Notorious

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Chapter 11

I’d forgotten how haunted the docks felt at night, which made me wonder how many bodies had been dropped and remained at the bottom of the water, never to be found.

I was a fucking asshole. I couldn’t believe I had said those things to Nikki. Part of me believed if I was enough of a dick to her that she would run away crying and not come with us.

Mark interrupted my thoughts as he asked Nikki if she was okay. My head snapped back to look at her as she shivered.

I wanted to offer her my jacket but she let that curtain of black hair fall across her face so I couldn’t meet her eyes.

“Just cold.” She murmured.

“I see them!” X said, “They’re walking down the dock. The boat’s there.”

“Wait a bit.” Curtis said, coming up behind me, putting a hand on my shoulder.

Sure enough, I saw a flash of blue as three Crips walked onto the boat, shaking hands with someone who I didn’t recognize.

“Told you they wouldn’t bring a whole lot of people.” X muttered, and then turned to me. “Do you recognize them?”

“Not that I can see, but they’re pretty far away.” I shrugged.

“They’re unloading the crate off the boat.”

“Just wait a few more minutes, the boat’s taking off. They’re back on the dock. Wait until it’s out of sight at least.”

“Is it normal for this to happen that fast?” Mark asked.

“If they’re importing drugs, yeah. I wouldn’t hang around. The less witnesses the better. They would also question a boat casually coming in at eleven at night so they have to be fast.” X explained. “That’s what I would do anyway.”

Nikki was getting nervous. I could tell when she started pacing back and forth, wringing her hands together.

“Are you okay? You’re shaking.” I asked her and her blue eyes snapped to me.

“I’m fine.”

She looked far from fine but I wasn’t about to argue with her again.

“Okay, go!” Tyler said, it was a whisper, but it was a command. “We’ll be in the cars. If we don’t hear anything in fifteen, we’re coming down.”

“Got it.” I said, taking off after Mark and X, Nikki following closely behind me.

“We go first,” X said to Mark, “We got each other, Shane and Nikki, you guys come in next.”

I nodded.

“Break.” X turned the corner, pulling his gun as Mark followed.

I heard muffled voices as I looked to Nikki.

“I got your six.” I said.

AKA, I got your back.

We came into view, X had someone up against the crate by the throat, his gun taunting the guy.

Mark was trying to wrestle with the other two.

I pointed my nine mil at a guy’s forehead once I wrangled him free from Mark.

“You’re hustlin’ on our territory, we fuckin’ warned you.” I said, my voice dangerously low. “But you assholes just don’t learn, do you?”

BANG.

X fired his gun, right in between the Crip’s eyes. The body went stiff straight before slumping to the ground, blood spilling out.

“Get moving!” He said, kicking in the crate, “I’ve fired. It won’t be long before someone comes down here.”

BANG.

If it was one thing about X, he wasted no time. He was a robot, programmed to do the mission, no feelings, no sympathy.

I shot Mark’s guy, Mark running towards X, packages being thrown over gunshots. The squeal of tires and I knew Tyler and Curtis were right on our tail. Mark and X were running up towards the vehicles with as many bricks as they could carry.

I stopped dead in my tracks when I heard Nikki cry out as she fell against the concrete, her guy over top of her, kicking her.

“Fucking bitch.” He snarled as she curled into a ball, wincing as her already broken ribs took a hit.

I flew into a blind rage.

I ran towards her and the guy pulled his gun out, aiming it right at her.

Shit!

“Nikki, run!”

I jumped in front of her, just as the gun went off, a loud pop echoed into the night.

“Shane!” She screamed as I staggered to her side. Fuck. I’d been hit, I wasn’t sure if the bullet had pierced me.

Tyler came running and in one motion, started firing shots. One, two, maybe ten, I lost count. The guy crippled over onto the ground.

While mine and Nikki’s fighting style was straight savage, Tyler’s was cold, calculated. He didn’t need crazy fighting skills or a temper to get his point across.

“Baby, baby look at me. Are you hurt?” My hands gripped her face, turning her around to face me, my adrenaline pumping. I didn’t care. She was safe.

She shook her head. “I’m okay. Why did you do that? Where did he shoot you?”

“I said I had your back.” I murmured, a hand reaching out to brush against the side she had scraped. “I couldn’t let him shoot you. No fuckin’ way. He had shitty aim, just scraped my arm.”

“Is everyone good?” Curtis called out. Nobody protested.

“Pack it up,” Tyler said, “You take the supply back to our place in your vehicle. Mark and X are on cleanup duty with the bodies. We’ll meet you back there.”

“Let’s go.” I put a hand on my lower back leading us to Tyler’s SUV.

Nikki slipped in the back seat, Tyler hopping in the front. Instead of taking shotgun, I slid in next to her.

“Good job, Nikki. I’m proud of you. That’s at least fifty thousand, if not more worth of cocaine and heroin. You did us good.” Tyler said from the front seat.

She offered him a small smile.

“You shouldn’t have been there.” I said softly, so that only she could hear.

“You didn’t have to jump in front of me. That bullet was meant for me.”

“I didn’t mean what I said. I’m sorry.”

“You seem to say a lot of things you don’t mean.”

“Psychotic temper. I’m working on it. I thought if I was a dick to you, you would stay at home and I wouldn’t have to worry about you. Usually you ran away crying, but everyone keeps reminding me you’re not the little twelve-year-old that used to follow me around everywhere. Guess they’re right.”

“I shouldn’t have left you the way I did.” I whispered after a few minutes of her not saying anything.

“I know.”

“I miss you, Nikki.”

“Yeah, I bet you do, but that doesn’t change anything.”

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