I awoke to find myself lying on hard stone, a cold stream of water tracing the profile of my face while the rain pounded my skin from above. I’d have shivered within my sodden clothes, but it hurt to move.
Hurt to think.
Eva. One of her goons had kicked me in the head, dumped me out here.
I turned my head so that my face was out of the water, began to take a deep breath then stopped as I felt something clawing deep into my flesh, just below the ribs; ah yes, the bullet wound.
I knew I needed to go to the hospital, get the bullet out, go home and get washed up and changed. I knew I should tell Meyer what had happened to Kowalski, keep him in the loop.
I just wanted to lie down and go back to sleep. That’s what I needed, a good fight’s sleep, just me and my nightmares.
I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, took a couple of shallow breaths, then slowly, shakily, stood up. I took a look around the rain-soaked streets, looking for shadows flickering in the gleaming radiance cast by the lamplights.
The street was silent, no sign of life. It was probably a couple of hours before dawn. The hospital would be open though.
I staggered over to my car, fumbling around in my pocket for my keys. They weren’t there of course, Eva’s mooks had taken them from me. Good job that’s all they took, besides my gun.
I took off my raincoat, wrapped it around my fist and smashed in the door window on the passenger side, opened the door and slid into the driver’s side. After I closed the door to the elements, I sat for a while and took stock, my mind filled with scenarios like some kind of idea soup.
So, Eva had worked Peter over. She’d attracted him and then gamed him, manipulated him into doing exactly what she wanted him to do. Even if he didn’t feel entirely right about it he would do whatever he could to make her happy, just for one smile, one caress, one kiss, which of course she used like a carrot on a stick.
Love is one of the most addictive drugs in the world and Peter was hooked, couldn’t say no, couldn’t walk away.
I knew what that was like.
Thing is, nobody can manipulate you if you realise that you don’t need them, that you can get your fix elsewhere and that it might even be sweeter, unconditional even. Peter, that poor bastard, he had no idea what love was or how it was supposed to work. All he had was his fantasies and whatever scraps that bitch threw over her shoulder.
What I wanted to do was find his auntie’s will, the one that left him all that land and money, and burn it in front of his face. I’d hold it up in front of him, incandescent as if I’d just been sun fishing, burning so bright that he’d wonder if it was paper or plasma.
That wouldn’t work though, Meyer would have a copy and would have been guaranteed some kind of cut.
Eva and Peter. Peter was Eva’s weakest link, an over sensitive and gullible fool. I hated the idea of what I was about to do to Peter, the heartbreak that I was going to cause him and the way it would scar him, making him cynical and bitter like me and Eva. Nevertheless, these were desperate times, and desperate times called for desperate measures.
Fine, I thought. I’d be a good boy, go to hospital and get cleaned up.
Then I’d find Eva, show her that two could play this game.