Gillian looked up from the file she was working on. Wow. It was after 3pm. No wonder she was so stiff. She had been sitting at her desk, buried in this paperwork since 9am. Her stomach growled. It's amazing she hadn't been interrupted. It's unusual for her not to be bombarded with phone calls or visits from the staff. Cal must not be in the office. She hadn't had to referee or intervene in any crisis all day!
Gillian stood up and stretched. She walked over to the window and looked out. The sun was shining brightly. Getting out of the office sounded wonderful at the moment-no matter how hot it was. She grabbed her purse and headed down the hall. Cal's office was empty.
Heidi was the only one Gillian saw on her way out. "I'm heading out for a bite to eat Heidi. Can I get you anything?" She asked the receptionist.
"No thanks, Dr. Foster. I'm good." Heidi responded.
"If anyone needs me, I have my cell. I won't be long."
Gillian walked out the front door and felt the heat soak into her skin. It felt good to be outside. There was nothing like a walk in the DC heat and humidity to make you appreciate air conditioning. The sandwich shop was two blocks away. Gillian didn't feel the excessive heat until she got there. 'Perfect timing. I can cool off and be ready for the walk back.'
She walked into the shop and noticed immediately how empty it was. It was after the lunch rush, but she didn't even see any employees. She turned toward the door to make sure the "closed" sign wasn't flipped and she missed it. She heard a loud voice coming from the back room. Before she could turn toward it, she was hit hard from behind. Her breath caught in her chest. She fell into a table and hit her head. She felt a sharp pain on her temple and then warmth on the side of her face. She tried to look up but she was dizzy and couldn't get her bearings. A man's voice was yelling at her. She was trying to focus but everything was blurry. She heard him say "Give me your purse! Give me your purse!" Before she could give it to him, the man grabbed her wrist and twisted it. He jerked the purse from her arm and dumped it on the floor. She tried to look up at him and he yelled "Don't look at me!" The man pointed a gun at her and yelled again "I said don't look at me!" He kicked her in the side so hard she slid a few feet. Gillian couldn't think straight. It was hard to breathe. She felt pain in her head and chest. All she wanted to do was close her eyes. She curled on her side and everything went black.
Gillian heard voices around her. She felt someone touching her. She panicked and started fighting. She felt strong hands holding her arms. She screamed.
"It's okay. It's okay. I'm here to help you. Just, calm down." It wasn't the bad guy's voice. This voice was calm and the hands grasping her were gentle. "It's okay. I'm a Police Officer. You're safe now." She managed to open her eyes and saw a gold badge.
"What happened?" She asked. Gillian tried to sit up but the pain stopped her. She was shaking.
The gold badge man said "No, no, stay put. There are medics on the way."
"I'm okay. I just need to get up." Gillian argued. The strong arms held her in place.
"I'm sorry, but you don't look okay. You're hurt. So, please, just relax a few. The medics are close. If they say you're okay, then I'll personally help you up." Gillian saw the concern on the man's face. She stopped fighting and closed her eyes, willing the pain and the shaking to go away.
Gold badge man asked for her name. "Gillian. Gillian Foster."
"Well, Gillian Foster. The medics are here. I'm gonna move out of the way so they can take a look at you, okay?"
"Okay." Gillian opened her eyes and saw the two medics. They were asking her questions: "Do you know where you are? What is the date? What day of the week is it? Who is the president? " She answered them all, she was pretty sure, correctly. They looked at her head and wiped the blood away. The one medic said she looked as if she needed a few stitches. They put a bandage on the cut to stop the bleeding. They asked her to take a few deep breaths. She tried but it was so painful to breathe. They checked her blood pressure, her pulse, and shined a light into her eyes. She cringed from the light.
"Ms. Foster you appear to have a concussion and you need a doctor to take a look at that cut. You're ribs are, at the very least, badly bruised. You'll need some x-rays to be sure. We're going to transport you to the hospital. Okay?" The medics had a stretcher and started getting it ready for her.
Gillian hated this feeling of helplessness. It was so damned hard to keep her eyes open… She could feel herself being picked up and placed on the stretcher. She could still feel herself shaking. 'Jesus, Gillian. Get a grip.' She scolded herself even though she knew the shaking was just her body responding to the traumatic event.
A familiar voice said "Ms. Foster, I'm Detective Parker. I'll meet you at the hospital. I need to ask you a few questions about what happened here." Gold badge man.
"Okay." Gillian was so tired. She just wanted to sleep. She closed her eyes and gave in to the blackness.