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The Girl with the Green Eyes - Part III
Troy didn’t understand. Markus, as in Laura’s older brother? If his suspicions were correct and Laura’s descriptions were accurate, this was the guy who murdered his own father! He looked so old, though, how could they be related?
“Come, Laura,” he said, holding out his hand for her to take. But she just glared.
“You disgusting, bigoted creature! You deserve to rot in the deepest chambers of—”
“Now now,” Markus whispered. “We’ve got things to do and people to see. You can either come the easy way or the hard way.”
“I can’t believe this is the way you repay mom and dad. You kill dad and then kill me. Mom doesn’t deserve this. Just think about Leo.”
“I’m not going to kill anybody! I’m clean!”
“As clean as a rat’s a—”
“Stop it, Laura! Just for the record, I killed dad to save him. He was going to be tortured by an organization in France.”
Her face softened up and she said, smiling, “Wow, Markus, that really convinces me! I’ll come with you now lickety-split!”
He yanked on her arm and carried her away. Laura screamed and kicked the walls. “TROY! HELP ME!”
There was a vroom of the motor, and with that, she was gone.
Mrs. Thorson looked as if she was about to vomit and faint at the same time. “Troy, do you mind telling me what just happened?”
He didn’t have time. He dialed 911 then sprinted to his light-blue Ford F-150. He managed to find Markus’ vehicle, which wasn’t hard to find because its license plate said MARACE, a combination of his first and last names. It was also a black Jaguar, which seemed pretty ostentatious for a kidnapper.
“Wait, let me get this straight,” said Troy’s father, who was on the phone with his son. “You are calling to report a kidnapping of a French man who killed his own father, and is now abducting his…sister?”
“Dad, I don’t have time for this. Look it up, now! You’ve got to believe me! I can’t look at your point of view at the moment because I am attempting to get my friend back.”
“What’s her name again?”
“Laura Wallace! The idiot who is kidnapping her and killed her father is Markus Wallace!”
“Oh, Markus Wallace! Why didn’t you say that earlier?”
“Alright, alright, calm down. I’m sending two SWAT units. What does he want with her, anyway?”
“I don’t know, but I’m assuming he’s some kind of international spy. I mean, what other reasons would he have to killing his father, and abducting his sister?”
“I guess we’ll have to bring him in to find out. Thanks, Troy. Do you want to stay on the line?”
“Not really.” Troy hung up and pressed hard on the accelerator. As he was coming up on a red light, he noticed that Markus wasn’t slowing down but speeding up. He also witnessed that a bright yellow Porsche was whizzing by. If Markus kept going, he’d be T-boned instantly.
Troy slammed on the brakes and pressed as hard as he could on the horn. Now it was Troy’s turn to signal for help nonverbally. The roles were now reversed from Paris in 2008, but unlike that moment, she answered his pleas.
As Troy halted to a stop, he saw Laura leap out of the Jaguar, going at least sixty-five miles per hour, into a grassy ditch. She rolled several times until she ran into a tree stomach-first, where she lay dismally. To Troy’s delight, though, she was still conscious.
He parked on the side of the road and ran to Laura’s company just when she pointed to the intersection. Milliseconds later, he heard a crash, and Troy stopped in his tracks.
It was like a horror movie in slow-motion. Markus went through the red light and was smacked by the brand-new Porsche. Parts were flying everywhere and fire exploded out of nowhere. Both Troy and Laura closed their eyes, not wanting to see if any bodies remained.
Troy held Laura as she screamed and cried. “Not again!” she pleaded. “Not again.”
The SWAT teams Troy’s father, Lawson, had promised came escorted by an ambulance and a fire truck. They quickly got a blotchy, ash-darkened figure onto a gurney and another, who was shrieking in pain, on a stretcher. The fire truck hosed down the scene and the people involved with the crash were evacuated. Police officers taped the intersection with yellow “crime scene” tape, even when there was hardly any crime.
With Troy’s help, Laura marched up to Lawson Thorson, Police Chief extraordinaire. He was very muscular and had blackish-gray hair of a scholar. He wore a gray suit and a bright blue tie that had some ash on it.
“Do you need the firefighters to take a look at you? The medics left with your brother and Mr. Jones, but—”
“No, I am fine, sir. How is my brother?”
Lawson snorted. “He’ll be okay. Do you mind me asking what in the world was going on?”
She sighed. “My brother is an undercover spy for the CIA and was forced to kill my father in order to save him. His boss had Intel that said he was most wanted in several European countries, and if they got him, they’d torture American secrets out of him. He was a great man, truly, and Markus resigned right after he completed the mission, however he was temporarily reassigned to protect me, no matter what it took. He knew I hated him after what he did, so it was a lot more difficult than his boss considered. That’s why I was freaking out. I thought he was going to literally kill me.”
“Did he tell you this just now?”
“Who is his boss, exactly?”
“The Director of the CIA.”
“And you believe him?”
“Well, yeah—you can contact the Director if you don’t. But killer or no killer, he’s still my brother. I haven’t seen him since my dad died, and it’s been rough without him. Leo has been acting out and I rarely see him as well.”
Lawson left to have a brunch with the Director of the CIA. He knew it was a big mission, but he also knew that Troy really cared for Laura, and this was a switch, because after dating Meghan Tong for eight months, he had never seen his boy that happy with her once.
Troy and Laura had some alone time so they spent it in Honeydew Park, a local park with several hiking and biking trails in the middle of nowhere. Troy used to go roller-skating there all the time during his parents’ divorce and Lucie’s death. He had never shown anyone his secret hideout—not even Meghan, the girl he thought he loved—until now.
They held hands down the paved paths and ran around in the thickest part of the forest. “Where are we going, Troy?” she giggled, her hands twisting around his.
“See, here it is! My refuge.” They stopped at a renovated deer stand. Troy had stapled sheets of wood around three massive trees, then put a large four-person deer stand up twelve feet high with a latter and carved a whole in the middle. He then created a make-shift latter so he could enter inside the hideout. He had collected materials to put in there over the years—flashlights, heaters, newspapers, blankets, rations, empty water bottles, candy wrappers, a tarp for the bottom of the hut, and yet never did he have problems with precipitation or bugs getting in. He also made a plug to cover the hole in the deer stand so when inside, he could be toasty warm in all four seasons.
When they made it inside, Laura was in awe. “This is amazing! And you built this all by yourself?”
“Yes, I did.”
“It must have been awful lonely.”
“Sometimes, I’ll admit. But going through divorce and death made me like being alone, you know?” She nodded. “I’m glad you’re the first person I’m showing this to.”
“It’s because you are the first person outside of my family that I love.”
She nestled closer to him, and as they stared up at the black-as-night sky, they saw a shooting star. They kissed, both wondering if the star was lucky.
“I wish I could live here forever,” she whispered. “I don’t get any cell phone reception, but I like it. It makes me feel at peace for once in my life. I don’t have to hide when I’m here with you.”
“That’s exactly how I feel, coming out here.”
“Troy, I’m glad you ignored me in Paris.”
He chuckled. “I didn’t do it on purpose, Laura. But why?”
“I think it’s because fleeing from Markus brought us together. Of course, Lucie did, too, but if it wasn’t for Markus killing my father—and then coming after me—I wouldn’t be so crazy about you.”
“Yes. And as a matter of fact, I need to tell you something.”
“I’m afraid I am the jealous type.”
Orchard Park, New York
Grand Rapids, Michigan
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