Darkest Fear Page 57

Myron pressed the Up button. Win took out his forty-four. Myron pulled out a Glock. They waited. Myron kept the gun by his thigh. It felt heavy in a terrible, comforting way. Myron kept glancing down the corridor. No one. He hoped their luck would hold. He felt his pulse start to race. His mouth was dry. The room suddenly felt warmer.

A minute later, the light above the middle elevator dinged.

Win’s face was in the zone, semi-euphoric. He wriggled his eyebrows and said, “Showtime.”

Myron tensed his muscles, leaned in a bit. The elevator’s whirring noise stopped. There was a delay and then the doors started sliding open. Win didn’t wait. He was inside before the opening had reached a foot. He found Grover and stuck the gun in the big man’s ear. Myron did the same with the other guard.

“Waxy ear buildup a problem, Grover?” Win said in his best voice-over. “Smith and Wesson has the solution!”

Susan Lex started to open her mouth. Win cut her off with a finger against her lip and a gentle “Shh.”

Win frisked and disarmed Grover. Myron followed his lead with the second guard. Grover glared daggers at Win. Win took them on and said, “Please—no, pretty please—make a sudden move.”

Grover didn’t budge.

Win stepped back. The elevator door started closing. Myron stopped it with his foot. He pointed the weapon at Susan Lex. “You’re coming with me,” Myron said.

“Don’t you want revenge first?” Grover said.

Myron looked at him.

“Go ahead.” Grover spread his hands. “Hit me in the gut. Go ahead, give it your best shot.”

“Pardon moi,” Win said. “But does that offer apply to me too?”

Grover looked at the smaller man like a tasty leftover. “I heard you’re not bad,” he said.

Win looked back at Myron. “ ‘Not bad,’ ” he repeated. “Monsieur Grover heard I was ‘not bad.’ ”

“Win,” Myron said.

Win snapped his knee deep into Grover’s groin. He followed through, driving the man’s testicles all the way into his stomach. Grover did not make a sound. He simply folded like a bad hand of poker.

“Oh, wait, you said ‘gut,’ didn’t you?” Win looked down at him, frowned. “Must work on my aim. Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps I am merely ‘not bad.’ ”

Grover was on his knees, his hands between his legs. Win kicked him in the head with his instep. Grover toppled over like a bowling pin. Win looked over at the other guard, who was putting his hands up and backing quickly into a corner.

“Will you tell your friends I was ‘not bad?’ ” Win asked him.

The guard shook his head.

“Enough,” Myron said.

Win picked up the cell phone. “Zorra, report.”

“They are not moving, handsome.”

“Come back up then. You can help me clean up.”

“Clean up? Ooo, Zorra will hurry.”

Win laughed.

“No more,” Myron said. Win did not reply, but Myron hadn’t really expected him to. Myron grabbed Susan Lex’s arm. “Let’s go.”

He pulled her into the stairwell. Zorra bounded into view—on high heels no less. Leaving two unarmed men alone with Win and Zorra. Talk about scary. But he had no choice here. Myron turned to Susan Lex, keeping tight hold of her elbow.

“I need your help,” he said to her.

Susan Lex looked at him, head high, not backing off.

“I promise not to say anything,” he went on. “I have no interest in hurting you or your family. But you’re going to take me to see Dennis.”

“And if I say no?”

Myron just looked at her.

“You’d hurt me?” she said.

“I just beat up an innocent man,” Myron said.

“And you’d do the same to a woman?”

“I wouldn’t want to be accused of sexism.”

Her expression remained defiant, but unlike Chase Layton, she seemed to understand how the real world worked. “You know what sort of power I have.”

“I do.”

“Then you know what I’ll do to you when this is all over?”

“I don’t much care. A thirteen-year-old boy has been kidnapped.”

She almost smiled. “I thought you said he needed a bone marrow transplant.”

“I don’t have time to explain.”

“My brother isn’t involved in this.”

“I keep hearing that.”

“Because it’s true.”

“Then prove it to me.”

Something in her face shifted then, changing her features, relaxing them into something strangely approaching tranquility. “Come,” she said. “Let’s go.”


Susan Lex directed him north on the FDR to the Harlem River Drive and then north again to 684. Once they were in Connecticut, the roads grew quieter. Woods thickened. Buildings grew scarce. Traffic was pretty much nonexistent.

“We’re almost there,” Susan Lex said. “I’d like the truth now.”

“I’m telling you the truth.”

“Fine,” she said. Then: “How do you plan on getting away with this?”

“With what?”

“Are you going to kill me when this is all over?”


“Then I’ll come back after you. I’ll press charges, if nothing else.”

“I told you before. I don’t much care. But I’ve thought of something.”


“Dennis will save me.”


“If he is the Sow the Seeds kidnapper—”

“He’s not.”

“—or somehow involved with him, then what I’m doing here will be small potatoes by comparison.”

“And if he’s not?”

Myron shrugged. “Either way, I’m going to learn whatever it is you want to hide. We make a deal. I never tell what I saw. In exchange, you leave me alone.”

“Or I can simply kill you.”

“I don’t believe you’d do that.”


“You’re not a killer. And even if you were, it would be too complicated. I’d leave evidence behind. I have Win covering my back. It would be too messy.”

“We’ll see,” she said, but there was no starch there. She pointed up ahead. “Turn off up here.”

She pointed to a dirt road that seemed to materialize from nowhere. There was a guardhouse fifty yards down and to the left. Myron pulled up. Susan Lex leaned over and smiled. The guard waved her through. There were no signs, no identification marks, nothing. The whole setup looked like some sort of militia compound.

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