Author Topic: Eye For An Eye (18+ Violence, language)  (Read 1049 times)

Simon Toews

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« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2017, 05:35:58 PM »
The next day, Simon did two things.  He accepted Cotter?s offer and picked up a burner phone.  The first job would be in service as a lookout on a deal with some of Cotter's overseas contacts.

And Detective Paige received a text from an unknown number giving the date and time of the meeting.  Biltmore Docks. Dockside.  12 AM.  With that, he dropped the phone into a dumpster.

Simon sat in the driver's seat of a brand new Charger, tucked neatly in an alleyway between two warehouses.  The cherry on his cigarette glowing orange as he inhaled.  He checked the clock. 12:30.  Pleasantries would be getting exchanged right now.  

Paige would probably be getting ready to strike. Then all hell would break loose.

?Toews.  How's it looking out there?? A voice chimed out through his FRS radio.  Blue eyes glanced down before he took it up to respond.  

?Coast is clear.?

?Roger that.?

Down by the dock, Cotter was smoking a big fat stogie, yacking away with Mirovelli, the man in a finely tailored suit, flanked by armed men.  

?Let's get to brass tacks, shall we?? Cotter said through a plume of smoke.

?Let's.  I have fifteen crates here ready for purchase.  But I have come here at great risk to myself and my organization. I expect compensation for my troubles.?

Cotter narrowed those beady, dark eyes. ?That was never part of our deal, mate.?

?I've travelled far to get to this hell hole. If you're not willing to work with me, then perhaps I shall take my business elsewhere.?

?Now you wait one sodding second-?

?And make no mistake, I will see to it nobody in my contacts trades with you ever again.? Mirovelli said shrewdly.  

Cotter fumed, staring a hole through the man. ?You ain't ****in? me like that, boy.?

Mirovellis men drew their weapons and so did Cotter's.  The finely suited man just smiled a toothy grin.  ?Now, now, gentlemen. No need to turn nasty.  We are businessmen.  I'm sir Mr Cotter and I can come to an agreement.  Isn't that right, my friend.?

Cotter eyed him a moment. ?15,000. Plus another 2 when I get my crates.?

Mirovelli?s eyebrows lifted.  ?17?  I believe we have a deal, Mr. Cotter.?

Suddenly lights burst out over the area. ?Nobody move!  You are all under arrest!?  A voice echoed out from a loudspeaker.

And all hell broke loose.  

Mirovelli?s men opened fire first, and Cotter's returned it, pulling their stocky boss out of the fray. Red and blue lights swarmed the area.  Swat Vans rolled in and armored men and women hopped out.  Orders and calls to cease fire were drowned out by weapons fire and soon the cops were involved as well.

That was his sign.  Simon slapped the car into gear and peeled out, pedal to the metal, the Charger tearing out of the narrow alleyway.

Cotter was in the midst of the vicious, three way gunfight.  Ducking behind a shipping container, he drew his .45 and plugged one of Mirovelli's men square in the face.

?Cam!? One of his lieutenants yelled. ?Go!?  He was then peppered with automatic gunfire, his stomach and chest bursting with every bloody impact before he fell, lifeless, to the ground.  Cotter stared a moment down at the body.  The sparking ricochets of bullets brought him back to the moment and he ran.

Simon expertly maneuvered the car through the maze of containers and combatants, tires screeching as he made hair pin turns around a cop car in his way. Little battles raged all around him, but he just kept driving.  He had one goal tonight.

Cotter ran as far as his lungs would allow before he had to stop and catch his breath.  Panting there. He held himself up with one arm.  Suddenly, he was tackled from the side, the wind leaving his body all too quickly.  The man might have been out of shape, but he was still strong as a bear.  Through the vicious blows to his gut, he managed to climb up on top of the thug attacking him, grab him by the hair and hit him with a vicious right.  The man was out cold, but Cotter didn?t stop.  He grabbed his attacker?s head and smashed it against the concrete again and again and again until he heard bone crack and the sickening squishy sound against the pavement.  

Cotter panted heavily, struggling to find his breath again, spitting upon the fresh corpse he?d just made.  His .45 lay within reach, he noted.  With a groan he started to reach out for it.

Click-clack!

Cotter turned slowly to find one of Mirovelli's top men standing there with a Desert eagle pistol leveled at him. There was no way he'd get his own weapon up in time before his head was blown off.

He squared himself, looking the man in the eye.  If he was going out he wasn't going out like a punk, his hand still reached out for that pistol.  ?Do it.  Do it, you piece a? ****.?  

The man took aim for his head, ready to pull the trigger.

Simon spotted him, for a moment considering letting it happen.  All it would take was less than a pound of pressure and Cotter would be gone forever.  But now was not the time.  

He slammed on the gas, the man caught completely unaware. His body slammed against the bumper, and his head left a bloody crack on the windshield.  The car screeched to a halt, launching the body from the hood, and Simon threw it into reverse.

Cotter watched breathlessly as the window lowered revealed Simon.

?Get in!  We need to get the **** outta here!?

A grin crowded it?s way onto Cotter?s round face.  He clambered on into the vehicle and slammed the door.   As soon as he was in Simon threw the car into reverse, jerking the wheel to bring them about face.  It was a war zone all around them.  SWAT and mobsters trading fire while Mirovelli and some of his men hopped into speedboats and took off.  The damage would most certainly be done, and with this act of altruism, Cotter wouldn?t look too hard at the real man behind it all.

Cotter lurched forward as Simon slammed on the brakes, a squad car heading directly for them.  Corrine Paige sat in the passenger seat.  ?Ram him!  Make sure he doesn?t get away!?

The darkness hid him enough that he couldn?t be ID?d but Simon wasn?t about to test the theory.  The shifter clacked into reverse and he gunned it.  She was dogging him hard, staying right on his front bumper.

?Toews!  TOEWS!  GO!?  Cotter bellowed.  But Simon was entirely focused.  One of Mirovelli?s stragglers got caught by the rear bumper and was sent careening off to one side.  ?Lose the bitch!?  Cotter ordered.

Suddenly, Simon jerked the wheel, the Charger going into a reverse hairpin turn between two buildings.  The alley was narrow and the rear view mirrors ripped right off the door.  Paige?s car skidded to a halt just short of the gap.  The car came out the other end in a shower of sparks, twin scrapes up the entire side of the vehicle, spinning wildly  and facing forward.

?Go around!  LET?S GO! ?  Paige shouted to her partner.  

A few more squad cars showed up in the only remaining rearview.   The car lurched forward and took off with them in pursuit.  He glanced behind him, noting one coming up at his 4 o?clock.  His boot slammed on the brakes before he could pit him.  Simon jerked the wheel and hit the gas, putting the squad car into a concrete pole, leaving him behind in burst of shattered glass and flying debris.

Simon locked his eyes onto the on-ramp for the highway, pushing the car as fast as it would go.  Before he could exit another cop pulled out of in front of him.  While Cotter lost his mind, Simon was cool, collected.  The wheel turned and the brakes hit, he slid sideways, clipping the front end and sending the charger into a spin to the other side of the squad car. Simon checked on Cotter then cut the wheel heading out onto the highway. The pursuing officers were slowed by their downed comrade, but it wouldn't last.  But Simon had a plan.  

The Charger left the highway, weaving through the streets into an underground parking garage. He pulled up next to an inconspicuous looking Soccer Mom van.  Quickly, he exited his car and surveyed his handy work.  The Charger was beat to ****.  It took Cotter two tries to push the door open, his overweight form spilling out onto the concrete.  

Simon barely hid the grin when he looked up. After pulling the man to his feet, they entered the van and took off into the night.

"You can run on for a long time.  But sooner or later, God'll cut you down."

Corrine Paige

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« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2017, 08:41:04 PM »
Paige walked through the aftermath.  CSI was everywhere, racking up ridiculous amounts of overtime.  Her partner, a lanky man named Evan Stanton walked up with that perpetual 5 o?clock shadow on his face and two cups of coffee.  Her arms crossed, her face a stoic mask of barely contained rage, she turned to him, eventually accepting one of the cups.  ?What you got??

?A lot of bodies and a **** load of bullet casings.  Ballistics is gonna have a field day with this place.?  Stanton said with a wry expression.

?No ****.?  She deadpanned, looking around.  ?Got any ID?s??

?Half of ?em are locals.  Laundry list of priors from possession to rape to murder. The others...not sure where they came from, but they ain?t exactly the fellas next door.?

?The locals...let me guess.  Ties to Cameron Cotter??  She asked him, knowing the answer already.

?Bingo.?  He pointed and took a sip from his cup.

?And no Cotter.?  She said looking around, nodding.  ?Then, maybe we need to ask the man a few questions.?

Stanton gave her a withering look.  ?Yeah, because that?s worked out so well in the past.  You now he?s just gonna have his boys lie for him.?

The muscle in Paige?s jaw tightened beneath her dark skin.  She could have just been a goddamn secretary, working for her papa, not dealing with blood or bullets or bodies...but noooooo.  She had to become a goddamn cop.  Some days she?d wished she hadn?t been so rebellious.

?The thing I don?t get??  She said with a glance to her partner.  ?Who the hell sent that message?  Someone clearly has inside information...someone clearly wants to set Cotter up to fail.?

?But who??  Stanton asked.  ?Those guys are all incredibly loyal to the son of a bitch.?

?I don?t know.?   Corrine looked out to the rising sun.  ?But I?m going to find out.?
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Simon Toews

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« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2017, 07:18:25 PM »
After that night, Simon became one of Cotter?s most trusted men.  The gangster was absolutely furious, but he wasn?t looking at Simon.  Over the next few weeks, every move Cotter made, he found he was thwarted.

A bank job?  The cops were waiting.  A massive drug deal?  Even men sent down to muscle out protection money would find at least one uniformed officer waiting there.  Simon was going through burner phones like a pack of cigarettes, and every message sent to one person.  Corrine Paige.

The mood around the Cotter house had turned sour.  Cameron began suspecting everyone of betraying him.  Everyone but Simon.  Cotter paced around the table, fuming as they awaited a phone call.  Simon leaned against the wall, lighting a cigarette and watching, looking bored.  

The phone rang, and Simon knew who was on the other end and what they were going to say.  The hijacking of a cargo ship arriving from somewhere called New York was met with heavy resistance.   If any of the mooks sent out there were still alive, he would be surprised.

Cotter slammed the phone down.  ?****!? he bellowed, storming over to the wall and repeatedly smashing it with his hand until he punched straight through the drywall.  Those beady eyes were thick with malice and suspicion as he turned around.  His chest heaved as he looked at each person in the room.  ?One of you is a ****in? rat!?

Everyone in the room tensed, except for Simon.  He was above suspicion in Cotter?s eyes.

?Whoa, whoa, Cam??  Liam Halliwell, one of his top lieutenants said, holding up his hands.

?Shut the **** up!  Shut your mouth!?  Cotter said, pointing at him, moving toward the man like a charging bull.  ?Where the **** was ya/  Huh?  Last night!  Seems I don?t exactly remember seein? you ?round here.?

?I was with Stephanie last night, Cam, I told you that!?

Cameron drew a pistol and put it to Liam?s head.  ?Are you ****in? me, Liam?!?

Liam recoiled, desperate to get away from the gun.

?Tell me you ain?t ****in? me, mate, or I?ll go over there and put a bullet in that gutter slut?s ****in? head!?  He pressed that gun against Liam?s temple.

?I swear!  Cam!  I known you all my life!  Please!  I ain?t a ****in? rat!?  He pleaded.

?Cam.?  Simon said calmly.

Cotter looked up at him a moment.  Simon just shook his head.  Liam was not his man.  The boss eased a bit, then.  His attention returned to his men, eyeing them one by one.  ?I?m gonna find out who?s screwin? with me.  And I swear to God, I?ll it last.   I?ll beat you until you?re a ????in? puddle on the ground!?

?Now get the **** outta here!?  He shouted.

Simon stayed where he was until everyone had gone.  Cotter was hunched over, propped up on the table by his arms.  ?These ****in? jackals?I swear to God, kid...I?ll kill every last one a? them.  I wanna know who?s talking.?

Simon smiled inwardly, but the exterior was stone cold.  ?You need to relax.  Keep working.  You do that, and whoever the son of a bitch is will reveal himself.  I swear.?  

And he would.  It was all a part of the plan.  When Cotter was alone, no friends and burning empire, he would tell him.  Leave him broken.  Kill the man if he had to.  But Cotter would know it was Simon.

"You can run on for a long time.  But sooner or later, God'll cut you down."

Corrine Paige

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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2017, 11:44:48 AM »
Typical hot summer?s day.  Simon walked out of the convenience store, a few groceries in the bag wrapped in one hand, a slushie in another.  He strolled down the sidewalk when a voice called out to him.

?Simon!?  

He turned to find Paige and Stanton standing there.  ?Detectives.?

?Out doin? a bit of shoppin? huh??  Paige asked with a casual but confrontational air.

?Once again.  Earnin? that badge, ain?t ya, Corrine??  

She spread her arms out like she was showing off.   ?That?s why they pay me the big bucks, baby.?

A wry grin crossed Simon?s lips.  ?What can I do for you detective??

?Your buddy Cameron Cotter?s been having a hell of a month, hasn?t he??  She said, walking with him.

?Wouldn?t know.?  Simon said, poker face engaged.  ?I drive his wife around.  Not privvy to all the nitty gritty of whatever he?s into.?

Paige smiled, that knowing look on her face.  ?Sure.? She said, propping her hand on her hip.  ?Funny thing is...before all of these busted extracurriculars...I've been getting weird texts from burner phones, telling me where and when to be.?

?Lucky you.?

?Rabbit?s foot?s workin? overtime.? She nodded slowly.

Simon shrugged. ?Gotta get me one of those.?

Paige let out a small laugh and stared into his eyes.  ?He never saw you coming.  Did he??

That unreadable face stayed on her.  ?Have a good day, Detectives.?

She nodded, letting him pass.  ?Be careful, Simon.?  She called over her shoulder. ?Cotter catches you...he's going to hurt you. You and everyone and everything you love.?

?Keep rubbin? that rabbit?s foot, detective.?  He said, throwing a wave over his shoulder.
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Simon Toews

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« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2017, 08:32:42 AM »
Simon sat in his living room, Cici sitting between his legs while he brushed her hair, completely wrapped up in her TV show.  ?Damn, kid...do you knot up your hair on purpose or what??

?You?re just jealous your hair doesn?t look this good.?  She said with an annoyed glance back at her father, hair a complete and utter mess.

?Well, that?s true.? He snickered.  ?I?ve always woke up and said ?You know what would complete this look?  A blown out rat?s nest.?

Cici giggled, eyes still forward.  Simon?s attention was pulled away as a knocking came at his door, his smile dropping.  He glanced down to her, placing a kiss at the top of her head.  ?Daddy?ll be right back.?

He pushed up off the ground, leaving the little one behind.  As he walked to the door of their apartment, he made a quick stop at the closet, pulling a pistol down from the top shelf and concealing it in the back of his waistband.

He steeled himself as the knock came again, more insistent.  Hand upon the grip of pistol, he cracked the door to find Cotter.  The man stood there with that toothy grin.  Like an alligator, Simon decided.  What the hell was he doing here?  This was his home.  His escape from this man.  

?Mr. Cotter...what, uh...what are you doin? here??  He asked, trying not to make it suspicious.

Cotter put on a hurt expression.  ?What?  You ain?t happy to see your ol? pal Cam??

Simon stammered a moment.  ?No.  No, it?s...not that, I just??

Cotter burst out laughing and pushed his way in.  ?I?m ****in? with ya, kid.  An? I thought I told you t? call me Cam.?

Simon forced a smile.  ?Right, right, Sorry.  Cam.  What, uh...what can I do for you.?

Cameron looked at the small apartment, contemplating a moment.  ?This is a real **** hole.?

Simon didn?t respond to that, but then he didn?t need to.

?We?ll get you some better digs soon as we can, yeah??  Cameron offered.

Again, Simon forced a smile.  ?That...that would be great.  Thank you.?

Cameron moved to his fridge without even so much as a gesture asking permission.  

?Can...is there somethin? I can do for you today??  Simon asked, watching him, praying he remained here and nowhere near Cici.

?Got a job comin? up.?  Cam said, stealing a beer.  Because why not drink at 9 AM?  ?I got word that a load a? green is going to be leaving Rhydin National tomorrow.  Three armored cars? worth.  Puttin? together the A-team on this, Toews.  Need me some solid muscle n? you fit the bill.?

Simon watched him, reading his every tick and movement.  ?Sounds fun.?  He said quietly.

?All goes well, we make a boatload.  You can move out of this dingy li?l rathole, yeah?  Get you some respectable clothes and-?

?Daddy, what?s taking so long?  My-?  Cici came around the corner, catching a glimpse of the man.   Simon?s heart dropped, his hand itching to draw his weapon and put one between Cameron?s eyes.

?Well, well, well.  And who?s this pretty li?l lady??  Cotter asked, bending forward.   It would be so easy.  Just put the barrel to the back of his head and squeeze.  Over.  Done.

?Cici.?  she said shyly, not making eye contact.

?Cici??  He said in the sweetest voice he could muster.  ?You?re the famous Cici I always here your pop bangin? on about??

Simon tried to put on an encouraging smile as the little girl looked to him.

?You know.  Your daddy?  He?s reeeeeeeeeeeal proud a? you,yeah??  Cotter said giving her nose the lightest of pinches.

Cici giggled, her smile spreading across her face.  ?Yeah, I know.?

?Cici.?  Simon said then, struggling to sound casual.  ?Go watch your show.  Daddy?s gotta talk to Mr. Cotter, okay??

?But daaaaaaaad...the rat?s nest!?  she whined.

He couldn?t help the laugh that escaped him.  ?I?ll...be right there to comb it out.?

?Okay??She said, putting a whole show of being dejected.  ?Bye Mr. Cotter.?

?Bye bye, Cici.?  Cotter said, flashing that predatory grin of his.  Those beady eyes turned to Simon, the grin remaining.  ?Sweet kid.?

?Yeah.?  Simon nodded, driven on immediately changing the subject..  ?I?m in.?

Cotter nodded.  ?Smart lad.  We?ll be seein? ya, mate.?  He said giving Simon a slap on the shoulder.

Simon watched him leave the apartment.  The moment the door shut he went in the other room.  ?Cici...we?re going on a little trip.?

"You can run on for a long time.  But sooner or later, God'll cut you down."

Simon Toews

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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2017, 04:49:41 PM »
Briana was an old fling.  A tall, gorgeous fashion model he'd met at an event he'd crashed.  He'd had no right being there, of course, and security was able to pick that out in a second.  It was Bri who'd come to his rescue, tired of the pretentious lot that usually filled the roster.  She'd seen him raising holy hell, came over, and claimed he was her date.

That night they'd gotten drunk and made some poor choices, but had a lot of fun.  When Cici came into his life, she'd helped him get sorted and give the girl a decent home.  

She pulled the door open, still stunningly gorgeous, her dark brown hair pulled back in a messy ponytail.  A bright smile crossed her lips, a fondness in her big, brown eyes as she looked him over.  ?Well, well.  Simon Toews.  Always knew you?d darken mah doorway again.? she said affecting a southern belle?s accent.

The corner of his mouth upturned in a lopsided grin as he regarded her a moment.  ?The fair maiden Briana.?  He gave a flourish of his hand as he bowed his head.  

She reached out, the two of them embracing and exchanging kisses on the cheek.  Briana?s eyes widened at the sight of the little girl.  ?Oh my god...that can't be Cici??  She crouched down to eye-level with the little girl.  ?You got so big!?

What shyness Cici might have had at first got wiped away.  A big smile worked its way to the little girl?s face.  ?I'm big??

Briana put on a sincere face and nodded ?you're a big, pretty little lady.? She nodded firmly before the smile returned.  

?Well, come in, come in!? She ushered them into her home.  

While Cici sat in the living room playing with Briana?s Newfoundland puppy, Simon stood in the kitchen with Briana, watching the little one, blissfully unaware of the seriousness of their situation.  

?Is it bad??  Briana asked him.  He glanced over his shoulder, eyeing her for a moment.  He simply nodded.

The woman frowned and closed her eyes, looking away.  ?You never learn, do you?  That girl needs a father.  A normal one who doesn?t HAVE to rely on people to always look after her whenever he lands himself in trouble.?

Simon turned back to watch Cici.

?When is it going to be enough, Simon??

He stared in silence, mind racing.  ?I tried.?  He muttered.  ?I really did.  I went for the mundane jobs...but nobody was hiring...and if they were, the money wasn?t good enough.  Not to keep her.  So I did the only thing I was ever good at.?

Briana shook her head.  ?In and out of trouble with the law??  she asked dubiously.

?You think I like it?  You think I enjoy that I barely get to see my daughter??  He asked.  ?Bri...I love her.  I love her more than life itself.  Every time I have to go, it kills me.  And every time I come back she?s so excited to see me...so full of love for me??

Simon shook his head, turning back to the little girl.  ?I?ve never known love like that.?

Briana stepped up beside him, putting a hand on his shoulder.  ?You don?t have to have everything figured out, Simon.  You just have to try.  She?ll love you no matter what, if you?re a good father to her.?

?That?s why I?m doing this.?  He said.  ?I?m making sure I never have to do this again.  When it?s finished, we?ll be set for life.?

?But at what cost??  Briana asked him.  ?How much more do you have to take?  How much blood do you need on your hands?  How many lives do you have take before it?s enough??

?Just one.?  Simon nodded to her.  ?And then it?s over.  I just need you to keep her safe.?

The answer wasn?t what she had been hoping for, she frowned.  There was a time she thought something might have developed between them.  He was decent to her, he was charming...he was dynamite in bed...but he had his demons.  He was a sweet man who did monstrous things, and that put an end to those thoughts.  She just had hoped he?d grown a bit.  

?You know I love you and that little girl.?  Briana said.  ?I?ll look after her...but I want your word, Simon.  After this...it?s over.?

He turned to her, brows knit together.  ?I swear to you...once this is done, I?m taking her and I?m getting out of Rhydin forever.?

Briana nodded slowly and then wrapped him in a hug.  ?Alright.  Now get out of here.? she said, stepping away.

Simon gave her arm a squeeze and stepped into the living room.  Cici was on her back, the big. Fluffball of white fur draped across her.  ?Munchkin.?  He said with a grin.  ?Daddy?s gotta run, alright??

She heaved the dog from atop her.  ?Okay??she said with a grunt, getting to her feet.  Cici threw her arms around her crouching father, hugging him so impossibly tight.  Simon clung to her, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.

?I love you, kid.  You know that, right??  he asked.

?I know.?  She said.  ?I?m super adorable.?

A grin slipped across his face.  ?Yeah.  You are.?

?I love you, too, Daddy.?  She said.

Simon put a hand on her cheek and looked her in the eye.  ?You be good for Briana, okay??

She nodded with that big cheesy grin.  ?We?re gonna have girl talk.  I?m gonna braid her hair!?

?Oh-hoho...does SHE know that??  He asked and glanced to the brunette.  ?God help you.?

Briana smirked, her arms crossed watching them.  Any doubts about his skill as parent would have been wiped away when he saw them together.  Fatherhood suited him, she decided.

Simon stood and looked to Briana.  ?I?ll be back.  Until then...be safe.?

"You can run on for a long time.  But sooner or later, God'll cut you down."

Simon Toews

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« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2017, 06:56:22 PM »
Lyla came calling for a ride the next morning.   Simon pulling up in front of the house, the beauty exiting in those big old bug-eyed sunglasses, her purse kept in the crook of her arm as she approached the car, slipping into the passenger seat.

?Mrs. Cotter.?  Simon said with a nod.

?Enough of that ****.?  She said, impatiently slamming the door.  ?Whatever it is you?ve been doing, it?s working.  Things are coming to a head with him.?

Simon pulled off the driveway and onto the street.  ?I?d imagine so.  I moved my daughter to a safe location just in case.  Does he suspect anything??

Lyla sighed, fishing a pack of cigarettes from her bag.  ?He suspects everything.  He?s cracking, and it?s going to get ugly before it gets better.  Whatever we?re going to do, we need to stop ****ing around and do it.?

Simon produced his zippo from his pocket flicking the flame to life.  Lyla leaned forward, the cherry glowing as she breathed in.  The hum of the car?s engine, the tires on pavement mingled with the sound of her breath exhaling smoke.  Simon thumbed the passenger window down a crack  ?Is he still hitting you??

?He?s *always* hitting me.?  her voice was a dispassionate monotone as she stared out the window, the hint of a bruise peering out from beneath her collar.

Simon caught a glimpse of it and his blood boiled.  ?There?s one last job coming up.  Then it?s done.?

She pulled the glasses off, turning her head to him.  Her eye had mostly healed, but the remnants of the beating he?d given her still remained.  ?What job??

?Rhydin National.  Armored cars will be rolling in to transfer cash from the vault.  We overtake them, get the cash...then it?s 3 separate check points with 3 separate cars.  Switch out the bags, move the cash and lose the cops.  That?s the plan anyway.?  He said.  ?You don?t know about this??

?He beats the **** out of me almost daily...you think he?s gonna trust me?  He doesn?t even trust the guys in his crew. ?  She took a drag and looked away.  ?I never know what he?s doing anymore unless it?s to me.?

?I?m going to stop it.?  Simon told her.  ?You just have to hold out a bit longer.?

Lyla breathed twin jets of smoke from her nostrils.  ?You be more worried about you.  I can handle myself.  Just do what you need to and we?ll put his fat ass in the ground.?

Simon nodded, eyes on the road.

?How is she??  Lyla asked.  ?Your daughter.?

?She?s good.  Has no idea what?s going on...but she?s good.  Your husband came to my apartment the other day.?  Simon informed her.

Lyla turned to him, a horrified expression on her face.  ?Oh, Jesus...I?m sorry.  I?m so sorry.?

?Yeah.  That?s why I left her with an old friend.  He?s seen her...acted like I told him all about her, but I?ve never said a word.?

?He doesn?t do business with people he can?t exploit.?  Lyla frowned, scratching above her brow with a thumbnail before taking another deep drag.

That, he could believe.  Again, the two sat in silence before Simon spoke again.  ?What are you gonna do?  When he?s gone??

Lyla?s jaw tightened, a little laugh breathed through her nose.  ?You know...I have no idea.?

She chuckled, smiling for the first time in what felt like months.  ?I might leave  Rhydin...might find myself a little place out in the country and try to live in peace.?

Simon laughed.  ?What, like a farm??

?Yeah!  Why not?  I think I could pull off some Daisy Dukes, don?t you??  She grinned to him.

?Oh, you got the proportions for it, but somehow I can?t see you out milkin? cows and tillin? wheat.?  Simon eyed her with a smirk.  ?I think without clubs to hit up, men to swindle...you?d be bored as ****.?

?You?re probably right??.Lyla nodded and took one last drag and tossed the butt out the window, blowing smoke out the corner of her mouth.  ?What about you??

?Me??  Simon side-eyed her.  

?Yeah.  What?s your life like after he?s dead??

Simon stared ahead, a little smile crossing his lips.  ?I take my daughter home...I find a real job.  Try to live the normal life and watch her grow up...Just be with her.?

Lyla smiled warmly at him.  ?And you think you can do ?normal???  She gave him a knowing smirk.


?For her, I can do anything.?  

Lyla?s expression faded a bit as she lowered her eyes.  ?You?re a good father.  You know that??

?No.  I?m not. ?  He said softly.  ?But god damn it, I will be.?

"You can run on for a long time.  But sooner or later, God'll cut you down."

Corrine Paige

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« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2017, 04:19:07 AM »
The sun rose over the horizon, shining its orange hue over the world to mix with the blue and white of a beautiful , clear, perfect day.  Life went much as it always had in the city.  The hustle and bustle of people going to and fro...living their lives.  

Corrine Paige walked out of the coffee shop, two cups in hand and slid into the driver?s seat.  Stanton glanced over.  ?Ahhhh...Nectar of the gods.?  He said fondly, accepting the coffee and immediately taking a sip.

?Ughhhhhh?.?He groaned.  ?****in? HOT!?

?Yeah, dip-ass.  It?s coffee.?  Paige responded, looking at him like an idiot.  Her phone vibrated in her coat pocket, the detective leaning to one side to withdraw it.   She brought it up to check the screen.

Stanton glanced over taking another sip.  ?Toews??  He asked with a wince.

?Allegedly.?  Corrine responded wryly.  

?What?s up??  Stanton leaned over.

?It?s a map...Markers with times at three different locations...all starting at  Rhydin National??  she muttered, putting it all together.  ?Call in to RN and see if they?ve got a big transfer of physical funds scheduled for today.?

Stanton slipped his coffee in the cup holder and made the call.  While he was busy with that, she studied the image a moment before whispering to herself.  ?It?s a shell game??

?Right.  Thank you very much.?  Stanton said hanging up the phone.  ?We?ve got three armored trucks coming in transporting out a 45 million dollar cargo at 12:30.?

Paige looked to the image again, the marker at Rhydin National with a timestamp of 12:30.  Slowly her lips parted.  ?Evs...put out an APB, I want multiple unmarkeds along this route.  I want them out of sight and ready to rock once we ID the cars involved.  Full kit-out, I want everyone armed and ready for a firefight.  Cotter?s making his move.?
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Simon Toews

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« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2017, 04:19:54 AM »
Simon stood outside the rendezvous point, a cigarette between his lips as he waited for Cotter to get there.  The doughy, increasingly haggard looking man rolled up in his mercedes, bright and early, the cool of the morning still in the air, a black leather jacket on his person.

He stepped out of the car and looked over at his drivers and gunmen.  ?Right, lads.  Ya look ?ungry.  Ya look tough.  Ya look ready for ****in? action!?

Murmurs and cheers rose up as Cotter walked amongst his people.  Simon eyeing him as he sent a plume of smoke out from between his lips.

?We?re gonna roll up there, take the bastards for everything they got!  Put ?em away and make em? remember why they fear Cameron Cotter!?  He sneered and nodded.  ?Anybody gets in your way, you put a bullet between their ****in? eyes!  PUT ?EM IN THE ****IN? GROUND!?

The image in his head of Cotter laid low, handcuffed and thrown in the back of Paige?s car carried Simon through the little speech.  

?LET?S ROLL!?  Cameron shouted.

Simon took one last heavy drag and threw his cigarette on the ground, stomping it out with his bullet and blowing out a lungful of smoke.

==One Hour Later==
The trucks arrived right on time, the movement of the money well underway as he sat inside the Charger, hands on the wheel waiting for the sign.  

The trucks were loaded and ready to move, heading out in a convoy, escorted by a single squad car.  Street after street, they rode on uneventful.  It was not to last.  A massive dump truck came careening down the intersection, plowing into the squad car, blindsiding it and sending the vehicle rolling.  A black Escalade skidded to a stop, armed men jumping out and moving on the Armored trucks.  

One of the drivers decided to be a hero and drew a weapon, earning a burst to the chest from one of Cotter?s men.  Lots of screaming and yelling followed as they forced the other drivers to comply, unlocking their doors, aware now of what sort they were dealing with.  The bags removed and the remaining drivers loaded and locked into the back of the trucks.

?Packages secure.  Go now.?   Came Cotter?s voice over the radio.

Simon slapped the car into gear, his boot stomping on the gas as he tore out into the streets.  Weaving through the back alleys he came out, slamming on the breaks, the car sliding to a stop right beside the trucks, two other cars following suit.  The gunmen opened the back door, throwing in the duffel bag loaded with cash onto the seat.  The moment the door shut, he hit the accelerator, burning rubber as he jetted away.  

The other cars, loaded up and hot on his tail, he lead them through the back alleys and side streets out onto the main stretch, keeping an eye out for the trap that Paige, no doubt would have set and was just waiting to spring.

With a jerk of the wheel, he lead them off the main road and down into a aqueduct, tearing through the wet concrete until they reached the first checkpoint, the cars screeching to a halt.  Simon immediately got out of his car, shouldering the bag and throwing the incendiary grenade into the charger.  He loaded up the bag into the waiting Camaro, sliding into the driver?s seat, deadly focus in his eyes as the grenade let out a massive boom, the interior now burning.  

The three new cars rolled out into the aqueduct, Simon leading them again back up onto the road, three burning husks of a car left behind.  As they were about to cross an intersection, they were suddenly cut off.  An unmarked Crown Vic pulling immediately in front of them.

Simon slammed on the brakes, barely avoiding a collision.  In the Driver?s seat, Paige made eye contact with him, corner of his mouth upturning.   Several other squad cars were approaching from behind.  The gearshift cracked back into reverse, Simon pressing the pedal down hard.  The cars all scattered, Simon going in reverse down a residential street with  Paige on his nose.  He spied an opening big enough for him to fit through, only a wooden fence in his way.

The Camaro burst through, sending wood splinters and fragments flying all over, the car off its wheels for a moment before slamming back down, bouncing with the impact before he threw himself into a complete 180.  

SImon hit the car into drive and gunned it away from the pursuing Paige.  The others all had their backup routes.  They were not his concern at the moment.  Weaving in and out of traffic, he lead Paige on a wild chase, jerking the wheel into a wild drifting turn before straightening himself out and rocketing forward.  Paige was barely able to keep up, losing a bit of ground as she struggled to negotiate the turn at high speed, lights flashing, sirens blaring.

Simon glanced in his rearview, a smirk on his face.   The wheel cut left and he went down another back alley, absolutely decimating a plastic garbage can, sending trash flying everywhere in his wake.

A quick glance at his clock brought a bit of urgency to him.  They had backup plans within back up plans.  If he timed it right, it would work perfectly.  His eyes focused ahead on the rapidly approaching train tracks?.and the train that was on its way.

?No way.?  Paige said, watching as Simon sped up.  ?He?s gonna try to race the ****in? train! ?  She sped up, trying to match him and maybe hit him with a pit maneuver.  But he was too quick, nearer and nearer that train came to him.  And at the last moment, he threaded the needle,  missing the train by inches.

Corrine slammed on her brakes, barely able to keep from blasting into the train.

?Ain?t he supposed to be helpin? us, C??  Stanton asked, gripping white-knuckled to the oh-**** handle.

She glared ahead.  ?They?ll be heading for the third Checkpoint.  We get there before them.?  She responded.  ?This mother ****er better not screw us.?

Simon turned down the main stretch to checkpoint two, the other two cars converging and coming to a stop under an overpass.  Cameron stood waiting outside one of the three waiting SUV?s as they pulled up.  He eyed Simon a moment, nodding to him.  Something in his eyes, the tatted driver didn?t particularly feel comfortable with.

Simon switched out his bag into his SUV, dropping another grenade into the Camaro and pulled his way up into the vehicle and started the engine, watching as Cotter boarded another.  Foot met accelerator, Simon once again taking point.  He took them down the route, not a cop car in sight.  

Once the convoy passed three unmarked squads came screaming around a corner in pursuit.  Simon edged the SUV up to its top speed, barreling down a side street toward an old fenced-off factory.  The vehicle made short work of that chain link fence, bringing the cars through the buildings and unused stacks as more squad cars joined the chase.  

He turned a corner as one of them came up alongside him.  The cop tried to sideswipe him, metal shrieking and banging as they collided.  Simon jerked the wheel hard, putting the cop car?s left wheels onto a loading ramp and sending the vehicle careening through the air, crashing down on its passenger side in shower of sparks and broken glass.

The SUV tore through the other fence as he got right back on the main road.  The convoy, having scattered pulling up beside him.  He glanced out his window catching Cotter eyeing him, offering a nod.  Simon returned it and hit the gas, taking point once again.

The engine revved loudly as Simon?s SUV roared down the angled wall of another section of aqueduct...but this time, the three cars waiting for them were surrounded by cops, Corrine Paige at the front, vest strapped on and an AR shouldered.  Any other time, he might be worried.  But this was part of his plan.

He spotted the spike strips almost too late, jerking his wheel to the right to avoid it.

Paige stared down the barrel of her rifle, eyes on the approaching convoy.  ?Come on...make this easy, Toews??  She muttered to herself.

One of the SUVs? tires suddenly exploded, the wheel whipped right wildly,, slamming into the one beside it.  But Simon just gunned it, as the bare rims sparked and scraped on the ground.  They were Paige?s problem now.   Good luck, Cotter, you son of a bitch.

His focus turned then to Paige...the SUV never slowing as he approached.  Someone behind her opened fire, which just started a chain reaction, bullets pinging off the front of the car and tearing through the windshield.   Simon had to duck out of the way as one ripped  through his headrest and into the backseat.   He set his jaw, glancing back and yanked the wheel to the left, the car continuing to take fire as it climbed up the angled wall and burst through the fence at the top, leaving Paige, Cotter and the others to each other.


Paige stared wide-eyed after the car until her attention was redirected to Cotter?s men exiting their vehicles with assault rifles and opened fire.  Corrine ducked behind her car for cover, pulling her radio up.  ?We?re under fire!  Requesting immediate back-up!?  She shouted into it.  ?Toews is still on the run.  Black Ford Escape heading Northbound!?  She dropped the mic and returned fire.

Plans within plans.  You didn?t piss in the the Devil?s eye if you didn?t have an escape in-place.  Simon pulled into an underground parking garage, the car creaking to a stop.  Parked and waiting was the mini-van.  Simon grabbed the duffel of cash and loaded it into the back of the van, sliding the door shut.  Leaving the bullet-ridden SUV behind, he joined the hustle and bustle of daily life.

"You can run on for a long time.  But sooner or later, God'll cut you down."

Corrine Paige

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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2017, 03:35:54 PM »
Paige dropped low behind her cover, dropping a magazine to her feet and slapping a fresh one in.  Toews was gone, but she, in the grand scheme, he was a small fish...and he?d delivered Cameron Cotter right to her.

She rose up, shouldered, aimed and fired, a single shot sending a mist of red out the back of one of Cotter?s men?s head.   ?Advance!?  she screamed waving the team on.

Corrine slid over the hood of her car, Stanton coming up beside her, the pair of them moving forward, weapons ready.  ?CAMERON COTTER!?  she called.  ?Throw down your weapons and come out with your hands up!?  They crouched low at the shot-up SUV?s.

?Last warning!  Throw down your weapons and come out with your hands up.!?  

No response.

Paige nodded to Stanton, the pair moving perfectly together as a team, slipping around the car, their weapons sweeping over the bodies.

?Damn.?  Stanton.  ?Got ?em all.?

Corrine?s eyes moved over the corpses frantically.  ?Cotter.  Where?s Cotter??

?Huh??  Stanton asked, brow furrowed.  

?None of these bodies is Cotter!  Where the **** is he?!?  

Stanton immediately ran back to the squad car to report that Cotter was still active.  Corrine clenched her jaw before kicking the door of one of the SUV?S  ?DAMN IT!?
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Simon Toews

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« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2017, 01:55:41 PM »
The minivan pulled up in front of Cotter's place, Simon immediately hopping out.  He pounded on the door until he heard the click.  

For a moment, he could see the panic and terror in Lyla?s eyes...but it faded into a big smile.  A little laugh left her, building more and more until her body shook.  The brunette threw her arms around him, clutching tight as the laughter turned to tears.

Simon truly felt for her.  Years of abuse, physical and mental had taken their toll, and now it just poured out of her.   But he knew they couldn't linger.  

He managed to get her into the car with her bags, and off on the road they went.  The car ambled down the highway, Lyla?s head leaned against the window as she watched the cars whip by.  A content smile on her lips, she lolled her gaze to Simon.  ?Tell me something.  About you.?

Blue eyes flicked her way.  ?What do you want to know??

?I don't know.  Family? You got a family??

?Just Cici.?  He said, a hint of warmth in his voice.  

?Where's her mom??

?No clue.? He responded.  ?I woke up one morning and she's out on my doorstep in one of those...what do you call them??

?Bassinets?? Lyla offered.

?Yeah.  Note telling me she's mine from some chick I'd had a one nighter with.?  He went on. ?I tried to find a way out.  But, something about that little girl made me want to stay.  Every time she opened her eyes? those were *my* eyes.?

Lyla smiled.  It was rare to see a tough guy like him vulnerable.  She kinda liked it.

?Best thing that ever happened to me.? He stated quietly.  

That sat well with the mobster?s wife.  ?What about your parents??

?Which ones??  He chuckled.  ?Mom died having me, dad got himself killed not long after.  Robbing a liquor store.?  

Simon leaned, taking his cigarettes out. ?Went into the system at 3, so they told me.?  He said, dragging one out with his teeth.  

?I got sent to this family...Ingrams.  The old man was nice enough when he was sober?? he lit the cigarette and took the smoke in.  ?Which wasn't too often.?

He exhaled out the opened window.  ?Used to get liquored up and beat the **** out of the wife. And when I tried to stop him, turned on me.  Sweet lady. Real little...quiet.  Her name was Diane.?

He took another drag, eyes forward. ?Went on 8 years.?  He said before blowing out the smoke.  ?One night, I hear it.  She's screaming and he's wailing on her with a belt..begging him to stop and he just called her every name in the book and carried on. ?

Lyla stared, all of this coming too close to home.

?I couldn't take it anymore.  I went to my closet, got a big wooden baseball bat.?  The expression on his face put him there again, watching it play out like he was a spectator.  ?I snuck up behind him...and I hit him.  Right in the back of the knees, as hard as I could.?

A little smile twitched onto Lyla?s face.

?And then I hit him again, across the back of the head.  And then again.  And again.  And again until I'd split his skull.  I was 11 years old.?  Simon said darkly, his voice a low rasp.  He brought the cigarette up to his lips, hands shaking. ?I ran after that.  Found out later, he survived.  Had a bit of brain damage, but he lived.  Strong enough that he ended up strangling her and put a gun in his mouth.?

Lyla stared with tears in her eyes, watching him coolly eyeing the road ahead.  ?I'm sorry. That's...awful.?  Suddenly so much about him made sense. Why he did all of this, why he was willing to go so far to protect her, even after how terribly she treated him.  Somehow, some way, she'd repay him for his kindness.

Simon turned the corner to Briana?s place and slammed on the brakes.  Lyla was thrown forward against the seatbelt and let out a little scream.  ?What the HELL, man?!?  She yelled at him.

Simon?s eyes were wide and fearful, his chest suddenly rising with a heavy, rapid trembling breath.  Lyla?s brows knit.  ?Simon?  What is it??

She turned her head slowly, landing on a house on the side of the street...Briana?s house...and the door was hanging open.

"You can run on for a long time.  But sooner or later, God'll cut you down."

Simon Toews

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« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2017, 11:02:47 AM »
Simon edged through the door, his weapon drawn and Lyla close at his back.  The sound of cartoons playing somewhere in the house, the only thing he heard.  A glance back at the door would show a bootprint on the wood...Briana had tried to lock someone out.  

?Simon?? Lyla whispered in a shaky voice.  His attention snapped to her, his finger going to his lips.  His eyes intense and alive with a mixture of focus and worry.  He rounded the corner bringing that gun to bear...and froze.  Lyla came up behind, letting out a startled, horrified scream before turning away, clamping her hands over her mouth as the tears started anew.

Briana lay upon the ground between the kitchen and the living room, half on the tile, half on the carpet.  Her big brown eyes stared vacantly up at the ceiling, a bloody entrance wound of a .45 caliber bullet in her forehead.  Crimson splattered outward, staining into the carpet.  Simon?s heart dropped clear into his stomach like an atom bomb and it all became clear.

Simon turned to Lyla.  ?I want you to wait outside.  Okay?  I?ll be back.?

Cici?s favorite show played on the screen, her toys spread all over the place, the couch cushions askew and thrown about.  His eyes traveled onwards up the hall, seeing a doll lying on the floor, a bloody boot print leading the way..  Slowly, he followed the little trail and moved toward the guest room, the door splintered and cracked around the jamb.  

Simon?s heart ached, pounding beneath his breast as he reached out, he wasn?t sure he was ready for what he might find there...but he had to know.  His gnarled fingers curved around that handle and turned.

The room was a mess.  Cici put up a fight, everything she could get to was thrown, damaging the drywall and, he hoped, the man who came for her.  ?That?s my good girl?? he thought.     But there was no Cici.  She couldn?t overpower a full grown man, no matter how she fought.  Simon turned and caught sight of something that chilled him straight to the bone.  Nail marks dragged along the wall, digging in.  Struggling.  Desperate.  His girl.  His baby girl.

The rage had been building but seeing that...it snapped something inside.  It didn?t explode...it just burned.  And unquenchable fire raging within, steady and horrible.  

Lyla sat, huddled on the porch step, her arms wrapped around herself, staring at the ground with sadness overtaking her.  She didn?t look up, even when Simon?s footsteps came out next to her.  The peaceful sounds of suburbia droned on, indifferent to the horror show inside.  That silence hung between them until she sniffled.  

?We?re not leaving now.  Are we??  She said numbly.

?No.?  he said simply walking for the van.

Lyla clutched herself as the hope drained completely from her, bursting into pitiful sobs that rocked her entire body.

"You can run on for a long time.  But sooner or later, God'll cut you down."

Corrine Paige

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« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2017, 02:18:45 AM »
Paige stood in her office, head in her hands.  Stanton sat, a cigarette dangling between his lips as her leaned over a stack of papers that represented Cotter?s records.

?How the **** haven?t we been able to nail this son of a bitch to the wall yet??  He muttered with a shake of the head.

?Friends in high places.?  Corrine responded bitterly.  ?CSI turned up nothing at his house.  He?s not going there.   Look into properties he owns.?

?What about Toews??  Stanton asked, ashing into a tray.

?Sent a black and white over there.  Empty, too.  Neighbor said he took off yesterday, ain?t been back since.?  She said.

?Must have been a quick vacation.  Pop out, roll back in for a major heist...usually I like to take a few days to decompress.  ****er?s a go-getter.?  He joked.

Paige eyed him.  ?Does this look like my ?time-to-****-around? face, Evs??

He glanced up at the stone-cold, strict expression and shook his head.  ?Sorry.?

?We find Cotter, and I?m betting we find Toews, Cotter?s wife, and the girl.?  She sighed.

A knock came at the doorway as she turned.  ?Detective??  The officer said, beckoning her attention.  ?We got a report from out north in riverdale.  Forced entry, signs of a struggle and a body, 29 year old female.  Did a bit of digging and guess who?s among her known accomplices??

Lyla didn?t need to be told, her eyes sliding shut.  ?Anything else??

?CSI is on-site now...but they have evidence that there was someone with her.  Young from the looks of it.?  The officer said, a hint of disgust in his voice.

?Cici Toews.?  Corrine nodded to herself.  ?Thank you.?

She turned to Stanton, leaning forward and propping herself up on the table.  ?Evs...find Cotter.  If what I think is about to happen DOES happen...there?s going to be a bloodbath.?
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Simon Toews

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« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2017, 11:50:25 AM »
Cotter had legitimate fronts all over the city.  If one weren?t observant or kept their head in the sand, they?d think he was a well-to-do pillar of his community.   Simon was directed to his steel works in the middle of the industrial sector.  At the center was a massive warehouse with a five story office tower, cutting a dark, forboding silhouette in the setting sun.  

The van pulled in through the gates, armed thugs flanking the entrance.  They simply watched Simon pass through, all pretense that they didn?t know he was coming thrown right out the window.  When they pulled to a stop in front of the warehouse, armed men approached the cars, weapons at the ready.

?Out!  Hands where we can see them!?  they ordered.  

Simon rose his hand and stepped out when they opened his door, a grim expression on his face.  The thugs moved him and Lyla into the building.  There were men everywhere, stationed around shipping containers and on catwalks, everybody armed to the teeth.  Far too many for him to take on on his own...plus there was Cici to consider.  If he could just get her out alive, sacrificing himself would be a welcome consequence.  

The elevator ride to the top seemed to last an eternity.  He refused to even look at Lyla, guilt eating him alive.  She?d had hope, but the moment they got to Briana?s that hope had gone.  There was only this.

Ding.

The elevator doors slid open to reveal Cotter, standing out on the balcony, a cigar in his mouth.  The man looked haggard, exhausted, as he stared out over his domain.  Cotter turned slowly as they entered the room, those eyes cold and dilated...he was clearly on something again.  ?Simon Toews.?  He said, an edge to his voice.  ?And my lovin? ****in? wife.?  

Lyla cringed, taking a few steps back before one of the goons stopped her.  ?I never asked for much.?  Cotter went on.  ?Just loyalty.  If you?re loyal to me...I?ll be good to you.? He smiled jovially, though it didn?t show in his eyes.

?Bull ****.?  Lyla said, her voice shaking like crazy, tears welling in her eyes.  ?I?ve been loyal to you for years and all I got was beating after beating after beating!?

?Loyalty?!?  He bellowed stepping toward her.  ?I?m surprised you don?t choke on the word, you filthy, degenerate ****!?  Cotter calmed himself, easing back.  ?See...there you go.  Making me say terrible things.?

Simon clenched his fists, eyeing Cotter hard.  ?Let her go.  Do what you want to me, but let her and my daughter go.?

Cotter only sneered derisively.  

?This was all me.  Please, Cameron.  They had nothing to do with it.?  Simon said evenly, not a hint of fear in his voice.

Cameron walked up to Simon, looking up into his eyes, the smell of whiskey on his breath.  ?And here.  My best man.  My friend.  ?You stung me the worst of all.  I had hope, lad.?  Cotter nodded.  ?I really did.?

?Don?t do this, Cam.?  he whispered.  ?I?m begging you.?

Cotter stared him down, those beady eyes narrowed.  Lyla stared wide-eyed at Simon before Cotter grabbed her by the wrist.  The stocky man, pulling her close.  ?This is MY wife, Toews.  My girl.  Mine.?   he said, leading her away toward the balcony, Lyla looking over her shoulder without hope.

Cotter placed his hands on her arms and looked her in those big pretty eyes.  ?I forgive you.?  He smiled.

Lyla?s face contorted in rage.  ?You?re pathetic.  You?re a ****ing small, weak coward.  And if I should have burned you in your bed years ago.?

Cotter?s face dropped, something horrible burning behind those eyes.

?And I want you to know??Lyla said, a defiant sneer on her face.  ?It wasn?t him.?  She ticked her head toward Simon.  ?It was me.  It?s all been me.?

Cotter?s eyes lowered and flicked to one side, a wave of sadness washing over his face.  This had been what she wanted.  This moment right here where he realized his crumbling, sad little hill of an Empire was all because of her.  In that moment she?d won.

Cotter swallowed hard, looking sadly into her eyes.  ?You broke my heart.? he whispered.

Through the tears, Lyla smiled brightly, leaning forward into his face.  ?Fu-?

Cotter grabbed her suddenly, the full power of his strength wheeling her around...and threw her over the balcony, he body banking off a fire escape as she plummeted to the earth.  Simon lunged forth before they grabbed him from behind and kicked out his knee as Lyla?s screams faded and came to sudden, vicious end as she slammed through the roof of a car.

Cameron stared morosely down at the mess he?d created below.  ?Bye bye, baby.?

Simon stared in stunned silence.  Just like that, Lyla Cotter was gone.

Cotter straightened his shirt and composed himself, moving to the elevator.   ?Bring him downstairs.?

"You can run on for a long time.  But sooner or later, God'll cut you down."

Corrine Paige

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Re:
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2017, 09:27:31 AM »
Corrine Paige sat hunched over her computer, ticking through Cotter?s records.  He owned or had a stake in several properties throughout the city that he could have retreated to.  The man knew how to cover his tracks.  She?d stared at that screen so long her eyes ached.  With  a yawn, she rubbed her eyelids and fell back against her chair.  With a quick sip of coffee, she returned her eyes to the screen.

The detective?s brow furrowed as she stared at the next result.  Adamant Steel Works.  Remote local...limited police presence...And the place was built like a fortress.  It wasn?t exactly science, but if there was one thing Corrine had learned in her time, it was that her gut was rarely ever wrong.

She stepped out of her office, finding Stanton at his desk with a mountain of papers, running on pure caffeine.  ?Evs.  I got a lead.?

The exhausted looking detective looked up from his paperwork.  ?Well, don?t keep me in suspense, boss.?

?We?re goin? on a field trip.  You strapped??

Stanton patted the pistol that sat upon his hip with a grin.

Moments later, the pair piled into their car, Stanton riding shotgun.  ?Should we get back up??  He asked.

Paige turned the key, the engine revving to life.  ?No.  It might turn out to be nothing.  Things get hot, we?ll call it in.?
She threw the car into gear and set off.
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