I am not going to say I am too damn lucky cause I am going to jinx it and that’s the last thing I need right now. Nevertheless, I am out of the house and making my way down the steps to the court where all the cars are. There are five identical SUVs down there and I am holding the keys to one of them. Two problems.
One, I do not know which is the car I can use and in order to find out I might have to use the beeping locator. Even if I went silently snooping around, I am 99% sure the damn car will greet me with flashing lights or by shedding light on the interior and/or by beeping blissfully unaware that this stupid default mode will alert at least five armed guards to my direction.
Two, the courtyard gate is locked. The walls are high but not too high that I can’t climb out. Though I am again 99% sure there would be motion sensors that will light the wall up like a billboard that says “Nathan is here. Kill him.”.
No, my only chance is to get in the car and make a run for it, ram the gate praying it will give and not kill me in the process and get the hell out of here. And go where? I bite my lip as I take the last step down. To him, my instinct readily offers.
To him. There is no other place to go but to him. I have to- No! I need to make sure he is safe and that he is not doing something stupid. I need to see him and feel him and taste him and set the whole world on fire if I have to get that. Too dramatic?
Yeah, I know. I have never been dramatic or over the top. Hard, cold logic that’s is my M.O. Sure, I trust my instincts and myself in the moment. But grand proclamations like that? Nah. Not till I met Stig. Now I know why I didn’t think like that. No one ever mattered enough. Him? He is the only fucking thing that matters.
I glue myself on the wall as I scope the courtyard. My senses are all on high alert as I try to place were these freaking Koreans are patrolling. Takeshi is probably taking his beauty sleep to meet with my boy in the morning.
At the thought, my blood pumps faster and I tighten my fists. Maybe I should go back inside, find where that asshole is sleeping, press a pillow on his perfect face and be done with the man that had a taste of what is mine. Mine!
OK, did I just go full-on Bjorn there? I shake my head. If Bjorn felt half of what I am feeling right now when he saw me hug his wife, I need to apologize to the man and congratulate him on his self-restraint.
Focus! I plead to my own self for the millionth time. Find the car, drive like a devil, go back to Stig. Simple plan. And- oh- don’t get killed. Like I said, simple plan.
I listen again and this time I get footsteps somewhere close to the cars. I glue more to the wall and I peer through the semi-darkness. Two men. Two of these scary Koreans. They are not talking nor dragging their feet on the paved court. They are on alert. One of them is smoking. If they are guarding the cars, they need to go. One, I could take down easily. Two? I need to use the guns.
They turn around one of the SUVs and they look up. They nod curtly and make the rounds again. Shit. There at least one man on the roof. There is no stealthy way out of here. I can’t roam around. Any time, someone will check and will find two dead Yakuza. I need to be well on my way to Berkeley when that happens.
I wait till the two men are on the other side of the court. I crouch and ready all my senses, my training while I unleash my instincts. I grab the car keys and press the button. The car closest to me lights up like Christmas tree but I do not pause to duel on my good luck. I run. I hear the men rushing too but for now I am lucky that the one on the roof is not shooting at me.
I do not even know how I go in the car, how I got it going, how I put on the seatbelt, how I rushed down the lane to the closed gate. It’s is a heavy car and those are not heavy-duty gates but still. It all might end up in a tragic comedy, where the car is totaled and I am splattered all over the metal.
Please, please, I beg of you. I beg of you… Tyr! If Stig places his faith on the god whose symbol takes up all his back, I might as well plead my case to him. There might be shouting or shooting but I wouldn’t know. I press down on the gas, happy that the lane is going downwards adding the tons of the SUV to the pressure I will put on the gate. Please, Tyr!
I am banged around the seat but the car is still moving. The one-handed god is watching me tonight. Thank you! I look upon the dark road and I drive like a madman. Then and only then do I look back to the house I was kept in. All lights are on and I see headlights coming down from the lane.
I focus on driving, hoping inside that we meet some police patrol. Yeah, I am that desperate. But in the back rounds that time of the night? Not even Tyr likes me that much. So all I can do is drive as fast as I can and hope I reach the Riders in one piece.
On a corner, I look back and count eight headlights. Everyone is following me or at least most of them are. I have a good head start on them but I am alone in here. If they get in gun range, one can drive and the other can shoot. I need to keep the distance between us.
Up ahead I see lampposts which means I am getting closer to a main road and right now I can’t decide if that’s a good or a bad thing. All in know is that I need to be heading south to get to where I need.
Fuck! My luck has abandoned me. This dirt road does not lead to the road. At least not before I get over that small hill and land to where Tyr only knows. I got to take that chance. I rev the car and push to the limits and climb that shit for all that car is worth.
I glance at my mirror. Still safely away. But right before I turn my eyes on the road, I see it. A bike. What the fuck? Am I on Kill Bill now? I grind my teeth and I hold onto the wheel as the car pushes off the edge.
Tyr hasn’t forsaken me, not yet. All I have to do is never lose my courage and he might watch over me till I reach Valhalla. The bar of the Riders. I do not plan on going to the afterworld just yet.
I land on the soft dirt on the other side and soon I am on solid road. I will eat more distance. I dare to glance at the mirror and I see the bike fly over the edge too and is right behind me.
“Shit!” I hiss.
I could have outdriven the cars all night if I had to. But that damn bike is lighter and fast as hell. The rider is wearing a pitch-black helmet that reflects the lights of the empty street but I recognize that built. It’s him. Takeshi is coming after me. Further behind him the SUVs land on the road.
I glance at the gun and the cellphones I have dropped on the passenger seat. The road ahead is straight so I got a few seconds. I grab the phone and dial Stig’s number. It rings. Come on, come on, come on! I am praying.
And then a bullet flies and gets the passenger door mirror. The moment I lost my nerve, Tyr is biting me in the ass. Takeshi has gained on me and he seems quite capable of handling that bike and his gun.
What I need him to do now is try to come up to me. I will push that fucker into oblivion and maybe then the Koreans will stop chasing me. Slim chances but slim chances is all I got now.
And then I get even less than that. Takeshi shoots again and again and I lose control of the car. He got my tires and the car swerves like crazy. I stop it from tumbling over cause then I’d be really fucked but I can’t stop it from hitting the side rails full force. The cell phone tumbles around and the safety belt bites into me. All oxygen is pushed out of me and every bone in my body is rattled.
The guns, I am still conscious as I hear the bike brake somewhere close. I undo the belt and look around frantically. I spot one on the floor and I am ready to dive for it when the door swooshes open and I hand grabs me by the collar. I am dragged out of the car in one forceful move and I hear the other cars approach.
I smile bitterly. Well, shit, at least I tried. Sorry, pretty boy.