CHRONICLES OF MICHAEL: DENIABLE ASSET

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CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN

*MICHAEL VARRO*

Shy lies in Medical, unconscious due to the miracle of modern drugs. She will stay here until her ribs and concussion heal, and the swelling in her eyes go down. I’ve been with her since I brought her in, watching over her while she sleeps. The doors to Medical open. Looking up, I see the General and Sonja walk in. They are the last people I expect to see. They walk up, stopping next to Shy on the opposite side of the bed from me.

“We got Oscar. You did well, Michael. We know it wasn’t easy for you to betray a team member. We do have to consider the possibility that she’s not strong enough to make it here,” Sonja says.

I look up at her with such hate and disgust. I know it’s written all over my face. Sonja turns her head from me and it catches me off guard. She’s never flinched away from me. She’s the most dangerous, vindictive person I know. My reaction to her question isn’t something she’s prepared for. She expects the stoic Michael, but today, I just don’t give a fuck.

“Do we?” My tone reflecting exactly how I feel.

“She betrayed us to our enemy, Michael,” the General speaks for the first time.

“Who betrayed whom?” I ask, looking down at Shy.

“You were doing your job, Michael. We’ll let you enjoy your time with her,” Sonja states as they make their way to the door.

“Are you going to kill her?” I ask before they can leave.

“Why did she break?” Sonja asks.

“To save my life,” I answer, honestly.

There’s a moment of silence before I hear the General.

“She has a stay of execution, for now.”

I hear the door open and close, but I never take my eyes from Shy. I lean in close to her ear speaking softly, “I’m sorry I did this to you, Shy. It wasn’t all a lie. I would gladly give my life for yours.”

Lifting my head slightly, I gently kiss her swollen lips. It’s a light, soft kiss as not to wake her, or hurt her still-healing mouth. She stirs slightly at my mouth on hers, whispering my name. My hands ball into fists. I so badly want to hit something. With my head and arm stitched up, I’m cleared to leave. As exhausted as I am, I find the energy to go to the Training Room. I feel at home on those mats. I can always come here, and let go of the world around me. I move slowly at first, going through all my moves in order to stretch out my muscles. As I start to pick up the pace, I see Delaney standing at the edge of the mat. I choose to ignore him until he gets the balls to speak.

“I’d like to meet the man who kicked your ass,” he says, jokingly.

My look says more than words ever could.

“You want to spar?” Delaney asks.

I stop, inviting him up onto the mat. Delaney circles me.

“Seriously man, I hope the other guy looks worse.”
“I’m sure he does. He’s been with Sonja,” I reply.

“Good. I stopped by to see Chandler. She doesn’t look so-”

Before Delaney can finish his sentence, he’s on the ground with the wind knocked out of him. My kick is hard, and too quick for him to see it coming; especially while he’s running his mouth. I walk off the mat, standing above him. Looking down with my hand outstretched, I say, “I thought you wanted to spar, not have a therapy session.”

“Got it,” Delaney says, taking my hand.

We circle each other again, and every blow Delaney thinks he might get, I’m a tad faster with my defense. I catch him with a quick right jab to the face, causing him to spit blood.

“Okay, you got me,” he says, smiling.

I block Delaney’s combinations with ease until the last move. He catches me with a quick left jab to the ribs. I double over for a second before recovering. That wouldn’t have happened if I were focused. It pisses me off. My next set of combinations has Delaney off the mat and on his ass, bleeding from his left eye and mouth. Hurting my friend wasn’t my intention when we started, but he decided to step up and he paid the consequences. I strip my gloves off, stepping off the mat. Delaney stands, catching the towel I toss at him. He wipes the blood from his eye and mouth.

“One of these days, I’m going to kick your ass,” Delaney says as he pats me on the shoulder.

“The day that happens is the day I expire myself,” I reply.

We laugh as we enter the Ready Room. As we enter I see Beck changing into his sweats for a workout.

“Looks like I missed Michael kicking your ass, again,” Beck says, laughing.

“I got him this time, though. He actually doubled over,” Delaney replies.

Beck looks over at me in disbelief. I nod in confirmation.

“Doesn’t count. Michael is off his game right now. He and Chandler got worked over pretty bad. How is she?” Beck asks, nonchalantly.

Delaney drops his head, slightly shaking it. He knows Beck over stepped, and he can’t help but laugh when I hem Beck up against the lockers.

“You think you can do better, Beck? Hmm . . . you want to test that theory?”

“That’s not what I was saying, Michael, you know that,” Beck says, defensively.

I let him go, roughly, causing him to stumble a little. Grabbing my bag, I start to exit the Ready Room. I’m taking my anger out on the wrong people.

Beck looks to Delaney. “What’d I say?”

“You brought up what happened to Chandler. It’s a bit of a sore subject right now.”

Delaney pats Beck on the shoulder before following me out.

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