Title: Once Upon an Austin Night
Author: Danile Lance Wright
Genre: Action/Adventure, Thriller, Romance
Book Heat Level: 3
Buy at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble
BLURB: Once Upon an Austin Night
EXCERPT: Once Upon an Austin Nigght
Lincoln was already at his car with his keys out unlocking it. He saw Carlee abruptly stop beside her car, her eyes followed a dark colored SUV with blacked out windows driving into the hotel parking lot off the street very fast, screeching tires, driving directly for where Lincoln stood.
“Gun!” Carlee shouted as loud as she could. “Get down, Linc!”
Lincoln looked to the vehicle across the top of his car to see what she was yelling about. He saw a rear darkened window going down. The short barrel of a gun emerged into the illumination of the pinkish sodium vapor parking lot lights.
The rattling pops of automatic gunfire sounded off. Bullets ripped holes through the other side of his car.
His first panicked instinct was to run. He turned to do just that when he heard Carlee yell, “Damn it, Linc, get down!” He jerked his head around to see her sprinting high on her toes toward him.
Another staccato rant of gunfire came his direction.
He dropped to his stomach and looked across underneath his car. He saw Carlee carrying her gym bag, unzipping it on the run. She retrieved a pistol in a holster from it and dropped the bag on the fly. She then threw the holster off the pistol, racked the slide, chambering a shell, and fired three fast shots at the driver′s side of the windshield on the SUV. “Stay down, Linc! Don′t get up!”
The rattling trill of automatic gunfire again ripped through the night. This time, not at him, but from the opposite side of the offending vehicle toward Carlee. He saw her dive and roll out of the line of fire behind a parked car. Her head and gun arm emerged seconds later from behind the front end of another parked vehicle. She squeezed off three more quick shots. He heard a heavily accented voice from inside the SUV yell, “The bitch shot me! Let′s get out of here! Drive! Drive!”
The vehicle smoked its rear tires on the way out of the parking lot. Carlee sprang up from the safety of the vehicle she had crouched behind. She squeezed off three more parting shots, hitting the rear window with all three, as the vehicle screamed off down the street at high speed. She immediately spun around and ran for where Lincoln lay beside his car.
“Linc, are you okay!” she was shouting as she rounded the rear of his car.
Lincoln pushed himself to a sitting position and scooted back to lean against the car. “I think so,” he replied and then held both hands out. They were shaking. “But, I may need to change my underwear.”
Carlee drew a breath and blew it out as her body slumped forward, adrenaline charge leaving her in a sudden rush. She stepped next to him, backed up to his car, and oozed down to sit beside him. She pulled a cell phone from the side pocket of her jeans and dialed 911.
As she offered as many details as she could to the dispatcher, Lincoln thought about what had just happened. It occurred to him, for better or worse, the two of them had quite suddenly become more than friends. The thought came heavily tinged with fear. They were now bound by circumstances, lives inexorably linked for the foreseeable future. It did not take Sherlock Holmes to see this was likely a retaliatory thing for the shooting of Manuel Ortiz. Lincoln wondered if they would soon make another attempt. It seemed likely. It also seemed obvious to him, whoever was in that black SUV was going after someone she cared for, and that happened to be him on this night. It spoke to the cartel’s ruthlessness. They wanted her to see a friend or relative killed. Whoever they were had no way of knowing he and Carlee were mere acquaintances.
Another thought quickly moved in. It would now be impossible to keep Carlee a secret from Jeannine or her parents. It would be on every local news channel all day tomorrow and, possibly, a couple of network news sequences. There could be live bulletins going out tonight, due to the use of fully automatic weapons within the city limits. Television stations may determine it to be a public safety issue. It made him uneasy to think his wife and her parents would easily learn of the attack and that he and Carlee had been together. After a few seconds, his mind eased, when he considered Jeannine′s likely tryst Fitz told him about. He became conflicted. Should he even care what they thought? He and Carlee escaped harm. That′s what was important. He assumed Jeannine would be relieved that he was safe. What the hell am I thinking? I can′t assume that at all.