A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Mark & Hailey’s Story – Riverton Road Series – Book 2 Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Finley Yates was bigger in bulk than he was in character. He’d have said that about himself with a sneering laugh, but he wasn’t sharp enough mentally to think that way. He wasn’t ashamed of the kind of man he was either. Finley didn’t bother himself with useless feelings like shame or guilt.
“Why waste your head on crap like that,” he’d say.
Finley had enough to do just carrying around a body that could fill up a closet or maybe even half of a small room. He preferred planting himself in a sitting position as much as possible, and once he got into that position he wasn’t going to use up his time or energy worrying about useless crap. He was going to put his feet up and let the punks around him do the worrying.
Finley really didn’t like to bother with dragging himself out of doors after dark on a night like this, or any other night for that matter. It might be summer, but he’d rather be indoors in his oversized chair, taking a load off in front of the TV. The news guy had been bragging about how beautiful the temperature was, but Finley didn’t care a rat’s behind about that.
Those weather jerks got all worked up about summer because this place was so far north in New York State it was almost Canada. Any weather that wasn’t a blizzard was news in this town. Summer went into winter, bang, just like that, so you hardly got to notice any fall. Still, Finley wasn’t going to send up fireworks just because it was warm outside for a change.
Besides, it wasn’t that warm tonight. Whose idea was it to meet outdoors anyway? Not Finley’s, that’s for sure. He had more sense than to come up with crap gangster movie stuff like having everybody get together in a parking lot late at night. He’d been in on enough left side of the law deals to know most of these meet-ups happened in barrooms.
He’d love to be in a barroom right now. The Tick Tock Tavern was his favorite. It was so loud in there nobody’d be able to listen in on what they were saying or anything else. At the Tick Tock, he’d be tossing back a shot with a cold beer to wash it down. Instead, he was out here messing around in a parking lot on the back end of town.
This is what happens when you do business with amateurs. You end up dragging yourself outside on a damp night, thirsty for a beer and a bump, shuffling through gravel, stepping in who knows what. He’d just as soon take off out of here right now, and he might do that. Except then he wouldn’t get the money.
A grin cut a crease across Finley’s lumpy face, and for half a minute he stopped thinking about all the stuff he didn’t like about tonight. What he did like was the money. Lots of it, in his own damned hand pretty damned soon now. He was getting a kick out of the thought of that so much he didn’t notice the low rumble of an engine at first, off to his right.
You’d think a guy like Finley would get a tipoff from somebody when the big one was coming his way. Small time connected was all he’d ever been, but connected all the same, and that meant he had ways of knowing what was going down. From day one, he’d been real careful too and never let his guard down like he was doing right now for a minute or two.
That’s all it takes to do you in sometimes. A minute or two. He’d tell you that himself, if he had time left to tell anybody anything. Maybe it was because of it being amateurs he was dealing with. Maybe that’s why he wasn’t paying tiptop attention tonight.
The bottom line is this. Finley didn’t figure out what was happening soon enough to save himself. By the time he heard the car engine and wondered why he wasn’t seeing any headlights to go with it, his ticket was punched for good.
He didn’t really feel it happen either. The bumper caught him from the side, aimed square and hard enough to knock him down flat so fast he almost didn’t feel a thing.
“What in hell’s going on here?”
That was the last thing he asked himself before the car barreled all the way over him and put him under so far he didn’t mind that in the next minute the engine revved again and the tires screeched into a tight turn then headed back at high speed toward the spot where the bloody, fleshy layers of Finley Yates lay waiting.
My next story is A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Available May 15th at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel and the above is the dramatic opening.
Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com