Drake opened his car door and I had no choice but to join him. I was still confused. Beth followed us, and hung up as she flopped into the passenger seat.
'Jagan's on his way.'
I leaned forward until my head was practically sticking through their seats. I needed some answers: we were on the way to the prison but we had no proof that Steve was there. At least...Drake seemed to have some idea but I did not follow at all. And I'm pretty sure Beth wasn't asking any questions just to appear more professional...unless it was crystal clear to everyone except me.
'I really don't get this. I mean...' I paused. I didn't want to look really ignorant: I could tell Drake was half-expecting me to mess up along the line, and I didn't want to make some "rookie" mistake (despite being around for quite a while now I still got the feeling I was the new one- well, technically Drake was new but he was experienced already- or acted like that). 'You were saying something about a swap with Steve. That can't have been an imposter on the phone just then.' I looked to Beth for support. 'That was his voice, wasn't it? I'd recognise it anywhere. You can't just find a voice double as precise as that.' I was trying to hide the fact that when I'd picked the phone up I'd nearly had a fit. I hadn't realised how much I'd missed him until he spoke. And unless I was imagining...no, come on Dani. Now was not the time or the place or the time. No wait, I already said that...
'And another point.' I directed my questions at Beth again. 'Who is the Baron and who is the Wicked Witch?' All I could think of was maybe some weird childhood game- or an unheard of version of The Wizard of Oz...
'Oh.' Beth frowned. 'I...I'm not too sure whether we should discuss this right now.' She turned round and lowered her voice. 'Can I tell you afterwards? In a minute or so?'
I nodded, biting my lip. I could see why Beth might want to keep Drake out of the picture for now: it sounded like something personal, and he might twist it to place Steve in the wrong. I mean, he was helping us. But I just felt a bit insecure as of yet about him.
He'd said he was scared...I know that everyone had listened to the message afterwards but it still felt like only I had properly heard it. It was personal. He wanted to tell me something. He'd used my full name...
'Drake, you still haven't answered me. What makes you think that the phone call was a fake?' It was real. It had to be. It had felt real.
'Dani, I'm not saying that the phone call was a fake. What I meant by the swap was-' he cut off abruptly. I frowned.
The car stopped, just outside the prison. But I knew we hadn't stopped because of that.
'Get out of the car!' Beth and I didn't need telling twice, and all three of us rolled out as routine in these situations. A split second later, the car burst into flame, and the engine furled outward in an impressive explosion. This sight was becoming all too familiar. And it meant that somebody knew about our new addition to the team. I shaded my face as shrapnel flew about, and then felt the rushing past my ears as the flames burnt out and subsided.
Jagan stood on the other side of the car, staring in bewilderment at me, Beth, Drake, and the hunk of smoldering metal. The taxi roared off into the distance- I didn't blame the driver. For the first time that wasn't a pretty sight.
'Why does this always happen?'