Prom Nights from Hell Chapter Six part 2
“Put them up,” Glasses Geek said. “I mean your arms. Miranda did what he said because his hands were shaking so much she was afraid he’d shoot her by accident.
“Who are you? What are you doing here?” he demanded in a voice that shook almost as much as his hands.
“I just wanted to get a glimpse of Her,” she said, hoping she made it sound right.
He narrowed his eyes. “How did you know She was here?”
“The Gardener told me, but I didn’t know where She was being kept so I climbed up that tree to look.”
“Which affiliate are you with?”
I knew this would end in tears. What now, smarty pants?
Miranda raised an eyebrow and said, “Which affiliate are you with?” Adding for good measure, “I mean, I would remember a guy like you if I’d seen you before.”
It worked! She saw him swallow hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down. She would never doubt How to Get-And Kiss-Your Guy again! He said, “I’d remember you, too.”
She hit him with a dose of Winsome Smile and saw the Adam’s apple do some more moving. She said, “If I give you my hand to shake, will you shoot me?”
He chortled and put down the gun. “No,” still chortling. Holding out his hand now. “I’m Craig.”
“Hi, Craig, I’m Miranda,” she said, taking it. Then flipped him onto his back and knocked him out cold in a single silent move.
She looked at her hand for a second in shock. She’d definitely never done that before. That had been very cool.
If you’re going to be an idiot and risk everything, you might as well do what you came for. You know, instead of just staring at the guy you knocked out?
She bent to whisper, “Sorry. Take three aspirin for your head when you wake up and you’ll feel better,” in his ear, and moved around the edge of the safe house.
There must have been an open window because she could hear voices here, the man who had been outside before now saying to someone, “Are you comfortable?”
And Sibby answering, “No. I don’t like this couch. I can’t believe this is the nicest room in the house. It looks like a place for a grandma.”
Miranda followed the sound of Sibby’s voice and found herself standing in front of one of the street-facing plate-glass windows, looking through a gap in dark blue drapes into a living room. There was a spindly-looking couch, chair, and coffee table. Sibby was in the chair, her profile to Miranda, with a plate of Oreos in front of her. She looked fine.
The man was perched on the couch, smiling at Sibby, saying, “So, where are we supposed to drop you?”
Sibby took the top cookie off the Oreo and ate it. “I’ll tell you later.”
The man kept smiling. “I’d like to know so I can plan the route. We can’t be too careful.”
“Oh my gods, there’s like hours before we go. I want to watch some TV.”
Miranda heard the man’s heart speed up and saw his hand flex but he kept his tone light when he said, “Of course.” Then added, “As soon as you tell me where we’re taking you.”
Sibby frowned at him. “Are you deaf or something? I said I’d tell you later.”
“It’s in your best interest to talk to me. Otherwise I’m afraid I’ll have to bring in someone else. Someone a bit more… forceful.”
“Fine. But while I’m waiting, can I please watch TV? Tell me you get cable. Oh gods, if you don’t have MTV, I’m going to be really pissed.”
The man stood up with an expression on his face like he wanted to break something, then abruptly turned to face the door. Miranda heard footsteps coming toward the room from the hallway, and with them a familiar cha-cha heartbeat. Two seconds later Deputy Sergeant Caleb Reynolds burst through the door.
See? Sibby’s in no danger. The police are here. Scram.
Deputy Reynolds said to the man, “What’s taking so long?”
“She won’t talk.”
“I’m sure she’ll change her mind.” His heartbeat picked up.
Sibby glanced at him. “Who are you?”
Caleb said, “I’m the Gardener.”
This was extremely not good, Miranda decided.
“I wasn’t very impressed with the front lawn,” Sibby told him.
“I’m not that kind of Gardener. It’s a nickname. They call me that because-”
“Actually, I’m not even vaguely interested. I don’t know what you’re planning, Plant Boy-”
“Gardener,” he corrected, going a touch red.
” – but if you need to know where I’m supposed to be picked up by the Overseer, then you have to keep me alive, right? So you can’t exactly threaten me with death.”
“Not death, no. But pain.” He addressed the man. “Go get me my tools, Byron.”
As the man left the room, Sibby said, “I’m not going to tell you anything.”
Deputy Reynolds circled around so he was leaning over her chair, his back to the window.
“Listen to me-” he said, his heartbeat slowing down suddenly.
Miranda did a round-off, smashing through the window feet first, then knocked him unconscious with a side kick to the neck before he could turn around. She bent to whisper, “Sorry,” in his ear, decided as punishment not to tell him about the aspirins, grabbed Sibby, sprinted to the car, and stepped on the gas.