xxxix. dora the explorer

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Ace leapt into action immediately. He jerked on my hand, pulling me down quickly, as the thunderstorm of bullets shattered the windows. Grey, aged snowflakes of dust and debris floated up into the air to blur my view. All of a sudden, my house seemed more like a tangible battleground than a faint memory.

My body crashes into his due to the instability. I cling onto his chest motivated by fear. Even in this situation, Ace cocks an amused eyebrow at me. "Cupcake, you're holding on pretty tightly you know, not that I mind."

I smack the side of his head. "Christ can we not do this now? We're being shot at."

"Au contraire, this could be our last chance to make something happen. Il y a tellement de choses que j'aimerais te faire..."

"We'll talk about this later, Rosetta Stone," I seethe. The deafening sounds ebb away. Whoever, whatever was out there now waited for the prey in the den to make the next move. "Do you think it's Thirteen?"

"I can't tell," Ace mutters, his jaw tightening. He reloads the handgun with a magazine. No matter how good of a shot he is, we were simply outnumbered. "Could you think of anyone else you might have pissed off? You're pretty irritating."

"This could be our last conversation. So screw you."

"If you'd like to. We still have time."

I smack him again. "You're right, two minutes should be long enough for you."

Ace deapans me. I quickly get up off of him before our potentially last and embarrassing conversation can continue. "Alright, I'm going to deal with whoever it is."

"You're going to get yourself killed dumbass," I state, "You're not a journalist by day and superhero by night, you're not invincible."

"I can't believe the last words you said to me included dumbass," Ace smirks. "Make sure to put hot, intelligent, and charismatic on my epitaph."

Before I could comprehend what was happening, he shot back into the crowd through the ajar window. Three bullets, three corresponding fallen assailants. He then jumped through the window from the distraction in one swift motion. What a clusterfuck of wankers.

I instinctively run after Ace so he doesn't die—not that I was much help anyway. Now that I was running through the hail-mary of bullets, with every step, I was more regretting my decision to help Banana Bread. Thankfully the bullets were mostly concentrated on Ace. He was clearly the bigger threat.

Not gonna lie, I'm a little offended that they weren't trying to shoot at me. Like come on, I can kinda aim. I can be dangerous.

Who am I kidding, perhaps hiding in a shrub was my best option.

"Put your hands up!" Someone yells using a megaphone. "This is Interpol—surrender peacefully or you will be killed."

My gaze flickers over to the speaker, and it's someone I'd never thought I'd see again. Bright and determined blue eyes meet mine. When he sees me, he raises his hand, and everyone stops the crossfire.

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