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Paint It All Red: Chapter 9

LANA

Everything’s fine today; that is our illusion.

—Voltaire


“Showtime?” Jake asks as I walk into the living room. My hair is pulled back, my combat boots are on, and my red shirt is the only pop of color on the otherwise black apparel.

“Final countdown.”

I take out the paintbrushes, pull up my hoodie, and grab two cans of paint.

“You take the east, and I’ll take the west. I’m assuming you know what that meeting is about?” Jake asks.

“Yeah. It’s what we predicted from the start. Johnson and the director are about to railroad the entire investigation. Johnson has his target, which happens to be Diana’s son, despite his numerous alibies and the fact he’s states away.”

“And dating a damn fancy lawyer who will give them hell before they ever even think about arresting him,” Jake adds with a smirk.

“It’s almost anti-climatic how predictable they all are.” I feign a sad sigh, but he doesn’t smile the way I expect him to.

“I’m having reservations about the final leg of the plan. I think we should just leave and let the fireworks happen instead of you risking yourself.”

I quirk an eyebrow at him, ignoring all the festering emotions that are aching inside my chest. Today, Logan will leave. Tonight, Logan will be free to forget me.

His life will go on, and he’ll eventually just see this as a blemish in his otherwise flawless character.

“I’m not risking anything but them surviving if we deviate now, Jake. Have a little faith. I’m better than them. They’ve not even laid a hand on me.”

His lips thin, and his gaze flicks to the bullet graze on my bandaged cheek, but he doesn’t argue as we pack our separate vehicles with the paint.

“Quit dawdling. We have an entire town to terrorize,” I say when I know he’s about to press the issue.

He’s worried about me surviving.

I see a life too empty to be concerned with the notion of survival.


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