Continue driving and talking

“What issue?" you ask tentatively, still unsure what you can safely talk about.

“I told Radovan I would kill you and Dias tonight.”

A beam of light glides across Cal's face. His brow is furrowed and his skin glistens. You've never seen him under such stress. The prospect of him killing you tonight feels dangerously real.

“So... Can I speak freely now?" you ask.


"Finally!" You can feel your tension subsiding a bit. Now, for the first time, you can speak with Cal straightforwardly. You have so many questions... 

But they'll have to wait.

“Dias isn’t really looking for you!" You exclaim. "I was just saying that, hoping that if Radovan told you to kill him, you'd have a chance to talk to him alone without Radovan watching."

“I know," says Cal. "I was outside the shed while you two were talking. I heard everything."

"Oh," is all you can say at first, as you rearrange your thoughts. So he knows that I know what I know. "What are you going to do?"

“I don’t know," says Cal. "I can’t kill either of you because I need your help. And I can’t fake your death because I would have to convince Gabbie of it. If I kill someone in your place, she’ll know it isn’t you. If I don’t kill anyone, and just tell Radovan that I completely disposed of your bodies, he would know I’m lying because he knows I would never do that to Gabrielle. If I were really going to kill you, I wouldn’t leave any mystery behind it. That way, she could accept it and move on. So that only leaves one option... I have to give up on Radovan, and hope that Dias can help me somehow."

You're shocked by how casually he considers murdering and disposing of bodies, but you push it out of your mind and focus on the present. 

"Let's find him, then," you suggest. "We can see if he's out doing his Tarot thing tonight, and if he's not, we can try his house. Although it looks like he doesn't live there anymore..."

"There's more to it than that," says Cal slowly. You notice that he's driving slowly too, and on a road that leads nowhere near downtown, where you feel sure you should be heading. Cal continues, "Dias told you that he used to work for Radovan... and I know he sounded convincing to you... but there's a chance he still works for him. I really doubt that's the case, because I think Radovan would have told me by now. But if he's been lying to me, then he already knows I'm trying to betray him. And if he knows, he'll probably be with Dias now, waiting for me to walk into the trap."

"I see your dilemma." You stare idly out at the darkness, lost in thought. 

"But I have no choice now," says Cal. "I have to trust Dias, and I might be killed for doing it, but I can't keep risking everything for Radovan, especially now that I have a child on the way..."

The car slows down even more. In the middle of a deserted county road, far from any street lights, the Rolls Royce stops.

"Edward." Cal turns to look at you, although it's too dark to really see. "Your life is at stake too. And Gabrielle's. If we're lucky, we'll find Dias on his usual street. I know Radovan wouldn't be there with him, in public. But if Dias isn't there... " Cal pauses, maybe thinking, maybe struggling to say something difficult. "If he's not there, I want to take you back to Gabrielle, and I'll look for Dias alone. That way, if Radovan is waiting for me, you and Gabrielle can escape... maybe."

"Okay," you hesitate. "What would you want me to do then? If I go back to your house... what do I tell Gabbie? Should I take her out of town just in case? But Radovan might not even be there... you might meet Dias alone and solve all your problems. He really sounded to me like he hated Radovan." 

"I know," says Cal. "But he's a good actor. He has to be." Cal takes an audible breath, and begins to turn the car around. "Maybe if we don't find him downtown, you can come with me to his house. We'll park just out of sight, and I'll go inside alone. If I don't come back within 5 minutes, you'll know Radovan is probably there. Then you can take the car back to Gabrielle and... well, let's just check downtown first. If Dias isn't there, then I'll tell you what to tell her."

It all sounds confusing, and far more dangerous than anything you've experienced before. Even the life-threatening situations that come with being a cop. Radovan seems much more diabolic than any reckless criminal with a gun. Without knowing the first thing about what Radovan does to threaten and control people, you find your heart pounding uncontrollably as Cal drives you toward the first stop in your search for Nicolas. 

The End

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