Rivers stabbed the gun deeper into Etel’s back, and her bone-weary body jerked up.
His plan to lure Scarr out into the open had worked out perfectly. By targeting and killing one of the Windsor’s, he had figured Scarr would show himself sooner or later. The rest was just a game of patience. And his patience had paid off. It had been exactly thirteen hours since his little discussion with Stern.
After I’m done with this one, Rivers thought to himself, you’re next, motherfucker. Just now he wondered what he’d do to the girl, the hostage, after it was over. Well, he’d have to kill her too.
“I figure introductions are no longer necessary, are they?” Rivers asked Scarr from behind Etel’s shoulder.
“No they aren’t,” Scarr replied. Then he added, “If you know who I am.”
“I know your name. I know you’ve been onto us. I know you’re a tough son of a bitch. Is there something else that I should know?”
“Let the girl go.”
Rivers’ hand came from around Etel’s shoulder, and worked a path across her breast up to her collarbone. Then his fingers latched around her neck.
“She’s not going anywhere,” Rivers said, looking straight at Scarr. “Are you armed?”
“Take out your piece, very slowly,” Rivers said, pressing Etel tightly against himself for maximum coverage. The sharp features of his weather-beaten face showed only partially behind the dry cut of Etel’s hair.
Scarr slowly reached inside his jacket with one gloved hand and brought out the Eagle with his thumb and his forefinger. The Eagle glinted in the sun.
Etel looked at Scarr. An air of deep, almost grievous concern loomed largely in her eyes. Her mind was racing wildly inside her head. Scarr was surrendering his weapon too easily. What was he going to do now? She didn’t see how he could defend himself or do anything in the position he was in.
“Toss it away,” Rivers said, with a jerk of the head in the direction he wanted the Eagle to be tossed.
And Scarr obeyed. The Eagle flew heavily and thudded terribly on the rough cement floor, a couple feet away from his feet.
“Was it you,” Scarr asked casually, “the shooting this morning?”
“Sure, that was me. Now turn around.”
“Turn around now or she dies!”
Etel thought she saw Scarr nod to himself. And fear gripped her, especially when he started to turn around. She knew what was going to happen next.
And Rivers violently shoved her to the side and jumped forward, his hand coming up quickly with the gun to aim for Scarr’s head.
Etel cried again.
But what happened next baffled her.
Instead of the shooting that was expected, Rivers’ body suddenly nosedived to the ground. His gun fell out of his hand. Etel was waiting for him to get back up or something, but he didn’t move. Etel blinked at Rivers. But no–– he wasn’t moving.
Almost as if he was dead…