Hi guys! So, it all ends here. I hope you've enjoyed the story, thanks to all who read and reviewed!
Trivette kept the gas pedal pressed to the floor during the whole drive. Gage stuck the bubble siren on the roof to help part the traffic. Thankfully, there weren't many cars on the road and they made their final turn after only fifty minutes of driving. Gage silenced the siren as they crept closer to their destination. They turned onto the dirt road and followed it to the very end.
"Look." Sydney pointed from the back seat to a windowless black van. "It looks like someone is home."
The three got out of the car, closing the doors softly. Drawing their weapons, they moved toward the house.
"Should we call for backup?" Gage asked quietly.
Trivette shook his head. "Collins is tricky. If we get too many people out here, he could react. It's better if we go in with stealth on our side.
"Okay." Gage agreed. "Let's do it."
They breached the front door and walked into the house slowly, giving their eyes time to adjust to the sudden darkness; there were no lights on. They walked through the hallway clearing room after room, all empty.
"Should we split up?" Sydney whispered. "This place is huge."
Trivette shook his head again. "I don't like it. We stay together. If you see Collins, shoot first and ask questions later."
"Copy that." Gage and Sydney said together as they moved into the next room. It too was empty.
"Wait, stop." Gage said. "Do you hear that?" There was a faint knocking noise coming from farther down the hallway, mixing with the soft sounds of someone crying.
"Yeah, I hear it." Sydney answered.
Gage led the way out of the room and continued slowly down the hall with his gun in the air. All the rooms on the way were empty. The knocking noise grew louder as they got closer to the end of the hall and now other noises were becoming clearer: it sounded like someone was watching television. They cautiously made their way to the end of the hallway where their only option was to turn left. They stopped abruptly when they heard Collins speaking. "Are you ready, Angel?"
The three Rangers burst into the room and took in the scene in front of them. Collins wasn't anywhere to be seen but Walker was there, bound to a chair that had tipped over. Trivette ran to his partner and fixed the chair while Gage hunted for something sharp to cut the ties. He ran off in search of a kitchen while Trivette started unwrapping the tape around Walker's mouth. "Hang in there partner." He told him. He heard Sydney's voice behind him.
"Oh my God."
Trivette whirled around and saw what he'd missed before: the television screens. Alex appeared to be unharmed but it was obvious that Angela was in trouble.
"We have to get to them." Walker said breathlessly. His head was bleeding where he'd struck the floor and his body was still stiff from being hit with the van and the taser. "I can't let this happen." He told Trivette desperately, still struggling pointlessly. Just then, Gage returned with a knife in hand. He quickly cut the ties binding Walker's arms and legs and he and Trivette pulled Walker to his feet.
"Where are they?" Sydney asked.
"I don't know exactly. He took them upstairs. This way." He led the charge up the stairs and ran ahead of the rest, opening doors at random and checking inside. Trivette was right behind him checking the doors Walker didn't open. Sydney and Gage brought up the rear and kept a watchful eye out for Collins. They came to the last door in the hall and when Walker tried the knob he found that it was locked. He shoved his good shoulder against the door but it didn't budge. Backing up, he kicked it in and it splintered with a loud crack. He kicked it again and the door fell into the room.
Alex squealed in surprise when the door went flying in and Walker ran to her. He and Trivette worked to free her from the handcuffs and when her hands were free she pulled her shirt closed. "Did you find Angela?" she asked breathlessly after Walker removed the gag and hugged her tight.
"She's here somewhere. Sydney and Gage are going to go get you out of here; Trivette and I will go find Angela. Are you sure you're okay?"
She nodded anxiously. "I'm fine. Walker, find her fast, God only knows what he's doing to her."
"I will." He kissed her forehead and Alex allowed Gage and Sydney to steer her downstairs. She heard the sounds of the televisions and went into the room where Walker had been held captive. Her eyes fell on Angela's screen. "Oh my God." She said, pressing a hand to her mouth. "Hurry, Walker." She felt Sydney's arm pulling her.
"Alex, we can't stay here. We have to get out of the house."
"I'm staying." She said stubbornly. "I need to know what happens. You two should go help them find her before he…" her voice faltered. "I'm not leaving."
Sydney and Gage pulled her away from the screens. "Yes, you are. It's not safe in here." Gage told her. She reluctantly allowed herself to be pulled out of the house but wouldn't go farther than the car, instead choosing to stare intently at the house with her hands clasped in front of her.
Trivette and Walker made their way up to the third floor of the house where it was even darker than the first and second floors. They groped the walls looking for doorknobs, testing the ones they found to see if they were locked. Walker tapped Trivette on the shoulder and pointed to the end of the hall where light peeked out from underneath one of the doors. As they moved closer they could hear frenzied movement inside.
"He's mine." Walker told Trivette softly. "I'm taking him down."
"Here." Trivette offered him his gun but Walker shook his head.
"No. We're doing this my way." Sending the door flying with a single kick, Walker braced himself for the fight.
Angela felt like she was dreaming; surely this wasn't happening to her. Collins was still straddling her as he unbuttoned and unzipped his pants. Apparently that brief break from touching her was too much to handle because he was back on top of her in a flash. His movement was hurried now and more aggressive. The movement of his hips was making the bed shake and he bit down on her lip painfully. Just as Angela braced herself for what was coming, he stopped, keeping his mouth on hers to keep her quiet. Then she heard it too: a loud banging noise downstairs, much closer than anything else she'd heard all night.
She took the opportunity to call for help but she had barely opened her mouth before Collins clamped his hand down painfully. She struggled to throw him off, to give whoever was here some kind of indication that she was upstairs but Collins was strong.
"Stop struggling." He hissed. Keeping his hand over Angela's mouth he leaned off the bed, picked up his gun and set it on the bed next to her so that it couldn't be seen from the door. He leaned over the other side and picked up the gag he'd used earlier, wrapping it tightly around her head. Her muffled screams annoyed him and he slapped her before pressing a finger to his lips in warning. Without another word, he bent his head and kissed her chest again, gripping her waist with his hands to keep her quiet and still. Collins kept one ear trained on the door, waiting to hear footsteps or some other evidence of approach. He had to give Walker credit: the only evidence of his arrival was the door flying off its hinges.
The sight of Collins sitting on top of his daughter almost pushed Walker over the edge. He was a snap away from telling Trivette to empty his clip but the desire to make Collins pay slowly was far stronger.
Collins paused mid-action with his face against Angela's collarbone when the door broke down and his lack of reaction put Walker's nerves on edge. Collins appeared to be unarmed but he was far too calm for Walker's liking.
"Get off of her." Walker ordered him.
Collins pulled his face away from Angela but didn't get off the bed completely.
"Okay Cowboy, no need to be overzealous." Collins said, raising his hands defensively. In a flash he rolled away from Angela and off the far side of the bed, grabbing his gun on the way down. He ducked down behind the bed and opened fire, aiming his weapon over Angela's bare body. Walker and Trivette retreated and pressed themselves against the wall outside the room.
"Give it up, Collins!" Trivette yelled. "You've got nowhere to go!" Trivette fired into the room well above the bed. Excellent shot though he was, he didn't want to risk hitting Angela. Collins fired back using Angela's naked stomach as a base to steady his arm. She was going to be his way out of this. For her part, Angela stayed as still as possible and pressed herself low into the bed. She couldn't help but scream when shots were fired; she felt like she was trapped in the no man's land between two trenches.
"Cover me." Walker mouthed. Trivette nodded and opened fire into the far corner of the room. Collins stayed down as Walker ran in to the room and flew over the bed, tackling Collins as he was reloading. He fell on top of Collins with all his weight and bashed his head into the floor. He let a solid punch connect with Collins' cheekbone but reeled when Collins pistol whipped him with the butt of his gun.
Trivette raced in to the room to get Angela out of harm's way. He quickly undid the cuffs around her wrists and ankles as she pulled the gag away from her mouth. Trivette grabbed her hand, pulled her off the bed and pushed her toward the far wall. He positioned himself in front of her, unable to leave his partner alone with this madman. Angela cowered behind his defensive stance, one hand on his shoulder the other held close to her chest.
Walker stood up and kicked Collins' gun away as the latter stirred on the ground.
"Stand up and fight." Walker taunted him. "Pretend to be a man, for once in your life."
Collins stood and ran at Walker full force, digging his shoulder into Walker's gut and sending them both flying backwards. They crashed into the wall opposite and Trivette could feel Angela's hand gripping his shoulder. He'd missed his opportunity though; he no longer had a clear shot of Collins.
Walker aimed a right hook into Collins head and followed it up with a roundhouse kick. Collins fell but popped right back up.
"You can't beat me, Cowboy." Collins baited him.
"Just watch me." Walker responded. He kicked Collins in the back of the knee and connected a well-placed uppercut to Collins' jaw. Walker hit him over and over and blood spattered onto the bed and the walls around him. After a few minutes, Collins went down and he didn't get back up. Walker kicked him in the head for good measure before deciding that too much overkill would be hard to explain in court. He planned to put this son of a bitch away until the state killed him. He picked up Collins' gun and backed away from him, moving to where Trivette was still standing in front of Angela.
"You good, partner?" Trivette asked him. Walker nodded.
Walker looked over Trivette's shoulder at Angela. "Are you okay?" Before she could answer, there was a snarl of rage that came from behind Walker. Collins had grabbed the knife he'd used on Angela's clothes and stood up. He was running toward Walker with the weapon held high. Without thinking, Angela grabbed Trivette's gun out of his hand and fired. Her first shot missed Collins by a mile but her second one hit him square in the chest. She kept firing until the only sound that came from pulling the trigger was an empty click.
The look on Collins' face was one of pure shock. "Angel." He gurgled. He seemed to fall in slow motion and he came to rest face down, the knife tumbling out of his hand and clattering across the floor.
Angela lowered the gun slowly as Walker stepped into her line of sight, blocking her view of Collins' dead body. Her eyes were wide but they were empty. He took the gun from her hand and waited for her cues, not wanting to make her uncomfortable. She wrapped her arms around herself and leaned toward him, pressing her forehead to Walker's chest. He wrapped his arms around her bare body and held her gently as she shook with pent-up sobs. The sounds of heavy footsteps reached them as Alex ran into the room, closely followed by Gage and Sydney. At the sound of the gunshots Alex had taken off running toward the house and the other two had followed, weapons drawn. They watched Walker take the gun from Angela and wrap her in a hug. Crying with relief, Alex went to her family and wrapped her arms around her daughter too.
"Did Angela do that?" Gage asked Trivette quietly. He nodded.
"Good for her." Sydney responded.
"Can we get out of here?" Angela asked quietly a few minutes later, after she had comported herself.
Walker obliged, letting go of Angela and placing one hand gently behind her back.
"Is there something I can wear? I don't want to walk out of here like this." She said desperately, suddenly panicked.
"I don't know where he put our clothes." Alex told her apologetically. She was still wearing the jeans and ruined shirt Collins had given her.
Walker shrugged out of his shirt, a long-sleeved button down. She slipped it on and it fell almost to her knees.
"Thanks." She said gratefully, folding her arms again and allowing him to wrap an arm protectively around her shoulder.
With Walker on one side of her and Alex on the other, she left the room. Trivette, Gage, and Sydney followed behind them, leaving Collins' body and the nightmare of Victor LaRue behind them forever.