Hunt by this time was lying on the pavement, leveling his gun out in front of him, but he found that he could not fire. She was not then firing at him and it was bad luck to shoot in the back even an escaping murderer. To say nothing of the fact that under those conditions, it was nearly impossible to claim self-defense.
Even if it was. Even if she'd just shot at you.
Lorraine Hess got to the door of her car and again he saw her extend her arm, and again he rolled as the shot pinged off the pavement behind him.
Still on the ground, he squeezed off a round in the general direction of her tires. Off to his left, coming out his door, Juhle had his own weapon out, extended in both hands. He got off two quick shots that cracked the winds.h.i.+eld before Hess got the car moving, and then Juhle had to jump backward inside the warehouse as she slammed it into gear and tried to run him down, smas.h.i.+ng her front b.u.mper into the side of the building, then bouncing off and coming on, faster now and off the curb.
Hunt, in her path now as well, rolled out into the street and the car pa.s.sed him, missing him by no more than a few inches. He turned to see her disappear around the corner with a squeal of her tires, heard the diminis.h.i.+ng roar of the engine as she sped away, and, lying there on the street, then heard Juhle's professional voice talking urgently into his cell phone. "I'm calling to report a shooting victim at around Sixth and Brannan. Ambulance required immediately. Urgent, repeat, urgent." And then, as he closed up the phone, "Son of a b.i.t.c.h."
It was one week to the day after the arrest of Lorraine Hess.
Wyatt Hunt put down the pages and looked across Gina's small living room to where she sat with her Oban, her legs tucked up under her. "A twenty-two doesn't make an enormous boom," he said. "More like a 'pop.'"
"Everybody's a critic."
"And besides," Hunt went on, "that's not what happened."
"I realize that. But it's d.a.m.n sure what very easily could have happened, and forcing you to take a good hard look at the other possibilities was kind of my point in doing the exercise. Because actually, it could have been much worse even than this. In my first draft of this, she runs you over and you die too. But then you'd be out of your misery, and I didn't want that."
"You wanted me to suffer?"
"Just a little more. I wanted you to see where this so easily could have gone." Her smile was fleeting, laced with portent. "But just for fun, let me count the ways." She held up a finger. "First, Lorraine doesn't confess and goes home and realizes that she's finished and she shoots her son while he sleeps and then takes her own life. And meanwhile, of course, Devin a
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