Only a few seconds too late Dalcross moved forward. Lloyd Newburn surged to his feet, looked swiftly at the newcomer and hit him in the stomach, hard. There was no room to take advantage of Dalcross’s pain and reach for a gun, so he tried to push his way into the aisle. Dalcross hung on, delivering blows at a bulky shape that smothered him when not trying to knock him down. Jumping pains laced his sides. He was reduced to pushing and shoving as best he could. Newburn knocked him down to the floor of the aisle but couldn’t jump over him because Dalcross pulled him down. The fight kept going, one man on top and then the other.
In desperation, Dalcross threw his last punch to the man’s face, but couldn’t take advantage of the pause that followed. Newburn was hitting the back of his enemy’s head against the base of an aisle seat. Dalcross didn’t expect he’d be conscious much longer.
There was a pause, a series of curses from Newburn, and Dalcross took a deep breath. It was the greatest event in the history of the world to lie on that carpet next to a crumpled pack of cigarettes and to breathe, just breathe.
He had to reach and grip an armrest before raising himself to his wobbly feet. He looked down at what lay on the carpet only a couple of dozen inches from him.
“He messed you up real good,” Aiken said, snapping the handcuffs viciously on a groaning Lloyd Newburn. “I got over here quick as I could.”
“You did great.” Dalcross stretched his bruised lips in a smile. “Now let’s get– this– out of here.”
“In a second,” Aiken agreed, lifting Lloyd Newburn but holding him in place. “I don’t make another move till I find out how you knew all along that he was in this one place. Our stool pigeon only mentioned the block Newburn had been seen on. How did you know exactly where he was?”
Dalcross, instead of answering directly, pointed to the screen. There was a burst of music on the sound track as the next show started on time, and both men looked at the opening credits on the screen:
Happy Ending Films, Inc. presents “Bait for A Killer” starring Monica Mornay