Moving Target
them out of here."
    After lowering the gurney, the paramedics and cop heaved Daniel onto the stretcher on his side because of the shrapnel sticking out of his backside.
    Before they could strap him down, Daniel gave a low groan behind the air mask and Ani pulled away from the paramedic who'd been examining her and was at Daniel's side in a second.
    "You're going to be okay," she said as she swiped hair from his brow. Somewhere along the way he'd lost his ball cap, and they'd both lost their aviator glasses.
    His eyes opened and he narrowed his brows as if trying to remember something. His gaze met hers and immediately he yanked the mask off, pushed himself to a sitting position and shouted, "Fuck!" just before he reached behind him and jerked out the piece of shrapnel that had been buried in his ass. He got to his feet and wobbled.
    Blood started to soak his jeans. "That wasn't a good idea," one of the paramedics said with a scowl.
    Daniel's mind and vision swam, and his ass hurt like a motherfucker. "Goddamnit," he said as he reached behind him and pressed his palm to his ass cheek. His hand came away covered in blood.
    "Turn around," the paramedic in front of him said.
    After Daniel wiped the blood from his palm onto his jeans, he glanced to his side so that he could still see Ani. He wasn't about to let her out of his sight. The paramedic crouched beside him and sliced a hole in his jeans where the shrapnel had been. She poured antiseptic on a thick piece of gauze, then applied the bandage to the wound. It stung like hell when she taped it in place. He looked over his shoulder. Blood spotted the center of the thick bandage, but not much.
    "Get back on the stretcher," came Ani's voice and he focused on her face.
    He held his hand to his temple and touched the huge egg growing there. The pain felt like it was splitting his head in two and the shrieking of sirens and flashing red and blue lights made it worse. "We've got to get her out of here," he managed to say through gritted teeth. He jerked his credentials from his pocket and flashed them to the cop. "Her life depends on it," he said.
    "Understood." The cop nodded, and said, "Get back on that stretcher and we'll take you both out to one of the ambulances."
    "No. Back an unmarked unit up to the doors." Daniel looked to the cop. "Full protection around her on the way out of here."
    The police officer spoke into her radio and in seconds two other cops were there. Quickly, the officer explained as much as she knew. The other officers headed off to make the arrangements.
    The paramedics backed off when Daniel barked at them that he was okay. "I'm walking on my own steam." He looked to Ani. "You're sure you're okay?"
    "Just a little banged up." She pushed up her cap and he could see her face more easily.
    Ani had another scratch on her face, in addition to the one she'd received yesterday morning when they were ambushed in the Tucson hotel parking lot. This one was on her forehead. But what was worse was the side of her face—it was bright red and looked like it was starting to turn purple.
    What the hell had happened? Two Deputies had checked the vehicles and said they were clean.
    But that whistling sound before each explosion—
    No, it wasn't bombs that had destroyed the cars. Fuckers had to have used some kind of long-range rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
    By silent agreement, the cops moved to the front door with Daniel and Ani. Daniel kept his hand near his right hip, under his overshirt, close to his Glock.
    Until they reached the hotel and got to their room, he didn't feel that Ani was one damn bit safe.
    By the time they walked out of the building, dusk had turned to darkness. The flashing red and blue lights reflected off each of the cars in the lot. They were escorted to a black car similar to the one they had been in before all hell broke loose.
    "Watch for a tail," Daniel said to the cops in the front seats as he pulled out his cell phone. He had to adjust so

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