Home > The Shell Game (Fox and O'Hare 0.25)(7)

The Shell Game (Fox and O'Hare 0.25)(7)
Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg

Kate parked and approached Drake. “Looks like we’re good to go.”

“All we need is the plane.” He smiled at her. “We appreciate the FBI’s support.”

“Thank you, but I doubt you’ll need it. Your team looks competent.”

Kate understood that her presence was symbolic rather than critical. Klepper had his own crack security team, and it was hard for her to get worked up over this mysterious Nick Fox. She’d even had a brief thought that she was getting punked, but she’d immediately discarded it. She didn’t think she was important enough for the FBI to waste their time playing a joke on her. Even knowing all this, she felt a twinge of nervous excitement. This was the first time she’d been out of her cubicle for something more important than a coffee run. On the off chance that Nicolas Fox was real and stupid enough to make a move on the armored truck, she didn’t want to screw up.

Everyone turned and watched the midsize private plane touch down and taxi to a stop in front of the terminal. Drake climbed behind the wheel of the armored truck and drove it to the plane while his men in black kept their eyes on the ground crew.

The back door to the armored truck opened, and two more men in black came out. They exchanged a few words with Drake, and helped to form a security perimeter around the back of the plane. The ground crew opened the cargo hold and unloaded metal cases, not much larger than suitcases, into the rear of the armored truck. The last of the cases went in, two of the men in black climbed into the back of the vehicle with the antiquities, and the doors were closed and locked.

“Showtime,” Drake said to Kate, as he climbed back behind the wheel of the armored truck. “See you on the other side.”

Kate ran for her Crown Vic and followed Drake out of the lot, heading east on Imperial Highway. They took the on-ramp to the eastbound 105 freeway. Traffic was light for the next two miles, and the transition to the northbound 405 freeway was easy. There were six lanes on the 405. Drake and Kate stayed in the fifth lane, the one to the left of the slow lane, keeping their speed at a leisurely fifty-five miles per hour.

An armored truck merged from the Jefferson Boulevard on-ramp into the right lane. The armored truck was identical in every way to the one in front of her, including the license plate.

A shot of adrenaline burned through Kate’s chest. It would be weird enough to have two identical armored trucks in front of her. Two identical armored trucks with identical license plates were impossible. The intel had been true. There was going to be a robbery attempt on the armored truck carrying the Peruvian antiquities. The second armored truck was going to be used to switch and confuse. She grabbed her phone and called for backup.

“Agent needs assistance,” she said, and she gave her location.

Nick swerved into the next lane, as Wendy Rhee, in the second armored truck, took his former position in front of Kate. They were now at the merge point where the traffic from the westbound Marina Freeway spilled onto the 405, and Nick could see that Artie Sondel was right on time.

Artie merged into the slow lane and quickly took his position beside the other armored trucks. There were now three identical armored trucks traveling side by side in front of Kate on the northbound 405.

Kate looked at the armored trucks in front of her and knew there were two possible scenarios here. The first was that Drake was being boxed in by the identical armored trucks. The second was that Drake was part of the crew. Either way, she needed to do something to mark Drake’s armored truck before it was lost in the shell game.

She lowered her driver’s side window, pulled out her Glock, held it as steadily as she could in her left hand, and opened fire on Drake’s armored truck. Her aim wasn’t great with her left hand, but that was okay, the armored truck was a big target, and she accomplished her goal. She’d shot out a taillight and put some pocks in the body of Drake’s armored truck, marking it so she could tell it apart from the two decoys.

She dropped the gun onto her lap and made a second call to dispatch.

“Robbery in progress on the northbound 405 freeway at the Marina Freeway interchange. Suspects are driving three armored trucks.”

A fourth armored truck sped onto the freeway from the eastbound Marina Freeway on-ramp and joined the armored truck herd.

“Make that four,” Kate said to dispatch. “Agent in pursuit.”

Nick and the drivers of the three other armored trucks began to weave so that they straddled multiple lanes, creating a traffic blockade. It was a carefully choreographed maneuver. In a quarter mile, or about sixteen seconds, they would hit the Culver Boulevard exit, and then in another three-quarters of a mile, or about fifty seconds, they would hit the Washington Boulevard exit. And then it would all be over.

Hot Novels
  • Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Chris
  • Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3)
  • Never Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #2)
  • Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)
  • Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculi
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)
  • Fallen Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #1)
  • Forever Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #3)
  • Ugly Love
  • Allegiant (Divergent #3)
  • Hold on Tight (Sea Breeze #8)
  • Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
  • The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coinc
  • Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)
  • Uprooted