J O H N
He caught sight of her head in amongst the scrap of cars tossed carelessly all over. She must have noticed him as he watched her duck so swiftly, it was almost as if he hadn’t seen her. But he had. He knew he had. And she was caught.
Of course, that was what he believed before.
He couldn’t help feeling vexed about what happened, asides from feeling impressed by the actions of the small girl. As if she had just graduated into the big leagues. He couldn’t imagine her having any more experience than this, these past few days. For her first time, she was doing better than most. Perhaps if she managed to run away again from home, it would be more difficult for him to catch her. He wondered whether she could become his equal with a little more practice. But she was now just like all the others: caught.
Boy was he proved wrong.
He hadn’t anticipated she would rather go down fighting than just give up and go back home. Granted, he had a slight insight into her nature.
But a gun?
He could see the barrel resting on top the car, and he snapped into action, dragging out his gun from tucked into his pants and aimed it over the closest car for cover. Alessandro had told him not to underestimate her and yet he had the first time he met her. And here he had again, stunned by her actions, even though she was a mafia princess. He shouldn’t be surprised. She had seen enough guns in her life. But he would bet she hadn’t used one before. Alessandro wouldn’t allow that.
Then again, she had a lot of secrets hidden from her father.
“Put the gun down, Marcella. You don’t want to do this,” John shouted out, attempting to gage her in a conversation that would distract her. He needed to lull her into a false sense of security or make her hesitate at least. “The way I see it, this only goes down one way. You in my car on your way home.”
“I’m not going back,” she snapped feistily. “The way I see it, you can’t do anything with that gun, and I can.”
“How do you see that? Do you even know how to use a gun? You don’t, do you? No, I know you don’t. You’ll only hurt yourself, Marcella. Put the gun down,” he reiterated.
“You can’t hurt me. So, you can’t shoot me. But wherever I shoot, if I hit you or if I don’t, I don’t have to worry about whether you live or die. And you do. You can’t deliver me back dead, or even damaged goods. So, you put your gun down,” she countered confidently.
She had a point, one he hoped she wouldn’t realize in the moment. But of course, she did. She was smart. He couldn’t continue to underestimate her just because she was so young.
Just because he couldn’t hurt her didn’t mean he couldn’t disarm her. She had no clue what she was doing. No fucking clue. She didn’t know how to handle the gun she was holding, and that gave him the advantage. She had probably left the safety on.
Although, here he was again, underestimating her. It was truly wishful thinking to continue to think she was just some small princess who had just run away from home impulsively. This wasn’t impulsive by any means. She had a gun in that car. A fucking gun. That was planning. She had planned in case things were to go awry.
Did she have it in her to try and kill him? He didn’t know. But he would call her bluff.
“You know what, Marcella, try shooting me. You don’t have the aim, you don’t have the skill and you don’t have the stomach for it.”
Boy did he regret saying that.
The next thing he knew, bullets flew from her gun like she was just a child blowing spit-darts at her teacher in class.
This was a gun. What the hell was she thinking?
Rather luckily, the trigger-happy spitfire had missed him, some by only an inch. He feared she had skimmed the tips of his hair even.
Clearly riling her up was not the solution. He had finally figured out not to piss off the inexperienced girl with a deadly weapon. His previous cases really had dulled his mind.
He laid low, crouching down and toddling between cars, staying as hidden as he possibly could. She would shoot at anything she saw moving. He snaked around, confusing her for the most part as to where he had gone.
When he saw her from behind, the back of her head fixed facing him luckily, he crept forward, full speed but light on his feet. He grabbed her waist in his arms, feeling her body immediately tense and then proceed into a frenzy, limbs flying around helplessly. But he had her locked up against his back, her hand with the gun in it fixed to her side by his own hand. He snatched it from her, much against her struggle, but her small grip was way too weak compared to his to do anything.
There, in that moment, he had her. Her back was flush against his torso, his arm draped over her shoulders dragging her back in, her head resting on his muscled chest. His hand with the gun drew up her arm, the barrel trailing up to her shoulder, then her neck, then her cheek.
Her body automatically ceased its spasm, even though they both knew he couldn’t hurt her if he wanted to. Her skin was so soft under his calloused hands, so untouched, so pure, so young. It was times like these when he remembered who he had been chasing. A young mafia princess with no idea of what the real world was like. The truth was, she had been sheltered. He knew that. And out here, she didn’t know how to survive on her own, even if she thought she did, even if she prepared enough for it. It just wasn’t enough. She needed real experience and that was something that could cost her.
She would never get the chance now. She was done. She was caught. He had won.
“You know what, princess, I’m disappointed that this is over. But I have to get you home now,” he declared, tugging her body with him to his car, the gun still pointed at her head.
“You can’t take me back!” she yelled, squirming in his grip. “Urgh- Let me go! Let me go! Get off me, you fucking ape!” The smirk grew on his face at her words. She was clearly grasping at straws now. She had no play. She knew that.
“An ape you kissed. Don’t think I’ll forget about that, Marcella,” he warned dangerously in her ear.
She slammed her foot down on his, but he didn’t budge. She shoved her elbow back into his ribs as hard as she could, but it seemed to affect her more than it did him. She scratched at his arm like a rabid cat, but he still did nothing but lead her to his car.
She was out of options and she knew it. And John loved it. He loved that she kept fighting him, trying to escape him. But she couldn’t surprise him anymore. And because she couldn’t surprise him, she couldn’t get away.
And yet, he was wrong again.
He had underestimated her again.
And the game would continue a little longer.
She distracted him with her words that she managed to swivel around in his grip in a blink of an eye. She kneed him in between his legs harshly, grabbed the gun from his hand and shot him. In his side. Right at one of the abs he had worked tirelessly to get.
It hurt like a motherfucker. And he knew she had won again.
He watched her scurry away as he tried to race after her, the bullet wound oozing blood, slowing him down tremendously. He was fucking limping after her while clutching his side, and she was quick like a cat as she raced away unharmed.
She had put them both in positions they didn’t want to be in. Him with a gunshot wound, and her with no plan to get away anymore and no vehicle of transportation. He knew it would be easier to find her, if he could get back on his feet fast enough not to give her a head start. Right now, he needed medical attention.
He grasped his side as he threw himself into his car. Reaching into his glovebox, he found his phone tucked inside neatly and fumbled around with the keypad.
“I need you to meet me at this address,” he began down the phone, his voice strained from the pain of his side.
And as he sat there, waiting for his friend, the blood draining from his body, he was still amused. Impressed, too. Perhaps she acted impulsively and hadn’t thought about it first, or maybe she had, but she had shot him. He didn’t think the girl had it in her. But evidently, she did.
He couldn’t help the smile that lingered on his face at the thought of her. Such determination. Such fight. He hadn’t seen anything like it before.
She didn’t want to go home, no matter what the cost. And if he caught her again, he knew he hadn’t won until he got her home.
She was a runner.