“But . . . how? I mean, I thought you were meeting Draco. I thought you were safe.”
He shakes his head. “Went for a run to another town yesterday. He had someone that he wanted me to meet and said he would be there to meet the person as well, for a new deal. Some new guys from Argentina.” He swallows painfully. “When we were leaving, one of them was shot. Right through the head. I only had one other guard with me and he was in the truck. He’d already been killed too. Before I knew it, I was surrounded.”
“He hasn’t heard from me since then. He probably thinks I’m plotting against him again,” he laughs.
“No. He probably knows something is wrong.”
He looks at me through swollen black eyes. “How did they get you? How the hell did you even get out of his sight?”
“There was an explosion. It happened out of nowhere, probably caused by them. We were at one of his gardens, and he was finally freeing Henry—the guy with no arms. And then everything just went haywire. One of these fucking idiots here grabbed me and ran through town. Draco tried to chase after us but he couldn’t get to me in time.”
“Damn,” he rasps.
“Are you okay?” I ask. He looks pretty banged up. His bottom lip is cut, a gash on his cheekbone.
“I’ve been through worse,” he chuckles. “Trust me. That puta doesn’t scare me. She tried getting me to talk—trying to find out where he’s staying so she can get to him first. Good thing he never took her to that house—the one he’s staying in now. He never stays in one spot for too long. Probably already packing.”
I shift in my seat, looking at the guards. David turns just as I say, “I don’t know how we’re going to get out of this.”
“He’ll come,” Thiago murmurs. “Maybe not for me, but for you.”
I don’t know why hearing that makes me feel both hopeful and defeated all at once.
It seems hours have passed now. Thiago shifts in his seat for the hundredth time, trying to get comfortable. I feel bad for him, but he keeps telling me he’s fine.
I don’t believe him. I only had ropes on my wrists. I can’t imagine them around my whole body.
David and a new guard are standing at the entrance. The new one is looking at us while David keeps watch of the tunnel.
Not before long and I hear heavy footsteps. A younger boy appears and I lean forward to get a better look. He’s breathing hard as he says, “Hernandez wants the cousin untied before he gets here,” in Spanish.
Thiago’s eyes dart up, watching intently as the guard watching us comes forward, slinging out a pocketknife. He slices through the ropes one by one and with each slice, I see the relief wash over Thiago’s face.
Finally, the ropes fall down. As the guard cuts through the ropes at his ankles, Thiago brings a heavy fist down and punches him across the head. The guard crumples and I gasp, but Thiago leaves no room for error. He reaches down for the gun, swiping it out of the holder and pushing to a stand. One of his legs is still strapped to the chair but he doesn’t let that hold him back.
He shoots the guard he punched, one bullet penetrating the skull.
David has already turned around with his gun held in the air while the younger guard fumbles for his.
Thiago aims at David, and they stare each other down. David’s gun goes off, shooting Thiago right through the shoulder. Thiago lets out a heavy roar and fires back, shooting David through the forehead.
I hop up as the younger guard starts to run, but Thiago shoots him through the back. He collapses in an instant. My breathing becomes chaotic as I look at the dead guards and then up at him.
“What?” he huffs, eyes as wide as they can get. “You wanna get the fuck out of here, don’t you?”
“Draco is probably here,” I tell him. “He could have gotten us out of this.”
“Bullshit. She wants me untied so she can kill me.” He winces as he touches the wound on his shoulder. He merely looks over it though, as if he’s been shot in worse places. He picks up the knife on the ground and cuts through the rope around his other ankle. “Let’s go,” he pants when he’s free.
I don’t hesitate. When he takes off, I dash after him. We half-jog, half-walk down the tunnel, him with the gun held up, ready to fire if need be.
The tunnel is mostly clear. When we reach the steps, voices rise and Thiago curses beneath his breath, gripping my arm and pulling me away, beneath the staircase. It creaks as the person walks down. They’re in a hurry.