Photo: Kim MyoungSung – (CC BY 2.0)

 Previous Chapters: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14
    

“You’ve got somebody that knows who you are, isn’t connected to us, but still on our side. Somebody easy to get to, but quiet,” Lucas finished as if going any further would be superfluous.

“Meaning?”

“You’ve got somebody paid off.”

Lucas turned back onto the freeway and headed for the airport. Eli noticed they were going about 30 kilometers and hour faster than they were before.

#

Hours later he felt his head bob with a thud as the impact of the Airbus A320’s wheels made contact with the runway. The full four and a half hour flight gone, but there was still no plan, no further contact with Haley, and no sleep. Lucas, on the other hand, had managed to pass out before they left Frankfurt.

What was he going to do once he got Haley out of this?

He stopped.

If…if he got Haley out of this…

He wondered how she was doing. Was she okay? Was she safe? He had to know. He looked up. They had landed, but there was still a long taxi to the gate. He pulled out his phone and held down the power switch. The Samsung logo bounced around on the screen. Lucas stirred.

“Oh hey, we’re here. We’ll snag an Airbnb and figure ou…what are you doing?” His voice slowed to a horrified cadence.

“I was just going to see how Haley…” Eli stopped, realizing his mistake.

“Turn it off. Now,” Lucas demanded as loud as he ventured to go in the serenity of the sleepy Airbus cabin.

Eli obeyed, but the Samsung logo had already evaporated and the home screen had taken its place. They both watched as it found service before the screen went black again.

Lucas swore in German.

“Hey, I didn’t send anything. I literally just turned it on and off,” Eli hoped.

“Just shut up. They already know we’re here. I’ve got to think,” he said as he started his stopwatch.

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