|"Pull it! Go on, fucking pull it!" I screamed.|
Sweat dripped down the bank robber's face. His eyes shifted nervously from me to the window.
"Are you going to pull that fucking pin and end this or are we going to talk some more?"
The robber's eyes shifted back to me. This was the make or break moment and we both knew it.
"I will, don't think I won't," he said, his voice quivering with fear and anger. A dangerous combination.
"Oh, I know you will. What I want to know is when. We don't have all day here."
I could feel the anger coming off him in waves but he was held in check by his fear. The guy didn't want to die and that was the only card I had to play.
"Look, I know you'll do it," I said. "But I also know you want out of here. Alive. Right?"
"You can do that?"
"Not right now. Not with you holding that in your hand. While you hold that I can do nothing for you. You'll be dead before you know it if you make the wrong move and you may or may not get the pin pulled in time. You want to risk that?"
"Don't you fucking threaten me!" he screamed.
"I'm not. I'm telling you how it is."
"I'll kill everyone in here!" he screamed again, his eyes sweeping over the terrified people huddled against the counter. They cowered back as if his gaze held weight.
I'd had enough.
"You want to die then get it over with. Pull the thing, blow us all up. You've got a 50/50 chance of succeeding. You like those odds or not?" I yelled back at him.
Straight away I noticed the change. It was in his eyes. As far as he was concerned he was already dead. All that mattered to him now was that he take me with him. I was to blame.
"Don't do it, Jimmy," I said quietly, already knowing it was too late.
With an agonised, angry wail he lifted the grenade, his finger through the loop and pulled. An instant later he was on the floor, blood pooling round his head, a bullet from one of the snipers on the roof opposite the bank entering his skull right between the eyes. I leapt forward, reaching for the hand that held the grenade before it could roll from his dead fingers.
I closed my hand around the cold metal, holding the firing mechanism in place. The hostages were crying and screaming. I pulled the hardware from Jimmy's hand.
"Shouldn't have pulled the fucking pin," I muttered.