Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not own anything associated with Red Eye...But if there was any way I could possibly buy Jackson, well..... But no....not mine.
Author's Note: I accidentally forgot to put my disclaimer and author's note in the previous chapter. I was in a rush to post it up because some people were getting tetchy (a certain cousin, I shall say). But all in good favour, as she gave me a kick up the backside to get to writing again!
Before I give you the next chapter, I'm giving a huge shout out to my wonderful betas Artemis Day and bregobeauty. Help and support is much appreciated!
And finally, a very warm thank you to my ever- encouraging reviewers. MythStar Black Dragon, citylights0788 and DarkestStarRMS, I give kudos to you guys!
Lisa was terrified. She had a couple of minutes until the plane landed, and all she had as her weapon of choice was a Frankenstein pen. She was quickly running out of options.
She rolled her eyes and dropped her head to look down and, as if by some sort of revelation, she noticed her scar peeking out from under her top. Quickly glancing up at Jackson, her mind formulated a plan. Whether she could pull it off was one thing, but surely she could justify this coming homicide as self-defence against a threat to the country?
Leaving little room for argument with herself, she gasped and moaned before doubling over herself in pain. She almost choked as she realised how her moan sounded similar to the one she had made when they were locked together in the bathroom. In an instant, she decided to use it to her advantage to get his attention on her and so she moaned again, this time a little louder.
"What's wrong now?" he asked, irritated.
Clearly, he was still pissed off about their previous conversation. She was sorely tempted to make a smart remark against him but decided against it. She needed to gain his sympathy and lure him into a false sense of security, just like he did with her.
"You hit me on the head and slammed me against the wall, remember?" she gasped out.
There was a pause, which was then followed by a sneering response of, "Well, suck it up."
"We've come too far. Don't blow it now." She tilted her arm and slipped the hidden pen from her skirt. "Come on, sit up. Sit up, Leese."
When she did, she glanced at him to see if he had noticed. Satisfied he hadn't, she turned her head to stare out of the window, fingering the pen as she did so.
"We're almost there," he sighed.
The final announcement came over the speakers. Jackson pulled out his cell phone and held it up so that Lisa could clearly see what he was doing. Although it was strictly forbidden to use it on the plane, he sent a message to his associates, confirming they were on schedule. He saw Lisa fidget as she read the message and had to suppress a smirk from forming.
"Once we're at the gate, I'll follow you into the terminal, we'll hit Starbucks, grab a couple of lattes, kill ten, fifteen minutes till I get the call that Keefe's been taken out. And then...I walk outta your life. Well...Once I'm out of your line of sight, I'll call off Mister Killer from outside Dad's and then you're free. Free to yell and scream. Call your dad; tell him to run to the neighbours. Sound good?" he finished, raising his eyebrows.
"Whatever you say," she replied, staring out of the window and avoiding his eyes.
"What, no questions?" he asked, heavily surprised as she gave him that simple remark.
She turned to look at him, eyes heavy with weariness and pain. He unwittingly felt his chest tighten as she looked at him, defeated. It was unusual feeling this sort of sympathy towards a victim of his. If he was found out to have harboured such emotion, towards a woman at that, there would be no doubt he would be relegated to the Dogs.
"What good have they done me so far?"
He paused, wondering if she had meant for that question to be aimed at him, or her life.
"Best question you've asked all night," he managed to reply with, aware that his voice had wavered.
She turned her head away from him and watched as they descended into Miami. As they touched down with a series of bumps and shakes, Jackson applauded along with the rest of the passengers. It was then he became aware of Lisa's nonchalance as they landed.
Well, at least one good thing came out of this from your side, Leese.
"It happened in the parking lot."
Jackson almost jumped as she spoke. He wasn't expecting her to speak to him at all.
"The scar. Two years ago. In the middle of the day."
He knew why she put the emphasis on 'day'. It made it seem all the worse; that it had happened out in public whilst the beautiful sun beamed upon the rest of Miami. Of course, he had figured out what had happened to her as soon as he had seen her scar and heard her denial. It seemed unlikely that it was somebody she knew.
"He held a knife to my throat...the whole time..." her voice quivered, and she didn't give him eye contact at all.
Even though he had guessed what had happened, it didn't stop his mouth from opening in shock. Having her confirm what he had assumed felt like he was somehow responsible for the broken spirit of this beautiful woman.
Aren't you, Jackson? Look at her. If she wasn't broken before…
"Ever since, I've been trying to convince myself of one thing, over and over."
Oh, you fucking idiot, of course!
"That it was beyond your control," he supplied, pleased with himself.
To his surprise, she shook her head, her brown curls bouncing as she did so. "No." Then she whipped her head around to look at him. She stared at him with such a fiery look of intensity, he watched her and felt his breath catch in his throat. She had never looked so beautiful to him, and yet in all that confusion he had forgotten what they were talking about.
"That it would never happen again."
He saw nothing else but her supple lips moving as she spoke. Her eyes were alive with fire and defiance. He was so proud of the way she thought and felt his arms start to move, wanting to steal one last kiss from her before he would be on his way.
The plane, however, had other plans. The fasten seatbelt sign pinged and dimmed out, distracting Jackson who tilted his head to look at it, almost glaring at disturbing his moment with her. It was the worst thing he had ever done in his career.
Lisa recoiled in horror as she saw the pen sticking out of his throat. How she had managed to embed it into his skin was beyond her, but she couldn't wipe the image of his puzzled face as he flailed and gasped.
That's what it feels like to be betrayed, Jackson.
Knowing she wouldn't get another chance, she flew out of her seat and jumped over Jackson, deftly removing his cell phone from his waistband. Just as she thought she was out of his grasp, she felt his hand snake around her ankle and yank her back; throwing her off balance and land with an ungraceful thump into the aisle. She scampered upright and began to run; only glancing back when she was a safe distance away. Weaving in and out of the people, she saw him slip down onto the floor, doubled over in pain with his hand grasped tightly around the protruding pen.
She stopped when she saw the little blonde girl from the line at the bathroom. Knowing she wouldn't get through the crowd, she glanced around and decided to jump over the middle set of seats. Throwing apologies left, right and centre, she instantly found herself at the front of the plane, only just hearing the plastic bleach blonde lady yell for help.
"What's going on?" said the tall flight attendant who seemed to appear from nowhere.
"Th...There's a man back there. H-h-he needs your help," she stammered out, cursing herself as she lied miserably.
What, no pen, no bravery, Leese?
"Stay right there," replied the flight attendant.
Almost as soon as the flight attendant ran off towards the back of the plane, the doors were being opened. She heard somebody behind her yell towards hers, accusing her of stabbing Jackson. In a flash, she was out of the door and thankful that those early morning jogging sessions had finally paid off.
Reaching the entrance into the airport, she overheard the announcer call out for further security to the gate she had arrived from. She forced herself to walk and act curious, listening to the announcement with piqued interest. If they described her, she was screwed. Unfastening her sweater, she scrunched it up and threw it into a nearby garbage bin.
I've wanted to get rid of it, anyway.
She needed to find something to occupy herself with until all the guards were cleared and sent to her gate. She spotted a pair of pretty looking girls chatting amongst themselves in the food court and immediately sensed her opportunity. Grasping a clipboard which was left on the checkout countertop, she purposefully strolled towards them and plastered on a smile.
"Hi," she greeted, met with looks of alarm. "I'm Wendy from airport food services. Have you dined at our terminal before?"
"Um yeah..." the blonde lady trailed off as she saw the guards rushing past them.
Lisa took this opportunity as both girls turned to look and fled, leaving the clipboard behind. She didn't need anybody else to remember her face.
Jackson groaned and touched the pen, flinching as it seemed to somehow lodge itself deeper into this throat. He could hear the panicked and curious mutterings of the passengers behind him. The ones that remained silent were the ones he should have been worried about.
"Okay sir – oh!" The small flight attendant shrieked as her eyes were level with his throat. Jackson moaned and stared at her, eyes bulging. "We have a doctor here for you."
Jackson's nostrils flared as he came face to face with Loren. Keeping up appearances, Loren rolled his eyes and groaned before his eyes landed on the pen. He genuinely recoiled in horror.
"Whoa!" he exclaimed, before quickly recovering. "Don't speak. You don't wanna damage your vocal chords." He slipped on his glasses and examined it slowly. "Oh, it doesn't look too bad. It's just your windpipe, actually."
Jackson was becoming increasingly frustrated very quickly. He grasped Loren's suit and yanked him closer, staring at him. Each second lost was one second given to Lisa to escape.
Fuck! Enough's enough!
"It's not dangerous, really." Jackson grabbed the pen. "No, don't!"
He yanked the pen out, clenching his teeth as he felt relief and a whole new wave of pain wash over him. Ignoring the look of disgust from both Loren and the stewardess, he shoved them out of the way and discreetly pocketed the pen, before stalking down the aisle with his finger pressed against the gaping hole. As he got the front of the plane, he failed to notice the small blonde girl quickly push her bag out in front of him, causing him to fall flying through the air to land ungracefully onto the floor. His body shook in pain as his throat constricted and throbbed when he hit the floor. Composing himself, he turned to glare at the girl, almost growling as she smirked smugly and sank into her seat.
Gracefully pushing himself to stand, he marched down the aisle, ignoring the comments about the hospital and police. He only had one place he intended to visit today. As he passed the bleached lady, he yanked her scarf and, still walking, slipped it off from around her neck. He almost wished he could have strangled her with it.
"Come on! Come on, come on!" Lisa whispered ferociously, trying to get the cell to work. It flashed up with no signal. "No! Shit!"
Almost close to losing her mind, she looked down from the view at the balcony where she stood by the news stand, and saw guards running up towards her. They couldn't have found her already!
Turning on her heel, she quickly walked away, praying that they weren't looking for her specifically. Finding an empty spot between some customers, she picked up a magazine and pretended to immerse herself in it.
Florida homes....oh...my, that's expensive. FOCUS!
She stepped back to curiously search for any more guards. To her horror, she saw Jackson instead, and at the exact same moment, he noticed her. Rage flared up on his face. Lisa gasped and dropped the magazine to turn and flee. She didn't bother to turn and look behind her to know that Jackson would be hot on her heels.
She had thought him to be incapacitated, if not dead. Surely a hit to the throat was enough to weaken somebody? She had felt herself shiver as the pen embedded itself into his throat under the guidance of her hand. The sickening feeling of it gauging a hole into his skin almost made her gag on her own sick as she recalled his throat roil and spasm as he gasped for breath. No matter how he had behaved toward her, her father or Keefe, she couldn't help but feel her heart clench as he stared at her in shock. Even though she had wanted to feel relief at having caused him that pain, she felt no better than him at having to resort to his tactics to defeat him.
I did what had to be done. There's no going back.
Her eyes were beginning to brim over in tears. She didn't want to be in this situation. She wanted to be at home, safe and sound, tucked under a thick blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and a late-night movie.
Spinning her head around behind her, she saw Jackson's determined face; his arms and legs were pumping in rhythm as he was catching up to her fast and smoothly. Perhaps he would honestly have released her when the job was through, but now she knew that he was chasing her and it was personal. He would want to watch her die slowly and painfully at his hands. He'd find a way to make that happen...she knew he would. Unless she killed him.
At this thought, she looked behind her and instantly lost her balance. Grunting, she flew across the floor and felt the carpet burn her knees. Panting, she looked up and saw him closing the gap between them.
No, no, no. Please!
She pushed herself up and began to run again, this time ignoring her instinct to look behind and see where he was. There was no way he would do anything in public even if he did catch her...right?
She was sweating and panting heavily with exhaustion. Her heart was pounding with fear and adrenaline as she jumped into the airport shuttle. She was willing the doors to close, but at the same time wanted him to reach her a second early to see what he would do. Would he make a spectacle in front of all these people, or would he wait until they were alone?
"Come on, come on, close. Close!" she hissed, not wanting to find out.
Her breath hitched as she saw him round the corner, and she instantly jerked back as the doors slid shut and he fell against it, slamming his fist into the thick glass acting as a barrier between them. He slammed it again, the pair of them ignoring the curious looks from passengers on both sides. She sighed in relief as the outer doors began to close, and watched him with bated breath as he jumped back and pumped a fist of anger in the air.
Lisa moved to the large window facing the airport and waited. A mere second later, Jackson approached the window. Their eyes met and they watched each other in disbelief as the train pulled away. Both were thinking the same thing as the distance between them grew.
This isn't over yet.