Week 321 – Are we ever going to be safe again?
Panic drummed a steady beat inside him, so strong it drowned out his logical mind.
Match wasn’t used to panicking just because someone was shooting at him.
Welcome to his world.
That was his life, but usually he didn’t have the woman he loved and his young son with him. The thought of Maisie or Milo getting hurt rendered him all but useless.
Only he couldn’t afford to be useless. His family was counting on him.
Dodging around a corner he spotted a bunch of parked cars and headed for it. “Stay here, don’t move, keep the boy quiet,” he ordered as he thrust their son into Maisie’s arms.
“Match, are we ever going to be safe again?” Maisie asked, her voice trembled and he loathed himself for getting her into this mess. His sweet woman had been through so much, she deserved flowers and rainbows and sunshine, not death and bullets and danger.
“I will keep you alive, babydoll. Thats a promise.”
Because leaving them behind was harder than he could imagine, Match turned and left immediately. Drawing the shooters with him, he lured them into a trap and was able to take out all of them.
A vehicle was stashed nearby with supplies, all he had to do was get to it, collect his family, and then he could take them to the one place he knew they’d be safe. A place he should have taken them immediately but he’d been selfish-again-and wanted time alone with his woman and his kid.
From here on out Maisie and Milo came first.
Every second they weren’t with him was hell. If he wasn’t there he couldn’t protect them. A million what if scenarios ran through his head and by the time he was pulling up beside where he’d stashed them Match was shaking like a leaf.
As he approached Maisie’s pale face peeked out, she had their son crushed against her chest, her body wrapped protectively around him, and Match found his heart swelled at the sight. He had underestimated Maisie and he was ashamed about it. He’d believed she wasn’t strong enough to survive in his world, that letting her go was the right thing. Now he knew she would have stood by him if he’d been honest with her, been a rock he so desperately needed.
“Lets go,” he said as he reached out and took the small bundle of his son. When the boy latched onto him, clinging with his face pressed against Match’s neck, his heart swelled again until his chest felt painfully tight.
These two were his everything.
He was just shoving the boy into the car when Maisie cried out and went down.
Gunfire erupted around them but when he turned to go back for her she stopped him.
“No, Match! Get Milo out of here!”
“No! You promised. Get him safe.”
His heart felt torn in two. It wouldn’t take him long to cross the dozen or so yards between where Maisie had gone down and the car, but he could see the shooters quickly approaching, and the child was sobbing in the car.
“You promised. Keep my baby safe, tell him I love him,” Maisie screamed.
Leaving behind the woman he loved more than anything else in the world was the hardest thing he had ever had to do. But he had promised to put their son first, and he knew Maisie would hate him if the child was hurt. So he fulfilled what was very likely going to be her dying wish and threw himself into the vehicle, driving away and leaving his heart bleeding on the pavement behind him.