A further week had passed, Cara’s nightmares weren’t easing up and Archer was still making a regular appearance to soothe her during the episodes. Cara had woken a few times to the sight of Archer, before her eyes shut again. No words were ever exchanged, the silent understanding that he would protect her filled the room. She allowed the small intimate strokes on her hand or face to pacified her without the need to speak.
This evening was different though, her nightmares took her back to the dungeon she was held captive in. Only this time, Rich had appeared in the doorway, he was tensed up and fists clenched at his sides. His face was pulled up into a smirk, taunting Cara. He stalked towards her, his eyes glowing red in anger. His face contorted and his smile widened in a satanic fashion.
She tossed and turned, trying to pull herself away from his grasp. He pulled at her clothes, his nails turned into claws as he dug them into her skin. He was crawling on top of her,
“Want to spar?” He asked her while a cheeky grin formed on his face. “No, I’m done here,” she retorted. She began to unwrap her gloves but paused when she heard his taunts. “Scared?” Cara’s body tensed up with anger before throwing her gloves to floor. “Fine.” She stood to face him, she still had the wraps on and the new sense of danger was pumping adrenaline furiously around her body. Archer’s presence already had her riled up and she knew that fighting him would only fuel her on. Archer walked up to her, standing less than two metres away from her. Cara raised her fists protectively, meanwhile Archer circled her with his arms swinging by his side. Archer threw the first punch, Cara dodged under his arm before jabbing her fist into his ribs. He rubbed them lightly, tilting his head at her. “Not bad,” he taunted. Memories of high school drowned her thoughts, igniting the embers inside her. He lunged forward at her distraction,
Cara had slept soundly for the first time in weeks. Nightmares no longer tormented her like before and she savoured the refreshing feeling. The sunlight streamed through the window, cracked rays shone around the room casting buttery light on everything in its path. Cara slid her well rested body from the bed, minor aches dragged through her muscles but they only filled her with pride that she was working her body. She picked up her dirty clothes and threw them into her bag, throwing on some clean clothes she slung her bag over her shoulders and made her way down to the laundry room. She had only visited the place once before but recognised immediately the route she needed to take. She basked in the sun as it shone down on her, casting a glowy tint across her silky skin. She finally reached the laundry room, pushing the stiff door open she was greeted with the fresh scent of clean linen and laundry detergent. There was no one else in the room, just her and the deep whirring a
Cara sat on the bench the leant against the wall of the padded gymnasium. Her thoughts blended with O’Connell’s words, trying to decide on her next move. She didn’t want to have to rely on other people to protect her. She had wanted to train in case she found herself in a situation where she needed the skillset. If someone was going to come after her, she was going to make it damn well difficult. “Cara,” O’Connell interrupted her thoughts, he had followed her downstairs. “If you tell me who this person is that you’re worried about, I might be able to help.” He sighed as he sat down next to her. Cara wrapped her head in her hands before rubbing the tiredness off her face. She looked at O’Connell, contemplating her answer. “I’m not worried, I just want to be prepared.” “Okay, you don’t need to tell me who it is. But can you describe them to me? Maybe I can teach you different moves.” “Who else have you trained O’Connell?” The thought crossed her
Cara sat in her room, Archer’s music blared through the speakers, some rock anthem drowning her thoughts. She had been sat for a few hours now, the team had been called into a meeting leaving her to the confinements of her room. After the morning she had, melting into Archer's arms was the sanctuary she needed. He had cleaned her cut, made her a cup of tea and they had lain together on the bed talking. The conversation was light and easy, just like it had been on their first weekend together. Cara was reminiscing, the sound of Good Charlotte's Anthem thumping in the background when the door to her room swung open, making her jump. Archer stepped in, clutching a rucksack. He walked across the room in silence, pulling open his wardrobe and packing the bag with various items. She turned the music down, the sound of heavy footsteps pummelling down the corridor and dispersing into various rooms echoed around her. “What’s going on?” She took a step down off the bun
The conversation Cara had with her dad was brief and she suspected to the point. She could see how nervous he was to broach the subject about her and Archer. It wasn’t the usual conversation a father has with his adult daughter, let alone one she would usually have with her own father. Cara smiled to herself at the thought, even though he was a distant father to her, he still cared. Cara ate her way through the food her father gave her, not very appetising but she knew she needed the energy if she was to continue training. The food was filling and left her feeling sleepier than before she was awoken. Placing the tray on the desk, she grabbed a t-shirt from Archer’s wardrobe. It still smelled of him despite it being freshly laundered and she smiled as she drew in his scent. Changing into the t-shirt, she tucked herself in for the night. She wanted nothing more than to feel his strong inked arms around her and hear the sound of his heart gently strumming beneath her head. Cara
It had been another day of no contact, something which despite the conversation she had the previous day with Brown, still filled her with worry. The sensation in the pit of her stomach was telling her something was wrong. She had tried to distract herself, the gym was a brief reprieve, however, as the rain continued to pour outside it only enhanced her already foul mood. It was mid-afternoon and Cara found herself sat in the common area. The echoes of raindrops against glass windows were the only background noise. Diesel was at her side on the sofa, relishing in the petting Cara was giving when shouts from down the corridor halted her. Cara got up from the sofa, following the anger-filled noise, it was coming from Brown’s office. She reached the door, about to enter, when the door swung open and her dad stormed out. Pushing past her, he didn’t utter a word.
*THE PREVIOUS MORNING* The mission hadn’t gone as planned, the team had been following a lead on an asset in Al Nasirah when their group were attacked. The streets they patrolled were quiet, too quiet. Usually street vendors and kids roamed around them, locals would be chatting amongst each other. It was a friendly town that was known for its hospitality with visitors, yet something didn’t feel right. They had reached the small town of Kasrat Adhaa, halting their patrol to take on water when all of a sudden they heard gunfire. Johnson took the lead, flicking his cigarette to the ground nonchalantly as he picked up his rifle in haste. O’Connell flattened his body to the floor, taking cover behind a parked jeep. Archer threw his bottle behind him and in one swift motion he had taken aim ahead, resting his torso across the truck bonnet. Dust flicked up from the ground as round after round darted past the team. The remainder of their patrol were located to t
Archer had been in the hospital a week, his wounds were serious and every moment was recorded and monitored by multiple machines and medical staff. Archer had pierced a lung and shattered several ribs along with a multitude of trauma including severe haemorrhaging. His armour had taken some of the impact but had left him in an unstable condition. Induced into a coma to allow his body to repair safely, Cara never left his bedside. Holding his hand, just like he had for her during those sleepless nights. She heaved a sigh loudly, containing the tears that were inwardly drowning her. Nurses and doctors would visit regularly, checking his vitals and making sure Cara was okay. He looked so peaceful, despite the tubes invading his body. The machine in the corner, beeped and hushed as Archer’s chest rose and fell. Pads stuck to the smooth planes of his chest, monitoring his heartbeat while the mask around his nose and mouth obstructed the sight of his sharp jawline. His jaw