Читать онлайн "Sudden prey" автора Sandford John - RuLit - Страница 2


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She tried to relax, checked all the mirrors. Nothing unusual. She took the P7 out of her coat pocket, slipped the magazine, pushed on the top shell with her thumb. She could tell by the pressure that she had a full clip.

Dick always made fun of the little bitty nine-millimeter shells, but she'd stick with them. The small gun felt right in her hand and the muzzle blast was easy to manage. The P7 held thirteen rounds. She could put nine or ten of the thirteen shots into the top of a Campbell's soup can at twenty-five feet, in less than seven seconds. A couple of times, she'd put all thirteen in.

Good shooting. Of course, soup-can lids didn't move. But on the two occasions when she'd been shooting for real, she felt no more pressure than when she'd been outside Dick's double-wide, banging away at soup-can lids. You didn't really line anything up, you kept both eyes open and looked across the front sights, tracking, and just at that little corner of time when the sight crossed a shirt pocket or a button or another good aim point, you'd take up the last sixteenth of an inch and…

Pop. Pop, pop.

Candy got a little hot just thinking about it.

DANNY KUPICEK HAD LONG BLACK HAIR THAT HIS WIFE cut at home, and it fell over his eyes and his oversized glasses so that he looked like a confused shoe clerk.

That helped when he was working the dopers: dopers were afraid of anyone too hip. They trusted shoe clerks and insurance salesmen and guys wearing McDonald's hats. Danny looked like all of those. He pulled the city Dodge to the curb and

Del climbed in and Kupicek took off, three hundred yards behind the Chevy van.

Del put his hands over the heat vent.

''I gotta come up with a new persona for the wintertime,'' Del said. ''Somebody who's got a warm coat.''

''State legislator,'' Kupicek said. He'd been sitting in the car off the capitol grounds, keeping an eye on Candy's car. He'd watched the politicians coming and going, and noticed how prosperous they seemed.

''Nah,'' Del said, shaking his head. ''I wanna try somebody legit.''

''Whatever, you gotta keep your head covered,'' said Kupicek. He wore heavy corduroy pants, a sweater over a button-down shirt, a wool watch cap and an open parka. ''Fifty percent of all heat loss comes from the head.''

''What do you think the hood is for?'' Del asked, pointing over his shoulder.

''Too loose,'' Kupicek said, like he knew what he was talking about. He was nine cars behind Candy when they entered I-94, in the slow lane and two lanes to the right. ''You need a stocking cap under there.''

''Fuck a bunch of stocking caps. I need a desk job is what I need. Maybe I'll apply for a grant.''

Kupicek looked at him, the yellow teeth and two-day stubble. ''You ain't grant material,'' he said, frankly. ''I'm grant material. Sherrill's grant material.

Even Franklin is grant material. You, you ain't grant material.''

''Fuck you and your wife and all your little children,'' Del said. He picked up

Kupicek's handset. ''Lucas, you there?''

Davenport came back instantly: ''We're setting up in the Swann parking lot.

Where is she?''

''Just passing Lexington,'' Del said.

''Stay with her. When she gets off at 280, let me know as soon as she's at the top of the ramp.''

''Do that,'' Del said.

Kupicek was watching the van: ''She's got some discipline. I don't think we touched fifty-six since we got on the road.''

''She's a pro,'' Dell said.

''If it was me, I'd be so freaked, I'd be doing ninety. Course, maybe they're not gonna do it.''

''They're gonna do it,'' Del said. He could feel it: they were gonna do it.

GEORGIE LACHAISE WAS A DARK WOMAN WITH BLUE eyes that looked out from under too-long, too-thick eyebrows. She had a fleshy French nose, full lips with the corners downturned. She locked Duane Cale's eyes across the table and said,

''Duane, you motherfucker, if you drive off, I'll find you and I'll shoot you in the fuckin' back. I promise you.''

Duane leaned forward over the yellow Formica table, both hands wrapped around an oversized cup of Coke Classic. He had an unformed face, and hair that had never picked a color: one eyewitness might say he was blond, another would swear that he had brown hair. One would say apple-cheeked, another would say fox-faced. He seemed to change, even as you looked at him. He wore a camouflage army jacket over jeans and boots, with the collar turned up, and a Saints baseball hat.

''Oh, I'll do it,'' he said, ''but it don't feel right. It just don't feel right. I mean, we did that one in Rice Lake, I was good there.''

''You were perfect in Rice Lake,'' Georgie said. She thought, You were so scared

I thought we'd have to carry you out. ''This time, all you gotta do is drive.''

''Okay, you see right there?'' asked Duane, tapping the tabletop with the cup.

''You said it your own self: I was perfect. This don't feel perfect, today. No sir. I mean, I'll do it if you say so, but I…''

Georgie cut him off. ''I say so,'' she said bluntly. She glanced at her watch.

''Candy'll be here in a minute. You get your asshole puckered up and get behind the wheel and everything'll go smooth. You know what to do. You only gotta drive two blocks. You'll be perfect.''

''Well, okay…'' His Adam's apple bobbed. Duane Calewas too scared to spit and the Coca-Cola didn't seem to make a difference.

LUCAS DAVENPORT PEELED OFF HIS TOPCOAT AND THE gray Icelandic sweater. Sloan handed him the vest and Lucas shrugged into it, slapping the Velcro tabs into place, everything nice and snug, except if you took a shot in the armpit it'd go right through your heart and both lungs on the way out the opposite 'pit…

Never turn sideways.

''Fuckin' cold,'' Sloan said. He was a narrow, sidewayslooking man who today wore a rabbit-fur hat. ''We live in fuckin' Russia. The Soviet fuckin' Union.''

''Is no Soviet Union,'' Lucas said. They were in a drugstore parking lot, Lucas and Sloan and Sherrill, and had gotten out of the slightly warm car to put on the vests. A loitering civilian watched them as his dog, wearing a blue jacket, sniffed up an ice-bound curb.

''I know,'' Sloan said. ''It moved here.''

Lucas pulled the sweater back over his head, then slipped back into his topcoat.

He was a tall man, dark-haired, darkcomplected with ice-blue eyes. A scar trailed through one brow ridge and expired on his cheek, a white line like a scratch across his face. As his head popped through the sweater's neck hole, he was grinning at Sloan, an old friend: ''Who was trying to start a departmental ski team?''

''Hey, you gotta do something in the middle of the…''

The radio broke in: ''Lucas?''

Lucas picked up the handset: ''Yeah.''

''On the 280 ramp,'' Del said.

''Got it… you get that, Franklin?''

Franklin came back, his voice chilled. ''I got it. I can see LaChaise and Cale, they're still sitting there. They look like they're arguing.''

''Keep moving,'' Lucas said.

''I'm moving. I'm so fuckin' cold I'm afraid to stop.''

''On University…'' Del said.

''We better go,'' Sherrill said. Her face was pink with the cold, and nicely framed by her kinky black hair. She wore a black leather jacket with tight jeans and gym shoes, and furry white mittens that she'd bought in a sale from a cop catalog. The mittens were something a high school kid might wear, but had a trigger-finger slit, like hunting gloves. ''She'll be picking them up.''

''Yeah.'' Lucas nodded, and they climbed into the city car, Sloan in the driver's seat, Sherrill next to him, Lucas sprawled in the back.

''Here she comes,'' said Franklin, calling on the radio.

''Check your piece,'' Lucas said over the seat to Sherrill. He wasn't quite sure of her, what she'd do. He wanted to see. He slipped his own. 45 out of his coat pocket, punched out the magazine, racked the shell out of the chamber, then went through the ritual of reloading. In the front seat, Sherrill was spinning the wheel on her. 357.



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