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Authors: Mark M. DeRobertis

Tags: #murder, #japan, #drugs, #martial arts, #immortality

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BOOK: Killer of Killers
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They blasted into screaming laughter a second
time. “Well, fuck that,” Bulldog responded. “You white as

Shalom deadpanned his bodyguard. “Who the
fuck’s Jasper?” he asked.

“He’s that friendly ghost, dawg.”

“It’s Casper, you damn fool.”

They burst again into a fit of hysterics.

After several minutes, their merriment
simmered. Shalom and Bulldog traded stares while catching their
breaths, and turned their heads to the women. Blood still oozed
from the wounds in their chests. “Look at dem useless hos,” the
uncaring Shalom said. “They as dead as the two bitches I wasted way
back when. And you know what?”

Bulldog shrugged. “What?”

“They uglier, too.”

Again, they boomed boisterous howls.

It was Bulldog who stopped laughing first.
“You know what they look like?” he asked. “Vanessa and Takisha
after I wore ’em out.”

“Vanessa and Takisha?” Shalom repeated as he
calmed down. “They only fifteen, mofo! You tellin’ me they ain’t no

“Not no mo’ they ain’t.”

Still again, they hooted and howled.

When they finally settled down, Bulldog’s
expression turned serious. He asked, “What the fuck we gonna

Shalom answered, “Hell, I’ll tell you what
we’re gonna do. First, we reload.” They discarded their clips,
pulled out their spares, and shoved them into their handguns.
“Next, we find out what Bruce’s beef is.”

Bulldog scoffed, “Bruce’s beef? I’ll tell you
what his beef is. Ya shoulda shared summa that poochie all these
months. That’s what his beef is, fool.”

Shalom and Bulldog looked at each other and
again split the air with uncontrollable hilarity. They hacked and
cackled with tears clearing streaks down their dust-covered

* * * *

The windows of the limo were bulletproof but
no longer soundproof. The leaking laughter filled the dark garage
yet entered only one set of ears. Leaning his back against the
limo’s rear wheel well, Trent smiled, amused that the men inside
were enjoying the experience. He folded his arms and put a foot on
the tire. Next to him, the prone form of the man called Moose began
to stir. Trent stepped forward and kicked the handgun from view.
Then he employed a synchronous pinch to the nerves astride the
man’s neck. Once more, Moose kissed the pavement into oblivion.

* * * *

Inside the limo, Shalom resolved himself to
find a solution to his predicament. He viewed the unconscious body
at his feet and said, “Hell, Jay, nap time’s over.” He pointed at a
broken bottle of whiskey. “Gimee that.”

Once in hand, he poured the last of the
bottle’s contents over Jay’s blank face. The potent liquid found
its way into Jay’s mouth and gagged him back to reality. When the
coughing Jay opened his eyes, Shalom spoke. “I don’t pay you to
sleep on the job, fool. You ready to come back from La La

Jay sat up and viewed the limo’s interior
shot to pieces and canvased in white. He waved his hand through the
haze and flinched at the lifeless women. Shalom scowled and waited
impatiently as Jay stared at the blanket of white on his own body
and the mire in which he sat. “Jesus, I believe,” he proclaimed in
a shaky voice. “I believe!”

Shalom rolled his eyes and blustered, “Shut
the fuck up, you stupid fool. You ain’t even dead, yet.”

Bulldog spoke up. “Now I want to know one
thing.” He wasn’t talking to anyone in particular, as he spoke
while looking at the pocked windows. “I know his name’s Bruce, but
he ain’t no Bruce Lee. How’d he get so gawddamn tough he can lay
out Moose and Jay?”

Shalom didn’t know, but it got him to
thinking. Maybe Bruce had been filching his supply of Eternity. Or
maybe he sold out to some rival. He wasn’t sure, and he needed to
find out. “Yo, Bruce!” he hollered. “Yo, Bruce,” he repeated with
pistol in hand. “What is it, man? What’s goin’ on?” He waited for
an answer, but after several tense moments there was no

Determined to solve his dilemma, Shalom tried
again. “Come on, man, I mean it. What do you want? Money? Pussy?
Drugs? Is that it? You want drugs? I got drugs!” Shalom was
that was it. “I got the drugs you want, Bruce. I got
’em, and I know it’s what you want. You can have ’em, dawg. For
real, you can have ’em. But you gotta let us outa here. No more
fighting, okay? Answer me, man. Answer me!”

Clearly fed up, Bulldog raised his fist and
pounded the limo’s sidewall paneling. “Hell, I can’t believe this,”
he growled. “All three of us in here, and no one will go out there
to face one small-ass white boy?” He looked at Shalom and Jay.
“Well? Who’s goin’ out there?”

No one answered. Shalom looked at his
bodyguards. Both of them skirted glances, as if hoping the other
would go. He said, “You go, Bulldog. You’re the baddest muthuh
here. Look what he did to Moose and Jay. No way he could do that to
you. No fuckin’ way.”

Clearly emboldened by Shalom’s show of
confidence, Bulldog raised his .45 caliber and said, “Ah-ight. I’m
goin’ out there.” He turned to the door and shouted, “You hear me,
Bruce? I’m gonna turn you into a stiff like I did that cracker
shortin’ me on my stash last year. And the two bruthuhs the year
before that, pinchin’ me. And the nigguh I caught doin’ my bitch
last week. You hear that, muthufuckuh? Oh, yeah, in case you’re
wonderin’, I killed the bitch, too. You hear that?”

Several seconds of silence passed, and still
there was nothing.

“So I’m comin’ out,” Bulldog declared. “And
I’m comin’ right now!”

As Shalom and Jay pointed their pistols,
Bulldog cranked the limo’s handle and eased the door slightly open.
He shoved his gun through the narrow gap, but there was no target.
He pushed a little more. Shalom and Jay extended their arms,
itchy-fingered and ready to shoot the first thing they saw.

At last, Bulldog threw the door wide. He
stuck out his foot, but the instant he leaned forward, two gloved
hands reached down and yanked his head over the rim. A simultaneous
twist broke his neck. Bulldog’s body fell to the pavement, and the
door, bounced to its apex, rebounded shut once again.

It was so unexpected and swift, neither
Shalom nor Jay could react. They simply stared at the door
open-mouthed and wonder-eyed. Then they looked at each other, and
Shalom screamed,
“He’s on the roof!”

They opened fire in an instinctive attempt to
shoot through the ceiling, but being bulletproof, the shells again
ricocheted back into the enclosure, one pounding Jay in the upper
chest. He stopped firing and held the wound as it bled through his
fingers. He looked at Shalom. “You killed me,” he said, as if
resigned to his fate. “You killed me.” His eyelids descended, and
he slid back to his sodden sleeping place.

Alone now, Shalom tried to concentrate. How
well did he really know Bruce? Not that well. Shalom concluded this
was a professional hit man. All these past months he must have been
biding his time, and now the time had come. But why? It must have
something to do with Eternity. Soriah sold him out. It was the only

“Yo, Bruce!” Shalom called out again. “Yo,
man, you got everybody. That’s it, man, I mean, that’s everybody.
Jay’s in here, but he’s dead. I shot him. I mean, I was trying to
shoot you, but Jay got it. Same thing with the bitches. Both of
’em, man, both of ’em dead.”

Shalom’s voice faltered, but he knew it was
the only thing he had left. “I know you broke Bulldog’s neck. I
mean, I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own
eyes. You bad, man. You’re one bad-ass muthu

Shalom paused to see if his tormentor would
respond, but there was only silence. “What about Moose? Is he dead,
too? Moose was always cool wit’ you, like Jay. I know Bulldog
showed his ass, but Moose and Jay were cool. They never hurt
anyone. It ain’t right.”

* * * *

Resuming his lean on the limo’s rear quarter,
Trent took Shalom’s claim to heart. Jay and Moose were cool. Was it
really true? If so, Trent was glad Moose still lived, but he felt
bad for Jay and the two women. Time was up. “Come on out, Shalom,”
he said. “Come on out, so I can finish this.”

* * * *

Not buying into being bossed by anyone,
Shalom felt only disgust. “Fuck you,” he barked. “I ain’t yur
bitch. I’m Shalom DaBomb! Who the fuck are you? You’re a nobody!”
He snarled and spit in defiance. “You got that? A fuckin’ nobody!
You come the fuck in here, and you come and get me!”

Just as the words left his mouth, he heard
the door unlatch. It was right next to him, and the breach slowly
widened. Shalom jumped to the curled seat in front, held his pistol
high, and cocked its hammer. He was going to blast the first sign
of whatever showed itself at that door.

To Shalom’s astonishment, a blurry glove shot
over the backrest of the driver’s seat and grabbed the muzzle of
his gun. A leather finger jammed the hammer and disabled the firing
mechanism. Another glove gripped his wrist and pushed it backward
while twisting in one quick move.

A loud snap ensued and Shalom yelped in pain.
He saw his gun tossed the length of the limo, but before he could
move away, both gloves collared him at the base of his jaw. He felt
two thumbs pushing through the front of his neck. Getting a clear
look for the first time, Shalom realized it wasn’t Bruce at all.
“You’re not Bruce,” he gurgled as the pressure on his neck

“No, I’m not Bruce.”

“Then, who are you?”

The corners of the man’s mouth curled upward.
“Don’t you remember? I’m a nobody.”

* * * *

Trent pushed his thumbs into Shalom’s
laryngeal nerves and broke through the anterior cervical nodes.
With his larynx crushed, Shalom could no longer make a sound. Trent
squeezed even harder while Shalom’s unhurt hand made one last
effort to pry the grip from his throat.

The hand dropped when Trent severed the
hyaline cartilage and pierced the trachea, ending the life of the
man who had murdered two innocent women and laughed about it. Trent
was satisfied this man would never laugh again. He withdrew his
arms and let the dead man fall onto the bodies of his women.

During the ensuing silence, Trent spied the
medallion on the rapper’s chest. It was tangled with several other
dust covered necklaces that dangled from his neck. Trent felt like
spitting on it but resisted the urge. Instead, he looked at the
dead women. Their young faces reminded him of innocent choirgirls
who might have sung at Sunday’s services.

Trent turned to leave the vehicle, but he
heard a low groan. It came from the man called Jay. He was still
alive. Trent side-leaped the backrest and pulled him to the
pavement, clear of Moose and Bulldog. He threw off a glove and
placed his hand below the man’s jaw. A rapid pulse was trying to
compensate for the loss of life giving scarlet. If the bullet
didn’t strike vital organs, Jay might be saved. But he had to move

Trent rushed back into the limo, snatched a
medical kit from the glove compartment, and then hustled back to
Jay’s side. He tore open Jay’s bloodied shirt and used the driver’s
water bottle to wash off the wound. Gauze and steady pressure
failed to stem the crimson tide.

Trent ripped off the other glove and used his
fingers to pry open the hole. After pouring more water, he spotted
the round. It was lodged in sinew between the subclavian vein and
the brachiocephalic artery. He figured the ricochet dulled the
shot, which struck the lateral border of the first rib where it
settled into the soft tissue. If the artery had been compromised,
Jay would be dead, so Trent knew it was the vein that bore the
harm. Even so, Jay would still bleed to death before an emergency
crew arrived. The bleeding had to be stopped at once, but if he
applied the necessary pressure, the slug could rupture the artery,
and that would be it.

Trent pushed his thumb and index finger
gently into the wound. He felt the shell, managed to grip it, and
slowly pulled it out. He tossed it aside and covered the afflicted
area with more bandages from the medical kit.

Blood still flowed, and Trent realized the
hole had to be plugged if Jay was going to live beyond the next
thirty seconds. He grabbed more gauze and hurriedly folded it into
a marble-sized pad before inserting it into the gash and against
the break in the subclavian vein. He pinched the wound and sealed
it with medical tape. Over that, he layered gauze and bandages
while providing nonstop pressure.

This would be Jay’s last chance, and Trent
was committed to halting the hemorrhage. The gauze against the
wound soaked red, but shortly a relieved Trent observed the
blotting cease.

Within minutes, Jay roused to consciousness.
Eyeing Trent, he said in a weak voice, “Say, you’re not Bruce.”

“No, I’m not Bruce,” Trent replied, only now
remembering the driver’s hat still rested on top of his head.

“Then who are you?” Jay’s voice was sincere,
even polite.

Trent was used to being asked that question
by the person he was about to kill. In that circumstance, he always
had an answer. When asked by a man whose life he just saved, he
couldn’t help but realize he didn’t readily know.

Then it occurred to him. “I’m somebody,” he
said while weaving extra strips of linen across Jay’s chest.

Trent noticed Moose had also regained
consciousness, and he was sitting up against the limo. He had
witnessed the entire procedure while holding his broken wrist with
his able hand. Moose asked, “Why’d you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Why’d you save Jay’s life?”

Trent finished wrapping Jay’s torso and then
stood up to answer Moose’s question. “Jay never killed anyone,
right? He doesn’t deserve to die.”

BOOK: Killer of Killers
13.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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