Author's note: this is just the prologue. The story is better written. I wanted to get all this stuff out of the way so I could get to the real meat of my story. Red Eye stories are so hard to write because they all basically sound the same. Well this one does too but I intend to take it another direction. As much as humanly possible I am going to avoid idiotic OOCness that forces the characters to fall in love. I think there might be something later on BUT I'm not going to make it forced. Well enjoy….



Jackson Rippner stood behind the dark wooden table. At his side was a very apprehensive lawyer. The overweight man's eyes flickered toward the defendant who stood still with a blank expression. His icy blue eyes seemed to be locked on to the space of wall in front of him. Jackson wore an expensive black suit. It was tailor made and fit his slim form perfectly. Except now for the budge on his right leg where bandages covered a heel shaped gash. Beneath his crisp white shirt were two bullet wounds covered dressings. Above the spotless shirt was thick gauze held with medical tape to his throat.

Most people with these kinds of injuries would be a sorry sight but not this man. The strong features on his face gave him an air of impartialness. It was almost as if he were saying, "Yeah I have injuries. And…?" it was as if everything around him was a bore.

The judge was an older man. His flesh hung off his face creating the look of an old hound dog. His hackles hung past his mouth. Tiny eyes squinted in to half moon glasses. The sun shined through the glass window and on to the old man's bald head creating a glow through his wispy white hair. He turned toward the jury and asked, "Has the…erm," he cleared his throat, "jury reached a verdict?" he expelled another dry cough.

Juror number 1 stood. She brushed her short black hair from her eyes. She was a young woman and almost looked to young to be a juror let alone the one to read Jackson his fate. She brushed off her black blouse and licked her lips. Agitation filled the assassin as he waited for her to say something. Even annoyed his face remained a black slate but nothing she said mattered, anyway.

"We the jury," she said in her high pitched child-like voice, "find the defendant Jackson Rippner guilty on the charge of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, assault, and breaking and entering."

Jackson felt the tickle of a laugh in his throat. Breaking and entering? They actually bothered with that one? It seemed to be so minuscule and insignificant compared with the other charges in this case. Dark hair fell forward covering his blue eyes. During his stay in the hospital (under heavy security) Jackson's least concern was a trim for his hair.

His lawyer would waddle in to the room everyday and hover over the bed speaking loudly as if he had been deafened not shot and stabbed. His blue eyes would narrow at the lawyer but he wouldn't speak to him except to say, "Would you please leave? I fear I may become suicidal if I spend one more second in your presence. Since I can't get up that leaves us with one option. Doesn't it?" the lawyer would sigh and wobble getting from the small chair that he had managed to not crush, and leave.

Jackson would let his mind wander while he lay there in bed. Escape with a bum leg was not possible so he would have to wait until he healed. In the mean time he filled the hours with thoughts. He thought of her. He thought of the girl who had destroyed his life. Jackson wistfully imagined slicing her throat or shooting her like she and her father had both shot him.

"I think I'll kill your father, then any friends that I can find of yours. After you're alone in this world I'll make you hurt so much that death with be a relief." He told the room while picturing her face. He thought of the terror in her eyes and tried to imagine her reaction to his threat. She would probably go teary eyed, her breath would catch in her throat and she would whimper and ask…no beg him not to do it. Then he would. A smile crossed his hansom face.

Though sometimes his daydreams would go another way…he would picture her face but with no fear. There would be that smile she had had when they first met. She had smiled at him so…the killer would quickly obliterate all those kinds of thoughts from his mind. He knew that he was just confused. He knew it was all just the pain killers. It had to be.

Jackson returned his mind to the trial. The judge coughed again and Jackson had a feeling that the old guy would keel over. It would be nice if he did. There was nothing to gain from it really but things had been going so badly for Jackson lately that it would be nice to see someone else suffer a little.

"This court with reconvene on the…" the judge's already tiny eyes narrowed as he read off the paper, "25th of this month for the sentencing. Until this time Jackson Rippner will be confined to the Florida state penitentiary." The old man coughed and banged his gavel.

The lawyer turned to Rippner and said, "We'll get them in the sentencing. We may not be able to get you off but I think we can still have a victory." The slim man turned away in disgust. He was going to get life in prison. In fact he probably had several life sentences ahead of him. Again he just had to remind himself that it didn't matter. This idiot had nothing to do with his real fate. The bailiff walked up to Jackson and roughly took his arm.

He began to lead the man out of the room through an entrance near the front. It allowed them to avoid the press which waited outside. The case had not been without some level of coverage. The media and the court demanded that Rippner divulge who his clients were. He merely sneered at them much in the same way he had with Lisa.

As the bailiff dragged him out Jackson caught sight of something. His saw a thin girl with light brown hair and strong eyes. She stared back at him. Her face tightened but she seemed to be refusing to give into some emotion. She probably wanted to cry with fear. For the first time during the trial Jackson Rippner smiled. He smirked at the girl and mouthed, "Hey Leese."

Her face betrayed her and she flinched. The bailiff pulled on Rippner forcing him to face forward.

They were now in the small cell that the court house had. Just one small cell. It was more of a cage in a store room but it served as his temporary prison. The bailiff looked him over and began to chuckle.

"What?" he asked flatly.

"It's just that you got some pretty eyes boy." The man said laughing, "And that face of yours!" Jackson raised an eyebrow. What was this imbecile blathering on about?

"And?" he inquired.

"Well." The man said shutting the cell door, "I'm just saying watch your ass in prison. Or more specifically the shower, Jack." Then he broke in to a loud hysterical laugh. The guard left still giggling.

Jackson did nothing. He felt his lip twitch with annoyance at the guard. If that man had been even a foot closer to the cell then Rippner would have been able to break that thick neck with ease. It would have just been a flick of the wrist. Grab the right spot and twist and they just tumble down with a thud. Dead weight.

Jackson pushed his hair away from his icy blue eyes once again and sat down on the bench mounted to the wall. The man sighed and closed his eyes. He rested his forehead in his hands. He began to drift into his own thoughts when he became aware of a presence near him. Jackson lifted his eyes to see a guard. It was not the same one from before. This one was taller and a little wider. The uniform fit but it looked uncomfortable. It still had the other man's nametag attached to the right breast.

The guard said without making eye contact, "Thursday, 2:49 p.m. by the south wall." Then the man left the room without another word. Thursday would be the day. So he would be spending five days in jail? Jackson licked his drying lips. He could handle that. All he would have to do was play nice for a few days. Just stay out of trouble and smile at the female guards. Women always swooned over him. It was actually a very helpful trait in his business. Women were willing to do some much for a hansom stranger.

The smirk he wore now began to fade. They had managed a message to him in the form of a nurse attending to his wounds. As she had addressed his throat she whispered to him about the planes for his rescue and the one condition that would get him out of jail.

The woman had a light Russian accent. As she spoke her lips brushed his ear. The hairs on the back of his neck stood but not because of her, because of what she said. In her husky voice she whispered, "We will free you. You are a valuable resource and we want to continue to use you but there is one thing you must agree to. You must get the girl. When we release you, you are capture and recruit Lisa Reisert."


Author's note:

There it is. Like I said this was just to get the initial information out of the way. Here's my thinking if you are saying that it already is stupid. She was the only one to ever fight back against these people and win. If they were smart they would try to get their hands on her. Everyone has a price, right? Well see you in the next chapter. Hopefully. ALSO! Reviews are greatly appreciated!