Chapter 26

My Turn to Talk

Jeanne surged out of the water ten seconds after Oliver, keeping her head low and not looking directly at the headlamps of the truck. She immediately saw Parker laying on the ground beside their packs. He was clutching his gut with one hand and seemed to be reaching for something in his belt with the other.

He spotted Jeanne as she ran through the shallow water towards him. He raised his right hand and pointed a gun at her.

Two shots fired in rapid succession from somewhere on the far side of the truck.

Parker flinched and turned his gun towards the sound, firing blindly into the darkness.

Jeanne leapt forward and dropped down atop Parker, driving her elbow into his chest. As she had hoped, he screamed and dropped the gun as her elbow slammed into his already wounded body. She rolled off of him, snatched up the gun, and stood over him. Her gloved finger was too big to fit into the trigger guard, but she hoped that he would be too shocked at staring down the barrel of loaded gun to notice that detail.

“Oliver! Are you still there?” she shouted.

“Here. I’ve got the other guy. It’s our friend from the club and diner, not Ray.”

“Same here,” Jeanne said. Parker opened his mouth, but Jeanne kicked him and he doubled up again, groaning and beginning to tremble. If she had not been wearing such thick gloves, Jeanne thought that she would have killed Parker then, just to rid herself of him.

Oliver called to her over the radio, “They killed Ray. He’s in the back of the truck here.”

“That’s not good,” Jeanne said.


“What should we do?”

“Give me a minute to think this through. Let’s start by securing them and then maybe I can find a way…” Oliver grunted, then appeared around the front corner of the truck hauling the limp body of the large security guard who had accompanied Parker to his meeting with Jeanne at the club.

“You’re done, Delvare,” croaked Parker.

Jeanne looked down at the company man. He was still curled up, clutching his wounded stomach and clearly in agony, but his face looked back at her as a twisted mask of hatred.

“You don’t appear to understand the situation, Parker,” Jeanne said. “I’ve got a gun pointed at you and my friend over there has disabled your guard.”

Parker laughed. There was something wrong with the sound of it. A deep gurgling sound bubbling on the edge of the laugh, as if he were gargling as he cackled. Jeanne realized then that his injures might be more extensive than a bad bruise and wounded pride.

“You think you can just kill us?” Parker scoffed. “Someone will find our bodies and this will all come back to get pinned on you. You are dead, Delvare, one way or another.”

Jeanne laughed and aimed another kick at Parker’s chest. He spluttered, gagged on something deep in his throat, then spat up a gobbet of bloody phlegm.