The Drafter

Page 136

As one, Silas and Peri swung around a decked-out Porsche to see Bill and Allen dragging Taf to a mundane service van. I truly hate vans. Peri raised her rifle.

“You might hit her,” Silas said, and she lowered it, agreeing, as she abandoned the car to inch closer.

“Shut her up,” Bill snarled as they reached the van and he shoved Taf at Allen as he went to open another garage door.

Peri lurched to fall against the next car, leg throbbing as she quietly used the hood to steady her aim. Silas scuffed to a halt beside her.

“My mother is going to be so pissed!” Taf shouted, and Allen knocked her up against the van, making her gasp in affront. “Hey!”

Peri shifted her aim to Allen. She hated him. Bill might be corrupt, but Allen had lied to her, tricked her, lulled her into complacency, stolen three years of her life. She exhaled, finger tightening.

“Shut up,” Allen threatened. “Or I’m going to hit you. Understand?”

“Yes,” Taf said, and then her jaw clenched and she punched him right in the gut.

Allen’s face twisted in anger. Taf fought wildly, and Bill slammed her into the side of the van with an utter disregard for human frailty. Taf slumped, out cold.

Exhaling, Peri shifted her aim to Bill and pulled the trigger. Bill’s eyes widened as the single slug buried itself in the van’s side. “Go!” he shouted, manhandling the limp woman into the van and vaulting in after her. Peri turned her aim to Allen.

“No!” Silas knocked her arm so that it was only chipped cement that hit Allen as he crawled into the front seat of the van.

Frustrated, Peri stood as the engine roared to life. “What the hell are you doing?”

“Their wheels,” Silas said, white-faced. “Take out the wheels!”

“You going to let me shoot this time?” she said, using the Glock to take out the tires. She fired until it clicked to nothing; peeved, she tucked it in the back of her waistband. Swerving, the van ran into a pillar.

They weren’t going anywhere, and having a moment, she rounded on Silas. “Why can’t I kill Allen?”

Silas looked her straight in the eyes. “Allen is alliance.”

Jaw clenched, Peri pushed her rifle into Silas’s chest. “Like hell he is!”

Silas looked at it, probably estimating his chances of getting it off him before she could pull the trigger as slim. Thick smoke drifted past the opening to the garage. She could hear the fire trucks called by the house’s automatic security. “Allen is alliance,” Silas said again, voice uncharacteristically soft. “Think about it. He’s a lousy anchor, isn’t he? What has he actually brought back for you? Anything?”

Taf cried out for help, struggling as Bill ousted her from the busted van and began dragging her to another car. Allen limped behind them, casting furtive glances at her and Silas.

Bullshit. Peri took aim at Allen since Bill was hiding behind Taf. Silas shoved her arm, and the shot went wild.

“Will you stop doing that!” Peri shouted. She could hear men outside, but didn’t know whose side they were on. “Why didn’t you tell me before?”

Silas tried to take the rifle from her, but she wouldn’t let go. A car door slammed shut, and an engine started. “Because the alliance thought you might turn him in if you knew,” he finally said. “They didn’t trust you.”

Her grip on the weapon eased. Allen is alliance? But she wasn’t buying it, and she struggled for control of the rifle.

“It was your idea,” Silas said in exasperation as he let go and she fell back with her weapon. “Damn it, they’re getting away!” he exclaimed as the car’s engine roared.

My idea? Leg throbbing, she staggered after Silas as a black car bounced out into the sun. “I’ll get Allen, you get Bill,” Peri said, halting in the open garage door and bringing the rifle up to her shoulder. Exhaling, she shot out those tires.

“Peri …,” Silas warned, and she grinned at him as the car careened to a stop. From inside, she could hear Bill bellowing.

“Fine, I won’t kill him. Just mess him up a little,” Peri said as she jogged painfully forward. “You coming or not?” she called over her shoulder.

Her heart thudded. Reaching the car, she yanked the passenger-side front door open. “Get out!” she demanded. Bill was behind the wheel. Allen held Taf before him like a shield. He looked pissed. Taf looked pissed and disoriented. Allen is alliance?

“She said get out!” Silas exclaimed as he yanked the driver’s-side door open.

Allen shoved Taf at Peri, using the sudden movement to escape. From the other side, Bill launched himself at Silas. Taf landed on Peri and they went down. Peri rolled her off, getting to a crouch with her weapon, searching out Allen. Bill was shouting into his phone, his voice going distant as he ran. What sounded like a dozen men began yelling amid more gunfire. A Black Hawk was back, thumping in the near distance. Peri didn’t know who else was surrounding the vehicle, and she didn’t care.

And then she saw Allen running after Bill’s retreating backside.

Rolling to her stomach, Peri took aim—and pulled the trigger.

“No!” Silas shouted, and Allen jerked to a halt when the dirt sprayed up in front of him. Allen pulled his attention from Bill, the bigger man never slowing down as he ran behind the building toward the helicopter and was gone. Allen’s eyes met hers, and she smiled at his white face. Screaming in anger, she scrambled up and lunged at him, bowling him over and straddling him.

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