Perrie's Counsel walked up ahead. On her right the band’s front man; the EeDellon-born bearer of the missing shard of her heart. To her left the keyboardist; an elder brother, a Crystalline-born son of The Ancients, and a witness to her creation. Both Ray Lynn and her brother had an iron-man grip of each hand. And both sensed the same unease.
They turned down a corridor just off the atrium. Perrie noticed a tall, gaunt-looking man stepping out from a doorway. He stopped. Standing aimless and motionless with his head lowered. Seemingly staring at the floor. He also stood directly in their path.
As she watched her legal team split up and walk around him, completely unconcerned, Perrie caught a better glimpse of his worn and crumpled attire. His dark hair was short. And equally unkempt.
When he took a calculated sideways glance in her direction, and the distance between them closed, Perrie registered the empty look to his face. As her eyes met with his, he raised his head and straightened tall. The corners of his mouth took a wicked turn and he drew in long deep breath. As he cocked his head back, his eyes widened and an unquestionable look of contempt greeted her.
Perrie watched as he pulled his left hand from the old trench coat’s pocket. In what seemed a slowed motion, he raised his arm…
“Gun!” a disembodied voice shouted.
Another voice reverberated, “He’s got a gun…”
Perrie heard the pop. Saw the flash and billow of smoke— and watched the projectile speed toward her. Upon piercing her chest, she felt the searing heat of the steel and its jolt to a stop.
She heard choruses of loud voices as her knees faltered and buckled. Perrie hooked forward and then lurched back. She heard the scuffle that ensued; wrestling the gunman to the wall. She felt a tightened grip of her upper arms as those on either side, lowered her to the cold marble floor. Amid the shouts to subdue her attacker, frantic voices called out her name. Blinded by the luminous lighting Perrie's eyes narrowed. And she turned her face into the hand supporting her head.
Barely conscious of the ongoing struggle, Perrie convulsed involuntarily when another shot rang out and echoed throughout the close hallway. A warm liquid rose in her mouth. Her eye-lids blinked, uncontrolled.
She heard her name called, both physically and Within. She caught staccatoed images of worried faces hovering over— but, could not force her lips to voice a response. And while the gun powder settled and stung her nostrils, Perrie also smelled the blood that flowed beneath her blouse. Felt it trickle the length of her side and pool underneath.
Blessings, LL Abbott
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