Snippet from Bad Habits, a Lux mystery

The Escalade in front of me turned right, like I did, and stayed in the turn lane for the strip mall.  I studied its dark, tinted windows.  It was an expensive model.  When it slowly circled the parking lot the long way to reach the back of the buildings, I decided to follow it.  The driver never sped up.  Coming from this direction, it would pass Keon’s with the passenger’s door facing the building.  As we approached Ian and his friend, the restaurant door opened and Keon stepped out, motioning to Ian.  Just then, the car’s side window rolled down, and a hand holding a gun was clearly visible. If I lowered my window and yelled a warning, I’d be too late.  Instead, I laid on the horn.

Keon glanced up, tackled both boys to the ground, and pinned them there as bullets flew over their heads.  The car started to stop and the side door began to open so the shooter could get out and finish his job.  My heart thudded so loud, I could hear it.  An image of Keon with a bloody bullet hole in his head made my flesh go cold.  My car lurched forward before I realized I’d stomped on the gas.  I sped up and rammed my car into the back of the shooter’s.

Their car slammed forward, and a random shot pinged skyward.  Their car door swung, pinning the shooter’s leg between it and the car frame.  He screamed in pain.  The driver sped up, trying to shake me, but I sped up, too.  My Bentley’s so big with so much horsepower, I pushed the car forward into a nearby dumpster and wedged it there.

The driver and the shooter jumped out, and the shooter aimed his gun at me.  I ducked and opened my glove compartment, tugging out my own nine-millimeter.  I opened my heavy door, using it for cover, and shot out the back window of their car.  They took off, running.  I aimed again, but couldn’t make myself fire.  I’m not a true fan of guns.  I only carry mine for self-protection.

Keon was shoving his cell phone in his pants pocket when he reached me, out of breath.  He yanked me to face him.  “What the hell were you thinking?  You could have been killed!”

Keon usually tried not to cuss and only resorted to street language when he was really upset.  “They were going to come for you and the boys.”  I hugged myself to stop my shaking.  “I couldn’t let them do that.”

He stared, fighting for composure.  I glanced at his hands and knees, scraped and bloody.  “Are you okay?  The boys?”

He gave a curt nod

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