She could still feel the weight of his head on her shoulder when he slumped forward. The blood that had soaked her blouse was cold now, thick and sticky and dark, and though she’d scrubbed her hands so many times already, she saw her fingerprints leaving red stains on the phone even as Jones handed it to her.
He should hear it from me, she’d said. It was all she’d said at first, and it had taken the team several minutes to ease a statement out of her.
Peter answered. On his way.
A wave of relief, a wave of speech, but none of it got through.
"Neal. I need to talk to Neal."
More words. Some of them were questions. “Let me talk to Neal, hon.” The words were heavy. Had she arranged them the right way? “Neal,” she said, just to be safe. She was sitting now, on the bottom stair. When had she moved there? More words in her ear.
And then his voice. Elizabeth?
And the world went sharp. Too sharp. She could see every splinter of the broken chair across the room, hear every rustle of fabric from every one of the two dozen people in her home.
Her mouth was sticky and dry.
"There were four of them. He took out three." If he hadn’t been there, they’d have taken her alive. No killing. Don’t say that.
"Diana’s making sure that everything is off the record. They won’t put him in the system."
She could feel a question coming. Where were they taking him? How was he? How bad is it? What are the EMTs saying? Heard Neal drawing breath and knew that she couldn’t let him ask any of them.
Silence on the line.
El, how are you?
I’m… I’m holding up. What about you? Getting packed for London?
OH MY GOD DO IT GUYS. DO IT. DOOOO IIIIT.