#BlogBattle is a weekly writing challenge organised by Rachael Ritchey. You can find more information about it here. It’s a fun battle, and a supportive group – a great place to hang out! The theme this week is ‘HEAD’.
As some of you may know, I’m taking part in the ‘A Story A Day September’ challenge. My blog battle entry will serve as my story for today. The prompt for the challenge is related to conflict and tension. To my blog battle buddies, this is a continuation of an ongoing story. It can, however, stand alone. I followed the theme of this weeks battle.
Recap: Justin Chambers, part of the team at Morgan & Fairchild, is approached by a friend who needs a favour. Justin accepts the missing person case, and agrees to look into it in his own time. Elsewhere in the story, a girl named Holly wakes up without any memory of the night before. She soon discovers she has been kidnapped and is being held in an abandoned airfield.
Andrew slipped out of the shadows and approached his contact. Gary Jones was a weasel of a man, but he was also predictable and would do just about anything for a fast buck. Tonight he had information Andrew needed, information which might lead to his client’s missing daughter.
Gary startled when he saw Andrew; eyes large in a long, narrow face. “Shit, why do you have to do that, man?” He snorted. “You’re like a ninja or something.”
“Or something.” Andrew didn’t have the time or patience for chitchat. “What do you have for me?”
“Word is that the Pintus family are branching out. Seems there’s a need for organs and they’re in the retrieval business.”
Andrew’s expression didn’t change. He knew all about the family, he’d been gathering intel on them for months. “That better not be all you have.” He took a step forward. “You know how I feel about time wasters.”
A growl punctuated the words. It made Andrew smile. He looked down briefly, nodding to Blue. The move was almost imperceptible. Blue was a Utonagan, bred to resemble a wolf but deemed a failure due to his piercing blue eyes. Andrew had saved his life or, more accurately, they had saved each other.
“I hear they’re snatching street kids. Mainly near Chapel Market.” Gary glanced nervously at Blue. “That’s all I have right now. But I’ll put feelers out. They’re holding them in a central location, I just don’t know where. Yet.”
Andrew pulled an envelope from his inside pocket, and made a show of removing some of the notes. He handed the rest over. “If you get me a location I’ll triple your reward.”
“Reward.” Gary snorted. “Yeah, right.”
At the low growl from Blue, Gary stuffed the envelope in his jeans and darted off in the opposite direction. “I’ll be in touch,” he said, before disappearing into the night.
Andrew backtracked to his truck. “The weasel actually came through for us,” he said, glancing at Blue. The dog cocked his head as if to question the validity in his statement. “We have somewhere to focus our attention.”
Inside the dark blue BMW, Andrew touched base and reported in. He had another job to do tonight, but he had a little time. The temptation to visit JJ was strong. They were working out their differences, or so he’d been told. The thought made him grin. JJ hadn’t forgiven him for checking out the way he had. Nor had Ellen for that matter. They were his closest friends and he had shut them out. All the way out.
Andrew sighed and let his head fall back against the seat. He had always been a stubborn fool. His time within the Special Reconnaissance Regiment had been the hardest in his career, a career that almost ended in his death. Andrew had spent weeks in a coma, and longer still in recovery.
The first few months had been hell on earth. He had relived the mission over and over, focusing on the death of his friends and torturing himself because he had made it out alive. The doctors had referred him to a therapist, a man who wanted to get inside his head and analyse his feelings.
The problem was, Andrew didn’t want anyone else to see his failings. Including JJ and Ellen. He didn’t want to think, or feel, he just wanted to escape. It was the first time in his life Andrew had taken the coward’s way out.
He had travelled England, working out his tension with manual labour, and suffocating his ghosts with scotch – just to get him through the nights. After a while he began to heal, first physically, and then mentally. He hadn’t managed to let go of the guilt, but his head was clear of nightmares and Andrew had learned to forgive himself for surviving the attack.
The low whine from Blue dragged him back to the present. He sat up, and looked across at his companion. “What do you say we drive by Chapel Market and scope out the place?”
Blue answered with his usual enthusiasm, eyeing Andrew with what looked suspiciously like impatience.
“Okay, I hear you, buddy. We won’t find Holly sitting in the dark.”
Andrew started the truck, and felt energy course through his veins. He would find the girl. Losing wasn’t an option. Not this time.