CURVE BALL

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Chapter Thirty-Four

“Civilians?” Billy Dee asked. “What civilians?”

Melissa set her purse on the floor. “Come on Billy Dee, do I have to spoon feed you. Aren’t there regular people working at the station.”

“Of course. Civys do all sorts of …oh shit. The fingerprint…” his voice drifted off. “We got to go. Now.”

“Okay, could you drop me off closer to Lake Shore Drive.”

“What?”

“It’s easier to get a cab from there.”

“Melissa, I’m not your damn chauffeur. I don’t have time for that.”

“You can’t leave me here. This isn’t a great spot to flag down a taxi.”

“I’ll have Pat call for one.”

“Please. At this hour of the night it will take you 5 minutes.”

He got up and strode to the door. “We’re good, Pat?”

The bartender nodded. “Your friend is welcomed anytime. Much better to look at than your ugly mug.”

“You can have her.” He stepped outside and without waiting walked toward the parking lot. A car raced by travelling in the opposite direction. Didn’t even slow down at the intersection. Jesus, what was that guy’s hurry? He stopped a few feet from his Chrysler 200. There was not another vehicle on the road. Shit. He turned toward the bar. “Melissa, come on I’ll…”

She walked towards him. He could see she had a smile. “You’re a gentleman, Billy Dee.”

He was about 25 feet from her.

The roar of an engine grabbed his attention. A car with its headlights off sped towards them. He heard the screech of tires. Someone leaned out of the passenger window. Pop, pop, pop, Melissa screamed and staggered to the ground. Before Billy Dee could draw his weapon, the car sped off.

“Oh my God,” he rushed towards her. “Melissa, Melissa.” She lay on the sidewalk. He placed his hand on her neck and felt for a pulse. Thank God, she still had one. Pat came running from the bar. “What happened?”

“She’s shot, I think she caught it in the legs. Call an ambulance, 911. Hurry.”

Pat sprinted back inside.

“Say something, girl,” Billy Dee said as he held her.

“God, I hurt. Menstrual cramps has nothing on this.”

“Hang in there, you’ll be all right. An ambulance is on its way.” He took off his jacket and placed it under her head. Sirens screamed in the distance.

Pat charged towards them. “They’re on their way.”

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