Michelle Perry

Ethan felt his stomach twist within him. He saw the twitch - the split second when life left his fellow agent, and her eyes changed. He could hear the silence of his team, despite the sound of the propellers whipping through the air.

He cradled the woman to him, pressed her still-warm body to his chest, and struggled to keep from crying. He wanted to talk to her. To tell her it would be okay. It was okay for her now. It was all over for her now.

He pulled her back down so he could look at her face again. He froze. "No. No!" It wasn't Rachel. How... NO! It was Brandt. His eyes were open, staring vacantly at nothing. His features completely blank, his mouth gaping. Ethan dropped him, and his body fell heavily. "NO! NO!"




Ethan gasped and opened his eyes. Strong arms gripped his, and he wrenched them off and twisted, flipping the other man off and down onto the floor, pinning him. "Stop, Ethan, stop! It's me!"

Ethan's vision cleared, and he saw Brandt lying on the floor underneath him, his hands open pressed back against the floor in surrender. Ethan got off of him immediately. "Sorry," he said. "I'm sorry."

"Don't mention it," he said, sitting up slowly. He looked warily at Ethan, absently rubbing his wrists.

"Thanks for waking me up," Ethan said.

Brandt nodded. "Had to be pretty bad," he said. "You... want to talk about it?"

Ethan gritted his teeth, and looked away. Before Brandt could give him an out, he answered. "I got you killed."

Without looking back at Brandt, Ethan got up, walked purposefully to the bathroom and puked.


Sequel: Because You're You

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