“Layla, wait! I love you!” I yelled as I chased her out of the strip club and into the parking lot. As she frantically dug through her purse to find her keys, I pulled out the taser.
“Don’t make me use this,” I warned her. I inched closer towards her as she swiftly opened the door to her vehicle.
“Stay the fuck away from me!” Layla screamed. Then she swung around and nailed me in the stomach with a pair of brass knuckles. I dropped the taser as I fell to the ground.
Layla then squealed her tires as she attempted to back out of her parking space. But standing behind the vehicle was Donovan McNabb. “Layla!” he shouted.
She slammed on the brakes and put the car in park. “Donovan?! I could have killed you!” she screamed through the window. Then she stepped out of the vehicle to confront her ex-boyfriend.
“Donovan, goddamnit!” Layla shouted, “how the hell did you find me?”
“Nevermind that!” he replied, “I was worried sick about you after you ran out on me!”
Layla slowly rubbed her fingers through her hair as she tried to find the words. “I’m sorry I did that,” she replied, “I just didn’t have the courage to tell you.”
“Tell me what?” Donovan asked, “That it was over?”
Layla began to stutter. “I…I don’t know,” she said, “Donovan, I just don’t know who I am, okay? When I’m here, I want to be there. And when I’m there I want to be here. I just needed time away.”
“You could have said so!” he said.
Before Layla could answer, a squad car pulled into the lot. The police officer slowly rolled up and shined his bright light into our faces. I climbed to my feet as I was still struggling to catch my breath.
“Everything’s alright, officer,” I said, “no need for the law. Thank you for your service and blue lives matter.”
The officer slowly opened the door and stepped out of the vehicle. I couldn’t see his face as I was still blinded by the light. Then I heard a faint laugh.
“Well well well, Jack Hardcock found Layla Huffington,” the officer said. Then he stepped in front of the light and his face was plain as day.
It was Peter Tucker.
“Peter, I don’t have time for your theatrics,” I said, “let me get Layla and we’ll get the fuck out of California.”
“You know Jack, I was thinking…,” Peter replied, “I could save the taxpayers a lot of money by just killing you right here.”
“Look, how many times do you want me to say I’m sorry for killing your favorite porno director?”
“Dillon J Dudenburg was his name, Goddamnit!” Peter yelled as he pointed his 9mm at my head.
“Whatever. You can’t kill me. There’s too many witnesses. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life in prison for murder and impersonating a police officer?”
“I’m in the FBI. I AM THE LAW.”
“Peter,” Donovan interrupted, “Jack saved my life. I will be forever grateful for that. So if you’re gonna kill Jack Hardcock, you’ll have to kill me too.”
Peter thought for a moment, nodded, then turned the gun on Donovan. He pulled the trigger and a bullet landed square in his chest.
Layla screamed as her ex-boyfriend fell to the ground. That provided enough of a distraction for me to grab the taser gun and fire it towards Peter. The hooks grabbed ahold of him and he began to spaz out. Yet that wasn’t enough to bring him to the ground.
“I’ll get you next time, JACK HARDCOCK,” Peter yelled. While volts were still discharging through his body, Peter pulled off each of the hooks like they weren’t shit, then he slowly walked back to the police car and drove away.
Layla was holding a dying Donovan in her arms. There was no stopping the bleeding. As he was drawing his last breath, he grabbed me by the arm. “You were right, Jack,” he said.
“About what, Donovan?”
“There is an afterlife. I see it now.”
“Do you see Jesus?”
“I don’t see Jesus,” he explained, “but I do see Satan. Oh shit…”
Those were Donovan’s last words.
TO BE CONTINUED…