Tuesday, June 2, 2009

JASMINE

I’ve got to catch you up. Fucking hungry and hurting, but I’ll get this out then find some food. No libraries open this late, but it doesn’t matter. I’m mobile, on a Blackberry. Just hope they don’t cancel the account before I finish this.

I’ve seen girls like the mistress before. The same attitude. Nose in the air, the kind of chick that looks right through you. There were a few of them in Ballentine. She’s got the same attitude, but I’ve never seen a body like she’s got. Pictures and movies, sure, but she was 3-D. Boom, boom, boom. The hair, the tits, the ass. Even across the street, from behind some bushes, I could tell she had the complete package.

And I knew it was her without knowing it was her. Waiting and hiding, I had a name and address. But her condo building had at least eight doors. There was no doubt when I saw this chick. Like I said, boom. Dark skin and hair, Arab I think, so I’ll call her Jasmine.

Mrs. Nerd is no hag, and active in the sack, still, Jasmine would make me cheat on her. No doubt the Nerd was easily hooked. I couldn’t imagine Jasmine letting a jellyfish like the Nerd slip it to her, but people are motivated by all kinds of things. Hell, even Mrs. Nerd could’ve done better, but she was still married to him.

Maybe it’s Los Angeles that fucks everything up. Look at me. I came here to lay low, make a couple of bucks before moving on with a plan. Should be easy to be small in a big city. Bullshit. Within a couple of weeks, I’m holding a little black bag full of identities, there’s at least four people who want me dead, I have a silver dagger stashed in my waistband and I’m looking to squeeze a couple hundred large out of someone. I should’ve gone to Arizona.

After leaving Mrs. Nerd sleeping, I caught the sunrise from the park over the bluffs. Some motherfuckers get up early. Joggers and dog walkers were out just after first light. Unless I’m fishing, I’m sleeping in. Not these days, though. Can’t remember the last good night sleep I got. Before the trouble in Ballentine.

Sig and his fuckers aren’t giving up easy. That's for sure. They were probably asleep that morning, so I was good for a few hours.

A little cash from Mrs. Nerd’s purse got me some breakfast. Wearing new clothes opens doors to a guy. They treated me like a human at the diner, smiled and everything. The waitress was cute and I smiled back. And I knew that’s when I would get a bullet in the back. As soon as you’re comfortable, that’s when the hammer comes down. That's the truth. I wasn’t careful enough and I’m paying for it now, but I'll tell you about that after I get through this. New clothes don’t change the old Trey. Finish the business, I told myself in the diner. Did leave a little tip, though.

That meal took me through the day, and into the night. I ignored my stomach and thought about the payday. Couple hundred thousand would set me up fine. Keep it simple. Don’t get lazy, or sloppy. Sitting in the park, watching the people around me, seeing the Pacific Ocean stretching out to infinity, I made all my plans. They changed, the house looked different every time, a car in front, or a pickup truck. Apple trees. Pear trees. Grapes, a vineyard.

I thought the mistress would be working during the day, figured I didn’t need to risk being out in the open watching her place. Wait for the dark.

Two times, sitting in the park, I heard the Valiant rumble by. But Trey’s not stupid. When I picked my spot in the park, I knew I was hidden from anyone driving on the street. If Sig and his dickheads were on foot in the park, it would be a different story. But I wouldn’t mind throwing those fuckers off the bluffs. Give me a stand up fight and I do fine. A little bruised, but alive.

Felt like my dad in Nam. Plants and leaves all around and the enemy out there wanting your blood. He must have been scared shitless at first. But you can’t keep man like my dad down. If he was scared when he crawled into those tunnels with a flashlight and a .38, he didn’t let it get to him. You panic in a situation like that, you’re dead. He lived through it. Lived to raise me right. Now I’m the hard motherfucker I need to be.

Wonder if it’s still raining in Ballentine. Hope it’s dry by now. Maybe sunshine for my dad.
The streetlights came on in Santa Monica and the sun set dirty into the sea. Felt good to stretch my legs. My new boots are almost broken in. I found the mistress’ condo easy, then I had to pick which one was her.

Like I said, I didn’t have to guess. As soon as Jasmine hit the street, I knew. It was easy to follow her through the neighborhood. Girl has a walk.

But I kept my distance and my cool. Didn’t want to get picked up by the cops, thinking I’m a perv. After a block or two she meets up with another girl. Also hot. Three more blocks, another slammin’ chick. This town is crazy.

The flock of birds heads to this open air mall and disappears into a restaurant with a bar. Girls’ night. They must have had the dudes drooling in that place. That’s why a chick dresses up like that, right, with the sparkles on her shirt and the tight jeans and boots and hair shining. I wished me and Tokyo could share a drink in that bar and watch the dudes throw themselves at the birds and get sliced apart by the talons.

But I sat outside, near some fountain, listening to a guy play a decent guitar. I worried about a back door to the restaurant for a while, but eventually the flock of pretties glittered their way out the front.

We took the walk in reverse, dropping the girls off until Jasmine was alone the last block to her condo. I was the monster in the shadows, following the sound of her boots on the sidewalk. You wanted me to grab her then. Shake her for answers. Squeeze it out of her until she’s crying and has to give up all the information. That’s just bad business. All it would get me is arrested, then I’d really be fucked.

Keep your eyes open, that’s what pays. Who was waiting outside her condo door?

Rodeo.

Jackpot. They go inside. Lights turn on. They’re talking about something, I see a little movement. But only two people. No sign of the Nerd.

I creep closer to hear what they’re saying. Can’t get the voices. Her building has wide brick planters in front and lights all over. Fuck it, I thought. Like crawling into an enemy tunnel. I got ready to knock on the front door.

Then the living room light turns out. Another light turns out. Through the sliver of a window, I see Jasmine’s alone now. What the fuck? My answer came in the low tones of German engineering.

Rodeo’s Mercedes slid around the corner and up the street. He must have been parked in an alley. Goddamn back door out of the building. Rodeo’s being careful, knows something’s up after the drop went south. If I were a spy, I’d have some little magnet I could throw on the car and use my GPS to track the motherfucker. Instead, I’m hiding out and hurting all over because I nearly fucked up and got dead. More on that later, I gotta eat something. Lucky to be alive.

Lucky I’m a hard as iron and twice as cold.