Jack had the gun in his hand and was crawling for cover before the door had even begun to swing open. Charley moved more slowly, but he had a gun in his hand before anyone came through the door. He slid off the leather sofa and aimed through a gap in the cushions. When Jack gave him a questioning look he mouthed “Kevlar.”
There were three of them. The first one through the door was playing action movie- toting two Uzis and spraying the room with them. Jack crouched behind one of the chairs, making himself as small as possible and hoping it was bullet proof as well and that there were no ricochets.
The hammering and crashing stopped eventually, replaced by a cackle and the sound of two empty magazines hitting the floor. There was a single crack, and the laughter stopped.
One piece of mirror on the wall opposite the door still hung on. Jack could see the doorway, one gunman crumpling to the floor and two others registering shock. He glanced across at Charley, who nodded, tapped his head and pointed to his left.
They stood together, braced quickly and fired two shots each. Jack’s target was holding a pump action shotgun, struggling to bring it up he pulled the trigger as Charley and Jack rose, discharging into the floor a few feet in front of himself. Both Jack’s shots hit his target squarely in the chest.
As the body crumpled to the floor Jack realised what he had just done. He hadn’t hesitated at all to kill another man. None of the questions of morality or other reasons to pause had occurred to him. The military training programmed into his brain must have helped, it had probably over ridden everything else. He dropped the gun on the chair and looked away.
The room was a mess of holes and broken glass. The picture window along one wall was completely smashed. Jack imagined he could hear sirens through it. On the table Charley’s glass of single malt was untouched. Jack picked it up and knocked it back.
Charley was examining the bodies. “They’ve probably got at least one more downstairs, waiting to see what happens.”
Jack picked the gun up again and walked warily to the door. They were at the end of a corridor, so he didn’t have to worry about anything to his left as he swung out of the door to the right with gun held high. Nothing moved in the corridor. After a moment he stepped back into the flat. “The Vilnius gang again?”
“I don’t recognise them, from either gang. Maybe there’s a third party trying to get involved.”
The sirens were louder now, and they were probably heading for the flat. Squealing tyres briefly drowned them out. “So what do we do now?”
“If the Police get here before your friends we go straight to jail. Where we’ll be lucky to last the night.”
“Do you have another car?”
“Yes, of course. Though it’s a little small.”
“Well let’s go then.”
“Hold on.” Charley opened the drawer in the coffee table further and pulled out a large camera bag. “Ammunition.”
They went down the stairs, guns ready at their sides, and entered the garage by a door in a poorly lit corner. “That one.” Charley pointed at a new style Mini.
Charley squeezed into the passenger seat. Marty walked through the side and sat in the rear. Before Charley had even closed the door Jack set off for the exit.
As they waited for the gate to clink up into the ceiling they listened to the sirens. “They’re heading for the front door.” Charley noticed, “Go left, we’ll come out streets away.” He leaned forward and started tapping instructions into the satnav. “Follow this, I have a friend who’ll take us in.”