Chapter 58

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I have no choice but to do as he tells me. I know I could take him in a fight, but that would mean giving away my position and alerting them of our presence on the ship. Even if Danny has already told his father that I'm here, it's best to wait for the opportune moment to attack him.

"Leave the rifle and back up slowly. Don't turn around."

I hear his steps take him up onto the platform. I follow, my heart beating fast inside my chest. Out of the corner of my eye, I peer toward the spot where Todd and Mickey are hiding. I can just see a red Converse sneaker that belongs to Mickey sticking out from behind a crate. They're either waiting for me to strike or for the cops to arrive.

Once we're on the platform, Danny shoves the gun between my shoulders and roughly grabs my arm, guiding me toward the nearest exit door. Down below, there's shouting coming from Von Tesse and Garcia. I feel a fight coming on and the police don't seem to be here yet.

"Where are we going?" I mutter as he shoves me down so we can't be seen.

"Someplace private," he says. "My father wants a word with you once the deal has been struck."

Deal? I have no idea what he's talking about but that's not the problem. Garcia must know about me. My cover has been blown. I bet he also blames me for Carole's death.

"He won't be leaving this ship a free man," I reply. Danny stops and I peer again over my shoulder. He has a wicked smile on his face. For the first time, I see Garcia in his eyes. When did this boy suddenly become his father?

When his mother committed suicide and his father taught him how to use anger and bloodlust to hide his grief.

"Why, because the police are on their way?"

"Something like that," I grumble.

"Oh, right, your biker friends are here too." He chuckles and my blood goes cold. "I don't think they'll be much help to you Jess. Well ... not for much longer."

Danny's eyes travel to the right of me and I feel a sickening sensation in my stomach as I follow his gaze to the crates that Mickey and Todd are hiding behind. That's when Danny rips a small egg-shaped object from his pocket. He pulls the pin. I'm too frozen in shock to scream or move as he launches the grenade through the air.

It's a very, very good throw.

The grenade explodes. The crates are incinerated. Splinters of wood fly across the hull of the cargo ship. I hear Danny shout something like "police!" and the men down below scatter like ants. I'm shoved through the door into the skinny corridor with the gun pressed into my back again.

I feel sick. There's no way Todd and Mickey survived that blast, the grenade landed right on top of them. And now our cover is blown and Garcia will get away.

I can't let him win. I have to go back for Nick, for the Southbend bikers and whoever is left. I have to fight.

After peering over my shoulder, I decide to make my move once we reach the end of the corridor. I can easily disarm Danny. This should be a piece of cake.

But I don't get the chance to fight. Just as we reach the T-junction at the end of the corridor, Lurker appears. My insides turn to burning-hot fire. I don't care that Danny has a gun to my back, I launch myself at him.

Lurker steps back and I hit the metal wall of the ship. He grabs my hair, laughing as he shoves my head against the steel, hard. I see stars. Blood starts to ooze from just above my temple. Lurker shoves his fist into my stomach and I cough all the air out of my lungs. He pulls my arms behind my back and holds them with one hand, the other ripping my hair back. Danny sticks the gun under my chin.

"Easy Danny," says Lurker. "We're only supposed to get her warmed up for him. We can't kill her yet."

The bloodlust in Danny's eyes is more terrifying than what Lurker just said. But he lowers the gun anyway.

"Fine. Let's go before anyone catches us."

Dannyslips past us and Lurker shoves me after him.

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