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The Nine Lives Of Lindsay Boxer
His mistake was that he had underestimated her survival instinct. Day nine, and he hadn't managed to kill it. "Lindsay, don't be silly." His voice was smooth and gentle, belying the predator underneath. "You know I'm going to have to punish you."
There was nothing really that he could scare her with anymore, except maybe the prospect of facing more of her own disintegration. It would stop right here, any way.
She'd known a split second before she pulled the trigger that the chamber would be empty; he'd acted too sure, too proud.
"See? I'm giving you one last chance. You obey me now and we'll be fine."
Lindsay shook her head. She'd die before that happened.
He took a step towards her; she was taking a step back, her hand connecting with the small table behind her and the object sitting there. One more mistake. She would have never held the gun in her right hand. Funny how a man who could be so patient and pay that much attention to detail could miss that. When he was close enough, Lindsay tightened her fingers around the scissors. He might be stronger, but she was more desperate.
The plastic foil that covered the floor got smeared with blood after all, but not the way he had envisioned it.
For a moment, the coppery smell of the blood mingled with that of the body in the corner, making it hard to draw a breath. She fought the impulse to throw up as the room started spinning. She waited it out, then dragged herself to another corner where she found her shirt and pants, miraculously managing to put them on without taking a header to the concrete floor. She also found her cuffs.
They might not have been necessary anymore, but she wasn't going to take a chance. Evil had more than nine lives for sure.
The battery of her cell phone was very low, and she might not have reception anyway, but Lindsay had to try. She longed to hear Cindy's voice, so badly it seemed like a pain of its own. However, it was a different number she punched in with trembling fingers.
"Lieutenant Hogan, Homicide."
"Tom," she whispered, the cracks in her fragile composure widening.
"Oh my God, Lindsay! Where are you?"
"I don't know." The air seemed to get thinner and more stifling by the minute. "I guess you'll have to find me..."
"Secured," she said, angry at herself, because she couldn't keep the tears back any longer.
"It's okay. We're tracing the call. Just stay on the phone. Hang on, Linds, we'll be there soon."
"Thanks." The room started swimming again. She looked over to where the man lay in a growing pool of blood. No movement from him.
"Lindsay, here's someone who wants to talk to you, and she won't stop bugging me until I let her. She'll tell you when we have the location."
She clutched the phone in one bloody hand, the scissors in the other, scared out of her mind that this might simply be a hallucination. "Still here," she said anyway.
"Thank God," Cindy emphazised, "because there's so much I need to tell you," her voice dropping to a whisper, "and I can't, at least not all of it, with your ex-husband around and--" Her voice broke then.
Lindsay thought it was a good thing that they had always understood each other without words, because she could easily fill in the blanks. "That's okay," she whispered. "I love you too."
And it didn't even matter when her battery died a moment later, because she could hear sirens in the distance. "I did it," she said to herself, smiling even as the phone slipped from her hands. She didn't fight the darkness, because this time, Lindsay knew, it would only last for a little while.
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