Before Lauren could react, the waitress had grabbed her by the good arm and hustled her around behind the truck. Five minutes? There were still sirens in the distance but these boys couldn't have been more than a block or two away. As the cruisers slammed to a halt before the restaurant, the waitress put a hand on Lauren's head to push her down and out of sight. The muzzle of the automatic pressed hard against her temple. The waitress peered through the cab and didn't let her up until the cops were safely inside the building.
"Okay, Barbie," the waitress said. "Let's see how well you drive."
"I got punched in the arm," Lauren said. "I can't feel my fingers."
"Sunnuvabitch," the waitress said. "Just get in."
The cops were still inside the diner as the truck pulled away. If any of them heard the squeal of the tires, no one made it out in time to witness their departure.
Two skipped red lights later the waitress said, "I guess it's fair to say that's me well and truly fucked insofar as Cook County's concerned." The woman glanced at Lauren across the cab of the Ford truck, her expression hard in the passing streetlights. "You got a lot to answer for."
"Sorry," Lauren said, squeezing her shoulder and wincing as sensation returned.
"Where are we going?"
"Got to take care of some business," the woman said. "Lucky for us Felipe drives like somebody's Grandma."
The Impala was about half a block ahead of them on an empty street of parked cars, and the distance was narrowing fast. The waitress sped up to get alongside and then, with one deft tweak of the wheel, cut across Felipe and drove him into the side of the road where he hit first a Volkswagen and then a Toyota, which rammed the empty Chevy van in front of it.
About a dozen car alarms were making a screamers' orchestra as the waitress climbed out of the truck and walked toward the Impala. Felipe was kicking at the driver's door to get it open. He scrambled out just as she got there, and tried to run. She tripped him easily, put a foot on his back to stop him rising, and a shot in the back of his head to stop him for good.
Then she got back behind the wheel.
"Poor guy was heading for home," she said. "Got a wife and two babies waiting for him there. It's a damned shame."
They made a U-turn, and headed back toward the diner.