Faye Kellermann: Gun Games
The excerpt below is the beginning of Faye Kellermann's novel "Gun Games".
It was bad news walking through the door.
They were coming his way: five of them - three guys, two girls - all of them looking older than him by a
couple of years but probably still in highschool.
The guys had some muscle, but none of them was steroidal, meaning he could take any of them one-on-one. Collectively, he didn't stand a chance. Besides, Gabe wasn't spoiling for a fight. Last time that happened, he messed up his hand - temporarily. He'd been lucky. Maybe he'd be lucky again. If not, he had to be smart.
He pushed his glasses up on his nose and kept his eyes on the book until the group was on top of him.
Even then, he didn't look up. Nothing was going to happen to him inside a Starbucks… staring at the page in front of him, his mind going a mile per second.
"You're sitting in my seat," one of the guys said.
His dad had always emphasized that if he were about to be jumped, it was best to take on the leader. Because once the leader was gone, the others fell like dominoes. Gabe counted to five before he looked up.
The guy who spoke was the biggest of the three.
"Excuse me?" Gabe said.
"I said you're sitting in my seat." And as if to emphasize the point, he pulled back his jacket, giving Gabe a five-second peek at the gun stuck into his waistband - positively one of the worst places to keep an unharnessed weapon. There were only two people in the world that Gabe would take crap from and he
wasn't looking at either one of them. To acquiesce would be a mistake.
On the other hand, to confront would also be a mistake. Luckily, the dude gave him an out.
Gabe held up an index finger. "Do you mind?" Slowly and carefully, he pulled back the guy's jacket with his finger and stared at the gun. "Beretta 92FS with some kind of custom grip."
A pause. "Sweet." He let the jacket drop. "You know the company just came out with an advanced model -
a 96A or something like that.
Same thing as the 92 series except it has a higher magazine capacity."
Gabe stood up. Nose to nose, he was a couple of inches taller than the gunslinger, but the height differential wasn't something he was about to flaunt. He took a half step back […].
They were locked in a staring contest, Gabe's focus on the dude with the piece. As far as he was concerned, the other four didn't exist. Then, with a sudden, fluid motion, Gabe stepped aside and held out
his hand, magnanimously offering the dude his seat. "Be my guest."
A few seconds ticked by, each waiting for the other to blink.
Finally, the guy said to Gabe, "Have a seat."
The two of them eyed each other, then they both sat down at the same time with the dude taking up the
leather chair that Gabe had formerly occupied.
He kept his eyes on the guy's face, never letting up for a moment. Dude was around five ten, one eighty, broad chest, strong arms. […]
Dude said, "Where'd you learn about guns?"
Gabe shrugged. "My dad."
"What does he do?"
"My father?" At this, Gabe broke into a slow grin. "Uh … actually, he's a pimp." The expected pause. "He owns whorehouses in Nevada."
The dude stared at him with newfound respect. "Cool."
"It sounds a lot cooler than it is," Gabe said. "My dad's a nasty guy - a real mean motherfucker. He also owns about a zillion guns and knows how to use every single one of them. I get along with him because I
don't cross him. Plus, we don't live together anymore."
"You live with your mom?"
"Nah, she's in India somewhere. She took off with her lover and dumped me into the care of complete strangers - […] My foster dad is a police lieutenant. You'd expect him to be the hard-ass, but compared to my own dad, the man is a saint." He looked at his watch. It was almost six in the evening and night was
inches away. "I gotta go." He stood up and so did Dude.
"What's your name?" Dude asked.
"Chris." Gabe lied. "And you?"
"Dylan." They fist-bumped. "What school do you go to?"
"Homeschooled," Gabe said. "Almost done, thank God. Hey, nice to meet you, Dylan. Maybe I'll catch you
on the shooting range."
He turned his back to the group and slowly swaggered away. It took all his energy not to glance back.
Once he was out the door, he ran like hell.
Kellermann, Faye (2012), Gun Games, New York: William Morrow, p. 1-3