Chapter 22

The Long Wait

After waiting three hours in the shade of the mine ramp for Oliver Lucas and Jeanne Delvare to emerge, Caleb was seriously starting to consider shooting Parker too.

The company man had spent most of that time on his phone, shuffling numbers, people, and resources around the company. Just how much of that was part of his normal job and how much was related to covering up his involvement with the Jeanne Delvare fiasco, Caleb could not be sure, but Parker certainly did seem more frantic than usual today. Or maybe it was just his rapidly diminishing phone battery, or the lack of alcohol to fuel his tirades. Here at the entrance to an abandoned mine, on the outskirts of a small town that was at least twenty years past its prime, cellular coverage was less than perfect, so the charge on Parker’s phone had drained after only two hours.

“Can you please sit down and stop making noise?” Caleb growled.

“What’s that? Are you telling me what to do now?” Parker snapped back. He continued to pace back and forth between the side walls of the ramp.

Caleb stood and stalked up the ramp to the battered old pickup truck. The body of Ray Delacroy still lay in the back, slumped over in a pool of his own blood. Caleb climbed into the bed, picked his way around the pool of blood, and extracted the dead man’s keys from his pocket. If Parker was going to continue making noise, they might as well go down into the mine and continue their vigil at the water’s edge.

He climbed into the cab, drove the truck down into the mine, and pulled to a stop beside Parker.

“Get in the truck.”

“You are kidding me,” Parker said.

“Get in the truck boss. Or did I not make it clear that I make the life and death decisions when we are in the field?”

Parker glared at Caleb for a long moment, unmoving. Caleb met his gaze and exerted all the will he had to not start swearing at the miserable little man. Finally, Parker shook his head, yanked the passenger door open, and climbed in the to truck. “I assume you have a plan to dispose of this vehicle in a manner that will not leave any fingerprints or DNA behind.”

“Yeah, I thought we’d wait until we are sure that Delvare and Lucas are dead, then douse the whole truck with gas from the tank and burn it.”

“And if they aren’t dead? If they somehow make it back to the surface?”

“We’ll kill them too, like you said. Just more fuel for the fire.”

Parker laughed, his voice echoing cruelly from the dark walls around them.