"Please," he murmured. "We're all worried about you."
So I shut my eyes and finally, finally gave in to my hunger and weakness. I let everything take my body over – my love for my friends, me missing my mom and Mr. Solomon, my despair over my father, my curiosity at the new members to our team, the gnawing hunger in my stomach, the pulsing in my head, the shaking of my limbs.
I let the darkness take over, and I finally let go of my strength and felt myself do something I haven't done in my life.
Growing limp in my arms, Cammie's breathing evened out. All of us were sweating from the physical exertion, and the scent of salt surrounded us. Grant motioned with a large, calloused hand to follow him. We tried to walk as quietly and casually as we could while still getting out quickly. Exhaustion burned through my lungs and my hair obstructed my vision. I impatiently whipped my head to the right, clutching Cammie even tighter to my chest.
I just got her back. And there's no chance I'm letting her go again. Liz had already taken out her phone and was pressing it hard against her ear, murmuring to who I guess was Mr. Solomon and Ms. Morgan. Suddenly, an alarm sounded and I jumped. Cammie whimpered in her sleep.
Blaring at an annoyingly high pitch, it echoed down halls, drowning out our shouts. Footsteps sounded behind us, and the click of guns being loaded automatically made our feet move. Practically flying down the corridors, we threw open every room, checking for a window or a way out. More orders and shouts erupted behind us, and Macey glanced behind us.
"Get down!" she shouted.
We all dropped to the floor as a flurry of bullets streamed above us, right where our heads just were. Rolling my body on top of Cammie's, I raised my head and assessed the scene in front of us. No windows, flickering flat lights on the ceiling, ear-splitting crashes. Liz screamed. Jonas pulled her closer to him and ducked his head, saying something to her.
"Shit, run! Get up, run!" Tristan ordered, pulling Macey and Jonas up with both hands, practically lifting them off the floor. Metal clanked against my chest, and I took the gun out of my jacket and held it in my right hand, murmuring a quiet apology to Cammie and then swinging her over my shoulder like a potato sack. I kept her head in front of me, so if they got a bullet near us, it would hit her legs. I saw Bex reach for hers, too.
"I thought we said these were for emergencies only!" Grant protested, swerving out of the way of an open door.
"We're running from terrorists. If this isn't an emergency then what the hell is?" Bex answered, breathless.
"Ms. Morgan said that-" Liz's voice cracked off and she had to break off and get more air into her lungs. "That she and Mr. Solomon would be here with back-up soon. So we just need to get Cammie out safe."
Then a heavy weight crashed into my body and sent me flying. A panicked grunt came from my mouth and I immediately twisted Cammie's body around so that she landed on top of me. Rolling her to the side once we were safe on the floor, I kicked up into my attacker's groin. Swinging around their body, I elbowed and sent a punch at their head.
A shriek flew through the air and it took all of my training to not whip around and help them. My attacker picked up their gun, but before they could even position it in their hand, I roundhouse kicked it from their palm and smacked him into a wall. He pushed my back and we fell to the floor, and he repeatedly was kneeing my in the stomach. Blood filled my mouth and I struggled for control, flipping us over and spitting the crimson liquid in his face. He shouted and his hands flew up to his eyes, but I wrapped my hand around his face and cracked his head down on the ground, sending him to unconsciousness.
I made eye contact with Macey and she nodded.
"Go. Take her and go."
I sprinted over to Cammie's body and scooped her back up into my arms. Her skin was alarmingly pale and her breathing shallow.
"Cammie, just hold on a little more. We're getting you out soon, and we'll get you help," I cried desperately. Fear clawed at my heart at the thought of her not making it, and I quickly shoved it away. Seeing a forming bruise on her cheek, I bristled at the thought of anyone trying to touch her while she was so vulnerable.
"Liz, Jonas! Go with him," Grant bellowed. "We can handle this."
We sprinted from the building, and I finally, finally saw the alley, which was the back entrance to this building. We burst from the door and were immediately surrounded by armored adults. My defense went up and I backed up, holding Cammie to me and glaring.
"Zach, it's okay. It's me," Mr. Solomon came up and took off his helmet, patting me on the shoulder. "Get Cammie to the helicopter, now. We'll send Bex and the rest out, and as soon as they step in, shut the door and fly back to Gallagher. That is an order, Mr. Goode. Do it now."
I nodded once and made my way to the helicopter, one of two, against the current of CIA backup, whom were all loading guns and slipping on their bulletproof vests and murmuring low into their walkie talkies strapped to their shoulder. Stepping into the cool helicopter, Jonas and Liz immediately took control of the command center. Ms. Morgan was slipping on her vest, and she locked eyes with me.
"Is she alright?" her tone wasn't motherly – she was in agent mode. Eyes flashing as she discarded her earrings and bracelet, strapping guns and knives into her belt.
"I think she'll be okay once we get her medical attention," I said curtly. Setting her down on the floor of the helicopter, I pulled out a first aid kit from under one of the chairs and cracked it open.
Setting to work, I heard Grant, Bex, Tristan and Macey thundering out and into the helicopter. Sliding the door shut, Liz took control of the gears and started lifting us up.
Heavy pants filled the small, cramped air in the helicopter and we all dropped our guns and extra clothing.
"How is she?"
I just shrugged.
I realized my hands were shaking.
I clenched them into fists and Bex took the medicine and wrappings from my hands, and I bent my head down to rest on Cammie's too-flat stomach and chewed the insides of my cheeks out.
And maybe, just maybe, the trembling in my shoulders were caused by the tears I cried for the girl I love.
Time skip, one month later
Soft, everything was so soft and so warm and so comfortable. I wrapped myself further into my sheets, the familiar scents surrounding me. I remember the day I got released from the hospital, good as new, and Zach flinging me into the air and kissing me. A smiled pulled at my lips and I sighed contently. I heard a low chuckle and my smile immediately turned down into a frown.
"No, don't stop," a voice muttered. Long fingers came and smoothed out the crinkles in-between my eyebrows and near my mouth.
I moaned and brought my hand up to his, twining our fingers together and keeping my eyes closed. He leaned in and kissed my forehead, smoothing back my hair with his other hand.
"How are you feeling?" Zach asked.
I grunted in response. He chuckled. "That isn't answering my question, Cameron."
I scowled. "I'm feeling fine, Zachary."
"Your mom and Mr. Solomon dispatched yesterday evening. Members of the Circle are being brought in as we speak for questioning and containment."
I opened my eyes and nodded, a solemn look crossing over my face.
Zach's face turned serious as he placed a warm hand over my cheek. "You almost died, you know."
I nodded again.
"I cried, you know."
I bit my lip and pinched my eyebrows together.
"I'm so sorry," my voice cracked. Zach looked down and a look of sheer sadness enveloped his features. Pulling me closer, I felt his fingers grasp desperately at my back.
"Never do that again," he said. And for the first time ever, Zachary Goode's voice shook around me. I brought a hand up to his head and kissed his neck.
"You don't know that."
"Making promises we can't keep, Gallagher Girl?"
"True love will triumph in the end – which may or may not be a lie, but if it is a lie, then it is the most beautiful lie we have." I quoted.
And that was my wedding vow to Zachary Goode.
Do you ever get to know which one of us dies first, how we die, if we're there when they die?
I don't get to know, either.
But that's the thrill of life. You don't know what the future brings – let it be horrible things, beautiful things, or mediocre things.
But let's just say for Zach and I?
The future brought us two adorable little boys who looked just like me, and a beautiful little girl who looks just like Zach.
It also brought on more missions. And more terrorist organizations.
But like I said – true love will always triumph in the end.
THIS IS IT, GUYS!
This is it! This was the last chapter to this story. [':
I want to cry right now.
Thank you to every single one of you, thank you so so so much. I couldn't have finished this story without you, and I'm so glad that you guys stuck with me through my irregular updating and everything.
So thank you so much. I hope you liked Captured, and I'll see you on my other stories? [: