37. Lamb to the Slaughter

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Nicky's POV

"Alright," Ryder says as he tosses his jacket onto the couch of the hotel room. "We'll hole up here for a while. I used the hotel phone in the lobby, Damien's supposed to be meeting us here in about . . ." He looks down at his watch. "three hours. So, as soon as he gets here we'll figure what we do next in this . . . mess."

He stops and takes a second to look around the room. He looks back at Quinn since she's the one who booked the room.

"Why do we need a room this big?" He asks her. "For that matter, this is a fancy hotel, why are we here?"

"It has a refrigerator . . . and a ceiling fan," She replies.

I successfully manage to turn my laugh into a cough.

Quinn tosses her duffle bag on a second couch. "I didn't feel like going to a ratty motel. And since I was driving, I decided this would be a nice alternative. Besides, it's under my name. So Volkov can't find us here."

Ryder gives her a flat look. "Chances are Volkov already knows your name."

Quinn shakes her head. "Not my birth name."

Ryder gives her a look that says she should explain further.

She smiles at him, waves, and then heads for the door. "I'm going out to get some . . ." Her eyes connect with mine. "things. I'll be back in a little while. Anything ya need me to pick up?" She asks.

"Some new clothes would be great," I tell her. I nod in Ryder's direction. "For him too."

She nods. "Will do," She calls over her shoulder as she walks out the door.

Ryder lets out a long breath before pinning me with a stare. "Are you going to explain what she meant by that?"

I shrug and set my backpack down by the door before walking further into the room. "She wanted a name change after getting her divorce. You know, so that she wouldn't be found. So, I created a new identity for her, but she kept all her old IDs. Her first name's still the same, it's her last that's different."

Ryder looks at me with concern. "So instead of catching Volkov's attention, she decided to put herself in danger by attracting her ex-husband's attention?"

I shrug again. "That's Quinn for you," I reply simply. I look down at my phone briefly. "Don't worry," I tell him as I slide my phone back into my pocket. "I took care of it."

Ryder looks at me blankly. "You took care of it?"

I push open one of the four adjoining bedroom doors. "I got bored in the lobby," I say as I admire the huge room. "So, I may or may not have edited a few details about who the room has been rented out to on the hotel website."

"We were in the lobby for less than five minutes."

"I'm surprised you think it took me that long."

Ryder pinches the bridge of his nose before looking down at his shoes and muttering something along the lines of, I'm not hearing this.

He shakes his head. "I'm going to go clean up," He looks down at the dirt and blood on his skin and clothes. "Probably shower."

"You don't have any clean clothes," I remind him.

He walks over to my backpack and pulls out a set of clean clothes from one of the pockets.

I glare at him. "Are you serious? You've just been using me as your pack mule?"

"How do you not notice what else is in your backpack, I mean seriously? And," Ryder says as he starts off to one of the bedrooms. "this was because you kept running off on me and I never had enough time to gather anything except what I was wearing." He smiles at me. "Seems I no longer have to worry about that now."

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