Hero Inside

Chapter 13

Annie gently lifted Auggie once again off of her lap and lay him down flat on the ground. She had one of the agents pull off their jacket so that she could place it under his head. She asked the agent tending to his wound to take care of him until she got back.

Annie leaned down and kissed Auggie on his forehead and whispered, "I'll be right back, I promise. I have to do a favor for Joan. Just hang on for me. You are going to be fine."

Auggie just nodded as Annie walked away and headed through the woods and into the clearing where the helicopter was getting ready to transport Greer and the other two prisoners to the CIA headquarters. Racine and the big guy just stared at the ground with scowls on their faces. However, Greer just looked at Annie as she came over and stood in front of him.

He spoke first as he asked, "So, how is the boyfriend doing? Is he going to make it?"

Annie replied, "He's going to be fine. I'm here to make you a deal. You deserve a needle in your arm for the crimes that you've committed, but my boss wants yours really bad and so do I. She told me to tell you that we are willing to take the death penalty off the table if you lead a few agents to Richert and give us all the information about the secrets you and him have been selling to your buyers in Europe. What do you say?"

"I guess that you were right about me selling out a good friend to save my own life," Evan answered. "We've been together for a long time and have gotten away with a lot. I suppose we got too cocky. It's too bad too. We were just about to make more money than we ever could imagine."

"That is too bad," Annie responded sarcastically. "A few agents will be accompanying you back to the cabin. You will show them how to get there. They'll take care of everything else and once we get to where you'll be spending the rest of your life, my boss will talk to you about your deal. Goodbye Mr. Greer."

Annie looked up into the sky as she heard another helicopter circling above them. As she did, she saw that the medical copter was preparing to land. When it finally did, she ran over to the paramedics as they stepped out and begged them to hurry. They grabbed their supplies and a gurney and followed after Annie through the woods; back to Auggie.

When they arrived, Annie ran over to Auggie and saw that he had once again fallen unconscious and that he wasn't doing well. Annie was about to sit down near him again, but the paramedics pushed her out of the way so that they would be able to work. Suddenly, one of them shouted that he was flat lining. The young agent, who kept pressure on his wound before, was now holding Annie back as she was struggling in his arms. She was now allowing her tears to fall freely down her face.

The paramedics grabbed their defibrillator and used the paddles to try to revive Auggie. After shocking him three times, they were about to give up, but Annie begged them to try it one more time. When they did, it worked and Auggie's heart began to beat again slowly. Annie had never felt so scared, even on the night that she was nearly killed by an assassin during her first mission with the CIA.

Once he was finally stable enough, the paramedics carried Auggie on the stretcher to the helicopter. Annie followed behind them and sat down inside as soon as they made room for her to do so. She sat back and waited patiently for them to finally land at the hospital. Once it did, the paramedics rushed him inside and into the emergency room.

About thirty minutes later, Joan walked into the hospital, followed by Jai and two other agents. Annie expected Joan to ask her to explain to her everything that happened. However, the first thing Joan asked was if she was all right. Annie shook her head no and started to tell Joan about how she had gotten to where Richert had taken Auggie and why he was even involved in the first place.

"None of this was Auggie's fault, Joan," Annie began. "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. If anyone should be blamed, it's me."

"Annie, I don't blame either of you for anything," Joan replied. "You told me that you had invited Auggie to a party at your sister's. We learned that Richert had been following you around for almost as long as you had been following him, thanks to Jason Highmore. He told Richert and Greer everything. They must have figured that you and Auggie were dating and when they followed you back to his place, they decided to kidnap him in hopes of getting you to talk."

Annie nodded and continued, saying, "I did as you asked me to do when you ordered me to continue with my case. I went back to the park and waited for Richert to come out or go anywhere. I had no idea at that point that Richert was the one who kidnapped Auggie. Not until Greer came up from behind me and explained that if I wanted to see him again, I needed to go with him and leave my phone behind. I did as he asked. They brought me to a cabin in the woods where they were holding Auggie as well and left us alone to take care of some business. We knocked their guard dogs out and took one of their phones in order to send you the message. Then, we escaped and ran through the woods. Eventually, they found us. I was too busy concentrating on not being shot by Richert's two thugs, that I didn't hear Greer sneak up behind us. Auggie did and pushed me out of the way of a bullet that was meant for me. He was shot in the abdomen. I tried to protect him and in the end, he protected me. I'm so sorry."

Joan put a hand on Annie's shoulder and responded, "Auggie is much stronger than any of us ever give him credit for. He will pull through. In the meantime, go and get changed and washed up. Take some time to relax. I will have someone call you when we learn something."

Annie shook her head to comply and headed toward the restroom. She washed her hands and when she was finished, she pulled out her new cell phone, which was just given to her by Jai, and dialed her sister's number. She wasn't sure how she was going to explain Auggie getting shot, but she needed someone to talk to and someone who could give her the comfort that she needed as she waited to hear if the man she loved was going to survive.

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