Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

by Derry & The Immortal

Comments: To really understand what's going on in this story, the reader should be familiar with 'The Informant' by the Immortal and Derry's 'Angie' and 'A Literary Woman'. We sort of wondered what would happen if the two girls met and ran with it from there. Ezra gets seriously hurt along the way. But, if the reader is indeed familiar with the works of the two authors involved, we don't anticipate too many being unduly surprised by that fact.

Disclaimer: We do not own Ezra, Buck, Chris, JD, Josiah, Nathan, Vin or even Mrs Potter. We've had a lot of fun writing this but will not be making any financial gain from the venture. No litigation is warranted.

Acknowledgments: Thanks to Dina for beta-ing this for us. And to Mog for creating the ATF scenario. And a sidenote by the Immortal, thanks always to Sara.

Warnings: Violence and swearing (although, we've bleeped the only F-word). Rated PG-13.

She looked around to get her bearings, considered for a second and then resolutely set off down the street on the left. God! Talk about the wrong end of town! Pretty, middle class houses, all nicely lined up in rows. Christ, there were even some white picket fences! Utterly nauseating and exactly what she had expected.

Still, she was fairly sure that she was on her way to the correct destination now. There had only been one other Potter for this area in the phonebook, and she now knew that he was an octogenarian who lived with only his dog.

If it wasn’t for Ezra, she would never have come to this sugar-coated little suburb. If she didn’t just know that he was going to need her help, whatever he thought. And if he’d never introduced her to the annoying little brat.

Oh, that first meeting was indelibly seared into her brain. She’d been caught completely unaware.

Same as always, she’d called his number. This time the info was urgent. The scumbags were going to pull off the heist that evening. Huge shipment of guns and ammo. She had to let him know. Usual deal. She named the place and he came alone.

But this time he refused to do the last part. "Alright, but if you want to meet now, I have to bring someone with me. Don’t worry. It’s no one you need concern yourself about."

That was ironic, in retrospect, because the person he brought with him turned out to disturb her more than any one else she’d met in a long time.

The meeting place was a parking lot behind a bowling alley at her end of town. In what must have been a first, he got there before her. And as he’d said, he wasn’t alone. She would have loved to have played it cool but she just couldn’t contain herself.

"Who the hell is that?"

In his arms, he carried a kid of about five or six. A real little princess, if Lila had ever seen one. The kid wore a dark red dress decorated with a tiny yellow floral pattern and a white lace collar. Her hair was tied back with a matching red ribbon and she even wore matching ruby red shoes over snow white socks. Oh Christ! Click your heels together and say "There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home." God, Lila wanted to puke!

"Hi Lila! This is Angie. Angie, say hello to Lila."

The kid had viewed her with equal hostility, but held out her hand to shake. Lila lifted her own hand and took it, possibly exerting a little more pressure than was absolutely necessary. Angie had flinched slightly, but after that there was no other reaction and she flatly stated, "Pleased to meet you."

"Yeah, likewise."

Lila chased the memories away for the moment. She had to concentrate. Now, what was that address again? She reached down into her pocket and pulled out the yellow sheet. So what if she had ripped it out of the phone book. Who looks at the P’s anyway? She read down it quickly. 845 Plum street. She checked the nearest mailbox. 820. At least she was on the right track.

Thank God that Ezra had let the name of the girl’s foster family slip. Or else she wouldn’t know where to start looking.

"Well, let’s get you back to the Potter’s, Angel girl."

Angel girl! How disgustingly cute! She had made a face at the nickname, but got a reproving gaze from the ATF agent. Yeah whatever, Standish. You can have the little princess. Lila had promised herself that this was absolutely the last time she was going to worry about his sorry ass. Then she was going to be gone for good.

A shiver went down the young girl’s spine and she quickly surveyed the area. Just as she thought, a concerned citizen was sending her a suspicious gaze. Could she blame him? Lila looked down at herself. Hmm, maybe the alleyways would be a better way to go. But that would take longer than the street and she didn’t have that much time. Who knew what kind of trouble Standish was already in?

She couldn’t believe she was actually doing this. "This sucks," she mumbled. It turned her insides to know she had to ask something of that little brat. Yeah, brat. No wait, that was too kind. Lila smiled at her creativeness, as a few choice descriptives ran through her head.

Lila didn’t want anything to do with her. She didn’t want to know anything about her. And she particularly didn’t want to know just what the hell the kid had to do with Ezra.

Yet, here she was in saccharine city looking for Little Miss Sugar-Pie. Or should that be Little Senorita Sugar Pie. Apparently the kid was at least part Hispanic. Not that Lila wanted to know. But Ez had let a few more facts drop when she’d met with him this afternoon.

She heard a rumour on the street that some big time bad guys were passing along a big shipment this evening at a place called

"Little Caesar’s". She had no idea where that was, but it sounded like something Ez should know. Not that she cared what he needed to know. But twenty bucks was twenty bucks and he always came through with the cash. And he’d seemed to know where it was, although he’d been a bit puzzled at first.

"Little Caesar’s?" Then he’d grinned. "Oh that’s what Angie calls ‘the games place’."

"Angie?" Lila tried to make it sound as if she’d completely forgotten who the girl was. As if!

But she reckoned that Ez had seen through her because he had that annoying slight smile on his face. "Yes, Angie Velasquez. You’ve met her once. Five goin’ on six. She’s a friend of mine."

"Oh, her? I thought you must be paying maintainance to some little senorita somewhere."

Standish had actually laughed at that. "I’m flattered. But Angie’s no relation. She’s just a friend."

Just a friend? Like hell! If that little prima donna he’d been fawning over was just a friend, what was Lila to him? Some kind of reference book?

Not that she cared! No, this definitely was the last hurrah for this little arrangement between them. Lila just had to make sure that it ended with them just going their separate ways, and not with a funeral.

About an hour after she’d left him, she’d caught up with her source. Still trying to get an idea of where "Little Caesar’s" was because, of course, Standish wouldn’t tell her.

"No, Lila. This time, you will not be endangerin’ yourself. I can do without any surreptitious spectators."

Bastard! He didn’t have any right to keep her away. This was her business too. She’d tried following him, but he truly was a pro and had given her the slip.

So she’d gone to where she’d picked up the info and what she’d heard had really freaked her. They hadn’t said where the damn place was, but they’d mentioned his name, his real name. Christ! They were expecting him. And from the sound of these guys, the results would not be pretty.

So she was left with only one option. He himself had said that one other person knew where the place was.

Little Angie Velasquez, living with the sugar-sweet Potter family, in nice little middle-class suburbia. And now, Lila was almost there.

She stopped suddenly and looked at the quaint, two-story house that stood before her. She even lives in a perfect house! Ok, now this sucks hardcore.

Lights were on throughout the house. Lila circled it in the twilight, hiding behind trees. From what she heard about this Mrs. Potter person (oh yeah, give him half a chance and Standish couldn’t shut up about little Angie and her foster family), she better not make her presence known. She peeked in a window and saw the family gathered for dinner. The delicious smells wafted through the open window and Lila’s stomach growled. When was the last time she had eaten? This wasn’t the time to think about her stomach.

Aha! There was the little brat. She watched as the little girl excused herself from the table and headed for the stairs. Great, one of the upstairs rooms. Couldn’t be a downstairs room, could it? Oh no, not for our little ‘Angel girl.’

Lila watched the upstairs windows looking for a light to be turned on. Yep, there’s the little kid’s room. Ok, up the drainpipe.

A few minutes later, Lila had maneuvered herself up the side of the house. Luckily, the window was open. She peeked over it and saw the young girl enraptured in a book. So Lila hauled herself onto the window edge.

"Ok, shorty. We’ve got to talk."

* * * * *

Angie looked up in astonishment. She’d never seen anyone enter through that window before and it took her half a second to recognise that it was that weird friend of Ezra’s.

"What are you doing here?"

She’d never liked this Lila person, never trusted her. Not from the moment Ezra had introduced them in that parking lot behind the bowling alley. What a strange place to go meet someone! Why not just go into the bowling alley? At least then they could have all sat down.

And Angie had instantly recognised the look in Lila’s eyes when they’d first met. It was pure jealousy and she had no right to feel like that. It was as if she thought she owned Ezra in some way. And she most definitely did not.

She was just some weird, angry person he’d met somewhere. Maybe she thought she was his friend. But she certainly didn’t have any right to be jealous when she found him with Angie.

As far as Angie was concerned, Ezra was her best friend. They’d been through a lot together and this Lila person didn’t know anything about that. But she’d still come along and ruined a perfectly good day.

Ezra had taken Angie to see a show with all the gang from Sesame Street. She’d wanted to wear her Cookie Monster T-shirt, but Ezra had got round her by appealing to her vanity, saying how he wanted to show everyone how pretty she was in her best red dress and shoes. It had been wonderful. He’d bought her a chocolate ice cream and everything.

And then he’d got a phone call and they had to leave half-way through.

It had been Lila. She’d wanted to tell him something. Why couldn’t she have waited just a little while until the show finished? Angie had been really annoyed, to say the least.

Ezra had known. He always seemed to know when she was angry or upset. Like she knew when he was, even when he tried to hide it.

She’d wanted to tell him what she thought of Lila, but you didn’t say nasty things about people’s friends. But then he’d given her an open invitation.

"You have an opinion, Angel girl?" he’d asked as they walked back to his car.

"She’s weird and¼" Angie searched for a suitable word.


"Yes, hostile. She doesn’t like me and she doesn’t even know me!"

"Well, you don’t know her and you don’t seem to like her much."

"That’s different! I only don’t like her because she doesn’t like me!"

"I see." He smiled knowingly.

"Don’t do that!"


"Act like I’ve just said something stupid."

"I’m sorry." He’d apologised, but hadn’t stopped smiling.

He’d never said anything more about Lila to her. And Angie had thought that she’d never have to see her again.

But now here she was. In Angie’s own room, looking around as if she owned the place. No, looking around as if she thought the place wasn’t good enough for her.

Well, if she didn’t like it, she could state her business and get out.

"I said, ‘What are you doing here?’"

"Where’s ‘the games place’?"

Angie blinked, "I’m sorry?"

"Where’s ‘the games place’?" Lila repeated.

"What games place?"

Lila nearly threw something in frustration. "I don’t know! You’re s’posed to know!"

"Well, I don’t!" Angie had firmly decided that this person was bizarre and probably crazy.

Lila took a deep breath. "Otherwise known as ‘Little Caesar’s’?"

"Oh, there!"

Lila waited, but nothing further was forthcoming.


"Well what?"

"Where is it?"

"If you want me to do something for you, you might ask nicely."

If Angie could have seen how sanctimonious she looked and sounded, she might have been a little nauseated herself. But she couldn’t and she could see how much it was annoying Lila. And she was certainly enjoying that.

Lila was close to hitting her. "Now look you little brat. I’ve got to find Ez and I don’t have time to be playing kiddie word games with you."

"Ezra?" Suddenly, Angie was seriously interested in what Lila had to say.

Lila grimaced. She didn’t want to tell the kid any more than necessary. This wasn’t any of her business. It was Lila’s problem and she alone would handle it.

But she admitted, "Yeah, I’ve gotta find him."

"And he’s at the games place?"

"Look, just tell me where it is."

"Only if you take me with you." Angie was already pulling a dark green coat over her T-shirt.

"No way! Listen, squirt, you’re not coming. No way, no how!"

Angie knew that she held all the aces and she faced Lila without flinching.

"You take me or I won’t tell you. Ezra’s in trouble, isn’t he? He’s gonna need me."

Lila couldn’t believe the kid’s nerve. "He doesn’t need you! He managed to survive for nearly thirty years before you came along."

"I’m not telling you until you promise to take me with you. Cross your heart and hope to die."

Oh, hell! Give her what she wanted. Lila couldn’t afford to waste any more time. She said the words and made the appropriate gestures.

Angie grinned triumphantly. "I thought the cops closed it down two years ago. It’s an old gambling place hidden in the basement of the Griffin building. It’s actually two blocks down from that bowling alley where Ezra and I came to meet to you."

Lila grinned in her turn. "Thanks, Shorty!" She put one leg out the window. "Be seein’ ya. Or then again, maybe not!"

Angie looked at her incredulously. "You promised!"

Lila looked at her with pity, but no sympathy. Christ, she was such a child!

"Had my fingers crossed, didn’t I?"

And with that she disappeared out the window

* * * * *

It had been a long time since Ezra had visited the vicinity of Little Caesar’s. Since the police had managed to close it down due to certain licensing infringements, the area had been much less involved in the sort of crime which his team investigated. But it didn’t seem to have changed much.

Lila’s information was that a consignment of automatic weapons was going to change hands. Given the type of venue that Little Caesar’s was, it couldn’t be as large a delivery as Lila’s informants thought. It must be some sort of sample to the purchaser, for a larger shipment at a later date. There wasn’t enough time to get all the warrants for a proper surveillance, so he’d decided to just turn up and observe from a distance, maybe take down a few names and faces.

Chris wouldn’t like it. Ezra had tried calling the office, but the others must have been called out to do something. Since they hadn’t tried to call him, he supposed that his assistance wasn’t required with whatever they were doing. And in some ways he was a touch relieved that Chris wasn’t there. Their fearless leader might have vetoed his little solo surveillance operation. Much easier to just leave a message about his whereabouts and activities on the office answering machine. Chris could deal with it later.

He’d had more than one lecture from Chris about his supposed ‘Lone Wolf’ tendencies. It was good to see that Chris took an interest in the welfare of his team, but Ezra didn’t need to be mothered. Although, with a mother like Ezra’s, that concept took on an entirely new dimension.

But it wasn’t as if he was going to walk into the lions’ den, this time, anyway. He was just going to observe from a discreet distance. He’d found an empty office in a building across the street and had set up a mini-surveillance post there. Dressed in some non-descript dark clothing, he’d carried in the equipment in a battered old bag. It was a considerable sartorial down-scaling, compared with the only time he’d previously been to Little Caesar’s, posing as a member of Malcolm Greel’s organisation.

There were only a few adversaries that Ezra bothered expending hate on, once they’d passed beyond the grave. But Greel was among that select few. Ezra had been unconscious and locked in an adjoining room with Angie, when Teresa had her final confrontation with Greel, but he’d read the report later and JD’s description that there hadn’t been much left of her was very close to the mark. And, in Ezra’s opinion, anyone who took perverted pleasure in doing that to another living creature was definitely sub-human.

The pathologist had deduced that she’d been brought down with shots to her left arm and leg and then been systematically tortured and mutilated. They had probably been trying to get her to tell them where she’d hidden her daughter and Ezra. But she obviously hadn’t broken because he and Angie had remained safely sequestered away until Chris and the cavalry arrived. No, Teresa had been a young woman of remarkable courage.

Lila reminded him of Teresa a lot. Same sort of defiant self-reliance, same almost insane courage, same fierce loyalty. He hoped that Lila never went down Teresa’s path. He couldn’t stand to think of her ever falling into the power of someone like Greel. It shouldn’t happen. Lila seemed to know that if she was ever in trouble, he’d be there to help her. All she had to do was ask.

Yes, well, there might be just one small problem. That stubborn pride of hers might just preclude her requesting his assistance. And it was a bit hypocritical for him to condemn her for it. After all, why exactly was he here conducting this observation by himself?

"Next time, Mr Larabee, I promise that I’ll go through the proper channels," he murmured under his breath.

A movement at the entrance to the Griffin building caught his eye. It was a little disturbing. The reasonably well concealed guard occassionally cast a glance towards the building where Ezra had secluded himself.

It was time to end this little surveillance operation. He’d got a lot of the main faces on camera. And now his instincts told him to get out while he could. Hastily packing away the equipment and putting on his coat and sunglasses, he headed for the door.

He was half-way down the corridor when two large men stepped out of the shadows to bar his way. Instinctively looking back, he saw two more behind him. The sight didn’t really inspire him with confidence.

Then the more Neanderthal-looking (if that were possible) of the men in front of him spoke.

"Not thinking of leaving, were you, Mr Standish?"

He said it with such certainty that Ezra immediately knew that denial would serve no purpose. But he still tried to look surprised and confused.

"I’m sorry, who did you say?"

The man just smiled viciously and Ezra heard movement from in front and behind, as the thugs closed in.

Unless he thought of something fast, this looked like a "sleeping with the fishes" scenario.

* * * * *

After nearly having to beat the information out of Angie, the journey ought to have been a simple, no problems exercise. But no, of course not!

Lila made her way down the drain pipe, trying not to slip on the slick metal. She was unsuccessful however. One wrong step and she ended up flat on her back in a bush. The unprofessional yelp that followed the landing brought a clamor from the inside of the house.

"Who’s out there?"

Crap! Quickly, Lila gathered her wits and fled into the darkness. That was a close call. She was losing her touch. First, she didn’t know where a place was, then she couldn’t even tail the undercover agent, and finally, she fell off a drain pipe. It just wasn’t her week.

She wove her way through the neighborhood, trying to get to the bowling alley as quick as possible, but also trying not to arouse any unwanted attention. It had been her experience that housing developments always had ‘neighborhood watches’ and other such nonsense. And of course, she did look the part for the average street ruffian.

It wasn’t long when the streets of the neighborhood turned into the alleys of the city. Lila took a deep breath and felt the constricting weight of society lift off her shoulders. Yep, she was home.

She passed the dumpster where crazy Rita and her group of bagladies and bums frequented. Lila smiled and waved at the older folks who were standing around a fire in a trash can. They waved back and called out a greeting.

She then passed a group of teenagers, about her age, who were also gathered around their own fire. She didn’t recognize most of them and taking in their clean clothing, Lila gathered that they must be pretty new to the area. She would have to say ‘hi’ later. As soon as Ez was ok.

Lila picked up her pace. The Griffin building was a good twenty minute walk away. No telling what could happen in that span of time. And God only knew how much time she had wasted crossing her heart and hoping to die to that little brat! Well, Lila thanked her lucky stars that it was the last time she would have to deal with the brat, or worry about Ez for that matter.

Lila wasn’t one to break her promises. Christ knew she’d had enough promises made to her broken, not to want to inflict that on anyone else. Not even spoiled little brats who probably could have done with something to wake them up.

At least Ez had never broken a promise to her. She could say that for him.

And she had actually kept her fingers crossed when she falsely promised to Angie. More to salve her own conscience than anything else. It wasn’t like Angie was going to feel any less betrayed if she knew that.

Shit, that’s Life, kiddo! It’s a big bad world out there and trusting people is only going to get you hurt. Take it as a free lesson in Life!

Christ! Like what else could she do? Yeah, let the brat come out here. That would’ve been freaking brilliant. Ez would be livid. He would probably be so mad that he would tie Lila up himself and ship her back to the orphanage. Nope, she sure didn’t want to incur the wrath of one undercover agent named Ezra Standish.

"Leave me alone!"

Lila stopped in mid stride. Great, now she was beginning to hear the pip squeak even when she wasn’t around. This was really

not good. She shook her head, trying to get rid of the voice. Ok, gone.

"Stop it!"

Damn it! She wasn’t imagining it. The little brat was here, somewhere. Great. Oh just freaking great. And from the sound of it, Angie managed to piss someone off.

Well, she could stay in whatever little predicament she had gotten herself in. Lila took another two steps.

Ah Christ! If anything happened to her, Standish would be downright heartbroken. For all that ‘just friends’ crap, Lila knew that he loved Brat Features like she was his own kid. Ok, now this sucks more than hardcore.

Lila turned around and went back the way she came. Sure enough, ‘Angel girl’ was standing in the middle of a ring of five street kids. Four girls and one guy. They all looked pretty new and she guessed this had to be their first few days on the street. No layered clothing and it wasn’t even dirty. Hell, the girls were wearing mini skirts. A hell of a lot of good those would do when it got cold.

The five teenagers were taunting the little brat and poking at her, trying to get the clothes off her back to sell. Lila had to hand it to the kid, she was holding her own against the older kids. But she couldn’t do it for long.

Crap! She had to help. She just had to act like she owned the place. Intimidation always worked especially well on new kids. Ok, here goes nothing. Lila strode toward the group and literally pushed two girls about her age out of the way to get into the circle. "Just what in the hell is going on here?" she asked in her best demanding voice.

"Who the f*ck are you?"

Lila looked the big guy who asked the question up and down, swallowing the lump of fear in her throat. She was going to get herself killed.

She put a protective hand on Angie’s shoulder, willing her not to speak. Fortunately, the kid at least had a spark of intelligence and kept her mouth shut. However, Angie did give each of the kids a mean stare that could’ve rivaled one of Chris Larabee’s.

"You obviously aren’t from around here. Ok, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and I’ll let you just walk away."

A chorus of laughter echoed around her. Ok, intimidation is not working. Time for plan B.

Lila joined in the laughter. "Look, she’s little and not worth the effort."

"I disagree." the same guy spoke.

Lila rolled her eyes. "Oh, come on! What is the market value of a Marvin the Martian T-shirt? It ain’t much. I know."

"More than we got now."


"Ok, how bout a trade?" Lila removed her Star Wars Episode One bucket hat and offered it to the big guy. "Should fetch the same price as all her clothes combined." Not entirely true, but hey, sometimes you have to stretch the truth.

The big youth eyed it for a moment and then exchanged glances with his companions. He snatched the hat away and threw it to one of the girls Lila had pushed aside earlier.

"Alright, fair trade. We’re going now," Lila said as she tried to push Angie outside of the circle.

"Wait a minute." He said as he moved closer to Lila, fingering her scarf. "Your clothes could fetch a nice price, and once you’re out of them, you and me could..."

Ok, that was it. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. In a flash, a knife appeared in Lila’s hand and was poised at the miscreant’s throat. Thank God something that Ez had taught her had come in handy. So had the knife he had given her.

His bravado melted in an instant and he became the helpless foster family kid that he was before he ended up in the alley. "I’m going to let you slide this once. First rule of the streets, a fair trade is a fair trade. I suggest you learn the others before you meet up with someone less forgiving," Lila said in a menacing tone.

He put up his hands in defeat and stammered. "Sure whatever you say."

"Good." Lila debated on whether or not to press her advantage.

Oh, hell, why not!

"I better not see you in this alleyway when I pass through here again. Now, leave."

The big guy took a few steps back and then took off running, the girls hot on his heels. When they were out of earshot, Lila began to laugh.


She moved to the fire they had left and warmed herself before turning to Angie.

"What in God’s name are you doing out here? And it better be good. I lost a hat over you."

Angie was really scared. She hadn’t been this scared since her mother died. Not "I might get hurt" scared. Not "What’s happened to Ezra?" scared. Not "That was the wrong thing to do, I might get in trouble" scared.

This was "No place is safe, everybody is trying to hurt me" scared. She hadn’t felt this since she and Mama lived with Malcolm Greel.

The only safety she’d had then was when her mother was around to defend her. There was no one to help her here. Not until Lila stepped in.

Angie shook herself out of the train of thought. Lila wasn’t anything like her mama. Mama didn’t lie to her and she certainly didn’t call her a brat. In fact, the last person to call her that on a regular basis had been Malcolm Greel.

Angie shuddered that thought away too. The man was dead. He’d never be able to hurt her again.

Then she heard Lila complaining about her hat. Angie lifted her head defiantly. No weakness in the face of the enemy.

"Build a bridge and get over it!"

Lila had had it! She turned around and gave the kid her best mean look. Angie flinched, but that was the only reaction Lila received. "You didn’t answer my question! What in the hell are you doing here? Do you know you could’ve gotten hurt or even worse?"

"Not like you care."

"I don’t! But Ez does! And if anything happens to you I’m going to have to put up with his guilt bullshit and that is something I don’t like to deal with."

The kid didn’t seemed phased, but Lila knew she was thinking it over in her mind. Lila sighed. She didn’t have time for this! Ez was in trouble. She knew he was. Hell, he was always in trouble, be it with bad guys or with Larabee. Lila began to pace and think. She glanced back at the kid and noticed she had moved closer to the fire. Lila pulled her coat tighter around her. Damn, it was getting cold!

After a few minutes of pacing and reflection, Lila stopped. "Alright. I can’t let you go back by yourself, and I don’t have time to spare to haul your sorry butt back to the Potters’. So, get a move on, you’re coming with me." Lila took off down another alleyway, and Angie followed behind.

Angie let a small smug smile grace her features when Lila had told her she was coming. She had won!

"Wipe that damn smile off your face!"

"You can’t tell me what to do! It’s a free country."

"Nothing in this life is free, not even the damn country."

"Yes it is! And the best things in life are free," Angie argued as she tried to keep up with the long strides of the older girl.

"What are you? Dial-A-Cliche?" Lila was seriously pissed off, but she didn’t really want to go into a long discussion over it. She was more worried about getting to Ez in time than trying to explain to the child the fact that you’re not free unless you have money. Yeah, money talks and if you don’t have it, you’re not heard.

Ten minutes later found the pair extremely cold and only half a mile closer. It was not going well. Lila had realized a few minutes ago that Angie wasn’t in any shape to keep up with her. And it really wasn’t the kid’s fault. She was just not blessed with long enough legs. Lila stopped and looked at the kid who was trailing behind her. Angie was trying hard to keep up, but with the cold and the pace she wouldn’t last much longer.

Ah Christ! She couldn’t be left either! No telling what Ezra was going through right now and they couldn’t go any faster! Ok, Lila just chill and think. She took a quick glance at her surroundings. They were near a parking garage. A parking garage meant cars. And a car would be a perfect solution to their predicament.

"Why did you stop?" Angie asked almost completely out of breath.

"I got an idea."

Angie rolled her eyes. "Oh, great!"

"Oh, shut up. It will get us there faster."

"What’s the plan then?" Angie hated having to follow Lila’s directions and hated asking her what they had to do even more, but she was all for getting to Ezra faster.

Lila smiled devilishly and grabbed Angie’s shoulder and pulled. "Follow me."

The two crept into the parking garage past the parking attendant. They looked for an easy target. Something unnoticeable, automatic and not alarmed.

Angie pointed to a light blue Ford Taurus. "How about that one?"

Lila crept to it and looked in. Ok, no blinking light. "Well, there is no alarm." She looked into the car’s interior. "And it’s an automatic."

She pulled out her lock picking device. "Now to get in."

Angie watched amused as the older girl inserted the pieces of metal into the lock. "Hey Lila..."

"Shhh. I’m working here and we don’t want to arouse any attention."

"But Lila. It’s unlocked."

Lila looked up from the key hole to inside the window. Sure enough the lock was up meaning the car was unlocked. "Well, whaddaya know." She turned back to Angie. "Whoever drives this car is a moron." Lila opened the driver side door and ushered Angie in. Once in the driver seat, Lila began to look around.

"What are ya looking for?" Angie asked the older girl, not quite sure of her abilities to steal a car.

"Some morons, like the one who owns this car, leave a spare set of keys somewhere in the car itself." Lila pulled down the sun shade that also contained a vanity mirror and a set of keys slid into her hands. "See, what did I tell ya?"

Angie looked unimpressed. "Do you know how to drive?"

Lila grinned as she turned the key in the ignition bringing the car to life. "More or less."

Angie’s eyes immediately widened at Lila’s response and she quickly grabbed the seatbelt and secured herself in.

Lila’s smile grew when she realized the kid was apprehensive. Sometimes being the older one just rocked. She carefully pulled the car from the parking spot and drove to the exit right past the parking attendant. He waved at the exiting car, recognizing it as Mr. Burford’s. Then suddenly, he realized that it wasn’t Mr. Burford driving. In a panic, he ran after the car, yelling at the top of his lungs.

Lila looked in her rear view mirror. "Uh oh."


"We’ve been spotted."

"Then step on it."

"Not a problem." Lila stepped on the gas, tires squealing. Thank God it was night time and the traffic wasn’t that bad. "We better hurry. That attendant is going to call the cops and they’ll be looking for this vehicle. The sooner we can abandon it, the better."

"Y’know, we coulda saved a lot of time if we’d just taken Mrs Potter’s car. I know where she keeps the keys and she probably wouldn’t have missed it until tomorrow morning."

"Why didn’t you say so earlier?" Lila said it automatically. She didn’t really think making off with the Potter woman’s car would’ve been a terribly good idea.

"Well I didn’t know you could drive." They went around a corner at an ill considered speed and, finding herself thrown towards the door, despite the seatbelt, Angie amended her statement. "Well, could sorta drive. You’re right, the sooner we get out of this car, the better."

* * * * *

He supposed that he should be grateful they hadn’t started removing any body parts yet. Although there really wasn’t much else in the way of comfort that he could glean from the situation. Chris was really going to kill him this time.

No, don’t laugh, Ezra. Firstly, it really wasn’t all that funny and, secondly, you know that laughing with broken ribs hurts like hell.

One of the less pleasant skills he’d acquired in the course of his work was the ability to self-diagnose a range of injuries. And broken ribs was only one of several types of damage which his captors had been kind enough to inflict on him. He was quite sure that several fingers were broken and dislocated as well. The cigarette burns were mostly centred on his chest and abdomen. And that psychopath with a knife had got a bit carried away. The two stab wounds to the abdomen were causing Ezra the most pain and the blood seeping from them into the carpet was most disconcerting.

One part of his mind realised that the fact that he was trying to detachedly analyse this was probably a sign in itself that the blood loss was getting to him. But still, he might as well analyse while he could. It didn’t seem likely that any afterwards was on the cards. He knew that the injuries that he’d received thus far weren’t untreatable, but the odds of him ever receiving treatment were pretty close to zero.

For a start, due to his brilliant evasion techniques, no potential rescuer had any idea where he was. Chris and the rest of the team, might check their answering machine before morning but, if what they’d been called for was an involved operation, they may not. Lila knew he had gone, but she had no idea of his location. He’d made sure of that. He’d managed to elude her when she tried to follow him. Probably just as well. He didn’t want her in the same predicament as himself. These people were of the type that took sadistic pleasure in their work and he didn’t want her exposed to that.

In fact, he still wasn’t entirely sure why they’d stopped. They’d mentioned waiting for someone. One of their superiors? Someone with a grudge? He hadn’t caught the name, but it seemed obvious that the whole thing had been a set up from the beginning. Obviously someone had a very big score to settle. And he’d walked straight into it.

So much for his self-preservation instincts. Chris was really going to kill him this time.

* * * * *


E-mail: Derry & The Immortal