Tanya and Natalie sat on the edge of a rectangular stone planter near the corner of the library. We had a good view of the girls. If anyone approached, we'd know.
Mouse had the wheel. I was in the passenger side, the seat moved back to give me enough room to use the CO2-powered tranquilizer rifle with currently sat between the seats.
I checked by optic clock.
Ten minutes 'til go time.
The radio sitting atop the dashboard crackled and a voice said, "Kat."
I picked it up and pushed the talk button. "Incoming?"
A pause. Then: "If Natalie gets hurt, I'll make you pay."
Ballsy kid. I'll give him that. "I told you before," I said. "They'll be fine."
"You better hope so." And the radio clicked off.
Mouse and I exchanged looks.
"Way to go on the people skills," said Mouse with a smirk.
"Ha ha," I said.
* * *
On the dot, a silver, late model BMW with two mooks rolled into the parking lot and pulled to the curb near the girls. A mook with slicked-back dark hair, black leather blazer, jeans, and cowboy boots got out of the passenger seat and started toward Tanya and Natalie.
Then checked again.
I couldn't see the driver clearly.
The plan had been to wait until the car stopped next to the girls, take out the mooks inside with the tranq rifle, and nab one for questioning.
But the driver had parked at an angle so that I was in the car's blind spot.
"Shit," I said.
"What?" said Mouse.
I told her.
"Shit," she said, drew the Bowie from beneath her trenchcoat and slid out of the car.
I grabbed the rifle from between the seats, pulled it to my shoulder, and sighted on the mook talking to the girls.
The radio crackled. "Kat," said Russ. "Campus cops coming toward the library."
The mook gestured toward the waiting BMW.
The girls nodded.
I squeezed the trigger.
The rifle burped.
The mook gave a jerk of his head, swayed, then staggered forward and collapsed to his knees.
Both girls stepped back, hands to their mouths, eyes wide.
I lowered the rifle. Saw Mouse at the driver's side door. She waved the girls back. They nodded, and bolted toward the library.
Mouse signaled to me.
I tossed the rifle into the back, climbed into the driver seat, and pulled the Shelby up behind the BMW.
Mouse came around to the passenger side and yanked the door open.
Got out and went to where Mouse was standing and we shoved the tranqed mook into the trunk.
Mouse got back out of the car as I came around to the driver's side and went toward the BMW.
The driver sat pinned to the headrest with a Bowie through his throat. Blood blanketed the front of his gray pullover.
Mouse reached in and yanked the knife out. The driver slumped sideways.
We got back into the Shelby in time to hear Russ on the radio: "They're almost there! Next parking lot over!"
I grabbed the radio. "Get gone."
Ten seconds later, we passed the patrol car on the perimeter road and continued south, exited campus onto 38th Street, and headed back to the Red Dog.
(to be continued...)