He cleared his throat. “Luce’s underlings will track you here. I’ve got a safe house lined up, but we’ll have to keep you moving for at least a couple of weeks – to be sure we’ve given them the slip.” The napkin in his hands turned into chaff.
“What?” I shrieked, standing quickly and knocking my chair over. “You’re not going to do anything about Dad?”
“I promised him I’d look after you –“ He hesitated, then reached for my arm to calm me, to sit me back down like a child.
“If we wait, he could be dead!” I jerked my arm free of his touch.
Collin opened his mouth to argue with me, but took a breath instead. “No,” he said.
I glared at him. “What? I thought you knew my Dad – doesn’t that mean anything?”
“Leslie, you can’t be serious!” he said. “If you go looking for Dr. Harlan, it’s a trap!”
I regarded my babysitter carefully. “It’s my choice to try,” I said.
He was on his feet, kicking at the air, doing an angry dance on the linoleum. “No way! I made a promise, and I intend to keep it – to do anything else is suicide!”
I shook my head. “He’s my Dad. If you won’t help me, I’ll do it myself. I’m not afraid.” It was a lie, but I wasn’t about to let him know that. He stopped his angry dance to scowl at me as I started out of the kitchen.
I turned and stood with my arms folded. Collin leaned back on the small counter. He hung his head, and for long moments the faint noise of commercials permeated the silence. “I know someone we can talk to,” he said at last. “We can at least get some information before going on a hair-brained goose chase.”
“Great,” I replied, bending to right my fallen chair. “When do I get my gun back?”
He watched me from the corner of his eye. “As soon as I know you won’t shoot me. Again,” he said.
“Only if you don’t behave,” I replied sweetly, batting my eyelashes for good measure.
* * *
(This piece is part of an ongoing serial story. You can catch up on the plot via the Serials page. If you liked this work, please consider purchasing one of my other stories, or some of my music for your collection. )