"Head down the river," Tony told his men. "Make sure he doesn't get out anywhere."
"You shot him, boss," said one of the suited men. "He's not going anywhere."
"Yeah, but I don't want there to be any chance he survived."
I spoke up. "He was injured, too. I'd already stabbed him twice." I'd told Tony because I didn't want him to make too much of an effort trying to find X. I thought if X stood any chance of surviving a gunshot wound and a dunk in a freezing cold river, then I'd prefer for Tony's men not to find him if he managed to get to sh.o.r.e.
"Good," said Tony, turning his attention back to me. "Who the h.e.l.l was he, anyway?"
"I don't know. He never told me his name." I realized, with a jolt of pain, that I might never get to know now. Why hadn't I asked him such an obvious question? Had I not wanted to know? Had that been my way of keeping my distance from him because I'd been so convinced something bad would happen? For some reason, I'd never pictured that he would be the one who'd end up dead. I'd thought I might be the one shot, but not him, never him.
"You didn't even know his name?" Tony asked, skeptical.
"He didn't tell me," I said again.
"So why was he helping you if you didn't even know his name?"
"He was a hit man, sent by my father to have me killed."
Tony's eyebrows lifted. "He was a hit man? How come you're still alive, then?"
I did the only thing I could in the situation; I fell back onto my cold sarcasm. "He clearly wasn't a very good one."
Two weeks had pa.s.sed and there had been no sign of X. If he'd survived, I was sure he'd have come back for me, so the only thing I could think was that he was lying somewhere at the bottom of the Hudson River.
Despite grieving for him, I remained dry-eyed. I took all the pain I felt at his loss and buried it into a hard, cold stone at the pit of my gut. I would be able to use that pain at some point in the future. I didn't plan to let his life go unavenged.
I was barely speaking to Nickie now. I held her to blame for what had happened, but if she hadn't told Tony the Hound where we were, I'd most likely be dead now, killed at X's hand. I tried to convince myself that he might have changed his mind anyway, even if things hadn't gone down the way they had, but I couldn't bring myself to believe that. He'd stalked my house that night in order to break in and kill me. Only the events that had preceded it prevented that happening.
I'd had no choice but to contact the U.S. Marshals and tell them I was voluntarily leaving the Witness Protection Program and was taking my sister with me. They weren't happy about it, to say the least, but I had no choice. We were under Tony the Hound's pr
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