Bought

I’m linking this up as my favorite post of 2013…not because it’s my best, but because it’s my first.  With “Bought,” I finally found the courage to follow my dream of writing fiction.  Despite the fact that I was shaking in my boots, I typed my story and linked it up to Write on Edge for the very first time, finally bringing to life the characters I’ve planned and dreamed about for years…

“Not everyone can be bought,” she said.

He studied her for a long moment before he replied.  When he finally spoke, his voice was soft, but left no doubts to the veiled threat underlying his words.  “Everyone has a price…but it may not have dollar signs in front of it.”

A tiny flicker in her eyes, the smallest tightening of her facial muscles – she controlled her emotions well, but he knew he’d made his point.  “So what’s your price, Detective?  Your parents still live here.  So does your sister – she’s a doctor, isn’t she?  At Presbyterian?  How does she like working in the E.R.?”  The flicker in her eyes grew to a glare of pure rage.  He had hit his mark.  “Now let’s try this again.  I need your help, and I’m willing to pay a high price for it – or take a higher price if you say no.”

She closed her eyes, took a slow, deep breath.  When she opened them, he could see that she was in control again.  He was  impressed, he must admit.  He could understand why she was climbing the ranks so quickly as the star homicide detective.  “What do you want?”

He took the envelope from his jacket and tossed it onto the table in front of her.  She glanced at it, then turned to him.  Their eyes locked as they fought a silent battle of wills.  Finally, she gave in, reaching for the envelope.  “You have time to go over the files on your own.  I’ll be in touch.”  He turned to leave, took a step, spun back.  “By the way, your sister is very photogenic.  I’m sure you’ll like the shots I took. They’re inside.  Take a look.”

She hesitated before slowly reaching inside the manilla envelope.  The papers rustled softly as she flipped through the half dozen shots of her older sister entering and leaving the hospital.  When she finished, she placed them gently on the table and stood, looking him in the eye, unafraid.  “If you touch her – ”

“You’ll what, Detective?  Come after me?  The FBI has been looking for me for two years.  I admire your loyalty, but don’t be stupid.  You’ll hear from me soon.”

He signed to his bodyguard to escort her out.  As she turned away, he picked up a sack of bills.  “The money is still available.”  She never looked back.  “You have 48 hours to get what I want, or I’ll pay your sister a visit.”  He let the money fall onto the table and walked out.

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