The tang of jazz played in an echoing, lullaby soft through the car, as the driver and lone passenger minding themselves through the busy roads. The driver looking ahead, careful of the roads in the most neutral of ways. The passenger clicking and sliding on their phone, silencing when certain tones and rings broke out, making sure the driver paid no mind, yet the glancing eyes to each other made it clear.
“He seemed pretty pissed of you walking out like that.” The driver stated.
“When is he not? I don’t get to be out that much, and it was just a pick up, after all. We done this loads of times. What made today any different?”
“Maybe the buyers.”
The passenger rolled their eyes from the dry tone, eyes soon focusing on the phone once more.
“Well, I guess after everything is settled. He’ll calmed down and forget all about it.”
“Before or after he finds another reason to freak out. Trust me when I say this; he’ll never let it be. Ain’t the most honest of when it comes to letting there be peace among mankind.”
“You could always leave, you know?”
The passenger just shook their head, finally putting the phone away after turning it off.
“Why not? He might finally get the point.”
“I owe him too much to simply up and walk out. This is just how we are.”
“Why would you owe him? From how he talked about you way back, seems like he owes you, a lot.”
“Nah, not that simple. Never is, be us two or when big brother comes along.”
“Sil can be a loudmouth bastard but he means well.”
“Maybe now, though he was a lot worst back then. I think that’s why it was easy for him and Fox to run. And hey, they found you guys out of sheer dumb luck. That doesn’t happen a lot in this hellhole.” The passenger replied, looking out the tinted window, scanning the few joggers out in the morning light.
“You make it sound like them leaving you behind, didn’t break their hearts. You were like a sister to them. I mean around Sil, you act like there is nothing wrong and do well with everyone else. The moment you and Fox are in a room together, you want bite his head off.”
“I’m grateful that they found a better place. I’m not happy that I was brought into it. But hey, I am not to look away from a well payment sum. So your leader found a keeper in me.”
“If everything was so bad. What kept you just offing yourself? Fox came rushing back with you in arms, like he seen a ghost. And by the way the clean up wasn’t the funniest thing, I kid you not.”
The passenger let a smirk grow on their face, before bluntly calling out. “Did he ever say where he found me?”
“The broken wayside bridge. So?”
“What makes you think that I didn’t find a way out? Fox is like a hound . . . I just wasn’t quick enough to escape this city.”
Silence rolled in after the words were said. The driver giving an uncertain gaze to the other next to them, seeing the other to only continued on looking out the window. The jazz music swiftly changing to a news broadcast of a police chase, but otherwise, everything felt like a static coat laying thick in the air.
“What were they like?”
“You know damn well who, don’t start this. Fucking hell.” The driver hissed out, barely coming to a stop near a red light, a hard glare now set on the other.
The passenger shrugged.
“Yona, come on. I won’t rat you out.”
“They’ll find out one way or another. The moment Sil or hell, even Fox find out. You’re leader will want nothing to do with me.”
“The buyers, you knew them. Right?” The driver asked, looking forward once more as the street light turned green, taking a few turns until they were closer in sight of the mountain lanes over looking the water shore.
“Up to the bridge, I did. Running was the logic choice of a good idea after I found the snitch. The reason for working as their dealer, had no point anymore.”
“A snitch? In what group?”
“The one your leader kindly gave his welcomes to when he found out what they did to Fox and Sil.”
“Dael or Maddox, are who you’re talking about.”
“Doesn’t matter which at this point; snitches are the flies to anyone ears, if the money is good, and the thrills are a dime a dozen at hand, it’s all the same. I was gone long before that and just getting by with petty pockets, wimpy junkies, and lonely alleys.” Saying in a tone of fondness almost.
The driver’s stare said otherwise, but let the other go on, with a quiet plea to do so.
“Those at the docks were nothing like Maddox in the slightest and Dael was a bitch with strong teeth and a cackle whip, nuts as they come, getting that slash and toss was the best thing that ever happen for me. Maddox was keen on limiting the problems in this city from the bottom up. I said no at first, but-”
“The snitch was going after Fox and Sil, if you didn’t comply.”
“Pretty much. And having no idea at the time, I followed Maddox’s words to the end. Cutting it close into running into the past, but I was able to make enough, even under his nose. Pinky not included and more as a wager.” The passenger said, eyes meeting at the right palm tapping in an unknown rhythm to the gentle hit against the car windowsill, watching as the stubby scarred limb grazed against the glass.
“Until you saw an opening, I take it.”
“Yep. I took the chance at the river bend as you must have saw, tech boy. When he wasn’t looking, it was just too easy to let that slip. The moment I saw that man walk out of Maddox’s office, I had to settle the score. Letting Dael think it was a gig gone south was the best way to let it go. Have who was left to take the glory and be gone before the cops showed up.”
“Clever, but very stupid. Because of that, you had Fox on your sense after that when he saw the footage of what happen. Never thought I would see Pim seething about Fox’s happiness, if you could call it that. He was pretty . . . off charted when seeing some of Maddox ringers and you there, beating Dael’s group to the punch. I guess that was another reason they ran? They were close to a snitch, themselves.”
“And to them I will forever remain as one. But as far as your leader knows and hopefully still, I’m just good at my job and I know his sharp eye and second command well, got it.”
“What did Pim want with the river bend haul?”
“Why do you think? Our tickets of living don’t come cheap and there is always someone looking for those who have the nicest toys. Got to think ahead and see who is out to top us. Maddox was a cracked vase ready to be canned, don’t see of how he was a threat.”
“See it from the insight brought a whole new picture to it. Reason why Sil and Fox should never know. And Pim doesn’t like to share. That I have noticed.”
“Fox’s got him wrapped around his finger when comes to those new into our family. Reason why you got off easy at times. Don’t push and think lightly here.”
“Fucking hell, things I didn’t need to know about here, tech boy. Nasty.”
“You think I like bring up their so-called love life? News flash: I don’t. But everyone has to suffer from that. They do the same with anyone, if given the chance.”
“Trouble in paradise over there?”
“Don’t know or smart enough not to go into details?”
The driver gave a light laugh there, pulling up to a building, turning off the car with a flick of the wrist, reaching around back of the van for some things. As the passenger looked through the glove compartment.
“Nothing funny here. Just a drop off and then we go east from here.”
“Church Hall’s lumbers is going to be a pose rose after this.” Yona said, glancing over at the opening of the barn area, having her shoulders stiff, elbowing the tech driver to sit back in place.
“Is that décor or are we fucked?”
The driver looked to where the other pointing out, his body clenched and reached for his phone in his breast pocket. Making a quick dial. Barely able to stop Yona from exiting the van.
“Get back here this-”
“Get them on the line and here stat. I’ll look around. Not back in five or you hear hellhole gunshots. Bolt.”
“Yona . . . wait.” The driver hissed out, but stopped when hearing the other end of the phone ring out, replying to the other end, watching with falcon eyes of his partner heading in alone. “Pim, we have a problem. I don’t know what it is, but Yona is heading in now. Shit, I-I don’t know, Co-Sec. Looks bad. Yeah, okay, get here fast. Yeah, yeah, everything is looking fi-”
The echoing caps of metal rained through the open area of the barn. Before soon, it was silence again. The driver reported, following with that he was going in after. Repeating in his mind that backup was coming, but it would take time. His partner said to bolt, yet he ran after, just to be in reach in time to see a red dot zone on his chest. Having him freeze in spot.
Counting down the seconds before barely letting a flinch take place, but looked down when seeing the dot gone and a distance light thud from to the ground.
“I said bolt, dumbass.”
“Would have, if it wasn’t Fox on the line. Thought it would be wise to disobey.”
“Acting on that is going to get you killed, need not on reminder there.”
The driver shrugged, before meeting up where Yona hid from sight, seeing a few spare bodies on the ground in pools of blood. Iron masked the air chokingly.
“Pre-set gone bad. They were already like this. The one on the barn’s roof and the two in the corner are new. Someone beat us here and played the waiting game.”
“Smells like Beda’s work. Boss should know that there is someone after his swindle chimes.” Yona said, nodding her head over to the spray painted walls near the goods that were tamper with.
“Another past of yours?”
“No way that’s true. Come on, let’s head back to the van and wait at the still lot for the others.”
“That won’t be a fucking problem. We’ll see Sil here in less than it took us to get here. The bastard.” Yona said back, with a growing grin on her face, side hand wipe a smear of gore off her chin that was nicked from a stray bullet, making it worst as she did.
Both walking away and into the van, without a glance behind them, as they rolled down the hill. Waiting for the others to show up. During the time, only speaking in few words to each other.
“Like I said. Someone is after Pim’s throat. Fox couldn’t come.”
“You knew about this. Didn’t you?”
“I’m good at my job.”
“Fucking hell, really?”
“When you are label as a snitch; you’re able to get some details most won’t get. This was the best thing. For everyone. Even if Fox’s is cross with me. He would be like the others back there and boss not his usual charming self.”
“You never brought this up, because-”
“Believe what you want. I ain’t saying anything more until the others get here. You know enough already. What more could you need to hold over me?”
“You said the truth to hide a lie.”
“I’m good at my job.” Yona said once again, arms crossed as she looked out the window, keeping an eye out for anything that was not needed for them to deal with.
“After all this is done. Is the bridge still going to be worth it?”
“Always. Beda goes down and I’m out. For everyone’s sake. Fox will understand. He’s got Pim, Sil, you, and everyone else at the family. I’m not needed. I’m the past.”
“You’re a bitch if anything else.”
Yona just crooked a smile to the driver, before saying. “I’m good at my job, what else is there to say when that’s the truth you need?”
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