I don’t know how the fuck we managed it but we both slept. Sort of anyway. Every couple of hours I’d still get up out of a cold sleep and look around, make sure nobody’d come through the fucking door in the night to whack me.
The broad tossed around a bit, making sure her kid was still there. Probably making sure I wasn’t about to attack her in her sleep either. She’s out cold by morning. Still has that little line between her eyes like even in her sleep she’s ready to fight. The kid’s out cold too. Must be good to be a kid. Not like he’s got nothing on his plate but sleepin’s still safe for him.
Don’t have the luxury of a shower. It’d make too much noise and I like the peace. Once I’m in there, I gotta worry about the two of them, what they’d do once they woke up.
Water’s fucking cold anyway. I could stand here for an hour and it’d still be fucking cold. No broad is gonna stand for an ice cold shower and there’s no way she’s gonna let the kid take one. Can’t even get the soap to lather it’s that bad.
Fuck, listen to me bitching like an old woman. Like one of Teddy’s cronies whining that the booze was wrong or the steak was cold. I’ve never really lived comfortable, even when I had the money to do it. It’s like that shit doesn’t even touch me, like it’s happening to somebody else. Some shit though is starting to get to me. Must be getting old. Just small shit that I never thought’d bother me like not having hot water. Breakfast’d be nice too.
Fill up the sink with cold water and hold my face under there until I wake up enough to stop whining about shit. Good to get clear.
Start thinking shit through. A few hours of sleep every night and it takes a week to get to Vegas. That’s six days now, if nothing goes wrong. I could shave some of that time. Lots of coffee, pick up some uppers and I can drive straight through a couple of those days. At least. Wouldn’t be the first time I done that. At least get us right the fuck off the east coast. Where I’m not always feeling that fuck Teddy’s eyes on me.
That I can get behind. It was a mistake talking to the broad last night, even if I learned a few things. Like having an idea what I’m walking into when I get her where she’s going.
It wasn’t what she said but what she didn’t. Probably shit she has no fucking idea about. A made guy having to call in help to get his kid back? His woman back? No fucking way that’s good news for me when I get there.
D’Angelo is gonna want that to go away quick so his guys won’t be busting his balls about it. To his face, behind his back. Doesn’t matter. It’s a lack of respect and he’s gonna have to get that back somehow or his guys won’t listen to him no more. Can’t cap another made guy without a war but I’m no made guy, just a soldier. Expendable.
That’s why Teddy sent me. Took me fucking long enough to figure that out but it’s not really a surprise.
Send her back by plane and not only is there a public record of her, there’s one of me too. Kinda makes it hard to make me disappear after.
If I don’t turn her over, I get hunted down like a fucking dog. Just like that I’m thinking about rabbits again. How fucked is that?
There’s no sound but the water dripping back into the sink and even that stops when I dry off. No sound at all from out in the room and I got nothing to do but think.
I’m fucked. I knew it from the moment this shit came down but it’s starting to dawn on me just how fucked I am. I needed time and quiet to think shit through.
When I get back in the room, Rita’s trying to sit up. A little hard the way she’s tied but she’s trying anyway. The more she struggles the more agitated the kid’s getting.
For once I decide to use my head. “Him first, then you,” I says as I untie the kid, taking him by the hand and helping him off the bed. Rita’s panicking again, begging me without saying a fucking word. For all she knows I could just walk right out of there with the kid and leave her tied up to the radiator. Some fucks’d do that. It’d probably be easier for me.
“Nobody’s getting hurt here this morning,” I says, thinking about how she ripped the fuck out of my arm yesterday. “Let’s just get this shit done, lady, and leave the fight for another day.”
For a second she nearly smiles but it doesn’t last, like she didn’t expect it. Sure as fuck didn’t like it. For the moment, we’d called a truce. No fucking promises, just a break for a bit.
The kid gets past me and half runs to the bathroom, closing the door at his back. Guess I’d rather he left it open but habits are hard to break.
“This is hard on him,” I says.
Rita looks at me like she’s looking for the catch, the angle, wondering where the fuck I’m going. Fuck, I don’t really know where I’m going either, I just want some peace and quiet so’s I can think.
“Look, I don’t like this shit either, lady, but us screaming and fighting and shit can’t be good for anybody.” I feel like a fucking idiot.
“No, it’s not good.” She’s agreeing, still wondering what I’m getting at. Drops her head for a second and I know she’s tearing up. Fighting it.
“So, we get into the van, pick up some shit for breakfast. No fighting. Let’s just get this shit done.”
The hard look is back in her eyes, like she’s ready to say fuck it and fight anyway but what the fuck is she gonna do when I still got the kid and she’s got nothing? Her eyes cut to the bathroom door as the kid turns the tap on. Almost done, almost out. “Fuck.”
“We’re probably both fucked but let’s just get through this fucking day, okay?” Even if we can get past a few hours, it’ll do.
The door’s opening but Rita shoots me a quick nod before Matty comes out. Hates herself for agreeing. She looks like she’s gonna cry again but doesn’t. Gotta be a hard thing, to agree not to fight when everything is telling you to fight. It doesn’t mean it’ll hold forever and she’ll probably be trying to gouge my eyes out before noon but for the moment we’re agreeing.
For the sake of the kid. That’d be fucking hilarious but the only guys I know that’d laugh with me about it are dead. That’s a shot of cold water over it.
Matty scrambles up on the bed next to his mother and only then do I undo her hands. Still being careful. Just cus she says she won’t doesn’t mean she won’t.
Matty’s watching me from across the room as Rita makes for the bathroom reluctantly. Fearless little bastard now, glaring back at me and I know that if I made a move at his mother, he’d be on me again.
I have no fucking idea what to say to the kid. No experience, right? So we just watch each other as his mother gets cleaned up.
The motel bathroom had some shit in there. Toothpaste in the little fucking tubes, soap, shampoo and shit, but I’m gonna have to come up with something better. We’re not gonna stop at another motel for another day or so and there’s fuck all in the van.
No way that’s gonna fly, not for anybody.
I’m still blocking the door before we leave. I gotta make it clear how it will go down. What’ll happen. Offer some sort of reward for shit going right. That’s always the way it goes, some sort a balance.
Beat on a guy all fucking night but do you know what really gets a guy to open his fucking mouth or pay up? It’s not the pain, it’s the promise. Even when they don’t sound like promises.
Talk and I’ll see that Teddy or whoever takes it easy on you.
Pay and maybe you’ll still be able to walk when I’m done.
Give me what I want and just maybe I make it fast.
So I promise.
“Same as last night, we all get into the van, quiet. If you’re quiet and don’t give me no fucking trouble, you can sit up in the back seat ‘stead’a tied down on the floor. I’ll have to keep your hands tied until I get some shit taken care of but if you don’t cause shit for me, I’ll untie you after.”
Not exactly a trip to fucking Disneyland but in the circumstances, not the worst thing I could’a said. Or done.
The kid’s pulling at his mom’s hand. Bored outta his fucking mind yesterday, stuck in the very back of the van with fuck all to do and nothing to look at. She’s running it through. Seen that look more than I can remember. Looking for angles, for bullshit. No way to know either way. At the end I think she just needed a break too.
Right then I know it’s not done. Anytime a broad says that, it sure as fuck isn’t fine. She’s gonna find a way to make me pay for it later on. Not like she’s got a lot to bargain with. I need the fucking break too, even if it’s just for a little while.
The door’s open and we’re out and I’m eyeballing her the whole way, her and the kid both. It goes smooth, not a word. So far we’re not fighting and the kid actually starts to look relieved.
I got him in the middle of the back seat and her against the window farthest away from me back there. Hands tied in front, at the wrist. She struggled a little when I started but one look at the floor in the back of the van was enough to put an end to it.
Just like that, we’re on the road again and it almost feels normal, like we all decided to go out on some fucking drive in the country. They’re both quiet back there. Rita’s looking out the window. I might’a worried about it if I thought anyone could see through the tinted glass. Looks like she’s trying not to cry again. She’s not, but it’s close, doesn’t want the kid to know so she’s looking out the window.
Kid’s quiet for a long time. Can’t stay that way for long though. Too much to see. He’s looking out the window at all the shit going by.
We’re in the real country now. Lots a shit for a kid to look at. I slow down to a crawl as we pass a field of horses running around. I never gave a shit about horses, that was always Chris’ thing but Matty’s leaning over in the seat as far as he can go, looking out the window.
When I look back there again, Rita’s watching me carefully in the rearview and then she’s looking out the window. What, like I can’t do some small fucking thing for a kid?
Anyway, it’s quiet for a good half hour and the weight’s coming off me. I’m heading for the place Teddy’s circled on the map. Another fucking gas station, go figure. That guy has no imagination.
Don’t need to say shit to either one of them when we get there, just a look’s enough. That and we’re pulled around back so nobody’s gonna see nothing. If Teddy’s got ties to this place, nobody’s gonna say nothing either.
Like the last place there’s a guy up at the counter that’s on the phone the second I pull in. Calling somebody back east to let Teddy know I showed up. I point at my watch and then hold up my hands. Ten minutes.
Copyright © January 2009 xxxevilgrinxxx