A sudden lurch, followed by the sound of a wheel landing in a pot hole, woke me up and I tried to sit up only to slam my forehead into something metal. Darkness surrounded me when I opened my eyes and the sound of the wind passing by outside sounded almost like a jet engine.
Damn, I couldn’t believe that I let Lacey outsmart me like that, especially when I had to goods on her. Of course she killed her father because if it’d been planned by a third party, she’d’ve been dead long before reaching Achernar. That was a little fact that slipped past Janice, Alex and I and now it became my problem.
Trying to determine where one is at without being able to see is a challenge because other than lying on my back, I can’t tell a damn thing about where I am. The ceiling is metal, that much was for certain, but the section to my left and the floor were carpeted. Throw in the sound of the wind and it takes me less than a second to figure out where I’m at.
I’m in the trunk of a car.
No doubt Lacey’s henchmen were taking me somewhere outside of town where no one would find my body. That would be what I’d do in her shoes given the situation the little bitch found herself in. Did she honestly think that either the organization or I would figure out the truth?
How many men would she have tasked with killing me? Sending only one would be just about a sure fire invitation for me to escape. Two would take more work because it’s hard to kill one without the other making a move. If it’s three I can give it up because there wasn’t a chance in hell of beating them.
I feel around for anything that could be used for a weapon. There wasn’t a need to search for the tire iron, because it’d be kept with the spare tire which was in a compartment under me. My fingertips brush against something metallic and I carefully feel around and find a long, cylindrical object. One end is concaved like the bottom of a soda can while the other had a button that could be depressed.
A spray can.
The car slows to a stop as I finger around and find how to aim the can and then pull it close to me. No telling what’s in it, but it certainly couldn’t be good to either breath of get hit in the face with, which would certainly give me enough time to get out of the car. Besides, no matter how skilled I am, I’m still a teen of average height and build; the man sent to kill me more than likely make me look small, so anything that helps me level the playing field is a good thing.
Someone opens the driver’s door and then the passenger follows suit as my heart starts to beat faster. Why the hell am I even in this situation? I’m an assassin for hire, not someone that the mafia would want dead. If only Janice hadn’t taken this damn job, then none of this would be happening.
Rocks crunch under the foot as I take the last few seconds to judge how many were coming. One, two, three then four footfalls and my spirits start to climb. Ok, so the bitch sent two fuckers to try and send me to the afterlife. Well, I got news for them; that ain’t happening.
“Don’t underestimate this girl,” one said. “Make sure you’ve got your gun out.”
“She’s not even awake yet,” the second said, his voice a hair softer which told me he was further away. “That’s a really good rap on the head Emilio gave her.”
No shit Sherlock, I thought.
The trunk lid starts to rise and the first of the light reaches me and it hurts, fuck it did, as my eyes struggled to compensate for the sudden brightness. Every instinct in my body is screaming to me to close my eyes, but I don’t dare do so. If I were to give in, then my life would end right here and I didn’t want to only make seventeen.
In a move that takes the two wise guy’s by surprise, I shove the trunk lid upwards and then extended my arm. The button gave way under my finger and then depressed, opening up the spray end. A brown chemical shot from the end, striking the closest man in the face.
He shrieked and then dropped his pistol as he brought both hands up and started to claw at his eyes. The second man went to raise his gun as I pointed the can at him and then pressed the button again. Another load of chemical shot towards him and the gangster dropped his weapon and tried to cover his face with both hands.
I rolled out of the trunk and landed on the ground hard enough to nearly knock the wind from me. The first man continued to scream and he staggered about blindly but he wasn’t the one I was concerned about.
Because he’d been smart enough to stand further back in case I did something like this, the second fucker didn’t get enough of the spray in his face to blind him. Now it would be a race to see who got to a weapon first and that was one contest I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, lose.
I grab the pistol as I rolled clear of the staggering man and then brought it up the fire. The gangster looks me in the eye before his grow wide. No doubt the fucker just realized what kind of shark he’d cornered but it was too little too late. If the fucker would’ve used his goddamn head, then he’d’ve never tried the kill me.
The pistol kicks in my hand and the first .45 round strikes him in the chest, blasting a hole through him, sending blood flying before he hit the ground. I scrambled to my feet and raced over to where he lay and then put two into his head.
Now, time to take care of the blinded one and get the fuck out of here. Two rounds to his head put him down and I then toss the pistol onto the ground beside the corpses before approaching the car.
I peer through the window at the back seat and a wolfish smile mars my pretty features. On the floor behind the driver’s seat were my cloak, gloves and pistol and I start to laugh uncontrollably. Lacey might fashion herself as some fucking criminal genius but a fucking idiot is who she really is.
Maybe calling her a fucking idiot is too harsh; perhaps arrogant bitch would be a better description. Who else would send only two men to kill an assassin of my caliber and, if that wasn’t enough, bring all my gear at the same time? If that didn’t rank up there with Custer, then I don’t know what did.
For the first time I stop and take a look around to see where the hell I’m at. Fields of soybeans and peanuts surround me on all sides and when I look at where we came all I see is a small farm path that stretched off into the distance. Christ, it all looks the same so I use the sun to figure out my directions before starting a short way down the path.
A quick look at the GPS on my computer and I let out a sigh of resignation. Forty miles to the city of Richmond, then I’ve got to figure a way back to Darbytown from there. The car will be useless before long because Lacey will be expecting a call from twiddle-de and twiddle-dumb and when they don’t check in she’ll no doubt report the vehicle stolen.
The pistol felt reassuring as I slip it back into the holster and then pull the cloak over me to stay warm. How long have I been out? It’s a three hours or more drive to Richmond from Darbytown and that didn’t count the shuttle flight or the time to get here.
My head is throbbing, and not just from the lump on the back, as I slip into the driver’s seat and start the motor. A feeling of nausea washes over me for a second and I lay my forehead against the steering wheel and wait for it to pass.
“Oh you fucking bastards,” I whispered. “You fucking drugged me. You goddamn assholes. I’m going to fucking kill you!”
Given how rough the path is, it’s a fucking miracle that I didn’t get beat to death while in the trunk. I’d love to know how to the dynamic duo back there managed to get a car this far back! If anything, they should’ve used a truck to get to the spot, but then they would have a hard time hiding me that way.
Not surprisingly, nothing is coming when I pull out onto the main road. According to my computer I’m in the western edge of Goochland County, not far from Columbia, Va and a good hour’s worth of driving from the city. However, to get to Richmond, I’ve got to travel through the county courthouse, which is a place I could get stopped when Lacey makes her phone call.
The two lane road runs through some of the prettiest countryside I’ve seen. Gently rolling hills and the occasional view of the James River makes the time seem to fly as I keep to the speed limit. No need to draw attention to myself; the more I stay below the radar the better it is for this entire situation.
Janice barely got the information about the security agency killer, and that Lacey killed her on father, to me in time. The messages had been sent in two parts to lessen the risk of interception and increase the odds that I’d get at least one piece of the pie. While Janice did good work getting it, and trust me I’m proud of her and Alex’s legwork after my request, it’d been nice to have known this before leaving Achernar.
A light blinks on the car’s control panel to alert me of an incoming call. No doubt it was Lacey wanting to check on her hitters and to find out if I’m dead. Now it’s decision time. Ignore the call and she’ll know something is wrong and make her countermoves. Answer it and she’ll know for sure I’m alive and things will become very interesting indeed.
Might as well just answer it, I thought.
“Mareth, I should’ve known you’d find a way to remain alive.”
“Yes, you should have.”
“How did you like being outsmarted?”
“An arrogant bitch and annoying at the same time. You’ve got a full house going.”
“Do I detect a little anger showing? Am I hitting a nerve?”
“The only thing you’re hitting is the asshole quota for the day.”
“There’s not a chance in hell you’re leaving Earth alive.”
“I like it here, think I’ll stay for a while. Hell, maybe permanently just to piss your sorry ass off.”
“You’re out of your league, Mareth. It’s time for the adults to play.”
“Well, bitch, if that’s the fucking case, let me clue you in on some ‘adult’ advice. When you go to kill someone, finish the goddamn job!”
“Interesting. I’ll take that under consideration.”
“And here’s something else to consider. You’re a fucking arrogant little rich bitch.”
“And you’re going to be dead soon, Mareth. If my people don’t get you, the government will.”
“Maybe, but I’ll promise you one thing. I’m going to end your miserable life. And you’re going to die screaming.”
The silence on the other end told me the message was received loud and clear.
“One last thing, Lacey.”
“Fuck you.” I said before killing the connection.