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There is Redemption in the Blood
Inhaling sharply at the familiarity of his lingering touch, she met his eyes. Gazes clashing as he leisurely slid his hands down her body, Emily cursed her frantically beating heart. Feeling the bile rising in her throat as his hands slid back up her legs, over the insides of her thighs, she mentally steeled herself as she felt his warm breath fanning her through the thin cotton of her shirt.
"You're clean," he said thickly. After all these years...all she'd put him through, his body still wanted her, he thought ruefully, his jeans painfully tight against his groin as he rose from his kneeling position to meet her eyes again.
Arching a brow, she lifted her lips in a half smile. "You sound disappointed."
"I thought you'd be more of a challenge when this moment came," he muttered as he shrugged, dropping back into his chair as she sauntered toward the wooden bar in the corner of the porch. "Fix me one, too, lass," he ordered.
Pouring her own preferred scotch, Emily asked lightly, "Still take Irish whiskey?"
"Neat," Ian confirmed without looking at her.
Methodically reaching for the Jamison's, Emily felt her heartbeat fluttering against her ribcage as she poured the amber liquid into a heavy glass, swirling the liquor as she poured. Staring down at it for a moment, she pulled in a shaky breath.
She could do this. Suffer these final moments with him.
God knew, she'd gotten very good at dealing with the daily anguish and uncertainty her life provided. Because of him, she'd lost everything...everyone that had cared for her...all that she'd worked to gain. In an instant, life as she'd known it had disappeared.
And in its place, mere existence had replaced living.
She was tired of simply existing.
Grabbing their glasses, she walked back to him, offering him his glass. Grimacing as he purposefully caressed her hand as he accepted the leaden tumbler, she bit the inside of her cheek.
Just a few more minutes, and he'd end this torture for her, she told herself calmly, resuming her own seat, sipping her scotch as she waited for him to speak.
"I love my son, Lauren...or Emily...or whoever you are today. You must at least know that," Ian commented, taking a long pull from his own glass as he leaned back against his own chair.
"Men like you can't love, Ian," Emily stated softly, her fingers tightly gripping her own glass. "You don't know how. You can possess. You can own. But, you can't love."
"The Lauren I knew would never have said that to me," Ian spat, belting another shot of the whiskey to the back of his throat angrily. "She knew how much I adored my child."
"That woman was a fabrication, Ian. Haven't you caught on to that yet?" Emily sneered, eyeing him. "I took every piece of intel I had on you and created your perfect mate. And as for adoration," she snarled, "You adored Declan so much that you were planning to mold him in your image. I couldn't allow that to happen."
Slamming back the rest of his drink, Ian hurled the glass toward the steps, an explosion of sound marring the otherwise peaceful evening as shards flew against the hardwoods. "Deceitful bitch!" he hissed, standing up abruptly and staggering as his vision swam. Raising the gun as he blinked rapidly to clear his vision, he wasn't prepared for the hard blow Emily landed against his arm, dislodging the gun from his hand as he stumbled again, falling back against his chair heavily. "What the bloody hell did you do?" he gasped as Emily quickly retrieved the gun, leveling it at his chest coldly.
"Something wrong, Ian?" Emily asked wryly as adrenaline surged through her body, reawakening her.
"Wha- did ye do?" he panted, trying to move his arms...his legs...anything. But nothing responded to his mental commands. He was helpless.
And in that exact moment, he realized that he had lost control. Of everything.
"You really should have checked my pockets," Emily replied smoothly, her eyes narrowing on him, watching as he slowly seemed to freeze. Stepping forward, she knelt down until she was eye level with him. "That's the paralytic you're feeling now, Ian," she explained helpfully. "You can't move. But you can see and feel everything," she whispered violently, pressing the barrel of the gun to his throat.
Watching his eyes dilate, she smiled triumphantly. "That," she said, pressing harder, "right now? That's fear you feel, Ian," she informed him. "Horrible, isn't it?" she asked conversationally. "Now, imagine living every day like that," she said huskily. "Imagine being this afraid from the moment you wake up until the moment you close your eyes again. That's what you did to me," she whispered, her eyes locking with his.
Ian's nostrils flared as he met her gaze. Fucking bitch, he thought, unable to speak. He should have ripped her throat out on sight. But that chance had passed, and he was now at the mercy of the fates that had woven their into his life once again.
"Oh, I know what you're thinking, Ian," Emily smiled, watching his face. "You're wishing you'd just killed me on sight, aren't you?" she asked, knowing she'd receive no answer in return. "You're right; you should have. But I knew you wouldn't. Your ego wouldn't let you. No, you wanted to play with your prey first. Torture and taunt me. I'm so sorry your plan backfired," Emily mocked, trailing the barrel of the gun down his cheek.
Staring at him for a long moment as she sat back on her haunches, Emily shook her head sadly. "You want to know the saddest part of all, Ian? While you couldn't love Lauren Reynolds, she loved you. She prayed you could change. She even offered you and your son a way out, remember? But, you didn't want it. You didn't want a fresh start. You wanted to continue doing what you were doing. And what the hell was she supposed to do with that?"
Swallowing painfully as a cold tear trickled from the corner of her eye, she shook her head. Moving the barrel of the gun to his temper, she inhaled deeply. "If it makes you feel any better, the ghost of Lauren Reynolds will grieve you, Ian," Emily said, her voice hushed, almost reverent. "But the woman I am...Emily Prentiss...she's going to rejoice," she said, feeling a surge of strength she hadn't felt in months as her finger squeezed the trigger of the gun.
The hollow sound of an echoing blast sent the birds scattering from their perch in the trees as Ian Doyle slumped in his seat, a small hole leaking a thin trail of blood down his stubbled cheek.
Lowering the gun, Emily exhaled shakily, her hand shaking at her side.
Turning, she walked slowly down the steps...
...and back into her life.
And she never looked back.