Excerpt: Volume 2
From: The Transformation of Adam Higgins
Adam walked to the edge of the stairs, glanced at Chris and walked down. When he arrived at the bottom, he saw two men in his living room. One sat on their sofa. He had stringy brown hair and a stubbly beard. The other stood a few yards from the patio. He was huge and had dark hair. They were the same men who had been at the airport.
“Oh, there you are.” Jessica walked in from the garage-side door. “What’s going on? What do the FBI want with you?”
Adam walked toward the black love seat, sat down and looked at both men. What am I getting myself into? What if these guys really are FBI? “It’s okay, sis. It’s nothing.”
“What do you mean it’s nothing?” Jessica said. “The FBI don’t just make house calls ’cause they’re bored.”
The stubbly man on the seat looked at Jessica. “We just need Adam’s help with one of the children in your school. It’s nothing serious. Just a domestic issue.”
“What, that involves the FBI?”
“We’ll just be ten minutes, tops.”
Jessica gave the man a stern look before heading for the stairs. “If they try anything, Adam, don’t say a word. You have a right to a lawyer.” She walked up the stairs, glancing back as she went.
Adam waited until her footsteps disappeared before focusing his gaze at the men. The bearded man stood up. “We meet again.” He held up an FBI badge. Adam recognized Hobbs’ name from their first meeting. “And, of course, you remember my partner, Agent Montgomery.”
Adam shifted in his seat. “What do you guys want?”
“I just want you to know that you’re not in any type of trouble. We just want you to answer a few questions.”
“What kind of questions?”
“Remember what I asked you at LAX?”
“Yeah. About that boy. I told you already, I didn’t see anyone with a scar across his face.”
“And you can swear to that?”
“But then you’ll be lying, won’t you?” Montgomery said, stepping forward.
Adam scowled at him. “I don’t think so.”
“We have a number of people who would testify to seeing you in a bathroom next to a bleeding boy.”
Adam shrugged. “Fine. Where are they?” What’re you doing, Adam?
Hobbs smiled. “Okay. If you want to play it that way.” He leaned forward. “What if I told you that we’ve also placed you walking around the airport with the suspect right after we left.”
Adam swallowed and shook his head. “It must have been someone else.”
“Oh, really?” Hobbs said. He walked up to Adam and pulled out a large photograph. He placed it in Adam’s hand. “Who’s lying then, Adam? You? Or this photograph?”
Adam looked at the photograph and saw himself and Chris walking past the arrivals lounge, exchanging words.
“I think you’ll agree that that is you, right?” Hobbs said.
Adam gave the photo back to him and interlocked his fingers.
“You’ve got to give me something. I’ll do everything in my power to protect you, but you have to start talking, and soon.”
Adam glanced around the room. His head was spinning. “What’s this boy done anyway? Why are you guys after him?”
“The question you should be asking is ‘What hasn’t he done?’ That boy is dangerous, far more so than he looks. He’s the cause of so much chaos around the world.”
“What kind of chaos?”
“Where do I start: rituals, murders, bombings, cult executions. You name it, he’s involved.” Karl knelt beside Adam and held the cushion of the seat. “About three months ago in Adelaide, I had to watch many innocent people die. My partner’s in a coma, all because of this boy.”
“You mean all that horrible stuff on the news?” Adam said.
Hobbs nodded. “You need to forget all the lies he’s probably told you. He’s a bad guy.”
Adam scratched his head. What do I do? They’d say anything to get me to talk. “Well, I was only giving him directions. I haven’t seen or heard from him since that day.”
Hobbs stood up and scowled at Adam. “You’re lying again. What is it about this boy? Why are you protecting him?”
“I’ve told you all I know, honest. Now, I know my rights. I won’t say another word without a lawyer.”
Just then, the sound of breaking glass filled the air. Montgomery ran toward the front door. Adam’s breathing accelerated.
“It’s him,” Montgomery shouted. “He’s getting away.” He kicked the door open and dashed outside. Karl glared at Adam and also ran out of the house, leaving the door wide open.
Adam ran outside, too, and caught a fleeting view of Chris in the distance, running up the street with the agents in close pursuit. Montgomery then broke away onto a side road. Adam returned to the house and saw Jessica, Salma and Javier in the living room with looks of confusion on their faces.
“What was all that noise?” Jessica demanded.
Adam scurried to the kitchen, looking for the keys to the SUV. But he couldn’t find them. He ran back into the living room. “Where are the keys to the SUV?”
“Why?” Jessica said. “What’s going on?”
“Those guys—they didn’t want to see me. They’re after Chris. They’re chasing him now. I’ve got to help him.”
Jessica moved closer to Adam. “What do you mean ‘after him’? What has he done?”
“I don’t have time to explain. Do you have the keys or not?”
Jessica reached into her handbag and held the keys up. Adam grabbed them and ran toward the garage. After the door opened, he started to back out, but Jessica banged on the window. He wound it down.
“Think about what you’re doing, Adam,” she said. “That’s the FBI. If you get in their way, you could go to jail.”
He stopped the car and looked into his sister’s eyes. “But what if they’re not really FBI? You hear about impersonators all the time. I have to help him, sis.” He wound the window up, backed onto the main road and sped away.