The car glided into the dusty lot and came to a stop just a few feet off the highway.
"Don't get out of the car, Sully."
"What's wrong, Jake? You called this meeting."
"Where's Chico, Sully?"
Jake stood in front of the door to his closed up gunshop, arms folded across his chest, sweat glistening on his brow. It was Noon. It was hot.
"You never go anywhere without a driver, Sully, and it's almost always Chico. So where is he?"
"Chico is busy. Elsewhere. It's just you and me, Jake. After all, we don't need nobody else to get this done. It's a simple transaction."
Jake stepped down off the porch and walked over to the side of the store. Jake unfolded his arms to show a snub nose .38 in each hand.
"I've seen the way you people operate, Sully. Loyalty isn't one of your strong suits. I figure you have to think I'm a problem, now. And I know how you and Vito handle your problems. So, if you'll oblige me - I'd like you to slowly step out of the car and keep your hands where I can see 'em."
"Can I reach back into the car to get your money?"
"You just step away from the car and keep movin' away until I tell you to stop."
Sully started to move toward the rear of the car.
"No, not back. Step out to the side. Just keep moving away from the car until I tell you to stop."
"Sure, Jake. Anything you say."
Sarah could see Jake standing in the parking lot, talking to someone out of her line of sight. He had his guns out, which meant she needed to be ready to take her shot. She could see someone coming into view, hands out in front of him and slowly moving across the lot and into her line of sight.
Something was wrong. Jake had expected two men. Chico and Sully. In her scope, she could see that Sully was the one Jake held at gunpoint. Where was Chico? She brought her head up off the butt of the gun and checked the area behind the shop, which was clearly visible to her. It was clear. She was just going to go back to sighting on Sully when she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. In the brush, about 20 yards to Jake's right, was a man. With a gun in his hand. It was pointed at Jake.
She quickly shifted her position so as to move her aim over to the right, got her cheek down on her hand and sighted through the scope on the figure in the brush. She could see, in the scope, that it was Chico. She could see his arm straighten to take aim. He was going to shoot. She knew it and it seemed to take the longest time to squeeze the trigger to get the shot off and she was wondering why it was taking so much travel for the trigger and up jumped the rifle and she couldn't see anything because of the dust kicked up by the shot.
Jake watched Sully as he moved away from the car. He knew Sully was in Sarah's view by now and he wondered why she didn't take the shot. Almost one on top of the other, he heard a cry, a gunshot, and felt a stinging burn across his back and felt himself being spun around and off his feet and then he saw the pale brown dusty earth of the parking lot coming up to smack his cheek.
His eyes were watery with the dust kicked up into them and he couldn't see clearly - but clearly enough to see the figure of Sully pull something dark from under his shirt and he was sure it was a gun and he knew that in the next few seconds Sully was going to shoot him. He closed his eyes and waited but the shot never came.
Sarah quickly shimmied over to her right to re-target Sully and saw, in the scope, that he had pulled out a gun and she pulled the trigger, again, only this time she did it with purpose and conviction. She never saw the strike because of all the dust - but she knew she'd gotten off a good shot. She felt a tidal wave of emotions blowing up inside her yet she broke cover and ran toward Jake, crying great racking sobs and tears streaming down her face because she knew he'd been shot and she was scared to death he was dead.
Jake tried to get up but his right arm hurt too much to use, so he lay there for a few seconds, trying to get his wits about him.
His back hurt like a sonofabitch.
He pushed himself away from the powdery surface of the lot with his left arm and got himself into a sitting position. He could see Sully lying in a crumpled heap between him and the road. She got him. Damn. She got him. And saved MY fuckin' life doin' it, too.