Kelly hated to admit it, but after months undercover, she was growing fond of Ronny Huch. He was a violent man who commanded violent men, but he’d been good to her. Promoted her through his organization. Sent people to look after her when she was sick. Taken her out drinking when she got stressed about her family.
Another month and she’d have the evidence to bring him in. She should have been excited at the thought of returning to normal life. But as she laughed along with a half-dozen others, their voices echoing around the run-down warehouse, she knew that she would miss this.
“Seriously,” Ronny said, “that fucker thought the lemon would be stuck in there forever.”
Their laughter was cut short as the door at the end of the warehouse opened. Three more men came in, two of them dragging the third. His arms and legs were tied. When they removed the sack from his head, Kelly got a terrible shock.
It was Spelling, a dull-witted detective she’d known before going undercover. Fear of discovery gripped her, but he quickly covered the flash of recognition by turning a glare on Ronny.
It was the most professional thing she’d ever seen him do.
“I hear you’re looking into my business.” Ronny drew a gun from his jacket. “Time to stop that, huh?”
Kelly looked at Spelling’s terrified expression. She’d never liked him. He was a sexist and a bully, a symbol of everything that had held her career back. But she wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
“Here you go, Sam.” It was the name Ronny knew Kelly by, her fake identity as a fake criminal. He held the gun out to her and winked. “Your turn.”
It took every ounce of nerve for Kelly to keep her hand from shaking. The gun’s grip was cold against her palm. She looked from the loathsome Spelling to her criminal boss. This wasn’t how she’d meant this to go down, but what else could she do.
She paused, enjoying the camaraderie of her smiling criminal contacts one last time, then pointed the gun at Ronny.
“You’re under arrest,” she said.
The warehouse filled with shouts of alarm, shuffling feet, and the rustle of clothing as everyone else drew their guns. Kelly’s heart pounded as they aimed at her.
“Put those down,” she said. “Otherwise, this is going to get very messy for your boss.”
“Do it,” Ronny said, still grinning. “Sam’s not going to arrest me. She’s a criminal, not a cop.”
“I’ve got a badge back home that says otherwise,” Kelly said.
“That’s just a badge.” Ronny tapped his chest. “It’s what’s in here that counts. Did you enjoy what you were doing before? Was it any fun at all?”
“There’s more to life than fun. There’s doing right.”
“And did they ever do right by you? Were you respected? Were you loved? Because that’s how we feel about you.”
“I won’t break the law.”
Ronny laughed. “You already helped us with robberies and with fraud. All on the orders of those people who say they’re upholding the law. All just to trick me. At least I’m honest about who I am.”
Kelly thought about everything she’d done in the past few months. Everything she’d gone undercover to stop. Everything she’d had such a great time doing.
She turned the gun on Spelling and fired. His eyes widened with shock as he dropped dead to the floor.
“So what’s your real name?” Ronny said as he put his arm around her.
“Let’s stick with Sam,” she replied. “That other person’s gone now.”