Halfway to the Grave

Page 82

The door opened and Tate Bradley poked his head in. His arm was in a sling and there was a bandage near his temple.

"Time to go."

Nodding shortly, I grasped my mother's wheelchair and followed him down the hospital corridor. The hallway had been cleared and every patient door closed. Behind me were eight heavily armed men. It seemed Don was afraid I'd get cold feet.

There were about two hours left of daylight. We would be driven a short distance away to a helicopter pad and then flown via chopper to where a military plane waited. I piled into the backseat with my mother. Tate took the front passenger seat, being unable to drive with his broken arm. A man who introduced himself as Pete took the wheel. My other guards took flanking positions in three vehicles, one behind us, two on each side. Ironically, it was the same formation the vampires had used last night. We pulled away and I closed my eyes, thinking that I'd have to find a way to tell Bones goodbye. Maybe I'd leave a message with Tara. She'd know how to contact him. I couldn't just leave with no word to him at all.

Tate broke the silence after several minutes. "Pete here will be one of the members of the unit, Cather-excuse me, Cat," he corrected himself.

I didn't open my eyes. "Not unless I say so, or were you asleep during that part? I pick the team. Pete's in only if he passes my test, and that goes for you, too."

"What's the test?" Pete asked condescendingly.

My eyes slit open.

"To see how many times you'll get back up after I beat you unconscious."

Pete laughed. Tate didn't. Maybe he wasn't as stupid as I'd first thought. The glance he threw me told me he believed every word.

"Look,"-Pete eyed me in the rearview mirror, skepticism etched on his face-"I know you're supposed to be something special, but...what the f**k?"

Pete's retort ended in a gasp when he spotted a man in the middle of the highway in our lane. My breath caught as well, and my mother screamed.

"That's him! That's-"

Tate had less hesitation. In the seconds before the car struck Bones, he pulled his gun and fired through the windshield at him.

It was like hitting a brick wall. The collision crushed the front of the car. Glass exploded out of the windows and the front and rear air bags deployed instantly. Jerked forward violently, I heard brakes screech behind us as our escort swerved to avoid slamming into our rear. The two cars on either side of us sailed past and then applied their brakes to try to rotate around. Traffic still came from behind us. Vehicles that had banked sharply to the left and right of us crashed into the turning agents' cars. The sound of twisting steel on metal as the vehicles piled up in a ghastly domino effect was deafening.

Tate and Pete lolled in their seat belts, blood from the glass and contact with the dashboard streaming down their faces. There was a wrenching sound as Tate's door was ripped off its frame. Through the smoke from the destroyed engine, I saw Bones grin as he chucked the piece of the car like a giant Frisbee at the car behind us. Back there, the other guards vainly tried to get a clear shot at him. They scattered as the door burst through their windshield. In a flash the other door followed suit, and my mother wailed in mortal fear when he next tore open mine.

"Hallo, Kitten!"

Despite my earlier resolution, I was thrilled to see him. He unclasped my seat belt and grabbed my mother when she tried to scoot out her side.

"Not so fast, Mum. We're in a bit of a hurry."

A moan from the front seat made him casually swat Tate in the head.

"Don't kill him, Bones! They weren't going to hurt me!"

"Oh-right, then. Let's just send them on their way nicely."

In a blur he yanked Tate clear from his seat. For a moment his mouth pressed against his neck, and then he tossed him fifty feet in the air. Tate landed in the grass by the shoulder of the road. Pete attempted to crawl away, but Bones grasped him and gave him the same flight with similar onboard beverage service.

"Get out of the car, luv," Bones directed, and I sprang from the ruined remains of the vehicle. He still had my mother by the arm. She was crying and cursing him at the same time.

"They're going to kill you, they know what you are! Catherine's-"

My mother's words were cut off when I punched her right in the jaw. She collapsed without another word. In her railing threats, she would have revealed too much, and if Bones knew about the deal I'd made, he would talk me out of it. I'd believe whatever impossible assurances he gave me, because my heart had no common sense.

A bullet whizzed by. I dropped to the ground, not wanting to get shot again. Bones gave an irritated glance in its direction and then grasped the floorboards of the car. My eyes widened in growing comprehension. God, he couldn't do that, could he?

The agents from the cars in front of us had taken cover behind one of their overturned vehicles, and they were firing at us. Apparently they'd been told to ensure my safe arrival or, failing that, guarantee I didn't escape. Plan A had failed, so they were going with Plan B. Bones gave a wolfish grin as he lifted the car off the ground. He spun in a semicircle for maximum velocity, and then the twisted hunk of machinery went sailing through the air, landing point-blank on the makeshift barricade of the agents' vehicle.

There was a thunderous boom as the car exploded on contact. Thick acrid smoke billowed into the air. In the midst of this maelstrom, with his legs apart and eyes flashing green, Bones looked absolutely, terrifyingly magnificent.

Pandemonium seized the highway. Traffic on the opposite side of the road piled up as disbelieving onlookers stopped driving and gaped at the carnage to their left. Every second brought a fresh squealing of brakes and new accidents. Bones didn't pause to admire his work. He took my hand and threw my mother over his shoulder as we raced into the trees out of sight.

He had a car waiting about five miles ahead where the lanes were free of the wreckage behind us. Bones deposited my mother in the back, pausing only to clap a piece of duct tape over her mouth before we sped off.

"Glad you were the one that socked her, luv. It saved me the trouble. You don't get your meanness from your father-you get it from her. She bit me."

For someone who had just been hit by a car going sixty, he looked remarkably chipper.

"How did you do that? How did you stop the car? If a vampire can do that, why didn't Switch prevent me from bashing into the house last night?"

Bones snorted derisively. "That pup? He couldn't stop a toddler on a tricycle. He was only 'round sixty, luv, in undead years. You have to be an old Master vamp like me to pull such a trick without regretting it dearly afterwards. Believe me, it hurt like blazes. That's why I took a nip from your two blokes before chucking them off. Who were they, anyhow? They weren't police."

Copyright © novelfull thefreeonlinenovel.com All Rights Reserved.