“Not a whole helluva lot of time left Missus Jupe.”
Bev waits like she should and then finally turns the key again. The car whines, sputters and coughs twice. She taps the pedal in and out with an even rhythm. Her eyes are closed and she’s gritting her teeth so hard I think she’s gonna crack’em.
“You flooded it.”
“Fuck Me!” Bev lets off the key and her chin drops to her chest. One hand starts pounding the steering wheel but the other stays on the keychain. “Don’t you say another fuckin’ word to me Colt.”
She slides me a look sideways that freezes me for a second. Her eyes are all bugged out and her wet hair is hanging down in her face. It’s almost dark now but there’s enough light from the gas station to make her look like the crazy bitch she is.
So by God I don’t say another word, but I didn’t look away either. I just thumb sideways and shift back in the seat of the old Silverado to where she can look past me out my window. It’s rainin’ like a bastard, but you can still see those two headlights comin’ from the south. Way off and all, but comin’ hard.
Her eyes go to the two tiny dots of light and then back to me. Nostrils flared and mouth a tight thin line, she bangs on the dash. Bev is hard edged and rough, but a damn good lookin’ woman when she wants to be. Right now, right here, not so much.
Harlan Jupe, who’s probably sittin’ behind those two distant lights and gritting his teeth too, isn’t really after me. Now Beverly Ann here, his cheating wife, well she’s a different story. And that briefcase of Harlan’s in our backseat, well that’s a real game changer too. There is no doubt though that I’ll be going down for this anyway. Collateral damage if nothing else. I pat all the pockets of my hunting jacket to check for any more shells.
“Colt, whatta we gonna do?” the small voice behind me is quivery scared, like it should be.
I look into the back of the extended cab and smile at her. Carly is Bev’s much younger sister. Nineteen years old, golden haired and hotter than a three dollar pistol. A yella haired girl, as my dad used to say. She’s the only real reason I’m even here.
“Everything’s fine darlin’.” I count five slugs for my Remington. The Ruger on my hip still has a full clip.
We’d had a little dust up with Harlan about fifty miles back. Came up on us at a deserted rest stop just as we were pulling out. He was hanging out of his truck just firing away and I was doing the same. He shot our back window out. I shot out his right front tire.
That had put some needed space between him and us. We were in good shape until Bev realized we were runnin’ on fumes. We’ve been sittin’ here trying to start this truck since we stopped. Guarantee you Harlan changed that tire quick. Time is getting short. Real short.
I look at the headlights coming down that arrow straight road. I can just tell by those lights.
“Get out. Both of you girls, goan now, git.”
“You ain’t ordering me out of my own truck Colt.”
“You’re gettin’ out Bev.”
I lean over and bust her a good one, right on the chin. Hard edged or not, she’s out of commission for now.
“Carly, help her now! Head inside the station. Go into the far back, restroom, office or somethin’. Tell that old boy in there to hide you, cause there’s trouble comin’.”
A half minute later, the lights pull in and roar up to the pump right next to ours.
The black Camaro still has a quarter tank left. No time for gas right now. Her name is Kim, Kim from Durango, Colorado. Going to see her momma in Lubbock. She’s got golden hair too. Asks me if I’m gonna hurt her. I tell her a’course not. Asks me what’s in the briefcase. I tell her a vacation on a beach somewhere , do you want to go? Be damned if she don’t say yes.
As we pull out nice and easy, I see headlights coming in the rear view mirror. I can just tell by those lights.