"Martin must have texted it to himself for safe keeping" I realized. "Dr. Bennett was right about not trusting Burton" Nathan told me. I waited for him to continue. "We're on our own"
"Is Burton's name on the list?" I asked him. He nodded, looking at me. I swallowed and looked forward, processing everything.
Suddenly, the phone from the thug that attacked us rang. Nathan fumbled with it, trying to pick it up. He finally answered the phone with a, "Hello?"
"Convenient that cell phones can be turned into listening devises as well" a voice said over the phone.
"You have something that belongs to me, now it's time to give it back. What use is it to you? Don't be foolish, boy. Hand it over and you'll be left alone"
"What kind of guarantee can you give me?" I asked. I didn't really want to give him the list, but I didn't want to risk Carter either.
"I can guarantee this: if you don't surrender that list, I'll be killing every friend you have. Jake, Gilly, neighbors, even your boring teachers. And when I'm finished you'll be responsible for the death of every friend you have on Facebook. Bit I think there is one person in particular you don't want to see get hurt" I looked over at Carter, knowing what he was talking about.
"Am I right Nathan? Her guardian is still alive, somewhere. It would not take very log to track her down and kill her. By tomorrow afternoon, say four o'clock, I could have her found and killed her. If I don't have the list by then, she's dead, and then I go after the girl"
I couldn't do that to her. 'Okay, okay. So how do you propose we do this" I said, defeated. Or not.
"Simple. I give you a time and a place"
"No. I'll pick the time and place. Somewhere public" I already had an idea o what to do.
Nathan pulled the truck over under a bridge to be ditched. We climbed into the back of Gilly's car. "I told you we'd need some more help" I couldn't help but say.
"Were you followed" Nathan asked him. Gilly shook his head. "No, I don't think so. I took my eighty-year-old neighbors car. Can't you tell it smells in here" he told us. I smiled at him.
"Did you do what I asked?" Nathan wondered.
Gilly nodded and wordlessly handed Nathan the bag. "Did you?" Nathan needed verbal confirmation. I felt bad for Gilly. "Yeah man, just like I said" he handed Nathan the tickets. "Patio section, VIP access only, it's under 23D" he told him.
I leaned forward and kissed Gilly's cheek. "Thank you" I whispered in his ear. Gilly blushed slightly, but shook it off. "Good luck"
I put the ticket on the foot of the statue and waited for Kazlow. I took the pictures of him taking the ticket and sent them to Nathan before rushing to the car.
I got into the car next to Gilly. "Well?" he asked. I looked at him. "Do I seem like the kind of person that can't do her job? I did explain my past to you" I told him. On the way to the stadium, Nathan and I had explained absolutely everything to Gilly.
Now, all I could do was wait.
I suddenly saw Nathan run out onto the street. Kazlow was right behind him and Nathan suddenly stopped. I saw Kazlow pointing a gun at him, but I couldn't hear what was being said. Finally, Kazlow fall. I got out of the car and raced towards Nathan.
"Nathan!" I screamed. I got there right when the guys were letting him go. "He's family"
He turned and saw me. "Ah, Carter. How are you?" he asked me. "Shot, burned, starved, and pissed. Other than that, I'm alright" I panted. They all laughed at me. Burton's team left as boss-man shook Nathan's hand. "I'm sorry" he said sincerely. "For everything"
He walked away, leaving Nathan and I alone. That is, until burton walked back with Martin's phone in his hand. "He wants to speak to you" Burton told him before walking away. I stood to the side. "Where are you…When can I see you? Why don't you come out here and talk to me, us in person" Nathan asked, glancing at me when he corrected himself. I grabbed his hand and smile. Us.
"Why not…Well then it's up to us, I want to meet you…I don't care about the risk…Martin...dad…but you're the only family I have left"
"That's not true" my father told me. "Is Carter with you?"
"Yeah" I answered, briefly wondering how me knew about carter before remembering the story Carter had told me.
"She's you're family. You better hold on tight to her, you hear me?"
"Yeah Dad" I said with a smile, looking at the love of my life.
"Good-bye Nathan" and with that, my father was gone.
Carter wrapped her arms around me, and I hugged her back, soaking in all the comfort I could get.
We turned to see Bennett walking towards us. "Dr. Bennet?" Nathan asked, most likely glad to see she was still alive.
"Hello Nathan, Carter. Call me Jared" she said kindly.
"I can't believe you're alive" Nathan told her, amazed. I couldn't help it; I gave her a giant hug, not wanting to let go. She laughed. "Hello Carter. I'm glad to see you as well" I let go and stepped back.
"Me? What about you guys? How are you doing with all of this?" she asked Nathan.
"I'm fine" he told her honestly.
"It's for your own protection" she told him. I guess she was talking about his dad.
"I know. Where do I go from here?" he asked.
'You're father wanted me to talk to you about making arrangements for a new home" I clutched Nathan's hand tightly. I didn't want to leave him; I wanted to stay with him forever.
"Nothing cam replace Kevin and Mara" he said sadly. Bennett nodded. "I know that, but we thought, maybe, you'd want to consider coming to live with me and Carter. Until you finished high school" I smiled and glanced at Nathan, who looked pretty happy with the idea as well. "And then college, whatever else you want to pursue. How does that sound"
I pleaded with Nathan with my eyes, begging him to say yes. I loved him, after all.
"Yeah. That sounds good" he said, nodding his head, a smile growing on his face. "Okie dokie. So, should we get out of here?" she asked, smiling.
"Not quite yet" he said, looking at me. "I'll make sure he comes home alright" I reassured Jerri. She smiled, realizing what we meant.
"Oh. I see. Okay, that's cool, I'll just meet you at home" with that, we went our separate ways. For now.
"And Nathan" we turned to hear what Jerri had to add. "About a certain daughter of mine. I mean what I said. Keep her close"
"Yeah" Nathan said, staring at me. "She's most definitely worth it"
We walked into the stadium and sat down, his arm around me and my head on his shoulder. "I can't believe we missed the game" I pretended to huff. He chuckled at my antics. "We can always go to another one" he said. "It's a date"
I sat up and looked at Nathan. "Nathan, I want to tell you something" he sat up as well, looking at me head-on. "Me too"
I swallowed hard. "Nathan, I…I love you" I told him quietly, looking away from him. His finger was under my chin, gently forcing me to lift my head and look at him. He looked me straight in the yes and told me,
"I love you too"
Once I processed his words I smiled the biggest smile ever and threw my arms around his neck, kissing him soundly.
Ad we lived, a cliché as it sounds,
Happily Ever After.