“I'll admit to pounding you a bit, but I'd never risk exposure like that,” he said. I wanted to take it for a lie, but he looked too confused by my words.
“But,” I started, confused. “William said you were warmed to stay away.”
“I was. Vincent made it pretty clear I was to have nothing to do with you. I thought it was because of the club fights,” he shrugged. I opened and closed my mouth, trying to assimilate the new information without success.
“So, you had nothing to do with Diane's family being kidnapped?” I asked.
“No!” he yelled, growing frustrated. I looked away from him, running a hand through my hand. None of this was making much sense at all. I pulled out my phone and felt Francis mover closer.
“Clam down, I'm getting us help out of here. I figure you don't want to stay here,” I said. He hesitated, and I could see he didn't trust me. It was definitely mutual. His jaw flexed with tension before he finally nodded. Bryan and Daine's phones went straight to voicemail. Brilliant. I called Penny and she answered on the second ring.
“What's up?” she asked.
“I need your help, can you come to the old warehouses by Newmarket road? Bring some kind of cover,” I added.
“Err, okay, why?” she asked. I could hear her moving, listening to a car door being pulled open.
“It's a long story, but I'm pretty sure there's something going on.” she snorted at the last part. I heard her start the engine.
“On my way.” she hung up.
A few tense minutes later and my phone rang again. Francis jumped at the sound of it and I answered instantly.
“I'm outside, want me to move closer?” she asked.
“No, I'll come to you. Do you have cover?” I asked, heading towards the side-door.
“Stole some old black drapes form the drama room,” she said. Even better I thought.
“I'll be right back,” I threw to Francis. I headed outside, using the railing to get over the low wall. Penny was at the other side of the warehouse buildings looking unsure. I waved and she drove over, stopping next to me.
“This had better be good,” she said, getting out and handing me the drapes. I climbed onto the dumpster and threw them by the door. Francis would've heard no doubt. Unlike me he didn't need to fuss with climbing, he just jumped over. Show-off. Even with the drapes I could smell sizzling flesh and he looked far from comfortable.
“Oh hell no,” Penny yelled, backing away instantly, her eyes turning yellow. Francis tensed in response. I threw myself between them quickly, placing both hands on Penny's shoulders.
“Don't! He's being screwed over by the vamps, same as us,” I pleaded. She hesitated, looking at me and then over my shoulders at Francis. I watched the internal battle going through her.
“If you bleed all over my car, you are cleaning it,” she finally sighed. Francis rolled his eyes at the words and got into the back. I took the passenger seat, glancing at him in the rearview mirror. He was hidden fully by the drapes, his body shaking a little.
“So, want to explain what's going on?” she asked, peering at Francis suspiciously. I cut him off before he could reply.
“Wait until we get to Diane's. We can explain everything then.” I sent both of them a text, telling them to get back ASAP. I'd much rather do this somewhere else, but Francis couldn't be outside forever. I'd have to ask William if there was way to retract a invitation once all this was over.