Catching Smoke: Ch. 32

catching smoke cover

It isn’t one person who comes to the rescue.

It’s several, dressed darkly, identities hidden, as they sweep into the room out of nowhere and begin taking down everyone Emmalee’s father has put in place to keep them there. Emmalee watches, mouth agape while Colin grins at the scene before them.

“Well, looks like time just ran out,” Colin says, looking at Emmalee’s father as he stands up.

Emmalee has never seen her father look so horrified and helpless before. She had always been the one frozen in fear as she watched her father conduct unspeakable acts upon innocent others right in front of her, one of them being her own mother. She swore she would never forgive him, and has spent all this time running from him, but once the men grab hold of his arms, she surprises herself.

“Stop!” she yells. “Don’t hurt him, please!”

The rescuers whip their heads to look at her without releasing their grip on her father. Her heart is pounding in her chest, and suddenly her throat feels dry. Why did she save him? What possible reason could she have for saving him? What had he ever done in her life except take away from her?

Colin puts his hand on her shoulder, and she flinches, but looks at him. Even he looks concerned for her mental health. Great. As if she needed another reason to look completely ridiculous in front of her maybe-boss.

“They’ve been given orders, Emmalee,” Colin tells her. “They can’t let him live.”

“I don’t care!” Emmalee says, shrugging herself from Colin’s grip. “Make an exception! Make them stop! You can’t do this!”

Colin crosses his arms over his chest, and raises his eyebrows at her.

“Why not?” he asks.

“Because…” She looks at her father, at the softened look on his face, a look she’s never seen before. “Because he’s my father. And despite everything, I can’t, I won’t stoop to his level. Let him go, and let’s get out of here.”

“You heard her boys,” Colin says. “I’ll deal with the boss man. You guys get out of here.”

Emmalee’s father is immediately released and the men who came out of nowhere disappear just the same. Emmalee sighs, a breath of relief or remorse she can’t tell. She feels exhausted suddenly, but she knows she’s nowhere near being able to collapse.

“Thank you, dear,” Emmalee’s father tells her. “I am forever in your debt.”

He reaches for her, but Emmalee quickly stands and moves out of his grasp.

“Don’t touch me,” she says. “This doesn’t make us even, and this doesn’t make us friends. I don’t know what you were trying to accomplish here, and I don’t want to know. I’m going to leave here, and never speak to you again. Do you understand?”

“And if I don’t?” he asks.

Colin steps forward, picks up a steak knife, and plunges it into her father’s side, causing him to bend over at the waist, his eyes wide.
“You will,” Colin says. “I’m not the only one you’ve underestimated.”

Then, they walk out the doors, leaving her father bleeding on the dining room floor.

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