38. Showtime

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My apologises for the late update. I recently adopted a new pet and have been giving her my full attention as she has a few wounds that need tending to.

Maybe I'll post some pictures of her on Instagram later. But then maybe not.

Anyway, enjoy!

Nicky's POV

I blow out a long sigh as I stare up at the crumbling building in front of me. I tighten my hands on the straps of my backpack and slowly walk up the stone steps.

Structurally, the building is sturdy and strong. Underneath the crumbling exterior and broken windows. It had once been a very nice three-story building. Whether it had been for businesses or just a huge mansion at one time, I didn't know. Nor did I particularly care. What mattered was that the building would be perfect for my purposes.

I push open the rickety door and survey the inside. There are several rooms that branch off, sparse to no furniture, a staircase against the far wall and dust and dirt everywhere.

I slide my backpack off my shoulder and dig through it, half regretting throwing out the apple and water Ryder had given as soon as I'd left the hotel.

You can call me crazy but something about his food offering felt off to me.

I pull the metal sphere out of my backpack and then pocket a couple of the tracks of "mints." I slip my backpack into another room, behind the door. I then take the stairs to the second floor and pull a chair to the center of the room.

I hold the sphere in my hands and press a small, hidden button on the side, causing the sphere to split into two halves.

I stare up at the ceiling above me and then down at the floor below me.

Hey, the building's been scheduled to be demolished anyway. Who cares if I speed up its destruction, right?


I'm standing on the third floor, in the middle of the huge room, staring at the staircase as I wait for Volkov to show. The gun is gripped tight in my right hand, a small black box with a button in the middle in my left hand.

I heard the car pull up. I had looked out the window to see him get out of it and yet, he still hasn't made his way up here.

I shift my weight from foot to foot as I stare at the staircase, wishing and waiting for something to happen.

My wish is, unfortunately, granted.

Screw you invisible genie.

"I'm impressed."

I whirl around to face Volkov as he climbs in through the window behind me . . . from the fire escape. How could I be so stupid? How could I not check for a damn fire escape?

He holds a gun in his hand and aims it at me as he takes slow steps toward me. "You actually came alone." He shrugs nonchalantly. "I suppose that means I'll just have to hunt down your little FBI friend after I'm finished with you. Of course, you won't be dead, so you'll still be around to witness his demise first hand."

My anger flares up and my grip on the gun tightens. He notices.

He shakes his head with a mocking smile. He waves his gun at me. "I wouldn't if I were you," He says. "I may not want you dead yet, but I will still shoot you."

He's in the wrong place. He was supposed to come up the stairs. Supposed to be standing in the spot now behind me, instead, he's on the wrong side. And it's a huge problem. My plan depends on him being in a particular spot.

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