And just like that the whole situation had gone, as Raina's older brother might put it, tits up. It was a good thing she hadn't launched into some grand explanation of her not-quite-plan, actually, because getting shot in the head in the middle of a pompous speech was pretty far up there on ways that she did not
want to be remembered. That was a politician's death.
She'd frozen up as soon as she saw Alvaro with the gun. In a way, that was good. It gave her time to assess the situation, since apparently there was a situation to assess and not just a drive-by (run-by?) shooting going on here. So. Alvaro, gun, his name on the announcements. Looked like he'd taken a beating, looked half an inch and some nudging from getting his name on the announcements again. And Jasper - sweet, well-intentioned Jasper, Raina didn't think she'd ever have pegged him as brave before this - stepping forward to try and save all of their miserable lives.
And the craziest thing? It looked like it might work.
But "might" wasn't good enough.
Big picture. Pragmatism isn't cowardice. High-risk, high-reward doesn't mean much if the only reward is not getting filled with bullets.
Slowly, very slowly, Raina slid one step back away from Alvaro, Jasper, and Audrey. None of them noticed. Good. She shot a glance over at Johnny, trying to make sure they were on the same wavelength. He knew a little something about guns, didn't he? Not that it would come much in handy if he wasn't the one holding it, she supposed. Raina had never actually seen a real big gun like this up close, and all she needed to know about it was what happened if it was pointed at you when someone pulled the trigger.
Still keeping her movements slow so as not to attract attention, Raina reached over and grasped Johnny's bony wrist. There was another exit behind them, not blocked by Alvaro like the first one they'd come through. At an angle, they might be harder to hit.
Raina looked back at Audrey and Jasper. She liked them. She didn't want them to die, not like this.
Let them go.
Without saying a word, Raina spun and ran, dragging Johnny out the door with her.
They weren't far gone when the gunfire exploded behind them.
((Raina Rose and Johnny McKay continued in Coward Mont Blanc