I had no idea my son knew how to handle a gun. As he stood there, angrily defending his little brother, several emotions crashed around in side of me; pride that he was behaving like a man, sadness that he was not my baby boy anymore, and guilt that I had placed my family in this situation.

“You could shoot me,” taunted the captor, “but if your Dad had just given us the access codes in the first place, you wouldn’t be in this mess.” My oldest flinched, but didn’t lower the barrel from the man’s head.

“Don’t listen to him, Son. They’d have killed all of us already if they were on a disk. The only reason we’re alive is because the codes are in my head.” His eyes flitted to me, and in that brief second, the captor dropped Markie and hurled the knife at Richard.

“No!” I jumped for the man’s arm, and the gun fired.BOOM I felt my own outstretched arm open, blood coloring my linen shirt. But the bullet grazed through my flesh and struck the man in the belly. His knife lodged in Richard’s thigh.

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