Chapter 2 – Kung Fu Fighting
April didn’t stop to look back. She threw herself into the room and slammed the door shut behind her. She twisted the lock and pressed herself up against the wall so the guard couldn’t see her when he looked in. He turned the handle a few times, but it didn’t open. She could hear him fumbling around with keys while swearing softly. April looked around the room trying to think of somewhere to hide.
Crowley’s office was smaller than the other offices she had visited this evening. He only had a small, single room for an office but not the second one that looked out over the city. “Strange,” she thought. “The space between the rooms was equal, so why did this one have less interior space.”
April stayed up against the wall so the guard couldn’t see her, but moved along it down to the far end of the office. She knocked on the far wall, and it sounded hollow. The room was beside Hamilton’s so they should have been connected, but intuitively she knew that the spacing wasn’t right. Something was definitely off.
By this time the guard had managed to get the door open and burst in after her.
“Freeze,” he yelled out. “Put your hands up where I can see them.”
April raised her arms slowly into the air. The guard stepped forward and moved slowly in her direction.
“Take off your mask,” he ordered referring to an old stocking that she had pulled over her face to keep any cameras from recognizing her.
April didn’t budge. She just stared at the guard unblinkingly. He moved a bit closer still pointing the gun at her.
“How did you get in here?” he asked.
She still didn’t reply. April recognized him now and remembered that he was the new guard that had just joined the team recently. That’s why it had taken him so long to find the key to open the door and enter the room.
“Turn around,” he ordered. “And keep your hands up.”
April had started to put them down but dutifully raised them again. Well, this was going to be awkward. Trying to explain to her husband and his partners what she was doing in their offices at three in the morning.
She didn’t think anyone suspected that she knew what they were up. But this would be pretty obvious. They would realize that she was onto them and want to know how much she knew.
Could she take this guard on? He was pretty tough looking, and not at all like the doughnut eating creep she had hoped would be on duty tonight.
The other guard would have been a piece of cake to take down. Her dad had been a fifth-degree black belt. He had given her a kimono when she was just six years old and enrolled her in Brimhill’s finest dojo.
April never had cared much for karate and wouldn’t have said that she had applied herself as well as she knew she could have. April just did the minimum to get by and quit as soon as she received her black belt because that had been her father’s requirement. The old man tried to convince her to keep practicing, but she wasn’t interested. She had other more interesting things to do. Besides, that was why she had bodyguards around to protect her. Right?
So, now April knew she would be rusty, but this was her only chance to get out of here. She waited until she heard him rattling his handcuffs as he pulled them out of his belt. He reached out his hand and put it on her shoulder. She spun around using her raised arm to knock his hand away and continued to follow through with a wicked punch across the face with her other fist.
He didn’t fall over but did take a few steps backward. She didn’t wait for him to recuperate but immediately continued with a full-scale attack. April rained blows down on his exposed abdomen since he was holding his face with his hands from her first punch.
The guard fell down this time. He doubled up in pain and rolled around gasping for air. April continued to hold her karate stance with one foot in front of the other. She felt pretty good and proud for so effortlessly defending herself. Her father would have been proud. She would have to tell him about it someday.
Now, she had to figure out what to do with the guard. She spotted the handcuffs and reached over to pick them up. She felt terrible for the poor guy. This would probably get him fired in the morning. But he deserved it for flirting around on the job with his girlfriend when he should have been working.
She reached down and slapped the cuffs on one of his arms and then reached over for his other wrist. He flipped himself over and wrapped his legs around her slamming April to the ground. It knocked the breath out of her, and she lay gasping for a second. Her right elbow stung where it had hit the floor.
The guard sat up and got to his knees while pressing his weight against her to keep her from moving. April squirmed and wiggled to try and get free. She wished she had taken those stupid Brazilian jiu-jitsu courses her father always insisted she try out because he claimed it would make her a better, more well-rounded fighter so she could defend herself at close quarters when down.
Now, she wished she had actually listened to him. April always laughed at him and told him that she wouldn’t let anyone ever get that close because she’d beat them off with a barrage of karate chops and kicks. She tried to remember how do one of those grapple holds that the old man had tried to teach her when they sparred.
She grabbed the guard’s thumb and pulled down hard as she twisted away from herself. April flipped her leg up and over his arm to lock it in place as she applied pressure. April could tell immediately that she wasn’t doing something quite right because she couldn’t pull him down completely.
The guard reached over with his other hand to punch her in the face. It was an awkward overhand blow that didn’t hurt too badly. She continued twisting and pushing her legs farther up his arm to get a lock on him. He kept moving around with her, grabbing at her face and hair that was covered by the stocking.
He locked his fingers in the stocking and tried to twist it off. She brought her legs up as high as he could and pulled down with all of her strength. This time she felt something pop. The guard screamed through his gritted teeth but didn’t let go of her hair. He loosened enough to get his fingers into the netting and pulled down. The stocking popped off over her head.
The guard looked up at her in shock. “Mrs. Blanchet,” he managed to stammer out. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it was you. I thought you were a thief.”
He let go of her hair and stopped trying to struggle to get free. But she didn’t relax her grip. This was a real mess. Now, how was she going to get out of this? She’d have to kill him to keep him from talking. But with the mask off her head, the cameras might be filming her. She couldn’t remember where the security cameras were in the room.
“It’s a personal thing.” she managed to say. “I thought my husband might be cheating on me and I was looking for proof.”
That was the only thing that came to mind. April couldn’t think of any other excuses off the top of her head.
“In this room,” he asked incredulously. “This isn’t his office.”
“Yes, I know. But I checked Tony’s office and didn’t find anything. So, I thought the other boys might know something.”
She looked him in the eye and could tell that he didn’t quite believe her.
“Well, look. Why don’t you let go of my arm? I’ll let you leave the building just like this never happened. Okay. It’s not like you’re a thief, and I have to arrest you. You’re just a jealous, I mean, a suspicious wife who is concerned about the welfare of her husband.” the guard said.
“And you’ll let me continue my search,” she asked. “All you have to do is stay down at the other end of the building till I’m done.”
“I can’t let you do that. You will have to leave,” the guard replied.
“I’ll tell them that I got in here because you were on your cell phone and not paying attention,” she said.
He laughed. “Sure, everybody does it. Just because it’s in the handbook doesn’t mean anyone actually abides by it. Besides, I have a good excuse. My sister is sick and was just checking in to make sure he was okay.”
“I will tell them that I was just in the building to get something from Tony’s office and that you attacked me and dragged me in here. I was just a helpless woman trying to defend herself.” she shot back.
“The video footage will prove otherwise,” he answered angrily with his eyes flashing at her threat.
“I avoided the cameras,” she said. “I know where they are and won’t appear on any of them. And I had some outside help to wipe the system if any picked me up.”
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