If he moved, he’d peel his shirt of the leather back seat. Last time he did that, he tore off the crust that had just started to form over the wound on his back.
I’m numbing again, I have to move.
Simon West leaned forward to change his position on the chair. If he didn’t his lower back would stiffen further and lock. He had learned the hard way that if he kept looking down while moving, he would not get beaten up.
He felt his shirt peel off the leather seat and a breeze caught his skin right before the crust broke off again. He bit his tongue and kept his head down. He rolled his head over his shoulders with his eyes closed to signal he understood the rules. He stretched his legs and tried to push one hip forward, then the other. Then he leaned back again.
“Not too long now, West. Birdie withdrew the cash.”
Christos Samuel walked towards the foldout table. His partner Dominic diMaggio had fallen asleep. He looked at the sleeping man with disdain on his face.
While Christos took care of himself, diMaggio was the exact opposite. If he had showered recently it wasn’t noticeable. His matted hair seemed to drip an oily substance and his pits spread an odor that could knock out an elephant. Always dressed in a singlet and an unbuttoned lumberjack shirt, diMaggio was quite a sight. But despite the fact that Christos couldn’t stand the man’s looks and smell, he trusted him with his life.
diMaggio had “cop” running through his veins. A solid understanding of investigations, weapons, and martial arts. It all came with just one flaw: diMaggio was corrupt. His nickname: Dime Cop.
Christos had his suspicions about Dom and one day he caught him red-handed trying to sell drugs from the evidence room. diMaggio was surprised that instead of being read his rights he was listening to a business proposal. Not a deal to buy Christos’ silence but a 50/50 partnership in Christos’ sideline.
“Dom, wake up.”
Christos kicked his partner’s leg with his impeccably polished shoe. He wasn’t going to touch that man with his bare hands.
“She withdrew the cash.”
“All of it?”
“Yes, it is almost over.”
diMaggio yawned and stretched his arms overhead exposing his partner to his ample haired pits. Christos saw gray hairs in there and looked away. In that moment, his eyes caught West whose face was one painful grimace.
Simon nodded his head and felt a cold plastic bottle being placed between his cuffed hands. He had been surprised that the only restraining he had on his body was an airplane-like seatbelt. They had cuffed his hands in front of him allowing him some range of motion.
After he was attacked, a hood was placed over his head. Once inside the structure (West had not figured out yet where he was) they had yanked it off. One of them, the smelly one, had taken his head in an upside down chokehold threatening to break his neck if he didn’t stop moving. Then he felt how his face was touched by someone else who opened his eyes one by one and placed something in them.
“Relax” the other voice had told him. West remembered smelling a minty breath and knew instantly this man had showered, shaved, was wearing after-shave, deodorant, and clean clothes.
He felt a solution being poured over his eyes and jerked anticipating acid, pain, and torture. But when the drops reached his mouth he tasted a hint of saline water with some sort of chemical.
“Relax, you’re just wearing black contacts, that’s all.”
The smelly one let go off his head and Simon fell on his back hitting the floor with his head. Concrete. He remembered feeling his strained neck muscled relax a little. When he opened his eyes all he saw in front of him were rough shapes and images.
“It’s for your own good, Blondie” said the smelly one.
Simon brought the water bottle to his mouth and emptied it. Where did Britt get the money to pay the ransom? We for sure don’t have it. I wonder if she got the cops involved….
Christos walked over to their hostage and took the empty water bottle away. He had another one in his left hand and considered giving it to the restrained, pathetic looking man. He had to admit it. He fought hard when they grabbed him. He watched West smack his lips, licking the salty sweat from his upper lip, and trying to see where he was. He gave him the other bottle.
“Thanks. What are you going to do with me?”
Christos sighed and looked away. He knew exactly what would come. But for now, he needed West calm and quiet.
Simon heard him turn away, his footsteps fading.
And remember lady, no police
Well, they found my husband a few days later
Yes, the funeral’s tomorrow