Home > Tail (Portland Street Kings #3)(5)

Tail (Portland Street Kings #3)(5)
Author: Evie Harper


Dom stares at the door and rushes out his words. “A rat, luck, a silent tail, I don’t know.”

“What the hell is a silent tail?” I demand, my shaky tone betraying my false bravado.

Dom's impatient gaze turns back to me, but I don’t take it personally. His stiff posture and wild eyes tell me how on edge he is. “I’ll explain later. Right now, we need to make a run for it to the Dodge. You need to stay to my right at all times, got it, Dell?”

Swallowing roughly, my dry throat makes it impossible to answer so all I do is nod.

As Dom reaches for the door, I pull his hand back. “Why can’t we wait here until they leave?”

“I’ll explain all that later. We need to leave now, Della.” His tone impatient but his words a plea.

“I need to understand before I run off into possible gunfire, Dom.” I want, no, need more information. I’m sick of being blindsided in my own life.

He grasps my elbows and squeezes. “We don’t have time for this. Just trust me.”

Trust me. Those words said so carelessly by many who have used and abused me. All of them having their own sick and twisted meaning to the words.

Unclenching my arms from his grip, I step backward. “Never.”

“This is not the fucking time, Della,” Dom argues.

“Then talk fast,” I grit out, “because faith no longer lives inside this girl.”

Dom’s eyes widen, and he jerks back as if my words burned him. It takes him a moment, but he recovers and begins to explain, “They’ll have your picture. They're probably showing it around right now saying you’ve been kidnapped or that you’re a fugitive, whatever will scare people into talking. Any second now, they could learn the green Dodge is ours, and they’ll come through this bathroom door or just start shooting, not giving a shit if anyone else was in here with you. There’s no rhyme nor reason to guys like that. There’s only running as fast and as far away as we fucking can, because you gun them down, choke them until their last breath. That’s another reason why Lucini will never stop. He’ll send double the men next time.”

Clearing my throat, I ask, “And if they start firing at us?”

Dom grabs my good hand and places the keys in my palm. “I’ll return fire to give you cover. You will make it to the car unharmed. I promise.” He doesn’t remove his hand. Instead, he pulls me forward and opens the bathroom door. I’m thrust outside, and my heart nearly bursts. I swing my head left and then right, peering around wildly for our enemies.

Warm hands press into my back, and Dom is pushing me toward the pumps. Palpitations explode through my chest. I’m not ready. What does "I won’t be harmed" mean? Does that mean he might be?

Abruptly, Dom halts me by placing a hand on my stomach and stepping in front of me. He peers carefully around the corner of the building. Agonizing seconds pass as if there is a large clock hanging over my head, and every tick dongs loudly and vibrates dread and anxiety all over my body.

Shakily, I tighten the grip on my handbag and twist the keys in my hand, positioning the driver's key, so all I have to do in a split second is push it in and turn the car on.

Dom turns toward me with clear and focused eyes and says in a strong voice, “Stay to my right. Now, run.”

My first step is a stumble; it matches exactly how my heart feels as we round the corner and the protection of the building is taken away. Dom's pounding feet are right beside mine, but all I can do is search the area in front of me for our car, and when I find it, I pump my legs faster. My frantic heart beats in time with my thoughts. Green Dodge. All or nothing. I need to survive. Green Dodge.

Gunshots ring through the air, and I let out a high-pitched scream and throw my hands up in the air to protect myself, but I don’t stop running. The familiar sound of bullets isn’t enough to stop me in my tracks, but sensing Dom's absence is.

Stopping so suddenly my hair stings my face as I twist around, I look for the man who I’ve grown to love and hate.

I find Dom kneeling behind a fuel pump, gun in hand, firing off shots. He glances over his shoulder and yells to me, “Don’t stop, Della. Get to the car!”

Without meaning to, I search for the men who are contracted to kill me. My eyes find one of them bent at the waist, hiding behind a car near the convenience store entrance. My gut says it’s Paulie. It could be the callous glint in his eyes or the smug smile on his face as he aims his gun straight at me.

Stumbling backward and almost falling over completely, I manage to turn around, ducking and weaving, petrified that bullet is going to hit me at any moment. Finally reaching the Dodge, I open the door and jump into the driver seat. A scream is ripped from my throat as the back window explodes, and I lower my head, covering it with my hands to protect myself from the shattering glass.

Recovering quickly, I turn the key and push down hard on the accelerator, revving the engine so Dom can hear. He must because he shoots off two more rounds and then stands and races over to me. Seconds away from getting ahold of the back door handle, Dom's face contorts in agony, and he falls forward to the cement floor.

Millions of particles explode beneath my skin as terror rips through me; black spots appear in my eyes, and a cold sweat breaks out all over my body. “Dom, get up!” I scream, my tone filled with terror, and I bounce in my seat while holding the steering wheel, preparing myself to jump out of the car and try to pull him into the car if I need to.

He moves. Dom stands and limps the rest of the way and climbs into the backseat with a pained groan. He lies down, back to the seat as his gun falls to the floor and he winces as he grasps his leg in pain.

Pushing the accelerator all the way to the floor, the wheels spin and soon after the car speeds off, but not before I peer into my side mirror and spot Paulie and another man a few meters behind him running to a silver Mercedes Benz.

For a split second, the fear inside me subsides, and I remember this is the kind of violence I’ve been surrounded by all my life. And the number one lesson Slater taught us was to always be one step ahead, and if it came down to it, kill before you were killed.

As we cross onto the deserted main road by the station, I slam on the brakes. Twisting my body, I reach into the back with my right arm and grasp the gun. Placing it on my lap, I take hold of the steering wheel again. The pain shooting up my left arm and fingers is nothing compared to the panic rising through my chest and mind. Pushing down on the accelerator, I turn the wheel all the way to the right and spin the car around and point us directly at the silver, flashy car. Instead of running off, I’m driving straight for the contracted killers.

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