Authors: Alexis Shore
Tags: #cop romance, #cop romance suspense, #Thriller, #action, #Adventure, #police romance novels, #police romance
The Police Trilogy, Volume 3
Published by Alexis Shore, 2014.
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.
First edition. August 29, 2014.
Copyright © 2014 Alexis Shore.
Written by Alexis Shore.
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ook what I got,” he called out.
Everyone stopped and looked their way.
Eve felt the gun pushing harder against her skin, felt her heart thumping violently in her chest, felt the blood rushing round her ears in a deafening tidal wave, and felt her knees weak beneath her.
And the weight of the gun dangling from her finger was becoming unbearable.
The worst thing though was knowing that most of the Strike Team wouldn’t give a flying fuck that she was now a hostage.
She saw Brandon looking at her, his eyes wide with fear and anger. His hand was hovering at his hip, ready to pull out his gun and fire at the right moment.
Further down the alley, Conrad shifted the bag on his shoulder, almost as if to hide it behind his back. His goon sidekicks shuffled on their feet, not sure who she was.
“Let her go,” Brandon said, firm, commanding.
“Nuh uh, ese.”
She felt a rough hand fumbling at her ass, pawing into her back pocket and pulling out her badge and warrant card. He held it up over her shoulder and let it flop open. When he saw them react, he turned it and read out loud.
“Eve Knight. Internal Affairs.”
Conrad visibly stiffened and pushed the bag further round his back, and Kane and Hemp darted fearful looks at one another.
“What the fuck is IA doing here?” Brandon barked.
“Radio said shots fired,” Eve replied, so nervous her voice croaked.
She could feel her heart thumping like a drum now, even hear it. The breath from the gang member behind her was rasping against her neck as he hid behind her body for cover, his sweat pungent in her nostrils.
Conrad began stepping to one side, one foot after the other. She guessed he was heading for his own cover, but when he stopped directly in the line of sight of the gang member, she didn’t know what to think.
It was like he was giving him another target.
And she felt the goon behind her stiffen with confusion.
Meanwhile, Brandon was making the same sort of manoeuvre, putting himself in easy shot with slow, deliberate paces.
A cloud crossed the sun overhead, plunging the alley into a comparative darkness that sent a chill down Eve’s spine. The cuffed members of the gang, kneeling in the dirt on the floor, trash billowing around them as the wind picked up a notch, started to sense they now had the upper hand, and became vocal with it.
“Let’s us go man,” one said, a confidence in his voice.
“Come on,” another called.
“Uncuff them ese,” the voice behind her commanded, and Hemp put up his hands and moved to one of the bound members, pulling a key from his pocket.
Conrad and Brandon used his movement to disguise their own further steps to one side. Their hands hovered at their hips, ready to pull and fire whenever the moment might come.
Eve felt the gun move away from her flesh, and felt the goon’s grip on her loosen.
The moment came.
She dipped on one knee, and slammed her elbow back, feeling the bone hit bone, smashing hard into his crotch. He screamed in agony, the breath rushing from his lungs, and he staggered back.
Eve kept low, and in a blur, watched two hands snatch for their guns, and felt two bullets whip over her head. She heard them hit flesh with a dull thud, and the screaming stopped. She craned her neck round to see the goon slumping down in a heap of blood.
Suddenly, she felt something smack into her, and she was up in the air. It took her a moment to realise that Brandon had lurched for her, and scooped her up, running hard with her over his shoulder, down the alley, carrying her to safety.
As his feet thumped on the ground, she heard harsh rasps of air escape his lungs, and she felt safe, clutching onto his powerful body, rippling and heaving with exertion.
When they came out onto the street, he pivoted and carried her half a block, before stopping and dropping her to her feet, her back against the shop front.
Before she knew it, his arms embraced her, pulling her body tight to his, his muscles so firm against her, and his mouth found hers, kissing her deeply. She kissed him back, revelling in the sensations of relief and desire, feeling his tongue explore her with wanton wonder, his arms holding her so tight she felt she could never fall again.
And when the kiss was done, he pressed his forehead into hers, gazing deep into her eyes, his breath tickling her face.
“That was stupid,” he sighed.
She didn’t disagree, but she didn’t speak either.
And then he let go of her and was gone, his absence immediately palpable, a physical void that she yearned for within seconds. She watched him sprint back down the block and slide into the alley.
Eve knew he would have some explaining to do, but she trusted that he would be able to pull it off.
Suddenly, her knees felt weak and wobbly, and she had to lean against the wall to support herself. She took a series of deep breaths, blinking and shaking her head, a futile effort to clear the adrenaline from her body. And in that moment, she was overcome with the urge to have sex.
Had Brandon stuck around, she would have jumped into his arms and fucked him there and then, out in the open with everyone watching.
Instead, she let the adrenaline coarse and rage through her body, expanding and teasing her nerve endings, until it eventually dropped a little and she could focus on her surroundings once more.
Cop cars had pulled up, siren lights still flashing, and civilians were scattered about the place, some sitting in shock, others holding one another for comfort.
She knew Brandon and the Strike Team would be long gone, whatever was in the bag would dictate that. They’d dump it, and come back to give their reports, never once to be questioned over their sudden absence.
And now she thought about it, that was for the best.
Eve knew she had to stop those questions being asked if their sting operation was to have any chance of success.
She looked down at the gathered uniformed cops, all milling about with notebooks open and pens at the ready. They were taking dozens of statements, but one cop was standing at the end of the alley, staring at it, a single thought clearly brewing in his head.
Eve trotted down to him, using all her effort to stop her legs collapsing under her. She flashed her badge at the cop, and immediately recognised him, though she couldn’t place from where.
His paunch looked familiar, as did his jowls, and it was only when he spoke that she put her finger on it. This was the cop that had pulled her over when she was late for her undercover op.
“Wondered when IA would get here,” he said, idly looking back down the alley, an expression of perplexion on his face.
Eve knew where his thoughts were gathered.
“Let’s just say we have a finger in this pie,” she said, trying not to sound enigmatic, rather matter of fact.
“Where’d they go?” he suddenly asked, like the thought had finally coalesced into something tangible.
Eve had to think quick, because the more he pushed it, the more others would be intrigued too. There was no way she could reveal that IA was in the middle of an op, not with Conrad’s links in the department; news would reach him about it even before she finished explaining it to this beat cop.
“They gave chase to a perp,” she blurted.
“What? All of ‘em?”
“Yup,” she nodded, swallowing back the lie, pleased he was looking down the alley and not at her deceit-ridden face. “They’ll be back any moment.”
“Gee,” he said at length. “I dunno.”
Eve grabbed his arm lightly, and lead him away from the alley, hoping the fact it was out of sight might put it out of mind.
“You’re a good cop,” she said. “You know what it’s like when one of your own is put in the line.”
“Call it retribution.”
“That’s okay with IA is it?”
“I’m not officially here.”
“Responded to the call?”
Eve didn’t know what to tell him. She didn’t want to be part of the official report, at least, not for the time being.
“I’ll write it up, don’t you worry,” she said, affecting a playful tone and a flirtatious manner.
It seemed to do the trick, and he moved off to start interviewing civilians.
Eve waited a while, and when she was sure no eyes were on the alleyway, she walked down into it and started to look around.
There didn’t seem to be any sign the Strike Team had been here, let alone cuffed gang members. As far as she could see, there were no spent cartridges, and the only sign of any gunfire was the slumped corpse. The Crime Scene guys would be here soon, and she was sure they would find as much as she could see.
That is, nothing.
It didn’t make sense that the team had bolted with their prisoners either. Surely they would just be an encumbrance, something to slow them down. She shivered at the thought of what they might have planned for those goons, and she just hoped that Brandon could reign in their wrath.
oo boy,” Conrad called into the air, the adrenaline clearly rushing through his body.
Brandon couldn’t let himself feel the same kind of elation. The cuffed goons tossed in the back of the SUV were a portent of something to come, he was sure of it.
Conrad lurched the vehicle around the corner, and the whole Strike Team leaned with the turn. Brandon heard the oof noise as the goons in back were tossed into the side of the wheel arch. They knew enough not to complain vocally though.
“Who the fuck was the IA badge?” Brandon said, affecting an outrage he didn’t feel.
Relief, that was all he felt, relief that she was safe.
“And what was she doing there?” he added, even more irked.
“You heard her,” Conrad said, smiling, just pleased to be alive. “She responded.”
“Since when do IA get our backs?”
“Since today son,” Conrad replied firmly.
Brandon sank into a feigned sulk, and made sure Conrad saw it. He was pretty sure the point had been made, and that Conrad had bought his indignation. But he was equally sure that the same nagging doubts were gnawing away in Conrad’s head, and to vocalise them so they could be dismissed seemed like good policy.
There was no good reason why Eve should have been there.
Brandon was just thankful that she was.
She’d saved his life; and he’d returned the favour.
And that kiss.
Brandon revelled in the memory for as long as he dared, then shook the thought from his mind, focussing now on the journey they were taking. He needed to be sure of their final location, and he kept pretty good track of each turn they made, each doubling back they took, and each blind diversion Conrad affected.
When the car finally pulled to a halt, Brandon knew exactly where they were.
The whole team climbed down from the massive silver SUV, its paintwork shining and chrome finish glinting in the midday sun.
Brandon realised he may at last be about to get something on these slippery bastards. Every punch, every choke hold, every violent outburst would be caught on the microphone taped to his chest; and then his mission would be over – that would be enough to shut down the team and see these men thrown off the force, at the very least.
Conrad moved to the rear door and opened it upwards, reaching in and roughly grabbing one of the goons by the collar, yanking him out and onto his feet.
They squared up, the cop a good foot taller than the criminal, who eyed him from below with a steel like glare. Conrad’s jaw twitched, and suddenly he span the goon round and slammed him forward so his face was on the floor of the truck.
Brandon stepped closer, ready to capture the beating on tape.
He heard the click of metal, and the familiar clatter of cuffs being removed.
A smile turned up the side of his mouth as Brandon realised that Conrad was about to give the goon a fighting chance, before all of the team descended on him in a flurry of fists and boots.
Conrad hauled the man back upright, and pushed him away.
His command was so forceful that the goon snapped into action, bolting away without looking back, running off at full pelt and round the corner.
Brandon watched on as Conrad then proceeded to let the other goon go.
“What the fuck?” he asked when they were alone as a team once more.