Hit and Run


The night was almost perfect, right up until she hit the kid on the bike.

For starters, the girls had taken her somewhere besides the country club. Jillian had gotten so bored with the place, with the same yawn-inducing lighting, same tired salads, same awful music, she almost welcomed the judgmental stares and thinly veiled sarcasm that came free of charge. But then again, she didn't want it getting around that she had gone out without her husband.

Since Jillian's husband, Derek, was out of town, Gabby and Rachel had coaxed her out of the house. It hadn't taken much; a girls' night was exactly what Jillian had needed. Desperately. Derek had been... difficult lately, and maybe that's why she permitted herself to drink more than usual.

Just her and her two friends in a new place, no husbands, no cutting remarks, no jealousy; just three wives in their mid forties out for the evening, laughing and commiserating. Gabrielle had flirted shamelessly with the bartender, and since she was fond of low-cut blouses that accentuated her impressive cleavage, he was more than happy to flirt right back. The drinks got stronger as the evening went on.

On the surface, Jillian was the only one happily married. The others knew that her relationship wasn't all wine and roses, but since Jillian didn't discuss her husband much, the girls skirted carefully around anything serious. There'd been so many times she'd been tempted to break down and tell them everything, but the shame that masqueraded as pride had kept her quiet, even with those strong Long Island Ice Teas roaring through her bloodstream.

She should have been smarter and called a cab, but she didn't want the girls to know that she'd used all her cash for just a single dinner, and he'd put a hold on her credit cards until he returned. Besides, a cab would take time, and she needed to be home when he called the house to make sure she was there.

Three blocks. That's how close she was to the brownstone when the kid came out of nowhere. She was focused on simply getting home, so she could endure her husband's phone call that always left her with a cold feeling in her stomach, then sink into a warm bath. She came up to the four-way stop, rolling almost to a complete halt, then started into the intersection and BAM.

A figure slammed into the driver's side front panel and went rolling across the Mercedes' hood, dropping out of sight on the passenger side. Jillian hit the brakes, but too late. For a moment, everything was silent.

Her first thought was how Derek would react. A close second, but still second, was concern for the person on the bike. As she slapped the car into PARK and fumbled for the door handle, the third thought was she had been drinking. And what was the first thing the cops checked when there'd been an accident? Especially when a vehicle hit someone on a bike? An intoxicated driver. That brought her full circle back to Derek. She didn't know what scared her more, being arrested, or the look in her husband's eyes when he found out.

She glanced at the rearview mirror. The street was empty.

The bike lay on its side next to the front bumper. It looked fine at first, but then she saw how the front tire was bent, curled like a Pringle. Her heart started hammering as the realization and shock of what had happened sank in. She peeked around the passenger side, and found the biker using a parked car to find his feet.

At least he was wearing a helmet. But then she saw the blood on his face and knew he'd been hurt. He was lanky, tall, almost a full foot over her petite five foot frame. He wasn't more than a kid, she could see that now. Maybe early twenties. Scraggly beard. Wild, stringy hair poked out from under a black, skateboard-style helmet. His white, Dead Kennedys T-shirt was ripped in several places, but it wasn't immediately apparent if it had been torn in the accident, or was like that already.

He blinked as he surveyed his injuries. "What the fuck, lady?"

"I'm so sorry, I didn't see you," she said, knowing how lame it sounded.

"No shit," he said, examining his left elbow. Then, as if remembering something, he checked his messenger bag. Whatever it was, it was more important than his wounds, but he seemed satisfied it was still intact and its contents safe.

They both checked the streets suddenly, as if worried that someone might see them. Jillian had no idea why he was nervous as well. She said, "I'd call an ambulance, but I don't have a cell phone." She almost said, "My husband won't let me," and stopped herself just in time, wondering why she would blurt that out to a stranger. A stranger she'd just hit with her car no less.

"Fucking learn how to drive, Jesus Christ." He limped around the front of her Mercedes.

She couldn't help it and checked her watch. Derek would be calling in fifteen minutes.

"Aw, fuck lady. Look at my bike." He seemed more concerned with his transportation than the blood running freely down his tattooed shin from a shredded knee.

"Let me help you," she said suddenly. She didn't know what else to do, and she had to get home. "I can pay for your bike, if you want."

"That's the least you can fucking do," he said.

Her words tumbled over each other, almost as fast as they occurred to her, boiling up out of her rising panic. She had to get off the street, she had to somehow deal with this punk bicyclist, she had to get home, she had to answer the phone. "I don't have any cash on me, but I have some at home. I can pay you there." She had a couple hundred stashed away, for emergencies. And if this didn't qualify as an emergency, she didn't know what would. "Please, let me help you. We can clean you up, get some bandages on you. You're bleeding. My house is just up the street. Just a few blocks. Let me help you."

"You're gonna pay for my bike?"

"Of course. Let's just get out of the street."

He eyeballed her two-door Mercedes. "My bike won't fit."

She pointed to a wrought iron fence. "Can you lock it up here? We'll just be a few minutes. I promise."

The kid weighed his options, scrutinizing this woman before him. She knew what he was thinking, could see it in his face. She was probably twice his age, the kind of woman he would sneer at if he saw her on the street. She was rich, probably lived off her husband's money, spending her days going shopping in tight workout gear. She kept her body fit and toned, something that Derek demanded. The kid outweighed her by at least sixty or seventy pounds.

Finally, he shrugged. She helped him drag his bike over to the sidewalk and he pulled a heavy chain out of his messenger bag. After locking the bike to the fence, they climbed into her car.

In the cramped interior, Jillian realized she could smell him, a feral mix of sweat, nicotine and pot smoke, unwashed clothing, and the tangy, salty smell of blood. She worried that Derek might catch a lingering whiff of the kid's presence, and she pushed the button so her driver's window slid smoothly down.

The kid noticed and snorted derisively. They rode the three blocks in silence. Jillian pulled into the alley, opened the rolling door with a remote, and backed into their private garage. Derek's Range Rover gleamed next to the Mercedes. He was off at some convention in Las Vegas, and Jillian didn't want to think about what he was doing there outside his business meetings.

The kid whistled, impressed with the house when they came up the stairs. As always, the place looked like a show home. It had been remodeled only last year, and it was Jillian's job to keep it looking like a magazine spread. He trailed his finger along the massive dining room table and peeked into the kitchen that gleamed with stainless steel and marble. "Oh yeah. You're gonna pay for my bike all right. Way I see it, you owe me. Big time."

The realization that she'd just let a strange man into her house hit Jillian like a sucker punch. Her panic hadn't let her think things through. If he wanted to, he could easily overpower her, taking whatever he wanted from the house. He could even rape her. Fear ignited her adrenaline, flushing out the Long Island Ice Teas. She backed up to the wide staircase, eyes on the front door.

She tried to think of a weapon, something she could use to defend herself. Just in case. Derek had guns in the house. Of course he did. But he kept them locked up in the hidden gun safe in the garage and sure as hell didn't provide her a key or the combination. A friend had given her pepper spray once, when she had to walk home late at night. When Derek discovered the pepper spray, he uncharacteristically went out and bought her a Taser. This wasn't a stun gun, where you had to press it against a person. No, this was an actual gun that fired electroshock projectiles. Jillian wasn't even sure if it was legal for civilians. Of course, it was more of a toy for Derek, and he ended up keeping it with his things.

She thought of the butcher knives in the kitchen. Maybe one of the solid oak lamps.

But that was just in case. With a quick check of her watch, she saw that she had eight minutes left before Derek called. She had to pay the kid and get him out of the house. How she would bandage him in that time she had no idea.

She went into the half bathroom on the main floor and searched through the medicine cabinet for an extra first aid kit, thinking that if she could just give the whole thing to the kid, she could replace it without Derek ever noticing. It wasn't the nicest tactic, since she was barely providing the kid with any care at all, but she rationalized it by thinking she could snag a hundred bucks from her emergency stash. It was only pocket change to Derek, but to the kid it would undoubtedly be a lot. Besides, the kid had blown through the four-way stop as well. Didn't bicyclists have to obey the laws of the road, just like the vehicles?

She grabbed the first aid kit and put it on the dining table. The kid pulled out a chair and made himself at home. That was fine. He could stay there while she ran upstairs to grab the cash from the master bedroom.

When she turned around from the nightstand, five folded twenties in her hand, the kid was in the doorway, drinking one of Derek's microbrews and leering at the California King four-poster bed. In her fear, Jillian instantly focused on the beer, instead of the fact that this strange man was now in her bedroom. "You can't drink that!"

The kid held up the bottle, sloshed the liquid around, and asked, "Why not? Plenty in the fridge."

"It's, it's seasonal," she sputtered. "You can't get it anymore. Not 'til next year!" Derek would know if any were missing, and her mind raced with possibilities of where she could find more. She wondered if Derek had written down the mileage on the Mercedes. It wouldn't be the first time.

The kid shrugged and chugged the rest. Belched. "Damn. That's good. Might have to have myself another." He looked back over his shoulder. "Place like this, there's gotta be some good hard stuff around too."

"No, no." Jillian shook her head, straight black hair flying. "You have to leave. Right now." She thrust the money at him.

He made no move to take it. He stuck his index finger into the bottle, turned it upside down, and twirled it slowly.

Jillian couldn't help but notice the amber drops rolling down his hand and falling to the white carpet. Three minutes left.

"How much do you have over there?" He nodded at the nightstand. "You wanna settle things so damn bad, give me all of it. Figure you can afford it."

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"My husband counts it."

"I don't give a fuck."

She shook the cash at him again. "Take it and leave now. You don't, I'll call the police."

He chuckled, tilted his head. "Nah, you're not gonna call anybody. What're you gonna say? You hit me, remember? I'll just claim I've got a concussion, don't know what's happening. This was all your idea." He took a step closer, crossing the threshold into the bedroom. His gaze crawled across her bare shoulders, down her thin summer dress. "I might be talked into taking it out in trade."

Jillian dropped the cash on the floor and crossed her arms protectively across her chest. She might not have quite the same cup size as Gabby, but realized too late the air conditioning had hardened her nipples into stiff buds. "Get out."

"You sure?" He gave her a grin, stepped closer. "I've heard that sometimes, you rich housewives... bored and lonely... sometimes, no means yes."

"Get out," she repeated.

He took another step.

The phone next to the bed rang.

Jillian flinched.

The kid saw it and knew he had his leverage. "You should answer that." He grinned again. "I'm not going anywhere."

The phone rang again.

"You're leaving," she said. "Now."

"Maybe I'll just answer it for you," he said, suddenly turning and heading for Derek's side of the bed.

Something broke inside of her, snapped from the pressure. It was too much. This life with Derek, this constant anxiety that had built so slowly through the years; it was like the tide, you don't notice it rising, but when it's crashing through your house, you can't ignore it. The accident with the punk was the spark that lit the fuse, forced her to make a decision.

She could either take a stand, or crawl into a corner and sob. Fight or flight.

Enough was enough.

Jillian sprang onto the bed, crossed it in two bounding strides and was at her husband's nightstand. She ignored the ringing phone, yanked open the drawer, and when she spun, the Taser was in her hands.

The kid had just enough time to narrow his eyes in confusion before she squeezed the trigger. The arrows, trailing coils of thin wire, struck him in square in the chest; the sharp tips did their job, piercing both the Dead Kennedys shirt and his skin, then the vicious barbed hooks held fast.

Slivers of ID confetti exploded throughout the bedroom.

It was all strangely quiet, except for his grunt when the electricity shot through his body, like somebody had just kicked him in the balls. He staggered back against the doorframe, eyes rolling in their sockets, then fell backwards out of sight. She heard him tumble down the stairs, crashing into the paintings as he went, still trailing the thin wires.

The phone kept ringing.

Resisting every impulse in herself to answer, she let it go for the moment and turned to the dresser. A bizarre serenity had descended upon her, almost as if the emergency of the situation had short-circuited her panic, leaving her clear-headed and calm. The effect of the Taser would only last ten or fifteen seconds, so she had to move fast.

Derek on the phone could wait. She would think of something to tell him.

She dug through her lingerie drawer, looking for the handcuffs she'd bought years ago, back when she had still been trying desperately to spice things up in this very bedroom. They'd tried them. Once. Derek hadn't been impressed. He already had a submissive wife. The way he saw it, there was no point in going overboard. If he told her to put her hands together behind her head and keep them there, she wouldn't move until he told her.

Her fingers scrabbled over the steel, grabbing them, then snatched the closest soft thing she could find, one of her white lace panties.

The phone stopped ringing.

Out on the landing, she saw the kid upside down at the bottom of the stairs, stirring, trying to sit up. She bounced down the carpeted stairs and shoved his left arm under the heavy wooden banister, through the iron balusters. She slipped the handcuffs over his wrists, snapping them tight and locking them. They weren't cheap knockoff novelties, no, these were serious and might even have been law-enforcement grade; well, except for the plush, purple fake fur. With one arm through the balusters, shackled to his other wrist, he couldn't escape. She balled up her panties, and shoved them into his mouth.

His eyes shot open as he gagged and tried to shout.

She stepped back, looking things over. The kid wasn't going anywhere, and he wasn't making much noise either.

After making sure he could breathe through his nose, she left him there and bounded back upstairs, dodging fallen paintings. Any second now, Derek would call again. She closed her eyes, concentrating, slowing her breathing, thinking. She had just a brief moment, a split second of recognition that this wasn't like her, not at all. The old Jillian would have been sobbing, out of control, desperately begging Derek not to be angry with her. She realized this cold, calculating part of her was now in control, and she knew how she could use her old self to fool her husband.

The phone rang.

She snatched it off the cradle, "Derek? Is that you, baby?"

"I already called once. Where were you?"

"I know, I am sooooo sorry." She forced herself to breathe heavier. It wouldn't work if she was too calm. "I bought some shrimp on sale, and I think they must have been bad. Oh baby, I'm so sorry, I think they made me sick. I've been throwing up for the last hour. That's why I couldn't get the phone."

Silence on the other end.

Jillian forced herself to wait it out. If she was too eager to explain, that might blow her whole story. She kept her breathing going, making sure he could hear her.

"Well, then it's your own damn fault, buying shrimp on sale," he said. "Better not buy any of that shit when I get home."

"Oh no, baby. I would never do that to you. I was just trying to stretch the food budget for me, you know? I had to throw it all out, I'm so sorry. Can I dip into the cash for some more food? I thought I'd have enough for leftovers, but now..."

"Fine. But stay away from the carbs. I want you looking good for Saturday night. We're meeting the O'Connels at the club."

"Of course, honey. I'll hit the gym twice tomorrow."

"Fine. Get some rest. Your face could use it." He hung up.

She softly replaced the receiver, dread collecting in the pit of her stomach. This was the first time she could remember ever intentionally lying to her husband. Underneath the fear though, a sliver of excitement flashed like distant lightning. It grew, crackling and sizzling.

Anger followed like a thunderclap.

She stood but felt so lightheaded she sat back quickly, breathing deeply, hands on her knees. Thoughts flew through her mind too quickly to comprehend, all of it overwhelming her.

First things first.

She had to deal with the kid at the bottom of the stairs.

Derek's Scotch suddenly sounded delicious. She missed the buoyant feeling of the Long Island Ice Teas, the way they seemed to separate her fear from what was truly important. Ignoring the kid, she went into the kitchen and dug out a bottle of Bunnahabhain.

She cracked the seal and thought, fuck Derek. Fuck the glass, too. She tipped her head back and took three long gulps, straight from the bottle. It made her gasp and her eyes water, but it hit her stomach like a luscious bomb and spread through her limbs like soothing, warm honey. After a few more swallows, the euphoria coalesced with the anger, fusing into one tumultuous hurricane.

Jillian started feeling damn fine.

She almost giggled when she stretched up on her toes to check that no one was outside the kitchen window, and her pubic mound brushed against the counter. The warmth of the Scotch seemed to collect down there, and even the soft, almost imperceptible touch of her silk panties caused a delicious friction.

"Whoa. Easy girl," she whispered. It'd been a long time since she'd been intimate with Derek; he hadn't been interested, and so she'd pushed any thoughts of sex to the back of her mind. Now these feelings, inflamed by her anger and alcohol, came swarming back with a vengeance.

She carried the bottle back out to the dining room. The kid made a point of ignoring her. Jillian prodded his messenger bag with the bottle. That got his attention and he started trying to yell around the balled up panties in his mouth. Now it was her turn to ignore him as she upended the bag, dumping the contents on the table.

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byGhulehZombieQueen© 5 comments/ 34491 views/ 19 favorites

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