Week 27 has arrived in Thane in Vain’s Flash Fiction challenge! This week, the theme was thus:
A journalist writing a story about living on death row begins to fall for one of the inmates she’s interviewing.
I’ll admit, I cheated a little on this one, in that the falling in love part has been shifted slightly, but I like the results so I’m going to run with it. Here is “The Pen is Mightier.”
It was almost time. She felt her heart pound as she heard the thick, heavy bars in the hall beyond. She fidgeted in the hard plastic seat of the visiting room, and a thought slipped through her head.
Should I really be doing this?
It was only a brief thought. Of course she should. She was Samantha Hanes. She had a Pulitzer, for God’s sake, spent time embedded in war zones, survived an attack on her position there. She had nothing to fear.
She fidgeted anyway.
The door opened, and she stifled a gasp.
Jonathon Lemay entered in chains. A part of her, a kinky part of her, stirred. She suppressed it. Must be professional. The guards led Lemay to a chair, fit his chains into slots in the floor. One turned to her.
“We’ll be right outside of the door. Don’t get too close. If you feel the need, hit the panic button.”
“Thank you,” she nodded. They left, leaving her with Lemay.
He was beautiful. She blushed to think it, but it was truth. He was tall, symmetrical, thick hair and eyes a gorgeous shade of blue. His physique, divine. Better than it had been in Iraq.
His eyes narrowed. She felt her face flush again.
He remembered her! Her heart pounded with fear and delight. She felt her breath grow heavier. She lingered on thoughts that were definitely unprofessional.
“Why are you here?”
Her vision of him broke, for a moment.
“I’m here to interview you, Mr. Lemay. I’m doing a story on the life of prisoners on death row. I know we have personal history, but I convinced them I could keep things professional.”
His confusion bothered her. She straightened her blouse, perked out her breasts.
“You don’t have to be coy, Jon. They aren’t listening. I paid a lot to ensure that.”
“Please,” she said with a nervous chuckle, “Sam. You know you can call me Sam.”
She didn’t like the look on his face. Didn’t like it at all. He was supposed to be grateful, damn it; he was supposed to be happy! It was her turn to be the savior, to make him fall in love.
Like he had done to her. In Iraq.
But who was she? Just a journalist? He saved her life, yes, and won her heart. But he didn’t want it. He had another, a girl waiting back home. But that was ok. She didn’t want him either, before he saved her life. She knew that.
That’s why the girl back home had to go away. That’s why she had to make it look like he’d killed her. It wasn’t hard. She’d trained with them, after all. She saw how they worked. And once he was here, in prison?
She could save his life. She would make him love her. She may not have a gun, but she had a pen. She smiled.
After all, the pen was so much mightier than the sword.