She had just reached the alley between two buildings when she noticed a man hurrying toward her. His head was down and he was wearing a baseball cap low on his forehead. Even before he reached her, she knew it was Will.
He grabbed her arm. "It’s me, Will. Don’t be afraid. I need to talk to you."
She tugged her arm free. "Have you been out here waiting for me?"
"No, I was on my way to your garage. I was going to wait until you came down. Then I saw you on the sidewalk and I . . . Let’s go in the alley and talk."
She declined and told him they would talk right where they were standing. He looked around. The street was all but deserted.
"My attorney told me you got me probation, that you made some kind of deal with the prosecutor? Is that true?"
She was furious. No one was supposed to know about her part in his release. "How did your attorney find out?"
"I don’t know. Is it true?" he repeated. "Did you do that for me?"
No reason to deny it now. "Yes."
He sounded desperate when he asked, "Can you get me out of this?" He grabbed her arm again and pleaded. "You have to get me out of this."
Allison inhaled sharply. Not because Will had hold of her arm, but because she glanced over his shoulder and saw Liam walking toward them. He wasn’t wearing a suit jacket, and his hand was on the butt of his gun. He looked as though he wanted to kill someone. Where in God’s name had he come from this time? The street had been empty just seconds ago, and all of a sudden there he was. If she looked away, she half expected him to vanish again.
In a rush, she whispered, "Will, do you have any weapons on you? Like a gun or a knife?"
"No. Why would I?"
She put her hand up as a signal for Liam to stay back, which he completely ignored. When he was just a couple of feet behind Will, he stopped. He was so close she was surprised Will couldn’t feel Liam’s breath on the back of his neck.
"Will, listen to me," she said. "You have to surrender right now. Surrender to me," she blurted, and even after she said it, she knew it didn’t make any sense. "Okay? If you turn yourself in, maybe that will count in court and you won’t have to face a longer sentence. Please. Do the right thing, and I’ll help you."
Will wasn’t listening to reason. "Maybe I could get to Canada and hide there," he said. "No one would ever-"
She stopped him. "You can’t hide forever. I don’t want to see you in prison for the rest of your life or, worse, gunned down."
"You’re so naive, Allison," he scoffed. "To you the world is rosy, and people like me can get a fair shake. You think all I have to do is walk up to some cop and surrender and everything will be okay."
"You have to surrender, Will."
Antagonistic now, he said, "What happens if I don’t?"
"Then the FBI agent behind you is going to slam you up against the building, handcuff you, and take you in. Please. I don’t want you to get hurt."
Will’s head snapped around. Liam was standing there with his hand on his gun. Like a caged animal, Will turned in all directions, trying to find an escape.
"Don’t even think about running," Liam warned.
Will’s shoulders slouched. Realizing there wasn’t any way out, he gave a long, defeated sigh, as though all the fight that was in him was being expelled at that very moment. His voice sullen now, he said, "I surrender."
Liam quickly patted him down to make certain there weren’t any weapons on him while he called the police to come pick him up. Within seconds they heard the sirens approaching from a few blocks away.
Will turned to Allison and started to beg. "Allison, please, you have to-"
Liam wouldn’t let him continue. "Stop right there. Do you have any idea how much your cousin has done for you? The lengths she has gone to?"
When Will turned once again in her direction, Liam snapped, "Keep your arms folded in front of you and look only at me." Will complied immediately, and Liam continued. "Now you’re going to do your part. It’s time you take responsibility."
Allison watched silently as Liam continued to give Will a piece of his mind, letting him know how furious he was for the way Will had treated her. By the time the police car pulled up and two officers got out, Will was cowering and seemed about to cry. She knew she shouldn’t interfere, but she couldn’t stop herself. She called to the officers, "Will surrendered to Special Agent Scott, and you can see he’s cooperating."
Liam gave her a look that suggested she not say another word. He didn’t contradict her, though, and she took that as a win.