Yes, it’s that time again! The final segment of the Danger Project has arrived. Before I post, I would like to thank the illustrious Nikki Walker for allowing me the pleasure of participating, Deidra Ds Green, Cassandra Baker-Durham, and the other members of the Danger Project! I have enjoyed my time writing with these beautiful and talented ladies ! As for future endeavors , the path is unknown, but nothing’s impossible. You’ll just have to wait and see!
And without further ado, I present the final segment of Danger Comes Close!
“HEY! HEY! HEY! Come on, come here!” Kyle waved his arm frantically in the air as he saw Jason’s shadowed body pushing through the compacted snow toward Jayde. With the bear focused on him and solely him, he hoped that Jason would act fast extracting Jayde and getting her to safety. In hindsight, he didn’t think this through but now that their roundabout plan was put into play, he had no choice but to see it through.
The bear meandered toward him lazily as if assessing the situation and Kyle couldn’t help but wonder if his bloody leg was adding fuel to this rapidly growing fire. There was no way he could outrun a bear, even if his leg wasn’t mangled beyond belief but he had to try. He was on the last vestiges of his strength and his body was quickly failing him. As he saw it, if he died on this mountain, it wouldn’t be in vain and it sure as hell wouldn’t be at a man’s mercy. Kyle trudged through the blinding snow, hearing the bear advance on him, praying that he would lead the beast as far away as possible from Jayde and Jason. It was the least he could do for bringing such terror and chaos to the sleepy mountain.
His teeth chattered as the winds howled around him but gratefully, he couldn’t really feel the blistering cold. He attributed that to the substantial blood he’d lost in the cabin; his body was succumbing but the adrenaline coursing through his body wouldn’t allow him to give up, not yet.
Kyle glanced over his shoulder, able to see more of the hulking mass that was now hot on his trail. Memories of his brother, their childhood flooded his thoughts and even though most of it had been shitty, he still smiled; glad for the moments he was given. The images seemed to come at will now, the brief wisps of respite and happiness suddenly overwhelming the hell his live had been. If he’d thought about it, long enough, he realized that his life hadn’t been that bad; sure he’d had his shares of ups and downs, but who hadn’t. What mattered is that he’d done his best to protect those who couldn’t protect themselves. He’d done his job.
He could hear the heavy breath of the beast nearly at his neck and pushed further. Ahead of him was a wide expanse of unmolested snow with no sight of an escape. It wouldn’t be long before his leg finally gave out on him and oddly, it seemed as if the bear knew it as well. He would keep going until his last breath. The memory of Jayde’s luminous eyes burned through his thoughts and he pushed himself even harder. To save her, he would offer his life a million times over.
Jason scurried through the snow, hearing Kyle shouting at the bear, thankful for distraction. Without the threat of the bear hovering over him, he could think clearer. The biting cold was already eating away at his strength but he wouldn’t stop until he’d freed Jayde, even though he was certain he’d be staring down the barrel of her impetuous anger. He was already on the bubble for kissing her, an act he hadn’t regretted in the least bit. For years, he watched and waited for the right time to reveal his feelings for her and somehow, facing certain danger and eminent death seemed to be the perfect catalyst. It was also the source of his foolhardy plan to keep Jayde out of harm’s way. Instead, she’d come within a hair of her own demise and he’d put her square in fate’s sights.
Yes, he was going to have to do some serious groveling but it would be worth it.
Finally reaching her, he slipped his hand in his pocket and grasped the tiny key, unlocking the cuffs quickly. When they fell away, Jason eyed Jayde with trepidation, waiting for her to explode. The sudden flood of warmth and her intoxicating scent filled his senses and with more relief than a little bit, he embraced her heartily, clutching her close to his body. She shivered in his arms and he could hear her tiny sniffles as she struggled to gather herself. After a while, she stopped sniffling and pulled away from him, her eyes searching his. Her brow furrowed and that was the only sign of trouble he got before she’d shoved him to the ground, hard.
“What the hell is your problem, Jason? What were you thinking to cuff me to a tree?” Jayde asked as straddled him and swung her arms in his direction. Jason, to his credit attempted to deflect her blows by holding up his arms but he was no match for her fury. “You….you asshole, I should kill you! You kiss me then you trap me? What kind of shit is that? “
“I thought I was doing you a favor,” Jason responded as he shielded himself from her blows. He grabbed her arms and held them at bay, staring into her wild eyes, “Would you stop for just a moment, Jayde? The bear’s gone, you’re safe.”
Jason’s words caused her to pause for a second and lift her eyes toward the icy fields. In the distance, she could see the beast trotting away as if it were merely on a stroll. Exhaling heavily, she knocked Jason on his head before standing up, kicking him on the side. She was pissed at him for deceiving her but grateful that he’d been the one to save her. Glancing in the direction of the cabin, she then turned to Jason and asked, “I thought I heard Kyle. Where is he, Jason?”
Jason shifted his gaze toward the blanket of snow and the disappearing bear, his shoulders sagging slightly. Jayde noticed and started to walk off only to have Jason grasp at her wrist. Even though she was giving him the death stare, he shook his head, “Don’t, Jayde. There’s nothing we can do for him now. When we get to the truck, I’ll use the radio and see if we can get a search party out to look for him.” Staring out in the darkness, Jason was remorseful that he couldn’t help Kyle. As Jayde wrapped her arms around his waist, he exhaled wearily and watched as the bear faded into the night. He could only pray that a miracle had befallen the courageous man.
Jayde sat at the edge of the bed, staring out into nothingness as the images of her most recent nightmare cascaded through her mind. She shivered slightly as she closed her eyes, willing the tears to remain at bay as she fought for a sliver of peace. After escaping the clutches of an abusive husband, she’d fallen neatly into the path of another dangerous situation. If not for Jason and the now missing in action agent, she knew she would be on a cold slab instead of about to be discharged from the hospital. Life had its way of twisting the vines of decisions and she was grateful for the decisions that Kyle had made to keep her safe. While he’d been a complete stranger to her, she couldn’t help but feel some sort of camaraderie with the fallen agent; he’d risked his life to save hers. That was something she couldn’t take so lightly.
She’d waited for word of the agent’s whereabouts but as the nights bled into the days, she realized with a heavy heart that it was likely that Kyle hadn’t survived. It was with that thought that she finally allowed the tears to fall, only after vowing that they would be the last tears to be shed in lieu of a loss.
Taking in a deep breath and letting it out slowly, she wiped away the tears just as the door opened . She lifted her eyes and attempted a smile as Jason entered with a vibrant bouquet of flowers. A small chuckle erupted from her lips when he extended his arm first before approaching.
Running her hand through her hair, she asked, “What are you doing, Jason?”
Jason smiled and shrugged, “I thought I would employ a preemptive countermeasure, just in case you still feel the need to beat my ass.”
Jayde frowned and reached for the pillow, tossing it in his direction, barely missing him, “Damn right I’m still pissed at you, Jason. That bear could have killed me! I’m still struggling to understand what the hell you were thinking.”
Jason groaned and rolled his eyes as he smirked widely. They’d been through this a million times since she’d been admitted for observation and even now on the millionth and one explanation, he could barely school his expression. The one thing he knew about Jayde, despite her massive temper, was that she loathed deceivers and while he’d take serious flack for years to come, he welcomed it gratefully if it meant that Jayde would be with him. Thus far, she hadn’t spoken on the moment they’d shared but he figured she was still in the throes of her ordeal to make sense of what had happened between them.
Just as Jason was about to approach, he heard the door open behind him and turned to see Kyle sitting in a wheelchair, his leg bandaged and his arm in a sling. Jason stared at him as Jayde rushed by him toward the agent, engulfing him in a tight embrace. Jason watched with interest as Jayde took her time in releasing him, her eyes searching Kyle’s as if she were ascertaining if he were real. There was something in her gaze, something that unnerved Jason and he frowned as he cleared his throat roughly.
“How in the world did you survive, man? We were sure that the bear got you,” Jason said as he moved toward them. Jayde was still holding on to the agent, her smile growing by the second. He had to sever this sudden bond between them and do it quickly. “We sent a search party out for you. They said that they didn’t find anything.”
Kyle stared at Jayde and grinned, his brow arching slightly. Captivated by her bright eyes, he sighed, “Apparently, I had something to live for.”
Jason didn’t miss the connotation of his words, catching and holding his gaze, “You must have some story to tell, agent.”
Kyle smiled more and shifted his gaze to Jayde, “Man, you don’t know the half of it.”