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Excerpt from LIVE by Gillian Zane

The following excerpt is copyrighted by Gillian Zane with All Rights Reserved. You may not republish or use the following work without the authors expressed permission, unless used for review or commentary.

 

ONE | Denial 101

Blake

It took ten minutes to figure out something was wrong. I should have fucking seen it. I should have been paying attention. I saw the look Clara was directing at us.  I saw her get up and follow Alexis down the hallway. I just didn’t think that Clara would have the stones to pull off something like this. She was such a behind- the- scenes operator. She never got her hands dirty.

It took me by surprise and I don’t like surprises.

I just sat there waiting on an emotional high because of what we had accomplished today and what might happen tonight. No alarm bells, the       hyper-awareness that I’m so proud of failed me. Of all the times, of all the situations! 

Four tours, four official tours at least — don’t even get me started on unofficial ones -– and I didn’t even sense danger staring me right in the face of an enemy that I had brought to our gates. I had brought her in. I had given her a free pass.

Bubba was the one that alerted us, fucking Bubba was the only one paying attention. He came barreling through the front doors like an enraged bull. His hollering caused everyone to jump to their feet scared and on alert. The first thought in my mind was that we were under attack. He had been grabbing a smoke outside and saw the entire thing or at least the part where the SUV rammed the gates of our compound and headed off to God knows where.

“Who’s missing? I need a headcount now!” Zach yelled when Bubba ran in and reported the breach.

“I think it was Alexis who was driving, and she had someone else with her,” Bubba panted.

Everyone had been at the party except the four on guard duty and they all radioed in confirming they were still at their posts. It was obvious there were only two missing from the party as we milled around counting heads.

“Alexis and Clara,” Baby shouted after she had made a circuit around the room. I knew this, but the confirmation was crippling.

“Get a vehicle loaded up, Hannah, I want you and Romeo fully armed with us. Grab the spotlights,” I yelled, “Now!” I reiterated when she stalled and looked to Zach. Six months and now she second guessed me, deferred to Zach, fuck.

“You can’t go out at night, Blake.  You don’t know what you’ll find out there.” Grace Peters walked up to me.

I didn’t need arguments. I didn’t need resistance. I needed action. I said nothing to her and whatever was visible on my face had her stepping back and grabbing her husband by the arm as if to protect him. I wasn’t going to take her husband with me.  I don’t know why she would even get involved in this situation.

I needed to find Alexis now, day, night, nothing mattered but finding out what was going on. I need to know why Alexis would have rammed the gates and taken off with Clara. Why would she have done that?