Hawk’s vehicle pulled in front of the speeding car, forcing them to stop, and then circled back around to park behind them. Getting out slowly, his tall, powerfully built form moved to stand at the driver’s window of the car he’d stopped. Jo couldn’t see his face, but she recognized the scene playing out before her as he asked the driver for his license and registration.
There was no way he could have seen the passenger door slip open as the car rolled to a stop. He didn’t know a man moved stealthily, maneuvering to come up on him from behind.
Oh God, Hawk!
Panic coursed through her, leaving her heart thundering wildly and her blood ice-cold.
“LOOK UP!” She screamed the warning, beside herself that he couldn’t hear—that he didn’t see.
He has a tire iron!
Hawk never saw the blow coming.
Jo watched in helpless horror as he staggered under the impact, a bloody gash opening on his forehead. His hand went instinctively to his gun, but it was too late. With significant force, the driver shoved his door open, slamming it into Hawk’s body. The move caught him off-guard, knocking him to the ground.
Hawk tried to unholster his weapon with one hand as he pressed his shoulder mic with the other. “Officer down…”
It was all he got out before the first shot shattered the night.
Hawk cried out in agony, clutching his thigh.
The driver leveled a smoking 44-magnum at Hawk’s heart, laughing. “Damn right you’re down, pig, down and out.” The man’s tone was cold as ice—a hoarse, grating sound that sent shivers down Jo’s spine.
“HAWK!” She shrieked his name as the man in her dream squeezed the trigger.
Jo watched the bullet leave the gun.
It moved with painfully slowed progress toward its target. When it finally struck, it seemed to explode into Hawk’s flesh. The entry hole it left instantly spurted dark red blood. And then, suddenly, the bullet ripped through Hawk’s back with amazing speed and devastation, leaving behind a gaping, bloody hole.
Shock and disbelief crossed his face as the certainty of death dawned on him. His eyes closed, and he slumped to the ground, his body limp and unresponsive on the dark bloodstained pavement.
“HAWK! Oh God, Hawk!” There was an immeasurable depth of pain and loss in Jo’s cries. She knew, beyond any possible doubt, he was dead.