Six months ago I knew exactly who I was, what I wanted and how to get it. I dodged the law and lived on the profits. I didn't do love or emotions, I just did sex and fun. In my world emotion can get you killed and it very nearly did. It was a painful way to prove my point. I almost wish I'd been proved wrong, that I could have a proper relationship and live my life the way that I did. I fell in love and I lost all perspective, my brain turned soft and I didn't figure things out like I normally would have and people died because of it. Two of those people deserved it, one was an innocent victim and one, the man that I loved betrayed me in the worst possible way but he didn't deserve to die. He just lost his way, he was a good man but his heart grew weak and he went over to the dark side, to my world and he didn't make it out alive. I couldn't figure out what hurt more; his betrayal or that the world I live in corrupted him.
My world was dark, my acquaintances were the lowest of the low and the law was a joke. The law only mattered if the filth caught you and even then there were ways around getting locked up. Last month the lord of the streets was killed and now all hell has broken loose, people are crawling over each other to try and claim his title. These people weren't bright, I could have taken his title, I could own the streets but then that would make me as bad as him. I'm no angel, I have done bad things and I have killed, I feel no remorse and yet filling his shoes scared me. Nothing in my life made sense anymore; people I thought I could trust with my life I now wouldn't even trust with a pen. I trusted few people before all this and now because of him I didn't trust anyone, not even myself. Part of me can't help but think that I must have known he was a bad guy all along and I was just so blinded by love that I didn't see it.
Red edge was dead, I'd worked here briefly not too long ago but it didn't work out so now I mostly just drink here and listen to the whispers. It's amazing what people talk about when they think no-one can hear them and once you've filtered out the bullshit you can use the information gained. Mostly people were talking about who was in the lead in the race to the top. There was a time when there would never have been any doubt and I would have won but now I wasn't even considered. It had been a month and still no-one had claimed ownership, it was getting boring.
"Hey." The guy sitting next to me interrupted my thoughts, I looked him over. He was a surfer; he had the hair, the muscles and the dress sense. He grinned at me, he had a cheeky smile
"Can I get you a drink?" In any other bar with any other girl this would seem like a perfectly nice and normal question.
"Now why would you wanna do that?"
"Because you've been sitting here on your own for the last hour."
"Maybe I'm waiting for someone."
"Maybe you're waiting for me." he grinned again, it was hard not to smile back.
"Maybe." I turned my attention back to the bar
"I'm Jason." He held out his hand, I looked at it and smiled to myself before picking up my beer and taking a mouthful, he put his hand back down.
"I'm new to town."
"Then I suggest you find another bar."
"Why? Seems alright in here."
"Look closer." I saw him scan the room out of the corner of my eye
"What am I looking for?"
"Two guys in the corner by the toilets." They were doing a drug score and that was one of the least worrying things happening.
I reached over and shut his mouth. He turned his attention back to me and grinned
"So like I said, it seems alright here."
"Well it's certainly something."
"So, you want another?" he hit the top of my bottle his, luckily it was empty.
"Actually, I think I'm leaving." I said just as I saw Montana walk in. I stood up and stretched, all the guys in the room were looking at me, I knew this because all of a sudden I felt dirty. I fought the urge to cringe.
"Really? Was it something I did?" he looked at me with puppy dog eyes
"No, I think it was probably something I did." Montana said pulling up a stool.
"Well that's a relief." Jason grinned. Montana sighed and shook his head
"It's been a month, how long are you gonna avoid me for?"
"As long as physically possible." It wasn't that I didn't want to see him; it was that it hurt being near him because I couldn't bare the thought of loving someone again. He was the one person that truly loved me for who I was, he loved every inch of me inside and out and now because of one person I couldn't stand the sight of him.
"Good luck with that babe." He turned back to the bar and ordered a drink. I picked up my bag and left before I broke down in front of him because that's just not cool.
I'm sure it killed him that he was so close to having me and then it was taken away from him. And I'm sure it also killed him knowing that I loved him as much as he loved me but I wasn't prepared to let myself get into that state of dependency ever again. Matt had broken me, he'd made me question everything about the way I lived my life and he made me trust him with my deepest secrets. He was the one that held me at night while I cried over the death of my daughter and all the while he was just biding time, pretending until the day came where I was expendable. I swore to myself and then I swore even more when I realised Montana had followed me out.
"Who are you shouting at?" he asked with an amused look on his face
"Whoever's listening, so you I guess?"
"So I'm a fucking retard?" now he was outright smiling, dick.
"So it would seem." I was far from amused, I was pissed off.
"Do I get to know what I did wrong?"
"Nothing, okay, you haven't done anything wrong. Just leave me alone. Please." I begged
"And if I say no?"
"Then you won't like the consequences."
"Why are you pushing me away? You told me you loved me. What the hell has changed?"
"Everything. I was in shock; I'd just seen a massacre which was all my fault. I didn't know what I was saying."
"You knew what you were saying. You're just scared of the fact you feel it."
"That's not true. I don't love you. I mean Christ; look at you. You would do anything for me; I could make you walk over hot coals just because. You're like a fucking puppy, following me around and hoping that I'll give you a little attention now and again." I snarled and shoved him, he grabbed my arms and pinned me to the wall
"And what about you? Huh? You think you're so clever, you think you know everything. So how come you keeping fucking up and then I have to clean up the mess. Tell me what would you do without me? How would you get yourself out of the shit you always seem to fall into?"
"I'd cope the same way I did before you ever darkened my door."
"Fine, if that's what you want then that's what you get. I'm out of your life." He let go of me and walked away.
I watched him disappear into the darkness and desperately wanted to stop him. No words formed in my mouth and my feet wouldn't move. I did need him in my life more then I would ever admit to even myself. And so I'd pushed him away, I'd made him choose to walk rather then me being the one to say goodbye. This way all the blame could be placed upon him and my conscience was clean well as clean as it could be. I pulled myself together and walked back into the bar. Jason was getting some hassle from a low life called Jimmy Ritz, not his real name but one that he had chosen, idiot. I walked over and Jimmy instantly took a step back
"Hey Jimmy, how's it going?" I smiled sweetly but he wasn't looking at my smile, he was looking at my eyes.
"Not bad. You?" he'd started to sweat and he looked on edge
"Can't complain. Sit down, take the load off." again I smiled but my eyes were not smiling and he did as they ordered.
"Two beers." I smiled at Ricky, "Jimmy's paying, aren't you Jimmy?"
"Yeah sure." He mumbled and handed over the money, I handed a drink to Jason
"So wanna tell me what I just walked in on?"
"Its none of your business." ooh I think his balls just dropped, I can't think of any other reason why he would speak to me like that. I smiled and put my arm around his neck tightly
"Sorry? I didn't quite catch that."
"I was just introducing myself."
"I see. Well next time you wanna introduce yourself, find out who he knows first. You remember what happened last time you crossed my path, right?"
"Yeah, I'm sorry." He tried to stand up so I sat him back down
"I'm not finished with you yet." I turned to Jason, "can you just give us a minute?"
"Sure." He smiled and went off to a table in the corner.
I watched Jason for a moment then turned my attention back to Jimmy
"So word on the street is that you're trying for top dog."
"So sweetheart, is it true?"
"Maybe. I'm not sure yet."
"Who are you running against?"
"A lot of people. Bad people."
"Bad people like who?"
"Alex Riding, Big Joe, some guy from outta town and some new kid called Alan or something like that."
"Alex and Joe are low level; they don't have what it takes. This guy from out of town, what's he like?"
"Don't know much; just know he's got a rep already. Pretty hardcore mother fucker if the stories are to be believed."
"And this new kid?"
"I really don't know much about him, just that he's some new up and comer and that he has a lot of anger in him."
"I want you to find out as much as you can about him and the other guy."
"What makes you think I'll help you? You almost killed me, twice." His voice rose an octave, I'm guessing that was his balls retracting, that thought made me smile and my smile made him turn white
"Because you're too scared not to." I grinned, kissed his shiny head and made my way over to Jason.
So Jason was talking at me but I wasn't hearing him. Who the hell were these two people Jimmy had mentioned? I'd heard whispers of them but nothing much to warrant them trying to be king. They were nobodies, at least Monroe had made a name for himself first, he crawled and killed his way up the food chain and it paid off, well till he got killed. To be honest it didn't require a lot of effort to own the streets, anyone could say they did, what worried me was how they planned to prove it and whether it would affect me.
"Are you okay?" Jason asked making me jump
"Yeah, sorry. What were you saying?"
"I asked you about your hands." I followed his gaze down at the newly formed scars
"I had a run in with someone that wasn't very friendly."
"Really? What did they do?"
"They stuck a knife through my hands."
"To stick them to a table so I wouldn't move."
"Wow, that's fucked up. Why did they do it?"
"They didn't like me."
"Why not? You seem like a nice person."
"That doesn't mean that I am." I grinned and drank my drink.
"Your fucking with me right?"
"What do you think?"
"I'd like to think yes but I'm starting to doubt that." he flashed me his cheeky grin again.
"So what brings you to town?"
"Needed a change of scenery."
"And you picked this sorry excuse for a town?"
"Yup." He grinned and finished his beer.
I know my limits, I know the line between drunk and paralytic, I never cross that line. Sure I'll get drunk, maybe I'll even throw up but I always know what I'm doing and I always remember. So waking up in a room covered in blood with a dead guy next to me and not remembering a thing about it was a little worrying to say the least. The only good thing about this was that it wasn't my blood I was covered in; it was his, whoever he was. He was so badly cut up that it was impossible to try and recognise him. He was naked so I couldn't even use his clothes to figure it out. My head was fuzzy and I felt sick, the sickness wasn't because I'd woken up next to a corpse, it was because I'm almost certain I must have been drugged. Nothing made sense, I was certain I'd gone home alone last night and yet here he was in my bed, in my house, dead. I glanced at the clock, it was almost midday. I ran my fingers through my hair then looked down at my shaking bloody hands. Fuck. I attempted to get out of bed, my legs didn't want to co-operate and so I fell out. Landing on the floor knocked some sense into me, I knew I had to get cleaned up and I knew I had to pack a bag and leave because whoever had done this was clearly setting me up and the police were probably on their way already.
I washed up as best and quickly as I could, no time for a shower. I put on some clean clothes and packed a bag. I was out of the door just as I heard the sirens approaching. I ran around the side of the house and reached my bike, then threw up. I pulled myself together, I didn't have time for dramatics, I prayed my stomach agreed. I put on my helmet and sped off in the opposite direction to the sirens. Hoping that I'd gotten out of sight before they arrived. My mind wasn't on top form so I had no idea where I was going. I guess autopilot took over because I ended up at an old hide out. It was a shitty disused factory that I'd equipped with cameras and traps, I would know if someone even looked at it funny. I dumped my bag and turned on the police scanner, I heard my name and that was all I really needed to know. Once again I had become the most wanted criminal in town except this time I was innocent, well as innocent as I could be. I showered and watched as the pink water ran down the plug hole. Who was he? Why was he in my bed? And how had he ended up dead? I was almost certain I hadn't killed him but it was all too familiar, I'd killed two men before almost exactly as he had been. Both of those men had deserved it and worryingly I'd had very little memory of killing them. I'd seen red, it was like I was watching someone that looked like me fight for my life and it was only days later that the horrifying reality of what had happened began to sink in and the memories came back. I just had to wait and see if that happened this time.
It's been a week, the only memories that came back to me were that of me arriving home a little tipsy, shutting my front door and then nothing. I knew I hadn't killed him, that meant someone else did and they were framing me, of that I was certain. I sat and listened to the police scanner absent mindedly until I heard a rookie cop mention the factory. I leant forward and turned up the radio. He was reporting it as suspicious and that he'd had a tip off that I was in here, he was then informed that under no circumstances should he enter the building alone and that back up was on its way. I didn't need to hear anymore. I grabbed my pre-packed bag and ran to the back. I flicked a switch and snuck out. I'd made it two blocks away when I heard the factory explode; I glanced back and saw a massive fireball engulf everything around it. I would have smiled at my handiwork but I didn't have time to be smug. I pulled my hood lower and kept my head down.
The room was dark and I'd been sitting here for hours just waiting. I would have fallen asleep but my brain was on overload. Eventually I heard the keys in the door and then voices, he wasn't alone. Fuck. I aimed the gun at the door and waited. It opened and the light came on. A pretty dark haired woman walked in, she was a little taller then me, cocaine skinny with dark eyes and tanned skin. She looked shocked to see me; well I guess it's not every day you walk in to find someone aiming a gun at you
"Montana." she called out to him, her voice was calm.
"Yeah?" he shouted from the hall
"You should probably come in here." She moved to the side to let him through, he looked at me, he wasn't happy to see me. I suspect it was something to do with the woman. She was holding onto his hand, it wasn't out of fear of my gun; it was to get a point across.
"She either leaves or I shoot her." I said matter of factly
"Then shoot me because I'm not leaving." Cocky little bitch.
"Don't tempt me darlin'. I've killed before I have no problem with shooting you. In fact you know what; I might just do it anyway." I cocked the gun, she moved back mostly because Montana was making her. They had words in the hall and then I heard the front door open and close.
Montana came back in and sat opposite me,
"You can put the gun down now. You don't need it." he watched as I put it down beside me. I leant back in the chair and allowed myself to relax a little
"Who was she?"
"Does it matter?"
"Just someone I've been seeing."
"Is it serious?" I looked him dead in the eyes, he shrugged, "how long have you been seeing her?"
"She's pretty." I said eventually, yeah it annoyed me that he was seeing someone but at the end of the day I had no right to be jealous, I could have had him if I wanted him enough.
"Why are you here?"
"Because I need your help." I suspect he wanted to throw our last conversation in my face.
"I think you're beyond my help. Your in serious trouble, I don't think I can get you out of it."
"I don't need to get out of it, I didn't do it. I didn't kill him. I don't even know who he was."
"Okay so look at it from my point of view, he was killed the same way as the guy in the motel and your father. Both of those you admit were your handiwork. He just so happened to be Jason Anders, a top dog from out of town looking to run the streets. He was your competition whether you were in the race or not."
"but I've never even met him before, I didn't even know about him." none of this made sense and I guess it showed on my face because Montana's face softened but only a little, I still wasn't as welcome as I would have been once.
"You were drinking with him the other night." holy shit, the cheeky guy from the bar was actually a hardened criminal and I had been none the wiser. Where the fuck had all my sense gone? I used to be smart, I used to figure things out on my own and I used to be able to get out of trouble easily.
I ran my fingers through my hair then shook my head; this was a mess, a big fucking mess.
"You having any flash backs?"
"No because I didn't kill him."
"Are you sure? I saw the body. If it wasn't you then who was it?"
"I don't know, all I know is I went to the bar, I had some drinks. I went home alone and that's it. I don't remember getting into bed; I don't remember anything from after I shut my front door."
"And how did you feel when you woke up?"
"Like shit, I felt sick. My mind was fuzzy and my legs were like jelly."
"Were you sick?"
"Was it outside?"
"Yeah." He grinned at my reply
"I wondered whose that was."
"This is serious. I'm fucked aren't I? How are the police gonna believe me if even you don't?"
"I do believe you. But only because you threw up. It has your name written all over it. You're lucky the police don't know about the others. At the moment you're a suspect because he was found in your bed and you didn't stick around."
"Yeah well with my history it didn't seem like a good idea."
"I don't know what you want me to do." He sighed and got up.
I watched him head into the kitchen, I didn't know what I wanted him to do either, mostly I just wanted him to make it all go away but I knew deep down he couldn't do that and even if he could I didn't deserve for him too. I always had a bad habit of burning bridges with people and karma always had a way of making it so I eventually needed them for some reason or another. Like now. I didn't want to cry in fact I tried everything I could to stop the tears but it didn't work. He came back with two beers and handed me one, he looked at me for a moment then sat back in his chair. There was a time when he would have pulled me into him and kissed my tears away, not anymore. He just sat there silently watching me; I wiped them away and took a mouthful of beer, the tears carried on falling. At least I wasn't sobbing like a baby.
"Are you going to help me?" I was getting pissed off, mostly at myself but it was easier to get mad with him
"I can't. There's nothing I can do."
"Fine. I knew it was a mistake coming here." I snarled and got up.
"What the hell did you expect? I can't magically make the body disappear and I can't make the police point the finger at someone else." He stood up and followed me into the hall
"I expected you to do what you normally do, Montana you make everything better. That's your job, that's why you're in my life." I was frustrated, I knew he was right but it didn't help.
"Babe, I'm not in your life anymore. You made me walk away."
"I fucking hate you; I hate you so much that it hurts." I screamed and pushed him; very few people would dare touch Montana let alone push him.
He let me push him once more then I guess he'd had enough; he grabbed me and pushed me hard against the table in the hall
"You hate me? Babe, no words can describe the amount of contempt I have for you." he snarled and let go of me. He probably shouldn't have let go. Unfortunately he realised just as my fist flew at his face, he caught it and shoved me against the wall. He gripped it tight above my head, then grabbed my free arm and put it with the other. The only thing I could do was knee him so that's what I tried, he moved his leg in and used his free arm to catch my leg, he pulled it in tightly against his hip. I was stuck, it wasn't an entirely unpleasant experience if you ignore the fact we were shouting abuse at each other. I didn't even know what I was saying and I couldn't hear him over my yelling and then he kissed me. Part of me wanted to push him away luckily that was just a tiny part. I'd kissed Montana a few times in the last couple of months but none of them were going to lead to anything, they were just friendly kisses with a bit of tongue. But if Montana kissed you when he wanted something from you then you'd know about it. He was intense and he hadn't lost any of his heat over the years.