One Breath Away

After quitting the force, Claire Owen now leads a "normal" life. With a fantastic job and loving family, everything is perfect; that is until a mysterious package arrives on her doorstep. The package tears her life in two, leaving her to pick between her future and her past.
However, only one path will allow her to remain alive.

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3. 3.

Claire awoke with a start, beads of sweat were slowly making their way down the side of her face. Her hand sprinted to her right hip, searching desperately for the heavy inanimate object which should be there. Remembering, she allowed herself to rest, lowered her guard. Nothing was in the bedroom that could harm her. She was safe here. Turning her head, she knew that the date was the fifth but she was curious of the time. Half past four am. That was an appropriate time to wake up, wasn't it? She didn't recall ever having woken up after one of her nightmares this late before. Normally, she woke up at about two-ish after the nightmare. She made use of the little power in her arms to sit herself up. After having a short stretch, she turned her attention to her husband.

Robert Owen was three years older than his wife at 37, but still had the energy of a teenager. Robert and Claire had met whilst working on the same job together, both had once worked in the homicide division of the Greater Manchester Police force. It had been a hostage situation, Robert had let his guard down for only a second but that was long enough for the suspect in the case to grab him and hold a knife to his neck. The other officers at the scene could do nothing but watch the suspect get away, slowly pacing backwards to find an escape route. Claire had heard on the radio that another officer was in trouble and she had arrived just in time. The suspect had let go of Robert (he was far enough away from the other officers at this point) and was running her way; she tackled him to the ground, pinning him down with the full force of her weight, placing her knee on the small of his back to stop him moving anywhere. Robert ran to her, placed handcuffs on him and he was put in jail for life. It was an unusual start to their relationship. 

Seeing his chest fall and rise steadily, she often wondered how her husband could sleep so easily at night; he had seen so much evil in his life. Being a top homicide detective, there had been many occasions on which Robert had been called away from his home to deal with very serious cases all across the UK. He had seen it all; families slaughtered in their beds at night, schoolchildren shot whilst doing long division, even the soul less eyes of a church congregation who had been tortured for weeks before their deaths. But even after all this, Robert Owen could still sleep as if there was nothing more important every single night. 

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