Jose yanked the door open and shoved Elaine forward. He spoke low in her ear “Don’t try anything.” Elaine couldn’t believe her luck. She knew that even if she were to hand over the flash drive, Nick wouldn’t let her go alive. She needed to find a way out of this but she didn’t even know who to trust anymore. Like Mack said, the guy Jose & she had met with a few days before, Nick had the city in the palm of his hand so how could she stop him once and for all?
Elaine and Jose walked down the long hall to the door of the main hotel hallway. Jose swiftly opened the door allowing Elaine to walk through first. Elaine hesitated, wanting to stall, when she saw Matt jogging toward her.
“Elaine! Where have you been? I’ve been looking everywhere for you.” Matt paused and looked to Jose who was coming through the door behind Elaine. His eyebrows rose and he hesitated a few feet from Elaine. Jose paused, caught off guard by Matt, so Elaine decided that was her cue. She kicked back, catching Jose in the shin; he yelped out in pain and bent over.
Elaine bolted grabbing Matt by the arm and dragging him behind her. “Come on, run! We have to get out of here!” Matt obeyed and took off, his eyes wide and mouth in a firm line.
“Elaine stop!” Jose’s footsteps were close behind. They had to get out of here quickly. Elaine spotted the back door she took to leave the Gala; she reached for Matt’s hand and tugged him to the door. Together they yanked it open and slide inside.
The Gala was still going in full swing, flushed faced people swished around them as they mingled and swayed to the music. Elaine held tight to Matt’s hand as they wove their way through the crowd to the front door.
As they sprinted out the door the doorman called “Have a great night! Thank you for coming!”
Elaine threw a wave back and continued on. “We need to get to your uncle’s newsstand. We can hide there.” Matt nodded and in a burst of speed, raced across the street easily. He raised his hands in the air waving down his uncle. With the dress and heels Elaine’s progress was much slower and she was almost hit by two cars before she finally hobbled to a stop in front of Sal’s newsstand. Sal was waving to her and pointed to an area beneath the counter area where his cash register stood. Matt was already crouched below looking uncomfortable with this knees pressed tightly against his body.
Elaine heard shouting behind her. She glanced back to see Jose and a couple of Nick’s bodyguards leaving the hotel. She dove under the counter and huddled up next to Matt. Sal pulled a curtain in front of them so they were blocked from view. Matt closed his eyes breathing deeply and placing his chin on his knees. Elaine tried to do the same in the tight space.
“Sir! Have you seen a woman with a young man come this way?”
“They went down the alley.”
“Guys! They went this way!” Elaine heard pounding feet run past and echo down the alley. When all was clear Sal pushed aside the curtain.
“Thanks Sal.” Elaine pushed herself up and stretched, Matt immediately behind her. “That’s the second time you’ve saved me Sal. How can I repay you?” Elaine leaned over and gave Sal a warm hug.
“Did you get what you were looking for?”
“That and more Sal; much more.”
“Why were you with that guy in that room if you didn’t want to be around him?” Matt rubbed his hands in the cold air.
“Well, I wasn’t sure if I could trust him but he proved to me I can’t. Thank you so much Matt for all of your help. If you hadn’t come down the hall when you did I wouldn’t have been able to get away.” Elaine hugged Matt tightly. He looked down at Elaine.
“But why is he trying to get you?”
Elaine pulled away. “I…I can’t tell you guys.” She looked sadly at Sal. “I appreciate all your help but if I told you then you would be in danger too and this is something that I have to deal with on my own.”
Sal reached out a wrinkled hand and touched her cheek. “Well you let us know if you need anything we are always here if you need anything.”
Elaine nodded her thank you and waved as she slowly made her way back to her hotel. She needed to find that flash drive, tonight.
To Be Continued…