Of Things Broken

Twenty One

Kensi rolled onto her side as much as she could in the cramped space. Her skull ached, but it was a small, manageable pain. She was more concerned by the twine wrapped tightly around both of her wrists, binding them together behind her back. Nagging tiredness made her bones feel heavy and thick.

Dried blood glued her shirt to her side. She pressed her arm against the wound, feeling only deep soreness and not the sharp, burning pain of a gunshot would. "Must have just grazed me," she said into the darkness. "Guess that I got lucky." She winced, thinking about the old lady who Williams had killed.

Something clicked in her mind as she replayed the scene. The bullet shattered the window. It came from outside of the apartment. The son of a bitch has a partner.

New urgency filled her with fresh energy. She felt about as much as she could. Nothing useful brushed against her fingers, only scraps of paper and bits of wood. She picked a splinter up, experimentally bending it between her hands. It broke in half and she let it drop again, disappointment humming through her.

Exhaust fumes seeped into the trunk, strong enough to make her feel light-headed. She ignored the feeling, bringing her knees as far up to her chest as she could. Working carefully, she slid her arms down, grunting a little from the effort as she struggled to get her hands in front of herself.

Her thumb caught on the side of her boot. She braced herself, then yanked as hard as she could, crying out as something in her hand cracked. Another yank, and her arms were in front of her, burning like she'd just lifted too much weight in the gym.

The car rattled nosily as it bumped over a rough patch in the road. She slid a little as it turned and sped up again.

Felt like railway tracks, she thought absently as she lifted her hands to her mouth, biting down on the thick, rough twine. It hurt her teeth, but she kept it up, fraying the binding until she was sure it would break easily when she needed it to.

Her heart raced as the car slowed. She swallowed hard and flipped onto her back, hiding the frayed twine. Training had her muscles tensed and ready to spring the second the trunk opened.

Damn bastard, she thought. Wish that I'd shot him when I had the chance. Then at least, I'd have been able to explain to Deeks why I practice shooting people in the groin.

Her partner's name brought a rush of emotion to her chest. She swallowed hard, banishing it until later, when she had time and space to deal with the feelings. They faded to a dull ache right under her breastbone.

Gravel pinged against the bottom of the car as it coasted to a halt. She felt the car shift as he got out, slamming the door behind him. The trunk lid opened bare seconds later, flooding the small space with dim, yellow light. He loomed over her, backlit by the street lamp. Her gun stuck out of the front waistband of his jeans.

She squinted at him. "Where are you taking me?" she asked quietly.

He leaned in and grabbed her arm, hauling her upright. She went with the motion, using his own momentum against him as she slammed her head forward, aiming for his nose. Her forehead crashed into his face with a solid thud that left a few stars swirling in her eyes. She pushed past them, pulling her arms apart. The twine snapped and released her hands. She brought them up, reaching for her gun.

Her fingers wrapped around the handle just before he shoved her away, breaking her grip with painful force. Her boot caught him hard in the shin. It tore a grunt from his lips. She rolled away from him, freezing when the cold barrel of a handgun pressed against the back of her skull.

"Hands where I can see them, Ms. Blye," a female voice said from behind her. "Oh, don't worry. We know all about you NCIS agents. Detective Deeks has been feeding us information for weeks now."

"He'd never do that," Kensi stated, voice filled with sure certainty. "I know him. He's too good a cop to compromise an operation like that."

Gravel crunched as the person behind her shifted. "You can stand up now. My partner here is going to cuff you. Don't try anything stupid. I'd hate to have to shoot you."

Kensi eased to her feet, muscles locked on the urge to move as Williams fastened metal cuffs around her wrists. They felt cold and heavy.

"Now what?" she asked, looking directly at Williams. A black eye was already forming, and she smiled a little in grim satisfaction. "What comes next in your grand plan?"

He ignored her taunt and grabbed her arm, pulling her towards an empty house. "Well, I was going to go with plan B- shoot you in the head, but my partner wants me to go for plan A."

She let her eyes roam, taking in every detail that she could, searching for anything that she could use later to help herself. There was nothing promising in sight. A few rusty cars dotted the large, weedy spot. Assorted tires and car doors formed a make-shift fence. The street beyond it was run down and unremarkable, with nothing to distinguish it from the many others like it.

Oppressive heat hit her as soon as they stepped inside of the building. She let herself be guided down onto a hard wooden chair, looking around with trepidation. "What's plan A?" she asked quietly.

He pulled out her cell phone and a sharp knife. "Torture you until you tell me where you partner is." He threw the phone onto her lap. "But first, you're going to phone your boss and tell her not to bother sending agents after you." He ran the blade down her neck. "I want the money and Deeks within an hour, or I'll kill you."


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