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Author's Chapter Notes:
Just a ficlit for your perusal. I'm trying to get back into the writing mode. Humor me here, folks. This was scribbled during a lunch hour at McDonalds. Hopefully, no kiddies were reading over my shoulder.
I don't know exactly what time it is. Probably after 3:00. It took you a long time to settle tonight. If I try to move to see the clock on the nightstand I might wake you and I ain't gonna do that.

You're sleepin'. Finally. Sleepin' peacefully for the first time since it happened. Your face is relaxed, your breathing is regular and deep. I can almost hear your heart beatin', strong and steady.

With your eyes closed in sleep I can't see the fear, worry and guilt that's been haunting you for the last three days ... and nights. The horror that I thought would consume you when I went down on that rooftop. You thought I'd been shot ... or worse, that I'd gone over the edge and twelve stories down onto the street.

I didn't have a choice, Chris. It was a tactical move and a decision I had to make in a split second. I wasn't hit, but it was as close as I care to come. The sniper the dealers had perched on the building to cover their asses went for a head shot when he spotted me.

I didn't have much warning. Maybe I do have some kinda special sense like Ez says I do. I knew something was wrong maybe a tenth of a second before he took his shot. Reckon I dropped just as he pulled the trigger. When I was a kid back in Texas we called it "playin' possum". I was good at it then, but I'm better now.

If the shooter had been smart he'd have just taken off when he saw the deal go bad. But for some damm reason he didn't. Reckon it was all goin' too fast for him or he was confused. Later, after it was over, they told me he was all of 19 years old.

Comin' over to check me was his first mistake. Pokin' me in the back with his rifle was his second. I rolled over and came up in a firing position. I had the Sig in my hand, pulled it as I went down. Hell, it was by the book. I yelled a warning, told 'im to freeze and drop the rifle. I saw the disbelief hit him. Then he swung the rifle at me and I had no choice. I took him out. I killed a 19-year-old kid.

Yeah, I know. He tried to kill me. He was working for the maggots that've been floodin' the streets with cheap guns. Don't make it no easier. And then I saw you runnin' over like one of those avenging angels that Josiah talks about.

God, Chris! When I saw your face ... you might as well have been yellin' out everything you were thinking. We were lucky that Ez and Buck were still cuffin' and stuffin' the bad guys. Gave us all of five minutes for you to pull me up and look me over. Thought you were gonna break my arm you were holdin' on to me so damm tight.

The others have gotta know, Chris. They gotta know somethin'. Even after you saw I was all right, that the blood runnin' down my face was just a nick, you stuck to me like a chestnut burr.

We need to talk. Hell, I ain't never thought nor said that to anybody before. But there's some things we gotta work out. I ain't backin' off from what we've got together. Nothin' is gonna change that. But we've gotta work out the what ifs of this. What if somebody knows we're together? What if ... or when ... me or you get's put in a bad way again? You've worked in law enforcement for how many years now? And it's all I know except for the service. It's the only thing I've ever been good at. I can't quit chasin' the bad guys and I know you sure as hell ain't gonna either.

So yeah, we need to talk. Not now. Later this morning. After we wake up. And after we do what we usually do on Saturday mornin's. But for now I'm gonna try to get some sleep. Long as this old man layin' across me don't start snorin'.

THE END


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