I was in the early stages of hyperventilation when the cell suddenly went off thus startling me a bit ‘cause I almost dropped it on the ground.
“Yeah. . .yes!” I staggered beneath my nerves.
Why haven’t you called? Shane said suddenly.
“I. . .uh. .. “
It’s 3:32, DiamonD.
“I lost track of time. Sorry. What’s up?”
I’m sorry, Baby, but you’re going to have to brace yourself.
They’re going to be pulling in in about eight minutes.
“Wait?. . .What?!. . .I mean. . .they’re not suppose. . .you’re suppose. . .”
Favian wasn’t driving alone. He had company. He couldn’t call to inform us about the time without bringing suspicion to him.
“Then how’d you receive word, Shane?!”
They pulled over ten minutes prior to him calling with his riding partner being summoned to ride in another vehicle. I know it sounds complicated, DiamonD, but you have to leave right now!
“I can’t leave, Shane! Not without Bree!”
If you don’t leave right now –
“I can’t, Shane. I have to try! I have to try and negotiate!”
“How far are you?”
Goddamn it, DiamonD! You have to leave now! I can’t protect you!
“How-fucking-far-are-you, Sh. . .” and my voice unexpectedly trailed off.
“Oh my. . .Oh, Jesus. . .Shane. . .They’re here!” my heart then jolted from my chest to my throat.
What?!. . .No! DiamonD!
“They’re here, Shane.” I was dead-panned.
DiamonD, get in the fucking car! Drive away!. . .Drive away now!
“It’s too late, Shane. . .they’re. . .they’re headed this way.” my voice then dropped along with the cell from my hand.
DiamonD! DiamonD! Five minutes! We’ll be there in five –
And just like that the cell had abruptly cut off, perhaps from it falling to the ground? Perhaps the battery had suddenly went dead? Or perhaps I just didn’t hear Shane’s continued insistence ‘cause suddenly everything around me went deaf: from the rapid beating of my heart to the soft rustle of the wind to the diesel whir of approaching vehicles. . .I mean, everything around me went completely deaf except for Shane’s urgency about me getting into the car and driving away playing loudly in my head. I mean, there was time. . .as in 30 seconds before the first box truck stopped in front of me.
I quickly turned around and took a few steps forward but the shotgun casually leaned up against the back passenger’s tire suddenly caught my eye, and without thinking, without giving another thought to my safety, I swept up the gun into my hands, spun around in my stance, took three lengthy steps forward, cocked the bitch and pointed it directly at the oncoming truck with my adrenaline coursing through my veins.
As soon as the driver, who I presumed to be Favian, saw that shotgun pointing directly at him, he quickly slammed on his breaks thus forcing the trailing vehicles to slam on theirs but not without the blue cargo van swerving to a dead stop to the left of the truck and the pearl Escalade swerving to a dead stop to the right of it – it was fair to say that I was cornered with only that long stretch of dirt road behind me posing as my own safety net. And even with that comfort there was still no telling if I’d make it to the car without being shot in the back.
I took a deep, deep unsettling breath and held for as long as it took for three of the men in the Escalade to step off and two of the men from the blue van before I was able to exhale that intensely rooted globe of fear that had formed itself inside me since my gaze caught sight of their convoy driving up the off ramp from the highway.
“Who are you?” One of the three men from the Escalade interrogated me as he casually stepped forward prompting me to quickly shift my shotgun from Favian to him thus putting the two men from the Escalade and the two men from the blue van on point, particularly with their guns now trained on me.
My heart skipped a massive beat. And my mouth went completely dry even though the air was cool. But no matter how I felt my gaze never faltered from my disposition of him as I had presumed him to be just a member by the way he was dressed ‘cause he wasn’t wearing that signature gangster suit that all self-proclaimed gangsters tended to sport. Then it occurred to me that none of the men were wearing suits as they were all dressed in casual wear and pricey leather jackets, and neither looked under the age of thirty-five, meaning, they weren’t reckless and they knew their shit.