“We’re about thirty seconds from them,” Andrew says through the speakers.

“All parties switch to ear comms,” Simon says, and the car suddenly falls silent.

Pushing the earbud deeper into my ear, I look over to Meghan as she does the same. Her expression is a mixture of shock and anger.

Fucking hell.

I’m going to fucking wrap my hands around Simon’s fucking neck and slam him into a fucking brick wall the next time I see his stupid fucking ass. I’ll have to shove my fucking boot so far up his ass, he can fucking feel it coming out of his big fucking ears.

“Meghan,” I say quietly, trying to get her attention.

Ignoring me, she starts fussing around with her gun holster.

Her hands are shaking horribly.

“Focus!” I shout at her as I watch her try to get her vest even tighter around her chest.

Her eyes snap over to me and for an instant I swear she would slide a knife right through my neck. She’s got a fire burning deeply in her eyes.

“Focus,” I say gently this time. “Focus on what’s going to happen now. Don’t think of anything past the next ten minutes.”

“Tell me what Simon’s talking about,” Meghan says, and from the tenseness in her voice, I know she won’t be dropping this.

“We were talking about the bombing and how it didn’t make sense to us… Especially since at the time of the bombing the Italians were weak on all fronts. They were dealing with a ton of shit out in Ohio as it was. None of us think it was them, so we’re looking into it,” I explain.

“But my father said it was them. Said it was a message from them,” she states to me.

I shrug my shoulders. “I don’t know, Meghan. I don’t think he’s right. Something else was going on.”

“What?” she asks, incredulous.

“Look, we’ll talk about this as soon as we can,” I say, then point up ahead to the highway.

The highway’s not too busy right now so we have the perfect view to see a swarm of cars pulled over on the side of the road. A police officer is facing the wrong way though, and he’s walking toward Andrew and Johnathan’s car with his hand on his pistol.

What the fuck?

“Simon, we have an issue,” Andrew says over the radio.

“Yeah, fucking cop is trying to tell us to go away,” Johnathan says.

“Shit. I’m getting a bad live feed from your vehicle’s cam,” Simon says.

Slowly pulling off to the side, behind our guy’s vehicles, I make sure to pull far enough over that I’m in the grass and able to get a better view of what’s happening.

“He’s radioing something in,” Andrew spits out.

“Motherfucking simple-minded fucks,” I spit out.

The chief of police exits his vehicle and starts walking over to us.


Hitting reverse, I slam on the gas while saying, “They’re going to bolt if we don’t get ahead of them.”

“Get around them and hold them there!” Simon hisses loudly in my earbud.

Meghan whimpers loudly as I tear back out of the grass and then shift into drive. Pushing the peddle down hard, I whip us around the cars in the back.

What a fucking mess this shit is. Everything’s going to going to hell in a handbasket.

Slamming on the brakes in front of the cars, I twist the wheel so that my car is almost fully sideways as we come to a stop to block them. Looking at the cars, I yank my door open and grab Meghan by the shoulder strap of her vest, pulling her along with me.

“What the fuck?” she yelps as she finally gets her body under control and exits the car through my door.

“Soon they’re going to know exactly who the fuck you are and I want a car between us if the bullets start flying,” I say as I yank the back door open and pull out my AR-15.

Switching the safety off the semi-auto machine gun, I resist the urge to aim it at Alexei’s car and start pulling the trigger.

“Oh god, what the hell are we going—” Meghan says, worried, then suddenly falls silent as she motions to something behind me.

Turning to look around, I groan inwardly. Two fast approaching state police cars are heading our way with their lights flashing.

Then their sirens suddenly turn on.

“Fuck!” I yell loudly. “Simon, we’ve got two state police cars coming in hot.”

“Goddammit!” Simon snarls into the comms.

“Can you get rid of the extras, Simon?” Johnathan asks.

Turning back to the car Andrew and Johnathan are trying to exit, I see that this whole fucking thing is turning into a shit show.

Especially when I spot Meghan’s dad climbing out of Alexei’s car and standing behind a door.

Fuck me.

The two state police cars screech their tires behind me, and it’s in the moment that I turn to see them that I also see a flash of gunfire.

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