After Set, you have ten, she read before destroying the note.
Jaycee passed the vending machines. Passed the group who she befriended only two weeks ago. They would be dead by five-thirty—five minutes had already passed since she set the plan in motion.
And if she didn’t get out now, she’d be among the body count, if the authorities could find them all.
A thin layer of perspiration broke out on her face and her heart raced. She turned around, running back to her office. The heels of her shoes made mild thud-thud noises on the berber carpeting. Pushing open her door, she stepped inside and rifled through the papers on her desk.
The key, the key? She thought.
A paper sliced through the skin of her index finger. Blood etched graphs and charts she’d never see again. A cup of coffee toppled over onto the floor right in front of her desk. She glared at the clock on her computer desktop.
Three minutes to explosion.
Forget the key. Forget the damn gun.
Her fingers brushed the cool metal of a small key. Her hands shook.
Two minutes; three flights of stairs to go.
She unlocked the drawer, pulled out the gun from a hidden case deep inside. Grabbed a file. Jaycee didn’t close the drawer.
She listened to the clomping of her heels on the way out and tried to match her heart-rate to her quick and sure steps.
One minute to go.
“Diana, we really need to—“
“Not now, Tom, I have to be downtown,” she said, waving the file at Tom. She hid her guilt behind her fake name the CIA gave her. Jaycee ignored his scowl.
It took her thirty seconds to reach the first floor taking the stairs.
The bank was abuzz with raucous activity. From the stairwell to the front seemed a lifetime away, and she sprang into a trot to the golden revolving doors.
She dared not turn around.
“Diana!” the voice called, more insistent. The voice followed her closely.
The giant bank clock ticked seconds.
Jaycee’s left heel slipped on the slick floor. She would have been down, but she caught herself. The contents of the file flew around her as she bolted for the door. Jaycee’s hands first reached out and then shoved against the glass of the doors, wedging between, then running to the air and light of dusk.
She heard the rumbling deep below where she had planted the device. Jaycee picked up her pace, driving her feet into the ground, knees high up and lengthening her stride.
Then the whole world shifted.