Rock Chick 04 RenegadeBy: Kristen Ashley
Wel , I guessed eventual y it would come to this. It wasn’t like I wasn’t expecting it. I knew when I started this crusade that something like this could happen, probably would happen, and here I was, in a dead end al ey, facing down Vance Crowe.
Shit, Lee Nightingale’s tracker.
Of al the fucking bad luck.
Rumor on the street, Crowe was third in command at Nightingale Investigations, after Lee and Lee’s right hand man, Luke Stark.
This was saying a lot, considering al the men employed by Nightingale Investigations were the crème de la crème of private investigations, security, surveil ance, bond skip tracing with a smal dose of head-cracking thrown in for shits and giggles. In fact, Nightingale, Stark and Crowe had a guns-drawn, facedown with some low-life drug dealer at a society party just a month ago. Crowe had blown off the guy’s hand.
Rumor had a lot of things about Vance Crowe, in fact, I knew two women who’d had a couple of things from Crowe, by their reports, very good things, though he didn’t stick around to give them more than a couple very good things, much to their dismay.
“Put your gun down,” Crowe said to me.
“Back off,” I returned, keeping my gun aimed at him.
I wasn’t going to shoot him, of course. I was anti-violence that was one of the reasons why I was in this mess in the first place.
He kept walking toward me, unarmed and apparently unafraid.
I took aim at his Harley. It would kil me to harm the Harley but I’d do it.
“Shoot my bike, there’l be consequences,” Crowe warned in a voice that said he meant it.
I aimed at him again.
“Back off,” I repeated as he kept advancing.
“You’re Law,” he told me.
Damn, he knew who I was.
“Stop moving,” I said, ignoring what he said.
He got about a foot away from the barrel of my gun, which was pointed at his chest, and he stopped.
“I work for Lee Nightingale.”
“I know who you work for and I know who you are,” I said to him.
Then I stared at him.
Damn, but he was good-looking. Native American coloring, straight, black hair pul ed into a ponytail at the back of his neck. He was about three inches tal er than me, fantastic body, dark brown eyes, thick lashes, unbelievable bone structure, high cheekbones, square jaw. It should be a crime to be that hot.
“Put the gun down, Law,” he said, using my street name.
My street name was kind of a joke; the kids gave it to me. My real name was Juliet Lawler. Most everyone cal ed me Jules but the kids cal ed me Law because, at the Shelter, what I said was “law”. It had taken on a life of its own these past four months and now I wished they’d never given it to me.
“Step back, Crowe. I’l just get in the car and go. I have no argument with you.”
And I didn’t. I had a lot of arguments with a lot of people but not with anyone at Nightingale Investigations. From what I heard (which was a lot), they weren’t exactly lily white but any fool would be crazy to go head-to-head with a Nightingale Man. I was a fool but I was pretty sure I wasn’t crazy.
“I’l say it one more time,” Crowe informed me quietly.
“Put the gun down.”
“Step back,” I returned.
He moved faster than I’d seen anyone move and, before I knew it, I no longer had the gun.
Not only that, he had my arm twisted behind my back and he had slammed my front up against his hard body.
This was not a good choice. I’d had a free hand and some of my pride left. In seconds, he shoved my gun in the back waistband of his jeans, had my other arm twisted behind me and he moved me, shuffling me back until I hit the side of my car. Then he pressed into me ful body.
I tilted my head back and shouted in his face, “Let go and step away!”
“Two cops were standing in Fortnum’s when you had your showdown with Cordova. They saw the whole thing.
You got a permit for that gun?” he asked.
“Yes.” This was true. Zip got it for me. Zip was a benefactor. Zip supported my crusade. Zip taught me how to shoot and Zip was a good shot, therefore, so was I.
Though, it was a little worrying that two cops saw me face down Sal Cordova. However, I didn’t figure Sal was going to run to the police and tel on me, considering he was a criminal and a total jackass to boot.
“I’m takin’ you into the offices. We’re gonna have a talk,” Vance said to me.
I didn’t know what he thought we had to talk about but I was having no part of it. Lee Nightingale’s brother and father were cops and so was his best friend. No way was I going to any offices with Crowe.
I kept staring him straight in the eye. It was kind of hard, since he was so hot, I was beginning to feel weird about it, especial y with him pressed up against me. I kept at it al the same.
“I haven’t done anything to you. Just let me be on my way,” I said.
He got closer. If you’d asked me the second before if he could, I would have said no. But his face came within an inch of mine and his body pressed deeper into me.
“This is a dangerous game you’re playin’, Law. Vigilante justice,” he told me.