Blonde hair streaming, blood spilling, and a girl who'd barely lived dead asprawl the stairs. Heat of the barrel in his face and cordite stinging his nostrils: hot chill of defeat, of rage.
Bite of rope on his wrists, slap across the face, punch in the gut: and promise singing in his blood, fierce as the lighter's flame searing his skin, burning him free to surge up over Parker crumpling at his feet. Blond head bowed, blood spilling; captive, but alive.
Bodie's solid warmth beside him, shoulder pressed to his.
"You'll save me," he once told Bodie.
And Bodie did.