The Drowning Game

The Drowning Game by LS Hawker

Book: The Drowning Game by LS Hawker Read Free Book Online
Authors: LS Hawker
of my face had been drained of blood, tight against my cheekbones. If I hadn’t been clutching the steering wheel so tight, my hands would have been shaking hard enough to knock me to the ground. I should drive her straight to the cop shop over in Niobe, but she’d know where I was going, and I believed she wouldn’t hesitate to blow my head off. I cursed myself for trying to help her in the bank yesterday, helpless in the presence of a pretty girl. So I kept driving, unable to do anything else.
    My phone buzzed, startling me, making me jump, and I was afraid the movement would make Petty’s gun go off. I started to reach for it, but Petty said, “Don’t answer that.”
    â€œIt’s my boss,” I said.
    She pushed the barrel into my temple again. “Don’t.”
    â€œOkay. Shit.”
    After a bit, Petty’s gun was no longer aimed at my head, but it was close enough to take care of business if necessary. I drove five minutes longer as waves of nausea rolled through me. When I couldn’t hold it any longer, I pulled to the side of the road.
    â€œWhat are you doing?” Petty said, raising the gun again.
    â€œPermission to vomit, please,” I said, then threw open the door and threw up.

    Chapter 12
    â€œL ET'S GO,” P ETTY said.
    â€œHurff,” I said. The wind blew and the occasional car or semi rushing by intensified it.
    â€œCome on,” Petty said, nudging me in the back with her gun.
    I was in no position to have a conversation at this point. I held up a hand as I spat and rubbed my mouth with my sleeve. I closed the door, staring out the windshield.
    â€œI think you should get out of my truck,” I said.
    â€œYou’d better—­”
    â€œYou’re not going to shoot me,” I said. I hoped saying it would make it true. “Get out of my truck. I don’t care where you go, but you’re not going there in my truck.”
    â€œGo now!”
    â€œGet out of my fucking—­” As I turned, I saw a red truck pulling up behind us. Curiosity quelled my anger temporarily. Hadn’t it been going the opposite direction down Main Street only moments ago?
    â€œHey,” I said. “Here comes Randy King’s—­”
    Petty dove to the floor of the cab, curled into a smaller ball than I would have thought possible, and pulled her bag on top of herself.
    â€œPetty, why—­” I looked up in time to see Randy pull up beside me, the passenger window level with mine. In the seat was Keith Dooley. He rolled his window down and grinned expectantly at me. I was ready to signal with my eyes that Petty was on the floor of the Toyota, because surely she wouldn’t shoot me in front of two witnesses. But something stopped me.
    â€œHey,” Randy said around Dooley. I’d always known who Randy King the Militia Man was but had never actually met him.
    â€œHi, Dekker,” Dooley said. “How are you today?”
    â€œFine,” I said out the window, my tongue thick and abraded from puking. I wondered if the lawyer could smell the fresh vomit on the road directly below his face, and the thought horrified me.
    â€œWas that Petty Moshen I saw in your truck earlier?” Dooley asked.
    â€œYeah,” I said without hesitation. “She needed a ride.”
    â€œA ride? From where? To where?”
    â€œFrom her house to . . . town, I guess.”
    Dooley glanced over his shoulder at Randy, whose mustache twitched.
    â€œAnd what happened when you got to town?”
    This was strangely reminiscent of TV court cross-­examinations, and my guts started rolling again. “She got out of the truck.”
    I watched Dooley rise almost imperceptibly in his seat, trying to see into the Toyota. Maybe Stockholm syndrome had already set in, because I was careful not to shift my gaze, not to look at my passenger hiding on the floor, and my eyes watered with the

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