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122 Rules(7)

By:Deek Rhew



His words crushed Monica’s brief feelings of victory. She gritted her teeth and nodded.

“Good, now let’s go.” He opened the door and ushered her out. Instead of leading her down the walkway towards the front entrance where hundreds of people milled about, he dragged her into an office on the other side of the hall. Across the small space, he ushered her out a side entrance to a deserted alleyway.

Oh my god! Dead. I am dead. Do something! Her eyes darted about, looking for an escape. She had missed her chance to get away. No way would he underestimate her again.

He led her down the steps, around the corner, and toward the inevitable large black SUV. She had to do something, but he had left her almost no options.

Almost.

Her body tensed as he relaxed his grip ever so much while reaching to open the rear door of the death wagon. In one swift move, Monica dropped her purse and backpack, yanked her arm free, and bolted.

An Olympic sprinter spurred on by the blast of the starter’s pistol couldn’t have taken off faster. She just might escape. That thought had barely broken the surface of her mind when a building of a man stepped out from behind the SUV. She saw the obstacle too late to avoid it and collided with what may as well have been a concrete wall. The huge, unyielding man had the chest and shoulders of a linebacker and a face chiseled out of granite.

When she hit him, she bounced, sprawling onto her backside, stunned. Before she could regain her wits, the huge man reached down, picked her up, and gently set her in the rear seat of the SUV. He then buckled her belt.

“I’m not a toddler,” she informed him, embarrassed yet indignant.

“Just stay put.” His voice rumbled like rock plates deep in the Earth.

With that done, he glanced at Crew Cut’s bleeding nose. Crew Cut glared back at him. The big man’s lips curled into the slightest of grins as he shook his head and closed her door. Monica might be about to die, but at least she got in a lick of her own, and Granite knew it.





3





Jon hadn’t interrupted Monica’s monologue but instead took notes on a large yellow legal pad. When she finished, he set his pen down, leaned back in his chair, and flipped through the pages with his neat handwriting scrawled across the surface.

She waited, letting the silence spin out.

“So, you are living with this Tom Phillips?”

“Yes.”

“And he does not charge you rent?”

“No.”

“I see.” He scribbled something else on the pad. “This is in exchange for sexual favors?”

She leered at him. “Favors for him or favors for me?”

Jon looked at her over the top of his glasses. “Favors for him, Ms. Sable. Does he let you stay there in exchange for sex?”

“You cannot be serious.”

“You have been arrested for drugs and murder. What I’m trying to determine is if we add prostitution to the list of your admirable qualities.”

She leaned in, her hands folded on the table. “I think Tom is in love with me in his own schoolboy sort of way. One of the ways he displays this affection is by letting me stay with him free of charge. We have sex because we are young and horny. Please be sure to add that under your Admirable Qualities category, Mr. Smith. Do you need me to spell it for you? H, o, r…”

“Thank you. I’ve got it.”

To her satisfaction, he wrote young and horny at the bottom of the page. He continued to review his notes while she watched him in silence. “So you went to the library to study for a Criminal Law midterm?”

“Yes. It’s best to study up on a subject when preparing for a major exam. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Jon ignored the question. “So you are reading, and Mr. Pesci just strolls up to the other side of the bookshelf and starts babbling about someone he’s killed?”

Monica sighed. “Actually, if you’d taken accurate notes you would know that I don’t know who arrived first. I didn’t look. Didn’t care. I just wanted them to leave me in peace. Whoever it was didn’t say anything until his lover arrived.”

“I see.”

“Do you? You seem confused. I thought my story was very linear. Here.” She held out her hands for the pad of paper and pen. “I can draw stick figures or make a flow chart or something for you, if it will aid in your comprehension of the situation.”

Jon set the legal pad on the table, where it lay like a flat yellow turd. He removed his glasses and placed them next to the papers. “See, and there’s my problem. The whole thing sounds like a ‘story.’ It seems simply too fantastic. Too convenient. I’m having trouble with it.”

“Which part?”

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