We were driving for probably ten minutes when Jenny tried to reach for her bag.
"Ugh", she said exasperatedly. "I left my phone in the stupid bag! May I use yours?"
"Sure", I smiled and handed her my phone.
I knew that she was going to call Tanner.
"Hey babe", she said in a minute or so and laughed slyly. "No, it’s not Connor. It’s me… Huh? What do you mean?" she frowned and looked at me.
I rolled my eyes and shook my head.
"Give him to me", I said. "He probably doesn’t wanna sound like a loser with a broken car."
She blinked in great confusion and handed me the phone. I pulled over to the side of the road and pressed the phone against my ear.
"Hey, Tanner", I said with a smile and threw the gear in park.
"Connor…?" he muttered. "What are you… What is Jenny…"
"Did you fix your tires yet?" I asked lightly and he stopped talking. "Not yet, huh?"
I grinned at Jenny.
"Oh, hold on a second, will you?" I said into the phone.
I put the phone down, pressing it slightly against my shoulder and put one of my hands into my pocket.
"Jenny", I said in a low voice. "You’ve got something on your jacket…" and I patted my right shoulder.
She blinked and grabbed her shoulder.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Looks like a moth or something", I squinted my eyes. "Right by your collar…"
She turned her head, trying to look at her shoulder and I pulled the syringe out of my pocket and sunk the needle into her exposed neck.
"Ow!!" she yelped and whirled around in her seat.
She stared at me with such stupefied expression on her face that I found it comical. She blinked several times and then simply slid down in her seat. I put the syringe back into my pocket, pulled her up a little bit to make it look like she was asleep, and then I pressed the phone against my ear again.
"You still there?" I asked cheerfully.
"What did you do to her?!" he screamed. "You son of a bitch, what did you do to her?!"
"Nothing", I said. "She is sleeping now…"
"You fucking bastard! I’m gonna call the cops! I’m…"
"Do it", I said shortly. "But the minute I see a police car coming for me, Jenny dies. Understood?"
That shut him up.
"What do you want?" he asked finally.
"Where is Dylan?" I didn’t even bother sounding lightly anymore.
"Mickey has him", Tanner whispered. "Look, I only had to keep you away from the apartment until he calls me, I swear…"
"Right", I muttered. "And your security guard was keeping an eye on me, yes?"
"My security guard?" now he sounded confused.
"Ms. Waters", I said and he coughed.
"Oh Jesus… No, no, Connor, no! Dinah doesn’t work for me anymore! She moved here a year ago… I talked to Mickey and he said he could use someone like her… Listen, I had nothing to do with Dinah or the whole thing, I swear!"
"I don’t care", I interrupted him. "Now, here is the deal, Tanner. Tell me where the hell Mickey took Dylan, call that son of a bitch, tell him to keep Dylan alive…"
"How am I supposed to do that?!" he yelled.
"Use your imagination", I said coolly. "If Dylan dies, guess what’s gonna happen to Jenny…"
"Oh God… Please don’t hurt her, please…!"
"I am not going to hurt her", I said evenly. "But I will kill her if I have to."
"Okay, okay…" he muttered feverishly. "Okay… Let me call Mickey, ask him… Shit… Okay, Connor, I’ll call you back, okay?"
"Hurry up", I said darkly and hung up on him.
I rolled down the window and lit a cigarette. I was almost done with it when my phone rang.
"So", I said without even looking at the caller I.D.
"Okay, okay", he was speaking so quickly that it came out like "Oay, oay".
"Is he alive?" I asked, ignoring the cigarette that was dying in my fingers.
"Yeah, he’s alive…"
I closed my eyes, my hand shaking so badly that I almost dropped the cigarette. I threw it out of the window and opened my eyes.
"Where is he?" I asked quietly.
Tanner told me the address, his voice panicky.
"Is there anyone else? Besides Mickey?" my fingers were tapping impatient rhythm on the steering wheel.
"No", he said quickly. "Nobody else… I guess Mickey has some old bone to…"
"I don’t care", I interrupted him. "What did you tell him?"
"I said…" he coughed. "I said that I wanna join him, that he should wait for me, I made a bunch of shit up, he believed it, I…"
"Excellent", I interrupted him again. "Later, Tanner."
"Wait!! What about Jenny?!"
"She is sleeping now", I said indifferently. "I get Dylan, you get Jenny. End of story."
He was screaming something on the phone but I ignored him and hung up. I turned the phone off and shoved it in my pocket. He will probably call me every five minutes and that would be annoying.
It took me almost an hour to find the right place. I got lost twice. Finally I got there, parked on the side of the road and turned the car off. It was an old house, in the middle of nowhere. I guess it belonged to Mickey’s Uncle. There was nobody in sight, no people, no animals - nobody. That was a good thing too.
I pulled the gun from underneath my belt and checked how many bullets I had left. Three more. Okay, should be more than enough. I glanced at Jenny. She was still passed out in the front seat. She didn’t even stir the entire time it took me to get here. I wondered what the hell Dinah had in that syringe of hers and touched Jenny’s hand. I blinked when it was icy cold. What the hell? I tried to find her pulse and when I couldn’t do that, I briefly touched her neck. There was no pulse, nothing. Come to think of it, there was no breathing either.
"Well, shit", I muttered.
I guess emptying the entire syringe into her was a dumb idea. I don’t think it would’ve killed me but I am six three and I weight a hundred and eighty five pounds. Jenny on the other hand, was maybe five two and she weight a hundred pounds at the most. I stared at her thoughtfully for a minute or two, and then I just shrugged. Oh well. Collateral damage.
I got out of the car, unscrewed the gas cap and looked around for something that could help me do what I wanted to do. Finally I pulled a cotton scarf off of Jenny’s neck. Not like she’ll need it or anything. I pushed the scarf into the gas tank, making sure that I get it nicely soaked. It took me probably fifteen minutes to get everything done the way I wanted. Finally I pulled my phone out, turned it on, and dialed Tanner’s number.
"Come on over", I said after his breathless "Hello".
He started saying something but I already hung up on him. I shoved the phone into my pocket, pulled the gun out, and clicked the safety off. My plan was genius in its simplicity. Go in, send a bullet between Mickey’s eyes, grab Dylan, get the hell out of there. I was never a fan of spectacular effects or "the last moment" speeches. Plus those speeches always turn out badly according to every single Hollywood flick.