Sample text for Out of sight / Elmore Leonard.

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Counter Karen thought they'd put her inside and leave and she felt around to find her handgun, quick, the Sig Sauer, before they closed the trunk lid and she'd have to kick at it and yell until someone let her out.  There, she felt the holster, slipped the pistol out and closed her hand around the grip ready to go for it, six hollow points in the magazine and one in the throat, ready to come around shooting if she had to.  But now the one in the filthy guard uniform gave her a shove and was getting in with her--she couldn't believe it--crawling in to wedge her between the wall of the trunk and his body pressed against her back, like they were cuddled up in bed, the guy bringing his arm around now to hold her to him, and she didn't have room to turn and stick the gun in his face.

The trunk lid came down and they were in darkness, total, not a crack or pinpoint of light showing, dead silent until the engine came to life, the car moving now, turning out of the lot to the road that went out to the highway. Karen pictured it, remembering the orange grove and a maintenance building, then farther along the road frame houses and yards where some of the prison personnel lived.

His voice in the dark, breathing on her, said, "You comfy?"

The con acting cool, nothing to lose.  Karen was holding the Sig Sauer between her thighs, protecting it, her skirt hiked up around her hips.  She said, "If I could have a little more room..."

"There isn't any."

She wondered if she could get her feet against the front wall, push off hard and twist at the same time and shove the gun into him.

Maybe.  But then what?

She said, "I'm not much of a hostage if no one knows I'm here."

She felt his hand move over her shoulder and down her arm.

"You aren't a hostage, you're my zoo-zoo, my treat after five months of servitude.  Somebody pleasant and smells good for a change.  I'm sorry if I smell like a sewer, it's the muck I had to crawl through, all that decayed matter."

She felt him moving, squirming around to get comfortable.

"You sure have a lot of shit in here.  What's all this stuff? Handcuffs, chains...What's this can?"

"For your breath," Karen said.  "You could use it.  Squirt some in your mouth."

"You devil, it's Mace, huh? What've you got here, a billy? Use it on poor unfortunate offenders...Where's your gun, your pistol?"

"In my bag, in the car." She felt his hand slip from her arm to her hip and rest there and she said, "You know you don't have a chance of making it. Guards are out here already, they'll stop the car."

"They're off in the cane by now chasing Cubans."

His tone quiet, unhurried, and it surprised her.

"I timed it to slip between the cracks, you might say.  I was even gonna blow the whistle myself if I had to, send out the amber alert, get them running around in confusion for when I came out of the hole.  Boy, it stunk in there."

"I believe it," Karen said.  "You've ruined a thirty-five-hundred-dollar suit my dad gave me."

She felt his hand move down her thigh, fingertips brushing her pantyhose, the way her skirt was pushed up.

"I bet you look great in it, too.  Tell me why in the world you ever became a federal marshal, Jesus.  My experience with marshals, they're all beefy guys, like your big-city dicks."

"The idea of going after guys like you," Karen said, "appealed to me."

"To prove something? What're you, one of those women's rights activists, out to bust some balls? I haven't been close to a woman like you in months, good-looking, smart...I think, man, here's my reward for doing without, leading a clean, celibate life in there, and you turn out to be a ballbuster.   Tell me it ain't so."

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Escapes Fiction, Brigands and robbers Fiction, Government investigators Fiction, Detroit (Mich, ) Fiction