Over the next few
days, she got down the schedule of Ivan’s guard. Mac was his
shadow and rarely left his side, if ever. The day arrived
and Bailey held to her schedule. In the evening, Kadyr left
to tend to something—she didn’t know what and it wasn’t her
concern—on the other side of the island. Using the
opportunity, she got going. Tossing her purse in her car,
she blew on her nails and strode back inside.
the maid asked.
“Fine, Tula. I
forgot something.” She made her way through the spacious
house and went out of a side door. Immediately she headed
for the lab. She entered and hugged the wall as she gazed
around for Ivan.
He lingered in the
back of the room, whiteboards on three sides of him. Blue
letters and numbers broke apart the shiny white. His shirt
hung, not tucked into his jeans.
I wonder if he
Aware of her limited
window, she wasted no time in approaching him. He muttered
to himself as he stared at the boards.
He held up a finger
without glancing at her then wrote with his left hand on the
board nearest. She ground her jaw. Another reason she didn’t
go after people. Patience with others wasn’t her strong
“Actually, now is
His pale blue eyes
met hers—heat surged through his gaze and her body. Ivan
wore his scruff well and she had this insane desire to reach
out and discover what it was like moving on his skin.
“What are you doing
here?” He gazed past her.
“Getting you out.
“I’m a lot of things
and I’m nothing. We need to move.” She grabbed his arm—his
nicely muscled arm—and drew him away.
“Who are you?”
“We don’t have time
for twenty questions. Walk beside me and keep your head
down. At the car, get in.”
“Is immaterial and
not worth your life, Doctor.” She opened the door and gazed
He moved at her
side, his loose-limbed gait something she would have enjoyed
watching were the situation different. She slid behind the
wheel as he joined her. Engine running, she shifted into
gear and drove away. In her periphery, she watched him.
Ivan was a presence
one couldn’t ignore. He didn’t speak, just sat there.
“Did you give them
anything?” Bailey nudged more speed from the car.
“If I say yes are
you going to kill me?”
An explosion rocked
the area—she spied smoke and flames in her rear-view mirror.
Ivan jerked around, staring out of the back before returning
his focus to her.
“Who do you work
for?” His demand fell. “Better yet, who are you?”
“I told him no.
Sending you—no matter how hot you are—isn’t going to get me
to change my mind.”
Her curiosity got
the best of her. Ignoring the fact he thought she was hot,
she asked the question. “He? He who?”
She whipped them
into a run-down lot and parked the car. After getting out,
she gestured for him to follow. “Come on. I know nothing
about whatever you and Kevin discussed. I’m here to get you
out. Nothing more. Nothing less.”
They crept around to
a small speedboat and she gestured him in. Bailey knew most
people wouldn’t dare touch something belonging to Kadyr
Hamisov, which was why it sat mostly unprotected. She wasn’t
With no hesitation,
she turned the key, bringing the engine to life. Once they
were untied, she guided them out to sea. Behind her, loud
shots pelted the water.
“What happens now?”
he cried over the wind streaming past them.
“We get you home.”
She checked her
coordinates and held them on course. The shroud of darkness
covered them and did so right on target. Thankfully some
things were predictable, unlike the men at the dock—she’d
underestimated their response time. She continually
monitored around them. Assuming their ride was on time, the
approaching crafts of his men would be too late.
“We’re in the ocean.
What exactly are we waiting for?”
She rummaged through
the storage, light clenched between her teeth. “Our ride,”
she mumbled. Withdrawing the can of gasoline, she then began
dumping it over the upholstery.
“What… What are you
Bailey paused and
looked over the bow as the water churned before splitting to
allow the sleek black conning tower of a US fast attack
submarine to appear as they rose. The sight was always so
powerful for her. She thrust the can at him.
She went to the helm and checked the screen. Their pursuers
were moving closer.
She shouldered her
bag, the strap crossing her chest, and moved them nearer to
the large black silhouette. A flashlight shone on them and
she blinked before it moved to the side, allowing her to see
four armed men plus the one holding the light.
“Let’s get you on
Three minutes later,
she stood on the hull and watched the speedboat go up in
flames. Then she and Ivan descended into the sub. The hatch
closed and they sank below the surface.