CHAPTER 2: The Quick and the Dead
“Jonathan! Quick! It’s going to explode.”
“Stay still!” he screamed. “I’m going to cut you loose—don’t worry I’ve got you. Everything will be okay…”
Quickly grabbing the knife from his boot, he slashed the seat belt from her body, then reached in through the window and pulled the door open. She tumbled onto the ground and rolled right-side up as Smythe pulled her out of the car and onto the cement. She was breathing hard, and her cheeks were covered in ash.
“C’mon, we’ve got to get out of here, now!” Smythe shouted. They began to shuffle along the waterway away from the burning car, with Smythe supporting her by the shoulders, when they heard a large clank. Smythe turned to see that the car had fallen onto its side and was now covered in flames.
“It’s gonna blow any second now!” Trove screamed, “What are we going to do?! It’s hopeless.”
“Shut up!” he shouted. “You musn’t talk like that. We’re gonna get through this—somehow.”
Then it hit him. The waterway.
“Valeri… into the river—quick!”
Before she could argue, she was in the water. Seconds later, he dove in after her. As they both began to gasp for air, a load groan echoed through the waterway.
Taking one last breath, they submerged into the water just as the car exploded into pieces. A minute passed before they emerged from the water. Together they swam back to the edge. Smythe first helped her up and then pulled himself up after her. Together they lay side-by-side on the concrete, panting, soaking wet, trying to catch their breath.
“Why did you come back?” she asked between breaths. “What about the bad guys?”
“I came back for you,” he replied.
“Why? Why did you come back for me, Jonathan! There are bigger things at stake here!”
He was silent.
“What happened to the car?” she asked. “Did you get the disk?”
“No. They got away,” he muttered, disgusted with himself.
“Damn you, Smythe. What were you thinking?”
“I came back for you,” he said again, panting.
“Why…?” she asked, her eyes meeting his. They were no longer cold like they had been outside of the embassy. They were warm and soft. Smythe, embarrassed of the truth, looked away and back down the waterway.
“I don’t know,” he lied, “I was foolish. I made a misjudgment. I’m sorry.”
She smiled and grabbed his face, pulling his gaze towards her. “You saved my life, Jonathan. Thank you.” She smiled.
Smythe chuckled, “Water… why does it always have to be water?”
They both got up and began to walk hand-in-hand along the waterway.
“So… they got away?” she asked, sounding disappointed. “We failed our mission?” Smythe couldn’t help but crack a smile.
“Not quite.” He pulled the small device that he had used earlier, just moments before he had jumped out of the black van. “This is a tracking gun. The bug that I shot with this onto that black luxury car will track them to wherever they end up. Our guys back in the lab would have been on it as soon as I activated it. This isn’t over yet…”
“No, it isn’t…” she smiled. “But what will we do now?” Both up and down the waterway, there was no end to the concrete path in sight.
“How about a walk?” he asked, smiling warmly.
“A walk is good.”
Together they walked along the path to no where in particular. It was the dead of night in Paris, in the seedy part of the city, and all they could hear was the sound of silence.
[ Index 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ]
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