Killer Pursuit by Jeff Gunhus
Allison fidgeted in her chair in the waiting area, feeling completely out of place. She took in her surroundings. Instead of the typical government-issued grey carpeting and pressboard furniture, the room had a regal feel to it. Lush navy blue carpet. Tasteful wallpaper that picked up the accent color and gave the room a warm, rich feel. The couch on which she sat had the smoothness of a silk-blend and comfortable pillows to prop her up. The receptionist’s desk, an antique Chippendale’s by the look of it, guarded a double-door entrance on the opposite side of the room from the entrance where two Marines in dress uniform stood guard in the outside hallway. A look at the ancient woman serving as Clarence Mason’s secretary made Allison wonder who was more fearsome in protecting the Director of the FBI, the single old woman or the two young Marines. Allison’s money was on the old lady.
Shouting erupted from inside the office. It appeared not to be a very regular occurrence as the old woman looked up sharply from the computer screen toward the door. She glanced to the two Marines, but they didn’t budge.
Seconds later, the doors blew open and Garret stormed out. Well, as close as he could get to storming on his crutches, sporting a thick cast on his right leg. He froze when he saw her.
“You,” he stammered. “What the hell are you doing here?”
Allison stood. She hadn’t seen Garret since the raid three days earlier and wasn’t sure how he felt about her decision to shoot him in the leg. Apparently, he didn’t feel that good about it.
“Director Mason asked to see me,” Allison said. “Hey, I wanted to apologize for—”
Garret held up his hand to stop her. “Apologize? Really? Apologizing is what you do when you spill coffee on someone’s notes. Or hit the wrong floor button on the elevator. You shot me, McNeil. On purpose.”
Allison shrugged, using every bit of willpower not to let loose all the one-liners piling up inside of her, begging to get out. She reminded herself that good men had died at the raid, her raid, so playing games with Garret didn’t seem appropriate.
“It was the only way I could see to––”
“She saved your life, Garret,” said a voice from inside the office. “You ought to be kissing her backside instead of demanding her termination.”
Garret looked horrified. He leaned in and poked a finger at Allison. “This isn’t over. I’m going to finish you, no matter what the old man says.”
With that, Garret limped out of the room. When Allison turned, Mason was standing next to her, watching him leave.
“That should take care of the reprimand for shooting Special Agent Morrison,” he said.
“Yes sir,” Allison replied, unsure as always on how to read Mason’s body language. He gave her a wry smile and she relaxed.