Dellani Oakes

Suspense!

Full Measure cover smallI gave the prompt of Suspense, for Fun in Writing for this week. Though I didn’t write anything new, I did remember this scene from Full Measure that I liked. I thought I’d share it with you. This was my Suspense excerpt.

Ralan Hendrix is a spy. He’s gotten involved in something much closer to home, which has put him, and others, in danger. It’s not of his doing, but now he’s having to cope. He doesn’t realize quite how serious it is until someone breaks into his apartment late at night.

Watching the door, Ralan’s eyes fought to find shapes in the velvety blackness. There! The clouds moved suddenly, whisked away by the wind. Moonlight shot through the tall, arched windows of his living room, glittering eerily on weapons. At least three men were in his home.

Backing to the bedroom, he eased the door shut, glad it didn’t squeak as it sometimes did. He locked and leaned against it, wishing he had his cellphone. He knew he had a bulletproof vest in the closet. Crawling to it, he slid through to a blacker hole in the dusky bedroom. By feel, he found his vest and put it on awkwardly.

The men in the outer rooms moved slowly and cautiously. He wondered if they even knew he was there. Had he been doing the operation, he’d have gone directly for the bedroom to neutralize the occupant. Maybe they weren’t after him. Maybe they were looking for something.

Soft footfalls in the hallway outside his bedroom met his ears. The door swung open, squeaking slightly as it usually did when it opened too wide. The movement halted abruptly. The intruder wasn’t far enough in his room for Ralan to attack. Did he want to anyway? He’d seen three, what if more followed? In the dark with a backup weapon and a vest, he felt vulnerable. They moved quietly, steadily, meaning they could see. Ralan was nearly blind. Taking his chances that the man wouldn’t look in the closet, he stayed as still as he could. Somewhere on the back wall he had a row of throwing knives. He kept them for target practice. He also had a bundle of shuriken. If he could reach them, it would give him an advantage—silent, where the pistol was not.

Ducking under the clothing, he reached for the knives. The wooden floor creaked beneath him. Biting his lip, he froze. But he’d been heard. No longer worried about sound, he made a fast grab for the pouch of shuriken. The door to the closet slid open. A black blade flew out of the doorway, hitting the man in the throat. With a gurgling cry, he collapsed.

Ralan disarmed him, putting the strap to the other man’s Uzi over his head. He grabbed the sidearm, but didn’t have time to search for more. The door burst open and someone else fired into the room. He knew enough not to go all Hollywood full auto. Instead, he fired in short bursts in an arc. Imagining the beating his bedroom was taking, Ralan returned fire, hitting the other man twice in his left leg.

With a groan, the man staggered back, clutching his thigh. As he was just inside the doorway, Ralan slammed the door in his face, knocking him down. Grabbing his opponent’s goggles, he jammed them on his head and the room immediately came alive. One man lay bleeding at his feet. The other wobbled, stunned and blinded. Ralan hit him again with the door, watching him drop. He disarmed him as well, dragging him into the room.

Ralan heard movement in the hallway and a scratchy voice spoke near his ear. The goggles had an ear piece for communication. “Gutierrez, Hanson, come in! Dammit!”

More movement in the hallway. Ralan positioned himself by the door, standing beside it with his back to the wall. It eased open and the man cautiously peeped in. Seeing his downed companions, he became alert, but it was too late. Ralan’s Uzi cracked into his jaw, knocking him back a step. With a guttural growl, he slammed his elbow back at Ralan. He would have connected if the dark haired agent hadn’t seen it coming. Instead, the intruder hit the doorjamb with his funny bone.

Howling, he turned, swinging at Ralan. Remembering his fight with Daphne, Ralan blocked with his arms and hooked the man’s leg with his foot. The assailant crashed to the floor where Ralan kicked him in the head until he quit moving. Bending to disarm him, he didn’t notice that one of the others had regained consciousness. A hand grabbed his left ankle. Ralan slammed his left fist into the man’s face and a white hot flash of agony rushed up his arm making him scream. Grabbing his Uzi, he hit the man with that, but the blow was feeble.

The man grabbed at Ralan’s ankle once more, yanking hard. Ralan went down, hitting his head on the solid wooden door. Stunned, but conscious, he tried to get enough leverage to hit the man again, this time with his right. He was tangled in the Uzi strap, lying painfully on his throbbing left hand. The stock of the Uzi bit into the tender flesh of his injured knuckles.

The man on the floor struggled to his feet. Ralan, still tangled up with the others, couldn’t move to protect himself. Jackbooted foot rose to slam into his face. Instead, the man grabbed at his chest and fell with a heavy thud. Doing his best to stand up, Ralan tried to get his bearings. He was dizzy, disoriented. Bright flashes of light lit the room.

“Don’t move!” Someone bellowed from the front door.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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