Hi Guys! Yes, yes I know. I should start with apologizing for letting you wait so long for the next chapter. I just been so massively busy with work, holidays and more work. But it's here now, the next chapter (without Bryce again sorry Wyvern but he will be back soon!). Feel free to let me know what you think of the chapter and in return I will offer chocolate chip cookies!

Chapter 6, Uneven odds.

"Don't move, hands where I can see them." The mercenary warned Kurtis

The Lux Knight didn't have to be told twice when he had a gun pointed to his head. He moved his hands up, but cursed at himself for being caught this easy. But Kurtis knew Lara was right behind him. He blindly trusted on the tomb raider to get him out of this situation. Though with a quick look at the mercenary Kurtis saw this man was a bit nervous. He kept shifting the gun around in his shaking and sweating hand.

"Excuse me…" Lara's voice echoed through the hallway.

The Lux Knight looked up to his friend and saw the tomb raider had her gun out, but it was not directed at the mercenary's head. It was aimed lower, at a section a man would hold really dear. Kurtis swallowed deeply, boy was he glad she was on his side; suddenly that gun to his head wasn't that bad anymore.

"Would you mind removing that gun from my friend's head please?" the tomb raider kindly asked.

The man's head jerked up to Lara instantly, he hadn't expected her at all, which was weird to say the least. These mercenaries were here for the both of them he should have known she was around. Lara smiled wickedly as the man's eyes widened in realization of the position he has gotten himself into. It looked like he was ready to surrender but then something changed in his eyes. He calmed himself and refused to do what Lara asked of him.

"You shoot me he dies." He said but still seemed a bit shaken.

Lara held her wicked smile as she answered him. "I don't need to shoot you, I just need you to drop your gun." She explained again.

"N-not a chance..." the man said but the nerves were clearly visible on him again. His hand was shaking and sweat was dripping from the side of his head.

Lara chuckled. "I doubt very much you have the balls to shoot him. Look at you, your hands are shaking and you are sweating terribly. So what will it be, you losing your manhood or will you be reasonable and drop the gun, hmm?"

To make sure he understood how serious the tomb raider was, she took a step closer to the mercenary, there was not a lot of space between them now. Startled, the man looked down at the gun again. His nerves increased and he swallowed deeply.

"I am..uhm..." the man started stuttering.

He realized his position was hopeless and with a deep sigh the gun was being lowered. Kurtis immediately made his move. One hand reached for the man's gun and yanked it out of his grasp while the Lux Knight balled his other hand into a fist and knocked it to the side of the man's head. Their attacker dropped to the floor immediately, there was no movement left in him, he was out in a flash.

"Karel should send more men like him after us, he was way too nervous." Kurtis concluded.

But when Lara knelt down next to the man she noticed he was probably not send after them by Karel. "Look at his clothing, simple jeans and sweater. I doubt he works for Karel." She quickly concluded, but a quick search in his pockets didn't result in an ID.

"I am glad you're on my side though." Kurtis said.

Lara raised an eyebrow at his words. "What do you mean with that?" she wondered.

The Lux Knight froze in his tracks, unable to remove his stare from the stern eyes of the tomb raider. He suddenly felt like a young boy having to explain himself to his parents after doing something wrong. He sighed in relief though when the sound of voices interrupted their conversation and made the friends realize they had to leave immediately. About four mercenaries, these were actually dressed in black BDU's and carrying rifles, came running into the hallway and spotted the two friends.

"Bugger, no time to ask questions, let's go Kurtis." She said.

"Saved by the bad guys." Kurtis joked as they started running.

Lara shook her head but could not stop herself from smiling at his joke. Her attention immediately went back to the situation at hand as the mercenaries started shooting. The British woman and the American man ran as fast as they could, crisscrossing through the hallway to do their best to dodge the bullets that were flying everywhere. Luckily the end of the hall and a right or left turn was nearing for them. Lara left the decision of which side to pick to Kurtis, he knew where the bike was parked and he could no doubt judge what the best way of getting there was.

A bullet from one of the mercenaries suddenly dug itself in the ground only inches from Lara's foot. The tomb raider cursed when the bullet made her loose her balance just after she saw Kurtis deciding to go left. Stumbling on hands and feet she tried to find her balance again, but with bullets flying left and right this wasn't easy for her. This time however, Kurtis was the one who had her back. A hand wrapped itself around her wrist and practically yanked the British woman around the corner. Lara felt a bullet flying inches over her head before she was finally safe, for now.

"It doesn't really look like Karel wants us alive, does it?" Kurtis said, helping Lara back on her feet.

"Bloody hell." She said, straightening herself, but couldn't help to have noticed most of the bullets were aimed at her. "I don't think he wants us both death Kurtis, but only me. It seemed to me at least that they were only aiming at me."

The two started running again, knowing that these mercenaries wouldn't stop until their mission was complete. "No, I noticed it too, but I hoped to be wrong." He said while his hand reached into the back pocket of his pants.

Lara looked up and saw there was a door blocking their way, however, the door held no handle but did have a security lock. The tomb raider noticed that Kurtis probably just pulled out the card that was needed to open the door.

"How did you get that?"

Kurtis winked at her. "Hey, as a kid I was a star in pick pocketing, you'll find I am a man of many talents." He said with a smile as he pushed the card into the device.

A green light lit up immediately and the door clicked open. Kurtis opened the door but at the same time shot the device to make sure no one else would be able to get through the door after them. The voices of the mercenaries were getting closer and it wouldn't take long before they would have them in their sight again. But with the security lock destroyed and the door closing behind them just now, this group of mercenaries would be off their backs for a while.

There was a staircase ahead of them. The two friends didn't hesitate and started advancing down the stairs as quickly as possible. There was no knowing how many mercenaries there were and more importantly, where they were.

"We are almost there, just get down and out of the building." Kurtis informed Lara as they ran down the stairs.

Behind them they heard the Mercenaries banging and shooting at the door to try and chase after the two friends. But their attempts were all pointless. The tomb raider and the Lux Knight reached the end of the staircase, they were almost to safety. Kurtis reached for the handle of the door and looked at Lara.

"I'll open it, get your gun ready in case there is someone waiting for us at the other side."

Lara nodded at him in response and readied her gun. The Lux Knight didn't hesitate and opened the door, he took a step aside and readied his gun as well. But all they were confronted with was thin air and the back wall of the other wing of the Hotel. That didn't mean there was no one there though, so Lara took point and slowly walked out with her gun aimed in front of her. Once one foot was outside, the tomb raider quickly turned to make sure no one was waiting for them to come out.

Her eyes trained on the hotel walls again and a rather big container. She turned around, making sure no one would come from the other side. Kurtis was close behind her, mirroring her actions. But it seemed their worries were for nothing, no mercenaries were near. Lara thought this to be a bit strange. Then suddenly Lara saw something move from the corner of her eye. Looking up she saw someone jumping down from the roof, lunging at them.

Neither of them could stop the rather tall and muscled figure from landing on top them. They dropped down to the ground, slightly dazed and guns scattering away. Lara shook her head, knowing there was no time to lie around and recover. Looking up she saw the bulk of a man lifting Kurtis in the air and throwing him back inside the hotel. The Lux Knight collided with the staircase and then remained motionless on the floor. The muscled man with really short auburn hair closed the door and blocked it by effortlessly pushing the rather big container in front of it.

While Lara stood back to her feet, the man now turned his attention back to the tomb raider. He looked up and down her body and smirked. "A shame you have to die sweetheart, but orders are orders." He said threatening.

Lara had fought demons twice the size of him, there was no reason why she wouldn't be able to beat this muscle machine. Though against those demons she did have her guns, and right now she was unarmed, but so was the man. His only advantage over her was his size, but that of course could also be an advantage to her.

"Bring it on then, muscles." She taunted him.

The man didn't have to be told twice. He lunged at the tomb raider, on a speed that was exceptional for a bulky man, but still not fast enough for Lara. She jumped aside and he missed her completely, stumbling forward. The British woman was glad she stepped away though, if he had hit her it could have been rather painful.

Once he balanced himself he turned and growled at Lara. The tomb raider tried to remain calm, to think of a way to end this. Simple punches would probably hurt nothing but her own hands. She will have to play defensive, until she figured out a plan.

"Oh this is going to be fun." The man said, smirking at her.

He reached for something behind his back and Lara's eyes immediately connected with an army knife. Without warning it was thrown at her. Lara increased her defences and jumped aside, evading the knife. Then he reached behind his back again, pulling out a similar knife. This one too was thrown at her and directly after that he ran towards her, hoping the knifes had thrown her off balance. But Lara was in time to see him coming. Quickly she jumped aside and managed to push him away. The man stumbled and connected with the container he had used to keep Kurtis trapped. It didn't look like it affected him that much though. He quickly turned around and faced the tomb raider.

"You are going to regret that." He growled at her.

He charged at her once more and again Lara managed to dodge his attack. Only now he was prepared for this and regained his balance quicker. This surprised the tomb raider, he really was exceptionally quick for his build. He slammed his fist backwards, the British woman just barely managed to evade it. But while she dodged, he already kneeled down to tackle her. Lara was too late to block this attack and felt her feet being swooped from under her. With a grunt the tomb raider landed on her back and without warning the muscled man leaned over her and put his weight on top of her legs.

One of his hands wrapped itself around her neck and started closing down her windpipe. It was obvious he was trying to choke her. Lara immediately tried to struggle from his grip. But the man had her locked down, his full weight on her legs and the strength he only needed with his one hand made it next to impossible for the tomb raider to break free. She tried though, with all her might.

"No, no, sweetheart, it's over for you now." The man said confident.

Lara refused to agree with him, she would not let herself be brought down this easily. In a bit of a panic her hands reached for the hand that was choking her, but he easily brushed her hands away, laughing at her almost clumsy attempts to free herself.

Lara was still gasping for air. The British woman knew she had to do something quick, or he would actually succeed in choking her. But no matter what she tried, he deflected all of her attempts to free herself. The tomb raider realized she needed help from Kurtis. Her eyes moved to the container blocking the door, somehow she hoped it wouldn't be there anymore. But it was still at its place, Kurtis would not be coming to her rescue.

"He's locked up safe and sound, missy. No one can save you now." The man said, his voice echoing through her head.

Dark spots started to erupt in front of her eyes, the lack of oxygen was starting to take its toll. Lara started to feel weaker. She clawed at the choking hand, again trying to free herself. But she was really weakened by now, there was no strength left to get this bulk of a man off her.

Was this it then, after all the dangerous work she had done during her tomb raiding, was this the way her life is about to end. Being choked by an oversized man? As much as Lara refused to believe this, reality was kicking in. Darkness was nearing, the man she was looking at became a blur. His laughter echoed through her head as he realized she had given up and it was only a matter of time before Lara would choke to death. The strength in her clawing hands faded, they dropped motionless to the floor next to her, Lara tried to suck in one last gasp of air, then her head fell back and darkness took control.