Bitter Bite(Elemental Assassin #14)(66) by Jennifer Estep
I jammed the key into the ignition, cranked the engine, and stomped down on the gas. The Range Rover lunged out of its makeshift parking space, but instead of wrenching the wheel and turning the vehicle away from the men, I steered straight at them.
Crack! Crack! Crack!
Bullets ping-ping-pinged against the front grille, and one punched into the windshield. I gave the engine even more gas, and the vehicle lurched forward. Dimitri’s crew finally realized that I wasn’t going to stop, and they all trampled one another, trying to get out of my way. One guy wasn’t as fast as his friends, and he screamed as I mowed him down. He disappeared below the grille, and the tires whomp-whomped over him.
I grinned and kept going.
Shouts rose behind me again, and a few more gunshots rang out, but I had my eye on the prize: the open gate several hundred feet away at the end of the shipping yard.
I hit the gas again, zooming through the gate before the giant sitting in the guard shack could do anything more than gape in surprise, much less reach for his gun. Tires squealing, I made a hard right onto the road, leaving the warehouse and the shipping yard in my rearview mirror.
* * *
I drove fast for three miles, getting away from the shipping yard as quickly as possible. When I was sure that none of Dimitri’s men was going to give chase, I slowed down, yanked my phone out of my pocket, and checked the time. Nine twenty-seven. My escape had taken longer than I’d hoped. I didn’t know exactly what time Deirdre and Santos had left the warehouse, but they had at least a thirty-minute head start, if not more. But I knew where they were going—Briartop—so I headed in that direction. All I could do was hope I’d catch up to them in time.
While I drove, I checked my voice mail—two messages, one from Silvio and one from Owen. Silvio sounded especially worried, and he told me to call him back immediately. He also finally had some news on Deirdre: She’s broke. Combine her insane spending habits with some bad investments, and she’s lost almost all her charity foundation’s capital in the last year. We’re talking tens of millions just gone up in smoke. Whoever fronted her that money has to be pissed. She’s playing a shell game with what money she has left, just trying to stay afloat.
Well, that explained why she was planning to rob her own exhibit. She desperately needed to pay back her investors, whoever they were.
And why has your phone been off all night? Silvio snapped at the end of the message, his voice a bit surly. You know I can’t locate you when it’s turned off.
I snorted. Sometimes Silvio made me feel like a wayward puppy that kept escaping from the yard. He should just put a GPS chip in my shoulder and be done with it. I wouldn’t have minded him tracking me to the warehouse and getting some help from him and our friends this morning.
Instead of dialing Silvio, I called Finn first, hoping I wasn’t too late to warn him.
Hello, ladies and gentlemen. You have reached the alluring, amazing, and all-around awe-inspiring Finnegan Lane. Leave a message . . .
His phone went straight to voice mail. Deirdre and Santos had made good use of their head start. Whatever their plan was, it was going down right now.
“Finn,” I growled after his phone beeped. “Your ice-queen bitch of a mother kidnapped me last night. She’s planning to rob her own exhibit at the Briartop museum. Whatever she tells you, do not trust her. Call me back the second you get this.”
I hung up and tried him again, but it went straight to voice mail, same as before. Frustrated, I called Owen, but his phone was off too. I cursed, but then I remembered that he’d promised his sister, Eva, that the two of them would spend some time together today. I left him a message, told him what was going on, and promised that I would call him back when I had more info or Deirdre was dead, whichever came first. I was hoping for the second option.
Third, I tried Bria, and finally—finally—someone answered me.
“Detective Coolidge,” she said in a cold, clipped voice.
“It’s Gin. Where are you? Deirdre is going to try to rob the Briartop exhibit. Rodrigo Santos, the bank robber, is working with her. You have to get some cops over there to stop them.”
“Bria? Bria, are you there?” I asked, wondering if my phone had cut out.
“I’m here.” She sighed. “But I’m afraid it’s too late. Someone’s already tried to rob the museum. I’m here at Briartop right now, dealing with the aftermath.”
I cursed. “I’m on my way.”
We hung up, but I wasn’t really on my way since Dimitri’s SUV ran out of gas about five miles from the museum.
“You have got to be kidding me,” I muttered.
I’d been in a hurry at the shipping yard, so I hadn’t paid any attention to the gas gauge. Besides, what kind of idiot let his gas get that low? Dimitri Barkov, that’s who. If the mobster had been here, I would have killed him all over again.
The red light on the dash kept blinking and blinking. The Range Rover sputtered up another hill, then died completely.
“Dammit!” I snarled, and slapped my hands against the steering wheel.
There was nothing else to do but get out of the vehicle and start hoofing it toward the museum. I pulled out my phone and dialed Silvio, hoping that he might be able to pick me up, but the call went straight to voice mail. Weird. I didn’t think I’d ever gotten his voice mail before. Maybe he was busy talking to someone else. I left him a message.
I thought about calling Bria again, but she was probably too busy to leave the museum, so I trudged on. I’d only gone about a quarter-mile when I crested another hill and spotted a familiar sign: Blue Ridge Cemetery.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online