Kansas City Cop(10)

By: Julie Miller


“Good.” Gina handed Vicki her phone. “Why don’t you go ahead and do that while I’m here?”

Vicki hesitated. “Will Gordy be back when I get home?”

“I can keep him locked up for up to forty-eight hours—longer if he doesn’t make bail.” Gina had a feeling Vicki’s husband would be locked up for considerably longer than that but didn’t want to guarantee anything she couldn’t back up. “We can send a car through the neighborhood periodically to watch if his brother and friends come back. See a doctor. Go to your sister’s, and get a good night’s sleep. Call the shelter, and get the help you need.”

“Thank you.” Vicki punched in her sister’s phone number and smiled again. “That was sweet to see you take Gordy down—and you aren’t any bigger than I am. Maybe I should learn some of those moves.”

Gina smiled back and pulled out her own business card. “It’s all about attitude. Here. Call me when you’re feeling up to it. A few other officers and I teach free self-defense training sessions.”

Although Vicki didn’t look entirely convinced that she could learn to stand up for herself, at least she had made arrangements with her sister and brother-in-law to stay with them for a few nights by the time Gina was closing the front door behind her and heading down the front walk toward the street. What passed for sunshine on the wintry day was fading behind the evening clouds that rolled across the sky and promised another dusting of snow. Despite the layers of the sweater, flak vest and long-sleeved uniform she wore, Gina shivered at the prospect of spring feeling so far out of reach.

Ignoring the glare of blurry-eyed contempt aimed at her from the backseat of the cruiser, Gina arched a questioning eyebrow at Derek. “Bismarck didn’t hurt you, did he?”

Derek massaged the bridge of his nose that was already bruising and circled around the car as she approached. “Just my pride. I don’t even know if the guy meant to clock me. But I was on the floor, and he was on his way to the kitchen before my eyes stopped watering.”

“Ouch.”

“Just don’t tell anybody that a drunk got the upper hand on me and you had to save my ass. I don’t imagine that would impress Captain Cutler.”

“We’re a team, Derek. We help each other out.”

“And keep each other’s secrets?”

“Something like that.”

His laughter obscured his face with a cloud of warm breath in the chilly air. “Now I really owe you that cup of coffee.” Her aversion to the cold weather was hardly a secret compared to his possible incompetence in handling the suspect. Maybe her partner wasn’t ready for the demands of the promotion. He pulled open his door. “Come on. Let’s get you warmed up—”

The sharp crack of gunfire exploded in the cold air.

Derek’s green eyes widened with shock for a split second before he crumpled to the pavement. “Derek!”

A second bullet thwacked against the shatterproof glass of the windshield. A third whizzed past her ear and shattered the glass in Vicki Bismarck’s storm door. Gina pulled the Glock at her hip and dove the last few feet toward the relative shelter of the car. A stinging shot of lead or shrapnel burned through her calf, and she stumbled into the snow beside the curb.

Where were the damn shots coming from? Who was shooting? Had Denny Bismarck come back? She hadn’t heard a motorcycle on the street. But then, he hadn’t been alone, either.

“Derek? I need you to talk to me.” There was still no answer. Bullets hit the cruiser and a tree trunk in the front yard. Several more shots scuffed through the snow with such rapidity that she knew the shooter either had an automatic weapon or several weapons that he could drop and keep firing. Gina crouched beside the wheel well, listening for the source of the ambush, praying there were no innocent bystanders in the line of fire. The bullets were coming from across the street. But from a house? An alley? A car?

“Derek?” The amount of blood seeping down her leg into her shoe told her the shooter was using something large caliber, meant to inflict maximum damage. But her wound was just a graze. She could still do her job. Before she sidled around the car to pull her partner to safety, Gina got on her radio and called it in. “This is Officer Galvan. Unit 4-13. Officers need assistance. Shots fired.” She gave the street address and approximation of where she thought the shooter might be before repeating the urgent request, “Officers need assistance.”

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