Raven’s Run 83

Chapter Twenty-three

The feel of a gun at your throat has a marvelously concentrating effect on the mental faculties. Everything suddenly became very clear. I looked from Davis to Susyn. She wouldn’t meet my eyes. I said, “Shit!” because nothing else quite seemed to fit.

Davis dug the barrel deeper into my throat and said, “Don’t make a sound.”

I looked at Susyn. “You had to make sure didn’t you? You had to be sure that I could identify them.”

“They promised to let you go if you couldn’t.”

“They knew. We were eye to eye in Marseille. Either they lied to you, or you are lying to me.”

Davis caught my arm and dragged me around. “Just shut up,” he snapped, “or I’ll dump you right here.”

I believed him. He could fire once and fade into the shadows. Susyn could tell the police that it had been a robbery attempt and give a false description. No one would know. And Susyn had done all she would for me – if she had done anything at all.

So I waited without resistance, calculating my chances. There are always chances, but right now they looked awfully slim.

Davis reached down for something he had dropped. I couldn’t make it out in the darkness, but it was a shopping bag. He draped it across his arm to hide the gun. He said, “Let me tell you how it is going to be. You and I are going to walk. I’ll have the gun on you every second. You aren’t going to get away. If you try, or if you call for help, I’ll shoot you dead. Then I’ll run, and I’ll be lost in this rat’s maze before anyone has time to finger me. Clear?”

“What do I get for cooperating?”

“You live.”

“For how long?”

“Where you are, every minute is a free gift.”

He was right. What he didn’t know was that I have been in that place before. He could read the fear in my eyes, and I made no attempt to disguise it. If anything, I tried to look more scared. Fear is good; fear is a pipeline to adrenaline, and adrenaline is power. I was scared, all right, but I was not panicked.

Like I said, I had been here before.

Susyn squeezed by behind Davis, not looking my way, and walked away into the light. I watched her go, letting the anger build inside me to augment the fear. I was going to need them both.

Davis moved his head and I went the way he had gestured. We passed the open air restaurant and headed down the street, opposite the direction Susyn had gone, toward the darker part of the city. Within five blocks there were no more restaurants and few hotels. The lights and the pedestrians were spaced farther apart.

“You really made a fool of me, didn’t you?” I said.

Davis did not answer. He had fallen slightly behind so that I could not strike back against him without turning around first.

“Did you enjoy watching me trying to find Raven for you?”

“I wasn’t there. Alan and I were looking, too.”

“Alan? Skinny guy? Your partner?”

Davis did not reply. We walked on, deeper into the darkness. Finally he said, “To me, you were convenient. Alan thought it was funny as hell.” more tomorrow

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