Last Breath

The Three Dragons triad has an axe to grind with Trace Conner. Still mad about the loss of money from stolen tech and the death of their best assassin, they set out to make Conner pay. When the Chinese organized crime syndicate goes after Conner’s friends and students, Trace decides that it is time to bury the hatchet. In the triad’s heart.

Exclusive excerpt from Trace Conner Book 4 ‘Last Breath’

Renae’s next words were cut off as Kelly suddenly and without knowing why slammed on the brakes. The movement surprised the triad driver who had come up without lights and attempted a PIT maneuver. Instead of spinning Kelly’s car, the Chinese team slammed into the side of it. At that speed, both cars careened to the right side of the road. Dirt sprayed as Kelly fought to control the vehicle. Her instant response was to keep the brakes pushed down, robbing her of steering. A bridge abutment appeared and they slid helplessly into it. The attacking car had regained control and now pushed against her left rear quarter panel, pinning her to the bridge.

“Call nine-one-one. Tell them somebody is trying to kidnap us! Keep the doors locked and don’t open them unless I tell you to!” Kelly ordered as she climbed out, grabbing a steel ball-point pen from the cup holder.

Renae scrambled to find her phone, not sure if it was in her purse or if it had been on her lap.

Why did Kelly get out? What’s happening? Where is my damn phone?” She wondered frantically.

“What do you want?” Kelly shouted as the driver emerged from the vehicle that pinned her.

“We need to exchange insurance information,” he replied calmly as three more men got out of the car.

“Bullshit! You planned this. What do you want?” She demanded again, her heart rising in speed and volume.

“Fine, you are both coming with us,” the driver said.

Kelly watched as the front passenger climbed over the hood of his car, then the roof of hers to drop next to Renae’s window.

“No, we’re not! She’s calling the police right now! You need to leave immediately!” Kelly shouted.

The driver simply smiled as he moved closer, confident that he was bigger, stronger, and therefore superior to the small blonde.

“Breathe, stay calm, focus,” Kelly silently willed her body and hammering heart.

When he was within reach, his right arm shot out, grabbing a handful of hair as she jerked back. Instantly, her hands went to his, pressing both hands down, so that he couldn’t remove them if he wanted to. She dropped lower and spun in a tight clockwise circle. A second later his elbow was high in the air, his shoulder pulling loose from the socket and she dropped further, slamming his head into her front left bumper. The man went limp. The left rear passenger moved to her right, smart enough not to repeat the driver’s mistake. He adopted a posture she didn’t recognize and worked closer. At the same time, the man from the rear seat on the other side came around the back of the car, closing in on her.

“You’ve done multiple attackers, you can do this,” she thought.

“Put the phone down,” a voice yelled from the other side of her car.

The pen she clutched in her right hand had gouged deeply into the driver’s wrist and aided her grip, drawing blood. With a solid steel barrel, it was nearly impossible to break. The pen was a version of the first weapon Sensei Conner had introduced her to. When that class had started, Sensei had handed out small, light pieces of wooden dowels, no more than six inches long, half an inch thick, and weighing almost nothing. Everyone who had never held one in the class laughed at the feeble weapon. It turned out to be one of the most painful classes any of the newer students could remember. It became Kelly’s favorite because it was simple to use and easy to find something that substituted, like a good pen.

She now held it with the point down and against the inside of her wrist. The passenger from the driver’s side launched a right punch, then a left. She dropped backward at an angle, dodging the punches and waiting for what she was sure was coming. The man followed with a right kick to her head. She smiled grimly as she twisted left and inside of the kick, her right hand with the pen, coming up then stabbing down, hard into the side of his tensed thigh. He screamed and dropped. She knew that he wouldn’t be able to use that leg for a few minutes minimum and positioned herself so that his body was in line with the last man from the rear seat.

“Two more, you can do this girl!” She congratulated herself.

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