"Why did Jimmy send three, for insurance?"
That rumbling sound. Hadn't he noticed? No. He was too busy studying her breasts. The man nodded. "We gave Paulo his space until you two took off. It looked like he was more up for dipping his wick than carrying out orders. So we lit out after you." He looked at Paulo's corpse, skin so waxen, the dirt and straw darkly stained. "Thanks. You didn't waste him, we would have had to."
And then he finally heard the noise. Stiffened.
"Is this some kind of convention?" Lauren asked. The stranger moved from registering the rumbling sound to something else, something more sinister. Lauren could see his mind struggling. Jimmy wants it back, but he also wants the bitch dead. What do I do now? Now that there's some other car?
"Hustle up, dude!" The guy outside. The one he'd called Frankie. High voice, California accent. "We got company!"
The guy facing Lauren moved his eyes. They dropped down to his own weapon. Armed it with a slide and a click. Lauren acted without thinking. She bent down, scrambled to grab the Kimber, lined up on his groin and fired. Her aim was as terrible as usual, up and a bit to one side, but this time her last slug took off part of his skull in a spray of blood and bone. He dropped. She ran over, pried the 9mm Glock from his hands. Lauren felt giddy. Yawn. Another body, another gun.