XIX. Tooth for a Tooth

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Her footsteps echoed around the tunnel. The two guards stepped aside to let her pass through the metal doors. Her hand was steady as were her footsteps as she continued to walk down the corridor, her guards right behind her.

Turning a corner, she continued further until she reached a door. She held out her hand and one of her guards took the gun from her hand. She opened the bag and took out the tablet. Dropping the bag as though it was poison, Monica entered pushed open the door and stepped inside.

Victor Hong was sitting on a leather couch, his leg crossed over the other. His smile was one of pride.

"How did it go?" her father asked.

Monica smiled and blew out a breath. She shrugged. "She's gone." She walked to the couch across from his and sat down, leaning over to place the tablet on the coffee table between them. She crossed her legs and stared at her father. "You should not have doubted me, Victor."

*****

"Hang in there, darling," Theo said before Desiree was wheeled through the doors.

As the operating room disappeared through the closing doors, Theo stood still, not knowing what to do next.

It had been a perfect plan. It should have been a perfect plan.

"Fuck!" he shouted, kicking the vending machine. He rubbed his hands over his face, the image of Desiree falling on the ground flashing in his mind. "Oh God, Des..." he gasped out, leaning against the wall. Suddenly he felt limp. This was his entire fault, he said to himself. He had let this happen. He did this to her.

Sliding down on the floor, Theo grabbed his phone and called his brother.

*****

He knew something had gone wrong after the thirty-minute time allowance.

And when his phone rang and he saw Theo's number on the screen, his thoughts went to Monica. No, she could not have failed, he said to himself.

He pushed the button and held the phone to his ear without uttering a word.

"Des... she's... Des is in the OR," his brother's pained voice said from the other line.

Richard jumped to his feet and rushed out of the café. "Where?" he asked, jumping into the car.

"She fucking shot her, Richard. That bitch shot her!" Theo cried out from the other line.

"What the fuck are you talking about?" he asked, a frown on his face.

"Just get your fucking ass over here."

Richard's heart started to ram against his chest.

No.

No.

Fucking no.

His jaw tightened. "Where?" he asked as he started the car.

*****

Monica stared at the screen, her heart thumping hard.

The news of the incident had gone viral, but her father assured her that the shooting was going to remain unsolved. The only image captured of the shooting was of Desiree falling on the side of the street. Monica and the guards were not seen.

As she watched Theo run toward his wife, Monica turned the television off and sighed in relief.

But her heart was still beating hard.

Her father watched her from across the room.

"They'll come after me," she said with certainty.

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