They had barely gone a few steps before a gun was fired.

The window of the bakery next to them exploded in a shower of glass. Chaos erupted as Carter's ears rang with the sound, the world muffled. The window shards rained over them and she raised her arms, blocking her face.

Everything was a storm of confusion as she fought to regain clarity. Another shot cut through the air, landing in a second window above them. Donovan flipped over a deserted table on the side walk and they both ducked behind it.

He shielded her body with his own, his arms wrapped tightly around her.
More gunfire pelted the sidewalk and beat against the wooden table. Carter's mind crystallized as adrenaline spiked her system, the fuzzy thoughts of a second ago burned away. In its place was a sharp focus. Donovan leaned close to her, his lips hovering over her ear.

"We need to make a run for the bakery and take cover on the other side of the counter."

Carter twisted her head so she could see him. His blue eyes were serious, his lips a determined line.

"I'll follow you," he said.

Her heart raced, her body buzzing. Even in the intensity of the moment, she was overly aware of him. The feel of his chest pressed against her back, and his arms securing her.

"On the count of three," he said.

Carter nodded, shifting her stance to make a break for it.


Blood pounded in her ears.


Another volley of gun fire ricocheted off the sidewalk and brick buildings.


Carter sprinted forward, Donovan hot on her heels. She leapt through the shattered window. Clearing the length of the shop in a few steps, she vaulted over the counter and landed hard on the floor. Donovan slid over the top and dropped down right beside her.

She looked at him, her breathing fast and energized. Donovan met her gaze, his eyes bright like a burning candle flames.

A smile spread across her face. He was quick to return it.

She laughed, looked over the top of the counter and then back at him.

"Well," she said, "Captain has had a good many opportunities to hit you with a bullet and hasn't. I say this is a good sign."

"Good," Donovan said, "because I wanted to take you out tonight."

Carter couldn't stop the happiness she felt with that statement. "Then let's get me through this with no injuries and you only mildly wounded."

"I'll take mildly wounded for a date with you."

They smiled as another round of bullets pinged off the counter and tile floor. Carter twisted to look over the counter. From the low view, there wasn't much to see. She shifted back.

"What's our next move?" she asked.

He pointed to himself. "You mean my next move. Technically, you weren't even suppose to struggle against Curtis."

Carter frowned.

"You try playing the helpless damsel after years of training and see how easy it is to do nothing." A thought struck her. "You didn't hurt Curtis too badly, did you?"

Donovan shook his head. "He might have a bad headache tomorrow and a bruise or two but he'll be fine. Now, come on. Let's move. And no attacking the men. That's my job today."

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