Here’s to a Happy Valentine’s Day for everyone and remembering that love means many things to many people; far more than candy and flowers can convey.
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.
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.”
The story continues as Dinlas puts his plan in motion to get his floundering bounty hunter business off the ground.
By Wayne Davids/originally published July 4, 2019
The girls pranced and whimpered when I got back and unlocked the door to the warehouse. Both jumped to greet me, nearly knocking me over. They weighed seventy kilo each, and together they could knock anyone over.
“Okay, okay, ladies. I know.”
When I gave Hate a kiss on the head, Jealousy would push her out of the way, and when I tried to pat Jealousy, Hate would nip at her ears. I just started laughing because it felt good to have a plan, and it was nice to have these two. The only two ever happy to see me.
“Stop it, both of you. We have business to deal with as soon as possible.” Both stopped and cocked their heads. They wanted to hear more. I filled them in on the situation and the plan I hatched to capture Eddie Pastorini.
At the end I added, “I’m going out to get an idea of his place. I need both of you looking your absolute best tonight. Take a nap and then wash down. You both understand?” Jealousy turned and licked Hate across the top of her head. They understood. I petted and kissed each on the muzzle again then turned my attention to other matters.
My desk has one drawer which I keep locked. I opened it and pulled out the gift Uncle Heph ended up sending me several days ago. I guess he felt bad that he short with me in our first meeting, because one of his apprentices showed up two days ago with a beautiful pair of chrome M1911 style .45 caliber pistols. The slides and lower were embossed with intricate scrollwork. He even customized the grips. Each had an image of the wolves on it: one with a calligraphy Hate and the other Jealousy. I slipped on the harness with the pistols, grabbed a few extra magazines, and then threw my suit coat on over it all, to avoid annoying questions.
Sal told me the name of the club Eddie owned. Cadillac Lounge, not even an original name for the place. Honestly, it looked like a flea-market from the street. Maybe I could wrangle a future favor from some other local club owner if I knocked out their competition. I watched the place for a few hours in the early afternoon. Eddie arrived around two p.m. and according to Sal he would normally stay until early morning. I watched for several more hours until I decided I’d seen enough. He had a couple guys on the door, several on the roof and another ten that went in but hadn’t come out.
When I got back to the warehouse, it was dark outside. Inside, the girls were both sitting on the desk, waiting for me. They looked gorgeous in their slinky black dresses.
<Record scratch. Music stops>
I know what you’re thinking, so let me explain. You don’t get two supernatural wolves from Loki, The Norse God of Mischief, that don’t have a few special abilities. My two, Hate and Jealousy, can transform into human form when needed. Both were raven-haired beauties. Hate, a deep Mediterranean bronze, with an amazing smile. She looked as if she had stepped right off the island of Crete. Jealousy, darker, had narrow features, and high cheekbones, like an ancient Roman princess. You mortals speak of werewolves; this is not the case. These are wolves who morph into human shape when needed. They cannot speak and they always think and sense as a wolf. One other thing I might as well tell you now. For short bursts, they can move faster than the human eye.
So, as I was saying, they looked marvelous in their little black dresses. Wolf or woman, each of them always wore a thin leather collar. We left the warehouse, locked arms, and walked down to his club. They turned heads all the way as they slinked along, one hanging on each of my arms. I must admit, I did enjoy the attention in my black suit, vest, and shined leather wingtips.
When we reached the club, a doorman standing outside held his hand up.
“Club doesn’t open until 10:00 p.m.,” he grunted.
“I need to see Eddie Pastorini,” I replied, “for business.”
The enormous man at the door never turned to look at us, but replied, “Mr. Pastorini don’t see anybody for business without an appointment. You got an appointment?”
“No, I don’t. But I’m going to see him anyway.”
The doorman turned and looked at us now. It was clear he was irritated. He raised his hand to speak into a communicator on his wrist. Hate mistook the action for him attempting to strike me. One second, she was standing next to me, hanging on my arm with her head on my shoulder. The next, she had him pinned against the wall with both hands and her mouth at his throat. Her canines pierced the skin, nothing more than a superficial wound. I called her back before she did any real damage.
“Hate, Hate, darling, not here,” I said as she let out a low, guttural growl.
The man flailed against her, but she held him firm. She took her mouth from his throat and then curled her upper lip, close to his face. Her prominent canines, visible only when she smiled, were dripping with blood.
“Jesus, get off of me,” he yelled. “Look at her god-damned teeth. What the hell? Who are you people?”
Hate released the man as I pulled out a linen handkerchief and dabbed his blood from her chin, throat and exposed cleavage. She licked her own mouth clean until her teeth were pearly white again. As the doorman watched, she then nuzzled my ear and put her head back down on my shoulder.
“Now,” I repeated as I folded and tucked the bloody linen into my inside breast pocket, “I would like to see Eddie Pastorini, and this is the last time I am going to ask.”