Chapter 56

Alex followed Piwitti and prayed that the woman wasn’t going to get into an elevator. There was no way she could conceal who she was in close proximity like that. The woman was walking fast, however, beelining where she needed to go. She went through several departments on that floor, before she was stopped by a co-worker. The two shot the shit for a few minutes, laughed about whatever inside joke they shared and then the woman was off again, weaving her way through desks and hallways. 

It seemed like forever before they stopped, and when they did it was in-front of a very large elevator. With a badge reader on the front. There was no way Alex had clearance for that. She watched as Piwitti entered the lift and bounced on her heels a couple of times. Maybe she could… maybe.

She ran forward before the freight elevator could close and slipped in, pulling her gun out from her suit coat as she did. The doors clicked shut and Piwitti looked over, almost in shock. She covered it well.

“Ms. Harwell.” She nodded. “I see you figured out where I was and by proxy, your old boyfriend.”

“Dumb luck.” Alex kept the woman right in her sights. “But then you’re not very smart at secrets. Or hiding. You’re really bad at it actually.”

“And you’re not good at subtlty. You do know that this lift has cameras?”

“I took a shot. Sue me.”

“Oh. I’m not going to sue you. Not yet.”

“What are you going to me, then?” Alex sneered. “The same thing you’re doing to David. Whatever that is?”

“Oh, my poor dear.” Piwitti was really good at playing the condescending baddie when she needed to. “You don’t even know that? Your pet code monkey hasn’t managed to get into our system and figure that out? Oh well. I suppose that if you’re here, she’s also here somewhere, hacking our systems.”

“Not this time.” Alex decided to try. “I’m solo this go-around.”

“Yeah right.” Piwitti waved her off. “You go solo about as easily as I can drink anything under thirty proof in alcohol, which is never.”

“So I will add, ‘Alcoholic’ to your list of growing issues.” Alex taunted. “So, where’s David. Take me to see him or I blow your head off like you did to Parker.”

“Oh my dear girl.”

“Call me that again, see what happens.”

“Ms. Harwell, you no more have chips in this game to play that I did over that phone call. This was a desperate ploy, just like we know that was. You can’t touch me here. You don’t even know where this lift is going.”

“Down.” Alex said quickly.

“How far?” Alex was silent. “See? You have nothing.” The doors opened. Alex expected guards to pounce on her, taking her away. But there were no guards anywhere to be seen.

“Your security is as sucky as your locks.” Alex sneered. “What else is new?”

“No.” Piwitti shook her head. “They are just more discreet than you would expect from muscle. They are on the perimeter of this facility, waiting to see if I need assistance. Which I don’t. You’re not here to kill me. You’re here to see if you can get out with David. Which you can’t. So we are just going to continue on with our little conversation and go visit him. You can say, ‘hello’ and then leave. And I’ll catch you later, with grand heroics. And we will have an end to our sad tale.”

“Yeah.” She shrugged. “I’ll pass. I’m getting out of here. With David.”

“No.” Piwitti smiled. “You won’t. And I’ll show you why. Put that thing away, there’s no point, it will just spook the staff. Come along.” She lead Alex through the double doors and into a medical facility. Alex lowered her weapon, stashing it in a coat pocket, to be discreet. She didn’t need panic making this more complicated. Not that there was much in the way of staff, the place was almost abandoned. 

Piwitti stopped at a door, punched in a six digit code on the keypad and entered an observation room. There was a two way mirror and on the other side of it was David. Propped up on pillows, hooked up to machines, the IV bag still pumping him full of saline.

“David.” Alex said.

“Stupid girl. He can’t hear you.”

“I know that.” Alex snapped.

“He can’t be moved.” Piwitti said behind her. “He has to stay here. The bullet did too much damage.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“You should. It’s the truth.”

“You never tell the truth.” Alex spat. “You lie and lie and lie. And for what? To get your own way? To get more money? To take over the world? What’s the end goal here?”

“Because I’m going to tell you what I”m up to.” Piwitti laughed. “Like some comic book villain? Tell you all my plans and how I’ve fooled you and then allow you to escape? This isn’t the movies, girl. This is barely even a tragedy. This is going to end in an anti-climax. With a court hearing and you coming to be with me, in my facility, just like this, forever.”

Alex was breathing hard, trying not to choke on her own tears. She wasn’t going to give this woman the satisfaction of seeing her cry. It wasn’t going to happen. She still had a gun. She could sell do this.

She rounded on Piwitti, sighting her in, again. She didn’t have a plan. She just had instinct.

“What are you going to do?” Piwitti smirked. “Kill me? Then you will never be innocent, never get to go home with your little brother.”

“Why would I kill you?” Alex sneered back. “You’re not worth the bullet.” She fired her weapon into Piwitti’s knee, who shrieked and fell to the floor. Alex leapt into the air, letting her leg drop and twist her hips, her other leg slamming into Piwitt’s temple. The woman collapsed, unconscious. 

Alex ran into the next room, shooting the lock off. David was awake as she started unhooking his restraints.

“Alex?” he recognized her. “What the hell are you…?”

“No time.” Alex interrupted, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Can you walk?”

“Yeah,” Alex laughed out loud in victory. “But why are you here?”

“To bust you out, dummy.”

“You can remember me?”

“How could I forget?” she got the last of the machines unhooked from him and he stood, remarkably strong for someone who seemed in a coma just a few minutes before.

“Why were you all passed out?” she asked while peering out into the corridor. It was chaos, she got her spare gun and handed it to her old partner.

“They woke me up at four this morning for ‘tests’.” She and David began slipping through the hallways, fast as eels. “They stuck my head full of needles and told me to run on a treadmill. Then I had to go to sleep with electrodes on my head. That was a power nap with hydration. They got worried about my water levels.”

“At least they let you nap.” Alex smiled. “Sound cushy to what I’ve been doing the last week.”

“Yeah.” David scoffed. “Being the human pin-cushion is super relaxing.”

They got to the lift and Alex attempted to decipher the buttons. They seemed to be written in Cyrillic. David pushed her gently aside.

“I got this.” He punched a button that didn’t seem to be any different from the other symbols and they rose up.

“What’s the rest of your grand escape plan?” David was smiling that smile of his.

“This.” She picked up her phone and dialed. “Leo! You coming this way? With a fast car? Sweet! I’m bringing a guest. Yeah, he’s bringing wine. But we have to hurry, the movie will start, soon. Okay. See you in five.”

“That is an odd code.” David smiled, rubbling where his IV had just been. 

“It keeps us semi-safe.” Alex shrugged. “Everything else we do, not so much.” The elevator dinged, the doors opened.

There was nothing. No one on the other side. It was the lobby and the lobby was dead. No guards, no one.

“What in the world?” Alex was super confused. Until she saw the flashing lights on the ceiling. Someone had pulled the fire alarm. She peered out the big glass windows and saw Maya and Sam bouncing up and down and shouting at her. She assumed it was hurry, because that’s what made sense. They ran. David was still in shape, which was a blessing.

“I’ve got Leo on her way!” Alex shouted, running up one of the many steep slopes to there rendezvous.

“Good.” Maya was limping in her heels. “Because I’ have some juicy juicy files.”

The building behind them finally erupted with activity, guards rushing out to chase them down. But Leo was already pulling up to the curb and they all flew inside, Sam taking the drivers seat.

“Buckle up, bitches!” he shouted in utter glee.

Zoe FleischerComment