Mystery

Aiden González knows he's good looking, knows he can get any girl he wants and knows that every guy on campus wants to be him. The rebellious teen living at an army camp for 4-19 year olds finds himself in charge of training new candidates after getting back from a three month mission and to say he's pissed off would be an understatement. That is; until he meets a certain Lexi Matthews.
Mystery by Whisper_ ©

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9. I'm Not Letting You Die

It took two days for the trio to get their orders. Two days filled with trying to act like they knew nothing. Two days of making sure Lottie didn't leave their sight, just in case and by the time they were given the go ahead things were hectic.

Thursday's usually consisted of some kind of party going on for those 'troubled kids' whilst the Gifted would go to quiet places and study like their lives depended on it. But the Thursday that rolled around that week was like no other.

The gifted were nowhere to be seen, not even in lessons but the teachers acted like they didn't even exist. All gifted students... Just gone. Including Lottie.

"They should be here in half an hour," Aiden explained whilst clipping a weapons belt into place around his waist. "That's the quickest the jet can get them here."

Kitted out in black cargo trousers, a long sleeved black thermal tee shirt and a bullet proof vest; Aiden looked everything like the dangerous teenager that C.S.A.T.S. adores. In a smaller, slightly slimmer version of Aiden's uniform stands Lexi who has her hair in a ponytail and combat shoes on her feet. She, too, looks ready for a fight but also extremely nervous. And who wouldn't be with a hand gun tucked into the waistband of her trousers and a bunch of hacking systems in her belt?

Everything about camp, about combat training and learning to shot a gun had never felt real until this very moment.

You've got this, Lexi reminded herself in her head. Just remember whatever Aiden said and you'll be fine.

Aiden watched as Lexi had an internal mind battle before he cupped her cheek and tilted her head up to face his. "Lex, you can handle this okay? I know you can."

Gulping and shaking inside Lexi nodded before Aiden flashed her his famous smirk and then lifting up the window. Sneaking out was easy, jumping the wall was easy and even the long jog to the anonymous location was the easy part. But once they reached the slope heading down towards a large building very much like the mission briefing offices at camp Lexi stopped. The high security fences, the trucks dotted around the area and the storage units beside them were dark enough, but the building itself looks like somewhere all the bad guys hide out. 

Which is essentially what's happening.

"Lex." Aiden stood in front of her, blocking her view and cupping her cheeks; pulling her head up to look at him. His eyes are large and worried, but the silk-smooth voice of his seemed anything but scared. "I've got you, 'kay? Nothing bad's gonna happen to you."

"We could die."

"I'm not letting you die." Aiden interjected. "I'm not letting you die, I'm not letting Lottie die nor am I letting any one of those kids die either. You understand?"

Lexi took a deep breath and nodded; shooting Aiden a smile that had his heart stopping momentarily. "Let's do this."

***

Lexi had been shooting automatic rifles since she was around eight years old and she would tag along with her Uncle to the shooting range, but never had she dreamt that she would end up with a gun in her hand as she takes part in a top-secret government spy mission at just 16 years old. Noticing the almost relaxed aura of Aiden beside her seemed to calm her down just a little bit.

"How long until backup?" She whispered. 

"Three minutes." Aiden replied, sneaking a look over his shoulder. "Okay, here." He nodded towards the door to their left. He entered first as Lexi tucked her gun back into the waistband of her trousers and removed her backpack. Inside the room were control panels and dozens of computers which are meant to keep the entire system running for the building.

Lexi had always been a whiz with computers and when she started her basic training she also completed a computer and technology course. She started right away, leaving Aiden on look out as she plugged devices in and flicked buttons. Aiden had no idea what the hell she was doing other than her outcome is to hack into the system yet make sure no one knows. 

"I'm in."

"You literally started 40 seconds ago." Aiden moved from the door and stood behind Lexi. She's typing away at one of the computers with one hand whilst moving her other hand across a finger pad which seemed to control all the security cameras. Lexi turned her head over her shoulder and up towards Aiden, smiling at him again. 

"What can I say, I'm-" She started.

Aiden, smiling and rolling his eyes at the same time, finished it off. "Devilishly outstanding with a butt load of good looks."

***

Her leg kills; dark red blood seeping down her leg from her thigh and pooling on the floor. The only good thing about the pain is that she knows she can still feel it but with no one around her and no way of stopping the blood Lexi doubts she'll be having any feeling of her leg unless someone comes right now.

For the fiftieth time since she got shot, Lexi opened her mouth and - through a hoarse throat - screamed out again: "Aiden!"

***

"Aiden!" He spun round and sighed with relief at the sight of Lottie. She looks shrivelled, dirty and bruised and completely out of breath but she's alive and at the moment that's all that matters. The gun in her hands isn't one of theirs, but one of the guards who works here. 

"Lottie." He sighed as she rushed towards him and clung onto his neck. "You okay? What did they do?"

"I'm okay. They didn't do anything. They've been containing us, that's all." She pulled away and waved the gun at him. "Thanks for teaching me that left hook by the way, really came in handy."

He chuckled before looking behind her. "Where is everyone?"

"We heard gunshots, some freaked out." She ran a hand through her hair. "I didn't knock out one guard you know, a few of the more athletic kids have been given a gun and told where to go. They're in groups and should be out by now. Please tell me back up's here."

"Got here fifteen minutes ago." He nodded, rushed, before gripping onto her shoulders. "Look, get to the control room. Lexi's there. Make sure she finishes the job and then contact me alright? We leave here together."

Lottie nodded. "Control room. Lexi. Together." She nodded again. "Got it."

***

Spots are swimming in and out of Lexi's vision. Her throat's too dry and scratchy to scream any more, and her head's dropping. She's sweating, she's bleeding and cold. Lexi's also pretty sure that the bleeding is starting to slow down, but the bullet in her right thigh is still lodged in and even the slightest bit of movement hurts.

The door of the control slammed open. "Lexi, Aiden se- oh my god, LEXI!" Lottie slid down onto her knees beside her, directing Lexi's face towards her. Lottie's almost as pale of Lexi, her hands frantically pressing against the wound in Lexi's thigh to try and stop the blood. At this point Lexi's eyes can only open in slits, but she can still make out Lottie keeping one hand on Lexi's thigh (fingers now stained with blood) whilst her other hand groped at Lexi's belt. 

She pulled out the flip-phone she had been equipped with which goes straight to call back up when flipped open. Lottie did so, lodging it between her cheek and her shoulder before using a pen knife - also from Lexi's belt - to tear at her own sweater. She cut off the two arms and tied them together as fast as she could before wrapping it round Lexi's leg tightly as a make-shift bandage. Lexi cried out in pain when her leg moved before biting down on her bottom lip. 

"Sir?" Lottie gripped the phone in her hand when someone finally answered. "Sir- no yeah we're in and- no Lexi's hurt... Shot... Right thigh, I've wrapped it up but she's already lost a ton of blood... wait a second-" She tore the phone from her cheek and turned to Lexi. 

"The computers, are they do-"

Lexi shook her head, coughing before managing to stutter out a response. "Yo-you need to fi-finish it."

Lottie shoved the phone into Lexi's hand and stumbled towards the computer. Fumbling with a couple keys Lottie followed everything Lexi said, barely taking in any information before she pressed enter, saw the processing symbol and quickly skidded back to Lexi. She took back the phone, barked down a couple orders into it and then hung up. 

"Where's Ai-" Lexi interrupted herself by coughing violently, clutching at her stomach and losing even more colour. Lottie pulled her towards her, smoothing down her hair and ridding Lexi of her weapons belt, the gun and the back pack.

"He should be here soon, don't worry." Lottie rocked them, trying to make sure that the bandage on Lexi's leg didn't unravel or get too blood-soaked. She kept glancing at the door too, until they both heard another rounds of gunshots. Lexi flinched further into Lottie's chest, eyes squeezed shut and shoulders jerking upwards when the door banged open and then shut just as quickly. 

***

It took Aiden 3 seconds to register the computers were all going static - signaling the job was done - before he saw Lottie look up at him with pleading eyes. His eyes zoomed right into Lexi, curled up and colourless against Lottie's purple sweater. He can see the arms of the sweater, blood-soaked and wrapped tightly around Lexi's right thigh. He dropped down quickly to his knees beside her, told Lottie exactly what to do even though he couldn't hear his own words and then cradled her into his chest when Lottie got up to the instructions. 

Lexi's seating even though her body is unnaturally cold. The bits of her hair that's fallen from her ponytail is sticking to her face and neck, her lips are turning a couple shades darker than they should be and her eyes can barely open enough to see the green of her iris. 

"Back up's here." Lottie said, picking up their things. "Your uncle's sent people in. We need to get out, now."

Aiden nodded but Lottie's words were like rushing water in his ears. It took him a minute or two before he snapped out of it and carefully picked Lexi up bridal style. He kept her securely to his chest, one hand holding a gun and the other tucked under her waist as he nodded to Lottie again and followed her out of the electric room. Lottie took the lead, holding two guns in her hand as well as a flashlight under one arm. 

Aiden had to hand it to her, Lottie's a great field agent. She's seemed to memorise the routes around the building, and before Aiden could even properly register where they were going he could hear the helicopters and see flashes of light signalling they were close to Aiden's Uncle and the back up team. 

Neither him or Lottie could remember getting out of the doors, or even the swarm of back up team circling them to check if they were alright. The only thing they could remember were ambulance staff laying Lexi in the ambulance, secure an oxygen mask around her mouth and then slam the doors shut before they were driving away, sirens blaring and lights flashing.

When Aiden tuned back in and snapped his eyes away from the retreating ambulance his Uncle had him wrapped in a blanket and a few other ambulance staff were checking the gash on his forehead. 

His Uncle was talking to him and Lottie too, but both of the seventeen year olds remained pale and as if they had just seen a ghost. Aiden slipped his hand into Lottie's, needing the comfort that came from her hand squeezing his thightly back more than he needed his Uncle's words of comfort that didn't work. 

Aiden had been on 11 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, but seeing Lexi like that was worse than the things he had seen and done overseas...

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