Heart of the Matter

Another creative writing story…more of a character piece.


Heart of the Matter

Special Agent Mackenzie James has worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation for almost seven years. In those seven years she’s had a gun pointed at her thousands of times but only four times has the gun been held directly to her head. What she liked to call the hostage position. The criminal shielded his body with the hostage and wrapped their arm around said person’s neck with the gun held to your temple. Today was the fifth time she’s been held at gunpoint. The criminal in this situation had a rap sheet longer than her arm. Domestic abuse, assault and battery, and possession of illegal substances…the list went on and on. Though the murder charges from a few years back didn’t stick, due to lack of evidence, even his attorney knew he was guilty.  His parole officer wasn’t doing a very good job if you asked Mackenzie. He was caught on tape robbing one of the largest banks in the city. She wasn’t even sure how he got out of prison in the first place. She couldn’t help but remind herself that if she followed her heart and moved to Washington D.C. she probably wouldn’t be held gunpoint in a dirty warehouse, maybe somewhere else with a view like in front of the Lincoln Memorial or the Mall. But at least she would be doing the job she loved with someone she loved. It was sad how saying those three words were scarier to her than having a gun pointed at her on a daily basis.

Her dark chocolate orbs were filled with concern as she scanned the warehouse for a possible exit or cover for when guns start to fire, seeing as her own Glock was tucked into the waistband of Carlos Reyes, dirt bag extraordinaire. He tightened his grip around Mackenzie, his eyes shifted between my partner and I, who was also pointing a gun at Reyes.

“Come on Reyes, you don’t want to kill an agent they’ll give you life in prison for that,” her partner, Special Agent Sam Davis pointed out. Mackenzie ignored the glaring pain in her neck and tried to focus on the conversation at hand.

“So? I’m already facing prison time,” he shrugged; he towered over her already tall frame. She felt his chin brush up against the top of her head and held back a small shiver. After this is over, she was going to take a long, hot bath and scrub away any trace this criminal was leaving on her body. She wondered what her ex-boyfriend was doing at this moment in time, if he knew deep down that she was in trouble. She knew he still loved her but she didn’t know if he would take her back.

Mackenzie spoke up, “We can cut you a deal. Give up your partners and return the money and we could discuss lessening your sentence. All you have to do is put the gun down.”

“I don’t believe you,” he scoffed. He tensed up immediately when he heard the sound of tire tracks on the gravel outside the warehouse. “What is that? You said you didn’t call anyone. Huh? Were you lying to me?”

Mackenzie groaned as he shoved the .22 against the side of her head. Her lip was starting to bleed from her gnawing on it, “We’re F.B.I. agents Reyes; back-up automatically arrives when they don’t hear from us when we enter a hostile situation. And well, you threw out our cell phones.”

He shook her body, “Now is not the time to be smart with me. You did this on purpose didn’t you? You know I was very close to thinking about surrendering but I don’t think so. I think I’m okay with life in prison for getting rid of you.”

“Reyes,” Davis shouted and slowly advanced towards us. “You don’t want to do this. Put the weapon on the ground now or I’ll shoot.”

“Shoot me,” Reyes grinned, he pushed Mackenzie away as the tactical team came flooding inside the building. She collapsed onto the ground and clutched her stomach in agony. She blocked out the shouting and the sound of shots being fired. She saw the puddle of blood forming on her wrinkled white shirt. The dark, sticky liquid stained her fingers, she wanted to cry out for help but no words would come out.

Beep…Beep…Beep. Mackenzie attempted to lift her hand to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock until she realized that the scratchy bed sheets were not hers. And the beeping was coming from the machine next to her bed. She furrowed her brows, searching her memory for a reason why she was in a hospital bed. Then she remembered the warehouse and the blood pouring out of her stomach. She wanted to move her hand to check her stomach but it was too difficult. She saw a shadow move in the corner of her room. She made a small choking noise when she tried to speak and that got her visitor to jump out of the chair.

“Hey,” he spoke softly. “About time you woke up but I guess you were catching up on all that sleep you’ve lost in the past couple of months working away.”

He held a glass of water to her mouth as she drank eagerly. She asked, “How long was I out?”

He rolled his eyes, “You haven’t changed one bit. Most people would ask about their health, whether or not the bullet missed any major organs. Which by the way you’ll be fine they had to remove your appendix but that’s it. You’re lucky a few centimeters higher and I’d be giving away my kidney. To answer your question you’ve been out for about three days.”

“What are you doing here?” she inquired. She stared at the salmon colored blanket resting on top of her.

He paused, “you know why I’m here…and I’m still your emergency contact.”

I let out a shaky laugh and blurted the only thing on my mind before I lost my nerve, “I love you.”

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