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Jack & Jill (Part Fifteen)

Jack & Jill (A Love Story)

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Read last week’s entry here.

 

 

Part Fifteen: Home Again, Home Again

 

            It was getting late when we pulled up into the driveway of the Piper house. I’d called and told Peter that we were coming, but he seemed disconnected again. When I drew up I noticed a dark Dodge Durango sitting in the lot, almost aimed towards the dirt path that lead to Piper’s acres of private land. I suppose I shouldn’t have felt suspicious about that, but I did. I reached into the panel under the dashboard and pulled one of the silenced pistols out. I checked it to make sure it was fully loaded and put it into an easily accessible panel in the door. Something sort of told me I would want it there.

 

            Not that the Dodge Durango is a rare vehicle, like say… a Hudson Super Six, but my recent experiences with Durango drivers hadn’t left me feeling positive towards them. Jill waited for me to get myself arranged before approaching the door. She grabbed my hand before going in and gave it a squeeze.

 

            “Thank you for everything.” She said and hugged me.

 

            “It’s okay.” I told her and gave her a squeeze around the shoulders.

 

            She opened the door and we walked in… and found Cole King sitting on the couch with Peter Piper sitting across from him. I’ll admit I should have thought more, but my right hand has this nasty habit of pulling what ever gun is in my shoulder holster out and pointing it at people who have previously tried to shoot me.

 

            “Mister Collier.” Piper said setting down the hash piper he was holding and standing up somewhat unsteadily. “How nice of you to come.”

 

            “Mister Piper.” I said, observing the bong in front of Cole and the bag of pot sitting on the table.

 

            “We were just smoking a bowl while waiting for you.” Piper reached his hand into the pocket of his robe and pulled out a small nickel plated hand gun. “Now please put that gun down before someone gets hurt.”

 

            “Piper.” I said looking him in the eyes.

 

            Cole took the opportunity of my not watching him to move and pick up his own hand gun which was lying on the couch next to him. He stood up and pointed it at me as well. I looked at him and then at Piper and then at young Jill. She looked scared, and disappointed.

 

            “I wasn’t supposed to find her, was I?” I asked.

 

            “No.” Cole said holding his hand out. “Gimme the gun.”

           

            “I could probably shoot the two of you before either one of you could get off a shot.” I commented, just to say something.

 

            “Don’t be dramatic.” Piper said grabbing his daughter by the wrist and dragging her to him.

 

            He pulled her in front of him and put his gun to her head. She didn’t scream, just looked bewildered as to what was going on. That was enough for me to want to kill him, that right there, but I couldn’t at the moment so I walked to a table next to the front door and set my Webley down on it.

 

            “Into the living room.” Piper told me.

 

            I started to follow him, but Cole decided to get cute with the butt of his gun and smacked me in the face. A bright plume of fire exploded across my mouth as I fell backwards and hit the ground. He grabbed my jacket and pulled me up, smacking me in the face again. This time the pain went across my left check and another one went over my eye.

 

            “Stop it!” Jill screamed, and the pummeling ended for a moment before starting again.

 

            “Enough.” Piper said and that ended it for real.

 

            I was shoved toward the living room which fortunately had a mirror. I stopped at the mirror and pulled the handkerchief out of my top pocket to examine my face. Cole gave my shoulder a shove, but I just looked at him. This meant looking down the barrel of his big ol’ Drexel automatic, but I fastened on his eyes and gave him the impression that gun or not I would end him if he shoved me again.

 

            “Sit down Cole.” Piper said. “Let the man attend to his face.”

 

            I looked at the cuts on my eye brow, the one above my cheek and my cut lip. I glanced at Jill and decided to try and be a stand up guy. I’d told her what being a tough guy was all about, so I let her see me being matter of fact about the wounds. I wiped away some of the blood, refolded my handkerchief so the blood wouldn’t be visible and put the handkerchief in my top pocket again.

 

            “Look what you’ve done to my shirt.” I complained to Cole. “You’ve gotten blood on my shirt.”

 

            They all looked at me for a moment, and I could see the wheels in Cole’s head turning as he tried to decide if I really was that tough or if I was just bluffing him. I wish I knew so I could have told him one way or the other. If I was really this tough, maybe I wouldn’t have that tight cold fist in my guts. Then again, there was no reason to inform anyone else that I might not be that tough if they thought I was.

 

            “Sit down.” Cole told me and I did as I was told, sitting in the chair Piper had vacated when we entered.

 

            “Sure.” I grinned and nodded.

 

            I did as I was told and Piper shoved his daughter down in the middle of the couch, sitting next to her and Cole sitting on the other side. My lip hurt, and blood kept dripping down the side of my eyebrow, but that was okay. I was a full blown tough guy in Jill’s eyes now. That was important, to be a fourteen year old’s idea of a tough guy. I could see the admiration in her eyes as she looked at me, and that was nice. Maybe she’d sew me a banner or give me a scarf that I could tie to the front of my lance one day. She might even have a cousin old enough for me to date and tell her all about me sometime.

 

            “So.” I smiled at the both of them, despite how much it hurt. “What was it really? Jill some sort of payoff?”

 

            “Not a payoff.” Cole said. “He wasn’t fuckin’ paying me off.”

 

            “Payoff insinuates that I was trying to get rid of Mister King.” Piper said.

 

            “She’s a reward then?” I asked.

 

            “I doubt your tiny mind could comprehend this.” He spoke with contempt, and I decided to rub at my lip to show that I wasn’t impressed by his jibe.

 

            “Try me.” I said.

 

            “No point.” Piper said. “Why explain things to a dead man?”

 

            “We’re gonna fuckin’ bury you out there.” Cole said, waving the gun out towards the grounds.

 

            “Oh come on.” I said taking my handkerchief out and dabbing at the blood. “What harm could it do? If you’re going to kill me anyway.”

 

            “No.” Piper said. “I think that it’ll be easier to just let Cole have his fun with you.”

 

            “Oh.” I said and reached behind me to rub at my left kidney.

 

            “What’re you doing?” Cole demanded, pointing the gun at me.

 

            “I hit my damn back when I fell down.” I told him. “It hurts.”

           

            “Oh.” He actually accepted that and set his gun down on the side table next to him.

 

            I have to say that I actually just sat there, utterly stunned as he reached for the bong and grabbed his lighter. He flicked the lighter into life and lowered it towards the bowl before I got my head back in the game. I hope I can be forgiven, since it’s been a long time since I’ve been exposed to anyone this stupid. I reached down lower, grabbed at the Marley and pulled it out as I stood up.

 

            I was trying to hit Piper in the leg, but I missed completely and the round tore a large hole in the side of the couch. I twisted and jammed my hand into the bottom of the bong, giving Cole a smack and sending the plastic tube flying. A spray of filthy water splattered on me, but I was already bringing the Marley down to hammer on Piper’s wrist. The gun fell from his fingers and then I was hit in the face again.

 

            “Kill him Cole.” Piper shouted as I hit the coffee table, or pot table perhaps would be more accurate, and rolled behind the chair.

 

            A big forty five slug smashed through the chair and missed me by about an inch before burying itself in the floor. I rolled across the floor to get away from the chair and Piper dove for his gun. I managed to crouch and fired a round at Cole, which missed again. I really have to learn how to shoot with my left hand at some point. The bullet hit the wall near Cole and sprayed drywall dust at him. He waved the gun and shot three times, one of those times hit Piper in the leg and sent him to the ground shouting.

 

            “Come on!” I said grabbing Jill’s hand. “I’m not leaving you with these nuts.”

 

            We ran out of the house just fast enough to see Cole speed away down the dirt path. I fired the Marley a few more times but the gun was out. We ran to the car and I started it as Jill ran around to get into the car. I turned the lights on and we started down the dirt road after him. I think he was depending on his Hemi driven SUV to save him from me. I was driving a bootlegger’s car though, one that was used to hidden back roads just like this one. I started after him with all possible speed.

 

            “When this is over,” I said throwing my empty Marley over my shoulder into the gun repository, “I will take you anywhere you want to go. As long as I’m able, I’ll keep you safe.”

 

            “Thank you.” She said meekly.

 

            “Did you know anything about what they were talking about?” I asked.

 

            “No.” She shook her head.

 

            I looked at her for a second, glancing at the road to make sure. I think she really didn’t know everything, so there wasn’t much hope in grilling her. If I didn’t do this right, Piper could form any story he wanted and just make it that Cole came to kidnap her again once he’d gotten away. I would have to make sure I didn’t get killed so I could make a note to take them all in.

 

            “Okay.” I pulled my cellphone out and tossed it to her. “Find Alice in the phone book and call her. Tell her you’re speaking for me and where we are. We’re going to need all available help on this.”

 

            I saw the Durango’s lights in the distance and put on more speed to catch up to him. He tried to put on even more speed, but his mass produced power wasn’t cutting it. I reached into the side door panel and decided to hell with anyone finding out about the silenced pistols. I sped up, but it was sort of useless because while I could plug a lot of little holes through his back window, I couldn’t really see him to know if I was hitting him. There was a big meadow after a bit of driving along the single lane with trees on both sides and he drove into it to try and get away from me.

 

            I aimed the silenced gun out my window and fired four good shots. Both his back tired popped and when he tried to turn the Durango flipped through the meadow. I stopped the Hudson and opened the door. I saw him run away from the truck and fired at him, but I’m not as good at distance shooting as I should be and it was already getting pretty dark. Another twenty minutes and we wouldn’t be able to see a thing.

 

            “Take this.” Jill yelled as she shimmed across the bench seat and got out on my side. She held the Webley in her hand, which meant that she had a better mind for things than I did. She had stopped to make sure she grabbed it for me.

 

            “Thank you.” I said and slipped the silenced gun back into its hole, closing the panel.

 

            “She says everyone she can get will be on their way in a few minutes.” Jill told me.

 

            “Good job.” I said, patting her on the shoulder. “You stay with the car, I’ll got get Cole.”

 

            “No.” She shook her head. “I’m staying with you.”

 

            That could prove troublesome, and as you may have figured out by now it did. At the time though, it seemed like a good idea to keep her near so I could keep her safe. Besides, she knew this ground and I didn’t.

 

            “Okay.” I said. “Where is he likely to go?”

 

            “Up to Cobbler’s hill.” She told me. “That way.”

           

            She pointed in the direction he had run and we went after him.

 

April 15, 2010 - Posted by | Fiction, Jack |

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