“When they ask, your gun jammed.”
Michael’s words are so softly spoken that my ears struggle to hear; and even when the words do register, I think I’ve misunderstood him. “What?” I hiss, confused.
His eyes flicker from the guard and back to mine. “They’ll want to know why you didn’t make the kill,” he says silently. “You have to be ready with an explanation.”
I’m aghast, and lean in towards Michael. “But – I can’t lie to Division!” I tell him, my voice a terrified whisper. “They’ll know!”
He shakes his head slightly, a tiny movement. His expression is sober, his gaze staring off into the distance, fixed on a point I can’t recognise. “And if they discover you couldn’t kill the target, what then?”
I swallow, the full weight of what I’ve done slamming home. I couldn’t pull the trigger. My target was at my mercy, knelt before me, begging for his life… and I couldn’t do it. Michael’s right, of course – if Division finds out, they’ll have no use for me. According to the government, I don’t exist – so they’ll be no problem in getting rid of me.
Heavy footsteps break me from my horrified thoughts. They crash down the corridor and the cell door flies open. The burly man standing there completely fills the doorway, scowling down at me from the ceiling.
“Bring the girl,” he grunts. The guard who’s been watching us grabs me. His hand is a vice around my arm, yanking me off my feet and out of the cell.
My last thought is to look back for Michael, for an answer, for some kind of reassurance. His dark eyes bore into mine, as serious as I’ve ever seen him. His chin dips in a nod just as the cell door slams shut, and I am left alone with the guard – and a decision to make.
Do I lie or do I confess? Exactly how far can I trust Division?