“Stop, you idiot.” I was going to stay mute, stay limp, but then, I was prepared for almost anything but this sudden confederacy. And I do want to get out of here. Which means I need to gather my things. Jon’s things.
But I also need to understand what’s going on in that mad head of his, because I’m not going anywhere with him without knowing what he intends to do.
He pauses. Did he hear me? I don’t think he hears all that well. Not for the first time, I wonder if he’s partially deaf. I try again. “Stop. Put me down.”
I think he is shaking his head. “We need to leave now. We don’t have a lot of time. I need to find Dan.”
Well, that much makes sense, though it’s surprising that he would actually disobey Nicholas in order to try to find Dan. I wonder how long he and Dan have worked together. I wasn’t lying to him, before - I really do think Dan is a decent guy. Precious few of those in the agency.
“Eric, listen. I will help you find Dan, if that’s what you want, but I need to bring some things with me.” He is still, absorbing this information, and then I feel him lift me from his shoulder and place me on the bed. Gentler than before - perhaps he is calmer now. That can’t be a bad thing.
I feel for the dressing table, the first drawer, with Jon’s clothes and shoes. I’ve already got both chips. I don’t need the clothes - they’re not really Jon’s, but Dave Greenhill’s. But something makes me take the shoes.
I hear Eric go into the bathroom and close the door. That’s my chance, and I put my spare comms unit into one of Jon’s shoes, wedged in with some lingerie. Jon’s shoes go into the bag, along with my encrypt/decrypt kit.
There isn’t much else - my handbag, my cane, some things from the bathroom, my favourite necklace. No sense in calling attention to myself by looking unusually disheveled. But I change my shoes to the flat pair with rubbery soles. I really want to take the boots instead, because they’re new and I paid a lot for them, but they’re nowhere near as good for running or climbing in. I have the feeling I’m not going to be able to claim for any of this on expenses later, which is annoying.
I hear the bathroom door open. “Are you ready?” Shades of that rusty voice from earlier, and I wonder whether he’s struggling with his decision to go against Nicholas’s wishes. Too late for that now - I want to get out, get clear of all this until I can make sense of it, and he’s going to help me.
“I’m ready. Don’t you need anything? Equipment? Clothes? Your pills?”
There is a short silence, during which I wonder whether he just got another fix. Then he says “Wait here. Don’t answer the door until I message you.”
I nod, and he leaves, the door locking automatically behind him. The room is utterly silent.