One Hundred Fifteen
Jenny’s problems from Mama came too quickly for her to do anything complex. No time to think, to plan, to come up with anything fancy against Mama’s hands around her throat, tightening.
She couldn’t feel the gun in her hand, and couldn’t find it as she felt around for it. With a curse, she grabbed Mama’s hair with both hands and pulled her head backwards.
That released Mama’s grip on her throat; with a hard yank Jenny flipped over onto her and with a few hard blows knocked her unconscious.
She quickly rolled off of Mama for her gun and trained it back on Harker, who sat there the whole time, the rest of her crew still training their weapons on him, while his last henchwoman hugged the floor, hoping the end wasn’t upon her.
“All right,” said Jenny, trying to catch her breath as she advanced on him. “What, happened, to Klara? Where is she?”
“Her?” he replied, the effort to stay calm becoming more noticeable now. “I don’t know. She disappeared a few years ago.”
“I didn’t keep an eye on her all the time and she wandered off. Probably should have chained her up at night, but I’m not that kind of a guy.”
“The Abe Harker who’s the terror of Lake Erie?” Jenny nearly spat. “You disappoint.”
“You want special treatment then, when I have your ass? I can install a few pegs on the wall if you rather.”
“Fancy talk for a guy with all these guns on him.”
“And a few more on the outside coming on in,” said Harker. “Any minute, I got a squad that’s going to make the survivors envy the dead.”
“Tomo, leave no survivors.”
Tomo whipped out her pad and jack cord and plugged it into a slot on one of Harker’s active machines. Jenny watched Harker’s eyes widen as his data screens flashed a picture of the Buffalo skyline over them.
“Looks like we both got hostages now,” said Jenny. “If your network means anything to you and you want it back, you’re going to call off the cavalry right now.”
“Buffalo, huh?” Harker tried to sound collected as Tomo showed Georgie something on her tablet.
Georgie went over to the corner of Harker’s lair, pushed a faded photograph off the wall, revealed a safe under it and started punching numbers onto the pad to open it.
“Damn,” said Georige, “what is it, the start of the month after you paid rent? This is all you got?”
“My guess is, the rest is in other assets,” said Jenny. “And probably most of its hidden away in Canada somewhere, ain’t it?”
“Hey, why are you smiling?” Bart asked Harker.
“Just weighing the value you might fetch, red,” said Harker. “Considering whether it’s better to kill you or sell you.”
“Brave talk from a man with a lot less to his name than he had a few minutes ago,” said Jenny as Georgie finished cleaning out the safe.
“I’m thinking your ass alone would probably get me a good price to rebuild on. I may even have a client in London already lined up for you; I hear he likes his girls-”
Charlie ran through the door into the lair at that moment. “We better go,” he said.
“What? What happened?” Jenny asked.
“We were holding off this group coming on to the house. We’re all all right, but the others are in a firefight with the locals. Peter Simon thinks they may be Cleveland police, and if they’re going after Harker’s boys like that I don’t think they want to give us a warm welcome here.”
Jenny couldn’t resist just staring at Harker while he slowly lost his composure, atop all the other losses.
“I am so going to love thinking about you right at this moment,” she said to him as she started turn her back.
“I wouldn’t do that,” he said, his voice rising and breaking. “You don’t DARE just walk out on me, you bitch! I still have the means to get back to where I belong, and when I do, I am going to OWN you, you hear me? I am SO going to make you beg for everything! I will BREAK you, you hear me you stupid cun-“
Jenny stopped when she heard the gun go off.
She turned, saw Harker’s face frozen in anger, a small entry wound on his forehead starting to trickle blood. He fell forward, the contents of his head becoming visible on the wall behind him in a large splatter pattern.
Jenny saw Tia, her gun still in her hand, and gave her a look.
Tia gave a half-shrug.
Jenny sighed as she went back to leaving…
All content Copyright © 2013 James Ryan