Week 273 – Sirens

“No!” Tank screamed the word as he watched in horror as Tillie dropped to the ground.

The last of O’Riley’s men had been taken out by his team, and Tillie herself had taken down O’Riley. While he couldn’t be prouder of her for taking part in saving herself, but she wasn’t supposed to be hurt.

Tank closed the distance between them at a run and dropped to his knees at her side.

Blood.

So much blood soaked her front, gushing from her chest like an ominous hourglass counting down the seconds until Tillie’s time ran out.

He pressed his hands to the wound, fighting what felt like a losing battle to keep her alive. Beneath him Tillie moaned in pain, her lashes fluttering on her too pale cheeks.

“Hold on,” he ordered her as though by command he could keep blood pumping through her body instead of gushing out through the hole the bullet had torn. “Don’t you die on me.”

Her eyes opened slowly, and in them he saw pain. So much pain. Tank knew part of it was because of the physical pain she was in but he couldn’t wipe from his mind the betrayal that had been there because she thought he had really been going to turn her over to O’Riley.

“I would never betray you,” he told her. “Never. The drugs were to make it look like I was really turning you over. He wouldn’t have believed us otherwise. I tried not to give you too much because I know sedatives make you sick. I’m sorry, I wanted to tell you but we decided it would be best if you looked at me like I had betrayed you if you woke up. Well the guys decided.” The idea of her thinking, even for a short time, that he had betrayed her had cut him deep.

“Sorry,” she mumbled.

“I’m the one who’s sorry.”

Tillie shook her head, winced, then murmured, “Sorry I have to leave you.”

“You’re not going anywhere,” he growled.

“Don’t have a choice, wish we … had more time.” Her strength was fading and fast, he could hear sirens in the distance but they weren’t going to get here in time. He knew it. Felt it.

“I’m sorry. I failed you.” Nothing in his life had felt this painful and he’d had plenty of loss. Tillie’s eyes were fluttering, he was about to lose her. Leaning down he touched his lips to hers and echoed Tillie’s wish that they’d had more time.

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