“I think you need to call her, inform her about what’s going on, and ask her to please be cautious if she gets approached.”
My dad agrees, and my heart breaks for him. I know he likes this woman, and was potentially hoping for more if he were going to stay in Vegas. In fact, by the look on his face right now, I kind of think he had made the decision to stay and that’s why he’d taken me there to meet her.
Rachel’s gaze comes to mine briefly before going to my father. What she’s telling him applies to me and Sam. “There’s going to be a definite safety risk if you choose to stay in Vegas. I have no clue how long these people will scour the city for you, but, in my estimation, it’s best you leave.”
My shoulders slump, because even though I’ve been ready to flee all day, hearing I actually need to is disheartening. So much to plan and do, and I have no clue how to go about doing it.
“If it’s any consolation,” Rachel says, turning her attention to me. “I don’t think you need to go into deep hiding. I just think you need to get out of the area. It doesn’t appear they know anything about you. You could, of course, get new identities as an added means of protection.”
What she’s suggesting sounds fine, but, again, no clue how to go about doing that. I have a few thousand dollars saved. My dad probably has the same. It’s enough to relocate us, but we’re going to be in dire straits and I doubt we can afford the type of money it takes to buy new identities.
Rachel’s gaze bounces from Mike, to me, and then to August. “Just let me know what else you need from me. We’re ready to help in any way we can. I’m going to keep the detail on your house until you tell me otherwise, okay?”
August murmurs his agreement as he walks Rachel to the door. I remember to call out a thank you to her before she leaves, then move across the living room to my dad.
“So we leave,” I say as I take his hands in mine. “We’ve done it once before, and we can do it again. The sooner, the better.”
“You can’t just walk out the door,” August says dryly, and I look over my shoulder. He stares pointedly. “What’s your plan? What about Sam? He’s sick, you know. Needs medical care.”
“I’m well aware of what my kid needs,” I reply stiffly. “We’ll figure it out, but staying here means we could wind up dead. I think leaving is the bigger priority.”
“You definitely need a plan,” Brian says, popping up from the couch to pace. “What about your handler? Can he at least give you some advice?”
“Government’s not going to help us,” Mike replies bitterly. “We cut those ties for good when we left Denver.”
“What about coming down to the Keys with us?” Lori suggests. “It’s quiet, and there aren’t a lot of people where we are. We could sell the RV. Get a house there.”
I let go of my dad, reaching my hand out to Lori. She takes it, and I give her a squeeze. “That’s sweet, Lori. But we’ll need to be somewhere near a good hospital that has experience with stem cell transplants and an oncology team for Sam. So closer to a metropolitan area is going to be better for us.”
“What about another country?” my dad suggests. “I wouldn’t mind putting an ocean between us and the mob.”
“New identities should be the first priority,” I say, not keen on moving to another country. “And they’d have to be good enough to get us passports. Not sure we can afford that.”
“We have money we can give you,” Lori says confidently. “Anything to help keep you safe.”
And it’s at this point I realize August has been unnaturally quiet while the rest of the family rallies to figure out a plan. I find him at the window where I had been, just looking out. He has his hands casually tucked into his pockets, rocking on the balls of his feet. He appears to have tuned us all out, apparently having disconnected from this.
“Would you like to join us in this conversation, August?” I snap. “We could use some ideas.”
August slowly turns to face us, but his gaze meets mine. “I was just wondering how much equity I have in this house…”
“What?” I ask, confused by this random change of subject. “Why?”
“Just wondering what I’ll get for this place if I were to sell it. I’ve only owned it for four years.”
I growl in frustration, throwing my arms out. “What does that have to do with anything? We’re trying to figure out where we can go to be safe. Focus, please.”