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  1. CharmedGirl's Avatar
    Reading: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
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    "Do not let him come back here, please Simon." Kayleigh said, her voice laced with panic while her hands shook uncontrollably. Just the thought of facing Jimmy Ryan right now scared her, since he and Malcolm were twins. Or was it had been twins? God, she hated grammatical tenses. They had always bamboozled her.

    "Okay sweetheart, if that's what you want." Simon told her with a sympathetic smile as he could understand seeing her husband's brother so soon after everything that had happened would be traumatic.

    Kayleigh sighed, releasing a breath she didn't know she'd been holding. "It's what I want for now, though I know I need answers only Jimmy can give me."

    Simon nodded and looked directly at the nurse to give her instructions. "Tell him there's no patient here under the name Kayleigh Ryan and if he doesn't leave after you've told him, call security and have him escorted out." The twenty-something nurse with long auburn curls nodded and walked out, heading back to the nurse's station.

    "And what if he doesn't leave? What if he pulls a gun?" Kayleigh asked without looking at Simon and instead focusing all her attention on the little bundle of joy she held in her arms.

    Simon spun on his heel to face Kayleigh, his face blazing with anger, for he hated violence. "What did you say?"

    "She said what if he pulls a gun." A gruff voice said menacingly, seconds before cocking a gun, readying it for action. "Hello Kayleigh."

    "Put the gun away Jimmy. It's not necessary." Jimmy raised a dark brow at his sister-in-law, surprised by her cool, calm and collected attitude. Usually she had a problem with guns.

    "But it is necessary sweetheart. It's necessary to get you to co-operate."

    Kayleigh cowered, her body sinking down in the bed as if she were hoping it would swallow her whole. Then she looked up at Jimmy, her eyes darkened with anger. "Don't call me sweetheart." She snarled and snuggled the baby tight to her chest. "And what's do you mean by it's necessary to get me to co-operate?"

    "It means you either come with me willingly now or I shoot the good doctor and kidnap you and the kid."

    Kayleigh stared at her brother-in-law in disbelief, wondering how he could act so coolly and utter such things as if he were having a normal conversation with someone.

  2. lavagrl's Avatar
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    Jimmy closed the door behind them, giving Kayleigh a congenial smile.

    "She just had a baby," Simon said, his voice so cold and calm Kayleigh wondered if he’d faced down guns before or was just an exceptional actor. It had to be the latter; he was fired up not one minute ago. "She can’t just get up and leave. She’s still numb from the medication, and her and the baby have to be monitored."

    Kayleigh glanced over her shoulder. Simon was just to the side of her bed, hands in the air, face as impassive as his voice. How can he be so calm?

    "You’re not too bright, are ya, Doc?" Jimmy hissed, cool blue eyes locked on Simon’s oh so warm ones as he leveled the gun on the doctor’s chest.

    "I’m not the one threatening to fire a gun next to an oxygen line."

    Jimmy’s confident glower went down a watt, then he sneered. "You’re bluffing. Oxygen lines run under the floors. A gun shot isn’t going to set it off."

    Simon shrugged, nonchalance painted so thickly over his face Kayleigh almost didn’t recognize him under it. Was he bluffing?

    "I’m not bluffing." Simon’s hands were still up by his head. Jimmy’s gun was still trained on him. And they were staring each other down like ten year old boys squaring off over the swings on the playground. "But go ahead. Shoot me and see."

    Kayleigh held her bundled baby girl to her chest a little bit tighter. If something didn’t happen soon, they were both going to die of testosterone poisoning.

    "Jimmy," Kayleigh said slowly, meeting his eyes, "please don’t shoot him." Her eyes filled with tears; it wasn’t hard. She made her voice tiny. "I don’t want to die." His gun went down the barest bit. Good. All she had to do was keep up the damsel act and she could diffuse this insanity. "I know you don’t want to hurt me. And you don’t want to hurt your niece. Now, please, I’ll go with you, just put down th..."

    Simon leapt forward.

    "... No!"

    But it was too late. Simon slammed Jimmy’s cheek in a left hook that’d do a boxer proud, pushing the gun down with his right hand.

    Jimmy rolled with the blow and was on his feet before Kayleigh could take her next breath. Those years in Tae Kwon Do were showing.

    Simon stepped after him and Jimmy had the gun up and aimed within the space of a butterfly’s blink.

    the gun’s silencer called as Jimmy shot Simon straight through the right shoulder.

    "ARGHHHHH!" Simon screamed, crumpling to the ground.

    "Simon!" Kayleigh wanted to leap out of the bed, but was still numb. She was sure her legs wouldn’t work even if she could swing them off.

    "Kayleigh," Jimmy turned to her, eyes far too soft for a man who just shot her doctor, "I have a nurse coming in. She’ll unhook you and get you onto a wheelchair. I have a doctor waiting at my hotel. You don’t need to worry. I’ll take care of you, and I swear I’ll explain everything then." He stepped closer and she shrank back on her pillows. He paused. "I will not hurt you. And I’ll send someone in here for the doctor in a minute. The wound’s a through-and-through, he’ll be fine."

    "Did you kill Malcolm?" She kept her voice strong. The damsel act didn’t work. It was time for tough-as-nails bitch.

    Even though all she wanted to do was sleep.

    "No. But he is dead because of me."

    "Wha..." The nurse walking in cut Kayleigh’s gasp short. It was the young woman with the gorgeous auburn curls.

    And she was holding a needle. Her brown eyes were gentle as they met Kayleigh’s. "Don’t worry. This won’t interact with the epideral." She put the needle in Kayleigh’s IV and Kayleigh’s eyes started dropping almost immediately. She couldn’t even fight as the nurse took her baby from her arms and Jimmy took her hand.

    "I’m not the bad guy, Kayleigh," he whispered through the cotton taking her brain. "I’m CIA."

    She barely had time to think, What? before her brain clicked to the off position.

    # # #

    Kayleigh’s eyes jerked up.

    What...? Where...?
    drifted through the cobwebs coating her brain like dreams of soft silk.

    MY BABY!
    She shot straight up as the day’s memories slammed her like a horse’s hoof. The room was small but comfortable. The window on her left let in sunshine too gentle to be anything but early morning rays. The full sized bed was covered with a spring green comforter and the high backed black chair was hotel quality. Hotel room, right?

    It didn’t really matter where she was, because right next to her bed was a white crib, holding her sleeping baby girl.

    Relief crashed through her like salty waves and she fought the urge to cry as she inched off the bed. Hey, my legs are working!

    She picked her baby up, giving her a soft kiss as she squirmed a bit.

    The door opened and Jimmy walked in.

    And her momentary peace shot to hell.

    "Jimmy," she didn’t know her voice could hold such malice, "what the fuck is going on?"
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    "There’s the firecracker I know," Jimmy said, smiling. "I knew that pleading in the hospital was an act."

    "That was hormones," Kayleigh said, waving it off. "What about you? Who are you, Jimmy? Are you the guy I talked to for the past five years when I couldn’t talk to Malcolm? Are you the guy who called me in a panic? Are you the guy who shot Simon, cold as an icicle? Or are you the guy who’s calm and in control, and taking care of me and my baby?"

    He looked down then met her eyes. "I’m all of them. I told you, I’m CIA. I learned when I started how to be whatever I needed to be. I swear I haven’t lied to you about anything important. All those nights we spent talking were me being me. I haven’t even been in the field for the past few years. I’ve been a supervisor, mostly boring paperwork stuff, but last week, one of my old... assignments came back to bite me on the ass. They tracked me down. I can not begin to tell you how sorry I am you were dragged into this. And Malcolm..." his eyes misted and he looked away. "They killed him thinking he was me because they had a last name and a photo, and we look enough alike for them to make the mistake."

    She barely understood the last word through the croak. Her hand flew to her heart and a tear slipped down her cheek. "Who’s they?" she asked softly.

    He shook his head. "The less you know, the bet..."

    "Don’t feed me that shit." She marched forward and grabbed his chin, ignoring the bristles piercing her fingers as she made him meet her eyes again. "I’m in this. Who. Are. They?"

    He swallowed harshly. "They’re a crime organization based in South America. They deal in guns, drugs, prostitution, and about eight years ago, they were getting a foothold in the U.S. My group and I... took care of the people setting up shop here."

    Kayleigh’s forehead wrinkled. "Took care... Oh my God! You’re an assassin?" She let him go and stumbled back.

    "I was. Believe me when I say, everyone I have ever killed has deserved it." He shook his head like he could toss the horror in her eyes away. "These people are criminals who need to be stopped. Now, all I wanted was for you to be safe. You should be here. There’s agents in the front room and down in the lobby." He went for the door, hand pausing on the frame. "I am sorry." It swung closed behind him and Kayleigh slumped onto the bed.

    Was she basically a prisoner? To be held until he tracked down and killed the people in that organization? What if the CIA didn’t get them all? What would happen to her and her baby?

    And what about Simon?
  4. CharmedGirl's Avatar
    Reading: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
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    Simon woke, bleary eyed and groggily mumbled, "What happened?" as excruciating pain ripped through his shoulder where his assistant was lifting a large gauze pad off of.

    "What do you remember?" She asked hesitantly, carefully checking his vitals and noting her findings on his chart.

    "Not much." Simon told her as he tried to seat himself more comfortably in the bed, but struggled, finding it impossible when his shoulder was throbbing in agony from recent surgery Mike would have performed to remove the bullet he'd been shot with. "Apart from delivering a baby and my patient's brother in law shooting me. After that..." Finally managing to get comfortable, he added "nothing."

    "That's good, really good." Simon frowned at her, perplexed by her bizarre answer. Why was his temporary memory lose, if it was temporary, a good thing? Did something happen to Kayleigh that he wouldn't like? Was she hurt? Was her baby hurt?

    "What's that supposed to mean?"

    "Nothing. Nothing at all Dr Mitchell." She said nervously, her bottom lip quivering and her eyes darting around the room, avoiding his gaze like the plague. Which only made Simon frown deeper, his eyebrows knitting together as if he had a monobrow.

    "What happened to Kayleigh? Where did he take her?" Simon asked in an angry tone, enraged by his concern for Kayleigh and her baby's health so soon after delivery. And if he was honest with himself, it wasn't only doctorly concern, his feelings for Kayleigh ran deeper. She was someone he could see himself growing old with.

    "Her brother in law took her somewhere safe. He left a note by your bedside table." He glanced to where she pointed and saw a short note with hotel information and a phone number. "He said to call and let her know you're okay."

    Simon didn't hesitate. He picked up the phone quickly from the receiver, dialled, and patiently awaited for someone to answer.

    "Hello." The feminine voice spoke softly. Kayleigh. His Kayleigh. He'd recognise her voice anytime, anywhere.


    "Oh god Simon," Her voice faltered, and he could hear her sobbing faintly into the phone. "you're okay."

    "Yeah baby I'm fine. Are you okay?" He asked, desperately wanting to know that she wasn't under duress to stay with Jimmy and do everything he says.

    "Yes." She answered quickly, which worried Simon.

    "Are you sure? I could come down there and get you if he isn't treating you like the queen that you are."

    Kayleigh laughed and it slid over his body like a sensual caress as if she was there with him, lying skin to skin and touching him intimately for the first time. "Yeah I'm sure."

    "Kayleigh, get off the phone now." Jimmy's deep lethal voice bellowed, and then the phone went dead.

  5. #15


    Simon panicked. Losing contact with Kayleigh wasn't in the plan when he took the job, but things had gotten way out of hand. He had to act, and act now to save her. Ignoring the pain, he planted his feet on terra firma and lurched towards the door. He needed to get out of this hopistal and make contact with the one man that could help him get Keyleigh out of this renegade's hand.

    Jimmy Ryan had been a CIA operative at one time, but that was over a decade ago, long before he'd become a loose cannon. And he'd been a good agent - a great one in fact - breaking open the South American drug cartel by going undercover in Columbia to ferret out the delivery channels, identify the major players, and staunch the flow of dollars to their hideously rich bank accounts. But then something had gone wrong.

    He'd been bought.

    A few agents always succomb to the money. Simon hadn't expected Jimmy to be one of them. But things couldn't be changed now. What was important was finding Jimmy now before Kayleigh was in further danger.

    He made it to his car at the roof level of the hospital's four-story parking lot and punched a number into his cell phone.


    "It's me. I need a trace on the last call placed from room 114-A."


    Simon waited through the silence and bit his lip as he fought the urge to tell more. He really should tell him the situation, he thought. But then again, having the hothead of an agent on the other line rush into the fray and start shooting wasn't going to accomplish anything.

    "It's Ji-" The man cut himself off and started over. "The address is 865 Lincoln Lane. A single family structure. One story."

    "Roger. Thanks."


    Damn. Here it comes.

    "Are you in need of backup?"

    "Situation hostage. I can handle it." Click. He hung up the phone before he'd let the cat out of the bag. If he told Malcom his wife was in Jimmy's hands he'd go ballistic. And then some.

    Wheezing from the pain, he turned over the engine and pulled out of the lot.
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    Simon raced to the address and found Jimmy standing outside with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. Well at least he wasn't smoking around the baby. Slowly exiting his car he closed the distance between them.

    "I know you were bought. I just want to know why did you drag Kayleigh into this?"

    Jimmy smirked. "I had to. Malcolm would have turned me in otherwise. Yeah, I know he was trying to bring me down. But you know what? I can't do it. I suppose you've got backup on the way?"

    "I didn't tell them to send any. I told them I could handle this."

    Just as he finished speaking several black vehicles with dark, tinted windows turned the corner. Damn but this was bad. "Honest Jimmy, I didn't tell them to come."

    "I know you didn't Simon. I know it was Malcolm. Oh well, I guess I'm going down easy. No sense in causing a scene and chancing bullets hitting Kayleigh or the baby. Just one thing I ask of you...get Kayleigh and the kid away from Mal. This won't be the last time they are taken from him if you don't."

    Simon nodded as Kayleigh came out of the house with the baby in her arms. "You have my word Jimmy. I'll take care of them both."
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