“They’re heading west on Fairfax. Turn. Now.”
I jammed the Camaro into fourth, floored it, and threw the car left. Tires screeched and the car fishtailed over ice, and the Jag I’d been chasing slammed its brakes then took a hard right. I swerved, smelled the sharp tang of burning rubber, heard tires grinding on packed snow, and clipped a curb.
Nat’s disembodied voice broke in over Bluetooth. “Jesus, D-Man. You’re gonna kill the ride.”
The car was the least of my problems.
The Jag blew through a green light that turned yellow. I hit the gas. A Ford pulled out in front and I swerved to avoid it and a bicyclist, and threw the gear into fifth. The Camaro went airborne, barreling through the intersection and over a pothole.
“Christ!” Nat cut in. “You’re gonna be useless to Ada if you’re dead!”
“Just keep a lock on Ada,” I said, pursuing the Jag onto the highway and wondering what in the hell the driver was thinking. An open road was no match for the supercharged Camaro. “I’ll worry about the rest.”
I’d been chasing the Jag for almost fifteen minutes, and trying to find Ada for the last four weeks. First in White Rain, Australia, then through the back roads in Germany, and now across a remote area of snowy Massachusetts. Each lead brought me closer to her, but this had been the closest I’d gotten to Ada yet.
The speedometer inched toward one hundred.
Keep your head, Bellotti. Your daughter is in that car ahead of you.
I was moving in. Closer.
A face peered up from the Jag’s back seat. Black haired. Sad-eyed. Focused on me.
It was Ada, and she was shaking her head.
My foot hesitated over the accelerator long enough to give the Jag a momentary lead.
Ada shook her head once more, emphatically this time, telegraphing that she didn’t want me to follow, and swiped her arm over her eyes and nose. She was crying.
The Jag took off.
Like hell. I would not lose my daughter again.
I hit the pedal, gritted my teeth, and cursed the day Damian Sahin took Ada away. Lucky for me, Nat knew someone who knew someone who could track Ada’s location through her cell phone GPS, leading me to where we were now.
The rear window in the Camaro exploded and glass blew out all over me. I skidded, another blast tore through the car, and I yanked on the steering wheel, swerving hard and trying to avoid getting shot. A third bullet ripped through the passenger seat, shredding leather and kicking up foam stuffing. A fourth shot rang through and whizzed past my head.
Nat’s sharp voice cut in. “Are those gunshots?”
I chanced a glance in the rear view mirror. “Not sure who it is or when they joined the party.” I saw a blonde woman driving a blue Nissan. She was the one with the gun.
The blonde leaned out her open window, took aim, and squeezed off another round. It blasted through my window.
I swerved the Camaro, skidded to a halt, then jammed the gas and the gear to get moving again. The Camaro convulsed over plowed blacktop, hesitating before it gained traction.
By then the Jaguar was gone.
The Nissan blew past, and the blonde gave me a wicked smile and the finger.
I cursed. Slammed the steering wheel and the brake. Then cursed again.
“I lost her,” I said to Nat, and threw the door open and got out. I paced the snow-packed road, heart pounding and vision red, pissed that I couldn’t catch one damned break. Inside the car, Nat peppered me with questions I wasn’t ready to answer.
“D-Man. Talk to me. You okay? Jesus, talk to me. Are you there? Are you hurt? Are you dead? What the hell is going on over there?”
I leaned against the open door. “Yeah, I’m here,” I said, my voice deflated. “I almost had her. She was right there. Right in front of me.”
Bluetooth beeped with another incoming call.
“Did you recognize who was chasing you?” Nat asked.
But something about the driver nagged. I sank back into the Camaro, half-listening to Nat go on about trying again. That at least Ada was in the States for now, and that would make things easier for us.
I wanted to believe him.
The phone beeped again and the dashboard displayed that it was Mommie Dearest. I cursed one last time.
“I got another call,” I told Nat. “It’s MD.”
“Better you than me.” And he disconnected.
MD jumped on me as soon as the call went through. “You want to tell me what the hell you’re doing this time, Bellotti? Three busted stop signs, a frazzled small community in the middle of nowhere, and a sheriff’s department that’s chewing my ear off over your antics.”
“I got a lead on Ada and followed it. I’ll pay for the damages.” I gave her my version of the story.
“You’re an employee of PROs. You want to keep it that way?”
“I was shot at. Someone doesn’t want me to get Ada and I need to find out why.”
“None of that matters.”
“She’s my daughter.”
“You ever think about how you’re putting your daughter’s life in danger with these stunts?”
“They were shooting at me, not her, and I need to know why.”
“No. You don’t.”
“This isn’t about keeping a girl from her father,” I argued. “It’s something else. I’m getting closer to her and today was the first time someone pursued, intent on making a point.”
“Intent on getting you killed,” MD corrected.
“No. This woman was a good shot. If she wanted me dead, I’d have been dead.”
And that’s when it hit me, why the driver seemed so familiar.
I’d been too preoccupied with getting to Ada to realize she was Kyra Brand.
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