CXVI:Secrets Broken(3)

By: Angie Smith

“He’s lying,” Plant said. “He’s trying to trick you and draw your attention elsewhere. He’ll jump you and grab the gun. It’s textbook.”

“Be quiet,” she snapped, trying to comprehend Williams’ words.

“For God’s sake, either ring the police or shoot him,” Guilford-Johnston blurted out.

“Be quiet, Arsehole,” she hissed. She knew things were getting out of hand; she glared at Guilford-Johnston. “If you speak again it’ll be you that gets the next bullet, not him.”

“I’m not lying, Maria,” Williams continued. “You can ask your father. I wouldn’t trick you.”

As she struggled with the concept of the assertion he moved slowly towards her.

She dropped the phone and took hold of the gun with both hands, adopting the shooting stance position; she aimed at the centre of his forehead. “Do not move a muscle,” she snarled.

Williams stopped.

“Shoot the bastard,” Guilford-Johnston ordered, attempting to struggle free.

Furious, she turned the gun straight at him. “Right, Arsehole! I’ve told you more than once to be quiet. The next thought you’ll have will be the realisation that I… Do… Not… Make… Idle… Threats...” Her fingers tightened around the trigger.

“No, Maria!” Woods roared.

The crack of the bullet shattering through bone evaporated the tension, as did Guilford-Johnston’s blood splattering across the wall. Barnes dropped the gun and fell to her knees.

“Jesus Christ, Maria!” Woods said. “Why the hell did you do that?” He glanced up at Plant, who returned the look, but didn’t comment. The eerie silence was palpable.

Chapter 1

Sunday 10th June

Woods watched Williams dive, roll and snatch up the gun which had fallen to the side of Barnes. Then with the weapon in his right hand he placed his left arm around her slender waist and scooped her up off the floor, as though she were a small child. She immediately kicked and fought to be set free. “Let me go!” she screamed, red-faced. Despite her protests his hold was secure and he carried her effortlessly towards the door.

“Be quiet!” he ordered, stopping to place the gun on top of the filing cabinet. He took out his iPhone, quickly filmed the entire room, and then slid it back in his jacket. Finally, he grabbed the gun and rushed out with Barnes who was still protesting to be released.

“Wait!” Woods called, struggling to his feet, dizzy with the blood loss from the bullet in his right shoulder. He had to steady himself momentarily against the wall.

“Untie me,” demanded Plant. “We need to get after them.”

Woods took no notice; he was concentrating on the room and Plant could wait. He staggered out onto the landing, hearing the back door downstairs thud shut. He held his upper arm close in to his torso, bracing his shoulder, and awkwardly descended the stairs, gasping for air and grimacing with every step. When he reached the ground floor his head began to spin. He stopped, leant against the wall and swallowed hard, but the sound of a diesel engine chugging into life outside spurred him on. He presumed it to be the white Transit he’d seen parked there when Barnes and he arrived. Unsteadily, he managed to make his way to the door and pull it open. Through blurred vision he made out the van reversing onto the street. He squinted and spotted Williams in the driving seat, but there was no sign of Barnes. He assumed she’d been bundled into the back. The Transit pulled off at speed as Woods tried frantically to reach the pavement; he wanted to know which way it would head at the junction with the main road. But he was too weak. He grasped hold of the boundary wall with his left hand trying desperately to avoid the inevitable loss of consciousness. He shook his head vigorously, attempting to force blood to his brain. It worked and he struggled to pull out his phone. Damn! It wasn’t on. Barnes had told him to switch it off so that their movements couldn’t be monitored. He pressed the on/off button and waited the few seconds required for it to become functional. Come on! He screwed his eyes closed as the pain intensified. His knees buckled and he was going down. As he fell to the floor he heard the strange echoing sound of running footsteps approaching; he glanced up to see two men, wearing dark grey suits, standing over him. “Call for backup,” he managed to say, offering up his phone. “She’s killed Guilford-Johnston.” He groaned and passed out.

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