M A R C E L L A
“Is it okay to be on our way, officer?” she asked innocently. She hoped this would put her in John’s good book, although this had also proved her resourcefulness. But she had gotten him out of a tight situation.
Personally, she regarded the cop as quite trigger-happy. He whipped out the gun without a second thought. Granted, there was blood on the seats. But it could have been anything and he was prepared to shoot at them.
“Where are you two heading?” the officer asked curiously.
“Maine,” John answers, inching both of them towards the car.
“Well, I’ll just check the trunk and I’ll be on my way,” he declared, clearly still suspicious of the two. The cop made his way around the back and waited for John for the keys.
John bent down and whispered into Mari’s ear, “you get in the car, strap in, start it up. We need to go. Nod if you understand.” She replied with a nod and knew there was something in that trunk that could get them into trouble. She slid in while John made his way over to the cop.
What was he going to do? Was John going to kill him? John always wore a baseball cap out, hiding his face as much as possible with it seeming perfectly normal. He allowed Mari to do the same. They weren’t all too identifiable.
When she saw the cop raise his gun and John pull out his, aimed right at each other, she popped open the passenger side door quickly for him to back out to, turned on the engine and they took off with the cop’s gun shooting at their tail. That was bound to look completely normal to the civilian eye.
“Fuck me,” John growled lowly.
At first, she just believed it was because the cop was onto them, but when she saw the blood-smeared hand that latched back onto the steering wheel from his side, she realized he had been shot.
“Bullets seem to love you,” she joked, attempting to lighten the mood. He let out a humorless chuckle and dead-eyed her. She felt slightly concerned for him, just as any human being would, but relief overwhelmed her. He would have to get it patched up and they would both have to be much more careful. That would slow them down, for sure. “Where are we going to get that looked at?”
“You’re loving this, aren’t you?” he bitterly questioned, narrowing his eyes.
“Why are you attacking me? I didn’t do anything,” she exclaimed, scoffing at his expression. “I was good. You told me to be good, and I was good.”
“Yes, I told you to be good. I also told you to keep your fucking mouth shut,” he grumbled. “But you decided to run your mouth.”
“If anything, my mouth made the situation better. We were almost in the clear,” she countered.
“Key word being almost,” he spat, clearly outraged by what happened and the bullet wound. She knew he was in pain. She guessed keeping him talking would at least take his mind off it.
“Well, if you didn’t look so homicidal all the time, maybe he would have believed me enough to let us go on our way,” she replied.
They snapped back at each other for the entire drive until they came to a halt outside a vet. A vet? She knew he was an animal, but she didn’t realize he went to a vet.
“Get the fuck out and walk in front of me.” She did as he commanded. She walked in front of the limp, pain-ridden man who was endlessly grunting as he waddled to the back door of the vet.
Immediately, when the vet saw him, he jumped into action, ushering the two into a dim-lit room packed with medical equipment and bottles of pills. There was a metal table in which John was laid upon. His shirt was ripped open, revealing his already bandaged side and a gaping wound just a little higher on the other side. The man attracted bullets.
She had caused one of them.
The vet made quick work of him, asking her to step aside. She just watched on awkwardly, listening to his grunts and groans of pain. She took this time to look around. She knew he would be fine. He survived her bullet wound. He would survive this. But she might not survive him still. She still needed to focus on escaping; that hadn’t changed. And they were in a room filled with pills and medical instruments that might be useful.
She was being shifty but no one else took notice, too busy with the wounded man on the table. She slipped a scalpel in the back pocket of her jeans. Just in case. She had already shot him, stabbing him would be a less severe crime.
“You!” the vet called, suddenly now staring at her. She thought she’d been had, but he gestured for her to come over. “I need you to apply pressure here.” He guided her hands quickly and she did as she was told.
What if he died? Wouldn’t her problems be solved? And she didn’t even have to kill him. She wouldn’t have been able to kill him, or even stab him without it being impulsive or by accident. She would just let him die. But that would technically be killing him, right?
She remembered this philosophy problem she had read years ago, the famous trolley problem. On the track, there was a group of people stuck with a train heading their way. There was a lever that changed the course of the track which only killed one person. One could choose to pull the lever, actively making the choice to kill someone, or they could let fate take its course and not do anything and let a group of people die. Would that still be killing someone if you did nothing while you could have done something?
She never expected philosophical dilemmas to be weighing her down. She was the daughter of a callous mafia boss who showed no remorse. She didn’t want to be like that man. In fact, she wanted the complete opposite, or as close to opposite as she could get.
So, she did her job. Her life would have been so much easier if she hadn’t. Yes, Alessandro would have sent someone else in his place, but there was a reason Alessandro had turned to John first. He was the best. He would get the job done. And if he couldn’t no one could. She would have been relatively free. But she had to be different to her father.
John had passed out from the pain and silence fell upon the other two. There was a vet in a lab coat and young girl with her hands soaked in her bounty hunter’s blood. It sounded like the start of a bad joke.
“What’s your name?” she asked him, breaking up the awkward peacefulness.
“Marcus. Yours?” he responded.
“Are you the guy he goes to for all his criminal injuries?” she questioned, completely disregarding his question. She wasn’t sure whether she should disclose her name. It seemed like John trusted him enough with his life, but she knew she had to be careful. Her name wasn’t Marcella De Luca. Quite a few criminals would know who her father was. And they could use that.
“He’s lucky he was in the area. How’d it happen?”
“A cop,” she replied. No one in the business who John associated with would be a rat. He seemed like too much of a calculated guy to let some snake into his life.
She looked down at John’s unconscious body and realized she had never seen him so relaxed before. He acted laid back, as if he weren’t watching every movement she made, but she knew better. Now, in this moment, he couldn’t watch her. He couldn’t know anything.
And she could leave.
“I need to go. I brought him here, that’s my part. Bye.” She was heading for the door when he stepped in front of her, blocking her exit.
“Sweetheart, I’m not that stupid. He’s a bounty hunter and I don’t know you. You’re obviously a bounty. He’s not awake to watch you so that puts me in charge of you,” he declared, backing her into the middle of the room. “Try to leave, you won’t get away.”
She scoffed and rolled her eyes. She could see why they were friends. They were fucking identical. Both stubborn as an ox and a pain in her ass.
She moved back over to John and just watched him. She could truly see him now. And he was quite attractive, well, for an old man. He had a broad muscled chest that span the width of the table. His arms matched his chest, huge and muscled. He almost looked so innocent with his eyes lightly shut and his eyebrows lightly furrowed in a natural way. The creases that made him look so much older were nowhere to be seen. Stubble adorned his jaw, aging him in a beautiful way.
All there was to do was look. And now, she didn’t particularly want to look away.