The Weatherman

When Serena Frost starts a new job at the British Weather Centre, she learns about a rival company, Readiweather.com, whose forecasts are uncannily accurate. A chance encounter with Readiweather's founder piques Serena's interest, but she soon finds both her heart and her life in danger, as some people will stop at nothing to discover Readiweather's secret.

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13. Chapter Thirteen

            Serena knew she had nothing to lose. She kicked backwards with the heel of her right foot into her captor’s shin. He swore and moved forwards involuntarily, pushing Serena away from the barrel of the gun. Serena stamped her left foot on her captor’s, causing him to move again. The other man kept his finger over the trigger, readjusting his aim as the two of them struggled.

            “Pull the bleeding trigger!” the older man shouted. The younger man did as he was told, as Serena jerked her captor again. The bullet shattered his shoulder, and he grabbed it with his good hand, releasing Serena.

            Serena glanced around her. The two men were still blocking the doorway, whilst the small ex-changing room windows offered no means of escape. There was another set of doors at the far end of the pool room, she remembered. They probably hadn’t been used in years but it was her only means of escape. She rushed the pool room door and launched a kick at the lock. “Come on, open,” she muttered under her breath. It needed to open first time for her as the man with the gun was taking aim at her. It didn’t. The man with the gun fired again, missing Serena but splintering the lock.

            “Thanks,” she acknowledged, kicking the door open and running into the pool room.

            “Why can’t you shoot straight?” the older man asked, still clutching his shoulder. “Get after her!”

            As the younger man followed Serena into the pool room, she slammed the door shut on the wrist holding the gun. It fell from his hand, slid across the tiled floor and plopped into the pool. Serena ran away from the door, but the man was quicker than her and caught her up in a few strides. He grabbed her ponytail and pulled her towards him. Serena struggled to get free, but he was stronger. They struggled together on the edge of the pool, then overbalanced into it with a splash. The man held Serena under but she struggled upwards and resurfaced for just long enough to take another gasp of air before he forced her under again. This time, he held her under for almost two minutes before releasing his grip. Unprepared for his fall into the pool, he’d swallowed a mouthful of the liquid on entry, which was now burning away at his insides. Serena surfaced to see him floating on his back a few feet away from her. “Help me,” he mouthed, clutching his chest. She was about to swim over to him when the door back to Jeff’s flat opened again and the other man stood in the doorway, brandishing Jeff’s gun in the hand of his good arm. He let off a shot which missed Serena and she realised he’d found Jeff’s box of cartridges. Serena dove for the bottom of the pool, and he let off two more shots, which also missed. Allow for refraction, he remembered, but his next two shots also missed, as the liquid in the pool had a different refractive index to that of water. Just one shot left before he needed to reload, he realised. Don’t waste it. Serena had disappeared from his sight and he stepped closer to the edge of the pool to look for her. As he leaned over, she resurfaced, the other gun already cupped in her hands, and let off a shot, which entered the man’s body just above his stomach and burrowed upwards into his heart.  His body arced over Serena and collapsed into the pool, dead.

            Serena dragged the two bodies out of the water and pulled their balaclavas off. She was shocked to discover that they were Drew and Clarence Foot.

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