PROTECTION

CHAPTER 23
It's over.

"Ugh.. Why do people keep doing that to me?.. " Eve groaned as she opened her eyes slowly and found herself surrounded by darkness. Eve cleared her mind and moved first her arms, then her legs, checking to see that everything was ok.

Her hands were tied together, and as she moved her left foot it came in contact with a body.

"What the?" she exclaimed, hoping that Puierro hadn't thrown her in close quarters with a stiff.

"Could you try and NOT kick me in the head!" Jackson's irritated voice penetrated the dark, and Eve felt her heart leap.

"Jackson? Is that really you?" she demanded, unable to believe that he was actually ok.

"Yes it's me! Point of interest here, we're currently locked in a boot. A boot of a car that Puierro happened to tell me that he is going to drive to the wreckers TO BE COMPACTED!" Jackson answered, and Eve gasped. He was going to compact the car with them still inside?

Eve reached her bound hands up and banged against the roof of the boot.

"LET US OUT!" she yelled, but quickly gave it up, realising that if Puierro was driving then there was no way that he could possibly hear them.

Eve lay back down and attempted to turn herself around so that she was at the same end of the boot as Jackson.

"You did good back there" she told him, and Jackson snorted.

"We're not going to get out of this one are we?" she continued, feeling suddenly vulnerable.

"I don't know what to tell you" Jackson answered honestly, and Eve sighed and laid her head against Jackson's chest.

"You know, I'd put out, but there's the being married thing" she told him quietly, and Jackson laughed softly.

"It's been fun Eve" he told her, and she nodded in the dark.

"I love you" Eve told him, knowing that she was risking her heart by putting it on her sleeve like that, but not sure that she would ever get another chance to tell him.

"I love you too.. I love your crazy, psychotic temper, I love your hot- headedness, I love the fact that you love what you do.." Jackson broke off, and Eve snickered.

"And that's taking it a bit far" she told him with a laugh.

"Trust you.. I open my heart and you stamp all over it!" Jackson complained.

"Oh please, spare me!" Eve exclaimed.

"We're going to die Eve! I'm sorry if I felt the need to wax lyrical before I cark it!" Jackson retorted.

"Ok, I'm going to die too.. Do you hear me spouting Shakespeare?" Eve shot back.

Their routine, the arguments and getting angry with each other placed a calming hand on her, and she felt better, wondering if it wasn't Jackson's aim to get her angry and distract her.

"Uh.. since we're not going to get out of this, there's something I have to tell you" Eve began, knowing that now was probably the last time that she was going to get to tell him.

"You already told me that you love me" he told her insufferably, and Eve groaned.

"Oh get over yourself! I wasn't going to get all Hallmark and break out a mandolin.. unlike someone" she replied, annoyed.

Jackson huffed, and turned his head away.

"You know that video.." Eve began, and Jackson crowed.

"Uh huh! I knew you had it! I knew it!" he exclaimed, and Eve groaned again.

"Yeah.. you're a fucking genius" she muttered, and Jackson fell silent.

Eve could feel the rumble of the car all around her, she tried to block it out, but couldn't and it just brought the reality of what was going to happen to them to the front with every bump.

"Ha! See! I knew you had it the whole time!" Jackson crowed, and Eve groaned.

"You know it's great, THAT WHEN WE'RE ABOUT TO DIE. YOU'RE GOING ON ABOUT A BLOODY VIDEO!" Eve yelled, angry.

Jackson went silent, he wasn't sure that he wanted his last words to be about a video that probably wasn't that good anyway.

"I never even got to see it! I'm going to die and Ii didn't even get to see the video!" he complained.. and Eve screamed with frustration.

"Jackson?" She spoke, voice dangerously calm.

"Yes?"

"SHUT UP!"

*********************************

An hour later, Jackson still muttering about videos and how unfair life was, they came to a stop.

"Do you think we've arrived?" Jackson asked, and Eve rolled her eyes.

"Has the car stopped?" she asked him in reply,

"Yes" he answered in a small voice, and Eve smirked.

"Then what do you think"

Jackson was silent as the boot was opened and they both gasped.

"Well officers, this is the last stop" Puierro drawled, Eve could only make out his silhouette in the darkness.

She could see the outline of a gun at his hip and she made a move for it, but was quickly grabbed and pushed back down, her head slamming painfully against the floor of the boot.

"Now now Evie.. be a good girl.. It'll be over soon, and not too painful.. I don't think.. " Puierro told her, leaning over and holding a hand to her throat, and kissing her lips briefly before slamming the boot closed.

"See now If you had married me, I wouldn't be doing this to you.. we could have LIVED in perfect happiness" Jackson pointed out, and Eve chuckled.

"Marry you? And what makes you think I'd want to do that?"

"Well fine then.. don't.. we'll never know now anyway.."

The car started back up again and rolled slowly.

Eve knew that Puierro was driving the car over to the machine that would pick it up, place it in the compactor and crush it.

She shuddered, and tried to think of something happy.

"Did you hear that?" Jackson asked suddenly, and Eve grimaced..

"You don't have to do that for my sake" she told him, wanting it to be over as soon as possible.

"I'm not.. Listen! What do you hear?" he answered, annoyed..

and Eve strained to listen.

"I can't hear anything" she protested.

"Shh! There"

And Eve heard it, it was closer now, there was yelling, and gunfire.

"Benelli" she whispered with delight, knowing that it had to be him out there.

They banged on the lid of the boot, and screamed for all they were worth.

A moment later there was a thump on the boot, and the sound of a key fumbling in the lock.

Eve gulped in fresh air as a young policeman helped her out of the boot.

She turned to see Jackson refuse help and then fall out of the boot. He climbed to his feet and dusted himself off.

"It's over!" she told him, pointing to the group of agents and Police, with Benelli at the centre, cuffing Puierro and escorting him to a car.

Eve walked over and blew a kiss to Puierro through the glass window of the police car. She laughed, and climbed into Mark's car, Jackson taking a seat beside her.

"It's finally over"

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Final chapter of Protection. Next one will be an epilogue!

;p

Eve Lindsey.