Ava awoke to the sound of machines whirring around her. Her vision blurry, she couldn't quite make out where she was. She blinked a few times, and as she did things came into much clearer focus. She was in a hospital bed. She had survived.
She tried to scoot herself up higher in her bed to get a better vantage point of her surroundings, but the second she moved, a hot searing pain ripped through the middle of her body.
“Don't move too much,” a voice coming from a shadowy figure sitting in the corner said, “You've been shot.”
The figure came out of the shadows and walked over to Ava's bed, pulling the chair he was sitting in behind him. He sat at Ava's side, and she could feel his steel gray eyes piercing into her. Immediately, alarms started to go off as her heart rate climbed to a dangerous speed.
“Settle down,” he said leaning back in his chair, “You don't have to worry about what story to tell me, or what lies to keep straight anymore, because the jig is up, Ava. Or would you prefer 'Holly'?”
At that moment a nurse came in, “You're awake! Honey, can you understand me?”
“Yes,” Ava answered hoarsely, barely making a sound.
“And do you know where you are?”
“Do you know your name?”
Ava nervously looked at Agent Wilcox sitting there in the chair. His face betrayed no hint of what she was supposed to tell the nurse.
“Holly. Holly Gordon.”
“Great! How are you feeling, honey?”
“Sore, very sore.”
“Well, that's to be expected. You just relax, and I'll be back with some pain meds in a minute. I should call Dr. Fernhelter and let him know you're up.”
“Thank you,” Ava said.
The nurse hurried out, and Wilcox leaned against the bedrail.
“I was wondering what you were going to say,” he said.
“Fuck you,” Ava replied, “Where's Justin?”
“He's safe, no thanks to you. Everyone else is dead, no thanks to you as well.”
Ava turned her head away, refusing to look at him. Tears welled in her eyes at the thought of what she had done. What she had allowed to happen.
“Listen, Ava. You can be as pissed off at me as much as you want. Had you just listened to me from the beginning, and not gone off the grid, none of this would have happened. I know you've been through a lot, and I know you just wanted to live your life, but I had you set up to keep you safe, and you messed that up, not me. I'm sorry about Maria. I will live the rest of my life being sorry that I didn't get to her in time. But if you had even told me there was a Maria in the first place, I would have known there was a Maria to find.”
Ava still refused to look at him, Wilcox went on...
“You are the only person who is alive and knows the truth. Justin is alive, but you lied to him so much, he's fucking useless as a witness because he doesn't even know what is real and what is a lie. Like your name, and how you came to be Holly Gordon.”
Ava turned her head to look at Wilcox, “So you think I double crossed you? You fucking think I had something to do with this?”
Wilcox paused, “Honestly, no. I don't think that at all. But here's what I do know. I have one of the most ruthless drug lords this country has ever known dead. I have a special agent dead. I have an innocent woman dead. I have a bunch of Bobby's lackeys dead. I have a woman who was supposed to be heading to Connecticut take a left at Chicago along the way and fuck everyone and everything up. I know that because of your dumb ass, instead of sipping Mai Tais on a beach right now, my old ass is back on the job,” He sighed and sat back in the chair, looking up at the ceiling, “All I know is I am your best shot right now. It doesn't look good for you at all unless you can make the pieces fit perfectly.“
“So what do you want me to do?” Ava asked.
“Tell me everything. The whole thing. I want the whole story, the actual story, the truth, from the moment I rang your doorbell five years ago. Everything. And it goes without saying that if you bullshit me again, you're going under the jail. There won't be anything I can do about it.”
Ava and Wilcox sat in silence for a while. Long enough for the nurse to come back in with the pain medicine and leave again.
“So what's it going to be, Ava?”
Ava took a deep breath, and used the remote control to raise the head of her bed into a sitting position. An action made possible by the pain meds. She turned her head to face him and looked Wilcox dead in the eye.
“The day you rang my doorbell, the first thing I noticed was your stupid earring...”
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