Sold on fast action, I sign the documents and hand back the clipboard. “Start treatment.”
“We’ll be out with an update soon,” she promises, disappearing behind the doors again.
I grab Amy’s hand, keeping her close as I return to where Liam is ending a phone call. “Gia’s stable, and the syringe was positive for arsenic. I need to know if Dr. Murphy can treat her, and I need to know now.”
“She can, and she will. I already have Tellar working out the logistics, but she’s only in if she feels she can treat successfully and we can get the medication.” He motions to Tellar, who’s talking on the phone a few feet away.
Amy gapes. “What? Are you crazy, Chad? We can’t move Gia now. We don’t even have her test results.”
“I can hack her results,” I assure her. “I can’t bring her back from the dead, which is what she’ll be if she stays here.”
“What’s the word?” Tellar asks, holding the phone away from his mouth.
Liam tells him, and he quickly returns to his call. “Arsenic. Low doses expected. Stable condition.” He listens a minute. “Got it. On it.” He ends the call. “Make sure they’ve started the meds before we leave, and take the IV bag with us. She said that should happen within half an hour. The big question is how we get her out of here.”
“They’ve already started treatment,” Amy replies, “which says this is dangerous. She needs hospital care.”
“She needs to be somewhere safe,” I counter. “This isn’t it.” I glance between Liam and Tellar. “We go big and bold. I pick her up and carry her out of here, only it’s not Gia, it’s a decoy. Tellar will have Gia and take her to a safe house, where we’ll meet her.”
“This is insanity,” Amy argues.
“And I like it,” Tellar adds.
“It’s not ideal,” Liam replies, “but I don’t have a better idea on such short notice. Derek Ethridge, a close friend of mine, is picking up Dr. Murphy. His real-estate holding company has properties in the Hamptons that are vacant in the off-season. We can use one of those. We need to decide who goes with Chad and who goes with Tellar.”
Though it kills me to think about Gia being on her own with strangers, I know it’s the right choice. “Everyone has to go with me or it’ll look suspicious. Even Tellar. He puts her in the car with Dr. Murphy and Derek and then joins us at the front of the building.”
“You don’t have a decoy,” Amy points out.
Tellar grins. “I know a girl named Coco. Don’t let the name fool you; she’s ex-Special Forces, and she’ll do anything just to prove she can do it.”
“Okay then,” I say. “Try to reach her.”
He powers up his phone and punches in a number. “Hey, Coco. I have a dare for you, but you have to be at Mount Sinai Hospital in thirty minutes.” He pauses a minute and says, “Wear that under your coat and plan to leave everything behind. We’ll make it worth your while. Great. Yes. See ya, honey.” He ends the call. “Coco is in, and she has her own hospital gown. There’s a story behind it that I’ll tell everyone over tequila when we get to the safe house.”
“Safe would be telling me those calls are not traceable.”
“I’m a sniper, not a Sunday school teacher.”
“Killing people and knowing how to stay alive yourself are two different things.”
“Things which, I suspect, we both do well.”
“Not well enough, or Sheridan and his cronies would be dead already,” I reply. “How do you know Dr. Murphy’s phone isn’t monitored, considering her connection to Sheridan?”
“She has a disposable,” Liam replies. “And so does Derek. Anyone Amy might need on an emergency basis has one.”
Amy hugs herself and grimaces. “There’s nothing about this plan that feels safe.”
“There’s nothing about leaving Gia here that’s safe,” I assure her.
“We need an exit plan,” Tellar says. “I’ll scout the building.”
“Get me a computer,” I say, “and I can hack the hospital floor plan and Gia’s test results and treatment plan.”
Liam glances around and then walks over to a man on a MacBook, speaks to him for a moment, and then hands him a wad of cash. He returns and hands me the computer. “Hack away.”
Power. Money. Liam Stone has them. People who have them, like Sheridan, usually want more. Tuning out Tellar and Amy, I close one of the two steps between myself and Liam and stand toe-to-toe with him. “Circumstances dictate that I trust you. My sister’s love for you dictates I trust you. But hear this, Liam Stone: Don’t hurt my sister—or I will choke the life out of you and burn your body to ashes, like I did the hired hand who set our house on fire.”
I turn and walk away, cranking up the computer and getting busy.
Liam, Amy, and Tellar are quick to join me, without comment about my confrontation with Liam. In all of three minutes I have hacked the hospital’s computer system, and my first order of business is to pull Gia’s file and download her test results, which I text to Liam to pass on to Dr. Murphy.
The reply is almost instant. “The arsenic levels are low,” he reports, “but there’s a second drug in Gia’s system, a sedative used before surgery that frequently causes people to lose pieces of time.”