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As Halona turned the VW loaner into the temple parking lot, headlights flashed in her rearview mirror, startling her. Was she being followed? Heart thumping, she headed for the exit driveway, all the while watching the mirror. No other car entered the lot and she decided she must have been mistaken.
When she was almost to the exit, she braked. Should she leave now or make a sweep of the lot to see if Quinn was here? She could see no other car, but if he'd ridden his motorcycle he could have it stashed among the giant oleander bushes lining the lot.
Peter used oleanders to curtain his property, too--as many people in southern California did. Halona had ceased to trust the showy plants after treating a child in Bakersfield who'd almost died from nibbling on an oleander leaf. If eaten, all parts of the bushes were poisonous to humans and animals.
What the hell, as long as she'd gone this far, she'd cruise around the lot before she left. Lamps on four tall poles lit the area, but as she slowly drove around the perimeter she saw the lamp in the farthest corner was burned out. Or had it been broken on purpose by Quinn? She was nearing that unlit corner now--was she asking for trouble? Reflexively, Halona tromped on the brake and, to her horror, the motor died. She tried to restart the VW but the engine refused to catch.