When the blow came I wasn’t the only one surprised.
Niall’s fist hit the side of Feany III’s neck with a sound like a handful of meatloaf you threw at the wall. Feany III went down like the meatloaf, and then there was one. Feany the Only must have heard Fearghal behind him; he dodged ever so slightly and caught the ham-sized fist in the side of the head instead of the pressure point on his neck. It was still almost enough; his head rocked, and he shoved backwards into Fearghal. Fearghal went over backwards, and Feany scrambled behind a car.
Siobhan and Rob appeared, one on each side of me. Someone fired a shot, and the three of us turned and ran.
“They’re between us and the cars!” Rob was in security mode, looking for an escape route.
“This way!” I ran toward Dubin’s jet, the stairs already lowered to the tarmac. When we were inside, Rob pulled them up and locked the door. Siobhan looked at me quizzically from the cushy leather seat she’d flopped into. “Now what?”
“We fly out of here; I’m not staying here while they shoot each other.”
Rob’s face was a mixture of shock and amusement. “Who’s your pilot?”
“I’ll fly it.”
“You don’t fly. What are you talking about?”
“Waddya mean I don’t fly? I know this machine inside out.”
“Sure you do. You’ve read the specs so often you’ve got ’em memorized. You’ve talked about buying a share in one for years, but I promise you, you’ve never flown one.”
Siobhan looked at me. Rob looked at Siobhan. I looked at the ceiling.
After a week or two of feeling incredibly stupid, I looked at Siobhan. “Any chance . . . ?” She somehow managed to switch from staring to glaring without moving a muscle.
“What’s going on outside? Isn’t it about time for the cavalry?”
“We were going for stealth. Max and company caught the transmission from your wire, but Siobhan and I were the only ones within following distance at any point. She insisted we don’t take any unnecessary risks and either tip him off or get people hurt, and I have to say, at the time it seemed like a good idea. Now I’m not so sure.”
In the silence that followed, I realized that it was, in fact, silent. Siobhan slipped from the seat and we all crept toward the windows on the left of the plane.
The thumping on the door made my heart stop. “All clear, Quinlan.” It was Feany’s voice.
Siobhan stood up and reached for the door.
I grabbed her arm. “What are you doing? Get back!” She let me pull her back toward the seats.
“Officer Morrison, perhaps you’d better introduce yourself to Dr. Martin.” She was smiling at me. I couldn’t tell for sure what kind of smile it was meant to be, but it made me feel kinda dumb.
“Special Detective Patrick Feany Morrison, Dr. Martin; on assignment with Special Detective Siobhan Quinlan. Perhaps you could open the door and we could continue the introductions at a lower volume?”
I dropped backwards into a seat and waved a hand vaguely toward Rob and the door. He did the honors, and Feany the First, Feany the Faker, Feany the Special Detective undercover climbed up the steps grinning.
“The O’Quinn’s are gone; took Dubin and his great fancy auto. McIver’s hands are tied, so if and when he comes to, he’s not going anywhere. Wire still on?” Siobhan stepped over and pulled me up from the seat. She felt around in the back of my coat, leaned out so Morrison could see her, and nodded. “They should be here any minute.”
I dropped back into the seat. Siobhan stood next to me, patting me like I was a sick child. My head hurt. All of me hurt.
“Are you ready for the rest of the story yet?” Her voice was quiet and concerned.
“No, I’m not. Just tell me, yes or no: is it over?”
“Yes, it’s over.”
She laughed. “I’m sure, or I’m out of a job.”
“Fine. Fine. That’s fine. Can I go now?” The relief from the endless stress took over, my head dropped backwards, and everything went quiet.