tagErotic CouplingsAuto Erotica Ch. 12

Auto Erotica Ch. 12

bymadam_noe©

The message was clear. On my front door was an X; one line yellow, the other blue. They'd found me and I was marked for death. The LC had marked my family for death.

I paid the cabbie and stared, looking around, but there were no LCs around. Just the early morning light and the ugly X.

Shit. In three days I was twenty six and finally free. I had it all arranged; Andy would be declared mentally incompetent, I had the papers drawn up, the children would go to their maternal grandparents, the company would be in my name, and I'd be free.

Three fucking days and they found me.

I called Markus and had him find someone to replace it, hopefully before the children noticed. There was nothing else to do but slink in and wait for the tantrum that Andy would throw for staying out all night. I buttoned up my trench, hid my gun, and prepared.

It came faster than expected. I stepped into the house and I met the back of his hand. The action sent me sprawling back and I landed on my butt, half outside the house.

"Where the fuck were you last night?"

"W-what?" I asked and found my feet. No one was outside but dozens of anonymous cars getting an early start to their day. It was no use fighting; he'd remind me that all he had to do was make one phone call and I'd be in prison.

"The Marks were here. You were supposed to entertain Michael so I could get at his wife Juliet. You might be enough to get Andrew Jr into his school, but no more dressing like a slut. Were you whoring all night?"

Rage gripped me. Rage at him for my prison, rage at Patrick for making me do what flashed through my mind as guilt.

I pulled my gun. "Back off, Andy. Three more days until I'm free of you. I will not be insulted, slapped around, or whored out."

Casually he smiled and pulled a cell phone from his dark suit. "One call and you go away, for- what the hell?"

I didn't want to turn around, I suspected I knew who was behind me.

As I watched all of Patrick's height and bulk moved like lightning and Andy flew back, smacking his head into a banister. His cell phone fell out of his hand and he landed limply on the floor in a pool of blood.

My gun clattered to the ground and I rushed to his side. Patrick stood over him, fists curled, his face a mask of rage. Andy's pulse was strong; he was knocked out, and all the blood was from a mild scratch. Head wounds always bled but Andy had been drinking which made it worse.

"God damn it, Wolfe, what the fuck did you think you were doing?"

His rage turned on me, barely leashed. "He hit you. You pulled your gun. I heard him threatening you. Aileen I was trying to help."

"Daddy?" A plaintive cry came.

"Kids! Get out of here, daddy took a spill. Go get Marta, please."

"Annie Annwe?" Andy Jr asked.

"Captain Murphy," a voice said from Andy's cell. Fuck; he'd dialed. "Mr. Reilly?"

"Detective Wolfe, sir," Patrick said scooping it up.

"Marta!" I yelled and she came quickly, wiping her hands on her apron. When she saw Andy she turned ghostly but when I nodded she scooped the kids up and dragged them away.

Andy moaned and Patrick scowled down at him as he spoke. "Andy Reilly's phone dialed when he fell down the stairs. Drunk. Yes sir. Yes. An ambulance. Thank you sir. She- no, sir. Really? Yes sir. I will. I can. I will. I'll call my lawyer. Yes. Thank you."

"What have you done?" I growled.

"Aileen, you have to get out of here now. They're sending over uniforms and you'll get hauled in. You have to go. Now!" he said at my blank look.

I didn't have a car handy and dimly followed him to his. We sat down and he tore off, and for a brief moment it was like the night had never happened.

"Patrick," I said at long last when I realized he was driving to my condo. "I meant what I said. I'm not helping you, and being seen with me can only hurt you."

"Aileen, don't you think I know that? And I meant what I said, I love you. Screw the bureau, if you need to get lost I'll use my own money, my own connections, I'll do whatever it takes. And of it means never seeing you again, fine."

I winced, feeling like a monster. "Things have changed. Did you see what they did to my door?"

He nodded and pulled up to a wolf pack at a stoplight. "I told you they know who you are and they want you dead."

"On my door, on my brother's door. That doesn't mean they want me dead; it means they want my family dead, my brother's employees. My niece, my nephew! I'm not going anywhere now."

He gripped the steering wheel so tight I thought it might pop off. "We'll get you lost, I can take care of your family."

"How?"

"The kids can be made wards of the court, I just need to get a warrant from my cap-"

"No. No, this is my fight, I started it, I'll finish it."

"Do you know how crazy that sounds?" The light turned and we crawled forward into Chicago's morning rush hour.

"They won't stop. By the time you get those kids somewhere through legal channels they're as good as dead."

"So what are you going to do?"

"They want me dead, they want revenge. I left, I left with some of their money, and I've been embarrassing them at their attempts to gain ground in Chicago. What they want is blood, but they want everyone to know what they did."

"Jesus, you think racing them and getting killed will solve this?"

"Maybe. Look, Patrick I..." The words were difficult on my lips. "I need a favor."

"Jesus I should just cuff you to the dash again and drag your butt onto a plane for Mexico."

"But you won't do it because you know I'm right."

He screeched to a short halt at another red light, earning a few horns behind us. "So what's the favor?"

I took a deep breath. "I'm not asking the cop, I'm not asking the mechanic, I'm asking the rich pretty boy." He smiled at that, bitter saccharine. "I need you to get in contact with a good lawyer. I need my brother declared legally incompetent. Then I need access to a private plane so my niece and nephew can get to LA without having to appear on a manifest."

The light turned and he shifted into gear, his mind working almost audibly. "All right. Just promise me one thing."

"And that is?"

He slowed down to another red light. "You won't do anything stupid without talking to me first."

"Don't worry," I said with a little laugh. "except when it comes to you, I'm usually pretty smart." And with that I opened the door, hopped out, and jogged down Jackson, leaving him behind.

#

I stared into the mirror at the woman there. I wasn't like my mother, not in any way. She'd been five six, with dark brown hair and blue eyes. She'd been called beautiful until I'd grown up. Then I was called stunning and she was called quite pretty.

The bones of my face were my father's family, my coloring my mother's, but no one else I knew had the same. Still, the woman in the mirror was familiar and a stranger to me. I took extra care with her that night, having hidden from the world for a week I wanted her to look in control and distant.

Black leather boots, short black skirt, tight black top, and as the rain had cooled the night, black leather trench. I left my hair loose in the back, tied the front up to keep my eyes clear. The effect was nice, though a little too soft for me.

I lined my eyes and put the barest hint of green shadow above, making them pop. To balance it out I actually put on lipstick, a very natural shade, but my skin looked pale, and the black made me look great.

The earrings were silver, dangling like icicles, and as a last resort they detached from the hoops and could be knives. I wore my Beretta at my back, and the Glock 17 was coming with me to the car. God willing Patrick would stay away and that cop Gunnar wouldn't be there. God willing Cal, Carlos, and Marcus would wait in place.

It ended tonight.

I made it from the condo down to the car, and there I stopped. God, I would miss her. She was beautiful, and no one could ever love a GT500 like me. No one. I stroked her slowly, loving the green paint, the white stripes, the pure beauty and raw power. If I popped the hood I might cry, so I refrained.

I sat inside and put the Glock under the seat, strapped it in a loose holster so it wouldn't slide around, but I could pull it out real quick.

The warehouse was clear of anything of value, everything was set up. I had spent the last few days getting everything together. Andy was in rehab, the kids were safe in LA, and I hadn't seen Patrick since that...day a week ago.

I pressed the remote and revved the car to life. Showtime.

Li'l J wasn't too happy to see me. The circuit started at Vig's tonight and I pulled up at the edge of the rice burners and stepped out. He still wore coveralls, and his hair was in a afro.

"Don't you bring that here, Elle. I don't want no LC fuckers here. Word on the street is some nasty shit is going down."

"I'll wait for them here, where they know I'll be, and we race away. Nobody watches, no real cash."

"What shit you trying to pull, girl? Damn you hot, but you crazy."

"Best you don't know. You see Crilly around?"

"Not recently. Shit girl, you took all the fight out of that horse. You ruining my best racers."

"He'll be around long after I'm gone. You'll always make money off that one, J."

"Where's your shadow?"

"He's waiting. J, those LC are bringing blood here. Send out the word to keep loose, stay away, and send them my way if I don't find them first."

J shook his head and hit my shoulder playfully with his fist. "You keep safe girl. Those LC, they got blood from out west. And those muthafuckers love a cover, you know?"

Yeah, I nodded my head. I had once been a "cover," a person in the gang no one in the outside world would suspect. And what J was telling me was that it could be anybody.

Well, shit. Marcus would sell his soul to the highest bidder, Carlos went where Marcus went, and Cal...I didn't know Cal well enough to know anything. And that meant Patrick was the only one I could trust, since I already knew all his lies.

If I saw him, well, I wasn't so sure I could just up and leave. If everything went to plan tonight, Aileen Reilly would be dead, to everyone.

"Stay smart, J."

"You too. Say Elle," he said, stopping me as I turned.

"Yeah?"

"What's your real name?"

"What's yours?"

He grinned, showing gold. "James."

"Aileen."

"So what do I tell people who want high end work now?"

I smiled. "Send 'em to Crilly."

Suki was in the crowd and nodded to me, shit, that meant Cal had talked. Well, the fucker was going to cash in on a two million dollar insurance policy, guess he'd rat to the bitch holding his leash. And I guessed that meant he was loyal to me, the LC couldn't top two million bucks.

That meant Marcus or Carlos had turned. If it was Marcus, I was dead. If it was Carlos, I had a chance. Shit, Carlos would never think of it on his own.

There had to be a way to take Marcus out, some way. The light bulb went on when I saw the other 'Stang roll up.

I hopped over, didn't even let Gunnar get out, just leaned in. "Listen, Gunnar, I know you're a cop. How would you like a cache of stolen goods, and someone with more than a few warrants?"

He raised his eyebrow as he got out. "And hello to you too."

I just stared at him, waiting, and at last he nodded. "Maroon Maserati, waiting down at Orleans and Lower Wacker. Guy inside is Marcus Schellner. He's gold."

He flipped open his cell phone and started to dial, pausing to look at me askew. "You racing down there?"

"Might be. Look he's there now, you'd better move quickly."

"Doesn't he work for you?"

"Look, you want the collar or what?"

He nodded and pressed the phone to his ear.

I turned from my last hope, and found my worst nightmare coming towards me. Suddenly it all made sense.

She wasn't tall in stature, but the way she walked she seemed a giant. Her shoulders were broad and squared, her face precisely made up just short of Kabuki, her clothes long, dark blue, with touches of gold here and there.

Behind her walked the girl I had beaten the night this officially began, behind her were the foot soldiers. Male, female, strapping, tall, short, wide, lean, they were all covered in tattoos, wearing the colors proudly.

"Aileen, you grew up nicely for someone from the streets. Rich brother, good house. The cute kids were a...nice touch."

I kept my face impassive. "Catalina, I would have thought you'd be dead by now."

She reached up and drew a blue fingernail across my cheek. "Puta, I thought you'd be dead, but I won't worry. You will be, soon."

All I had to do was draw her in for a race. Then Cal, Suki, and her crew would take over. "Why are we talking? Why not just kill me now?"

Catlina pulled back and brought the other girl forward. "You have her car. She wants it."

"I'll race for it, otherwise, no go."

Catalina cut off the other girl's reply. "Your car for hers...I like it."

"No," I shook my head and stepped closer. "I win, you leave Chicago, don't come back. You win, I'll go with you, willingly."

She had no intention of honoring the promise I knew she'd give. She nodded.

"I'll get it set up."

She let me go but had two foot soldiers follow me. J's eyes widened but when I told him it would be me and the LC, he nodded, and took my share of the vig.

Gunnar was gone, Marcus was taken care of, I had 30 minutes to wait, and no sign of Patrick Wolfe. Things were going scarily well, my way.

I was nervous as the other racers set off, and finally it was my turn.

Catalina, the other girl, and two men from the LC were up against me. We all put up two grand, never believing we'd see the vig if we won. This was a race of life or death.

Suki was the starter, and when the scarf came down we punched out.

I was up against a Challenger, a BMW with heavy after market work, a Thunderbird, and Porsche. It would take lots of concentration.

The route took us over to Western, and we all damn near fishtailed as we turned onto it. The Porsche was in front, I was second, and I had to watch carefully for any hits from behind.

We sped through red lights, traffic screaming all around us, and I shifted into fifth, my heartbeat thrumming through my head.

Montrose was coming up, and here you could take a bridge over the intersection or stay low and go through. The bridge was tempting, but there was construction on it, I knew, and so I let the out-of-towners take it. I went below, between sidewalk and parking.

Suddenly lights flashed ahead and a car pulled out. I tried to swerve, hit the brakes, but it was too late. My car hit it, the sound exploding. Glass flew and we spun, my twisted chasse impaled on another.

My mind slowed, each second flashed by. I was thrown against the seat belt and my chest felt like it had been stomped. My head whipped back, hitting the head rest hard enough my vision went black.

Glass flew towards me and I closed my eyes, glass cutting my cheek. Metal crunched like a freight train, and my foot felt agony.

Finally, I came to a stop.

All I could think was that I had to run, I had to get out of there. The race would go on as planned, they'd never be lead to Suki's crew. She was dead.

The door was stuck, sobbing in pain she pushed it open and spilled onto the pavement. I lay heavily on her side, bruised and bleeding, my sight filled by wet pavement and flames from the cars.

Suddenly boots walked into view. "Aileen...so predictable."

I recognized the voice and struggled to sit up. "Wh-what?"

"Come on, we have you now. The LC just needs one more thing from you before you die."

"Wh-who?"

Gunnar knelt down until his plain face and long blonde hair filled my vision. "We need Crilly to come after you. And when you both die, Chicago is ours."

With great shame, I gave into my body and passed out.

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