Was the guy right? Would other people be sent after us? How long had he been given to do the job of killing us? Was it hours or days? I was painfully aware of the window in Nickie's bedroom and how defenseless she was. What if someone crept in while I was down in the cellar and slaughtered her in her bed? How would I ever forgive myself?
I wouldn't, I decided. I'd kill myself, too, before I considered living with that.
I waited for a few minutes to make sure everything was quiet, and then turned and went back to the cellar door. I grabbed one of the guns I'd hidden on the shelves nearby. Taking a couple of breaths, I paused outside to prepare myself, and then pulled open the door again. I stepped inside, flicked on the light, and closed the door behind me so I was caught inside the s.p.a.ce with two bodies and another man who wanted me dead.
Below me, the man let out a groan.
The contents of the cellar didn't belong to us. They were a mix-match of old furniture, boxes, and a few garden tools. My eyes alit on one of the old dining room chairs stacked in the corner.
That would have to do.
I trotted down the steps and went to the stack of furniture. I fought to pull one apart from the others, and then when I managed it, placed it upright in the middle of the floor.
The man moaned and tried to buck beneath the bodies, serving to make them jiggle grotesquely, as though they were trying to come back to life. Even though I hadn't been the one to kill them, the thought sent a shudder down my spine. From this angle, I could see the face of one of the dead men, and his eyes were open, staring up sightlessly at the ceiling. I wasn't a squeamish person, and I'd seen enough dead bodies, but that didn't mean I particularly liked being stuck in a cellar with a couple of them. I would have to figure out what I would do with them soon enough. I couldn't risk them being found. What would happen to us if the U.S. Marshals discovered that people knew our location? And not only that, that I had stabbed and then later killed a man-which I had no doubt was what I would end up doing.
The man's m.u.f.fled shouts came again, and though I couldn't understand him, I knew exactly what he was saying.
Get me out of here.
With an exasperated sigh, I stalked over to the tangle of limbs. I caught sight of the man's upper arm and bent to grab it with both hands. His bicep felt solid beneath my fingers, and I tried not to experience the little rush of excitement at having hold of a real life male. With everything that happened, it had been a while since I'd had so much as a date, and currently my only recent propositions had been from guys like the one back at Johnny's bar.
Planting my feet, slightly spread, onto the concrete floor, I bent at the waist and heaved. The man gave a m.u.f.fled yell of pain, I guessed, but h
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