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Authors: R.L. Stine

Silent Night 2 (9 page)

BOOK: Silent Night 2
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Why do I enjoy teasing Pam so much? Reva asked herself. Is it because she's such a perfect victim?

“The way he checked
out?” Pam cried shrilly. “What exactly are you saying, Reva? Are you saying that—”

Reva giggled. “No. I'm just saying watch out for him, Pam. Those dark eyes of his—”

“What do
know about Victor's eyes?” Pam demanded suspiciously.

Reva giggled. “I know all kinds of things,” she replied.

“Reva, are you— I mean, did you— I mean—” Pam sputtered.

Reva's smile grew wider. Torturing Pam was so easy, and so satisfying.

“Reva—if I seriously thought you went out with Victor, I'd die! I really would!” Pam cried, her voice trembling with emotion.

“Calm down, Pam. You're getting crazy. I'm sure everything will work out,” Reva replied. “You don't have to start accusing people. He broke only two dates.”

“Two dates?” Pam said thoughtfully. “How did you know that? How did you know he broke two? Listen, Reva, if you know something about Victor. . . . If there's something you're not telling me . . .”

“I'm sorry, Pam, I've got to run. Call you later, okay?”

Reva replaced the receiver, a smile on her face, her eyes flashing. Then, eager to get back to the warmth of the fire, she hurried to the living room, brushing back her coppery hair as she walked.

As she entered the room, the firelight sending flickering shadows over the walls, Victor glanced up from the couch. “Who was that?” he asked, motioning for her to return to her place beside him.

“Just a friend,” Reva replied.

A few seconds later she was back on the couch, wrapped in Victor's arms, kissing him, kissing him again and again, so cozy and warm before the golden fire.

“Pam would kill me if she ever found out,” Victor murmured.

“The old sayings are the best,” Reva whispered
into his ear. “What she doesn't know won't hurt her.”

She wrapped her hands around his neck and pulled his handsome face to hers.

Poor Pam was so upset. I should tell her that Victor isn't worth it, Reva thought.

Or maybe it would be better to let her find out on her own.

• • •

At the same time, less than ten miles away in the neighboring town of Waynesbridge, Diane paced nervously over the threadbare carpet in Pres's dingy apartment. From somewhere down the hall, violin music floated through the thin walls. Diane held her hands over her ears, trying to shut out the whiny sound, trying to think clearly.

Finally, with an exasperated sigh she picked up the receiver of the wall phone in the kitchenette and punched a number with a trembling hand. Waiting for an answer, she rubbed the sleeves of her light cotton sweater, wishing Pres's landlord would send up more heat.

“Hello?” Danny's voice sounded raspy and clogged, as if he had been sleeping.

“Danny, we've got a problem,” Diane said, speaking rapidly in a low voice that revealed how upset she felt.

“Huh? Diane? What time is it?” Danny asked groggily.

She glanced at her watch. “It's only ten-fifteen.”

“I was getting my beauty sleep,” Danny told her. He cleared his throat loudly. “Actually, I got a headache. I was trying to sleep it off. What's up?”

“Your brother messed up,” Diane told him, twisting the phone cord around her wrist, leaning against the faded wallpaper.

“Oh, no. What did Pres do? What do you mean, he messed up?” Danny demanded, sounding fully awake now.

“He messed up,” Diane repeated with a sigh. “He got himself arrested tonight.”

“Huh? For what?” Danny cried. “Jaywalking? Littering?”

“Don't make jokes, Danny,” Diane insisted. “Your kid brother got into a fight and beat some guy up. Now he's sitting in the detention center.”

Diane waited for Danny to reply, but the line remained silent. “I don't believe this,” he said finally. “The stupid jerk.”

“I called your parents,” Diane continued, winding and unwinding the cord. “They refused to bail him out. They refused to do a thing for him.”

“Figures,” Danny mumbled.

“And I can't get him out,” Diane said. “I don't have a dime.”

“Me either,” Danny told her.

The violin music grew louder. It seemed to surround Diane. She turned away, stepping into the tiny half-kitchen, trying unsuccessfully to escape from it.

“What about tomorrow?” Danny asked in a low voice. “You know, grabbing the girl.”

“I don't know,” Diane said, uttering another sigh. “It's such a good idea. And now we can use the money more than ever.”

Danny cleared his throat again. “Well, how about
we do it without Pres? You know. Just you and me.”

“I guess we could,” Diane replied, rubbing her temples. Her hands were cold as ice.

“I'll hide in the stockroom, just like we planned,” Danny offered. “And you can drive. You know. Pull up to the loading dock. Keep the engine running. Everything the same. We can do it, Diane. We don't need the stupid jerk.”

“Yeah. Okay. I guess.” The violin music was driving Diane insane. “Let's do it, Danny. And no slipups this time.”

“Yeah. Right,” Danny agreed quickly. “No slipups. I told you, I got my headache back. I can't put up with any slipups. Know what I mean?”

Diane felt a chill run down her back as she hung up the receiver. Danny is so unpredictable, so crazy, she thought, not moving away from the wall. When he loses control, he can be really dangerous.

No slipups, she thought.

No slipups.

Maybe bringing Danny into this was a mistake, she thought with a shudder. Maybe it was a big mistake.

Chapter 15


iane eased the car over a speed bump and headed slowly around to the back of Dalby's Department Store. The engine rumbled loudly, making a churning sound that echoed the churning in Diane's stomach.

It has to go right this time, she thought, gripping the wheel tightly. It
to. The third time is the charm.

But there were so many things that could go wrong.

What if the car stalled?

What if a security guard saw her parked at a loading dock?

What if Reva didn't show up for her stockroom duties?

What if Danny lost it? What if something got him angry and he exploded? It wouldn't be the first time, Diane thought with a shudder.

She tried to force these questions from her mind, but they kept coming back. Think positive, she kept telling herself.

But she was too nervous to think positive.

Her hands were cold and clammy on the wheel. Her chin was quivering.

Stay cool, Diane. Stay cool. She tried talking herself out of her fear.

When she thought of Pres, sitting in the detention center downtown, her fear turned to anger. How could he do this to Danny and me? she asked herself, biting her lower lip until she tasted blood. How could he leave Danny and me to do all the work?

When Pres comes out, he'll expect his share of the million dollars, Diane thought bitterly. Well, we'll just have to see about that. . . .

It was a bleak gray afternoon. It had snowed the night before, but most of it had melted. A few white clumps dotted the area behind the store.

The old Plymouth let out a choked sound, like a cough. Diane eased the car through a wide, open gate, and the loading area came into view.

Three concrete platforms jutted out from the back of the store. They led to roll-up garage-style doors, all three of which were open. Behind the doors stretched the store's enormous stockroom.

A large yellow truck was backed up to the farthest loading platform. A blue-uniformed driver
was closing up the back. Diane could make out the words
in red script across the side.

The other two platforms were vacant. Diane searched for security guards, but couldn't see any.

Her heart pounding, she pulled the car up to the middle platform and shifted into Neutral. She leaned across the passenger seat and peered out the window, trying to see into the stockroom.

Danny, are you in there?

Up ahead, the truck driver slammed his door, startling her. She sat up straight, gripping the wheel, and watched as the big yellow truck slowly pulled away.

Good, she thought, a little relieved. Now there's no one else back here, no one to interfere, to mess us up.

She glanced at the dashboard clock, then remembered it was broken.

A loud shot made her cry out and duck. Her heart seemed to leap up from her chest.

She was still trembling all over as she realized the sound came from the home-furnishings truck, backfiring as it pulled away.

I've never been so scared in all my life, Diane realized. She wiped her wet hands on the legs of her jeans.

Danny got the easy job, she thought. She glanced into the rearview mirror, making sure no one was coming up behind her. At least he has something to do. I just have to sit and wait and wait and wait, and be nervous.

What if somebody comes to use the loading
dock? What if a security guard comes?
what do I do?

She pressed her foot down on the gas pedal. The engine rattled, then revved in reply.

She lowered her head to peer into the dark stockroom.

Was Danny in there? Was Reva there?

Was the plan going to work?

Hurry, Danny. Please—hurry!

Diane glanced up again to check the rearview mirror.

And cried out.

A uniformed cop was approaching rapidly, his eyes trained on her car.

Chapter 16


anny leaned against the wooden crate, staying hidden in the deep shadows. He raised his free hand to scratch his hair through the wool ski cap he had pulled down over his face.

On his other arm he had draped the heavy black wool coat he had brought. His plan was to overpower Reva and muffle her cries by throwing the coat over her head. He looked around for the guard, but none was in sight. Lame security, he thought.

As he scratched his head through the hot ski cap, his back began to itch. He rubbed it silently against the wooden crate.

I always itch when I'm nervous, Danny thought. And I'm plenty nervous now.

He had entered the stockroom twenty minutes earlier to find a safe hiding place. Luckily for Danny, a shipment of furniture had just been unloaded. The big crates had been stacked against a wall in the center of the vast stockroom. They gave Danny the perfect place to hide—and to watch for Reva.

So far, so good, he thought, slipping down lower behind the crate as two men walked by, their shoes scraping against the concrete floor.

If only this headache would go away.

The headache was a dull throb at his temples now. Danny closed his eyes and prayed it wouldn't get more intense.

With the headaches came the anger, he knew. The red anger, Danny called it because he always saw flashes of red when the pain got really bad.

The pain made him angry, so angry he sometimes lost control. So angry he seldom remembered what he did.

Danny took a deep breath, then another, willing the headache away.

Reva, where are you? he asked silently, leaning out from behind the tall packing crate.

Reva, don't keep me waiting. Please, don't keep me waiting.

I don't know how long I have . . . until the pain takes over, until the red sweeps over me, takes control of me.

Don't keep me waiting, Reva. For your own good.


There she is!

He braced himself, every muscle in his body tensed. He straightened the wool ski mask, peering out through the two eyeholes.

The throbbing at his temples grew stronger.

He raised the heavy black coat.

Then lowered it.

It wasn't Reva. It was a middle-aged woman in a tight-fitting gray business suit. Her spike heels clicked loudly on the concrete as she passed.

BOOK: Silent Night 2
9.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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