Authors: Capri Montgomery
Copyright © 2015 Shunta Montgomery
All Rights Reserved
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Red Noon is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, event or locales is entirely coincidental.
Thank you, Barb, for catching the mistakes I missed. Your assist with editing has been wonderful.
Thanks to all of my readers for showing your support for my work by buying and reading my books.
Some Other Books by Capri Montgomery
Play it Again
For the Love of Layla
Shadow Hills Returns: Revenge Justified
Shadow Hills Returns: Breaking Point
Shadow Hills Returns: Obsession’s Curse
Forged in Fire
The Funeral Planner
Shadow Hills Returns: Family Ties
Shadow Hills Returns: The Cost of Love
The Sixth Sentinel
On the Line
When the Heart Breaks
On Thin Ice
Explosive: Deadly Connections
Betrayal of the Dove
Shadow Hills: M is for Murder
Seducing the Bodyguard
Shadow Hills: No Valentine
Shadow Hills: Fallen Hero
Secrets and Lies
Saints and Sinners
The McGregor Affair
The Geneva Project
The Admiral’s Daughter
And Many Others…
One man’s heaven could be another man’s hell.
ick Peters sat behind the wheel of his inconspicuous black Tahoe watching the little green VW bug. She was still here. He knew that because he had learned her schedule like it was his own. Mondays were her days to grocery shop, although he had seen her run out on Tuesdays if her work meeting got rescheduled. Tuesdays through Thursdays were her work days. She wasn’t exactly full-time at that little “chic” style magazine, but she wasn’t exactly part-time either. The woman could put in military hours on her days actually due at work and he wondered why she didn’t just spread the time out throughout the week until Ike Devers told him she worked for the main man and she went by his schedule while he allotted time for hers. Friday was her day to play the cello to military men stuck at the newer Crenshaw Hospital via Skype. Those men, yeah he probably knew some of them, but they were still sissies in his book. Needing to sit and listen to a woman play them cello just to feel better while they lay in beds getting treatment for things he didn’t know, nor did he care, about. She only did the Skype thing for one point five hours and he knew that because he had studied her enough to find that out. After that she practiced for a bit, but only after taking a walk around her fenced in back yard for a half hour or so.
Saturdays were her fabric shopping days, although she had bought some yarn too which told him she was domesticated enough to sew and knit. Sundays used to be for some god awful religious meetings. Man was he glad she had stopped going after that Deacon tried to feel her up thinking they were alone and about to get his freak on with the celibate until marriage woman. Yeah, he was glad because he had sat in the back of that crowded church unrecognized but hell if he didn’t want to blow it up for all the torture he was suffering listening to the fool.
What he was surprised about was how easy it had been to blend in. He thought maybe it was a black church but it wasn’t. It was mixed but more lily white than anything so his blond haired blue eyed look wasn’t even noticeable in the four hundred strong congregation. Still, he sat in the back just in case.
He had only had to smile at a couple people here and there, listen to a couple white ditzy girls try to flirt with him, and feign interest in conversations a few times. The people weren’t so sugar sweet so only a few got on his nerves for a short while but he would say that he had figured them out. The women thought he was single and they could snag a husband. There were more women there than men and it would seem from that stupid Deacon’s speech that he expected everybody to marry within the religion and wait for some great Christian knight to claim them. Stupid hoes could have been married already if they didn’t live by this man’s bid for all their money. Those girls, while not the sharpest tools in the shed, were attractive. He would bank on them finding some man to take care of them had they been open to the outside world.
There were the few middle aged men who spoke, if they weren’t trying to marry him off to their daughters they were trying to find out what type of money he could donate. After a while he learned to get in late, take the back row and get out to his vehicle early enough not to have his mark see him. But that one time, noticing her still sitting while everybody else was filing out, had made him stay behind and he saw the good ole’ Deacon ask her to escort him to his office under the guise of spiritual counseling. She had only missed a couple of the meetings but apparently that there was a sin.
Dick had waited before covertly nudging his skinny body between two of the pyramids and the back of the office door where he used his own modified scope to see into the room. That’s when he heard the Deacon telling her missing meetings would lead to a fall, that men would use that, lots of blah, blah, blah in his book and he was bored as hell until he saw the Deacon try to force her down and shove his hand up her dress.
He had missed how she got out of that because he heard noises coming from behind him, faint whispers of voices that told him to get his six somewhere else. But it hadn’t taken more than a minute for her to come storming out of the office and running past his location.
Fortunately for him even though she had hightailed it out of the parking lot like a bat raging out of hell, she did the usual thing which was to go home and start sewing or practicing cello again.
Such a boring broad really but he could see why she was his mark. Yeah, if Ike wanted her he would get her for him. He and his little brother, or not so little giving his three hundred fifty pounds of flab behind, could get this woman and hold her until Ike showed up and did whatever he wanted with her. Dick would do anything for Ike, even murder. They had gone to school together from elementary through high school. They had joined the Army together, went through boot camp together, and got dishonorably discharged together too. They were their own clan and nobody could break that tight mold they had.
Nobody else fit into their bond. Usually Dick did things alone, but he knew the woman went to the gym on Thursday nights and did some boxing. He knew she wasn’t good enough to beat him, but she could make some noise and what he needed was somebody to keep her mouth shut while he tied her up. Little brother was big, but he wasn’t weak. If Tiger wasn’t his brother, kind of slow on the uptake sometimes but fiercely loyal to family, to him, then Dick probably would have feared the six foot two giant himself—for a hot minute anyway.
The Army kicked him out but nobody could kick the Army out of Dick. He could kill lethally and some woman taking up house in some minor gym punching a red bag for an hour or so just didn’t give her enough skill to evade him. While he couldn’t get into the gym to watch her he was sure her five foot stature, ninety-three, ninety-five at most, small boned stature couldn’t hold up to him. Yeah, she was going to be easy and he didn’t doubt that. Tonight was the night though. Tonight he was going to get the mark and put her in the corral basically until Ike could get there. At least two days he surmised because today was Wednesday and Ike did work at that magazine five to six days a week depending on what was going wrong with their computer systems he would be forced to come in seven days if needed. He made good money though which is probably why he didn’t complain.
Dick shook his head. He couldn’t imagine being in a desk job. A desk job would kill him, but his time doing private security setups for local banks and major store chains had been like heaven on Earth. So what that he wasn’t the owner of the company, or even at the top of the chain, he was valued, prized, and wanted enough to be able to set his own schedule, leave when he wanted to and come back just the same. He also got to travel to other cities in other states which was another thrill, not because he needed to see the U.S., he had seen enough of it already, but because he couldn’t be caged. He wouldn’t be caged. Being able to fly to Seattle one day and off to Oahu another had been fun. Although he would admit he hated flying into the military laden towns. He hated the military, first because the Marines and Air Force had turned him and Ike down, and second, because the Army had kicked them both out.
He saw the mark coming out the front door of her home. He knew she would have to go out, not just because she would on some Wednesdays, but because he had gotten into her place while all the poor middle classers were working hard to try to pay for their nifty cars and crap homes. He had gotten in and played nice with her underwear drawer, checking out the lacy pieces. He had only taken one to give to Ike, but he made sure it was one from the bottom because panties at the bottom of a drawer weren’t worn enough to be missed. He had also taken the last red bell pepper out of her ‘fridge. That was a possible risk because if she remembered she had it tucked under all the other vegetables then she might know he had been in there and call the cops. But he had gotten lucky because as Ike had told him, her work load was chaotic, nail biting hectic right now and so Dick knew civilians didn’t stay focused enough to notice the little things. He also knew taking out her garage door opener would mean she would be making a trip into the house to get the door up since the latch wasn’t on the outside like smart designers usually put it, and would have to take one out to get back to the car so he had plans to get to her and stay hidden no matter what time she pulled in. But Ike had told him she was on late tonight and he figured he had some time. The bell pepper being gone would still be his way in because the woman still had to eat so he knew she would need it to cook the meal he usually saw her sitting at the table eating—roasted vegetables in a green salad. Damn vegetarians were a pain in the…his thought trailed off as he went into command mode. He always worked alone except for tonight so he almost forgot he had to remind his stupid brother to put his mask on. He would have thought the man would have taken the hint when he saw him doing it, but no.
“Mask on, bro.” He kept his voice sweet because he wanted his help, not his anger. He didn’t have time to get the man to a point of pouting glory where he would sit there twiddling his thumbs until Dick apologized. Dick didn’t do apologies so that wouldn’t happen and then Dick would miss his mark and that wasn’t an option. It was tonight, while the other people were either watching some sleazy reality TV show, some nighttime soap opera or the news. It was nearing nine though and he figured most of the people were crawling into bed because they had to work in the morning. A lot of these people left early to avoid the I-17 traffic jams…or more like to avoid being late while they had to sit for a good half hour inching along at slower than a tortoise’s pace.
Dick got out of the vehicle and lifted the hatch. There was no need to slow them down. “Get her, bro.” Yeah, this would take all of thirty seconds he thought until he saw the sweet mark take note of his brother. Well hell, she wasn’t all rose tinted glasses like he thought.
He jumped in the moment he saw her give a swift kick to his brother’s face, which knocked him back a bit. He couldn’t have her running, which is exactly what she was trying to do. She was trying to get in her car and get out of there, but thankfully that didn’t work.
He got behind her and got her arms pinned down with his. Skinny didn’t mean weak for him, but the one thing he couldn’t do while she was doing all that twisting was clamp her mouth shut and she was belting out a soprano like one of those damn annoying opera singers his mother always listened too.
“Hurry up,” he had growled to his brother who still seemed to be nursing a bloody nose. He could see the blood staining the black mask under the limited street lights. Stupid almost gated communities that weren’t HOA but acted like it anyway. There was a garage though and Dick had made sure he took that out earlier today. He had missed her coming home because he had to finalize some things but he knew she was coming in late. He knew she would have to go inside to let the garage door up and he could get her when she came back out to get in the car. But when he pulled up the car was in the drive and only one light in her house was on. The setup of this community with the extra circle for visitor parking was stupid, he had thought, but at the end of the day the additional parking section was full with those second cars these people were trying to pay for so both people in the home could go to work to pay off their debt. If visitors did arrive they might still have to park on the edge of the rock covered lawn like the people hated having done in the first place. But lucky for him that circle had actually helped him; that’s how he had been able to sit in the little circle unnoticed every night.
The mark kicked his brother again, and then she put her foot down with those starkly sharp stiletto things Ike had called boots when they had watched her together when he was setting up the mark so Dick would know who to get. Those things were lethal and they had forced him to release his hold only to end up getting punched himself. Fortunately for him he was military trained so he didn’t fall like his brother had. What was the point of bringing the man if his size wasn’t going to buy him a more silent hit?
She had made one mistake, punching him hard enough to knock him back and kicking him in the stomach before turning to attack the man coming up behind her. Never, he thought, turn your back on an enemy. But it had worked out in his favor because a Sig across the back of her head had knocked her out cold. He quickly bound her with zip ties while he listened to the batty old woman yell from her window that she had called the police. Other lights were springing on in houses down the street now too.
His eyes darted up to his brother. “Your mask,” he growled as he lifted the mark off the ground and quickly got her into the back of the vehicle, closed the hatch and got in the front. He had already covered the plates with one of those nice camera blockers and with the lighting issues he had created earlier today he knew nobody could get the information they would need for the cops. Things had been perfectly planned but once again things had gone wrong for him. His brother’s face was clear as day under the one light he couldn’t shut down without having somebody get suspicious that three of the lights were out at the same time in the same area. He had taken down just what he needed to get the job done, but he hadn’t counted on her getting a chance to try to run either. The light was two houses down from hers and the one two houses to the north of hers is the one he had taken out. This one was far enough down just to give a shadow of a light to her, but with the altercation she had landed farther down into the light than he had planned. The fact that he had taken out the main light over the parking circle had been perfect for what he needed, but he hadn’t expected a southward wind on his setup. He had planned it too long and he was too skilled to get it mucked up now.
“She pulled it off,” his brother wiped his nose as Dick drove swiftly out of the lot and to his switch place. He wasn’t switching vehicles, he was switching back to his actual tags just in case any of those nosy neighbors had gotten a look. He hadn’t planned to make the change so swiftly but he didn’t have a choice now.