“On Guard” -excerpted from Project Prometheus’ SHADOW WALKER
copyright 2002 by Esther Mitchell
The dark woman pushed open the door to Starbuck’s and stepped out into the busy street of downtown Washington D.C. It was midday, and the local restaurants and coffee shops were bursting with the midday crowd. The two people in the non-descript sedan exchanged looks. The man lifted his cell phone and punched the speed dial before lifting the unit to his ear.
“This is Wolf One, checking in. Den mother secure.”
The woman in the passenger seat shifted restlessly. “This is a waste of time, Ryan. She’s not in any danger.”
Ryan McCauley glanced at his partner, his lips flickering up in a small smile. “I know you hate babysitting details, Shayne, but the boss has a feeling about this one.”
She scowled and flicked strawberry blonde hair over her shoulder. “You mean his wife has a feeling. Why aren’t they the ones out here, letting their asses go numb in a rented car?”
Ryan chuckled. Shayne loved dramatics, and the profiler in him enjoyed the challenge of dealing with her shifting moods. “They’re not even in country, Shayne, and you know it. Besides—”
What he was about to say was cut off as a dark van sped toward Gayle as she stepped from the curb at the cross-walk.
“He’s going to hit her!” Shayne was out of the car before Ryan could react, sprinting across the distance between them and Trevor’s sister like the distance runner she was.
“Son of a bitch!” Ryan slapped the steering wheel and punched the redial button even as he gunned the car to life. “Control, this is Wolf One. We have a situation. Request back-up.”
There was a screech of rubber on icy asphalt, and Shayne’s scream for Gayle to get back, before the redhead threw herself toward Gayle, tackling her in a roll that carried them both out of harm’s way.
“Back-up enroute, Wolf One. Please advise of situation.” Julia Williams’ clipped voice filled his ear as Ryan jammed on the brakes and stared after the van that almost ran Gayle Burman down, unable to believe his eyes. The van screeched around the corner, and he saw a familiar face through the open side door of the van, before it slammed shut. Sickness lurched through him. No way was Matt going to like this.
“Be advised, there’s been an attempted kidnapping. The Brotherhood just tried to pick up the den mother.”
His mouth set in a grim line. “I saw Red Widow.”