Kurt grinned at the Spiderman. "The reefer business is exploding. There's a lot more players in the game now. Boats, drivers, stash houses, trucks, investors—you name it." Kurt leaned against the pedestaled fishing chair. "A two-bit punk hijacking yachts on his own doesn't stand a chance."
Victor eyed the Spider. Kurt was playing his game, luring him into a tantalizing web. "So you're saying there'll be a gig for me?" the Spider asked.
"If you help Cuda bring this load home, you could probably name your gig." Victor watched Kurt tap his foot on deck, as calm as the glistening water beneath the boat.
"So what's the plan?" the Spider asked. He was still wielding his gun at them, but Victor knew the thief was sucked in.
"We're headed to the south end, near the ruins," Kurt said, pointing toward the northern tip of the island. "The Sea Booty's probably unloading now." Then he turned to Evan. "What about the tides?"
Evan peered out over the water. "We should be able to make it. The water's rising fast."
"Wait," Spider said. "How about we leave these monkeys here?"
"Nope," Kurt said. "Hostages might come in handy. Something to trade." Kurt smiled and then asked for his gun back.
The Spider reached for his back pocket and then stopped. "How about I hold it for now?"
"Suit yourself," Kurt said. "Why don't you tie up your skiff. We'll use her to help Cuda run the load into Tierra Verde." Kurt motioned to Evan to climb the fly bridge.
Evan was already at the helm, revving the engines when Spider said he'd take the pedestaled fishing chair. "I'll pick off any two-bit pirate who blinks at this boat." He kept his mask on.
Kurt shrugged and told Victor to pull the anchor. Then he hollered to Evan. "When you think it's safe, run this boat full out!"
As Victor engaged the windlass and wound the anchor line, he thought how quickly the events had shifted. Despite losing his gun, Kurt had managed to land in the captain's seat once again. Still, Victor didn't trust him; didn't think for a second there was any camaraderie between them. He and Evan were just a pair of hostages to Kurt. They'd wanted a gun; now they had two. Plus they'd managed to acquire their own gunman. It worked for now.
Victor eyed Kurt as he leaned over the boat, squinting into the darkness. There was something desperate about him, some reckless spirit driving him. Then it hit Victor: the kid had no fear because he had nothing to lose—or so he thought.