Thirty-Eight

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Lester couldn't shake the feeling that someone watched him on his way to work on Tuesday. Once he got in, however, he felt safe with a legion of Ares corporate security between him and anyone who might try to make a move against him. This place stood tall like a veritable fortress. When he left work the feeling returned almost the instant he stepped foot out the front door.

While he made his way home he couldn't help but keep looking over his shoulder and nervously checking his surroundings. He felt the cold steel of the handgun against the small of his back but it did little to ease his mind. It wasn't until he entered his apartment that he felt safe again, though he still kept the handgun within arms reach at all times. He decided it would be best to just stay inside until group tonight.

He vegged out in front of the TV for a couple hours snacking on some ships until the time to leave came. He stuffed the gun down the back of his pants and headed out.While walking to the bus stop he noted the dreaded feeling of being watched had passed which made the trip more comfortable. As always he arrived early and helped set things up. Emma and Jackie came in right around the time he finished making the coffee. He noticed Emma carrying a larger purse than usual which he assumed accommodated the gun he'd given her. They also looked a little stressed out.

"Hey guys, what's going on?"He asked.

"We thought someone was following us on the way over but it turned out to be a false alarm."Emma answered.

"We think anyway." Jackie said. "It's probably nothing though."

"Probably." Lester said."I've been feeling a little on edge myself today."

Group began as usual and continued to go smoothly for about a half hour until three men burst through the door with guns drawn and the lead man firing a shot into the ceiling. Almost everyone dropped to the floor in panic. Lester made a run for the table holding the coffee maker, flipped it over,and took cover behind it. To his surprise Nikki had the same idea and ended up sitting next to him on the floor back to the table.

"Fuck they found me." She yelled as she lifted her skirt and revealed two sheathed daggers strapped to her upper thigh.

"After you? I'm pretty sure they're after Emma, Jackie, and Me." Lester said while pulling his handgun from it's hiding place under his shirt.

"Who could possibly be after your white bread ass?" Nikki countered while drawing her knives.

"Does that really matter right now?" Lester turned around, popped up, and squeezed off a few rounds before ducking back down. He risked taking a peek around the corner of the table and saw Emma and Jackie hiding behind a second table.

"Cover me." Nikki said before jumping up and running toward their assailants. Lester rose up, opened fire, and watched astonished while Nikki ran up to the lead man, slid on her knees, and drove one blade into the back of his knee causing him to fall, then stabbed the second into his chest before he even hit the floor.

Meanwhile the other two men hid behind the door frame to avoid shots not just from Lester, but Jackie and Emma as well. Nikki pressed against the wall trying to avoid the on coming fire then pointed behind Jackie and Emma where there stood a second door which lead out to the back of the building.

"Go" Lester yelled at her.

He covered her while she ran for the door then made a run for it himself. Once safely behind Jackie and Emma he tapped them both on the shoulder. "Come on." He backed his way through the door but before he could pass the threshold a bullet grazed his arm sending him sprawling backward onto the ground. Emma quickly helped him back to his feet while Jackie continued covering their escape and backing her way out of the building herself. Once Jackie cleared the door Nikki slammed the heavy steel door shut.

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