Don’t Give Up Now
The pain in her arm overwhelmed her but she took some comfort in the news Wallace offered. She might see the man responsible for her dad’s death. What would she do? She felt terror rise up from the pit of her stomach. Was she prepared to kill him? The idea seemed remote until now.
She had enjoyed thing about how she would take care of Todd. The thinking and plotting revenge made her feel better. Now it looked like she was near the end of the trip.
She wondered if she should walk back a few steps and explore some other avenues. It felt good to think about the ways to torture or kill Todd Loudin. The thoughts gave her power. Now she shuddered. Maybe this revenge plotting had made her into an animal too?
The wheelchair bounced over a crack and sent a shock through her arm that brought her to the present.
“Why don’t you call Mr. Loudin now?” Cindy said.
Wallace lifted her out of the chair. She let her headrest on his shoulder as he placed her in the car.
“It would be that easy,” Wallace said. “But I’ve already arranged to meet him at the neon boneyard.”
“Won’t people be there?”
“Doubtful. It’s closed to the public while they build a new visitor center.”
Cindy smiled at their good luck.
Wallace put on her seat belt. As he walked around the car, he noticed a man wearing a hoodie watching Cindy. The man turned away to take a baby out of the arms of a woman. Wallace smiled at his paranoia. It was just another dad meeting his family.
“Too much excitement for one morning,” he whispered.
The man watched Wallace as he climbed into the car and moved away from the curb. With the car out of sight, the man handed the child back to her startled mother and rushed off in the opposite direction.
Wallace and Cindy traveled northeast near the rail yard. She rubbed the bandage on her arm and tried not to think about the pain.
“The shot they gave me wore off.” She reached into her purse for a pain pill. She touched the gun. “Maybe this will help.”
Wallace drove into an underpass that cut off his neighborhood from downtown and his office north of Fremont Street. He handed Cindy a water bottle and she swallowed the pill. She smoothed down her blood-soaked top.
Las Vegas a stopover. A shootout and a trip to the hospital were not in her plans.
“I think Sarah left some clothes at my office,” Wallace said. “She’s about your size.”
“My daughter. She’s studying hospitality and about your age.”
Cindy pondered if Wallace gave in to his daughter or laid down the law. He had a strong face. However, Cindy thought he showed a soft heart. He looked after her and arranged a meeting with the man who killed her daddy. That alone made him a good man.
“I don’t know what I’d say,” Cindy said.
“No, to Mr. Loudin,” Cindy said. “Do I come out and ask if he killed my daddy?”
Wallace shot her a look. So that was it? Instead of coming to town to dance, Cindy came in this morning to confront Todd. This little girl thought she could stare him down and he would just admit he was a killer. Wallace had one thing right; Cindy was naive.
“Listen, Todd Loudin will never do that. He’s only meeting you as a favor to me. Besides, he’s not the big mastermind you have built up in your mind. He’s a businessman,” Wallace said. He doubted she believed him.
Cindy touched his arm. “I know he will confess and you’re going to help me.”
“Listen girl, your charms and sweet smile may win over boys your age, but Todd is not a boy,” Wallace said. “Do you really think you can make it work?”
Wallace parked in front of his office. Cindy watched as he walked around the car to her door.
“I believe what I’ve been told. And Todd Loudin’s a killer,” she said.
Wallace let her walk into his office on her own. Enough crazy filled the morning to last him a week. Still the girl needed him. He would have to see this through.