and licked his lips as he took in my form. I had to be honest, it was nice to be stared at like that and it only made all the blood rush to my cock that much more.

I crossed over to him, a primal feeling rising up in me. I grabbed him by the front of his shirt and pulled him into me, smashing our lips together in a passionate kiss. Our tongues danced around each other in a perfect harmony and boy did Ryan taste good, that same spearmint flavor I craved.

I ran my hands up his shirt, gliding them all over his chest and making sure to grip his nipples, which was met with a gasp of pleasure from him.

"What about… the shower?" Ryan breathed between kisses and tweaked nipples.

"Fuck the shower." I growled, a newfound energy rising up in me. I was tired before, but now I felt wide awake.

I pulled Ryan's shirt off and brought my mouth to his chest, kissing his scars, and licking and gently biting at his nipples. I felt his hand on the base of my skull as he moaned in pleasure, tilting his head back.

"Fuck… I love it when you do that." He groaned.

"Mmm, you mean this." I repeated what I did, gripping his nipple gently between my teeth and flicking my tongue against it.

"Mmm, yeah… that…" Ryan gasped.

I began unbuttoning his pants, hooking my thumbs into the waistband and pulling them off, underwear and all. His cock sprang up after being released from it's confines, bobbing slightly out in front of him. I went to go down on him, desperately wanting to taste him but he stopped me.

"No, you first." He whispered, wrapping me in his arm and gently lowering us to the bed, his full weight on top of me. I loved it when he layed on top of me, like the world's best weighted blanket.

He slowly began kissing my neck, his hand traveling down and wrapping firmly around my dick. I let out a moan of pleasure at his electric touch, sending shockwaves across my body.

"Oh babe, you're pre-cumming so much right now." He stated happily as he brought a finger up to his mouth and licked it, moaning slightly.

He began kissing further down and when he got to my chest he was careful to avoid my cuts and move to the other side, swirling his tongue around my nipple.

"Mmmff, fuuuck." I let out a moan. My sensitive nipple tingled with desire. Ryan continued what he was doing, humming in pleasure at my moans.

"Ryan… I…"

"Yeah baby?" He began palming at my dick, slicking up my head with my pre-cum.

"I… need."

"I know what you need." He responded in a low tone.

I gasped as I felt the warmth and wetness of his mouth slide down the length of my shaft.

"Fuuuck." Was all I could muster as he worked and sucked on my cock, each stroke feeling like heaven.

"Not… gonna last like this." I moaned as I felt climax quickly approaching, sending tingling sensations over all my nerve endings. To my relief Ryan stopped and glanced up at me, a new form of hunger glazing across his eyes.

"I have a better way of making you cum." He responded deviously.

"Yes, I want you to fuck me." I replied breathlessly. I wanted to feel all of Ryan, in any way possible, make this moment last forever.

Ryan shook his head and straddled my hips, gazing down at me, lust and want crossing over his perfect features. He leaned down and kissed me on the lips, gliding over to my ear and nibbling on my earlobe which sent a shiver down my body.

"I want you to fuck me." Ryan growled in my ear.

My breathing hitched slightly at that statement, I had given thoughts and even fantasized about this moment. But for some reason I was nervous, why the hell was I nervous? I had an inkling as to why, but as Ryan grabbed my dick and gently pressed it towards his opening all of that nervousness had seemed to float away. Instead it was replaced with desire, desire to make this good for him, like he had made it good for me that first time.

"We don't have any lube." My eyes went wide from worry, but Ryan shook his head and continued pressing my cockhead to his hole.

"I think you have enough precum to fix that." He chuckled.

Ryan closed his eyes in concentration, his breathing relaxing as he slowly lowered himself on me.

We both moaned in unison as his hole relaxed and my cock slid past his threshold. I could feel Ryan's body vibrate on top of me as he lowered himself more, my cock filling every crevice inside of him, until his ass came into contact with my pelvis.

"Oh fuck." Ryan moaned, and man was that a glorious sound.

He gazed down at me, a new type of vulnerability in his eyes as he slowly began riding me, his tight hole and the warmth that surrounded it pulling on my cock and making my eyes roll in the back of my head.

He began quickening the pace slightly and I placed my hands on his hips, steadying him, wanting this to last a little bit longer.

"Please." Ryan begged, which only turned me on more.

"Not yet." I whispered, giving him a hungry look.

He leaned down and kissed me on the lips, our tongues intertwining with one another. God this was such a perfect moment, nothing could replace it. The way Ryan moaned, the way he looked at me in that vulnerable and exposed way, it was like seeing inside of him for the first time.

I thrusted my hips upward, burying my cock further into him and Ryan moaned in my mouth. I did it again and he moaned a little louder, I must have hit the spot. I began a motion of slow thrusts, each one sending me closer and closer towards that magnificent finish.

"Oh fuck… Elliott." Ryan grabbed a hold of my arms and squeezed, riding through the waves of pleasure.

I grabbed his dick and began jerking him off, my thrusts getting quicker and my climax reaching its peak.

"Oh fuck." I groaned, my breath hitching and my body tensing as I began shooting load after load into Ryan, the intensity of which made my balls ache and had me growling.

Ryan let out a low groan and I felt as warm cum began shooting all over my chest, his hole pulsating around my cock which was still buried deep inside of him.

He collapsed on top of me, his breathing hard and labored.

"Your shivering." Ryan stated breathlessly, taking notice to my body vibrating underneath him in waves.

"It was… intense." I let out an exhausted chuckle.

"I'm pretty sure I'm pregnant now." Ryan joked and we both laughed at that, the sounds echoing off the attic walls.

I loved his laugh, it was thick and warm like honey, and deep like it came straight from the heart. It was the type of laugh that was more cozy than obnoxious, like being wrapped up in a warm blanket next to a roaring fire.

"What is it?" Ryan asked gently.

It took me a minute to realize that I was staring at him with a longing expression, my thoughts clearly plastered across my face. I bit my lower lip, a blush spreading across my face.

"Just enjoying this." I admitted stroking his cheek with the back of my hand. “You're so beautiful you know that?” My voice sounded husky as I spoke.

He blushed, leaning into my touch and kissing my hand. “You're not too bad yourself.” He replied softly, giving me a soft kiss and rolling off of me.

He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me closer as I let out a long yawn and nuzzled my way into his chest.

Ryan stroked my back gently with his fingers, the touch was comforting and was sending me off into a sleep.

"Goodnight Elliott." Ryan whispered, pressing a kiss to the top of my head.

"G'night." I managed to say before my exhaustion completely took over and I drifted off to sleep.

I awoke the next morning to a beautiful sunrise pouring in through the window, and the smell of coffee wafting from a mug that was hovering over me. Ryan was sitting on the edge of the bed, a grin splitting across his face at the sight of me.

“Good morning.”

“Morning.” I replied bleary eyed, my eyes not adjusting to the bright sunshine quiet yet.

“How’d you sleep?” He asked as I accepted the mug from him.

I reflected back on my sleep, no night terrors, no waking up in a cold sweat. I actually slept the best I had in awhile, considering the circumstances.

“Good actually, considering.”

“I’m glad.” Ryan leaned down and gave me a soft kiss on the lips, and I couldn’t help but feel giddy over it.

Everything from Ryan, to the coffee, to the cozy attic room, to the sun coming in from the window was absolutely perfect and something that I desperately wanted to happen again.

I took a drink of the coffee and groaned in approval, it was delicious, not like the coffee we usually got on base.

“Is everyone else awake?” I asked.

“Yeah. They're all in the living room discussing what we should do next."

"Any ideas?" I raised my eyebrows as I took another drink of coffee.

"Short from bursting into the capitol building and demanding to speak to the president, no." Ryan's expression turned bleak.

I cocked my head at him, this was a side of Ryan I hadn't seen yet.

"What is it?" I asked.

Ryan picked at his coffee mug, staring pensively at its contents. He let out a long sigh and brought his gaze back up to meet mine.

"This all just seems so impossible. Literally the fate of millions of people rests in our hands and we have no idea what to do.”

Ryan was losing faith, which was understandable. It did seem like an impossible feat, but if I had learned anything from after San Francisco it was that our team could handle a lot. Sure this responsibility was forced onto us, but if we didn’t do it who else would?

I grabbed Ryan’s hand, giving a gentle squeeze and running my thumb across his fingers.

“It does seem impossible,” I admitted, nodding my head. “But we have to try, we have a responsibility."

Ryan nodded his head and I gave his hand a squeeze, which he returned with a shaky smile. I could see the uncertainty on his face, we were all uncertain about this and where we went from here. We just needed to band together and get through this because we were stronger as a unit.

I released his hand from my grip and swung my legs out of the bed giving a large stretch. I had slept pretty good, probably the best I had slept in a while.

I glanced out the window above the bed to be greeted by an amazing view of Downtown. Glass towers and skyscrapers stretching towards the sky, desperate to escape a layer of smog that settled over the city.

I stood up and walked over to the area that my clothes had been in the previous night but they were gone. I scanned the room but I couldn't see them.

I looked over at Ryan questioningly as he stared at my bare form, a coy smile spreading across his face.

"Your clothes were dirty so I threw them in the washer." He stood up and walked over to the chair in the corner of the room where a pile of neatly folded clothes lay. He picked them up and brought them over to me, his gaze looking me up and down in a hungry fashion.

"We're about the same size. I brought a couple change of clothes just in case but honestly, I'm kinda digging this look you already have."

I gave him a lopsided grin and took the stack of clothes from him. "Thank you."

"No problem besides, seeing you in one of my shirts will be thanks enough." He gave me a gentle smile and pressed a kiss to my lips. "I'll see you downstairs." He added with a wink and turned on his heel, leaving me alone in the attic to get dressed.

I pulled Ryan's clothes on and I was surprised to find that we were indeed the same size. His shirts were softer then I realized too, the cotton fabric clinging to my skin and feeling more like a pajama shirt than an actual shirt. I understood now why he wore them, besides the fact that they covered his burn scars they were just comfortable, plain and simple.

I made my way down the attic stairs and rounded the corner to the living room, where everyone's gaze came up to meet me.

"Someones in a good mood." Alex eyed me suspiciously from the couch.

I hadn't realized it before but I did have a little extra pep in my step this morning. I guess a combination of good sleep and mind blowing sex will do that for you.

"I slept." I half admitted, leaning against the wall.

"Is that all?" There was a small glint and a knowing expression in Riley's eyes, telling me that he knew what happened. I rolled my eyes at him and turned my gaze towards Alex, who was typing away on her laptop.

"What you got going on there?"

Alex didn't look up at me, instead continuing to type away on her laptop.

"I'm uploading all the information we found to my tablet, including the stuff from the flash drive that Gray gave to Riley." Her tone was preoccupied, giving me the impression that she wanted to be left alone while she worked.

My intuition was correct when she stood from the couch and walked into the dining room, her eyes glued to her screen.

"Do you want any help?" I asked.

"No I got it, thanks." Her voice drifted from the dining room.

I went to take another drink of coffee only to realize that my mug was empty. I must have been so tired this morning that I didn’t even notice I drank all of it.

“Is there any more coffee Cody?” I gave him a pointed look.

“Yeah, in the kitchen.” Cody replied, flicking through the channels on the tv until he found the news.

An anchorman with a fake smile and an equally fake tan appeared on the screen, a rather striking woman sitting next to him.

“Welcome to channel two news, good morning, I’m Dave Tucker.”

“And I’m Carolyn Holly.”

“Where do these people get these names from?” Riley asked with a bemused expression.

“Does it really matter?” Ryan asked, lowering himself on the couch.

“I just wanna know who would name their kid Dave Tucker.”

“I don’t know why don’t we ask your parents, Riley Monroe.” Cody gave him a smirk and Riley stared back with pursed lips and pointy eyes.

I made my way into the kitchen and found the coffee pot nestled in a corner between the sink and the fridge. I poured myself a steaming mug of coffee and took a drink, gazing out the window.

The neighbors were coming out of their house, two men, one in scrubs and the other in a Paramedic uniform. They both said something to each other and smiled before leaning towards each other and kissing. They then broke apart, one of them climbing into the truck they were standing next to and the other jogging across the yard towards a Toyota sedan.

I stared fondly at that image, wondering if I would ever have that again. I could have that again with Ryan, but what if Ryan didn’t want the same things I did. What if he was more the condo in the city type of guy vs my house in the suburbs.

“Spying on the neighbors?”

I jumped slightly as Ryan snuck up behind me, leaning in close enough to whisper in my ear. He gave a wide grin at my startled reaction and poured another cup of coffee for himself.

“Dammit, you scared me.” I chuckled.

“I see that.” He took a drink of his coffee and stood beside me, gesturing towards the window with his mug. “Looks nice doesn’t it?”

“What does?” I blinked at him.

“A house in the suburbs, leaving for work at the same time and giving each other a farewell kiss in the driveway. Seems perfect.”

Was Ryan doing it again, practically reading my thoughts? Or was he just assuming those were the types of things that I wanted?

“Is that what you want?” I asked, my voice coming out a little too hopeful.

Ryan gave me a lopsided grin and shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe, is that what you want?”

I rolled my eyes at his response and took a drink of my coffee. “Maybe.” I gave him a coy smile.

Ryan opened his mouth to say something but was cut off by Cody’s voice calling from the living room.

“Guuuuys!” There was an anxious tone to his voice which had Ryan and I both wide eyed as we walked into the living room to see Cody and Riley staring at the tv screen, mouths agape.

“Pierce escaped custody last night, leaving three soldiers dead and one fatally wounded-”

“Well at least we didn’t kill all of them.” Riley responded sarcastically.

“Shush!” Cody hissed.

“Authorities are also on the lookout for four of his accomplices-”

“Frack.” Alex squeaked, coming in from the dining room and standing behind Cody with an equally wide expression.

Four pictures popped up next to mine on the tv screen.

“-twenty-four year old Alex Wilson, twenty-five year old Cody Park, thirty year old Riley Monroe, and thirty-six year old Ryan Riggs. All are suspected to be armed and dangerous, if you should see them don’t approach them, instead call your local authorities.”

There was a long pause as Cody flicked the tv off. We all stood there, mouths agape, not really sure what to say.

“I gotta say, I did not see that coming.” Riley said in a defeated tone.

“What are we gonna do?” Cody stared, shocked and open mouthed, at the tv.

I figured this would happen, and I had planned for it. What I hadn't planned for was all of us to be on the fugitive list.

I ran my fingers through my hair, trying to think of a way around this and feeling frustrated when I came up empty handed.

We all exchanged uncertain looks with each other too shocked for words.

Cody asked the right question , what were we going to do?

Copyright © 2020 zanoGreen; All Rights Reserved.

Thank you for reading! Please comment below and let me know where you would like to see the story go or what your favorite parts are so far. Please note that this story does not revolve around a killer virus, that's just what sets up the events that lead to the story.

If you enjoyed what you have read, please leave a reaction and/or comment for the author!

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Chapter Comments

Out of the frying pan and into the fire! This story just keeps getting more and more exciting! I'm ready for the next chapter any time! Thanks. 

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Thanks for the awesome words guys! I'm trying to post a new chapter every week, but sometimes I get a little stumped with my writing 😬

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I honestly have no idea why they all were so surprised by the General going public about their escape.  It makes anything they say look suspicious.  It is what I would have done.

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