My First Collar, Part 3

Dinlas brings his first arrest to a conclusion, while attempting to get his career as a bounty hunter launched.

By Wayne Davids)/first published July 6, 2019

The bouncer fumbled with the door handle of the nightclub, then finally opened it. We followed him inside and he led us across an empty dance floor to the bar where five men stood.

“Boss,” the doorman said as he pulled on the collar of his shirt to stop the bleeding, “this man says he wants to talk to you.  They’re dangerous…”

One man, older with gray on the sides, looked up. “Jesus, Billy, what in the hell happened to you?”  His companions remained silent, but pulled a variety of guns and pointed them at us.

The gray-haired man reached into his pocket for a cigarette.  He lit it, inhaled deeply, then blew his exhale in my face.  Our eyes stayed locked the entire time.

“I am Eddie Pastorini. Now give me…” he started, then stopped to pick at a piece of tobacco on his tongue, “one good reason why I don’t kill you right now and then have my boys spend the afternoon taking turns on those two hotties?”

“Because you can’t.”

“That’s what I’m trying to say,” interjected Billy the doorman, “those ain’t ordinary girls.”

“Shut up, Billy,” I said before Eddie could say a word. “I don’t need an imbecile doorman to help me talk business.”

Eddie arched his eyebrows and looked back and forth among his companions. “Oh, this guy wants to talk business.”  He turned to me and pointed with his cigarette. “Listen, asshole, I don’t know where you’re from, but no one rolls in here and demands to see Eddie Pastorini for business. I own every racket and black market for miles. I don’t do business, I am business.”

I listened to his speech and shook my head. “You’re old news.  I’m here to take you to the authorities. If your men want a job, they’ll work for me after you’re gone.”

Eddie laughed, so his men followed suit.

“You are comical. But do you know what else is gonna be funny?  When Johnny here takes you in the basement and starts shooting you in the feet, then casually works his way up.”

Johnny, standing slightly to my left and pointing his gun at my waist, heard Eddie’s threat and raised his hand on cue, shoving the gun in my face.

Billy stopped pressing his shirt to his neck and pointed to Jealousy on my left arm. “Johnny, no!” he shouted.

Too late.

Like an old-time movie projector that jumps a couple frames, Jealousy flickered briefly, then disappeared.  In her place, an enormous black wolf sprang forward and easily knocked the thug to the ground. His thrashing and gurgling screams ended quickly. In the next instant, Hate flickered and took out one of the other goons.  I pulled my jacket back and drew both pistols from the holsters at my sides. I fired, hitting Billy in the temple and spraying his skull and brains all over the top of the bar. The second I shot a second in the head, as he slipped in Johnny’s guts all over the floor. The last man I brought down with several bullets in his chest.

Three more henchman burst through the doorway.  Hate and Jealousy both sprang from their lifeless victims onto fresh opponents.  They knocked them off their feet, but not before one fired a shot. I heard a whimper, but remained focused while shooting the last man as he retreated through the open doorway.

Eddie crouched as the bullets whizzed past him, then fired his pistol and yelled, “This ends now!”  As he did, I aimed with my left hand and shot the revolver from his grip.  His bullet embedded in the wall behind me and his revolver spun off to the side.

I walked several paces to the crouching crime boss.  As I did so, I hit the thumb release on each pistol to eject the half-empty magazines and quickly loaded full ones.

“Hate, Jealousy,” I said, and the wolves detached from the victim they were still mauling and turned to snarl at Eddie.  Jealousy pulled up one of her hind legs and limped a few paces.

I pointed both smoking guns at the wanted felon and Eddie cowered, shaking, with his hands in the air.  He looked back and forth between Hate and Jealousy, then over to me.

“Who in the hell are you?”

I holstered my pistols under my jacket, took out a cigarette, and lit it.  I looked at him and took off my sunglasses. The same way a cat toys with a mouse, I stood silent and watched him for a minute.  He squirmed and glanced around for someone to show up and save him, but no one showed up. Finally, he repeated, “I… I as-asked you a question.  Who are you?”

I pulled a long draw on the cigarette, then exhaled into his face. “I am Hate and I am Jealousy. I am your worst goddamned nightmare, because I am Dinlas.  Now, move your ass, you’re under arrest.”

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