Joni held the paper bag against her face as the paramedic had instructed, but it was just so hard to do it and scream at the same time. It required the kind of multi-tasking her father, Carter, had always accused her of being incapable of. Maybe he was right after all.
Anyway, fuck deep breathing.
“We shouldna called the cops, they’re gonna kill her, they’re gonna fucking chop her up, it’s gonna be like those fucking serial killer movies or the fucking ear thing with Van Gogh,” she wailed piteously through the bag. Each time she made to take the bag away, Lex’s steady warm, brown hand guided it gently back again.
“And God knows what they’re gonna do to poor Des.” Visions of Des’ furry corpse hanging from the rearview mirror of the kidnappers’ white van like a macabre trophy danced before Joni’s eyes, and she screamed again.
Nick spoke firmly. “No, Joni. Lex did the right thing. They know we’ll call the cops. They expect it. It was just an… ambit claim. They’re just trying to spook us. Keep the upper hand.”
The truth settled like acid in Joni’s stomach. Mission Accomplished, arseholes.
Nick spoke again. “They’re not gonna do anything to Frankie that might risk their investment in this.” His mouth was a forbidding line. “And we’re gonna need the cops right now. And all their resources.”
Joni knew he was right but she felt a moment of crystalline clarity and her tears dried instantly, like liquid paper. She looked Nick and Lex right in their eyes. “Just so we’re clear. If my sister dies because you suck-arses called the cops, I’m never speaking to either of you again.”
Lex and Nick both nodded earnestly.
“We get it,” Lex confirmed.
“Check,” Nick echoed.