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sunglassJared

Chasing Blue Sky - Part I. the First Night


The thing about Jared, Jensen decided while watching the meeting with a Mr. J. D. Morgan went down the drain fast and furious, was that he didn't see the point of tactics. It wasn't that Jared thought himself above strategies and 'crap like that', to borrow a phrase from the man. 'Why bother?' was an honest question from him. It was really just that Jared was the simple kind of man, who liked his women busty, his whisky straight and his problems solved the simplest way possible, which, most times, meant the town streets got a bunch of corpses for decoration for a few days or weeks.

It was a miracle that he was still alive, the way he pissed off powerful people like J. D. Morgan left and right. It was one of those unsolvable mystery how he made it to a place where Mr. Morgan had to come to talk to him, waited in the waiting room and all, when the old boss wanted a certain small time crook who was believed to be hiding out in Jared's territory.

Then again, Jared was a force of nature if Jensen had ever seen one, like hurricane, or a tsunami, or a volcano. Destructive and unstoppable, leaving wreckage of whatever that was in his wake. Somehow over the years, he ended up with an office decorated with the gaudiest taste money can buy, loaded with luxury but comfy furniture and essentials like huge flat screen TV hooked up with both a PS3 and an xBox. And owning half of the town. And gaining grounds.

Jensen considered all this from the corner of the big soft white genuine leather couch he currently sprawled on. It was a big room, big and bright, lighted with fancy lights that had real crystal hangings that reflected colorful spots all over the room. So much stepped up from where they started, a small room smelt of wet dog and dirty laundry, yet felt right, somehow.

Jared didn't change much though, he still had that disarming smile that was warm and toothy and dimply. Your regular friendly street punk kid, who was able to dish out violence and death at the drop of a hat. Jensen was happy, though, that Jared had ditched most of those pinkish shirts with weird printed parsley patterns that he was so fond of back when they first met. Now he settled on plaid shirts and designer jeans, looking like a kid playing house sitting behind a huge mahogany desk talking with Morgan in impeccable dark suite, which was, no doubt, tailored for him by someone across the ocean, no less.

Jared shook his head and said to Morgan apologetically, all sincere and earnest, 'Sorry, man, you know me, I always take care of me and mine. I can't do that.' Morgan smiled, breathed in deep and breathed out slow, used his most reasonable voice: 'Come on, son, we know that he is hiding out in that whore house of yours.... seriously, Jared, Gabe is scum, he is not worth it.'

Jensen felt all his hair stood up at that soft reasoning tone, especially he knew that everybody knew how Jared always lost it when someone called him 'son'. He saw a flash out of Chad's half-hooded eyes. Never let it be said that Jared's second in command was not shrewd, despite the douche-baggy way he acted and the bling-bling gangster fashion style he sported.

Jared checked his temper this time though. He shrugged, kept his smile in place, though it took on a sharp edge, nodded and said: 'Yeah, you are right, Gabe is the scummest scum out there, but he is my scum.' Jensen raised half an eyebrow at Chad, question in his eyes 'since when is Gabe his scum?'; Chad looked surprised too, but did his lip shrug move and went back to looking bored and listening to whatever rap his iPod was blasting, in stead of every single word said in the room.

Morgan rose to his feet by way of concluding this meeting, said: 'This is regrettable.' Jared stood up from his leather chair too, answered: 'Yeah, regrettable, very.' They smiled at each other like two sharks. Then Morgan left.

The silence in the office was so loud that it was deafening, then Chad muttered: 'Shit.' Jensen rolled his eyes, finally asked Jared: 'Dude, really? We seriously are going to war over... Gabe?' Jared gave him a half-hearted smile, said: 'Well, they want a war, they get a war. You think it matters how it starts?' Chad made a face as if he wanted to say not over Gabe, then he shrugged, said in stead: 'Yeah, the man got a point. It's been quiet for a while. They ain't happy about us, ya know, expanding our biz venues.'

Jared nodded his agreement enthusiastically, smiled big at Jensen, happy and innocent.

Jensen didn't buy it for a second. Something was up.

***

When Jensen got back to his place later that night, a little drunk and quite high, he was definitely not prepared for a fist connecting with his jaws right after he staggered out of the elevator. Then a couple more hits landed in his stomach before even the first shock set in. He crumpled to the floor, muttered to himself: 'Crap! Fucking debt collectors.' then out loud to the hallway, 'Aw Paulie, don't be like that. You kill me, you ain't getting a penny of your money back. Even a moron like you should know that.'

The answer was not angry yells from Paulie, but quiet voice from an amused Misha:'You know, I don't think insulting anybody is going to get you any favours.'

Jensen found the wall with his butt, hugging his stomach, righted himself slowly, then greeted the man: 'What are you doing here?'

Misha's lips twisted into a little smirk, he said calmly: 'To inform you that you don't owe Paulie anything as of tonight.' Misha was the right hand man of J. D. Morgan, like J. D. Morgan, he was dressed in suit and tie. Unlike Morgan, whose attire was always impeccable, his tie somehow always managed to be askew and the suit just a half size not fitting on him.

'So that's where you went, to buy off my debt from Paulie....' Jensen nodded to himself, added, 'Well, please do fucking tell Mr. Morgan, I will get his money to him. I am an honest gambler, everybody knows that....' Then something struck, he asked: 'Huh, Paulie never sells any debt, he is like a bulldog or something, how did you get him to sell?'

Misha made a barely there eye-roll and minimum air quote: 'Mr. Morgan made him an offer that he cannot refuse.'

Jensen barked out a laugh, said: 'You guys taking mobster101 from Godfather the movie?' he shook his head, 'God, I don't believe your people. Well, please be so kind as to inform Mr. Morgan that I will make good on my debts.'

'Well, you don't have to worry about your debt.' Misha's voice was level, bored.

'How so?' the second time of the night, Jensen felt his hair raise.

'Just that..... Mr. Morgan likes you in case you haven't noticed.' Misha said, considering him with coolly measuring eyes, asked with real curiosity, 'Why do you run with those punk kids anyways?‘

Jensen laughed a little to himself, ain't that the million dollar question he didn’t have answer to. After graduating college, he told his folks that he was going to see the world before settling down. He kissed his mama, shook his fathers hands, gave his sister a tight hug and slapped his brother on the shoulder, then he started driving. His drifting didn't have a system, but he had planned to go from the east coast to the west coast, then from south to north, after that, Alaska and Hawaii.

This town was supposed to be a one-night stop, up to the point when Jared cut through an angry mob and barged into his life. That fateful night, Jensen played poker with local people and won their bi-weekly wages. Never a graceful winner, he pissed off the guys. When he came out of the bar, there was a mob of close to twenty very angry men waiting. Jensen took the mob on with a crazy laugh, he was almost mulled to the ground when the crowd broke and grown men ran like the devil was on their tails, then he saw Jared, crazy hair and crazier grin, white T-shirt bloody, a few cuts in his face dribbling blood. Jared had asked him: 'Ya wanna hang around with us?' Jensen had said al'right and that was that. Now, it was almost 10 years later. He had hang around a kid with crazy hair and ridiculous shirts for almost 10 years now. It was getting dangerously close to settling down.

He told Misha: 'I will get back to you on that. What does Morgan want?'

'Gabe.' Misha said quietly, as if he was not sure that was really what they wanted.

Jensen sighed, 'I am not his keeper. Don't you know already where he is?'

Misha shrugged, 'Ah well. You were at the meeting, so you know.....'

'Yeah yeah yeah, What? Morgan wants me to feed him information? over my fucking gambling debt? Ain't that cheap.' Jensen felt mildly insulted.

'We want Gabe.' Misha repeated without much conviction.

'Fucking ain't got him.'

'Well, you can lure him out in the open, then we call us even.' Misha proposed almost as an after thought.

'Ain't happening. Shit. He is......' Jensen couldn't resist making an air quote of his own, 'our scum.'

Misha almost smiled, but he didn't. He gave Jensen a final intense stare, nodded at his goons and left.

***

The moment Jensen stepped into his apartment, he knew someone was in there. The bedroom door was half-closed, while he knew he left it open. Besides there was this telltale undertone of perfume mixed in the night air. Jensen always kept his windows open when he could, he liked the fresh air, especially now that it was almost summer.

He went to his fridge, grabbed the bottle of vodka, strawberry flavoured, poured himself one, and asked without looking for the guest, 'Should I pour you one too?' He heard clothes rustling before a rich melodic female voice answered 'You know it's weird to keep your vodka in the fridge, right?'

'That a yes?'

'Sure, why not.' the voice was musical, almost siren song.

Jensen got another tumbler out and filled it to the brink. He didn't hear the heels click, because this woman moved like a cat, but she was there by the time he was done pouring. Jensen tossed his back, but before he could swallow, red red lips were on his, and clever tongue worked its way into his mouth and sucked out his drink. The woman pulled back first, huge green eyes sparkling, smiled rather smugly at him, 'You know I always like it better this way.'

'Jeez, Carla.' was all that Jensen could manage, he grabbed her tiny waist, slotted her body into his. Then they kissed, deep and dirty, as if they wanted to devour each other right then and there. The next thing Jensen knew, his pants were down, Carla's dress was up, her long legs wrapped around him, and him deep inside her, trying to get deeper still. Their lips never parted, getting their tongue down the other's throat apparently more important than breathing.

They came up for air only after their orgasms. Jensen rolled away from Carla, panting and wondering how they made it to the bed. Carla said breathlessly 'God, I needed that.'

'Bad day?' Jensen put his hands on her cool smooth thigh almost tenderly.

'Try bad life.' Carla huffed a bitter laugh, 'I am going to have a smoke, if you don't mind.' She sat up and lighted up without waiting for Jensen to agree or disagree.

Jensen laughed, running a hand up and down her thigh.

'Yeah, bad day, spectacularly bad day.' Carla picked up the conversation after inhaled half a cigarette with one long drag, 'Gabe is missing.'

'That is good all around.' Jensen couldn't even pretend to care.

'He is going to get killed. Morgan is after him for something.' Carla said in her low, worried, quietly pleading voice, the one she used to move mountains.

'Well, even better.' Jensen was harder to move than a mountain.

Carla sounded rather tired when she said, 'He's my brother, Jen, I can't let him get killed.' She was really pleading with him now, none of those melodramatic gestures.

Jensen snorted, unimpressed, 'Of course you can. He is your pimp, for fuck's sake.'

Carla slapped him, hard, hissed 'He is my brother.'

Jensen rubbed his cheek, sighed, 'Fine, he's your brother. So? What's it to me?'

Carla would have slapped him again if he didn't caught her hand. Then she was gone in a wind of impotent fury that smelt like summer flowers.


The next day


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