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Authors: Geri Foster

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BOOK: Out Of The Past
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Blood covered A.J.’s right shoulder, and it looked like he’d taken a bullet in his side. She lifted her head right after they plowed between two cars, knocking the vehicles out of their way.

The thugs didn’t waste any time. Some cars chased them, bullets flying. She didn’t know what to do or how to help. A.J. looked at her. “Keep down until we get out of this mess.”

Her hands gripped the dashboard as she closed her eyes and prayed. Could they survive this? The one advantage they had was A.J. probably knew this neighborhood and would be able to outmaneuver the men following them. But was that enough?

The gunshots grew louder, before the wonderful sound of sirens swirled through the air. Zoe had never been so happy to hear a police car in her life.

“Thank God,” she whispered. “That’s twice the police have come to our aid.”

“Their timing has been impeccable. Remind me to up my contribution to the Police Association.”

“Don’t worry, I will.”

He drove out of the area and onto the Interstate heading back toward Dallas. She guessed he’d soon have to get rid of the bullet ridden car for something less conspicuous.

“We’re going to have to keep moving. If they find us again, I’m afraid of what they might do,” he said, speaking
her
thoughts aloud.

“Obviously, they’d do anything. I can’t help but wonder why they haven’t gone after Frank.”

“Frank isn’t an easy target. Plus, that would just give the UN more fuel to stop Gabric. They’re doing the smart thing. It’s just bad for us.”

“I hate that you’re going through all this because of me. I never imagined I’d get tangled up in the dark side of Falcon.”

“We’ll survive.”

“How can you be so sure?”

He looked at her. “It’s what we do.”

***

C
asmir Slavko paced the floor of a luxury suite in The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas. Things weren’t going as planned, and the damn police weren’t helping matters. If he failed, his only chance to align himself with Danko Gabric would be lost. A new government stood on the brink of coming to power, and Casmir wanted to be a part of the new regime.

That meant important enough to make a fortune and be a high ranking official.  

He had no choice in the matter. Either he killed Zoe Ross, or they’d kill him. As simple as that, and yet so much more complicated. It wasn’t like he’d never taken an innocent life. One didn’t grow up in his corner of the world and not get accustomed to civil war and unrest, and all the pain it rained down upon the blameless. Torture and murder were as common as the changing weather. Every day you woke up was a day to celebrate.

And he’d grown up alone and hungry after both his parents were murdered when he was seven. From that day on, he’d learned to work the streets, be a soldier, and become an expert at death.

That didn’t mean he had to enjoy it, but in a sick way he did. To keep Frank Hamilton from destroying the only real hero left in their land should be an honor and a privilege to show his solidarity to the new government.

But, corruption ran rampant to the point that no one was honorable anymore. The powerful had everything, and people like him were left to do their dirty work. Hopefully, if he served Gabric well, there would be much he could gain.

His second in command slipped a cellphone in his pocket and looked at Casmir.

“Tell me they have the girl.”

Louis shook his head. “No, they managed to escape, again.”

The glass of whiskey he’d poured moments ago flew across the room. They had so little time. Zoe Ross had to die.

Today.

If he handled it just right, the Falcon CEO wouldn’t know if Zoe was alive or dead. Casmir felt sure of that. Better that she was breathing until after the trial, but he could improvise.

However, before he could carry out his plans, he had to have her in his possession. His reputation lay on the line, and if he ever hoped to gain recognition in the newly formed government, he must prove his worthiness. If not, they’d discard him without a single thought. In his world, there was no place for weakness.

“I’m sorry, Slavko.” Louis moved closer. “We must get the girl, and the only way we can do that is kill the Falcon agent.”

“I learned a long time ago that these agents were like ghosts.”

“I know. We all do.”

“Yet, we’ve been given a difficult job that must be done no matter what. Gabric will settle for nothing less.” He glanced at Louis, the only man he trusted. “Who can we use?”

Louis shrugged shoulders wide as a car. “There is always Lee Stallworth. As director of Homeland Security here in the Dallas area, he might come to our aid.”

“Good choice, my friend. Let’s call him.”

With a grin tugging at his lips, Louis handed him the phone. “Stallworth is on the line.”

Casmir smiled at his friend’s efficiency. “Yes, Lee, we have need of your services.”

“What can I do for you, Slavko? You know I can’t dirty my hands with this whole Gabric thing. Everyone is being watched.”

“You will this time, or death will come knocking on your door.”

***

A
.J.’s phone rang, the caller ID showed his boss on the other end. “Hey, Frank?”

“What’s going on?”

“Everything you can imagine. They planted a tracker on my SUV and hit us a few minutes ago. There was a shootout and while we escaped, they set up a roadblock.” Zoe’s pale face squeezed his heart. “We were able to make a run for it, but now I’m out of options.”

“Zoe still okay?”

“A little shook up, but she’s alive.”

“You need to keep moving.”

“Has anyone contacted you?”

“Not yet. I doubt if they will before Sunday night.”

“Watch your back. They might go straight for you.”

“That could prove difficult. Thanks to President Davis, I’m surrounded by Secret Service.”

“Good, you’ll need all of them if they make the decision to take you out.”

“It would look far better for them if I simply don’t tell everything I know. Killing me would be too obvious, and Gabric doesn’t want that.”

Fire radiated from A.J.’s shoulder and side. The hot stinging pain had him woozy and nauseous. He didn’t think he could drive much further. “I know you’ve written everything down and your testimony is on video. Can’t you just use that and get out of there?”

“I could and I have, but I must be available for questioning. Without my complete testimony, Gabric won’t get much more than a stern warning. I want him buried.”

“I hear you. Zoe and I are heading for a hotel somewhere. I may stop in the mid-cities somewhere they’d least expect.”

“Dump the car. Then find an area crowded and filled with security cameras. Go to the best hotel in Fort Worth, and keep them guessing.”

“Okay, we’ll do that. Then first thing in the morning, we might head to a safe house in Decatur.”

“Just stay on the move. And keep me posted.”

“Roger that.” He hung up and looked at Zoe, who appeared scared and nervous. “We’re staying at a hotel long enough to sleep. Then we travel to the safe house tomorrow.”

She glanced at him, her eyes wide with fear. “Then will we be safe?”

“Yeah.” He hoped he’d be able to keep that promise.

CHAPTER NINE

L
ee Stallworth wasn’t a happy man and didn’t appreciate Casmir Slavko calling him at this hour on a Friday night. He hated that his greed had gotten him mixed up with the Croatian and now Falcon Securities. Those agents never let go of anything, and he knew if they found out everything, he could kiss his ass and career good-bye.

He had to be careful. For years he’d carefully climbed the ladder of success in the government. Now wasn’t the time for a misstep. One wrong move could pretty much end any hopes he had of a political nature. Having no other alternative, he stepped out of his house and drove to his office in downtown Dallas on Elm Street.

The hour was suspiciously late, and he’d have a hard time explaining his movements to his superiors, but he had little choice. The ten-story building was mostly empty, and he had to sign in at security.

It wasn’t unusual for him to be working at this hour, but to go home then back to the office on a Friday night would take some explaining. Hopefully, he’d come up with a good enough reason if his dick got caught in the zipper.

In his office, he powered up his computer and tried to get the information the Croatian wanted on Falcon. The dimly lit room and the dark silence of the office had his armpits wet and made his hands tremble.

He’d attained the information, claiming security concerns and knowing everything he could about Falcon protected his ass from higher ups. Everybody wanted to know anything they could about the day-to-day operation of the elite security firm.

But, obtaining that knowledge took cunning and skill. Both of which Lee took pride in having in abundance. If he ever had to do anything and blame it on someone else, Frank Hamilton could be a perfect patsy. The problem Lee faced was that the owner of Falcon was a personal friend of the President, and not easy prey.

Once he printed the two pages of information, he stuck the papers in his back pocket. On the way out, he waved to security and walked toward his Range Rover.

The Croatian’s muscle man waited for him out of camera range, and he didn’t look happy to be there at this hour, either.

“Here, this is what he asked for.”

The man said nothing. Unsmiling, he simply turned and walked into the shadows. Lee didn’t see the vehicle he got into, nor did he hear any voices. Only an engine roared to life, followed by a gloomy silence.

Standing alone in the dead of night, Lee took pride in doing what had been asked of him. Now, no one could question his loyalty to Gabric. The money they promised him would be enough to secure his future and that of his family for years to come. He refused to think about placing his country in danger.

The very thing he’d sworn to protect.

***

Z
oe thought she’d collapse in a matter of seconds if they didn’t get some rest. Exhaustion seeped from her pores and fouled the air.

She worried about A.J. He didn’t look good. He’d grown pale and blood stained his shirt, so she checked them in. One look at him and the clerk would probably call the police.

Every Falcon employee had access to a company credit card for use when working a case. Frank had insisted she have one as well. Learning a long time ago that it didn’t pay to argue with the boss, she’d accepted the plastic card without a fuss. Until now, she’d been lucky enough to have never used hers because she’d always remained safely behind her desk.

By using that form of payment for their room and expenses, no one could find them. Her legal name wouldn’t show up in any system. Perhaps they’d be safe for tonight.

Before ditching the car, they stopped at an all-night drug store for medical supplies. She’d convinced A.J. to allow her to tend to his wounds and clean up a bit before switching to a cab.

In the room, he dropped on the bed and put his forearm across his eyes. The shooting at his house and running the road block had drained them both. She went to the bathroom and filled the sink with warm water and soaked a washcloth, so his wounds could be cleaned.

Leaning over him, she placed her knee on the bed and tapped A.J. on the arm, motioning him to go to the bathroom, so she could treat his shoulder and side.

Wearily, he stood and removed his shirt, wincing with pain as he raised his left arm. In her unskilled opinion, it looked like both bullets had gone straight through, since he had an angry looking hole behind his shoulder. After closer examination, it appeared his side was only a flesh wound.

He needed stitches badly, but that would have to wait. They dared not risk exposing their location. Cleaning the blood off his muscular arm, she gritted her teeth when dousing the injuries with a disinfectant.

Sharp pain shot through her mid-section as he groaned and grasped the towel rack. Sweat peppered his skin like a hard rain, and his eyelids were squeezed shut in agony.

Wrapping gauze around his shoulder and placing a large bandage to his side, she gave him three extra-strength over the counter pain pills.

“That’s better.”

He looked at her with red rimmed eyes. “I think the worst is over. Now all I want to do is sleep.”

“Good idea.”

They moved to the bed and Zoe motioned for A.J. to get in with his pants on. She shoved in next to him and closed her eyes. “Do you think they’ll find us here?”

“I don’t think so.” He pulled her closer with his good arm. “I didn’t see anyone following us.”

“We didn’t see them before.”

“Without sleep, we’re going to get too weak to fight them off, and they’ll overtake us.”

She rolled over and kissed him on the lips. He tasted of male and sex and all sorts of wonderful things. She deepened the kiss and slipped her tongue inside his mouth. Chills rippled across her body like a spray of rain, heightening her senses and sending her thoughts far from the danger surrounding them.

The feel of such a powerful man excited and scared her so much she could barely relax enough to close her eyes. She’d never wanted this. Not after the life she’d lived on the streets of Dallas for years. But, she deserved it.

A.J. rolled her under him and put his hand on the back of her head. She tensed and grew damp, waiting for him to take it to the next level.

Even with his injury, A.J. beat her getting undressed.

Her body tingled and squirmed. A.J. entered her in such a flash, she gasped. He was big and hard, and made her want things she wasn’t sure she could have, but she wanted them anyway.

He pumped and she exploded.

***

T
he next morning A.J. felt like he’d been flattened by a train and left behind as road kill. His body hurt, his jaws ached, and his head throbbed. After a quick shower, he patched himself up well as he could, slipped on his jeans and woke Zoe with a kiss.

He wanted to do much more, but didn’t dare. Time wouldn’t allow for that. “Jump in the shower. I’m ordering breakfast.”

She appeared reluctant, but nodded. “I’m starved. I want everything on the menu.” Then she tossed over her shoulder. “Especially coffee.”

BOOK: Out Of The Past
5.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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