Taken By The Hitman IV by Amber Adams

Chapter 1: Bianca


I watch as the car pulls up to the gate, switching to the night-vision camera so that I can see his face.

“You have nothing to fear from me,” he states. “I’m here to help.”

I press the intercom. “Tell me something about him that only he would tell you.”

The man chuckles. “My Dear, Jason Corben doesn’t tell anyone anything, but I will tell you that there’s a large scar on his left calf from a knife attack he didn’t see coming. I sewed him up.”

I glance over at Jason, still lying on the floor. I’ve lost count of the number of scars on his body.

“Fine,” I finally say in desperation. If he’s not here to help Jason, we are as good as dead anyway.

Pressing open the gate, I rush back to Jason, relieved to see the rise and fall of his chest. The bandage I placed around his midsection seems to be doing an ok job, but the paleness of his skin is great cause for concern for me. Is he going to survive this?

I don’t know what to do. I’ve always been the level-headed one, the one who never got into things like this—unlike my brother—yet here I am, with a contract on my head and a hit man who is bleeding all over the floor, and who is also slowly sliding his way into my heart.

If only Mom and Papi could see me now.

Hearing the sound of a slamming car door right in front of the cabin, I grab the gun, and with a shaking hand, aim it at head height while I quickly reach forward with the other hand and throw the cabin door open. I might not be as good as Jason is, but I am all we’ve got right now.

There’s a guy climbing out of the car, barely giving me a glance as he shuts the door.

“I’m not here to hurt you,” the man states as he rounds the car, popping the trunk.

He looks younger than I had originally thought, probably no older than Jason, and his glasses make him at least appear to be nonthreatening.

“You can put the gun down.”

“I think I’ll hold on to it,” I tell him as he gathers a large backpack and a cooler from the trunk.

“What’s your name?”

“Healer,” he mumbles, brushing past me as if my gun and I aren't a threat at all. I follow him into the living room, my throat constricting at the sight of Jason lying there in his own puddle of blood.

“Is he…” I can’t even ask the question.

Healer looks at me and I’m taken aback by the soft hazel eyes behind his glasses.

“I need for him to be on some sort of surface higher than the floor. I’m assuming you can help me move him?”

Tucking the gun in my waistband, I nod. “I just, I couldn’t move him by myself.”

Some of the irritation on his face softens and he places his things on the floor.

“Come on and help me get him to the kitchen table. That will work fine.”

We get him on the table, and I place a pillow from the couch under his head. Healer pulls the hastily made bandage back and swears.

“What the hell did you get yourself into Corben?” he murmurs before looking at me.

“Can you bring my things over here? I think the bullet is still lodged inside him.”

My knees wobble but I lug his bag and cooler over as he’s rolling up his sleeves.

“I need water,” he states firmly. “Also, some towels if you haven’t used them all. Do you have any sort of medical experience?” At the shake of my head, he sighs.

“Well, I didn’t expect so. We are going to get this bullet out and then I am going to start an old-fashioned blood transfusion.”

“What?” I ask. “Blood transfusion?”

He smirks grimly. “What do you think is in the cooler? At least this asshole is smart enough to keep me stocked with a fresh supply of his blood on a regular basis.”

He glances over at me, clearly seeing the shock on my face. “Go get the towels, er...”

“Bianca,” I force out, trying not to look at the cooler. I’m not squeamish by any means, but this is just all too surreal at the moment.

“Bianca, then,” he says, his jaw firm. “Let’s get to work.”

It really doesn’t take all that long, apparently, to find a bullet. I held Jason’s hand as Healer dug around in his side until he was able to find it and then start the delicate process of sewing him up.

When he started the IV that would replenish Jason’s lost blood, I had to walk away for a little while, taking my time washing off the remaining blood on my hands before collapsing in a sob.

I know tears aren’t going to help at this moment, but right now I feel helpless as to how I am going to care for us both. Jason has been the one with the ideas, keeping us both alive up until now, and with him injured, I am going to have to step up and take that burden.

And, for how long?

Teardrops fall unchecked as I try to pull myself together, knowing that the tears aren’t solving anything, but they do feel good at least. I splash water on my face, and after composing myself, I walk back into the living room to find Healer watching Jason, a frown on his face.

“How many times have you done this?” I ask.

His mouth quirks in a smile. “Do you mean this in general or this for Jason?”

“Jason,” I reply.

“A few times,” he replies, feeling Jason’s forehead with the back of his hand.

“Jason and I met after I finished my medical residency and...” He stops, looking over at me.

“That’s a story for another time. He’s a tough bastard. Believe it or not, this isn’t the worst shape I’ve seen him in.”

I swallow. I don’t know much about Jason’s life, but to hear him make that statement coupled with the scars I’ve seen on him, Healer’s telling the truth. Is this what it’s like for Jason? Is his hit-man life this dangerous on a daily basis?

“Well, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon,” Healer states, pulling up a chair. “You look like you are dead on your feet, Bianca.”

The early morning sun is starting to filter through the windows, and I can’t believe it’s only been a few hours since I watched Jason stumble through the door. “I’m fine.”

He looks over at me, arching a brow.

“It does you no good to lie to a Doctor Bianca. I’m not going to kill him, or you. I promise. I’m, well, I’m a friend and I owe Jason a hell of a lot. He’s safe with me.”

There are a hundred questions that rise to the surface, but I push them down. “I’ll just go take a shower then.”

He nods and kicks the chair back on two legs. “Take your time. He’s down for the count right now.”

I give him a small smile and walk back into the bathroom, stripping off my blood-stained clothes as I start the water. I imagined Jason didn’t have a lot of friends, but I am glad that he found one in the medical profession.

Otherwise, he’d likely be dead right now.

Sucking in a breath, I step under the warm stream of water, letting it beat on my skin for a few minutes. Jason has seemed invincible to me until this moment, and now I’m frightened for both of us.

He’s just a man, and though Healer assures me that the bullet didn’t do as much damage as it appears with all the blood, he’s not going to be himself for quite some time. Meaning I will have to step up in my own protection, and maybe even his.

A shudder slips through me and I swallow the emotion rising in my throat. I’ve already had my moment to cry, and while I want to do nothing but curl up in this shower and feel sorry for myself, now isn’t the time. I’ve depended on Jason for everything, and now he’s going to need me.

I briefly think about calling Emil before pushing the thought out of my mind. I won’t do it unless I’ve asked Jason first. He brought us here for the simple fact that we need to lay low. Emil would likely call in the cavalry and blow everything that Jason has setup, so I will hold off for now.

Quickly I wash and change into a set of clothing that smells like Jason before walking back out to find Healer checking his vitals.

“He looks good,” he says as he places his stethoscope back around his neck.

“Okay, maybe that’s a lie. He looks like shit but he’s going to be okay. I’ll stick around if you want to get some actual rest.”

“Thanks,” I rush out, shoving my hands in the pockets of the joggers I have on. “I mean thank you for coming out here and taking care of him.”

Healer waves his hand, settling back in his chair.

“Don’t worry. Anything to help a friend.”