The two guys looked at
each other as if to say: can you believe this joker?
'Nice try,' the first
guy said. 'Go with her José.'
She led the way upstairs
and José followed her. She wasn't even surprised when he goosed her on the way
up. They went into her bedroom. She kept the key in the nightstand drawer.
There was something else in there as well—her Kel-Tec P-32. She'd bought it two
years previously when her neighbor's husband had been shot during a home
invasion. She'd gone to the gun store the next day. The guy had recommended the
P-32 because of its light weight, small grip size and light trigger pull. She'd
spent a few hours at the range and then it had sat in the drawer ever since.
She knew the seven round capacity magazine was full.
She could come clean and
tell him it was in there. Let him open the drawer and take the key and the gun.
That would be the sensible thing to do. It would demonstrate a huge amount of
cooperation and that had to increase the chances that they left her alone and
didn't hurt her. Didn't it? Hurt her any more, that was. Or any more seriously.
But could she trust
them? Were they totally focussed on the money and that was all? Or were they
garden variety psychopaths who wanted to have a bit of fun as well. Fun, as in
torturing her just for the sake of it. The guy right behind her now, the one
whose eyes she could feel on her ass, had seemed very taken with her sushi
knives. Maybe he was a knife aficionado. Perhaps he prepared sushi on a regular
basis and had never been able to afford quality knives. He might want to try
them out—and not just on a piece of raw tuna. She could hear them laughing and
joking: Hey José, try out that knife on the bearded clam; slice it up nice
and thin so we all get a bite.
It was a hell of a
gamble. But so was the other alternative. To grab the gun and shoot the guy.
Then what? The guy downstairs was sure to have a gun as well. He certainly had
more experience using one than she did. But he'd have to come up the stairs to
get her and that would give her the advantage. She could phone the police from
Then there was the
money. Ellie had told her she would pay her for looking after it. How much more
grateful would she be if she stopped the guys she'd stolen it from (it was
obvious that's what had happened) from taking it back? A hundred grand
grateful? Two hundred grand? Call it a round quarter million for all the
She had to make up her
mind in the next couple of seconds. God, how she hated Ellie for putting her
through this. She deserved to lose the money. Psychopaths or not? A quarter of
a million dollars? Her whole head hurt. Really hurt. She couldn't think
straight. Was she even only thinking about it because of the blows to the head?
They hurt, you bastard. And her throat. She was sure he'd crushed something
important, some of the little bones in there. It hurt to swallow. How dare you
attack me? In my own home. Bastards.
'It's in the
nightstand,' she said.
Big mistake. Should
have kept your mouth shut.
The guy wasn't stupid.
He probably knew that more than a third of all Americans admit to owning a gun.
Estimates said there were roughly three hundred million guns in the
country—almost one for every man, woman and child. And how many of those were
sitting quietly in bedroom nightstands waiting for nocturnal intruders?
Millions of them. Millions and millions.
She was aware of him
moving up on her fast. She lunged for the drawer handle and yanked the whole
thing out and onto the floor. He was almost on top of her. She dropped to her
knees. It made her exactly level with his crotch. She punched him in the balls,
giving it everything she'd got and grabbed the gun with her left hand.
It wasn't a good punch.
In fact it was a pathetic punch, even for a woman. He grunted, but more in
surprise than in pain. He certainly didn't double over and roll around the
floor moaning. But it gave her time to get hold of the gun. Only in her left
hand though. She was right-handed. She didn't have time to swap hands or even
aim properly. She swung her arm towards him and pulled the trigger blindly. The
noise was deafening in the small room. He let out a sharp cry and looked down
at his left arm. She'd caught him in the fleshy part of his upper arm.
She stared, almost in a
daze, at the blood soaking into his jacket sleeve, not really knowing what to
Like pull the trigger
again, you dumb bitch.
It was all the time he
needed. He lashed out with his foot and caught her solidly on the left shoulder.
She gasped and dropped the gun as her arm went numb. The gun bounced once on
the floor and landed by his feet. He bent and picked it up and stepped away as
the other guy appeared in the doorway.
'Are you hurt?'
José shook his head and
smiled grimly. She stared, terrified, into his eyes. She could swear he'd
wanted it to happen like this all along. As if he needed an excuse. She
could already feel the stinging pain as the razor sharp steel slit her flesh
open, watching in horror as her blood welled up and overflowed out of the
'Not as much as she's
going to be,' José said through clenched teeth.
They dragged her kicking
and screaming back to the kitchen where they stripped her naked, ripping at her
clothes as they pushed her back and forth between them. They taped her arms and
legs to a chair and made sure her legs were stretched open, nice and wide, all
the soft bits on show and easy to get at. Then they taped her mouth, but they
poked a small hole through the tape. She wondered if it was because they could
see she was having difficulty breathing through her nose from when she'd been
slapped. Or maybe they liked to hear their victims scream. Just not too loud,
so as not to disturb the neighbors.
The guy she'd shot,
José, had made a tourniquet out of strips of kitchen towel. It seemed it was
only a flesh wound anyway. It was only his left arm as well, and, like her, he
'Pass me that
Yan-something, will you,' he said to the other guy, whose name she still didn't
The guy didn't so much
pass it across as stab it into the wooden table top, before going back to
rooting through her handbag.
José took hold of the
knife and worked it free, a sick, satisfied smile on his lips as he took hold
of her hair and pulled her head back. The sound of her desperate sobs squeezing
past the tape that covered her mouth made his breath come faster, made his eyes
shine, as the horror that lived behind them came awake.
'Hey,' the other guy
called, her driving licence in his hand, 'her name's not Rachel, it's—'
But José didn't hear the
end of the sentence. A red mist consumed him as the first, hideous scream
filled the room. It didn't make any difference to him what her name was. Bitch
was good enough for him and soon she wouldn't need a name at all.
continued in A
Time To Kill – Dixie Killer Blues Book 2, out NOW!
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Time To Kill— Dixie Killer Blues Book 2
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