I was in my sedan, peeling up the driveway by the time everyone else was piling into the remaining sedans. My GPS pinged, signifying that Hugo had sent me the location. I hated that we were so far away, and I hated that I didn’t know whether or not Jonas was okay. He was probably bleeding out, running out of time if he hadn’t died instantly.
It wasn’t long before I was speeding along the main road. I turned on my siren and fished around blindly in the back seat for my light, which I threw onto the dashboard, flashing red. Moments later, I saw our other three Carnus sedans trailing behind me, their lights and sirens joining mine. Cops followed soon after. I doubted anyone would be left when we arrived.
Fifteen minutes that felt like an hour later, I was pulling into the lot of the abandoned shoe store. I dove out of the car, pulling my gun from it’s holster on my belt. I should’ve waited for backup, but I didn’t. I knew they were close behind me. I ran inside, gun drawn, heading for the staircase. The place was dead quiet, so I knew Armana was gone. They certainly move quickly. I kept my gun up just to be safe as I sprinted down the staircase.
I swept each room with my eyes, seeing the place was a disaster. There were stray papers littering the floor, and some of the furniture was upturned in their haste to leave. I rushed toward the office, and burst inside. There was Jonas, hole in his chest, laying in a pool of his own blood. I holstered my gun and stripped off my blazer before dropping to my knees next to Jonas. I put pressure over the wound through my jacket, trying desperately to ease the bleeding. I leaned close, and could hear his shallow breathing.
There was still hope. Seconds later, everyone else burst into the room, and then there were paramedics all around me, pulling me away from Jonas’ prone body. “You’ve got to help him!” I said pointlessly. Someone pulled me to my feet and I realized I was crying, tears streaming down my cheeks. I looked around, and that’s when I saw a message written on the wall in blood- Jonas’ blood. It read “Come and get me”. That was the final twist of the knife, my father had to be stopped.
I was drenched from the knees down in blood, my hands covered as well. I began racking my brain. Where would my father go? I had to assume he knew I was working for Carnus, he had all the resources to figure it out. “Come and get me” was clearly meant for me.
I couldn’t think. Everyone from Carnus was standing around me. Holly was speaking to some of the police officers, who were walking around with gloves on, cataloging any evidence. The paramedics were on their way out with Jonas on the stretcher, multiple cords and tubes attached to him.
Think, think. That was all I kept telling myself. Where would dad go, and why would he want me to follow? Odds are, he’d know I’d come on my own. All I had to do was figure out where he was. What would happen once I did that?
Then, it hit me. Papa’s hunting cabin. It wasn’t far from town, just about half an hour. I made sure I had my gun before I ran. I heard Eddie and Padva calling after me, but I ignored them. I had to find my father and put an end to this.
Most of all, I wanted answers about what happened to Toby.
“Do you know what happened to Jonas? Is he okay?” I pause in my retelling to ask.
“They took him into surgery as soon as they got to the hospital. He made it through, but they put him in a medically induced coma just to help the healing. The bullet was only an inch from his heart… He got lucky.” Olger tells me. She has warmed to me since our interview began. I think she’s realized that I have no reason to lie to them. “I’ve been told that he’s expected to recover just fine.”
A wave of relief rushes over me. It was just another piece of good news. A smile crosses my face as I remember the rest of the day. Yes, my father is dead, but that’s not all.
When I arrived at the cabin, it was on fire. It wasn’t fully engulfed yet, just flames licking up the walls outside. I saw a black Lincoln parked where we’d parked our minivan so many times when I was a kid. Thankfully, there weren’t any trees close to the cabin that would catch fire as well. The fire was low on my priority list.
I got out of my sedan, drawing my gun for the second time that day. I rushed up the rickety wooden steps of the cabin. The door was ajar, and I pushed it open slowly. There was my father, standing in the living room with his back to me. He looked over his shoulder when he heard the door creak open.
He grinned, looking more wild and crazed than I’d even seen him. “Oh Penny, you’re here! Good, just in time for the show!” He threw his head back and laughed, then moved to the side slightly. I saw he had his gun in hand, pointed at a kneeling figure on the floor.
The man was bound, hands behind his back. He was beaten and bloodied, looking like he’d been tortured. He looked up, shaking his long and sweaty hair from his face and my legs almost collapsed out from under me when I realized who it was. “Hi, Link.”
“And my brother?” Those words felt so good. My brother, my best friend, was still alive. “How’s he?”
“Doing well. He’s at the hospital right now, being treated for various things, but he’s okay.” Jacobs answers with a sympathetic smile.
I grin. “Good.”
Read the next part!: Let Me Explain: Part Ten