Catch up on the last installments in this series here. I categorize the aches and pains like I always do after a dust up. I don’t limp toward the exit, which is good, but I’ve
Catch up on the last installments in this series here.
I categorize the aches and pains like I always do after a dust up. I don’t limp toward the exit, which is good, but I’ve got a potentially sprained ankle, which is bad. The ankle is handling my weight for now. My knuckles are broken on my better hand. There are cuts to my ribs that need to be stitched sooner rather than later, but I could make do with tape for the time being. And the new set of scars to my face are leaking like a busted pipe. Thankfully, Junior had missed my eyes. The goggles are sealed tight against my eyes, keeping my vision clear.
People try to crowd around me. A few well-placed threats and glares are enough to make them part and give me a wide-birth. I shove past them to grab my coat and breather. I manage to get them on as I head to the teller to cash out.
I don’t recognize the rat-faced punk behind the counter, or the two goons that stand outside the booth with their arms crossed. Either they’d come onboard after I left old man Sullivan’s outfit or they’re fresh recruits. I reach into my coat pocket and pull out the crumpled betting ticket, then slide it over the splintery counter between me and the bookie. He doesn’t even look at the ticket.
“Mister O’Sullivan wants a word with you.”
“Don’t care. I want my money.”
A heavy hand falls on my shoulder as the goons invade both sides of my personal space. “I’m afraid he wasn’t asking.”
The bean counter smiles.
I sigh and count my injuries again. “Yeah. Neither was I.”
Thankfully my messed-up leg and ankle are on opposite sides of the body, giving me at least something to work with for both thugs. I slam my uninjured foot down on the goon to my left. The sound of crushed bone is swallowed up by the yell from the goon on the right. My hand reaches between his legs and squeezes with an iron grip, and I rip at him the same way that I did Junior’s eyes. As the goon on the right goes down in a crumpled mess, I slam my fist into the throat of Lefty.
Panic wells in the money man’s eyes. Then flight wins his debate with fight. Unfortunately, for him, my hand is quicker than his adrenaline. I grab hold of the back of his collar as he turns to flee, then slam his head once against the counter. I let him get a moment to clear his head before I shove him back down on the counter, slowly grinding his skull a little harder every second with my non-busted arm. He squirms once against my grip before giving up. Might as well say something while I’ve got his attention.
“You want to give me my fucking money, or do you want to see how quick I can pop a skull without a bone-helmet open?”
That gets a quick nod, and he starts flailing under the counter. He scrambles down under the counter as fast as he can, the sound of metal on wood is music to my ears. Everything’s green beneath my goggles, but I can tell the difference in the coins by size when he comes back into view. Silver bolts and golden lords. Lots of lords. More than I had rightfully won by betting on myself.
Oh well. Consider it an asshole tax I guess.
Glancing over my shoulder I see several other of O’Sullivan’s men making their way toward me. Some of them are familiar, some were even friends once. Friends I don’t really fancy putting the hurt on. And friends I know that won’t go down as easily as the two knobs at my feet.
Time to go.
I bounce the bookie’s head once off the counter one more time, knocking him out, and letting him drop. Reaching over the counter, I pull out a tray of coins from behind it and fling it high above the crowd. Golden lords drop from the sky as I pick up the second tray and fling it as well. There’s a moment of stunned ignorance, followed promptly by a riot as everyone scrambles for the easy money. Micky’s toughs, both friends and strangers, soon get washed away in the tide of violence.
Using the extra time, I fill my purse and my pockets with as much coin as I can carry, then tuck my cap over my head and make my way from the den of violence to the pitch black outside.