When last we left Lucian Pope, his normal, predictable life was interrupted when his ex-wife Genevieve showed up in trouble. Upon arriving at his apartment, Lucian soon finds himself on the wanted terrorist list alongside Genevieve.
The following scene is the final one of the first chapter of Forever Hollow. Lucian is finally throw in the midst of the action, like the epic heroes he idolizes. However, Lucian quickly finds out that being a hero isn't everything it's romanticized to be.
Here we see a timid, inexperienced Lucian juxtaposed with the more confident, but still very much afraid, Genevieve. The two of them have such a fun chemistry throughout the novel.
“What in the hell is happening?” Lucian said.
“I don’t know, Luc. This is how they work.”
Genevieve led Lucian quickly from the building. Turning to her right, she froze immediately like a gazelle spotting a hungry lion. Lucian saw the trench coat at the end of the block walking toward them. They were already walking in the opposite direction when the trench coat noticed Genevieve.
She pulled Lucian around the corner and into the first two men who had looked into the pizzeria earlier. They both reached into their coats, but Genevieve threw a shoulder into one of the men, knocking him into the other.
“Run!” she screamed as she yanked Lucian into the street.
They darted across the street, narrowly dodging a car as it sped by. They ducked into an alley between an old post office and small office building. Two bricks exploded as bullets impacted. The third man stood at the corner across the street opening fire on Lucian and Genevieve.
They ran around another corner and into a brick wall that towered over them. Genevieve looked around frantically. A trash incinerator, some discarded boxes, and an out-of-order computer terminal. She spotted a fire escape ladder on the outer wall of the office building and pulled it down.
“Up here, quickly,” she commanded.
They climbed to the third floor before taking a break. Bullets chased them as the three men appeared around the corner. Genevieve pulled a micropistol out of her handbag. She put two bullets through the window and cleared out the rest of the glass. Lucian stared wide-eyed.
“Since when do you carry a gun?”
“Since people started trying to kill me,” she said. “Split up. You go through here. I’ll head up to the roof. Meet me at our spot.” She thrust the micropistol in his hand and kissed him quickly on the cheek. “Good luck.”
She hurried up the ladder. Lucian looked down and saw the three men climbing the fire escape ladder. He ducked through the window and scanned the small office space for an exit as he tiptoed past a cubicle.
He stumbled through the darkness and found the entrance. As he opened the door, he heard two sounds: the crackling of glass under heavy footsteps and the siren of an alarm. Puffs of air spat, and bullets pockmarked the wall around the door. Lucian jumped and ducked, firing high-pitched shots wildly through the room. Sparks flew from the lights in the ceiling as the bullets went astray.
Lucian rushed through the doorway and down the hall. He came to the elevator and had to choose: elevator or stairwell? Think, Lucian, think. After jamming the up button for the elevator, he began to chew on a knuckle. He checked the hallway again. No sign of the man.
The soft electric bell dinged, and the door slid open. Lucian hurried in and punched the button for the top floor. As the elevator door closed, he squeezed back through and shot across the hall through the double doors to the stairwell. He rushed down two flights of stairs, pausing between the first and second floor.
As he caught his breath, he listened for his pursuer. Nothing. He crept down the stairs like a whisper. He exited into the foyer of the building and checked the area. Still clear. He listened to the machines buzz and hum as they kept their electronic eyes on him. Tucking his chin and hunching his shoulders, he edged toward the exit.
He had almost made it to the front door when the chime of the elevator echoed through his head. Out stepped the trench coat. Lucian saw the flicker in the man’s green eyes before training the pistol on Lucian. Panicked, Lucian popped off a round from his micropistol. The man’s head jerked backwards, and he fell onto his back. The stray shots from the trench coat shattered the glass doors behind Lucian.
Lucian scrambled through the door and sprinted down the sidewalk, nearly tackling an elderly woman. He clumsily pirouetted around the woman and jetted across the street and down another sidewalk. Sleet pelted him as he ran for what seemed like hours before looking back or slowing down. He felt lightning coursing through his veins, and droplets of ice seemed to cling to the back of his neck.
The street dead-ended into another. Lucian turned right and then another quick left across the street. He continued down the street westward until he crossed a wide avenue into a darkened park.