Blake worked late that night . It wasn't unusual for him except for the fact that it was his birthday . Before he left the house he had a blow out with his wife . She was complaining that he left her gas tank and on empty the other day when he borrowed her Aston to pick up their son Pasquale. Kate was always busy too.She worked for a fashion designer on 5th avenue. Although she did most of her work from home she was often in the city at trade shows,and consignment shops. Tonight she and Blake had dinner plans at Claudio's on Main.He looked at his watch then texted. Working till 8 meet. See you at Cllaudios . Order my usual .He picked up the landline on his desk and dialed . He had the number memorized. This wasn't unusual since he has known Chuck for most of his life.They were childhood friends then went on to the Naval Academy together . He wasn't calling to speak to chuck . He wanted Mary. "Gilmore and Raddison Mary speaking .""I'll be there in 10 minutes" said Blake . You got time for a quickie.""For you? Of course!"They always teased each other like that .Mary was tall with a curvy figure and had crimson hair,full lips and sparkling blue eyes.If he wasn't a happily married man...He blocked the thought from his head.Mary always dressed on the other side of business casual.The clients at G&R were greeted with a warm smile.Her long athletic  legs were usually in Thigh Highs  which barely reached the bottom hem of her mini skirt. She wore sold color blouses tucked in and open at the neck . Chuck thinks it's good for business I think it's a fucking distraction. He is always asking her to do filing. Not so coincidentally the filing cabinet is in his office .When he arrived at Gilmore and Raddison just two blocks from where he worked he looked up at the 100 story skyscraper and focused in on the 10th floor as he always had. He knew exactly which office it was out of the seven hundred and seventy seven windows facing him.The lights in the office were off.Something was wrong . Through the sheer office curtains He saw two figures silhouetted against the  bright light of the full moon. There was clearly a struggle.He was all too familiar with what a violent confrontation looked like. Mary stands at 5.10 and her assailant was at least a head taller. Blake was physically fit six foot three and well muscled . He had the intense feeling of an adrenaline rush coming on. His breathing got faster he began to feel the sweat forming under his arm pits. He felt energetic, his sight was keener.He knew this feeling so well from his days as a Navy Seal. Just before the shit hit the fan he felt a sudden rush . He dropped his briefcase and bolted through the front door nearly knocking over Samson the door man . He yelled,"Sammy call 911 it's Mary!" He knew right away that he was going to take the stairs.  I will be up their in 2 minutes he thought . Crap!. Not enough time.He would have to break his record he set the other day if she was going to save her.After sprinting up 20 flights of stairs he would make a left down the corridor and burst through suite 10c .
Chuck and Blake shared client information.It was the perfect set up. They  had thought of this when serving together in Iraq. When their time was up they would not reenlist.The plan was to become business partners,Chuck an attorney and Blake an Investment Banker.Blake was to stop in for a second to get the profile of a client they shared.Mary would print out brief background checks on all of their clients and supply Blake with them upon request . 
When he got there she was lying prone on the the carpet.Her attacker was gone. "Mary! Mary! Can you hear me." No response. He carefully rolled her over and looked at the red marks and blotches on the front and sides of her neck.The marks,like a constellation  displayed the shape of her assaulters large hands . Why  would anybody do this. He put his face up against hers. Her  familiar vanilla almond scent filled his nose.  He listened for breathing and  looked for the rise and fall of her chest.Next, he placed his middle and index finger on her neck to the side of her windpipe. No pulse!His entire assessment took fifteen seconds. He knew there had to be one in here somewhere. He could hear the sirens now and the echoing sound of fading footsteps scampering down the stairs.Strange? Help should be coming up the stairs.  He dismissed the thought."Defibrillator!  I need to find it ."He new he had two maybe three minutes to revive her before brain death.There was no time. He placed the  heel of his right hand over the center of her chest, his other on top of the first and began Chest compressions.By the time the EMTs arrived Mary was breathing again . 

Characters in The Journey.
Blake Veteran of the First Iraq war and an ex Navy Seal.Made a killing on Collateral Debt Obligations at BNP Paribas.  He got out before loosing it all. He owns his own Investment banking firm and still drives his 15 year old beat up Chevy suburban . 
Travis Brother of Blake a highly intelligent, social outcast . On a self discovery journey in the Alps. He holds a black belt in Aikido. He despises social structure. Once while dining at Maxims-de-Paris with Blake he farted clearing the surrounding tables. When everybody returned he did it again.Jasmine-Her true nature is happy , warm hearted, friendly,and spontaneous. A bad marriage to a sloppy, overweight couch potato left her being  a Debbie Downer . She  believes that in life all bad things happen to her . However,lately, she is on  an upswing and just finished getting her masters degree online.Newly single,she is often  unpredictable and known for cancelling plans at the last minute. She is self  indulgent and her new motto in life is find happiness before misery finds you. She once woke up at 3am from restless leg,got in her car and drove 300 miles to NYC for a slice of Rays Famous Pizza and an Orang Julius.

The End

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