“It’s okay,” said Colt. “I’ve got you.”
The girl hesitated. “No, but--what was that just now?”
“Not important. I’ll tell you later if you want. Now come on.”
“Wh-what about my grandma?”
“I’ll get her out, too,” he said. “But I’m gonna have to go in after her, so I need you to come out of there first.”
She gave a shaky nod but did not seem ready to move.
“Anytime now,” said Colt.
“I-ah... are you really trying to help me?”
Colt’s face tightened. “Yes. I am.”
“Look, I can’t be waiting out here all day for you. I’ve got shit to do.”
‘Colt, what the hell? You’re a father. What if that was your daughter in there?’
‘My daughter wouldn’t be taking this long.’
‘But what if she was? What if that was Stephanie and she was too scared to move?’
Colt looked at the girl again. No more than eleven years old, surely. And that look on her face--about ready to cry. He took a silent breath. “I gotta get you outta there, kiddo. And to do that, I need you to trust me. Okay?”
She nodded again and started moving.
“That’s it. You’re almost there.”
And she was out, sliding along the hood and grabbing onto his arm.
He lowered her down. “Now. I need you to go downstairs and outside. You’ll see a black car in front of the house. Go stand next to it. You’ll be safe there, so go and wait for me while I get your grandma out. And shout to me when you get there. Understand?”
“Yeah,” she said, nodding and scurrying off.
“Careful down the steps!” he called after her. He waited for her to get clear, exchanging looks with Bohwanox in the meantime.
‘You’re really just a big softie, aren’t you?’
Colt returned a flat stare. He couldn’t see the reaper’s face through the dark hood, but he could practically feel the smug grin hidden there. “Make yourself useful and tell me how to get the old lady out.”
‘Use your love for all mankind.’
“I fuckin’ hate you.”
“I’m by the car!” came the girl’s yell.