He tensed, waited for a bullet to slam into his body, but
nothing happened. Mark looked up and saw Jillian and
Annabelle reeling in the rope, hand over hand. It felt like
forever before they pulled him up the side and onto the
deck. He flopped onto his back and concentrated on breathing.
â€śMark, are you ok? Are you hit?â€ť Annabelleâ€™s voice
quivered as she ran her hands frantically over his body
checking for blood.
â€śIâ€™m fine. Got the wind knocked out of me when the engines
revved and slammed me against the boat. Think I swallowed
about a gallon of river water, too.â€ť
â€śWhat the hell is going on?â€ť Ashby yelled over his
shoulder, holding tight to the wheel. â€śKind of a dramatic
entrance for you. Want to fill me in? Tell me where weâ€™re
headed? And why Iâ€™m apparently stealing this boat?â€ť
It was Annabelle who answered. â€śHead to the harbor. This
river does connect to the harbor, doesnâ€™t it?â€ť
Jillian nodded. â€śIf we use the engine instead of raising
the sails we should be there in about ten minutes.â€ť
â€śI havenâ€™t navigated this part of the river in a while. Not
too familiar with the layout. Might be a good idea to cut
the engine and take it a bit slower,â€ť said Ashby.
â€śDonâ€™t slow down!â€ť Mark and Annabelle shouted as one.
Mark pulled himself to his feet and tucked Annabelle
securely against his side, still gasping greedily for air.
â€śBecause someone tried to kill us. We donâ€™t want to wait
around and give them a second chance.â€ť