Alison Naomi Holt

Creating adventure one character at a time
Sneak Preview of Credo’s Betrayal

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First, watch the hands.

Then the eyes.

If the hands disappear, then front sight.

Front sight until the hands reappear.

They didn’t, so now I have the front sight of my Glock pointed dead center at this lowlife’s chest. Standing with my back to the cold vinyl siding of a singlewide trailer, I knew I was either going to die or kill this man if my partner, Casey, couldn’t find me in the next few minutes.

The problem wasn’t necessarily the man, although my guess was, he’d spent a whole lot of his approximately twenty-five years in detention. The tats alone told me that. The most prominent being the number fourteen eighty-eight inked into his forehead—fourteen for the number of words in some famous Nazi quote and eight-eight, which stands for H-H or Heil Hitler.

No, the real problem was the other three members of the Aryan Brotherhood who had joined fourteen eighty-eight. They’d arrived while I’d been speaking with the lady who rents the trailer. After I had finished the interview and turned to head to my car, these four prison-hardened skinheads surrounded me.

One carried a wooden baseball bat over his shoulder while another, whose dark brown eyes and dangerous smirk said he’d used this particular weapon before, smacked his palm with a rusted tire iron. The other two, as I alluded to earlier, had their hands hidden behind their backs as if reaching for weapons. None of them had obeyed my repeated orders to put down their weapons and leave. All of them had varying amounts of tattoos covering the crowns of their heads, faces, necks and arms.

So, here I was with my back up against the trailer trying to give my partner, Casey, directions over my handheld while keeping the four of them at an acceptable distance. She wasn’t that far away, but, unfortunately, the witness I’d just finished talking to lives in a trailer on a piece of land that has no street names, no addresses and probably twenty broken-down trailers and dilapidated houses scattered throughout.

Technically, I suppose, the one square mile this hell hole sits on could be called a neighborhood since there were remnants of paved roads and alleys, but it had taken me thirty minutes of driving down side streets—nameless side streets—and pounding on doors to find the woman I needed to interview.

My name, by the way, is Alexandra Wolfe, and I’m a detective in the Special Crimes Division of the Tucson Police Department. I’d been hearing someone, presumably Casey, gunning their engine and rapidly accelerating through the “neighborhood” for some time now and vowed that in the future I wouldn’t enter this type of wasteland without back-up.

The ape with the bat called out to fourteen eighty-eight. “Hey, Drew. Perfect date for the probate, don’cha think?” This numbnut had a complex triangular symbol tattooed on the front of his neck that I didn’t recognize as one of the typical gang tats I usually saw on the streets. Three swords made up the triangle’s sides. In the middle, a red heart had a fourth sword stuck into it. The number two-eleven had been inked in the center of the heart.

The part of my mind that wasn’t concentrating on getting Casey to my location idly thought I’d need to contact Chuck, the department’s gang expert, to find out what it meant.

A year earlier he’d had taught an in-service training specifically focusing on the racist skinhead groups in Arizona. Part of that training had been a lesson on the terms and tats used by their gangs. A “date” meant an initiation fight and “probate” meant a ‘member in waiting’ who hadn’t yet become a full-fledged member of the ‘crew.’

Drew, who wore a sleeveless, white t-shirt and faded jeans smiled grimly and moved to my left, trying to draw my attention away from the other three. He stood about five-nine with a rounded but strong jawline covered in a couple days beard—the only hair on his otherwise bald head. His dark eyes watched me with an amused but deadly intent.

I moved left so he couldn’t maneuver me into a position where I’d be standing in the middle of all four men with one or two in my blind spot, or worse, at my back. I’d been wondering which of the remaining two was the probate until the man on my far right tossed his tire iron from his right hand to his left and back to his right. He took two steps forward, closing the gap between us to an uncomfortable distance.

Enough was enough. I can count on my left hand the number of times I’d had to pull my back-up Colt Mustang .380, but I decided today was a good day to add to that exclusive list. I hitched my radio onto the back part of my pants and reached down to tug tug up my pantleg, exposing a black holster holding my extra, technically not sanctioned semi-auto strapped to my ankle. Pulling the weapon free, I stood and held out both weapons, leaving me at the apex of a fully-loaded triangle.

That stopped them in their tracks. In fact, the two closest men took a couple of steps back and the one holding the tire iron didn’t look quite so smug. He jerked his head to the side, flicking his long, brown bangs out of his eyes. He was the only one of the three who actually had hair, and I wondered if they couldn’t shave their heads until they were made official members of the gang.

I decided to retry the friendly cop spiel I’d given earlier. “Look, I’m doing some follow-up with Penny, the lady who’s renting this trailer, that’s all. I have no clue why the hell you’re here or what you want.” Somewhere in the back of my mind, the fact that I was half-Jewish reared its ugly head.

Drew growled his answer. “You see anybody with skin that ain’t white around here? You smell like a Jew. You a Jew, Pig?” He grinned and glanced at his buddies. “A Jew pig. Get it?” They all thought that had to be the funniest thing they’d heard all day, and I would have bet money the neighbors could hear their howling laughter from a half mile away.

Drew’s face morphed from thoroughly entertained to menacing in the blink of an eye. “We own this hood, Bitch, and you bein’ here pisses me off.” He showed his yellowed, sharpened teeth. “It ain’t healthy to piss me off.”

I crinkled my brow in confusion since I obviously had whiter skin than he did. “Well, judging by the color of your eyes and the ugly black hair sticking out from under your arms, I’d say you have a good amount of Hispanic blood running through your veins, so I’m actually whiter than you are.” Probably not the brightest response, but ignorant racists of any color piss me off.

Thankfully, at that moment, a green sedan slid around the corner in a cloud of dust causing all four men to dive out of the way: two to the left, one to the right and one over the hood. To my surprise, it wasn’t Casey who jumped out of the driver’s seat, but my sergeant, Kate Brannigan, and boy did she looked pissed.

Kate is five-foot-seven, wears her blonde hair in a short ponytail and her badass temper on her sleeve. She shoved the car into park before it came to a complete stop, threw open her door and had tire iron man shoved up against the side of the trailer before the dust had settled. With one forearm jammed against his throat, she yanked the lug wrench out of his hand and threw it under the trailer.

I’m always up for a good fight, well, that is, if the odds are in my favor. I reholstered my Colt and then shoved my Glock into its holster as I ran toward the man holding the baseball bat.

He was the one who’d had to roll over the hood and he was just picking himself up out of the dirt. His eyes were laser-focused on the back of Kate’s head and he held the bat high across his right shoulder as though he were Ty Cobb ready to hit a home run. Shoulders hunched in rage and fingers white from the force of his grip, which for some reason was a quarter of the way up the bat, his attention was so totally focused on his target he never saw me coming.

As he pulled the bat off his shoulder, I grabbed both ends and used his fists as a fulcrum to slam the knob into his ear.

He released his grip to grab his ear and I hauled back and punched the knob into his neck so hard he fell onto his knees, then toppled face first into the dirt, unconscious.

I threw the bat under the trailer just as the third man jumped on my back and hit me in the side of my head with a very hard fist. He must have weighed close to one-eighty and my knees buckled; not from the force of the blow but because I’d already been off balance and his weight shoved me down toward the dirt.

It would have been suicide to give him enough time to clobber me again, so on the way down I twisted to my right, grabbed his ankles and slammed his head into the ground. He still had his arm around my neck, so I drove my elbow up into his manly parts. Unfortunately for him and for any future little bangers that had yet to be born, my adrenaline spiked, and I hit him hard enough that his eyes rolled up into his head and he drifted off to wherever emasculated skinheads go when they check out of consciousness.

Kate had her man handcuffed to the railing of the wooden stairs leading up to the trailer door and we both looked to my right, expecting Drew to come to the aid of his crew. I didn’t see him, but since I was still on the ground, I searched under Kate’s vehicle, trying to locate the lower part of his legs on the far side of her car.

“Shit.” What I saw didn’t bode well for poor little Drew. I pushed to my feet and started to move around the trunk toward the passenger side.

“Shit what?” Kate glanced down at my two goons, made sure they were still unconscious and then walked around the hood to see what had caught my attention. “What the hell?”

Copyright © 2019 by Alison Naomi Holt All rights reserved.

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