The tables have been turned! Throughout his professional life Derrick Olin has been the protector, the one responsible for keeping others safe from the abusers, thugs, assassins, and fanatics who've wanted to do them damage. But now, following two attempts on his life, Derrick finds that he's the one in need of protection. And not just him. Friends, lovers, anyone close to the former Air Force antiterror specialist could find themselves under the hostile guns of unseen enemies. In order to unravel this mystery and find the person behind it, Derrick will have to dig deeply into his past to discover which old enemy is hunting him now... and why. Then he'll put an end to them, if they don't end him first!
Everything was starting to move at normal speed now, and I was breathing once more. I could feel a slight tremor move through me, my hands and arms shaking involuntarily, and there was a ringing in my ears as well.
I took a deep breath, taking in as much air as I could through my nose, holding it for a few seconds, and then slowly releasing it through my mouth. That felt really good so I did it again, and this time as my breath re- leased I felt my heart beating very fast in my chest.
"Shit," I swore softly, continuing to look down at the man on the ground a few feet from me. He was lying on his back, blood pouring from several small holes in his chest, a compact nine millimeter pistol in the mud just a foot from his left hand.
"Shit!" I swore again, this time with a bit more force.
Suddenly I was aware of other things around me. Cars, people, even a school bus. Yeah, I was just a hundred yards or so from John Carroll High School at the moment, just down the road. I wonder if any of the kids on the bus had seen what happened, and how would it affect them later? Right now I guess that didn't matter. What did was the fact that I was still alive.
Slowly I lowered my right hand to my side, the small Kel-Tec P-32 semiautomatic still held firmly in my grip, my finger no longer on the trigger though. There was no need anymore.
Everything was in real time now and I went over and knelt down beside the man on the ground, my left knee sinking in the moist earth. I picked up the discarded weapon and tossed it several feet away, then started checking the man for a pulse. It took nearly a minute and a half because my own pulse was sounding so loud in my ears that it was hard to feel anything else, but it was there, faintly. For some reason that made me feel better.
I looked over my right shoulder as footsteps approached, the P-32 against the back of my right thigh. A car had stopped and two people climbed out, a man and a woman. The woman approached first. She was tall and slender with shoulder length curly red hair and she wore rimless glasses. She said she was a doctor and moved past me to kneel down on the other side of the man on the ground. I glanced back at the man with her, probably her husband. He was on his cell phone and staring at me with great apprehen- sion. Nodding slowly, I stood up and stepped back a few feet. Cars were stopped, some had pulled over to the side of the road, people were getting out.
I glanced around for a few moments, eyeing every face, checking hands, checking eyes, looking for any signs of hostile intent. Finding none, I reached back and raised my T-shirt, slipping the pistol into the waistband of my shorts. There was a clip attached to the receiver and this made it easy to carry the lightweight little gun without a holster. Convenient for the morning jog; and a definite lifesaver on this morning.
I could hear sirens approaching from somewhere. Probably the cops, maybe the paramedics. Didn't really matter. Soon they'd all be here.
I was feeling a little weak in my stomach and knees. Another couple of deep breaths. That helped, but not much.
The man who had gotten out of the car with the woman doctor was finished talking on his cell phone but he was still looking at me, his eyes full of suspicion and accusation. I ignored him.
A minute later, I could see the first police car approach. Birming- ham. I had wondered if they or Homewood would respond. Technically this stretch of Lakeshore Parkway was in both Homewood and Birmingham, but I believe Birmingham PD claims major jurisdiction. I'm sure Homewood doesn't care. One less homicide on their books.