“Follow me.” I jumped as if I’d been stuck by a cattle prod when Marc’s voice was suddenly against my ear. Turning toward him, the yelp of joy I was about to let loose stuck in my throat when I noticed he had his finger over his lips in a shushing manner. “Come.” He tugged at my arm.
“You’re here.” I mouthed, drowning in his chocolate brown eyes.
His lips twitched. “Of course.”
I clutched his jacket, loving the feel of his hard bicep under the silky material. “I’m so happy to see you,” I whispered.
“You can show me how much you appreciate me later, let’s move.”
I started to follow him and then I stopped, my shoes squeaking on the floor. “Oh, wait. Let me just tell Mary that I’m leaving,” I said in a hushed voice. It was amazing how much safer I felt with him here beside me now; as if nothing could hurt me.
“Yeah, I met her on the train.”
He narrowed his gaze. “What did you say?” He took in the suitcase next to me, and his mouth hardened. He looked over his shoulder in the direction Mary had gone. “Son of a bitch.” He yanked me down to the floor so fast I didn’t even know what the hell was happening. My elbow banged onto the cement and I gritted my teeth against the pain. Something smacked off the pylon above us sending powdered fragments of cement onto my head. “What part of don’t trust anybody was unclear to you?” He said in a raspy voice.
I was in shock. Instinctively, I knew that someone was shooting at us with a silencer, and in the back of my mind I was worried Mary might be in the line of danger. That was until I got a glimpse of her squatting behind a trash can with a gun trained on our position.
“I don’t understand,” I muttered, feeling dazed. The pleasant little white-haired lady from the train had been replaced by a pinched faced huntress. It was like watching Mrs. Claus turn a high powered rifle on Rudolph.
“We need to get out of here before her friends arrive.” Marc was breathless as he crouched over me, shielding me with his body when another round of bullets smashed into the concrete above us.
“Mary’s a bad guy?” I asked, stupidly.
With a long, heartfelt sigh, he ignored me and pulled his gun from beneath his arm in one smooth move. He aimed in the direction of Mary and fired without any hesitation. The sound was like someone banging a hammer against a wall, but it didn’t sound like gunfire exactly. The noise of the trains and hordes of people was loud enough inside the terminal that no one seemed to notice what was happening only fifty feet away behind the barricade. He cursed under his breath and covered me again as a barrage of bullets slammed above us. Then he straightened and fired and peeking under his arm I saw Mary slump to the ground, her firearm clattering to the cement. I stared at her motionless form in sheer horror with my mouth hanging open.
“Move.” Marc’s voice was like steel and he grabbed me and dragged me in the direction of the entrance.
The hairs on the back of my neck prickled as we shoved through the crowd. I kept expecting a gunshot to ring out and to feel the searing pain as a bullet tore through me. But nothing happened and soon we were at the entrance to the building, slipping out the front. Any other time I’d have found the ornate 1900’s architecture of the station and the distinctive old clock tower amazing. But right now all I could think about was how nauseated I felt at being hunted like an animal. We headed north through the expansive parking lot toward the boulevard Diderot. If Marc hadn’t had his fingers dug into my arm I might have had trouble keeping up with his reckless pace.
“I can’t believe you made a friend on the train.” He emphasized that one word sneeringly. “I specifically told you not to trust anyone.”
I was short of breath but I forced out, “She seemed nice.”
He looked at me like I’d said I wanted to invite Charles Manson to Christmas dinner. “She seemed nice? Nice?” He grunted. “I don’t care if she baked you cookies and gave you a puppy; you weren’t supposed to talk to anyone.”
“I thought she was a harmless old lady,” I muttered, almost tripping over my own feet.
His laugh was harsh. “Yeah. That’s her favorite act. She’s about as harmless as a scorpion trapped in your shorts.”
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