there would be questions

pg-13 | violence

She watched as Lauren's body fell.

She willed her legs to move, but they refused. The blonde's slender frame slumped to the ground as the gunshots ceased. She couldn't see any blood yet, but that didn't mean anything. The way she had fallen clearly indicated that she was injured - not that she had ducked for cover.

If she wasn't dead, she'd be dead soon. By her estimation, Lauren had been hit by no less than five bullets. Possibly more - it was hard to think clearly right now.

There would be questions. Hard questions. Questions she didn't have answers to. Not good ones, anyway.

Vaughn would grieve his wife, she supposed. And he would want to know why she died.

Maybe he would blame her.

It wasn't her fault. There was no way she could have known this would happen. But when bad things happened to people that you loved, you didn't think rationally.

This would be the second time in three years that he lost someone he loved. She wondered if he would grieve for Lauren the way he grieved for her.

If he even had grieved for her.

Her father told her that he had, but part of her didn't quite believe him. In her line of work, death was an occupational hazard. Before two years of her life had been stolen from her, she had contemplated what would happen if she died. What his reaction would be. She had always thought that he would be as devastated as she would be if he died. But that little band of cold metal on his hand indicated that clearly, he wasn't. That he had been able to replace the empty hole in his heart quite easily.

Maybe that wasn't fair to him. She didn't really care right now.

As selfish as it was, she hoped that losing Lauren didn't hurt as much as losing her did.

She closed her eyes and breathed as deeply as she could, taking in the smell of freshly cut grass. There were people running over to them now. She couldn't make out all the voices, but one of them was familiar. He was calling out his wife's name, his tone consumed with panic. It came closer to her, but then began moving farther away as he ran past where she lay.

She wondered if he had even stopped to check on her.

She tried to inhale again, but it hurt too much.

She could smell the blood as someone rolled her over onto her back. The pain got worse. There were hands on her body as people tried to stop the bleeding and take her pulse. She kept trying to breathe, but it was futile. Soon there was someone's mouth on hers. But it wasn't his, and he wasn't kissing her.

It was just some man trying to push air into her lungs.

She couldn't quite believe she was still alive.

There would be questions. Hard questions. Questions she didn't have answers to. Not good ones, anyway.

Fortunately, the bullets in her stomach seemed to e she wouldn't be around to try to answer them.


(fin.)