Author's Note: Heh. Yet another re-hash of the final scenes from the Red Eye. A discussion with angrw got me going. What did go through their minds in those last moments? Would he have killed her? Did he in fact want something entirely else out of her at the top of those stairs? What if there had been no father in the house? No call to the ambulance, no hitman outside, and no gun?

A lot of what-ifs: AU obviously. L/J because I love them. Romantic because I needed a break from the harsh reality of ANL… and because the thought of them NOT being together gives me grey hairs. I certainly don't claim any of this to be plausible. I'm just toying with them…

Disclaimer: Red Eye is owned by Wes Craven and Dreamworks. He can keep it. I bought Cillian yesterday on eBay and I'm eagerly awaiting his arrival… :runs screaming to evade angry mob of fangirls:


Another You, Another Me



My gasps comes out like short erratic wheezes as I drive way above speed limit on the I-195 from Miami International Airport to the beautiful suburbs where my father lives. Beautiful, cold, deadly. Like HIM. I will never look at my home town the same way again. I'll always see it through the eyes of an assassin.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

The horrid call to Cynthia went through and I can at least hope that they are able to save Charles Keefe and his family. My whole soul cringes at the thought that I might have been too late. All I see is fire, dismembered bodies, burnt hair, and blood. I shake my head to clear it. Focus!

"Okay. One more." Please!

The greenish display on Jackson's cell phone bleeps teasingly once, then it dies in my hand. No!


I look around me and then swerve to the right not to miss the next exit. Someone behind me honks his horn angrily, but I really don't care. Fuck off! People-pleasing days are over. Someone killed every last bit of that in me. Killed my innocence, killed my already flickering light. I ache inside just thinking of it.

As if on cue, Jackson's face appears before my eyes. My body remembers every touch, every look, every breath.

Go away I'm driving!

He leers, but his features change into pure shock as I yet again, in the obtrusive memory that keeps repeating itself over and over, shove the pen into his trachea. I shudder at the thought. Even in this short retrospective I can't believe I did that, I can't even remember what I was thinking. I would never have thought he would recover as quickly as he did, though, and the escape through the arrivals terminal was a horrifyingly close call.

The stolen SUV takes the sharp curve almost on two screeching wheels and I roll up on Blossom Palms Lane, my father's street.

With a wildly pounding heart, I strain to see the 'silver Beemer' that is supposedly parked outside my dad's house.

But there is nothing.

My eyes narrow. Will he prove to be just a liar after all? After all his high-strung speeches?

A quick glance at the clock tells me that it is six in the morning. Early, but not too early. Dad should be awake, but I can't see any signs of life.

Oh, God! What if…? The thought is too frightening to even finish. He can't have had the time to kill my father, can he? What if he lied? What if he had him killed earlier tonight, during the flight? What if I fought for all this for nothing?

No, not 'nothing'. Keefe. But it's… distant… They are distant, not here, not with me, and they weren't with me on the plane. THIS is real, this is my life. And I had to face it alone.

In front of my father's house there's no car, no life, no movements.


I veer across the neatly cut lawn and park diagonally across the driveway, then I jump out of the car, struggling to get free from the seatbelt.

The door is locked. My trembling finger presses the doorbell and I hear the clinging sound from inside, but then… nothing. No energetic steps on the marble floor. What if he's in trouble in there? I pull at the handle once more, yanking it hard, and then I remember the spare key by the kitchen entrance. Dashing around the corner, I stick my hand under the large terracotta pot. Key.

I unlock and swing the door fully open, listening, inhaling, sensing.

It's quiet. Too quiet. Dead quiet, as if no one has been breathing in this house for many hours.

Running through the house, I scream for my father. I feel so small all of a sudden. What can I do? I want my dad! I need him. I need to see that he's okay!

The large rooms are empty. There's no sign of him. His bed is neatly made and it seems as if he never even slept in it. And there's no message anywhere.

But there's no body either.

Is that a good sign?

I spot the phone and dive on it, calling The Lux immediately. Cynthia picks up after one signal. She sounds distraught.

"Luxatlanticresortthisiscynthia," she breathes into the receiver, sounding every bit like Cynthia and at the same time sounding nothing like the vivacious girl I know.

"Cynthia! Are you okay?"

They're all okay, and I fall back onto a chair in relief, but Cynthia seems completely lost. The manager in me sparks to life again. It feels good in the midst of it all. It gives me something to focus on. And I saved them! "I'm coming right away. Cyn, have you heard from my father?"

It's a long shot. I hold my breath until my lungs ache. No. No, she hasn't.

I swallow the lump of fear in my throat and hang up, darting back through the kitchen to get out.

I stop flat.

What the-?


His lean, dark appearance seems so misplaced in my father's bright kitchen. The sun is shining giddily through the windows and there shouldn't be any murderers standing on the terracotta tiles in front of the fridge. The sun shines through the window and he sucks up all the light. The whole picture is wrong.

"Hi!" he wheezes, malice plastered all over his face.

A thrill wracks my chest, making my breaths erratic and my knees weak. The momentary attraction hits me like a punch to my stomach and then it is immediately replaced by fear. I back up a quavering step. I breathe. In, forgetting the 'out'. "Where's my dad? You promised!"

"If you complied, yes," he rasps. He stalks another step closer and I back away again.

"What are you doing here?" I cry in despair. "I made the call!"

He smirks and cocks his head as he strolls even closer, casually almost, as if he has all the time in the world. "Things change, Leese! I'm here to-" He swallows hard, the pain of it obvious in his face. "Finish the job!" The last words carry a frightening cruelty to them and a promise of vengeance.

Something dark flares up with in me. Something angry.

You HURT me! You're not finishing this 'job'!

A sudden triumph jolts in my chest and I grin. I know something that'll crush you, you… bastard!

"Well you're too late! Keefe's alive. In that hotel… everyone's alive!"

My grin turns into a victorious smile. I hope this'll hurt!

"You failed, JACK!"

At first he thinks it's yet another lie. I can see it in the way he glares at me as if I'm a mere annoyance. Then his eyes flare up and he takes a giant leap forward, his face a frightening image of rage. "I'll finish the job," he spits, his voice more of an animalistic growl than anything I've ever heard before, the wheezing from his damaged trachea making him sound inhuman.

That thrill of fear mixed with excitement rattles through my chest again, pushing heated adrenaline through my system, making my veins buzz and quaver. "Not in my house, you don't!" I snarl right back and spin on my heel, back through the opening to the hallway, a furious Jackson leaping up close behind me.

I slam a door closed, he tears it open; I rip a chair in his way and he trips over it, giving me a second's advance.

He's in the wrong place - right for him, wrong for me. I can't reach either of the exits. My knees feel as if they will give in any moment and my thighs tremble violently as I dart up the stairs to the second floor, virtually hearing his wheezing breaths close behind me. Dashing into the bathroom, his hand just about reaches the door knob before I pull the door closed and lock it. The door, the whole wall, reverberates as he slams into it from the other side.

I take a step back, more afraid now than I was a moment ago in the kitchen. This has gone too far. I'm alone with what has to be a murderer on the other side of a thin door. A furious professional murderer. Alone in this house. With me.

"What do you want?" I cry. "Stop this! Don't do this."

He doesn't answer; instead the whole door shakes violently from something hard hitting it, once, twice.

He's kicking it!

"Where's your 'male-driven fact-based logic'?" I sneer. "You're so full of shit, JACK!"

Another violent thrust at the door and the distinct sound of wood splinting makes me back up several steps. Oh, God! Then I flee out of the other exit from the bathroom, into my old bedroom. I need something to defend myself with. I look around me, then I stiffen and listen.

It's too quiet. Where did he go? What are you doing? Coldness creeps down my spine and then up again, like a tremor, like a slowly melting ice cube, making me shiver in spite of the steadily rising August heat outside.

Maybe he's figured out there's another way around? In frenzy, I look under my bed. No. Where is it? My old field hockey stick ought to make a kick-ass weapon… Closet!

My mouth is dry from fear as I tiptoe across the floor, begging the hinges won't squeak. They do. Oh, no. I stop immediately, sweating, my heart slamming in my chest. I still don't hear anything. I squeeze myself through the narrow crack and search the top shelf, behind the clothes, under boxes of old photos… THERE! In the corner. My fingers grip around the smooth wooden surface and I exhale. At least I have something.

I listen again. I don't know what he's up to. Maybe I could stay in here? I contemplate it for a second, but then I realize that then I'll be completely trapped if he finds me. Better to be on the move until I can find a way to get out of the house. And where's dad! What have they done to you? I have to keep thinking that he's alive, that he is well. If I give in to the hopelessness that threatens to swallow me, thinking that they have murdered him, then I might as well just lie down and die. Here and now.

How easy it would be to just step out of the closet right now and call for him. Show yourself! Come and kill me then! Then I wouldn't have to fight anymore, then my life wouldn't be so complicated… so difficult… it'd be very short.

Get a GRIP!

I swallow hard against my fright and my deep disappointment. Why? Why did you have to be this man? I realize that my initial attraction to him was much stronger than I wanted to admit, and the knowledge now of who, or what, he really is lies like a heavy stone over my chest.

Step by step, I carefully leave my old girl's room, shedding my old world, my old life. I don't even know if I'll ever get out of this house again. If I'll live. I realize it'll have to be him or me… and he has probably killed before, I have no illusions… I, on the other hand… I hesitate to kill even a fly.

My mother's old room. Dad's office. Walk-in closet. Dad's bedroom. Guestroom.

Dear God… he's nowhere…

Maybe he left? Please, say it is so!

I walk back to Dad's bedroom and close and lock the door behind me, narrowing down his options. Then I open the door to the hallway.

A large shadow slams the door in my face and I throw myself back, tripping on the carpet but managing to stay on my feet.


I scream and raise the stick. Jackson circles me, his face a sneer and he has a knife in his hand. A KNIFE! He lunges at me and I back up, terrified. No, please, don't! Don't do this! Can't we talk about this…?

I back away yet another step and he comes closer, his steps measured, the knife lifted, ready to stab. My back touches the wall and I feel desperately for the door knob and twist it. Nothing happens. Oh no! I locked it!

Remembering what I have in my hands, I raise the stick higher and hold it between us, ready to hit him if he moves.

He cocks his head and smirks.

"Lisa," he rasps. "We both know you've lost. Just give in to the inevitable and this will soon be over."

My lips are numb with fear. "What are you going to do?" I breathe. "Stay where you are!"

He moves.

"DON'T come any closer!" I cry.

He lunges for me again and I slam the stick against him, hitting his shoulder. With a terrifying roar, he drops the knife, and then he's got me.

"NO!" I squeal. The world spins as he twists me and slams me against the wall, trying to get the stick out of my hands. My head hits something hard, and then my feet get swiped away by his leg and I lose contact with the floor.

"No! Jacks- N- Don't!"

I pant and try to get away from him, but I fall and he falls on top of the heap that is my body. I still have the stick, but trying to get up, I have to let it go with one hand and then he easily wrings it out of my other hand, flinging it across the room.

Battling his arms, I fight until the end, until he straddles me and falls heavily on top of me, his forearm against my throat and his other hand in my hair, pushing me hard against the floor.

My chest heaves against his, my breasts crushed under his weight. Our eyes meet and I'm stunned by the intensity of his gaze. Even when he radiates hate and fury, like now, it's distressing to have him so close, for so many reasons that I don't even want to think of.

And I fear for my life.

"Please," I rasp, swallowing hard against his forearm. "Don't do this, don't kill me! You… don't have to…" I stop myself when I realize I'm pathetically repeating myself.

"And why not? Why the hell wouldn't I kill you after you tried to do me in? It'd only be fair."

His hand in my hair shifts and with his other hand he grips one of mine and forces it up to his scarf-clad neck. His fingers grips vice-like around mine and I tremble violently from the unexpected skin-on-skin contact.

"What are you-" I whisper and flinch when he forces the tips of my fingers to touch his throat.

"Do you have any idea how much that hurt?"

I swallow hard. "Not as much as I believe it hurts to get murdered, and to watch your children die in a terrorist attack!" I spit, barely managing to keep control of my voice.

His eyes narrow as he regards me. "They would've gone fast, and together. That's the way we should all go if we had the choice."

I squirm and his hand, grasping my hair, shifts again. His fingertips are pressing into the softness of my neck, and every time he moves them it sends a shock throughout my body.

He leans closer, oh so close, too… close. "That's not the way you and I will go, Leese. People like you and I have a certain death reserved for them."

I try to bend my head away but his other hand grips my chin and forces me to be still. His thumb presses painfully hard against my lower lip, if I open my mouth it will slip in. My heart pounds wildly and I can barely breathe.

"What is that?" I gasp, tasting the slight saltiness from his thumb. I want to lick my lip, but I can't because it would mean that I licked his thumb and I most CERTAINLY don't want to do that.

He presses his thumb more insistently against my lip, shifting it slightly, almost like a bruising caress.

I jerk, but I'm not going anywhere, his body against my body and his arms around my head are keeping me firmly in place.

"A violent death, Leese! Some day, you piss off the wrong person… YOU especially! And BANG, you have a knife in your throat, gagging on your own blood, metallic tasting, thick, warm liquid squirting life out of your body until you're pale and cold. And dead."

There's something about that graphic vivid image, and about how his breathing reverberates into me that makes me vibrate, like a humming that grows stronger and stronger.

"You-- you're disgusting, Jack!" I want to think it. I want to feel like I believe it. So I have to say it.

He smirks and pushes his thumb harder against my lip, scraping my teeth, then he leans so close that I feel his breath on my ear. "And that's why your heart is beating so rapidly, isn't it?"

I- It- WHAT? I gasp and struggle in his hold to get him off me, all of a sudden too aware of every bit of his body that is cutting into every little bit of mine. My cheeks flush hot and I want to scream at the unfairness. I don't want to be here!

His hand in my hair tightens its grip until my scalp tingles from pain. I stop fighting immediately when something soft and warm nibbles at my throat.

You… what? "What are you doing?" I gasp and immediately wish I hadn't asked when his thumb slides all the way into my mouth, obscenely mimicking an entirely other part of the human anatomy.

"Mmmmm!" I cry, unable to produce anything coherent, the scream only managing to mold my tongue around his thumb.

"What was that, Leese? You want this deeper?" He pulls the thumb out a little and then pushes it deeper again.

"Mngh!" I graze my teeth against the intruding finger and feel a warning tug in my hair.

"If you even think of biting me there'll be serious retaliation!" With his thumb still lodged deeply in my mouth, he pushes at my chin, bending my head far away until I can't see his face.

I try to speak again, but only muffled sounds come out and I'm suddenly so afraid. I want to see him! I need to be able to look him in the eyes, no matter what he intends to do with me. My erratic breathing seems to reach him and he heaves himself up to regard me, his eyes narrowing.

I look into his pale eyes, sometimes so beautiful, sometimes so cold, and shake my head, willing him to understand.

Agonizingly slowly, he pulls his thumb all the way out until the tip only rests against my trembling lower lip.

'The name's Jackson.'

"What are you doing?" I whisper. His thumb caresses a pattern, back and forth, back and forth, leaving burning marks. "I thought you came here to kill me."

His voice is a stream of hot air on my cheek. "That what you want… Lisa?"

His cheek is so close to mine that I can feel his warmth and the slight stubble on his cheek rasping against my skin.

'What, you're not sitting here.'

My head suddenly hurts from all the fighting, and the long night without any sleep. "What is it you want from me?"

'Someone do that to you?'

He doesn't answer. Instead his hand leaves my cheek and caresses its way down along my throat, tracing my collar bone and then slides, as if by accident, over my breast. I gasp from the shock and can't help the slight arch of my back when my body reacts to his.

"I should kill you… Lisa…" His voice is thick with arousal and it booms right through my belly, making me quiver. "I really should…" His hand on my breast presses hard, squeezing the softness with such force that it both hurts and sends cramps of want through my entire body.

I whimper in his hold, afraid, aroused, confused. I've been so painfully attracted to him from the first moment when we met in the check-in line. I fought it desperately on the plane, unable to accept that there could be any kind of chemistry between us during these circumstances.

And now… the fact that HE must've felt the same frightens me even more than my own feelings. That he feels the same way… means… that this is far from over. That he wants… more… Oh, God! I moan when his calloused thumb circles my nipple through the flimsy fabric of my top, close, so close, but never quite touching.

He then pulls at my blouse, revealing the hated scar. His index finger caresses it, back, forth, back, forth, making it tingle, blossom. "What did he do to you, Lisa," he rasps.

Those simple words suddenly remind me how precarious my situation is; how much it resembles the assault two years ago. My voice is so small when I answer. "It was over so quick… I- I don't remember."

His hand that clutches my hair yanks hard and I can't help letting out a scream from the pain.

"No bullshit this time. I've had quite enough of that!"

"ME?" I cry, the pain in my scalp intermingling with the tickling tingling that radiates from his warm hand on my chest. "I'm no… YOU'RE the one who's been full of shit the whole night!"

He regards me, biting his lower lip, then he leans forward until his mouth touches my ear, whispering sensuously. "I need to know… and I think you really need to tell… right?"

I swallow hard. I don't want to admit that anything he says can be true, but nevertheless I find myself inhaling to speak, looking up into his unbelievably clear eyes. "I had a skirt… he pulled it up…"

"Like now?" he asks, his hand leaving my chest and sliding past my waist, my hipbone, along my upper thigh until it reaches the hem of my skirt. I inhale sharply as he begins to pull it up, inch by inch. "Like this."

My throat hurts with held-back tears and I begin to tremble again. "Yes," I whisper. He just didn't do it as… smoothly…

"And then," he asks hungrily, his hand stopping, warm and heavy on my hip. His skin on mine makes me vibrate.

"Ahm…" I'm so afraid to continue. Will he follow my every word with the exact same moves? "Then he raped me…" I pray that he won't.

"Mm-oww!" My scalp hurts as he pulls my head back hard.

"You really need to give a little more details."

"I'm afraid," I whisper.

"Say what?"

"I'm afraid… of you…"

The hand on my hip grips harder, grabbing a chunk of my flesh and squeezing viciously as he pulls my body closer to his. "You should be, Leese. I can't decide whether I should kill you here and now or…"

I jerk my head and try to get loose, but his hold is unyielding. "Or what?"

"If I should take you. Here and now."

"Oh… don't."

He wedges his legs in between mine and I don't know why, but I pull my legs up to give him just a little more space, my body responding to his no matter if I want it or not, no matter how much my mind tells me that it's wrong.

"Leese," he whispers. "Don't tell me no just because you think you need to. It'd be better if you just shut the fuck up."

I stare up at him, my mouth opening and closing several times. I can't speak. I can't believe what I'm hearing.

"Don't you think that I didn't know from the start how you looked at me, how your big eyes pledged with me to be kind, to stay, to take you away…"

I swallow hard, feeling his body so tight against mine, his hard length so obvious against my mound, perfectly placed, perfectly fitting, horrifyingly fitting. I shake my head, keeping his beautiful eyes locked with mine, pleading with him wordlessly to stop this game before it gets out of hand.

"That last part… I might fulfill… but I'm not your kind little-"

Something inside me explodes with fear, anger and hurt, and I twist and jerk to get him off me, pulling and pushing to try to dislodge him. "Don'tdon'tdon't, please, Jack, please!"

He doesn't give me one inch, instead his mouth crashes onto mine, sucking, biting, devouring until I taste a slight tang of blood in the meeting between our lips. I try to bend my head away, but his hands press firmly against my cheeks and keep my head lodged in his rough hold.

It hurts. I want to tell him that it hurts. My hands push at the sides of his chest and under my fingers I feel the taught muscles on his rib cage, how they ripple when he moves, how he breathes. In. Out. Somewhere along the violent kiss, my pushing turns into a clenching, clasping hold. Oh, God, he feels so… I don't know. I can't think 'good'… I refuse… to… His lips are all I feel, I'm nothing but the tender flesh that meets with his brutal force.

I'm as dizzy, as if I am on a boat. Wave after wave rolls over the bedroom floor, and I roll with it. I realize I've stopped fighting and when he notices it too, he lets go of my bruised lips and regards me. His face is flustered. I'm betting mine is too. Then he smiles. It's not a nice smile. There's nothing kind in the way he looks at me. I feel like I'm prey and he's a predator.

I shake my head. For the hundredth time, I think. "You don't have to do this," I pant.

He cocks his head, then he gives out a barking laugh. His hand slides down my cheek again, down along my throat, covers my breast where deft fingers find my nipple under the fabric of my blouse and begins to squeeze it.

"Stop fighting it, Leese." His hand leaves my breast and continues to slide down along the side of my body, finding naked skin where my skirt has been pushed to my waist. I jump at the contact but he presses me flush to the carpet, his hand softly caressing the front of my thigh before it progresses to the inside, his thumb stroking circles on my skin, closer and closer to where my thighs meet. I fight the urge to buck my hips to meet with his hand, my traitorous body wanting to get closer to what feels so… thrilling… tingling… Instead I twist and try to back away from the hand that has come so near my nether flesh that I can feel the heat from his fingers.

I gasp when he touches my panties, stroking my softness through them, and then pushes hard against me, his lips finding mine again. "You're trembling," he whispers into my mouth as his fingers finds the rhythm of the humming inside me, making me arch into him.

"Stop… Jackson…" I swallow hard, unable to say more because he steals every little bit of my breath away, devouring my mouth, claiming my tongue and my whole being. My legs have started to shake, the humming inside increasing with my heart rate, and his hand on my throat is almost choking me, mixing sweet pleasure with panic until I can't separate one from the other.

He lets go of my lips and pushes my head away until I can only see the white painted wall behind me. I let out a squeal as I feel his teeth sink into the side of my neck. I think I feel him chuckle, but I'm having a hard time feeling anything else than his hand between my legs, his teeth grazing my shoulder, collarbone, chest, breast. Breast. Breast. Hand. Breast. Hand. Hand. Hand-

Oh, GOD!

I shake in his hold, my insides clench and unclench and the tumultuous waves that roll under me now also roll over me, through me, inside me. I sob and hold on tight to his shoulders until the rippling in my body slowly subsides and I can breathe again. My heart races. He's still holding my head away from him, as if he doesn't want to look at me.

When he lets me go, I lift my head and glance warily at him. His eyes are glazed and his lips are swollen.

We stare at each other for an infinite moment, both panting as if we'd just evaded drowning, then he pushes up my blouse and my bra in one move and I rip his shirt out of the waist of his pants.

I want to feel your skin! I need to feel YOU!

A noise from the bottom floor halts us momentarily.

Jackson reacts first. "Who's that," he whispers.

I shake my head. "I don-… My FATHER," I whisper back, my heart suddenly jolting with hope.

And then with fear. "Oh, please… DON'T!" Don't kill him!

His eyes are unreadable, as always. He shuffles his limbs together and stand, stuffing his shirt back into his pants, corrects his flawless jacket and then pulls his fingers through his unruly tresses. I try to sit up straighter and jerk when I hear my dad's distant voice, hesitant, unsure.


I look up at Jackson, cowering before him, my body still stretching to his, wanting more, craving to finish what was so unrightfully interrupted. He bites his lower lip and crouches before me, his gaze shifts between the sound of the voice from somewhere in the house and my disheveled appearance.

A hint of a smirk briefly grazes his lips.

"We'll talk again."

It happens before I even know I'm doing it. My arm stretches up and I slap him hard in the face. My palm stings and his cheek takes on a glowing tone. He touches the angry red mark with his fingertips. I shift on the floor and try to back away from him but I'm already pressed up against the wall, going nowhere. Licking his lip, his eyes flashing, he then cocks his head and snorts.

Then he's gone.

He disappears like a whisper. One moment he stands before me. All too real. The next he's gone. As if he never happened.

I start when I hear steps in the stairs.

Oh, Jesus!

My legs still tremble and I have to fight my way up, smoothing out my crumpled skirt and my ruined blouse, jerking to get back inside my bra.

The skin on my chin is chapped and my cheeks feel as hot as if I'd spent the day in the relentless sun.

Maybe I did - but the night instead, and the sun dark and cold as the infinite space.

When my trembling hands try to even out the wrinkles on my blouse my gaze happens to fall on all the little bruises covering my upper chest. Bite marks! In an instant I realize what they are and the memory of his mouth on my skin makes me gasp, it's like a blow to my belly and with tingling thighs I stumble as I look around me for something to cover myself in. My eyes settle on a blanket on dad's bed.

"Dad," I croak while I cover myself. "Dad, I'm here!" When he opens the door, I fall into his arms as tears, real tears begin to fall.

"Lisa? What happened here? Whose car is it outside and…" He holds me at arms distance. "How do you look? Honey, what happened? Are you all right?"

'No, no, that's your dad's department.'

Beat it!

"Where were you? I thought you were dead!"

"I went to pick you- Why would I be dead?"

I shake my head and try to clear it. "I have to get to the Lux. Do you have your car? I'll tell you on the way there."

His worried gaze follows my every move and then he nods.

When I sit next to my dad in the car, safety belt on, covered in a blanket, I finally start to get back to myself again. I'm going to take care of Cynthia, the mess at the hotel, explain everything to the best of my knowledge to the police, to Charles Keefe, to the CIA, the FBI, the hotel management, and everyone else who needs to know in order to set things straight.

What if I had been another me? What if you had been another… you?

I don't know what happened up there.

But it won't happen again.

He's looming like a dark shadow over my soul; his presence almost palpable here, in the mayhem at the Lux Atlantic. His last words follow me when I on shaky legs approach the disaster I helped him create.

'We'll talk again.'