Hunt Her Down - Roxanne St. Claire
Roxanne St. Claire - Bullet Catcher #7 - Hunt Her Down
Hunt Her Down (Bullet Catcher #7)
Roxanne St. Claire
THE UNIVERSE GAVE them rain the night of the delivery. A drenching summer downpour that swept in from the Everglades and turned Miami’s expressways into one long blur of red and orange over slick pavement. The kind of rain that would hide anything, or anyone.
Maggie blinked once, then again quickly to ward off bad luck, but also to make sure the blur was on the window and not in her eyes. She’d been teary ever since Lourdes had sneaked her that stupid fortune cookie this afternoon.
She slipped her fingertips into the front pocket of her jeans and ran a nail over the edge of the paper she’d folded into a tiny square, every word committed to memory.
“Now that love grows in you, then beauty grows, too.” When the universe spoke, Magdalena Varcek listened. That’s what her grandmother taught her. Follow the signs the universe sends you, Baba would say.
This one was kind of hard to miss. And there was only one thing to do: she had to tell Michael tonight. He’d know what to do.
She closed her eyes and imagined his face, his reaction to her news. She loved to think about his face. The way she got lost in his soft brown eyes. His perfect mouth, the little bump on his nose, the way he kissed, the way he—
She looked up and caught Ramon’s unrelenting gaze on her in the rearview mirror. She’d once thought those sultry Venezuelan eyes were sexy, that curled lip of a smile was dreamy. But now her stomach flip-flopped for a whole different reason when she looked at her boyfriend. If he knew what she’d been doing in that shed behind his father’s house, he’d kill Michael.
And his father would kill her.
She didn’t want to die at eighteen. Especially not at the vicious hands of El Viejo. Ever since Ramon had brought her home like a stray cat, his father had looked for excuses to get rid of her. She was only allowed to stay so she could be a free nanny to little Lourdes.
In the front passenger seat, Carlos tapped his fingers to some imaginary tune, his head bobbing like a fool’s, his chubby jowls wiggling as he chewed and cracked gum. He’d probably snorted a gram before they left. He said something to Ramon in Spanish and threw a look over his shoulder at Maggie.
Ramon unhooked the car phone from the console, the red brake lights in front of them illuminating the rattlesnake tattoo that ran up his forearm. She used to think that was the last word in sexy, too.
After dialing, he asked, “Where are you, bro?”
English, so it had to be Michael on the other end. Viejo and Ramon didn’t always include him, but she’d told him about tonight’s job, and he was pretty good about worming his way in. She liked to think that was so he could see her.
Maybe when the guys were unloading the crates, she could give him the signal. Move one bracelet to the other arm… meet me in my room. Move two bracelets . . . meet me in the shed. Three meant follow me when I leave the house. And he usually did.
“They’re through? Already?” Ramon turned to Carlos and muttered something.
He whizzed down the next exit, water hissing under the tires as he sped through the deserted industrial section near the airport. In a few minutes, he pulled into the lot in front of the warehouse, the words AJ Cargo and Shipping barely visible in the rain.
El Viejo’s Stash House was more like it. But Alonso Jimenez wasn’t there tonight. He usually was, but something in the silent looks volleying between Ramon and Carlos told her that things weren’t exactly going smooth and easy this time. Starting with the rain and ending with Juan Santiago puking on Chinese-food poisoning, so that Ramon freaked and brought Maggie in his place. At least the Chinese food delivery had included her message from the universe.
She touched the paper again, scanning the empty lot for Michael’s car. Nothing but three AJ Cargo trucks lined up near the loading dock in the back.
Michael would be following a fourth one in at any minute, and the men driving it would help Carlos and Ramon unload furniture boxes from Caracas, sofas and chairs stuffed with bags of cocaine that had traveled from Colombia to Maracaibo, Venezuela, then shipped out of Caracas.
Ramon had told