She was giving me that look, as though she didn't know if she should hug me or hit me. "What if Tony realizes we've tricked him? What if he kills Nickie just to pay me back? You know he's capable of it."
"We'll get to her before Tony realizes anything is wrong."
"I don't know ..."
I could see the worry in her dark eyes. "You have to trust me."
She shook her head. "I can't do that."
I couldn't expect her to, either. Not after everything she'd been through, but she didn't have much choice, and I told her so.
"Fine," she said resolutely. "Let's just keep moving."
I looked around again. An old station wagon that had seen better days was parked on the far side of the lot. "Grab your bag," I told her, "and follow me."
She did as I'd suggested and we hurried over to the other side of the parking lot. I kept my eyes peeled for anyone who looked like the owner of the car coming out of the restaurant, but so far everything was quiet.
I spotted a small rock on the ground not too far away, and s.n.a.t.c.hed it up. With a sharp smack of the rock against the driver's window, I smashed a hole in the gla.s.s. Reaching in through the hole, I pulled open the lock, which disengaged all the locks in the car, and then yanked open the door.
"Gotcha." I turned to Vee. "Jump in, but stay low."
She climbed over to the pa.s.senger seat and slid down into it, so only the top of her head was visible through the window. I bent down, under the steering wheel, and located the wires I needed. This kind of older vehicle was easy to hotwire, and within a minute, the engine revved to life.
"Let's go." I jumped behind the wheel, wincing at the pain in my thigh the movement caused, and before the owners had a chance to even notice the vehicle missing, we were back on the road. I figured the old banger was worth more in insurance than anything else. The owners would probably be happy to have the money to buy a new car.
"Now what?" asked Vee, glancing over at me, her bag of guns held primly in her lap.
"Have a look in the glove compartment, see if there's a map."
She did, and pulled out a ma.s.sive map, badly folded, so when she tried to unfold it, it filled half the car. "Jesus. No wonder they invented sat-navs."
I laughed, a sound so foreign to me. I'd been lucky if I so much as cracked a smile before meeting her. "We need to find the road they're going to meet us on, and see if there's another way. If we can come from the wrong direction, chances are they won't see you coming."
"Me? What about you?"
"We still need to split up. I'll cover you from the side of the road."
"What if they just shoot me as soon as they see me?"
I hated to think that was a very real possibility.
"That's the reason I need to watch things go down from the side. The minute it looks like someone's going to pull a trigger on you, I'll shoot the son-of-a-b.i.t.c.
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