Locked up with the Badboy.

I take a seat on the floor in front of him, "What?"

He combs a hand through his dark hair and sighs, "This is a maximum security prison, the people here have killed babies, shot up schools , killed multiple partners and run crime rings and you, are saying that I'm mean? "


21. Drive


“You don’t recognise me?” Red suit says jovially. Another pair of eyes flashes behind him, grinning as they take stock of the state we’re in.

“Why I used to work for you Pope, I’m quite a few rungs below but…” He blows the end of a revolver, “I figure Maala won’t mind me and my boy overstepping ourselves a little.”

Ben’s eyes flick around the room, maybe searching for an escape? He finds none, ”Listen what’s your name?”

Red suit swaggers a little, “Most people call me Flame.”

“Right, and how much are you wanting Flame?”

“Ahh,” Flame laughs, “How much you got to offer?”

“Hmm, 750K to let us out of the door, nothing more.” My back is still pressed against the cold tiled wall and a shiver runs down my spine involuntary. Nevertheless I’m slightly impressed by Ben, trying to barter in only his underwear.

The guy laughs, his ugly henchman laughs. The moment Ben tries to laugh with them their faces turn grim again, “You must think I’m stupid.” Says red, ugly henchman nods.

“Two Million then.”

Red shakes his head and carefully strides into the room, “I’m not stupid as you, I know that when you betray Maala you give yourself a death sentence. I’m surprised you lasted this long kid.” I feel Ben’s arms tense up at the ‘kid’. Before he can say anything Flame swings his body back and kicks Ben square between his legs. Dropping my protection to his knees.

With Ben down I’m fully exposed, Flame barely pays attention to me but the lecherous grin of his henchman causes me instinctively try to cover myself with my hands. I’m still totally naked as Flame notices me.

“Ha,” he spits on the back of Ben’s head, “You’ve been playing with your whores again.” giving him another kick in the direction of the toilet Flame smiles a sad smile, “You were so famous Pope, with your parties and your woman and your cars and your lifestyle. Why’d you throw it all away?”

Ben spits, blood and tries to push himself up, “She’s not a bloody whore.”

“What’s that?” Flame says grabbing a bottle of Listerine.

“SHE’S NOT A BOLLDY WHORE.” Ben shouts, managing to sit up.

“You need to chill out,” Flame says unscrewing the lid and pouring Listerine into Ben’s eyes. “Hey Phony, come take this girl into the next room. I’ll see who’s a whore when I’m done with him.”

My body goes limp as Phony pinches my arm and drags me away from Ben’s screams. He closes the door behind us and leads me to the kitchen.

 Phony has a gun too, letting go of my arm he pulls it out and points it at my head, “You see this Darlin, I could blow yer head off righ now.” I nod, slowly beginning to realise what’s going to happen to Ben. Phony seems to think I’m scared of him, “Yea that’s right gurl, if you don do whad I say I can shoot you. You’s like mine property.”

I try to keep my body covered with my hands, but there’s too much of me. Phony grins appreciatively, “You come over here gurl.”

Shaking my head I try not to give in to fear. But it’s so hard because I’m so exposed.

“I said COME Here gurl.” He shouts at me. This time I reluctantly obey. walking over to him. Phony sits on a barstool and pats his lap until I sit on it. “Yeh that’s it gurl, that’s whad I wan.” He wraps an arm around my stomach. His touch is nothing like Ben’s, It’s foreign, unwanted, harmful.

“I’m thinkin I’ll eaither do ya doggy style or you can suck me dry.” He slips the gun back into the waistline of his jeans and using two hands he massages my boobs.

I let out a yelp, and he clamps his hand around my mouth, “Shud up, or I’ll shoot you, cripes gurl, you gonna get Flame angry at me.” One of his hands clutches my arm, squeezing until his fingers leave a bruise and I feel tears well up in my eyes, “Now you gonna speak again?” He commands.

I shake my head.

“That’s a good gurl now.” Phny licks the back of my neck then reaches under my bum to rum his small thingy. The other hand trails my waist. With all the movement his gun clatters from his waistband to the floor in front of us. Automatically we both stop moving, stare at the gun. “Now gurl,” he begins, “you’re gonna stay right here okay?”

But I’m already moving, sweeping up the gun and pointing it at him, “No you stop moving.”

He moves fast, snaking his arm up and grabbing me, I try to kick him, then use my knee, he moves away from me but still has a hold on my gun arm. “Led’s dance princess.”

We struggle until we’re in front of the window. Phony stomps on my foot and I cry out. “Shud up,” he says, “Da Boss will get ang-“

I drop the gun, and as he lets go of me to grab at it I kick him as hard as I can with the flat of my foot. Phony goes shooting backwards and through the window. Suddenly everything is quiet. Snatching up the gun and slowly making my way forwards I peer out, we’re at least twenty stories up and on the ground people are reduced to small dots.

Wind swirls around my hair as the dots begin to cluster around a splat of red directly below me, “Oh shit.” I say. Standing up, “What did I do?”

Common sense tries to abandon me, but I cling to it. My first thought is checking if he’s alright, my second is Ben.

From the still closed bathroom door I hear a slick whipping sound. Running over I feel the cool handle beneath my palm, what am I going to do? He’s got a gun!

It’s only moments later that I realise; so do I.

“Three, two one.” The whispered countdown gives me courage as I yank the door open. ‘The empire hotel’s’ bathroom’s are big. It takes me a moment to locate him.

Flame is a professional, the moment I made a noise he began turning with his gun, in the split second that is my advantage I shoot.

Flame looks surprised, then annoyed as he falls. “Arrrg, crap.” He shouts, “You shot me.” As he reaches for the gun again I runover and stomp on his hand. The big thug begins to cry as I point both guns toward him. “It was only a job, nothin personal.”

I almost feel sorry for him, until Ben rolls over and shows me that yes, it was most definitely personal. First both eyes are squinty from the mouth wash, his hair is damp from both blood and particles of broken glass wile his throat is bruised and the front of his chest is crisscrossed with red lines. Hanging up on the doorway is  towel with needles threaded through it. I feel like I’ve walked into a horror scene.

“Hey I’m sorry for calling you a whore alright, I can even pay you.” He begins, clutching his bleeding right arm. I point my gun, right at his head. Can I do it? Can I kill another man.

Images of  my dying brother’s body flood into my mind and hands shaking I drop the gun, shooting Flame in the stomach again. He cries out and Ben comes back to consciousness yelling, “You have a stupid thug name too.”

“Ben!” I say, “Come on we gotta go,”

He tries to get to his feet, but slips on a combination of his own blood and the piss that’s coming out of Flame’s pants.

I reach out and together we leave the bathroom. Ben launches himself at the kitchen sink and runs water over his blazed eyes. After half a minute I grab him and we start running again, this time down the emergency stairs, “Did you shoot him Clara?” he asks, “Did you ice them both.”

“No,” I cry, “They’re still alive.” Then more to myself, “I hope.”

“It’s a shame,” he says limping, then falling down a flight of stairs.

“Ben,” I cry picking him up and placing one of his arms over my head. Together we make it to the lobby, retrieving both our bikes. “Man you have great Boobs,” he laughs as we straddle our motorbikes and accelerate out of the building.

It’s only as we come to our first traffic light that I realise what he’s saying. Other then out helmets and boxers we’re riding through the streets of Lulsa, Texas naked.

“Ben, we should go back for clothes,” I yell as people around us begin to take out their phones.         “We carrent,” he says spitting  out a mouthful of blood. “Flame was on the phone to his boss, O’vo are coming.”

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