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Chapter Nine

Edward and Ellen had sat there for a few hours, him reminding her of her duties ever so often until it became irritating. She knew what she was suppose to do and surprisingly was more composed than expected. She also watched as Edward checked and rechecked his gun repeatedly, loading through the bullets and ensuring his silencer was on. She didn't understand the mechanics much but she didn't care.

In and out was the plan.

Edward got up and went to the back of the room. He pulled a black duffel bag from a dark corner and threw it at her feet. After zipping it open she saw a few other guns. Edward took out a Glock, checked the safety off and turned the handle toward her.

"What?" Ellen questioned. There was no way he was giving her a gun.

"You ending up dead here, isn't the plan. If you need to, use it" He ordered flatly.

Without complaints she took the gun from him and held it limply in her hand. If push came to shove then...who knows what she'll be forced to do. She sighed.

"It's thirty minutes to twelve" Edward started, pushing two extra guns into the waistband of his pants. "I'm going to head down to Marcus's cell now. Garrett should come and get you any minute now."

She nodded and with that, Edward was out and gone.

As planned, in a few minutes, Garrett opened the door and motioned for her to follow. As they walked down the hall, the sign to the left read Block C.

"The camera systems are stalled for only fifteen minutes. We have to move fast," he whispered.

Ellen followed his urgent footsteps as they neared a cell to the end of the Block. Garrett unlocked it and a tall man stepped out. Garrett didn't explain anything to him but he followed suit without question. Ellen wasn't sure if she should address it but decided to leave it be. The three continued down the hallway until she ran into Edward with Marcus in tow.

The group convened at the end of Block B.

"We have ten minutes to head out the back exit before patrol gets to that area," stated Garrett. The other four head nodded and followed him.

Suddenly, a guard turned the corner. He was short and had a baton swinging in his right arm. Without warning Garrett slide back and caused the others to run into him. The hallway was quiet, bringing the other guards to alert. Two other guards started circling the end of Block C and rounded the corner to see the five people huddled together.

"Shit," Edward muttered angrily.

The two new guards aimed at them. "Freeze!"

Garrett dashed toward the short guard nearer to his end as Edward focused on the oncoming two. Shots fired. Ellen crouched on the floor between Marcus and the newcomer.

All three guards were taken care of but this brought everyone else's attention.

"Five minutes, move now!" Garrett shouted as more guards started showing up.

He led them down the hall of Block B and then through a door. It was wide room that had another door at the end. It was a secondary exit to the roof. Edward, Ellen and Ekon started towards the door. Marcus put a hand to Garrett's chest.

"I'm drawing the line here," Marcus stopped him.

He pushed Garrett back into the hall, slipping his gun out of his holster. Guards started filtering into the hallway as Garrett stared at him.

"Don't do this!" Garrett shouted.

The guards started to aim at them both. Marcus gritted his teeth. In one swift move he shot Garrett in the leg and left him. A few guards piled around Garrett while some followed after Marcus. He slammed the other door shut and jammed the lock on the other side.

Ekon was hoisting Ellen onto the staircase that led them to the higher platform. Edward was already up there, stretching his hand out to pull her the rest of the way. Marcus followed suit. A trampoline was set up over the side of the building.

Edward handed his gun to Ekon.

“Plan B. There’s a trampoline set up below but no cushioning. It’s likely we’ll hit the concrete”, he stated.

Ellen threw her gun at Ekon as well. The tall man barely flinched as he caught it and flipped the safety on.

“That's not what we discussed!” She whined.

Edward ignored her as he swung his feet over the ledge and slid off. He bounced off the trampoline and landed squarely against the rear of a black minivan. Ekon did the same, landing a bit more gracefully but still harsh against the concrete.

“Shit!” Ellen cursed. She didn’t agree to this. He hadn’t even told her about a Plan B before now!

Meanwhile she tried to get enough courage to take the leap, Marcus groaned in frustration.

“For fuck’s sake” He sighed.

He grabbed Ellen by the waist and carelessly threw her off the edge. She fell face forward, bouncing off the trampoline and landed on her side. A loud crack came from her elbow and she painfully groaned.

Marcus came shortly after, gracefully landing to his feet.

“You always were better at gymnastics” Edward muttered with mock jealousy.

The two men hastily hurried into the car parked while Ekon carefully helped Ellen to her feet. She was in so much pain. He cradled her elbow against his chest and tried his best not to break his neck climbing into the back seat of the car. Edward started the engine and in seconds they were out of the parking lot.

Ellen groaned out loud continuously as they drove towards Marcus’s house. Edward peered into the backseat at her condition.

“You don’t have to cuddle her Ekon,” Marcus’s voice sounded out from the passenger’s seat. Ekon chuckled nervously.

“Yeah man,” Edward agreed. “She played her part I guess.”

Ekon glanced between the two men but still held Ellen plastered against him, shielding her injured arm from any jolts. He didn’t particularly like her but she was injured.

“Who is she?” Marcus asked.

“She found your log at the library before I did,” Edward explained. “Right now she’s only alive because I thought she’d be useful. We’ll handle her eventually”

Ellen barely registered their conversation but she knew what was coming regardless. Her arm hurt like a thousand weights were pushed down against it and she couldn’t concentrate on anything. The new guy was holding her too close but she welcomed the added support.

“We’re stopping at my house to gather a few things then we leave,” Marcus explained to Ekon once he realized where Edward was heading. “In and out”

Ekon nodded and directed his attention back to Ellen.

“We don’t have much time to waste right now,” Edward stated, throwing three pre-packed suitcases into the trunk of his Honda. The baby sitter he had hired for the evening had left a while ago and now Lily was strapped up securely in the backseat. Ekon took the time to find bandages and wrap Ellen’s arm. Marcus was busy upstairs grabbing a few things for himself.

Edward closed the trunk once he doubled checked that all necessaries were packed and shouted to the others. Ellen came partially limping into the garage though her elbow took most of the hit.

“I’ll figure out what to do with you once we’re in the clear. Get in the car”

Wordlessly she agreed and took a seat on the child’s right. Ekon took the seat on the left. Marcus came into the garage with a small backpack slung over his shoulder.

“I dusted off the remaining finger prints you left in my room. The others, I’ll assume belong to the child and the woman. They have a trail, we can’t,” Marcus concluded.

“We can drop the child off somewhere—”

“No” Edward interjected. “She’s coming with us”

Marcus stared at him in disbelief. A child wasn’t fit for any of what they were going to do. Resisting the urge to have a fight now, he conceded out of fury.

“Fine, but I’m not responsible for her. This was a temporary thing, remember”

Edward ignored his friend’s comment, looking at Lily half asleep in her car seat. He needed her, even if she wasn’t his. Eventually Marcus would come to terms with it.

The two men piled into the car. Edward put it in gear gently then reversed out of the driveway.

“Where too now?” Marcus asked.

Edward drove towards the airport.

“The men are preparing the warehouse in Italy for us. I had it relocated. It’s built below a club on Saint Monaco, fully covered out of sight. Daniel has been in charge since we both went MIA, I trust he’s holding the fort,” Edward gave in detail.

Marcus nodded.

“But how are we getting to Italy?” Ekon asked from the back.

Ellen remained quiet.

“I have an old friend who owes me a favor,” Edward said.

Lily was now fully asleep and Ellen couldn’t help but stare at her. She had remembered seeing the child at the library with Marcus but didn’t pay it much thought. She was so caught up in her predicament that she hadn’t stopped to consider how a helpless child was involved. She was beyond adorable and seemed clingy of Edward but Ellen ignored all that. The man was still a murderer.

Lily tilted her hand toward Ellen in her slumber. “Milk” She murmured unintelligently.

She glimpsed a baby bag jammed beside Ekon and gestured to it. He passed it to her carefully.

“Here,” she soothed Lily as she gently pushed a bottle of milk into her chubby fingers and she drank slowly.

Edward watched her through the rear view mirror. His number one girl wasn’t going to be a ticket out but the genuine look in Ellen’s eyes made him relax a little. He didn’t trust much people with her.

“It’s another forty-five minutes to the airport and then another nine hours to get to Italy,” Marcus informed the others. “During that time, one of you will become my enemy and one may become my friend”

Ekon and Ellen looked at each other in the back seat and then stared straight ahead.

“I didn’t ask to be here,” Ellen mumbled.

“Yes, I read the log. If I were going to report you, I would have done so already. If you’re going to kill me, just do it.”

“And if not?” Marcus asked.

“If not, I am expected to be present for my final year exams next Monday.”

The car got silent after this.

“We’ll decide soon enough,” He ensured her.

She nodded in appreciation while Edward took a side glance at Marcus. The man barely looked at him but felt his stare.

“If you’re sparing the baby, why are you looking at me crazy?”

Edward huffed and remained quiet.

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