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Chapter 13

He was wheeled into a small room and Rossum felt his clothing being cut off. The small doctor looked at him again, “Mr. Rossum, we’re just about ready. I’m going to place this mask over your mouth and nose and you’re going to take some deep breaths and count back from 10. Is that all clear, Mr. Rossum?”

“Yes, that sounds good doc. Can you please remember to keep the bullet? I’m sure the FBI would like to attempt to trace it.”

“Yes, of course.” She held the mask over his face, “are you ready?”

“Wait!” he held his left hand up and blocked her hand, “Is there any way that if anything goes wrong…”

“Mr. Rossum, this is a very quick and easy procedure. Everything is going to be fine.”

“Yes I know, but just in case, can you tell Addison, the girl I came in with something?”

She pursed her lips and nodded, “Of course I can.”

“Just say…” he felt a needle enter by his wrist and something was injected. A warmth rushed over his whole body, “tell her… I l…I lo…her…”

The doctor laughed and put the mask on his face, “I will tell her you lo her, Mr. Rossum.”

And with that Rossum’s eyes closed and they didn’t open back up again.


Rossum had fallen asleep at his kitchen table, is hand clutching a small glass filled with a brown liquid. He rubbed his eyes and tried to get a clear look at his watch, but his eyes were bleary and he had to blink a few times before he could discern where the hands were. Six o’clock in the afternoon, he had fallen asleep shortly after four, after he had attempted to contact Addison once again. He had been doing that more frequently in the latter half of the week. The gut was something that Rossum had learned never to ignore and his gut was telling him that Addison was in danger. He didn’t know why, he didn’t know how, but he knew something awful was going to happen to her, but he also knew there was nothing he could do about it.

Every time he called Addison and her chipper voice announced her answering machine he knew he had to hang up. He explaining a gut feeling on her answering machine was going to sound like a desperate man grasping at his last hopes of getting her to call him back, so he would hang up and call back hoping to hear her voice so he would know she was okay. His stomach turned over again and he reached to his belt for his cell phone, ready to type in her familiar number when he saw that she had already called him. An unconscious smile spread across his face and he exhaled a relieved breath. The plus sign beside the red one showed that she had left a voicemail and he clicked on it, cursing himself for falling asleep and missing her call.

“Hi Agent Rossum.” Already he knew something was different. It was no longer a monotone voice. It was said with almost a smile, a tentative one, but that was all Rossum needed. “I know we haven’t been talking very much this past week, and I know that’s my fault. You’ve been trying to get a hold of me. Anyway, I’m standing in front of my apartment and the door is slightly open. I’m sure it’s nothing. I’m such a scatter brain, I’m sure I accidently left it like that, but for the life of me I can’t remember if I did.”

Rossum’s eyes narrowed and his stomach felt like it was going to jump right out of his gut, “don’t go inside, Addison, leave!” he yelled into the phone, but she continued speaking over him

“…of course, your voice popped into my head, but I must have left it open, it wouldn’t be the first time. So, now I’m the lunatic standing outside of my apartment talking about an open door to a voicemail, so I’m just going to go inside now. Sorry for yet another rambling message. I’ll see you soon. Um, bye.”

Addison hadn’t even finished her message before Rossum had his keys in his hand and was heading towards his door. He hastily shoved his cell into his pocket while he folded himself into his car and sped the familiar route to her apartment building. While he drove he tried to calm himself down. Addison had said it herself, she was scatterbrained. He had witnessed her leaving her door unlocked many times, but you’ve never seen her leave it wide open, have you? His mind argued back. But her building was expensive, they had to have some sort of security, he knew there was a doorman, they wouldn’t just let anyone up to the apartment. Even if they did Addison was a fighter, she wouldn’t let anyone get to her, that just wasn’t who she was. He would probably get there, burst inside and Addison would be sitting at the kitchen table and yell at him for over reacting. He called her again, but it rolled right over to voicemail like it had every time before that. His heart raced a little faster and his foot pressed down on the accelerator harder.

Everything was a blur. Nothing mattered except getting to her, seeing her, even if it meant her yelling at him. Finally, after what felt like hours he saw her apartment building. He pulled up to the front doors and almost fell out of his car trying to jump out. The doorman nodded at him, “Agent Rossum, it’s nice to see you. Go on up, I saw Addison come home about half an hour ago.”

“Thanks Tom, no one else has come to visit her today have they?” He asked tentatively.

“Not that I know of, but I only started at five, so I could be wrong. Is there someone specific you’re looking for?”

“No, no that’s fine. I’m going to run up and see her. See ya later, Tom.”

Tom nodded again and Rossum jumped into the elevator. Despite what Tom had said, his gut refused to settle. He hit the number eight button and held it down until the elevator began to move. It felt like the slowest elevator he had ever been on, but luckily it didn’t stop on any other floors. When the doors opened he purposefully walked to her door and listened for a moment. He heard nothing on the other side so he knocked softly on the door, then waited. He strained his hearing trying to make anything out, but he heard nothing, not a thing, which was strange. Tom hadn’t said anything about Addison leaving, and even if she was still upset with him he would be able to hear her inside, so he knocked again more purposefully and after a moment spoke.

“Addy?” he tried to keep his voice calm, if there was someone in there with her, he didn’t want to spook them into killing her, “I got your message and you never called back, but what worried me more was that your phone was going straight to voicemail. If you’re in there can you please answer me?”

Yet again there was nothing, so Rossum jiggled the door handle. It moved freely, but the door wouldn’t budge which meant the deadbolt was in place. Finally he heard something from inside. A footstep, maybe a quiet voice, but he pressed his ear to the door desperate to hear more. What he heard next made his heart flip.

“Rossum, I’m fine.” Addison’s voice was calm steady. Much like it had been to him earlier in the week, but something was different. She hadn’t called him agent like she had been, but didn’t call him Ross either. Her voice felt too calm, eerie even, but he listened on. “I’m sorry I left you that message, I must have been paranoid. Calling was a stupid decision, I don’t need you to jump in and save me all the time. I’m not a damsel. Just go home, Rossum.”

The words were all hers, he knew that. She wasn’t speaking from a script, ‘I don’t need you to save me all the time. I’m not a damsel.’ That was one hundred percent Addison, but there was also something off. Her words said she was mad, but her voice was steady and insistent. She was pleading with him to leave, but there was an underlying tone that he had never heard from her. Maybe it was trepidation, maybe it was fear, maybe it was nothing at all, but it was enough to convince him that he had to get into that apartment whether she wanted him to, or not.

He took a few steps away from the door and squared his shoulder preparing it for impact. He didn’t want to think about it for too long and lose his nerve, so he took and deep breath and ran full speed at the solid door. The wood splintered and he tumbled inside. Assessing the situation, Rossum bolted to his feet just in time to jump in front of a hooded figure wielding a gun. The shot was fired, but he heard nothing. His right shoulder was thrust back as his body was being pulled towards the hardwood floor. A burning pain ripped through his whole right side and he felt the air escape his body, but his eyes stayed open. The hooded figure slipped the gun into his waistband and calmly stepped over Rossum who still couldn’t move.

He heard Addison yell his name, and the sound of wood rocking on wood. Rossum felt exhausted, but gathered all of the energy that he had left and rocked his body onto his back. He sharply inhaled when his shoulder screamed in pain. He blinked his eyes so he could finally look at Addison. She was hunched over pulling at something on her ankles, but her long hair was blocking his view, and his chest was burning so much that he didn’t think he could speak yet. She pulled off whatever she was working on and stumbled closer to Rossum. For some reason she was only wearing a bra and underwear and it made Rossum bubble with rage. The next thing he noticed was there was blood everywhere. He didn’t know who it was coming from because Addison had already made it over to him and pulled his wounded shoulder to her chest. She said something, but Rossum was not listening to her. He wanted to make sure that if all that blood was coming from him that she wouldn’t stop going into the office or doing what they did.

He reached up to her face and cupped her cheek, “Don’t give up, Addy, don’t ever stop looking for the truth.”

When he pulled his hand away he noticed that he left a print of blood on her face, she didn’t seem to notice because once again she was saying something. He closed his eyes for a moment when he felt pressure on his shoulder, he knew he had been shot and was trying to focus on his breathing. He wanted to determine if a lung had been hit, but every time he closed his eyes he found it harder and harder to open them back up. A light tap on his cheek forced his eyes open again and he heard Addison telling him to stay awake, “…Look at this beautiful face; you wouldn’t want to look away would you? It would make me awfully offended.”

Rossum smiled slightly, but could feel his energy steadily draining from him. Addison had looked around the room and at herself before looking at him and speaking again, “Rossum, I need you to answer a question for me. It’s really important so you have to listen to me. Where is your cell phone? It’s not on your belt like it usually is.”

He slightly nodded and tried to pull his right arm from the floor, but Addison quickly, but lightly pushed it down and told him that she would grab it. Saying anything felt like running a marathon, so he squeezed his eyelids closed and gathered his energy, “Breast pocket, inside.”

He felt her grab it and listened as she spoke with the 911 operator. For some strange reason his mind went to the night outside of the bar where she was dancing around in the rain. Rossum so desperately wanted to live long enough to see the look on her face again; he wanted to feel that look on his face. All he wanted was to live through that night, but he knew in his heart, if he didn’t it would be worth it to assure that Addison did. He looked over at her as she yelled into his cell phone about not shooting Rossum. He wanted to laugh, but he settled on just a slight smile. When Addison patted him down he wiped it off his face and closed his eyes again.

Sirens were in the distance and he was relieved. There was no blood in his mouth, and although he found it exhausting to breathe he was still able to, so he was confident that he hadn’t punctured a lung. Rossum stole a quick look at Addison. She had blood from her face all the way down to her knees, but he couldn’t see any specific wounds. He reasoned that most if it could be his blood, and she was up and walking around suggesting that she was fine. He felt okay to close his eyes knowing that Addison was alright, knowing that he had made it just in time, knowing that he had saved her.

She heard him call from beside her, “we’re in here!”

After that Rossum blacked out for a little until he felt a light warmth on his hand. When he opened his eyes Addison’s green ones were filled with concern, but she had a tentative smile on her face, “we’re going to the hospital, Ross, you’re going to be just fine, okay?”

Rossum wanted to put her at ease. He wanted her to feel like everything was going to be okay. So, he returned her smile, “I’m holding you to that.”

The paramedic bustled around him all the way to the hospital, not saying a word. Addison was also silent, but she kept a firm hold on his hand when she could, but he was still slipping in and out of consciousness.

The next time he woke up he was being wheeled through a dimly lit hallway. The two paramedics were at either end of the stretcher, Addison was on his left and a small lady in green scrubs who he assumed was the doctor was on his right examining his shoulder. He perked up when Addison spoke, “he doesn’t have any allergies. He is, however an FBI agent so please be very careful with him, he’s important.”

“She’s right,” Rossum managed to choke this out letting everyone know that he was conscious, “About the allergies not the important person stuff.”

The doctor looked at his face and smiled sweetly. She asked his name and he told her, she then informed him that they would be going directly into surgery. Then, Addison squeezed his hand and he saw the tears in her eyes, he had never seen that before. She stared into her eyes in the way that feels like she is seeing your soul and spoke softly, “I’m going to be right here waiting for you okay? I’ll be there the second you wake up. Don’t you die on me.”

Rossum thought he saw one single tear fall down her cheek, but in a flash it was gone and she was speaking to the doctor. Next, they pulled Addison away from Rossum and he hoped that those were not the last words he ever heard her speak. That it was not the last time he looked into those emerald eyes. That he would be able to see her smile again someday.

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