“They went past.” The realization swept through Griff’s body like a warm wind of anticlimax. “They… They just drove right by, hardly even slowed down.” His relief was tinged with an unexpected, adrenaline-fuelled edge of disappointment. He absentmindedly fingered the revolver he’d been given.
Francis cracked one eye open and looked past him, following the green sedan as it sped away from them. With a rattling sigh, she slumped down against the hatchback they were hiding behind and reengaged the safety on her handgun. “Just as well,” she muttered, holding her left hand up in front of her face and watching her fingers twitch. “I couldn’t’ve held that invisibility field for long. Urgh. I need a good night’s sleep…” She lifted her right hand, as well, and Griff saw that her knuckles were white as she gripped her gun. With noticeable effort, she unwrapped her fingers, and shook her head as she watched them tremble, too. She forced a grin onto her face. “Think I still could’ve shot straight?”
“Um,” said Griff.
Francis chuckled. “Glad you didn’t have to find out, eh? I don’t blame you. So am I.” Tucking her gun into her belt, she raised herself up and peeked after the green sedan, which was disappearing around a bend in the road. “So, just to be sure, you’re confident the people in those car are some of our jailbirds, or at least the people who sprung them, right?”
“Well, they came from the rendezvous place, or whatever it was…”
“Good enough for me. How many others were there, and what’s happened to them?”
“I’m not sure,” admitted Griff. He cast his senses out and came up empty. “They’re all gone now. I didn’t notice them leaving.”
Francis grunted her disappointment. “Well don’t lose these ones! Wait here a second. I’ll get us some keys.”
“Keys?” said Griff. “Wait, are we really going to—”
But Francis was already bounding down the hill towards the overturned ERT van and climbing inside. She emerged a few moments later holding a key ring, then pried one key off and tossed the rest back inside. “The RCMP will pay your deductible if anything happens,” she called to the woman inside as she returned to the car, “(probably). There’ll be all kinds of people showing up here any minute to take care of everything, just hang tight!” Jogging around to the driver’s side, she ordered, “Griffin, get in.”
Griff obeyed—what else could he do at this point? Despite certain evidence to the contrary, he still felt safer with her than separated from her. He’d be dead right now if it wasn’t for her…
The inside of the car smelled like flowers, and there was a Vancouver Canucks bobblehead perched on the dash. Griff laid the revolver in his lap while he buckled his seat belt.
“Hey, whoa!” said Francis. “You want to think twice about that?”
Griff paused with the seat belt half-fastened. “Huh?”
“Not the seatbelt… Hold still, idiot.” Francis reached over and gently engaged the revolver’s safety. “You don’t just perch one of these on your knee while it’s ready to fire.”
“Er,” said Griff. “Oops.”
“You know what they say, kid: safety first. Now hold on; we’re about to break some speed limits.” She cranked the engine and stomped on the accelerator and they flew off in pursuit of the green sedan. Steering with one hand, Francis dug in her pocket for her cell phone, tapped on a contact named “Home Base”, and held the phone to her ear. “Don’t think I can’t see the irony in this, by the way,” she said, but Griff was too busy grabbing onto anything within reach to keep his balance as they rocketed around a corner, accelerating all the way.