Siblings with Benefits Lex Talionis Ch. 03bylovecraft68©
"That's fucking Max!!!" The Voice cried out causing a sharp pain to run through my head.
I stood there frozen in shock. It couldn't be! Max had gone to jail then down to Florida, he couldn't be here!
"Your fucking cheating is what your fucking doing you asshole!"
It was him, there was no doubt about it, I had been hearing that voice in my nightmares for the last eleven years. My stomach twisted as if someone had punched me and my hands(,) which were resting on the case, started to shake.
"Turn around Mark! We have to know for sure!"
I didn't move and realized that I was scared.
"I said turn the fuck around!!" The Voice yelled, sending another jolt through my head.
"Put that fucking ball behind the line."
Max's voice came across again as loud as I remembered it and I could feel my knees start to tremble.
"Get a fucking grip on yourself!" The Voice snapped.
I took a deep breath and turned to face the direction of Max's voice. The man facing me was the guy with the pony tail. The much larger man wearing a white t-shirt, jeans and work boots was facing away, bent over the table shooting. I watched the eight ball go down the length of the table and drop into the corner pocket.
"That's another $20 you owe me now, rack 'em bitch."
The man finally turned in my direction to pick up his beer from the small counter near the pool table.
"It is him! It's fucking Max!!"
I took an involuntary step backwards, it was him alright. The first thing I noticed was how fucking big Max was. Over the years I had started to assume that Max seemed so big because I had been a child when he was beating me, and of course things had a tendency to become exaggerated. Now, standing less than a dozen feet from him, I saw that I my dreams had been frighteningly accurate.
Max was huge, easily six four and probably three hundred pounds if he were an ounce. A decent portion of that weight was hanging over his belt, but his shoulders were wide and his arms looked to be the size of my thighs, and although not ripped the way I was, were definitely not all fat. Max also looked as disgusting as I remembered him, his jeans were ripped and his t-shirt soiled. Max was unshaven, his greasy black hair hanging over his fat face that had that permanently red sweaty look I saw in front of me every time I worked the punching bag.
As I watched him lift his beer to his mouth I couldn't help but notice how enormous Max's hands were. I had the sudden visual of one of those hands back handing me. I took another step backwards as Max started to turn his head towards me.
I turned away quickly and, grabbing the case, walked as slowly as I could manage from the bar. My legs were shaking and when I reached outside I walked along the side of the building until I reached the back then, as my stomach convulsed, fell to my knees and threw up.
"It was him Mark!! It was it was!! The Voice, which always spoke to him in a dry whisper, was screaming in my head.
What the hell was I going to do?
"Kill him, kill him, kill him!!!"
The voice was getting even louder. Still on my knees I put my hands over my ears as if that would drown it out.
"I'm scared." I whispered.
"He hurt us bad."
"We're older and stronger Mark, we're..." "He could still hurt us." I said softly I could feel tears building behind my eyes.
"Stop whining you bitch! Look at you, kneeling in front of your own puke! Get up you fucking coward!!"
The voice had never acted like this. Normally even if it was egging me on in a fight, it remained calm, but now it was screaming and its pitch had changed. The Voice sounded deeper and more powerful. Behind its screaming I heard the dog starting to scratch at the door in the attic. I rose to my feet and, after wiping my mouth, saw that there was a faucet on the back of the building. I walked over and, turning it on, dipped my head under it, getting a mouthful and, after swishing it around(,) spit it out and started walking back to my car.
"Where the hell are you going?"
I have to get out of here.
"Are you crazy Mark? This is what we need! We can pay this mother fucker back Mark! Lex Talionis!"
I need to think.
"You need to grow a pair you fucking pussy! He's nothing compared to us!"
Reaching the car I got in and sat behind the wheel. I was sweating and shaking. What the hell was I supposed to do?
"You know what to do."
I took a deep breath and held it. Okay, I had to think, now that I had seen Max I wouldn't be able to forget about him.
"The dreams will get worse Mark."
"Then I'll deal with them." I said softly. "But I'm not going back there, I..." I stopped as the Voice started screaming again;
"You leave you little son of a bitch and you'll deal with me Mark! Hear how I'm screaming? I'll do it all day and all night Mark! I'll never shut up, I'll send you straight to the looney bin you weak willed mother fucker!!"
I grimaced in pain and put my hand to the plate in my head where it was the worst. I leaned forward and put my head on the steering wheel. Never in my life had I felt sorry for myself, but right now I was wondering what the hell I had done wrong to bring Max back into my life. I worked and studied hard and made the most of the second chance I had received in life after my sister found me in that group home. Megan, I needed to find out where she was, tell her about Max(,) she would know what...
"Screw Megan, she's no good to us, hell she's how you got here in the first place!"
"Okay," I said, still talking out loud with my head down on the wheel. "You're right, Megan's gone, but I don't know what to do."
The Voice was quiet for a couple of minutes, then back to speaking in its normal dry whisper said;
"Listen Mark, I know why Max was put back in front of us."
"It's not what we've done wrong, but what we've done right."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, grateful that it had stopped screaming.
"It means he's our reward Mark, we've overcome everything he did to us, done all the right things and as a reward fate has put him in front of us to get even. Karma, Mark, Karma"
As I thought about it, it did make sense. As a matter of fact, taking it one step further, maybe it was a test. A test of my power, a test of my beliefs; do unto others as they have done unto you, an eye for an eye.
"Yes Mark that's exactly right."
I began to calm down and was now only upset that I had gotten scared in the first place. I started taking long deep breaths and slowly started to master myself, no worries, no fear, just calm and cool. The Voice was right, Max was big and powerful, but out of shape. I was no longer a child, I was in peak physical condition, and I could easily take Max now. But as I thought it through it couldn't be now. There were people around, plus it was Max's turf, others might get involved, no, definitely not here.
"That's right Mark, because we're not just going to beat him, we're going to kill him aren't we?"
Kill. The Voice had said it so matter of factly.
Suddenly my mind was filled with a series of images, Max beating me, screaming at me. Me curled up in my bed sobbing and in tears, in so much pain I couldn't even get up to go to the bathroom. The last image was Max looking at me and saying;
"Christ Mark, your sister died a long time ago!"
In my mind the dog let out a long growl and slammed itself into the door of its room hard enough to rattle the attic. I looked up from the steering wheel and found that my fear had been replaced by the icy calm I had displayed at Carson's last week. Yes, I thought, I would kill him. He took my childhood, had scarred me for life, I would now take his. I leaned back in my seat and started thinking about how I could do it.
I would have to go back in and get a game with Max. Play for awhile, maybe even come back a couple of times, get to know him a little, then figure out how to get him alone in a quiet place. I closed his eyes, could I do this? Could I get that close without losing it? Not only that but Carson couldn't call the cops on me, but this could lead to trouble, the kind that could cost me my future.
"We won't get caught."
You sure? The voice was quiet, then said softly,
"Trust me Mark. I was right about Carson wasn't I? Right about Keith? We'll do what we need to and I'll make sure we don't get caught. We can do this Mark we need to. You're right Mark, he took from us, and know something? I'll bet he's had others, maybe even now. Other kids he's hurting, we can stop him Mark, if not he'll just keep going."
"Takers take until their taken." I whispered.
"That's right Mark; Megan taught us that before she got sick; she knew what she was talking about. He's a taker, but what do we do in life Mark? What else did our big sister teach us?"
"I take what I want." I said. As I spoke I looked into the rearview mirror; my eyes were black.
"That's right Mark, and what we want is him!"
"So be it." I said and getting out of the car grabbed my cue and headed back into the bar.
As I approached it again I felt my confidence grow. I would do this; pay that son of a bitch back for a lifetime of pain. First I just had to remain calm and something would come to me. I re-entered the bar and walked back to the bar. Once again everyone looked up at me again and I heard someone say,
"Kid must be lost."
A couple of more guys had come in and were sitting near the edge of the bar where I had been. I walked over and stood at the very end closest to the pool tables, this time the bartender came over and looked at me.
"So what happened kid? You have to go outside and get a note from daddy to come in?" The men snickered.
"Play their game Mark, show them we won't take their shit."
"No" I replied. "I owed your old lady change for a twenty." I paused and, looking at the other two guys, shrugged and added;
"Not bad for 10 bucks." One of the guys laughed, earning a dirty look from the bartender as I continued;
"Now get me a shot of Jack and a Bud and keep your shit to yourself." The bartender stared at me then shook his head and went to get the drinks. I lit a cigarette while I waited and began to remove my black McDermott pool cue. The bartender came back and put the drinks down.
"Let's see an ID pretty boy." I removed my wallet and showed my license.
"Need help with the math?" I asked picking up the shot and downing it.
"You're a funny little bastard aren't you?" He asked.
I shrugged and went back to screwing my stick together.
"That's five bucks."
I reached into my pocket and, removing the roll of money, put a twenty on the table.
"That's for my next three rounds."
"What no tip?" The bartender asked.
"You want a tip?" I asked. "Okay here's one, try brushing your fucking teeth once in awhile."
As the other guys laughed I grabbed my beer and, stepping up onto the platform, approached the pool table where Max was still playing the guy with the ponytail. As I watched Max ran the last four balls and banked the eight into the side. Max had definitely spent his share of time on a pool table.
"That's twenty 'cause I banked it." He said putting his huge hand out.
The other guy shook his head and handed Max a twenty.
"Thanks Joe." Max said smirking.
I stepped up and put a ten dollar bill on the side of the table and Joe turned to look at me.
"Screw kid, this is a man's game."
Max laughed from the other side of the table.
"Then what's a bitch like you doing up here, besides losing?" I asked.
"What did you just say?" Joe asked, staring at me with what he thought was bad ass look.
"Nice ponytail by the way." I said "Your boyfriend pull on it at night?"
"You gonna take that shit Joe?" Max asked. He was sitting on a stool and obviously ready to enjoy a fight.
"No, but I'll take his money."
Joe reached for the ten but jumped back as I quickly brought the pool cue up and around, landing the butt of it on the money and narrowly missing Joe's hand. Joe looked at me as if unsure what to do. I removed the stick from the table and, smirking, began to twirl it in front of me like a staff, first ending with it under my right arm then my left. I spun it one more time, then faster than Joe could react lashed out, the cue heading straight for his face. Expecting to be hit, Joe flinched, almost falling backwards. He caught himself and reached up to touch his cheek which now featured a long thin line of blue chalk.
"Just fucking with you Joe." I said winking at him.
Several people who had been watching, including Max, laughed.
"Now," I began, "Really, why don't you pack it in for the day? You've been losing all day let's give this guy over here," I gestured at Max "A real game."
Joe looked around, saw that he had lost the crowd and nodded.
"Yeah sure, gotta get going anyway. I think you owe me a drink after that though."
Speaking as I walked over to the end of the pool table and began to rack I told him;
"I owe you two things pal, Jack and Shit. Jack's behind the bar and something tells me you know where to find shit."
There was another round of laughter and Joe stalked off muttering something. As I finished Max rose and approached me.
As I watched him coming I heard the dog slam into the door in the attic.
"Shhhh" The Voice was telling it.
"Alright smart ass," Max said "It's ten a game twenty if the eight gets banked. No combo's, call your pockets and if you scratch on the eight you lose, got all that?"
"Oh" Max said "One more thing, you try anything funny with that stick I'll snap it and you in half got that?"
I stared into his eyes for a moment and really focused on him. Max absolutely reeked of violence, I could practically taste it and had no doubt Max was free with his hands.
"Jeez, back in his life for five minutes and he's already threatening us!" The Voice let out a sick giggle. "Some things never change.""
"Whatever you say." I told him.
Max grunted and as he prepared to break I downed my beer and called for another round. Max broke, sinking two low balls. He sank two more, then with no shot pushed the cue three inches(,) leaving it directly behind the eight.
"That's a scratch." I said and went to grab the cue ball.
"Fuck you, that's a scratch!" Max snapped.
"On a legal shot, the cue or the ball, your hit has to hit a bank." I explained to him.
Max looked at me rolling his eyes.
"This ain't the boy's club kid, this is house rules."
I shook my head then turned to get my shot from the counter. I downed it and, approaching the table, looked it up and down. There was no shot so, like Max, I pushed the cue ball an inch, leaving him the same shot.
"What the fuck was that?" Max asked.
"A legal shot according to you." I said, then added; "We can do this all night or you can stop dicking around and play some pool."
I turned my back on Max and picked up my beer. When I turned Max was right in my face.
"Listen you little shit," Max began, hissing out the words. "Joe took your mouth, but I won't, you got that?"
I looked at him, resisting the urge to slam the butt of the pool cue into his throat.
"I asked you a fucking question." Max said looking down at me.
Rolling my eyes I sighed and said;
"I came here to play pool, not argue and not push the balls around the table like a couple of girls, is that too much?"
After I spoke I went to take a swig of the beer, but moving surprisingly quick for someone his size Max reached out and caught my wrist. My stomach turned at his touch and the dog hurled itself against the door, this time making plaster trickle down from the attic ceiling.
"We're gonna play pool kid but I'm telling you now, any more back talk from you and I will knock you on your ass, got it?"
I looked at Max's hand around my wrist then looking him in the eye said calmly;
"It's your shot."
Max glared at me then walked back over to the table and, smiling at me, moved the ball another inch. I walked over to the table and taking the chalk began heavily covering the tip of the stick with it.
"Six in the side clean." I said continuing to chalk.
"Yeah right." Max said.
Finishing chalking I stepped up to the table. The six was in front of the side, but the eight was in front of the cue and there was another ball near the other bank making a kick impossible.
"Keep dreaming kid." Max said grinning.
"$25 for this shot alone." I said. Max stared at me.
"You got that kind of money kid?"
I pulled out the wad of money from my pocket and showed Max.
"Alright," Max nodded. "You're on."
I nodded then making a bridge with my right hand stood the stick up in the air and shot straight down hitting the left corner of the cue ball. The ball shot forward several inches then came back and curving completely around the eight ball kicked the six in the side.
"Holy shit." One of the guys from the bar said.
I ran the rest of the table perfectly and ended with the cue ball right in front of the eight which was directly in front of the corner pocket. Instead of simply shooting it in I shot the cue around three banks to come back and knock the eight in.
"$25 plus $20 for the bank I believe that's $45 for that game."
Max stared hard at me.
"We settle when were done, that's what these are for."
Max reached up with the tip of his stick to the string of beads hanging over the table and slid them over to my side.
"Well?" I asked.
"Loser racks." I said smiling.
We proceeded to play for three hours. I won more than I lost but kept it close, figuring that embarrassing Max could lead to a fight right here. Neither of us said much during the games, except to call our shots. I drank steadily during the three hours, piling my beer bottles and shot glasses into little pyramids. I had always had an uncanny tolerance for alcohol, which is another thing The Voice took credit for, and although I had a good buzz, was far from drunk. At one point Max glanced over, counted the bottles then looking back at me commented;
"Got a hollow leg there kid?"
I shrugged and continued to shoot, after one game Max stopped to make a phone call from the pay phone and began yelling at someone;
"I said I'll fucking be home when I get there! What the fuck is that kid screaming about back there? If he's doing that when I get home I'll give him a reason to cry!"
He hung up and came back to the table where I was waiting. Hearing that conversation had sent a chill through me; The Voice was right again; Max was still hurting kids.
"Fucking broad," Max explained to me. "Always fucking yapping, you know?"
I nodded sympathetically and Max continued;
"Fucking mouths always open."
"Then maybe you should stick your dick in there," I told him. "That way you'd get something out of it and she'd be quiet."
Max looked at me then began laughing.
"That's pretty good kid!" He said and slapped me on the back so hard I almost fell over.
We played a couple of more games and when I was up eighty said I had to quit so I could get to work.
"What the fuck?" Max asked; "You're not going to give me a chance to win it back you little shit?"
"We've been playing for hours you're not going to get it back today."
I put my hand out. Max stared for a moment then reaching into his pocket handed me four twenties.
"You here every Friday?" I asked.
"Why do you care?" Max asked as I began to put my stick away.
"Cause I'll come back next week and give you a chance to get your money back." I told him as I put my stick away.