The Shot

STOP! WARNING: I posted a “between the prompts” addition to Mav and John. If you’re following their story, you can read Third Degree here which takes place directly between The Mask and this post, The Shot. If you’re new and want to read from the beginning, go HERE to read their story from the beginning. Or enjoy it as a stand alone.

* * *


His lips were inches from mine.

His thumbs traced hollows where my neck met my shoulder, my pulse racing beneath.

His eyes…

I broke his gaze, focusing on the bandage. “H-how…?” My free hand rose and I traced the outlying edges.

His muscles flexed beneath my finger tips. “I already told you.”

“No, you didn’t. Tell me.”

He tensed. “There was a party. Very high profile. Senators. Judges. CEOs. I was undercover for my employer as an investor.”


He sighed. “I’m a consultant of sorts.”

“Of what?”

“Espionage. Companies hire me to test for security weaknesses. I also freelance on other… jobs. The party was one of those. My employer’s daughter, Tina, was my cover. I was her date.”

Unable to stop, my fingers branched out from the bandage, traveling the lines of his torso. “And?” How little I knew of the life he’d led.

“I was supposed to meet with a buyer. They either didn’t show, or decided not to approach me.”

My thumb discovered a rough ridge of skin on his abdomen, a scar about an inch long. I stroked it, wondering its origin. If it had come close to killing him. “Then what?”

“We were one of the last to leave. I escorted her to our car and -” He stopped, shaking.

The nausea returned, knowing what came next. I placed my hand over his heart, the thud reassuring me he’d lived. “You tried to save her.”

“There was a glint from a roof on the other end of the street. I covered her but -”

I pulled him closer, wrapping my arms around him in a hug. I barely noticed the sheet now exposed one breast  – only wanting to hold him. “I know.”

His arms joined the embrace, holding me tight. “The bullet went straight through me, missing everything vital and punctured her lung and an artery. I woke up in the ICU. She didn’t live to see the ambulance.”

I listened, my ear over his heart, the beat music as tears trickled down my cheeks. Why hadn’t it occurred to me his faked death grew from the seed of reality?

“If I hadn’t moved, she might still be alive. The doctor said a quarter of an inch in any direction and I…. wouldn’t have made it.”

“Then you b-both would have died.” I broke down as sobs wracked my body, cleansing any remaining jealousy.  “When I heard you were d-dead, I..I..I-”

“I know, Mav. Shhh, don’t cry.” His voice broke as he held me close. “I’m sorry. For everything.”

“I..I…I thought I’d never see y-you again.”

“I’m here. You’re with me now.” His hands rubbed my back, trying to soothe me.

“I…I was s-so mad at you.  I…I hated you!”’

“I don’t always like me either, Mav.”

“I…I..I loved you.” The words escaped before I caught them, my emotions caged animals finally released.

“Look at me.”

My gaze lifted, seeking out his.

“I am so fucking sorry.” His cheeks were streaked with tears, but his eyes…

I knew that look.

They said he wanted me naked. Now.

One spark and my body caught fire again.

Please, Mav.” His hands cupped my face, the gentle caress a surprise. “Please stay with me.”

My sheet loosened even more, my hands too busy exploring the changes time etched on his body, finding another new scar, this time on his lower back. How many more hid? How many times had he come close to death? I swallowed, trying to find the strength to speak. “You aren’t giving me much of choice.”

“They tried to kill me, Mav. Tina was collateral damage. They didn’t care about her. But you…” He tugged the sheet down, his fingers a feather down my sides as more shivers shook me. “I can’t let them hurt you.”

This is wrong. He’ll hurt me again.

I ignored the voice of reason.

I needed to celebrate life.


“Okay.” I stepped out of the sheet, my entire body bared as my skin glowed with the beacon of light from the doorway.


“I’ll stay.”

His only answer was a growl as cold tile pressed into my back.


A Red Dress Club writing prompt

The happy ending.

It’s what we all hope for, isn’t it? We all want everything to be neatly tied up in a bow.

In fiction, this can be, well, a little boring. Or predictable.

This week, we’d like you to write a scene that includes a happy ending – it doesn’t have to be the actual END of your story, if you’re working on continuations, but it should include at least one challenge for your hero to overcome.

Surprise us. Don’t give us what we expect.

Constructive criticism is welcomed, as always. Did I manage to surprise you? Or was this totally predictable?

Author’s note: This is not “the ending”, simply one of many challenges for them to overcome.

Unless you want it to be the ending…


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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18 Responses to The Shot

  1. Frelle says:

    oh. my. word.

    I’m such a goner.

    I love this storyline and what magic you are making with it!!!

  2. You know I love this. Steamy. Action. Characterization. Drama. Love it! And want more!

  3. Sigh.
    This is awesome.
    And you said you couldn’t find a happy ending. Silly you.

  4. Bellymonster says:

    My heart is in my throat here. Wow.

    This is indeed, awesome.

    More, please.

  5. angela says:

    Once again, you’ve done such a great job! (And I like the between-prompts addition as well.)

    I wouldn’t say I was necessarily “surprised” at their happy ending, because I (like so many people) love them together and was hoping they would be in this mess together for a while. I’m curious as to how they’ll move on from here!

  6. DM says:

    I’m still thoroughly engrossed in the story, and this is NOT the ending. 🙂

    The details were a nice little surprise, a kind of Kevin Costner/Whitney Houston type thing in my mind (A favorite movie btw) but the fact that they end up in bed really isn’t. They had been building up to this moment since he kidnapped her. The tension was always there, at the edges of the story. Its a bit of a relief that they finally get it on here.

    The dialogue here during her sobbing kind of took me out of the story. It didn’t quite work for me. Maybe its just your use of the hyphen between the letters but they seemed more like hiccups to me rather than sobs. “I…I loved you.” is sobbing. It’s more of a choking on the words than a rapid fire. “I-I-I loved you” is like rapid fire, a machine gun, or hiccups in the way it reads.

    Some of John’s answers pissed me off too, like he is making little of her tears—“I don’t always like me either, Mav” is one of them. It seems true to his character though, and speaks volumes about him. I can only imagine how it pissed off Mav.

    This: He tugged the sheet down, his fingers a feather down my sides as more shivers shook me. >>>Mmmmm. This vision is so utterly lovely. It totally sounds like something my husband would do.

    More please?

    • I think it’s because I switched to vowel stuttering it got confusing. I do think the “…” will work better. Will edit in morning because I’m toast.

      THANK YOU for the detailed concrit. Most appreciated, my friend.

  7. kelly says:

    Jeeze, Louise.

    So hot. The sobs were perfect, and I agree with DM. The dashes read more like stuttering than sobbing, but it got the emotion across.

    So good. Cannot wait for more!

  8. CDG says:

    I just caught up on both new pieces of the story.
    I think what I love best about them is that they’re caught in a loop. They start to communicate, it breaks down, one of them forces the other’s hand, they begin to communicate… It’s very authentic.
    Drama Mama already mention the stutter effect, with which I agree.
    Oh! and I’m glad John is finally starting to tell the truth about where he’s been and how he “died.”

  9. TheKirCorner says:

    I wasn’t surprised by the end, but what did surprise me is that he’s a spy or something like it.
    I love Covert Affairs and Burn Notice so this was right up my alley, it actually felt like the beginning of Covert Affairs for me.

    I think it flowed nicely and if I was reading it as a book, I’d be very involved by now, now wanting to put it down.

    BTW, loved the last line, I’m a sucker for those heated sex scenes. 🙂

  10. Amy says:

    I love reading this! I reread everything to catch back up and I am so glad I did. Everything flows really well together!

    Can’t wait for the next installment!

  11. oooooo that was good!!

  12. Mandyland says:

    This is such a fantastic story. I’m so glad that they have their “right now” happy ending.

  13. Pingback: In. Out. In. | Writing with Chaos

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