What are you . . . ? Conor had gone rigid; his voice had risen to a high-pitched squeak. I cant tell you! he exclaimed. What are you doing here? What do you want?
We want the room number of Paul Drevin. If you dont give it to me in the next three seconds, I will pull the trigger and the only part of this hospital youll ever need again will be the morgue.
One . . .
I dont know where he is!
Two . . .
Alex felt his chest hurting. He realized he was holding his breath.
All right! All right! Let me find it for you.
The receptionist began to tap hurriedly at the keyboard hidden below the top of his desk. Alex heard the clatter of the keys.
Hes on the second floor! Room eight.
Thank you, the man said, and shot him.
Alex heard the angry cough of the bullet as it was spat out by the silencer. He saw a black spray in front of the receptionists forehead. Conor was thrown backward, his hands raised briefly.
Room eight. Second floor, one of the men muttered.
I told you he was in room eight, the first man said.
Then why did you ask?
I just wanted to be sure.
One of them sniggered.
Lets go and get him, another said.
Alex was frozen to the spot. He could feel his wound throbbing angrily. This couldnt be happening, could it? But it was happening. He had seen it for himself. The four men moved.
Alex turned and ran.
Reprinted from Ark Angel by Anthony Horowitz by permission of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © April 2006, Anthony Horowitz. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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