I set the
meeting with the mark in a broken down honky tonk on the west side of
Phoenix, in a part of town that never saw its best days and never will.
The joint stunk of flop sweat, bad dreams, failure and oddly enough
potatoes even though food wasn't served. I figured the busted out
nature of the building and the collection of born losers, geezers and
rummies at the bar would throw my mark/client off and I could hit her
for more cash. It was money I needed badly.
Nobody stayed long
in the Branding Iron Social Club and Saloon if they had somewhere to
be, which if you had anything else to do and I mean anything else at
all, you would not be in the Branding Iron. I had a permanent table in
the back because I took down two junkie stick up men who tried to rob
the place. Lady M, the tranny that owns this dump, was grateful. I
politely turned down the skull job she offered but gladly took a table
in the dark, murky back of the saloon.
The back tables were used
for doing business. All sorts of deals were made there except two: no
drugs and no selling/fucking kids. That's it. Guns, funny paper, IDs,
contract hits were all okay. Lady M gets a rental fee, flat rate, for a
table. Except for mine. I'm, sad to say, a regular.
this mark to work out. I had checked with my personal banker, a Mex
loan shark named Little Pepe, who was not little. He's stands about
6'7" and ran right around 400 pounds of fat and muscle with scar tissue
over both eyes so thick it made one uninterrupted shelf. He got those
as a professional canvass back in the boxing ring. The rest of the
scars on his big bald melon were from knife fights, razors cuts and
thug life. Señor Pepe informed me, again, of payment due, which was
late. Further, Pepe explained how he was going to collect using the
straight razor he preferred. I had not heard of penis soup before so I
figured it was a Mexican dish.
Pepe told me that he was going to
make that soup with my junk and feed it to me. I guess I need to get
some money together. I would prefer to keep the remaining parts I have
in the right places if possible. One time on the yard in Florence
prison I'd seen Pepe hit a biker so hard the bones in that fat, greasy,
scooter trash's face moved. The bones that moved were on the opposite
side of the bikers face from the impact of Pepe's fist. I take Pepe
Here I sit at eleven in the morning waiting for
the mark to show in a shitty bar in a dying neighborhood hoping two
things. The first, that the horse I bet 2 yards on to win at the fifth
race at Turf Paradise comes through for me. I know that's the prayer of
a the degenerate gambler but what could I do; I'm a degenerate gambler.
The second, I hope the classy ambiance of the Branding Iron and its
fine patrons can intimidate the woman I'm supposed to meet out of extra
I'm so slick I know my bright idea will work and because
I know women so well I started to count the dinero. That was until I
saw the Latina swivel hipping her way across the broken up, glass
strewn dance floor in $700.00 stiletto fuck me pumps. My bright idea
withered like a tomato in the summer sun.
For a Latina she was
tall and somewhat willowy but rounded out in all the places that should
be rounded. She was about 30 years old, absolutely stunning, and knew
it. Her heart shaped face was dominated by large Amber colored eyes
sitting atop a tiny upturned nose that wasn't a factory original.
wondered if the plump cupid bow lips were original issue or after
market upgrades like the nose and breasts. Long, thick, glossy,
midnight black hair that had a natural wave running through it reached
down to the middle of her back. Her light cinnamon colored skin glowed
with health, vitality, wealth and probably expensive Scottsdale spa
She was wearing a light pink mini dress so short and
tight it made my imagination take an early lunch. It was tighter then a
second skin and showed off her trim figure. Her long muscular legs
spoke of palates and treadmills. She was well put together and the
invisible neon sign over her head blinked nonstop, in giant letters,
the words: Scottsdale trophy wife. I wondered what the sign over me
read as, it probably said in ten foot high letters MAN FOR HIRE.
slowly strolled up to my table, giving the jokers at the bar an extra
long look at her noble ass. She extended a soft, well manicured hand
and asked "Mr. Hansen?" That's the name I gave to the crooked cop who
recommended me. Her voice was throaty and low. The accent was very
slight and if I wasn't looking for it I would have missed it. An aroma
of flowers and exotic fruit enveloped the air between us.
Analisia-Esperanza-Naseera. Detective Ramos suggested I speak to you in
regards to my issue." The formality of speech made me believe English
was not her first language. "May I please join you?" She looked at the
empty seat with those Smokey amber colored eyes. I nodded for her to
sit. I was already starting to fall for her.
To Be Continued...
smoothly shot her hips and sat down, crossing those flashy get away
sticks of hers. She daintily cleared her throat and said "My husband,
Fahreed Nassera, is as you might have knowledge of, a very wealthy man."
did know. He was Fred the Pasha of supermarkets. At least that's what
the commercials said. Naseera's people have been in Arizona forever and
owned a string of very successful markets. One group of specialty
markets catered to the dick headed yuppies, the other bunch of
supermarkets bared the family name and were everywhere. The fucking
money maker of them though were the low budget Food Pueblos catering to
It was like Las Vegas for them with those Food
Pueblos and the family used the money to buy influence all over the
place. Cops, lawyers, unions, politicians and for all I knew the
fucking boy scouts. That answered the question about how she could
arrange this meet. I'm not in the yellow pages. I started to think in
terms of how much I could Jew her out of.
"Because of that wealth and the family's prominence in town, we
sometimes have what could be called issues with the peoples in Phoenix."
was listening but my eyes were busy watching her mouth. I thought that
if she was my secretary, instead of the 45 year old tranny who takes my
messages, I would never have a postage meter. I would pay her to lick
envelopes just to watch her mouth work.
“What sorts of issues?” I asked.
many different types. Some involve business deals or societal things
and such. Sometimes others who should know better think we owe to them
something we do not. It is all very tiresome please believe me in this
I cocked my head to show I was engaged and didn't say anything. I think she got miffed.
she started, "I have a sister, Eliania, 15 and a sophomore over to
Xavier College Preparatory School on the Central Avenue. You've heard
of it, yes?"
Heard of it, I thought to myself. Before the
rollers took me off the streets and locked me down in gladiator school
I must have nailed three quarters of those easy catholic school girls.
Ah-h, the good old days. They usually aren't as good as you remember
them to be but in this case, they were much, much better.
said, "I'm familiar with Xavier but, before we go further, you got the
money?" I told Ramos, that tin carrying thief, that the meet would cost
the mark $500.00 and that bought her an hour for me to listen. It got
Ramos a hundred and Pepe at least got the back some of the overdue vig
I owed. The juice and the principal are still running on my loan with
him. I needed Pepe's cheddar to pay my bookie.
She reached into
her purse which was about the size of a large Shetland pony and was a
real Prada I believe and pulled out an envelope and slid it across the
I make good money clouting cheap Prada knockoffs from
China, that's how I knew her bag was real. I made even better money
hijacking trucks with real Prada in them. That purse she was sporting
runs $2500 retail. I sold them for $500.00 a piece. Women got into fist
fights to buy them from me. Sex wasn't a bad payment option either.
They asked me, so it would have been rude to say no.
"Please, may I continue?"
I was feeling princely at the moment and blithely told her to carry on.
told me her friend, Carly Mathers, who has disappeared and I think
might have become entangled with a pimp. Or if not an outright procurer
this young man has dreams to become such a one"
People want to be pimps I thought to myself. Fucking RAP music.
would require your assistance in locating Ms. Mathers and returning her
to me so I may prepare her to return home." That was a whole lot of “I”
in that sentence. You might say the raven haired lady had a healthy
self esteem bubble. If I looked like her and was as rich as her old man
I would feel pretty good about myself too.
"Why do you want me
to find this runaway and not the kid's parents?" I asked the beauty.
"For that matter, why are you dealing with somebody like Ramos and an
off the books gent like myself? I'd figure your old man's family has
access to all sorts of ritzy up town private dicks."
I threw the
dick comment at her to see if I could get some sort of response. I
wanted to see some crack in her icy reserve. What I got in return was
an upturn of one side of her mouth, the lips parted slightly and for a
brief moment the tip of her tongue ran across the underside of her
upper lip. He shoots he scores.
To Be Continued...
for the second part of your question, Detective Ramos works for us. I
asked him for his assistance but told me his case load was large at the
moment and was not able to be of much help to me. He gave me your name
instead." I knew what Ramos' case load was. It consisted of fingering
easy targets for thieves for 25% of the take, shaking down hookers for
money and sex, hitting up businesses for protection money, contract
hits and being a general pain in the ass. Crooked doesn't even cover
him and the justice system has the nerve to call me a criminal.
the first question, I have my reasons for doing this and most of them
do not concern you. For your purposes the only thing you need to know
is I love my sister and would do anything for her. Carly is her friend
and if Eliania is worried, so then am I." Now my interest is getting
piqued. There's definitely something going on here.
"As for you
Mr. Hansen, Det. Ramos told me some things of you. He said you're a
gambler, a thief, a mercenary, a liar and that you are a very dangerous
man. You've won many medals as Fleet Force Reconnaissance Marine,
including the Medal of Honor. He further said that you're a convict and
will try to take as much money as you can from me but that you will do
the job you're paid for. Det. Ramos does not care for you Mr. Hansen
but he said you know the Valley and the criminal elements better than
any police agent. I want those skills in my employ."
I kept my
face blank. Ramos had fucking diarrhea of the mouth. This chick must
have got his pussy hound nose to open wide. He rolled over like a dog,
Even though what Ramos said about me was
right, he was also very wrong about some things too. I might "know" how
crime works in the Valley but the thing is the criminal element is ever
shifting. There's no real way to know it all. I just have the few large
players pinned. After the bent noses went out of power in the 70's,
there really haven't been many paramount operators. Don't get me wrong,
there are groups that tried. Recently the 81's had a grip on the meth
and hookers but the ATF decimated those slobs by taking their few
quality leaders off the count and the rest of those dopey bikers
couldn't catch a cold let alone control any sort of crime.
are streets gangs but they are even more fragmented than the scooter
trash and about as useful as a politicians promise. So crime here is
not as monolithic as say LA, NYC or Miami. The reason I think it's that
way around here is because Phoenix is, for all intents and purposes, a
border town and too rich of a prize for anybody to hold outright. For
once the bad guys are acting smart and going about their business under
the radar which makes las placas crazy.
"Also, I know your name is not Hansen, correct Señor Holiday?"
The alarm bell in my head rang loud and proud. I started to think I
will have to bury this gorgeous piece of ass in the desert. I looked at
the bar. Even the wet brains soaking up bargain basement hooch will
remember her. They would roll on me in a second. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! I
quickly went over what I needed to do. I need to see what she wanted,
what cards she was holding and that I needed to ship over a crooked
cop. Ramos sold me out. This is unacceptable, absolutely unacceptable.
Ramos your ticket just got punched.
"Mr. Holiday, may I call you that by the way?"
I'm thinking so I nod yes.
believe you are thinking Det. Ramos provided me with this information,
correct? Well that is not the proper assumption to draw. I received
this information from friends in Cartagena, Columbia."
fucking subtle bitch. Nice body blow you hit me with. Telling me you
know I did hits for the Cali cartel and that you got enough juice to
get this info and my righteous name. I do not like to be threatened.
I'm going to have to get atop of her fast and cut this off. Sweep the
leg Johnny, sweep the leg.
"So, as I was say..."
your fucking mouth, bitch!" I rasped at her in my prison yard voice.
It's a harsh whisper, nuclear hot and glacially cold at the same time.
Its tone and tenor meant I was ready to give some to get some. Death
was close by. It has backed off punks all over the world. It didn't
seem to have much of an effect on her.
"You think you know some
things, you found out my booking name, so fucking what skank? Just
because you suck some grease ball's cock in an alley somewhere in
Columbia doesn't mean jack shit to me. Fuck you, fuck your camel jockey
husband and most importantly go fuck yourself. I'd do it but I'm afraid
I'd catch something." Analisia looked amused but not threatened or
scared in the least.
"Mr. Holiday, do you feel stronger now
after that outburst? Here is my offer, $100,000 dollars. That is if you
can find Ms Mathers before Friday. Since this is Monday and you have
been represented to me as a competent man, I do not believe this is
unfair?" Smug, fucking, rich bitch. What could I do but say yes because
I'm fucked. I ain't exactly flush at the moment and my cock was on the
"Do you have any info about this Mathers twist? Any
photos, shit like that?" I asked her. She nodded, reached inside that
giant purse, and handed me a folder. She said, "Inside you will find a
current photo of Ms Mathers, two weeks old. Here are her vital
statistics and a list of friends and such information." She reached
into the bag, took out a second folder and handed that to me. "Here is
the information on Mr. Bryce Carroll, the young man who has absconded
with poor Carly and may be selling her for sex."
As a rule I
don't trust info provided by clients. I like to find my own info and I
like to use my own researcher. His name is Kenny. A quick scan through
the folders was what I expected. Ramos put it together. He may be
crooked but he's good. It gave me a fast start.
Bitch, I'll do the job. I need fifty G up front as earnest money and
for expenses and the second fifty when I turn this kid up. Clear?" I
devoutly hoped she would buy this. I can get well today with everybody
if she comes across. I throw the hard eyes on her to show I'm serious.
laugh was as beautiful as the rest of her. "You can not be serious Mr.
Holiday. I will not give you such a sum upfront. They would revoke my
MBA from The Wharton School of Business." Her hand went into her purse
again and I thought, gun? Nope, out comes a pile of banded cash.
"Here's $10,000 to get started. It is used bills, small denominations
without sequential serial numbers. This is acceptable yes?" This woman
knew how to operate which got me to thinking what was really happening
here. I needed her gone, I needed to think and I had to find my
researcher Kenny. I smelled a lot more gelt on the line than the 100
large she offered me.
"Okay lady, I'll be your bird dog. I need
a way to contact you if I need more information or to talk to your
sister. How do I get a hold of you?" Into the bag again and out came a
small metal card case. She handed me two heavy cream colored cards.
"Mr. Holiday, these are all my numbers and email info including my
private cell phones. I can be reached 24 hours a day. Leaving a message
at any of those numbers will get back to me within an hour." With that
she stood up, turned to the door and walked away. Even though the meet
was on my turf I had been dismissed and since I now worked for her, I
didn't rate a good bye.
I sat at my table in the back of the
bar. Even though its was the end of August and the sun was bright the
Branding Iron was dark and shadow encased. Sunlight was afraid to enter
here. I don't blame it. When you get trapped here, its like being a rat
caught on a sticky trap. You're alive but stuck. Knowing somebody is
coming to end you is the worst part of being stuck. That's what the
Branding Iron is like.
To be continued...
"Hey M," I sing out to the Branding Iron's owner.
a tranny, Lady M passes as a woman. I always wonder how hard it must
have been for her when she had to pretend to be a man. She's a natural
blond, fine boned and delicate, with brown eyes and an aristocratic
nose. She's also tough as hell and smart. The only real give away about
her were the scarves she favored. They covered up the Adam's Apple.
"I need some clean phones!"
gets phones from somewhere. They're stolen, the tracking chip is
removed and the numbers are cloned. They're absolutely clean and
untraceable. I like that.
"Here you go Nick honey." Her smooth
voice washed over me like it always does. She's from somewhere down
south and the accent adds to her allure. "I believe you want these here
phones sugah." She handed me two Nokias and a Blackberry. I liked to
have several. "Well M, I got to hit the streets and find Kenny. I need
his help." She said, "Nick, you will tell that sweet lost boy hello for
me, right?" "Sure thing M, I'll come by later for a night cap, ok?"
That was a joke, I don't drink. "Shoo boy," M said. "Make sure Kenny
has eaten and if he hasn't get him a dish of ribs at Honey Bear's. He
likes those." "Yes Ma'am," I said and headed for my ride.
up this month's car. I was sporting around in a 1968 Plymouth Fury with
a 389 street wedge motor that I rebuilt. I bored it out with almost 70
over so it was kicking out more horse power than a 440 Hemi. It had two
Holly double pumper carbs riding on top. She's built for both speed and
torque. I wish the street races along the old alignment of Beardsley
road still happened. This monster would make bank at the drags.
have a deal going on with my buddy Jonnie Red. I do all the work on the
mechanical side of the car and he does all the body, interior and
paint. It's a good deal and the full on restorations were cheap
considering all the parts are stolen and the work is done in Jonnie's
The cars themselves are all legal, the guts aren't.
We've even managed to get a couple of our cars sold at the big
Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction at West world.
I grab the 101 South
to the 10 East and get off at the 7th Avenue exit and ride that up to
McDowell. I hook a right and head over to Central and turn onto that
mess. At least the fucking choo choo train construction is almost done.
I came this way because I was looking for Kenny. He's not exactly
homeless but he's sort of vague and wanders occasionally so I started
looking for him around his normal routes.
The first stop in my
search is the Burton Barr Public library on Central Avenue. If I'm
lucky which I'm not, look at my betting history, Kenny will be there.
is one of those unfortunate victims of the modern world. I found him 10
years ago when he was twelve but looked like he was eight, chained to
the floor of a 6' x 6' shed in the back yard of a house in Tempe. The
motherfuckers who owned him, some call them his family, were selling
him to baby rapers $50.00 a pop.
I had gone there to collect on
the money they owed to a drug dealer. I had to burn the house down to
cover the homicides after they offered to sell me Kenny. I took Kenny
and brought him to Katrina McNally who runs Street Angels. It's an
organization dedicated to rescuing kids from the Life and the streets.
Me, Katrina and Lady M are the only people Kenny isn't scared of. At
least Katrina and M are, sometimes I'm not sure about me.
home range is the public library. He's got good taste that kid. The
Burton Barr Public library and grounds are very beautiful. The library
itself is a steel and glass masterpiece of design and function. The
grounds are a testament to xeriscape landscaping. Kenny sleeps in the
gardens. Sometimes the night rent-a-cop lets him sleep in the library
when the weather gets cold. I throw that cat a hundred every time he
does it so he's more inclined to do it in the future.
Kenny is in the library doing his research. The local bulls and the
Feds use Kenny shamelessly and don't pay him. If it's on the Internet
or in a book, Kenny can find it. He's also a hacking savant. He's in
every database there is so the cops use him to get around search
warrants, laws and procedures.
Kenny's brain is off the charts
but his wiring is so screwed up and he's such a rabbit the world rolls
him up. He jumps at his own shadow. I don't blame him, his life is
shit. I try and look out for him as much as I can. I found him, he's my
responsibility. Plus I like the kid even if he is a goofy mother.
I pull into the library parking lot I see an undercover cop shop parked
at the far end. I wheel around to park on the street and get out my
range finder to see if I knew the cop sitting in the front seat. Aw
shit, it was Ramos' new partner, a steroid monkey named Troy Denman.
only got hired because he used to play middle linebacker for the
University of Arizona. The Phoenix police chief liked to kick ass with
the departments semi pro football team and Denman did just that. He's
also racked up more brutality complaints in two years than anybody else
in the history of the Phoenix Police Department Detective Bureau.
Denman made Detective in a year and he's illiterate. Quid pro quo if
you ask me.
If Denman's ass is sitting in the car then his leash holder Ramos must be inside scaring Kenny.
run up to the computer floor and looked to the station Kenny likes to
use. It's near a window so he doesn't feel trapped. I see Ramos there.
He's not very tall, maybe 5'9", but he's just about as wide and all of
it muscle and he has that street cop ability to loom.
very hard to do with Kenny. He's maybe 5'1". That's because if you
don't get enough to eat as a kid you don't develop. Usually when he's
eating he goes maybe a buck and a quarter but he's looking ten pounds
shy of his fighting weight. A lot of days Kenny forgets to eat.
has the darkest skin I've ever seen on a black man. It's so ebony that
light actually bounces off it but with Ramos all up in his shit he's
taken on a full body ashy gray pallor.
Ramos you motherfucker,
you have not been this close to death...ever. I'll cancel your ticket
right here and take the life bounce that it'll buy me.
Come here!" I said in a much sharper tone than I intended. Kenny is
very sensitive to the inflections of my voice. If it's outside his
comfort zone he'll cry, ask me not to hate him and promise to do better
if I will continue to be his friend.
That puts me in a bind. I
ain't sensitive but I work on it with Kenny because outside of Lady M
and Katrina McNally, Kenny is the best person I know. Everybody else,
me included, are shitbirds.
Kenny jumped like he had a spring in his ass and ran to me. I see he's sobbing and scared. My blood started to boil.
carnal, what's the haps homes?" Fucking Ramos, that cock ring, he's
fronting off like he's a south Phoenix cholo. Who the fuck is he
kidding I thought? The inflamed hemorrhoid grew up in Flagstaff, the
son of a pharmacist and a full tenured professor of social work at
Northern Arizona University. I speak Spanish better than Ramos
considering he doesn't speak any.
He stood there with a smirk on
his face. I was feeling the need to tear that smug look off his fucking
mug one facial feature at a time. Ramos knew what I was thinking, his
hand inched towards his Glock.
"Joo best chill ese, I drop your
pet monkey there first homes, then I blow the fuck out of the back your
skull before you take two steps. Know what I'm saying?"
trying hard to bank my anger and losing so I say, as I take a step
forward, "Knock it the fuck off poser, you're as much a vato as I am a
Crip or Blood. No one buys the wolf tickets you're selling about coming
up hard on the Southside. Talk like the college boy cocksucker you are."
take another step. Ramos says, "Sure thing ass breath. I can still drop
you and the tiny spook before you try any of the oriental fighting shit
with me, so fucking stop moving."
I take two more steps forward and one to the side. I'm maneuvering where I want Ramos to be.
To Be Continued...
the fuck are you doing here Ramos besides being the used tampon you
are? Ramos takes a half a step towards the railing. Good doggy. He
says, "I figured you'd turn up here after that bitch Naseera saw you
today. So listen up convict, I get piece of what ever she's paying you.
A big piece, got it? We're 50/50 on everything from here on out." I
inch forward and Ramos steps back and to the left, away from the
computer table and nearer to the railing. Got you motherfucker. I have
room to move. A quick look, nobody's around.
I drive a spinning
back fist into Ramos' solar plexus that knocks him into the chest high
balcony railing made out of steel cable. It explodes the oxygen out of
his lungs. Ramos bounces off the railing and I catch him just behind
the ear with an elbow strike. He's out before he hits the ground.
noise from Kenny makes me pivot. I see Denman closing on me at flank
speed. For a big mook he's quick but I'm fast so I win. I step back and
then around him which causes him to sail past. I clamp his wrist on the
way by, twist it up and in while I rotate around to increase his
velocity. I snap a front kick to the outside of his surgically repaired
left knee with the steel toed sneakers I wear. I hear a satisfying
"pop" as his ACL goes. I let the wrist go and send him flying. Denman
skids to a stop grasping his knee. I kick him in the left temple. Two
for two, he's out cold.
Ramos is coming around, sort of. I pull
his service piece, back up and throw down guns. In his pocket there's a
switchblade for planting on a suspect who Ramos might have capped a bit
too soon. He also had a bundle of cash. It went into my pockets along
with the knife and an illegal to carry sap that was in his back pocket.
I field strip the two automatics and unloaded the revolver keeping
the.38 caliber rounds. I spread out the parts along the shelves. I do
the same to Denman. No cash unfortunately. He's armed just about the
same as his organ grinder Ramos.
Ramos was coughing so his air
was coming back. Between sobbing with pain and humiliation he was also
mumbling threats. "You motherfucker, Holiday...cough, cough, you're
fucking...cough, cough, cough, pain, moan...You're dead cocksucker, you
feeling me asshole?"
I smiled down at him. "Yeah, I just did
feel you, douche bag, that's why you're on the ground and I'm up here
so save your threats tough guy. This isn't the first time I've taken
you off the count." I've knocked the shit out of Ramos three times.
you want to turn this into a gunfight I'm okay with that. I know you
barely qualified with your weapon or your service gun." I wave my pinky
at him. "All the hookers you shake down tell me you're packing small
junk that doesn't work."
"Oh, by the way, I saw a nice bit of
film last week. It stars you taking money from Li'isa Nash. I think the
Professional Standards Bureau would love to see that. You know,
because, she's a pimp and all and paying you off to let her operate.
Wait, aren't you in Vice? Remind me again what the vice squad is
supposed to combat?"
For shits and giggles I thumb him in the throat. He goes green and pukes on himself.
lean in close and say, "Here's the new deal shitpile, you get nothing.
No money, no access to Kenny, nothing. I leave you the fuck alone, you
leave me alone. If I even see you on the same block as Kenny that film
will see the light of day. You comprende fuckstain?"
some puke off his face with the sleeve of his custom made shirt,
chuckles and says in his cholo voice, "Who da' fuck you kidding ese?
The book on you homes says you would rather die or do time than snitch.
Eh carnal, what joo say about that shit?" He switches back to normal
voice and says, "Motherfucker, you are a dead man anyways. Denman over
there will fuck your shit up but good. I don't have to do jack."
knew that was coming and said, "Wrong thinking baby boy, you're my new
guardian angel. If anything happens to me, from a head cold all the way
to a hit, all the info I have on you comes out. You understand? I've
got it trip wired. I go down, you go down and spend eternity sucking
cock and getting assfucked in the joint. Maybe you'll get lucky,
they'll supermax you and you won't end up as some bikers punch board.
That's if you can cut a deal and rat on somebody even dirtier than you.
Maybe the DA will take the needle ride off the table." I stand up,
motion to Kenny to follow and leave the library.
To be continued...
watch Kenny demolish two pounds of ribs and four servings of cowbro'
beans at Honey Bear's. I can tell he's over Ramos and the fear he put
in him. Even though Kenny has a total recall memory and it's
photographic, his wiring is such that fear doesn't last long. In
Kenny's case, cowbro' beans and ribs restore his equilibrium. When his
megawatt grin returns I know things are good in Kenny land.
want to go and see Katrina?" Kenny nods and shovels in more beans.
"When we get there, can you use her computers and look some things up
for me?" I lean in close to hear Kenny's response. He talks very low.
He probably talks that way in order to trick the doom he believes he's
earned from falling on him. I never tell Kenny to do anything, I always
ask. Almost everybody takes from the poor bastard. I try to give him
something he doesn't get, respect.
Kenny whispers, "I don't have
to bother Ms. McNally sir. You can just take me back to the library if
it's not too much trouble. Or I can walk back it's only a mile or so."
If Kenny's self esteem ever reached zero it would be a vast
improvement. I don't think Kenny understood what happened at the
library with me beating down Ramos or maybe he didn't remember at all,
I don't know.
"That's alright kid, I need you to help me out for
a few days and ride with me. We got an assignment." Some how Kenny got
the idea in that damaged mind of his that I'm a spy. I let him think
that because it's better than having him think of me as a miserable
thug. More importantly, it lets me run undercover operations with him.
These missions involve Kenny seeing doctors, dentists or going to
WalMart for new clothes. He loves the idea of helping me spy. I want to
keep Kenny close in case Ramos or Denman have payback in mind.
is the only way they can hurt me. They don't know about my association
with Katrina McNally but they can't hurt her anyways and it would be a
pure suicide mission to go after Lady M or the Branding Iron so Kenny's
it. I'll have to work a deal or kill Ramos and Denman to keep Kenny
safe. I'm leaning towards burying those walking shit heaps. I don't
like Ramos and it's only a matter of time before I cancel his ticket
I load Kenny up in the car and we set out to Katrina's
building. It's starting to build, the ache in my heart, as we near
Katrina's. I love her but she thinks of me as nothing more than a
brutal man for hire. She's not wrong but I'm useful to her on occasion
and we share Kenny. That's the thread that will always bind us, sort of
like a bad divorce between two people never married.
We get to
Katrina's building, she owns it, and I stash the Fury on the street. We
cross over and go inside. The rent-a-cop on duty notices Kenny and high
fives him. He looks at me and his hand slides out of view. Gun or
alarm? I tend to have that effect on cops and security guards.
notice that the rent-a-cop behind the security desk used to be a state
badge that had busted me on a weapons charge a long while back. I was
dropped cold holding a truck load of stolen weapons but he fucked the
whole arrest up and broke one of my teeth. My "if you can't afford an
attorney" lawyer, who was two minutes out of law school, got the
charges thrown out. Was this clown thinking I was here for revenge? God
he's dumb but that's what the cops look for in their employees.
says to Kenny while eye fucking me, "Hey Kenny, haven't seen you around
in a while. You okay?" He tries for a hard look with me. I yawn. Kenny
whispers to the rent-a-cop, "I'm okay Mr. Dante, thank you for asking."
The old cop, still eyeballing me, sneers, "Who's your friend?" I step
on Kenny's reply and tell him to call Amy Carrisa, she's Katrina's
personal secretary. "Tell her Kenny's here with his case worker, Mr.
Jones." Dante snorts at the last part but calls up. He says, "Ms.
Carrisa said to go right up, she'll meet you at the elevator." Kenny
heads to the elevator but I still feel the cop's eyes on me. He puts a
hand on my arm to stop me. "What?" I rasp at him. "We all like Kenny
here and we love Ms. McNally so don't play any games convict, you
understand me?" Yeah, I understand you I think. I'm not a cop so I'm
not a stupe. I get the implied threat. I push his hand off my arm and
walk away. Kenny and I get in the elevator and go see my love.
To be continued...
the way to the top floor I tell Kenny what I need him to find for me
but he's staring at the elevator control panel. I know he's heard every
word I said and he will do exactly what I tell him and probably more
but he's got that far away look on his face when his brain starts
firing out ideas. I hope to Christ he doesn't start taking the control
panel off and fixing the elevator. That's what Kenny does, he improves
things, though he doesn't think about cause and effect or when he
decides to fix something. Seriously, Kenny is about a mile past being a
genius and the notebooks he carries around with ideas worth billions
and billions of dollars proves that. He's given Katrina ideas for
patents for computer applications, medical tools, electronics and a ton
of things I will never understand.
This is one more reason why I
worship Katrina. She's never taken one thin dime off Kenny's gifts to
her. Sure, her far flung empire has benefited from Kenny's ideas, so
has society, but every single penny her companies earn off of them is
held in trust for Kenny. He's probably a billionaire but he sleeps in a
library's garden. Yet I pay for lunch. I'm a sap.
I just hope
whatever brilliant idea he has floating around in that brain of his
doesn't pan out like the last time. Kenny was using Katrina's computers
when he decided to upgrade their security. About four hours later Kenny
came up with code so powerful and complicated that it shut down every
single system connected to it. Katrina owns or semi owns a bunch of
different businesses and some of them have government contracts.
Kenny's program started to shut the government's computers down also.
His program blew right past the G's firewall which brought the Men in
Black from the NSA sniffing around.
The NSA's MIB wanted to
know who wrote the program because, according to them, it was self
replicating, adaptable and was almost AI, whatever the fuck that is and
they could really use the programmer's skills. Katrina stonewalled the
hell out of them while she reached out for me. I broke several land
speed records on the 202 freeway getting to her place.
fucking goons got a hold Kenny they would stick his skinny ass in an
underground computer lab and he would never see daylight again. Kenny
can't take windowless confined spaces, so he'd probably kill himself to
escape. That's unacceptable to me and to Katrina so we both swung into
Katrina is on a first name basis with the entire Senate
and Congressional representation for the State of Arizona and about a
dozen other powerful politicians in DC. She has their cell phone
numbers. More importantly she's on a first name basis with their Chiefs
of Staff. The Bureaucracy is what really runs Washington anyways and
not the miserable slobs that the suckers vote for. In about four hours
time she got the DC scumbags to permanently pull the NSA's teeth about
Me, I went a different route. I called this guy I
know. He is the one person that handles all the bad stuff the
government needs handled. He sets up stings, black bag jobs,
intimidation, shake downs and murders. He's got a lot of juice because
he knows where all the bodies are buried, literally and figuratively.
Fuck, I buried a bunch of them. He got the job done even faster than
Katrina's pet politicians. Of course I had to trade for his help and
that job landed me into the hospital again. It's alright though, Kenny
is still outside, in the sunlight and able to wander around which makes
him happy. Kenny fixed the program so now Katrina's organization has
the most powerful firewall ever created. It's driving the NSA nuts
because they try to breach it nearly everyday and are denied.
figured we could make a fast start of it when the elevator doors opened
or as fast as possible after having to deal with everyone fawning over
Kenny. Everybody loves Kenny and that's not hard to do. He's the
sweetest, gentlest person in the world. He's also handsome, the little
bastard, which means women fall all over themselves because of him. Man
oh man if that kid had any interest in sex he'd bang more times than a
screen door in a hurricane but like many children of abuse the sexual
part of his brain has been burned out by freaks. Kenny doesn't have sex
as far as I know.
When the elevator voice let us know we reached
our destination the doors cracked wide and there stood Amy Carissa, the
walking testament to the beauty of the Italian people. Amy is about
5'3" and shaped like an hour glass if all the sand in the glass reached
the bottom. Her olive complexion flawless and her glossy dark brown
hair perfect. Amy has an aquiline nose, an oval face and warm
expressive dark brown eyes, that is if she likes you. If she doesn't
her eyes can look like shark's eyes, cold, deadly and lifeless. I get
those eyes most of the time. Amy is a graduate of Stanford and has a
post grad degree from the London School of Economics.
mouth splits into a wide grin at the sight of Kenny. I'm dazzled by her
naturally straight, naturally white teeth. She plants a big wet sloppy
kiss on Kenny's cheek which promptly makes him turn ten different
shades of purple in embarrassment and gives him a big hug. Amy starts
jabbering away at Kenny about forty different things at once while
shooting daggers at me with her eyes. She's very protective of Katrina,
everyone here is. Most of the people here don't know who I am or what I
do when I come around. They think I'm some sort of security consultant
or something. They all keep their distance from me. Since they are all
sheep, they react to the predator stench I give off.
I say to
Amy, "Does the queen have a minute" She ignores me so I ask again in a
harder tone. "Amy, I would like to see Katrina for a minute please!"
This brings her up short and she whirls around on her expensive heels.
She coldly glares at me and says to Kenny to go right ahead and use the
computers. I tell him not to mess around and to only do the things I
ask. He mumbles something as he heads off to an empty cubicle to do his
Amy stares at me some more so I say to her 'What's your
problem now" The response I get is crossed arms and the tap of one
small foot so I decide to wait her out. I'm a state raised thief and
convict so I can easily out wait her. I've had the practice. I've out
waited social workers, doctors, cops, screws, convicts, Drill
Sergeants, Gunnery Sergeants, Officers, marks, targets and anything
that is thrown at me. One tiny woman is no problem.
a minute or so she comes around and says, "You caused a lot a problems
the last time you tried to help. Katrina doesn't need you to cause
anymore problems. Why should I let you see her, you're dangerous."
kept my face bland but I was furiously thinking to myself that I didn't
cause the problem last time, I solved them and bought Katrina freedom
from entanglements. I can't explain this to civilians because they
don't understand, especially the cost involved, so in stupid Holiday
fashion I square up on her.
That was rookie mistake number one.
Amy worked hard to shed her Ozone Park Queens accent. She grew up in a
family with four older brothers. One became a cop, one a fireman, one a
hood like her old man and one a priest. She doesn't scare easily. She
steps closer to me and grinds the heel of her shoe onto my instep. That
maneuver is galling because I taught her that one. She says in a low
voice, "Fuck ya, ya' miserable cocksucka." You can take the girl out of
Queens but not Queens out of the girl.
To be continued...
"I seem to remember being dangerous bought me many a morning in your
bed." Rookie mistake number two. Amy's eyes narrowed down to slits and
they burned bright with a furious anger. Her stare was hard enough to
melt titanium. She took a deep breath and said, "Those days are done,
Holiday. It never was about you anyway. It was about me and how little
I thought of myself. You? You were just a tool to make me feel bad
about myself. You and the others but I'm not that weak little girl
anymore. So I'll say it again, why should I let you see Katrina?"
she and I have business, that's why," I said in a tone that I usually
reserve for punks and snitches. Rookie mistake number three. Amy says,
"Oh what now tough guy, going to beat me up? Or something like that?"
"Amy, you know I don't hurt women. C'mon, what's going on here?"
deep soul weary sigh escapes her and she says, "I know about what
happened last time, ALL of it, and I don't want ANY of that to blow
back on Katrina. I think that if I keep you away or at a distance,
nothing you do will taint her, understand?" I don't know what to say
to this but that's not unusual. I never know what to say to Amy so I
play to my one and only strength and lie like a rug. "Amy, I just need
to talk to Katrina for a moment and it has mostly just to do with Kenny
anyway." I play my one trump card, Kenny, and hope she buys it. If not,
I might have to force my way in and that would turn ugly fast, real
I see a change come over Amy's face at the same time I track
movement coming up from my left side so I step back and pivot slightly
to my left to put my back against the wall and cover the hallway. I see
a tall, good looking kid coming towards us with obvious hero tendencies
written all over his bland, unformed suburban face. Good, it's been an
hour since I kicked somebody's ass and I was missing the rush.
is everything all right here?" he asks in the irritating, smug tone of
a kid who thinks he's important. It also says he's either throwing a
hump in Amy or wishing he was. This is really pissing me off and since
I have little if no impulse control I tell him, "Kid, go back to your
sheep pen. This ain't your problem, understand?" I know he won't, he
smells like a dope and a pansy. Or like I think about it, suburban. The
kid line really hit the mark, his brow furrows and color creeps up into
his metro sexual looking face. I don't think he got the sheep remark.
man!" he says, "You don't want to try me bra, I'll kick your ass!"
Music to my ears, thanks for walking into the trap, dope. A low squeal
emits from Amy and she says, "Jason no! Don't do anything! Go back to
your office now. Please!" Amy's pleading tone really makes me mad and
she knows what I can do. She saw me fuck up three douche bag Hells
Angels outside of a bar in Cave Creek. She knows about my background
and how I look when I get pissed. I was smiling, that means trouble.
I say, "you might be the toughest cocksucker in your frat at college
but here you're nothing more than a punching bag. Fuck off and go away
before I turn you into a stain on the carpet." Do something stupid, I
think, c'mon do something stupid please. Like a good little boy, he
The kid tries to push me but I step outside his arm, put his
wrist in a lock and slam an open hand strike just under his heart. This
makes the recipient of such a strike skip a heart beat or two and stuns
them with a pain like a heart attack. I use his pain to pull him down
to his knees and then I tell him in a whispery threatening voice, "Kid,
when I say for you to do something, you do it, clear? Because next
time, "bra" I will leave you dead. Take shallow breaths, your air will
be back in a couple of minutes." I get up and say to Amy, "Take care of
your boy friend, I'm going to see Katrina now." As I walk away I see
Amy kneeling next to the kid, stroking his hair and speaking earnestly
to the little jerk. I guess my days or more accurately my nights with
Amy are over. Oh well, I'll miss her I guess.
I make my way
unmolested to Katrina's office door and stop before I go in. I take a
deep breath to center myself and get under control. Even though I have
lived a wild violent life full of adventure and mayhem, I still feel
like a small child around Katrina. I almost don't want to go in and see
her but I have to. She runs at the same level as my client and she
might know about her and the girl I'm supposed to find. Katrina is an
info source, an important one.
To be continued...