Besides, he was the only one in sight. Vivian did not identify any other allies in the crowd. Everyone, however, was shaken by the sight of the gun. No one dared make a false move in his presence.
Vivian was unable to locate Larry in her brief scan of the present crowd. She let out a small sigh of temporary relief. Little Pumpkin should still be in the cabin then, Vivian concluded. Hopefully, none of the pirates have managed to find him!
Vivian turned to Hunter and gestured at the deck, indicating that they could sneakily access the cabins through it.
Hunter understood. He flanked Vivian from the outside to shield her as they made their way in. Their hearts beating wildly, Hunter and Vivian finally arrived at the cabins. They’d managed to successfully evade the pirate’s shifting eyes.
The moment she pushed open the door, Vivian darted in to search for Larry. He was nowhere to be found. As her search grew increasingly futile, Vivian became distraught.
“Little Pumpkin, are you here?” Vivian cried, already on the verge of weeping. All she had for solace was this single thought that she repeated to herself over and over again. Little Pumpkin’s a clever little guy! He’ll be all right!
But she couldn’t shake the nagging fact that no matter how intelligent Larry was, he was still only five years old. Vivian couldn’t help herself. Tears came and flowed uncontrollably. “Little Pumpkin! Are you in here? Answer Mommy, please!” Vivian cried in desperation.
“Mommy, I’m here!” Just as Vivian was about to collapse from sheer grief, Larry’s voice piped out from the closet.
Delirious with joy, Vivian rushed over. Larry was indeed curled up inside, looking up at Vivian with joy.
“Are you all right, Little Pumpkin?” Vivian asked anxiously, scooping him up into her arms. She examined him closely all over to check for signs of possible harm.
“I’m fine, Mommy! Why did you come back only now?” Larry asked.
After his joy at seeing his mother had faded somewhat, Larry felt slightly indignant at having been left behind. Tears welled up in his eyes. It had been so scary being left all alone just now!
Vivian’s heart ached for her child. She squeezed him in a tight hug and babbled, “I’m sorry Little Pumpkin! It’s all Mommy’s fault; Mommy shouldn’t have left you all alone just now.”
“I’m fine, Mommy. Don’t cry,” Larry said obediently, wiping at the tears cascading down Vivian’s face. “I was playing here when I heard people shouting outside about pirates, so I quickly ran into the closet and hid.”
“OK,” Vivian said, patting Larry’s head tenderly. “You’re really smart, Little Pumpkin!”
“Vivian, now that we’ve found Little Pumpkin, we should leave quickly. If that pirate discovers us, we won’t be able to get away,” Hunter reminded her urgently.
“All right,” Vivian submitted, wiping away the rest of her tears. They had to leave as fast as they could.
Hunter and Vivian retraced the route they had taken through the deck. Just as they were about to board the speedboat, they heard a vicious shout from the main atrium.
“Bring Finnick here!”
Vivian stopped immediately in her tracks. She couldn’t suppress the worry that automatically accompanied the mention of that name. What does the pirate want with Finnick? Is Finnick his ultimate prize?
Even though the thought of Finnick still repulsed Vivian, he was still Larry’s Dad and someone she has once shared tremendous intimacy with. Vivian could not bring herself to walk away in cold blood.
Vivian thus crept back towards the main atrium. She crouched in a corner that largely afforded her invisibility and tried to overhear what the commotion was about.
“Vivian, what are you doing? Let’s go!” Hunter was clearly dismayed by Vivian’s incomprehensible behavior. He lunged forward and whispered frantically, “We have to leave right now!”
“Shh.” Vivian turned to him with a finger pressed against her lips, requiring his silence. It would be disastrous if the pirate discovered them.
Larry followed suit, echoing, “Shh.” His adorable face was similarly filled with alarm. That bad guy shouted Daddy’s name! Is Daddy going to get hurt?
Hunter was helpless before mother and son. He could only stand by and watch anxiously. Wasn’t that enough excitement for the two of them? We’re clearly in great danger! Why are we still messing around here?
All the same, Hunter couldn’t just leave them behind and escape by himself. He had no choice but to stay by their side in this ridiculous situation.
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