Dancing With Danger

By: Cristina Grenier

“Right. Take a left here. Mr. Kingston, you’re gonna want to get down.”

Dorian saw Carlos take an exit towards the more rural part of town before a meaty hand was falling to his shoulder and pushing down. He went to his knees on the carpeted floor of the SUV, breathing hard as the smell of the leather of the seats filled his nostrils.

Carlos swore and the sound of a gunshot and then glass shattering made him want to put his head back up, especially when the car swerved hard to the left.

“What was that?” he demanded.

“They shot out the side mirror,” Carlos replied. “Mr. Breckidge if you’re going to retaliate, now might be the time, I think.”

His voice was polite as always, but there was no denying that it very much was not a request. Another gunshot rang out, and Dorian had to fight the urge to clap his hands over his ears.

“On it,” Breckidge said, hitting the button to roll the window down. He leaned out just enough to aim and then fired, twice in succession. “That’s two down,” he muttered, leaning back in as more gunfire came from behind him.

Well, at least he was efficient. “Should we pull over?” Carlos asked.

“Yeah. Better to have this out when we’re not moving.” Breckidge looked down at Dorian. “Stay in the car until I call for you. Not gonna let one of these idiots shoot you.”

All he could do was nod helplessly. Pulling over sounded like a bad idea to him, but what did he know? He knew stock options and investment properties and how to make a proper cup of tea. Not how to stay alive in the middle of a gunfight on the road.

The car slowed to stop, and as soon as it had completely stopped moving, Breckidge was out and on the pavement, using the open door as a shield and the SUV for cover. Dorian didn’t dare poke his head up to see what was happening, listening to the sounds of Carlos calling the police and the gunshots being traded outside of the vehicle.

He had no idea how much time had passed before all went quiet outside, and he was still crouched low, waiting.

For all he knew, Breckidge had been killed and the others were advancing on the SUV, ready to kill Carlos and take him. Or kill them both, Dorian didn’t know. He supposed they couldn’t get his money if he was dead, so they’d need him alive to set up a transfer or something.

He didn’t have anyone in his life for them to use as leverage, so it would just be him.

“Are you alright, Dorian?” Carlos asked softly. He was crouched down as much as he could be in the front.

Dorian nodded. “Yeah. I’m just brilliant, really. This is so exhilarating, like a morning jog.”

Carlos chuckled and shook his head. “If you’re still able to be sarcastic, then you’re fine.”

“It’s my last line of defense,” Dorian pointed out. “Why is it so quiet out there?”

“I’m not sure. The police are on their way, though. Hopefully things will stay quiet until then.”

“Right,” Dorian replied, letting out a messy breath. “Why is this still happening. I always thought it was Father they were after more so than the money.” Which had perhaps been a very foolish thought to have.

Carlos shook his head again. “It’s all of it, sir. Your father instigated the whole thing in a way, but they aren’t going to rest until they have his money. Or they’re dead. One way or the other. What I would be very interested to know is how they knew where you would be. It was a snap decision to go see Barney this morning.”

That was a good point. Dorian had called Barney at eight that morning to see if he had time for a meeting, and they’d left less than an hour later to go to his office. “Do you think Barney’s involved?” There was a horrifying thought. Ethan had always said that if you couldn’t trust the person handling your money, then you were in trouble indeed. Considering Dorian very much already knew he was in trouble, with the people shooting at his vehicle, he didn’t need more trouble to be added to the list. And he really didn’t want to have to find a new accountant.

“I don’t think so,” Carlos was saying, though. “There’s nothing in it for him to betray you, really, and he was a friend of your father’s. He was checked out extensively before he was hired.”

“Yes, and so was anyone else who had information about where I’d be today,” Dorian said, a sinking feeling settling in the pit of his stomach. He was going to end up throwing up before all of this was over, he just knew it.

Carlos swore. “You’re right. God above, this is going to be a mess.”

Before Dorian could point out that this was already a mess, something hit the back of the SUV, making him hold his breath. If Breckidge was dead and their assailants were coming for him, there was very little he could do to protect himself.

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