I was drunk when I first saw her, and I joked with myself that if I talked to her, she’d probably be the death of me. An hour later, with three guns pointed at me - as I held her hostage - it turned out maybe I was right.
I hated the smell of concrete. Especially wet concrete. They were nice enough to spray a hose on the floor and wash the blood down a drain in the middle of the floor. The place used to be some kind of industrial repair shop or something. The drain had been used for oil and chemicals, and to wash the floor, but probably never intended for blood, teeth, chips of bones, even brains. No lie. Human brains.
Zander was like a king in his high court, standing above the people, waving with his fat wrists and fatter fingers; gold rings so tight around his fingers they turned purple. I swore that one day his fingers were all going to just fall off.
They never did though.
He sweat so much he had someone stand behind him with a rag to dab his neck and forehead when needed.
I stood to his left, in nothing but a skimpy top and too tight black pants. The shirt was low cut, and lucky for me I was at least allowed to wear a bra. Some of the women weren’t. Those who had smaller chests were told to go braless because it looked better. For me, the one time I tried, Zander told me my breasts hung too low. Like I needed to hear that. I wasn’t even thirty and my boobs were sagging?
Then again, what did it matter? I was two feet deep in organized crime and had no promise of tomorrow. Hell, I had no promise of an hour. Not with what I was looking for. From day one, my mother always pointed at me and told me I was looking for trouble.
It was just in my nature, I guess.
But sometimes, trouble just came to me.
Standing there, trying to be as invisible as possible, I looked down and met eyes with him. He stood well over six feet tall, a leather jacket pulled tight against wide shoulders, with a dirty looking t-shirt under that. He froze and looked up at me. Our eyes met and I felt my lip curl. His lips puckered just a little, mister oh-so-cool, and then he ran a hand through his dirty blonde hair.
And he just stood there, staring at me. Like he owned me. Like he could possess me at a distance.
“You want to fuck him?” a voice growled next to me.
I blinked and looked at Zander. “What? Who?”
“Fuck boy down there,” he said, his accent rumbling like a mean thunder. “You want to fuck him. That’s what you look for.”
“Then fine,” Zander said. “Then I fuck him. He’s going to fight.”
My heart jumped.
I think I just got that guy killed…
I felt a hand clamp down on my shoulder. Before that, I saw the reflection of the big guy coming at me. See, if I turned too quick, there was a chance he could pull a gun or take a cheap shot. I was built tough but not out of metal. A punch could kill me as easily as a punch could kill an eight foot man. What made me good was my ability to sense and react. Even if I was a few drinks deep. Even if I was at some warehouse-garage thing with a bunch of foreigners all looking to make money on fights. For once, I was supposed to be the spectator, not the fighter.
Until that goddamn hand clamped down on my goddamn shoulder.
My buddy Cormac was next to me, rambling about some debt he had to settle and some guy he wanted to punch for messing around with a woman he wanted to fuck. I kept my focus steady and the second the hand clamped on my shoulder, I spun, ready to attack.
I swung my beer glass and slammed it against the son of a bitch’s head. It exploded, spraying dark beer everywhere. My hand started to bleed instantly from the glass, but the guy who touched me had it worse. He stumbled back and looked shocked as shit. He touched his head and there was a large shard of glass sticking out of it.
“You cut me,” he said.
“You fucking touched me,” I replied.
By then Cormac entered the frame.
He loved to fight as much as me. He didn’t do it like I did though. I was underground. I was illegal. I flirted with death as wildly as I did with a woman with a nice pair of tits.
Speaking of which… how about that dark haired beauty up on the ledge…?
“What the fuck are ya doing?” Cormac spat.
The man I hit touched the glass in his head. “It’s got me. It’s stuck me.”
His accent cracked as he talked.
“Ah, you baby,” another man said.
He came up behind the first guy and grabbed him by the hair. He then grabbed the piece of glass and pulled it from the guy’s head.
“There, now you’re unstuck.”
The wounded guy dropped to his knees and groaned.
“He’ll be fine,” the other guy said. He smiled and then quickly pulled a gun. He pointed it right at me. “You, motherfucker, you get to come with me. And leave your friend behind.”
I looked at Cormac and shrugged my shoulders.