Author's Notes: Okay, here it is! The chapter most of you have been looking forward to. I hope you all enjoy it and I look forward to reading your reviews!

Also, thank you to everyone who has reviewed, sent me PM's and has added this story to their list! I am very grateful that I am able to bring you guys something you enjoy reading. Hope you like it!

Actions Speak Louder

Chapter 6

Jacksonville Florida - Emma's Apartment

Numb, everything was lost in a thick haze and she felt as if she was paralyzed. Hesitant to move, Emma tried to recalled what had happened. She had left her small apartment to try and distract herself from what was currently going on around the world. Running had always helped before, and she knew it was the only thing that would calm her tormented mind. When she had returned home however, she arrived to an unlocked door. She had been roughly grabbed before being dragged inside harshly against her will. Darkness followed shortly after.

Everything happened so quickly her shocked mind hadn't been able to process it properly, until now. Without coxing or effort, her memory recalled the feel of the large strong hands on her body as they pulled her through her doorway. Her skin crawled with fear and anxiety. She wasn't used to psychical contact, and the sudden iron-like hold on her brought on a terror she never thought she would experience.

The identification of the intruder was unknown to her, but whoever they were, they were strong and very much of the male sex. He was also large; she could recall the feeling of his belt digging roughly into the middle of her back as he held her. His large callused hands held her firmly, one covering her mouth as it cut off her air supply and the other holding her wrists as if she was nothing more than a small child.

'Shhh,' a deep gravelly voice had whispered into her ear as one would a lover. Emma's stomach churned at the memory, his masculine voice was rich, but there was something hidden under the tone in which he spoke. She hadn't been able to name it at the time, but now she was slowly starting to process what happened, she could identify what it had been. Excitement, raw and carnal. His simple utter to silence her had held so much unrestrained excitement, that she was sure whatever he had in store for her, she wouldn't survive it.

Feeling started to return to her body, and she instantly wished the darkness had held onto her longer. Everything hurt, her skin felt as if it was on fire, it was a feeling that brought back memories of her childhood she hoped to never relive. Tight and drawn, she didn't have to open her still-closed eyes to know her skin was being exposed to UV-Rays. Her eyes stung as she fought off tears of pain. 'I will not cry,' Emma told herself, '…have to be strong.' Hoping if she could rub her eyes it would help hold off the tears, she tried to lift her right arm only to have something sharp and biting tear at her skin.

Opening her eye's to see what was restricting her movement; her sight was flooded with bright white light. Letting out a soft whimper, she closed her eyes tightly. It was far too bright to be natural, her windows didn't allow much sunlight to filter in, and it was far too blinding to be the LED lights she used throughout her home. Braving the intense light, Emma opened her eyes again. Painful white light flooded her vision once again but she refused to close her eyes, she needed to know what was going on, why she couldn't move.

Her balance and equilibrium had been off, and now that she was becoming more aware of her surroundings, she could tell she was upright. Focusing on her positioning, she could tell she was sitting in her desk chair. Her arms were pulled behind her back, the sharp and biting pain flared once again when she tried to move. It was easy for Emma to conclude that she was restrained to the chair, and by the stiff soreness in her shoulders she had been for a while.

A dark blurry shadow moved in front of her, blocking the light from her for a brief moment. As much as she tried to fight it off, another soft whimper escaped. Her vision started to clear, even as the sting of tears built up, and she was finally able to see the shadow turn into a man.

If it wasn't for the dark predatory look in his eyes, she would have thought him a rather attractive man. His face was like stone; there was nothing to read from this man. No lift of a brow, not smile or grin playing on his lips, not even a blink. His only tell was his chocolate brown eyes, they seemed to swim with emotion. The excitement she heard in his voice when he had held her was clear, but there was also lust, need, and want. A whole new level of fear took hold of her. Whoever this man was meant to do her harm, and there was nothing she could do to stop him. Not a damn thing.

Emma thought for a brief moment if there was any way she could help herself. As much as she knew the odds weren't in her favor, she wasn't about to just give up and roll over. She hadn't survived her hellish childhood to give up now. She was a survivor, not a victim.

Her mouth too dry to ask what this man wanted with her, she tried to take stock of what she knew. She was still inside her apartment, tied to her computer desk chair with her hands and arms behind her back. Her hands and arms stung with even the slightest of movement, so she knew she would have to work without them. She wasn't blindfolded; obviously she could see the man before her and the burning bright light. She also wasn't gagged, however her mouth was as dry as sandpaper and she knew it wouldn't do much to scream. She was sure the man would 'deal' with her before anyone would come to her rescue as a result of her crying out for help.

Her feet however, were free. They were stripped of her running shoes and shocks, but they weren't tied down or bound together. She also remembered her desk chair was on rollers. They weren't the best on the thick carpet, but they may come in handy if need be. She wasn't sure where her stun gun was at the moment, and she knew with her arms tied that it wouldn't do her any good. She highly doubted she could find it and use it with her feet.

Lifting her head, she rolled it to get a look around her to see she was in her living room. The window blinds were open, but she knew no one would be able to see her in trouble and call for help, she was on the third floor. That arose the question of how the man had gained entrance into her apartment. She wasn't sure, and she really didn't want to think too much on the subject. If she survived this encounter she would find another place, there was no way she was going to stay in this place now that it was no longer safe.

"So you're awake," the man's rich voice said as he came up from behind her. He rested his large hands over her shoulder as he leaned down to talk to her. All her thoughts paused at his words; his hot breath on her ear caused her to stop breathing.

"Who are you?" Emma choked out, her voice dry. Her chest hurt with anxiety, each breath was like inhaling needles. She hadn't had an anxiety or panic attack in over five years, but she knew she was close to breaking her record. She tried with all her remaining strength to focus on breathing slow and even, but the pain didn't ease.

"That's not important," he answered as he moved out from behind her. Emma followed his movements with her eyes as best she could as he walked around her. He circled her three times before she caught sight of a lamp that wasn't hers set up only a few feet away from her. Without a shade, the bright long bulb was shining its light throughout the room. It didn't take her long to realize that it was a UV light, and it was a strong one. She fought down another whimper when she realized that was the reason behind her pain. She wasn't sure how long she had been sitting there and she lowered her head as she felt tears spill over. While looking down, even through the tears, she was able to see the skin of her knees was turning red as if she had a bad sunburn.

'Don't give in…' Emma told herself, '…be strong.' With strength she didn't know she had left, she looked up and took a deep breath. "What do you want from me?" she asked, her voice sounding weak.

"It's not want I want from you," he answered cryptically as he leaned down in front of her. Emma could only watch as he reached out with his large hands. Squeezing her eyes closed she felt his warm finger trace the tears as they fell from her eyes. "My employer would like to talk with you, I believe he has a job he would like to offer to you," he said in a strangely soft voice as he removed his hand from her face.

Opening her eyes, Emma saw the intruder study his own finger and the moisture on it. Her tears, he was looking at her tears that he had wiped away. "I don't think I want to meet with your employer." Emma said honestly.

"Oh," he said as he met her stare, "you don't have a choice." Standing up quickly he moved behind her once again. She could hear movement, and it sounded like he was digging into a bag of some type. Blinking away the tears she focused on what was before her. Working herself up over what was going on behind her wasn't going to do her any good.

Her vision clearing, she saw out her balcony window. It looked like it was going to be a lovely day outside, white clean clouds were floating by and the sun was already up and shining. She saw a few birds fly by and couldn't help but wish she was one of them at that very moment, to be able to fly anywhere and feel the wind below her wings. The biting pain of her restraints pulled her back to her current satiation.

"This is Wire," she head the man speak. His tone was hard and dark, noting like how he talked to her before. "I have her, need a secure extraction." It was clear to Emma that he was talking to someone else via a communicator of some type. She wasn't sure who this man 'Wire' was or who he worked for, but she sure as hell didn't want to leave with him. She knew that if she was transferred to another location her changes of escape would dwindle down to zero.

Looking back out the window she thought of her options, only to see a dark shadow. Fear gripped her as she saw the figure of a man climb onto her balcony, covered from head to toe in black. Even though she couldn't see his face, she knew she was looking right into his eyes. He held up a finger to the location of his lips, telling her to be silent. In her mind, she was telling herself that help had arrived, but the fear was pointing out that yet another dangerous man was on the scene.

If she could use this change of events in order to get away, she would take it. Nodding as best she could, she waited to see what was going to happen. She watched, fixated, as the man slowly stood to his full height from his crouched stance. Taking note of his size and the two swords on his back, she couldn't help but think of him as a modern day ninja. Then like a bolt of lightning had hit her, she knew who this man was.

He was a Joe, Snake Eyes, the ninja who the General had told her about.

That realization brought relief and dread. If he was here, that meant her chances of survival had just increased to a favorable number. However it also meant that there was more danger than she had thought. Like a super computer her mind tried to put everything together.

The Joes were supposed to be tracking down the Cobra Commander, not rescuing a nobody like her. 'My employer would like to talk with you…' the intruder 'Wire' had said. Thoughts and questions flooded her mind, who was his employer and what did they want to talk about? Her brain hurt, but there was a soft whisper in her mind.

"Cobra," Emma said out loud in a soft whisper before she knew to stop herself.

Everything that followed happened so quickly she wasn't sure what took place first. She could hear Wire question her on what she had said, the dangerous edge to his voice didn't go unnoticed. The glass of her balcony sliding door shattered, making an entrance for Snake Eyes, and she could also hear the cheap wood of her front door crake and splinter as it was kicked in and knocked off its creaky hinges. Her ears rang from gunfire, and she could hear the loud explosive pop as the UV light shattered, sparking as it fell to the ground.

Kicking out with her feet, Emma tried to distance herself from the fight that was now taking place in her small living room between Snake Eyes and Wire. It was breath taking to watch both men fight, their movements were so precise and deadly. Snake had brought out both his swords; the way he moved with ease told her that he was very skilled. She had recalled a time when the General had told her there was only one Joe who had mastered every type of weapon, and she was watching him fight in her now-destroyed apartment. His movements were fluid, smooth and graceful. For every advance Wire took, Snake had the perfect defense that would also act as a counter attack.

Emma's breath hitched, it was like watching danger, destruction and death personified. It scared her to know one man could be so able and skillful. The sound of cracking stole her attention off the black clad ninja, and over to Wire who had unwrapped a long and crude looking whip. She couldn't see the whole length of the lash, but she knew it wasn't the best weapon to use while restricted indoors. Fearing the backlash, Emma returned her effort to removing herself form the danger. Ignoring the sharp bits of glass that were peppered around her apartment floor, she pushed with her feet trying to place as much distance between the two men fighting and herself.

Crakes from the leather of the whip could be heard as well as things braking within her home. Turning her head down, she avoided plaster from her wall dusting her face. There goes her deposit on the place. Slowly she was moving, until her foot tangled in the cord of the UV lamp. In her struggles to free herself, she lost her balance and felt the chair tip.

Fearing the pain of landing backwards on the floor with her arms held behind her back, she closed her eyes. When nothing happened, she peaked open her left eye to see a large black arm holding onto the back of her chair, steadying her. Opening both eyes, she saw Snake had somehow made it all the way over from the other side of the room just in time to stop her from landing harshly.

His other hand still held onto one sward, while the other was returned to its place at his back. Another loud cracking sounded within the apartment as Wire prepared to lash out with his leathery weapon. Snake righted Emma in the chair and then took a step in front of her, catching the tip of the whip right as it was about to hit its target. Emma could only sit and watch as Snake, whip still in his firm grasp, rushed the other man. Jumping up, he aimed his kick right for Wire's chest, knocking him back. Glass shattered as Wire hit the smaller living room window. Crashing with his full weight, Wire fell through the window taking Snake with him.

Shocked at what she just witnessed, Emma failed to realize there was another person in the room. "Damn ninja," a grumpy voice said. Turning from her broken window, Emma looked over to see General Colton, cloths rumbled and slightly dusty, huddled against the wall of her hall way. He pulled himself away from the wall, placing his gun behind his back in the waistline of his pants as he made his way over to her. Knelling down to her level once he approached he tried to smile at her. "How about we get you out of here while Snake crates a distraction?" Colton offered with a glum smile.

All Emma could do was nod. The General was trying to portray calmness to keep her calm, but she knew they were still in danger. The sooner she could get out of here, the better.

End Chapter 6…

Author's End Notes: I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter! This was one of the chapters that sparked the whole idea for this story, so it took me a while longer to get it out. I also tried to not leave it as a cliff hanger….I almost did! But then I thought I would be nice and finish it out for you all. As always I hope you all liked it and please let me know what you think. I love reading the reviews and it helps me work on the story knowing you all enjoy reading it so much.

Thank you again for reading!