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Tru Calling: Relief

Chapter One: Promise

"You know, I almost thought you weren't going to show up," Jack Harper said, casually leaning against a brick wall and looking at the brunette that now stood before him. She was his opposite, the antithesis of everything he stood for. She was strong, fierce, intelligent, beautiful…

They had agreed to meet in this alleyway late at night once a blanket of thick darkness had covered the city. It was in this alleyway where their actions could be obscured by both the darkness and random passerby. Dim light from the street lamps on the main street could barely illuminate the alleyway.

"People today are full of surprises, Jack," Tru Davies spat, her voice dripping with saccharin sweetness.

"Well, then color me touched," Jack teased.

"Don't flatter yourself," Tru sneered, holding her ground, if only for a little while longer. "Can we just get this over with?"

Jack chuckled. "I do love this feisty side of you, Tru. Though you seemed more eager to kiss me behind that tree at Jensen's funeral."

"That was a mistake. A stupid mistake. And as I recall, you were the one who kissed me. I should never have been so-…"

"Angry?" he cut in.

"Confused, angry… I don't know… I just…" her voice deflated. "I needed to see you again, okay?"

"Why?" he challenged her.

"Because… because what you told me a few nights before I killed Jensen actually made sense. About the balance. So when you showed up at Jensen's funeral, I was still so angry with you for telling me how I had created this monster, but then you told me you wanted to talk to me in private, so we went behind a tree and I was about to yell at you again when-…"

"When I did this," he replied, moving forward and capturing her lips in his. He breathed in her sweet intoxicating scent as waves of invisible electricity rippled through both of them. In this moment, they were able to get lost in one another.

Tru's arms encircled Jack's neck as her fingers combed roughly through the maze of his short hair. Jack's arms were around Tru's waist as one hand stayed on the small of her back and his other hand moved up her neck, finding sanctuary in her dark brown curls. It wasn't long before he was peeling off her denim jacket and it seemed as though nothing could disrupt their moment of blissful ecstasy…

Suddenly, there was a noise and the two of them sprang apart, both breathing heavily.

"Did you hear that?" Jack whispered, as he turned to face the direction that the noise had just come from. It sounded as though it had come from the opposite end of the alleyway where the beginning of the alleyway met with a part of the sidewalk and city street.

"Yeah," Tru replied. "What was it?"

"I'm not sure," Jack told her. "Stay here."

"Jack…" she whispered; she was suddenly gripping his upper arm tightly, barely conscious of what she was doing.

He gently pulled out of her firm grip. "Just stay here."

He took a few steps forward and called out into the vast darkness. "Hello? Is anyone there?"

Just then, the smallest glimpse of a shadow caught Jack's eye. Seconds later, the cacophony of a gunshot rang through the air, piercing the darkness with its reverberation.

And then a scream.

"Jack!"

Whipping around without any time to identify the source of the noise, he saw Tru lying on the ground, a pool of dark crimson staining the lavender blouse she wore underneath the denim jacket.

"Tru…"

He was by her side in an instant as he gently lifted her upper body into his lap.

"Oh, my God, Tru…" he said breathlessly, placing his right hand on the gunshot wound and trying to apply gentle pressure to stop the flow of blood.

Shiny tears now streamed down Tru's cheeks. "It hurts," she whispered, now clutching his arm even tighter and moaning in pain. "Please, Jack…"

"I'm gonna get help, OK?" he told her as his other hand managed to grab the cell phone in his pocket and shakily dialed the numbers. The words that came out of his mouth tumbled out in a breathless garble, not even sounding like his own voice. An ambulance was on its way.

"I'm getting you some help, OK?" he repeated to her softly, brushing strands of hair away from her eyes and wiping the tears from her wet cheeks. "I'm getting you some help. I'm right here."

Her voice came out in soft pants as she spoke. "If I… if I ask… I promise… I promise I'll ask you. I promise, Jack. I'm going to ask."

"No, Tru. You have to stay with me, OK? You have to stay awake. Stay with me…"

"I'm so sleepy. It hurts too much. I'll ask… I promise… Jack…"

Her vision swam out of focus as her eyelids became heavy, slowly fluttering closed. As she tumbled into oblivion, Jack's fingers were on her neck, checking for a pulse.

It was weak, but…

She's still alive.

"I won't lose you, Tru," he told her, stroking her hair and kissing her forehead as he felt his voice quiver. "And if I do…"

He gulped nervously, but could not force more oxygen into his lungs. He could hardly breathe anymore… not when she was like this… not until he knew she'd be alright. He forced himself to try and focus on breathing again; his voice cracked the interminable silence that now threatened to swallow him.

"And if I do… just promise me. Promise me you'll ask."

To be continued…