Security in the building was poor: no locked front entrance, elevators and stairs easily accessed without a code to enter, or magnetic card to swipe. I rode the lift up with an uneasy feeling. My gun was sitting on my back hip as a measure of security, at the ready, covered by the tail of my shirt. The long hallway of beat-up beige walls and worn, stained gray carpeting led to his front office door where the security normally started, the sign spelling out “Colorado Cyber Border Security.” But when I reached for the handle I found it ajar. Leaning back against the sidewall, I used my foot to push it open, careful of danger. Nothing happened, so I peered around the door jam, seeing nothing. I moved in low and up against the stucco, watching, and hearing anything that moved. The office wasn’t large, two openings, one on each side, each with a door. The first on the left was closed, the one on the right open. The office of the man I was supposed to meet, his nameplate mounted in brass.
Creeping closer, I could hear noise now, though faint. Someone was there, but I wasn’t about to call out and bring attention to myself. Caution at the situation got my heart racing. Instinctively, my gun was poised in my right hand, the left one still taped from an injury. As I closed on the final doorway, I counted to myself and on three sprung, ready to strike.
I entered, quickly surveying the scene, gun at my side. A man stood there, about my height and weight, with curly blond hair and bushy sideburns. He turned and pointed his gun at me, since I was slow to raise mine. I recognized the face. One I knew well, but didn’t care for. He aimed center mass, looking as if he’d fire at any moment, his hand a little shaky. Adam King, a fellow private detective, a foe I had encountered before because of his attempts at stealing my clients, stood there nervously, sweat beads covering his pale face, appearing a bit scared. A dead body lay behind him, the cyber security expert I was supposed to meet, an apparent bullet hole in his head.
“Don’t move, Jarvis,” he said with a tremor in his voice, his finger on the trigger of his 9mm.
My mind searched for a snappy comeback or brilliant idea to get me out of this situation. Nothing came to mind as time froze still. There was little I could do but stand there and let him shoot me.
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