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“It’s time, Molly!” he yells over the violent howling of the wind.

I grip the seat harder and shake my head. I don’t want to do this. I want to go home.

I want to be in my bed, squeezing my stuffed teddy bear that I’ve held on to for too long. I want to close my eyes and teleport to my parent’s house. I want to hug my dog. I want to be anywhere but here doing anything but this!

“Molly!” he shouts as the plane starts to dive. “Let’s go!”

“I’m not going!” I shout back. Because this is not happening… This is all a bad dream.

Strong muscular arms wrap around my waist. The killer pulls me back with all his might and suddenly, I’m free-falling through the sky.

It’s quiet out here. Peaceful even. There are no dead gangsters staring at me or roaring wind whipping around my ears.

I’m falling backward and watching the smoking jet getting smaller as it glides to its death. It’s going to nosedive into the water and never be seen again.

Salvatore Brambilla sleeps with the fishes.

“I’ll see you in the water,” that deep voice says in my ear.

“What?” I say as I yank my head around. I forgot he was even there!

He yanks my cord and then pushes off me, flying away through the air like Superman.

I scream as my parachute unravels. My body jerks when the ropes become taught and my chute fully opens.

Nothing left to do but float down toward this endless blue ocean and hope for the best.

“Might as well fatten up for the sharks,” I mutter as I pull out the crushed chocolate chip cookie from my pocket and eat it.

The killer opens his parachute in the distance and I feel a sense of relief when I see it open fully.

“Stupid, Tracy,” I mutter as I drift back down to the planet while munching on my cookie. “Of all the days to call in sick…”

Chapter Three


There’s an island in the distance. A small one.

I don’t see any resorts or roads or tiki bars selling delicious sugary cocktails with colorful umbrellas in them; only a sprawling white sand beach with palm trees and a thick jungle creeping up the mountain in the middle.

The hot assassin is below me and he’s steering his parachute toward it.

How is he doing that?

He seems to be pulling on some ropes and it’s allowing him to steer.

I look up and spot two handles hanging down. I better get the hang of this quickly because it’s going to be a lot easier to float the distance than swim it. Especially with a heavy parachute trying to drag me to the bottom of the ocean.

I grab the handles and start to steer. This guy is a natural, of course. Meanwhile, I’m spinning in circles and going the wrong fucking way!

After a few mishaps, I get the feel for it and start gliding toward the mountain. I’m really hoping for some thread of civilization. A secluded villa, a hidden resort, I’ll take anything at this point. I just don’t want to be trapped on a desert island with a homicidal maniac.

No one even knows where I am! The rescuers are probably going to think I crashed in the jet along with all those dead mobsters. The plane is going to sink to the bottom of the ocean. They’ll never find it. The way it was gliding away, it could be hundreds of miles away by now!

How can I be rescued if everyone thinks I’m dead?

That’s when it hits me. My cell phone!

Yes! Thank you, Apple!!!

I pull it out of my back pocket and take a breath of relief. They can track this, right? That’s such a relief! To think that I almost—


It slips out of my fingers when the parachute hits a gust of air and I watch helplessly as it summersaults down, down, down, and then lands in the ocean with barely a splash.

“Well, that sucks.”

Now, I’m really wishing I sprang for the waterproof model. The saltwater is going to eat my iPhone alive.

I slump in my harness, hanging in defeat.

This is so bad. This is so so bad.

While I’m focused on the pit of despair growing in my stomach, the killer is focused on getting to that island. His parachute is really far from mine now and he looks like he’s going to make it to the beach.

With the way I’m going, I’ll be landing a few miles away. I really don’t feel like swimming the length of Manhattan island, so I shake out my crushing hopelessness and get to work on steering this damn parachute.

I can’t let this guy beat me. I can’t let him win.

I want to get to that island and give him a piece of my mind. I’ll make sure he doesn’t have a moment of peace down there. He’s the reason why I’ll be sleeping in the sand rather than in a king-sized bed in a fancy five-star Cayman Island resort tonight, and he’s going to hear all about it.

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