I shook my head. "I'm in trouble. I need your truck."
"How long for?"
"I'm not sure. Just to get out of town, I hope. I'll call you as soon as I can and tell you where I've left it."
He reached into his back pocket and pulled out his keys and threw them to me. I snagged them from mid-air. "I think you're a good kid, Vee. I don't know what kind of trouble you're in, but try to be careful. You could have a good future ahead of you if you choose it." He looked to X. "Take care of her, okay?"
X only nodded.
I didn't know how to tell Johnny that he had me completely wrong, and that the last person who was going to look after me would be X.
"Thanks, Johnny. You're literally a life saver. I'll do my best to get the truck back to you in one piece."
His eyes widened slightly at my comment, but he didn't ask for the keys yet.
"Vee," X said from behind me. I knew what the warning tone meant-we needed to get a move on.
I wasn't the hugging type, or I might have stepped in and given Johnny a hug goodbye. Instead, I gave him a final nod, and turned and left with X. We trotted down the couple of steps together, me clutching the keys tight. We'd pa.s.sed Johnny's truck parked out in the lot when we'd driven through, so I led X over.
"I'm driving," I told him. "Don't try anything dumb while my attention is diverted." I reached into the bag and took out one of the handguns. "I'll have this right beside me."
"Don't you think I would have tried something by now if I was going to?"
"I have no idea with you. You might be plotting something."
"I'm not, I swear."
This situation I was in was crazy dangerous right now, riding in a car with a man who'd been sent to kill me, with my sister taken by G.o.d only knew who, and the police, who I was fairly sure were bent, chasing me.
I wanted to trust him, but I didn't trust anyone.
Especially not someone who'd been sent out to kill me.
Vee drove us out of town, the gun wedged between her slender thighs, one hand resting on the b.u.t.t, ready to shoot me if I did anything wrong.
I was relieved to be leaving the town behind. I'd already been there at least twelve hours longer than I had intended, and in my job it wasn't a good idea to hang around in the same place for too long. As much as I tried to stay incognito, there were a few people who knew exactly who I was and what I did, and those particular types of people always had ways of getting information if they wanted it. I was a professional, but that didn't mean things always went the right way for me. And when they went wrong, they went spectacularly wrong.
I spotted something ahead and slid down in my seat. "Keep driving, Vee. Don't change your speed."
The cops were parked in an emergency lane up ahead. I didn't know if
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