Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
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 wasnt for Ezra, she would never have come to this sugar-coated little suburb. If she didnt just know that he was going to need her help, whatever he thought. And if hed never introduced her to the annoying little brat.
Oh, that first meeting was indelibly seared into her brain. Shed been caught completely unaware.
Same as always, shed 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. Dont worry. Its 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 shed 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 hed said, he wasnt alone. She would have loved to have played it cool but she just couldnt 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 "Theres no place like home. Theres 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."
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 Ps 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 girls foster family slip. Or else she wouldnt know where to start looking.
"Well, lets get you back to the Potters, 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 girls 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 didnt have that much time. Who knew what kind of trouble Standish was already in?
She couldnt 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 didnt want anything to do with her. She didnt want to know anything about her. And she particularly didnt 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 shed 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 Caesars". 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 hed seemed to know where it was, although hed been a bit puzzled at first.
"Little Caesars?" Then hed grinned. "Oh thats what Angie calls the games place."
"Angie?" Lila tried to make it sound as if shed 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. Youve met her once. Five goin on six. Shes a friend of mine."
"Oh, her? I thought you must be paying maintainance to some little senorita somewhere."
Standish had actually laughed at that. "Im flattered. But Angies no relation. Shes just a friend."
Just a friend? Like hell! If that little prima donna hed 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 shed left him, shed caught up with her source. Still trying to get an idea of where "Little Caesars" was because, of course, Standish wouldnt tell her.
"No, Lila. This time, you will not be endangerin yourself. I can do without any surreptitious spectators."
Bastard! He didnt have any right to keep her away. This was her business too. Shed tried following him, but he truly was a pro and had given her the slip.
So shed gone to where shed picked up the info and what shed heard had really freaked her. They hadnt said where the damn place was, but theyd 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 couldnt 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 Lilas stomach growled. When was the last time she had eaten? This wasnt 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. Couldnt 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, theres the little kids 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. Weve got to talk."
* * * * *
Angie looked up in astonishment. Shed never seen anyone enter through that window before and it took her half a second to recognise that it was that weird friend of Ezras.
"What are you doing here?"
Shed 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 Lilas eyes when theyd 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 hed met somewhere. Maybe she thought she was his friend. But she certainly didnt have any right to be jealous when she found him with Angie.
As far as Angie was concerned, Ezra was her best friend. Theyd been through a lot together and this Lila person didnt know anything about that. But shed still come along and ruined a perfectly good day.
Ezra had taken Angie to see a show with all the gang from Sesame Street. Shed 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. Hed bought her a chocolate ice cream and everything.
And then hed got a phone call and they had to leave half-way through.
It had been Lila. Shed wanted to tell him something. Why couldnt 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.
Shed wanted to tell him what she thought of Lila, but you didnt say nasty things about peoples friends. But then hed given her an open invitation.
"You have an opinion, Angel girl?" hed asked as they walked back to his car.
"Shes weird and¼" Angie searched for a suitable word.
"Yes, hostile. She doesnt like me and she doesnt even know me!"
"Well, you dont know her and you dont seem to like her much."
"Thats different! I only dont like her because she doesnt like me!"
"I see." He smiled knowingly.
"Dont do that!"
"Act like Ive just said something stupid."
"Im sorry." Hed apologised, but hadnt stopped smiling.
Hed never said anything more about Lila to her. And Angie had thought that shed never have to see her again.
But now here she was. In Angies own room, looking around as if she owned the place. No, looking around as if she thought the place wasnt good enough for her.
Well, if she didnt like it, she could state her business and get out.
"I said, What are you doing here?"
"Wheres the games place?"
Angie blinked, "Im sorry?"
"Wheres the games place?" Lila repeated.
"What games place?"
Lila nearly threw something in frustration. "I dont know! Youre sposed to know!"
"Well, I dont!" Angie had firmly decided that this person was bizarre and probably crazy.
Lila took a deep breath. "Otherwise known as Little Caesars?"
Lila waited, but nothing further was forthcoming.
"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 couldnt 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. Ive got to find Ez and I dont 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 didnt want to tell the kid any more than necessary. This wasnt any of her business. It was Lilas problem and she alone would handle it.
But she admitted, "Yeah, Ive gotta find him."
"And hes 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, youre 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 wont tell you. Ezras in trouble, isnt he? Hes gonna need me."
Lila couldnt believe the kids nerve. "He doesnt need you! He managed to survive for nearly thirty years before you came along."
"Im 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 couldnt 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. Its an old gambling place hidden in the basement of the Griffin building. Its 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, didnt I?"
And with that she disappeared out the window
* * * * *
It had been a long time since Ezra had visited the vicinity of Little Caesars. 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 didnt seem to have changed much.
Lilas information was that a consignment of automatic weapons was going to change hands. Given the type of venue that Little Caesars was, it couldnt be as large a delivery as Lilas informants thought. It must be some sort of sample to the purchaser, for a larger shipment at a later date. There wasnt enough time to get all the warrants for a proper surveillance, so hed decided to just turn up and observe from a distance, maybe take down a few names and faces.
Chris wouldnt like it. Ezra had tried calling the office, but the others must have been called out to do something. Since they hadnt tried to call him, he supposed that his assistance wasnt required with whatever they were doing. And in some ways he was a touch relieved that Chris wasnt 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.
Hed 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 didnt need to be mothered. Although, with a mother like Ezras, that concept took on an entirely new dimension.
But it wasnt as if he was going to walk into the lions den, this time, anyway. He was just going to observe from a discreet distance. Hed 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, hed carried in the equipment in a battered old bag. It was a considerable sartorial down-scaling, compared with the only time hed previously been to Little Caesars, posing as a member of Malcolm Greels organisation.
There were only a few adversaries that Ezra bothered expending hate on, once theyd 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 hed read the report later and JDs description that there hadnt been much left of her was very close to the mark. And, in Ezras opinion, anyone who took perverted pleasure in doing that to another living creature was definitely sub-human.
The pathologist had deduced that shed 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 shed hidden her daughter and Ezra. But she obviously hadnt 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 Teresas path. He couldnt stand to think of her ever falling into the power of someone like Greel. It shouldnt happen. Lila seemed to know that if she was ever in trouble, hed 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 Ill 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. Hed 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 didnt 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.
"Im 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.
"Whos 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 didnt know where a place was, then she couldnt even tail the undercover agent, and finally, she fell off a drain pipe. It just wasnt 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 wasnt 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 didnt 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 wasnt one to break her promises. Christ knew shed 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 wasnt like Angie was going to feel any less betrayed if she knew that.
Shit, thats Life, kiddo! Its 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 wouldve 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 didnt 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 wasnt around. This was really
not good. She shook her head, trying to get rid of the voice. Ok, gone.
Damn it! She wasnt 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 wasnt 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 couldnt 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 Angies 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 couldve rivaled one of Chris Larabees.
"You obviously arent from around here. Ok, Ill give you the benefit of the doubt, and Ill 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, shes 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 aint 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. Were 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 youre out of them, you and me could..."
Ok, that was it. That was the straw that broke the camels back. In a flash, a knife appeared in Lilas hand and was poised at the miscreants 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. "Im 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 Gods name are you doing out here? And it better be good. I lost a hat over you."
Angie was really scared. She hadnt been this scared since her mother died. Not "I might get hurt" scared. Not "Whats 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 hadnt felt this since she and Mama lived with Malcolm Greel.
The only safety shed 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 wasnt anything like her mama. Mama didnt lie to her and she certainly didnt 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. Hed 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 didnt answer my question! What in the hell are you doing here? Do you know you couldve gotten hurt or even worse?"
"Not like you care."
"I dont! But Ez does! And if anything happens to you Im going to have to put up with his guilt bullshit and that is something I dont like to deal with."
The kid didnt seemed phased, but Lila knew she was thinking it over in her mind. Lila sighed. She didnt 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 cant let you go back by yourself, and I dont have time to spare to haul your sorry butt back to the Potters. So, get a move on, youre 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 cant tell me what to do! Its 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 didnt 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 youre not free unless you have money. Yeah, money talks and if you dont have it, youre 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 wasnt in any shape to keep up with her. And it really wasnt the kids 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 wouldnt last much longer.
Ah Christ! She couldnt be left either! No telling what Ezra was going through right now and they couldnt 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."
"Whats the plan then?" Angie hated having to follow Lilas 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 Angies 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 cars interior. "And its 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. Im working here and we dont want to arouse any attention."
"But Lila. Its 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."
Angies eyes immediately widened at Lilas response and she quickly grabbed the seatbelt and secured herself in.
Lilas 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. Burfords. Then suddenly, he realized that it wasnt 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."
"Weve 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 wasnt that bad. "We better hurry. That attendant is going to call the cops and theyll be looking for this vehicle. The sooner we can abandon it, the better."
"Yknow, we coulda saved a lot of time if wed just taken Mrs Potters car. I know where she keeps the keys and she probably wouldnt have missed it until tomorrow morning."
"Why didnt you say so earlier?" Lila said it automatically. She didnt really think making off with the Potter womans car wouldve been a terribly good idea.
"Well I didnt 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. Youre right, the sooner we get out of this car, the better."
* * * * *
He supposed that he should be grateful they hadnt started removing any body parts yet. Although there really wasnt much else in the way of comfort that he could glean from the situation. Chris was really going to kill him this time.
No, dont laugh, Ezra. Firstly, it really wasnt all that funny and, secondly, you know that laughing with broken ribs hurts like hell.
One of the less pleasant skills hed 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 didnt seem likely that any afterwards was on the cards. He knew that the injuries that hed received thus far werent 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 theyd been called for was an involved operation, they may not. Lila knew he had gone, but she had no idea of his location. Hed made sure of that. Hed managed to elude her when she tried to follow him. Probably just as well. He didnt want her in the same predicament as himself. These people were of the type that took sadistic pleasure in their work and he didnt want her exposed to that.
In fact, he still wasnt entirely sure why theyd stopped. Theyd mentioned waiting for someone. One of their superiors? Someone with a grudge? He hadnt 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 hed 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