Ms. Right Part 15
As the three neared The Crow, they decided to ditch the car.

“I think it would be best to go on foot from here. I'd like to keep the element of surprise. What do you think, Anna?”

“Oh I'll follow any order you give, handsome.”

Anna winked at Stu. Kari sighed again. She knew she couldn't stop her mom so she just had to deal with it. They started on the same path that Del had brought Kari out on. Hoping that the back entrance would be less guarded. This plan relied far too much on hope. Kari wished they'd had time to gather the friends her mom talked about.

They moved silently through the dark. Stu had promised a distraction. As long as her mom wasn't involved, it wouldn't be over the top. They got in view of the alley. It had seemed like a lifetime ago that she'd escaped, though in reality, it had only been about two weeks.

The new name was on a billboard. “Simple Pleasures” it was called. Kari hadn't heard anyone call it that. Del and Stu still called it The Crow. They waited in the shadows for a moment.

“There's movement out back. It looks like they are taking out the trash.”

“Look again, Kari.” Anna had seen something different.

Upon further inspection, Kari noticed they were bringing out bodies. There had to be seven or eight of them.

“Well”, Anna added, “It looks like they are going to do our job for us.”

Stu chimed in, “I can only dream that it could be that easy. I somehow doubt we have the whole story.”

They waited until the men stopped coming back outside and moved in closer.

As they moved in closer, more gunshots screamed into the night. Stu held position so the others followed suite.

“What the actual hell have we walked into?” Kari was confused. The other two didn't seem to have any better grasp of the situation.

“Well we will hold up until we know something. There are only three of us and that's a lot of gunfire.”

Anna and Kari nodded in agreement.

After half an hour of silence, Anna had a different approach.

“Ok. I can't sit here all night. I'm gonna sneak in and see what's going on. Surely they're done killing.”

“Mom! That's crazy! I want to know what's happening as well, but I don't know of a better way than just waiting.”

“Do they keep any of their uniforms on the premises? Maybe I can disguise myself somehow.”

Stu agreed it was the best way to get information. Against her better judgment, Kari told her mom that there was a locker room and probably some extra clothes. After settling on a plan, Anna moved in. They watched her until she disappeared through the doorway.

“I don't like this, Stu. She could get herself killed.”

“Give your mama some credit. She may have been on that farm, but she doesn't appear to have ever left the game. That also means they shouldn't recognize her. They've seen our faces recently, but not hers. It's really was the best plan.”

They patiently waited until thirty minutes had gone by. Stu continuously stopped Kari from pacing. If she kept that up, they'd definitely figure things out a lot faster, but in a scenario that neither really wanted.

“How long do we need to wait here, Stu?”

Her impatience was evident. Stu just shook his head. He had repeated the answer three times already. This time, he nodded towards the exit. Anna had just emerged in an outfit obviously made for a strip routine. She was helping someone that was wounded. Once clear, he tried to thank her, but couldn't beat the bullet she put into his head. Kari wasn't sure what to say. This night had been crazy enough without witnessing her mom murder someone.

“I see that look on your face, Kari. We don't have time. There's been a fight. Looks like Steel's boys made their move. There are a lot of casualties. Good thing you had Wanda call in. Demetrius was making an example of Steel. His men didn't like the idea of not getting paid I guess. Demetrius was shot in the arm while Steel lost a hand and an ear. I can't make sense of it all. If I didn't know better, I'd say there's something more at work here.”

Kari just stared. She'd been brave, but now was confused. She looked at Stu, who seemed deep in thought. What the hell was going on now??

“All I know is that the only way my girl can be safe, is if we finish this tonight. “

“That sounds like a great plan!”

They wheeled around to find they'd been surrounded by Demetrius's men. All that stealth, only to be ambushed.

“Son of a bitch, Demetrius!”, Anna couldn't hold back her frustration, “How you gonna sneak up on a lady like that??”

“Dear Anna”, it wasn't endearing at all, “I knew you'd come out of hiding. Finding your daughter was the goal, but finding you is like buttercream frosting on an ice cream cake.”

“You always were a charmer, Demetri.”

“And you're just as capable as ever. How did you manage to get in there without any of our men gunning you down?”

“Men like to fight, but there's one thing they like better. “ She gave her nearly exposed breasts a little lift and drop. Realization set in for Demetrius.

“I forget about how carnal indulgences make men stupid. I've not been moved by them for a long time. “

“I'm very aware.” Kari smiled menacingly. For the first time, annoyance seemed to cross Demetrius's face.

“You've always had the ability to get under the skin of others, Anna. Unfortunately for you, I only need your daughter for my plan. Boys, take these two and make sure no one ever finds them. We don't need a body left behind. There might yet be those who are loyal to her. Dead or alive.”

His men laughed like every stereotypical henchman in recorded history. They took Anna and Stu back towards the club.

“It's a shame we didn't get a better introduction before. My intentions were never to have you hurt, but Steel was a bit too quick to attack. I couldn't play my hand and let him know you were my goal. Steel has been trying to figure it out this entire time. Although, my plans for forced marriage might not seem a better deal. You'd have been an icon for the future. Your father was well respected, and having you as my wife, probably would've even appeased that old prick, Del. He always manages to get in my way. My man was supposed to drug you and spirit you away to a place I could hold you until it was time for out wedding. Pop Tart just happened to be in the wrong place. I thought his loyalty would hold, but it never occurred to me that Steven's daughter had enough charisma to enhance him. Unfortunate. I've lost a few good men, but the end result is the same. You're now mine.”

Kari was growing angry. All the death and violence had really been due to her. She clenched her fists. She was tired. This man. He thought it ok to harm her friends. Kill her mom. Was he really expecting her to just roll over now?

“You are an asshole! Why do you think I'd be ok marrying you? This is stupid. It's like some tragic fairytale. I'm supposed to live miserably ever after??”

“Since we are being so open, you should know that I couldn't care less about your happiness. You're a means to an end. You'd be well provided for as my queen, but it's nothing for me to let you join your mom after our nuptials.”

This was too much. What the hell was wrong with this man? She was so angry. Her hand had moved before she realized what was happening. Her fist connected solidly with Demetrius's nose. The look he gave showed that he was as shocked as she was. When he staggered back, his men raised their weapons and Kari gasped, covering her mouth with her hand.

“I'm sorry. I didn't mean to….”

“That's enough from you. Take her to my car. Handcuff her in the back seat. She just has to be alive to get married. I'll deal with her when we get to the safe house. “

As the men started pushing her forward, a strange sound echoed into the night. One of the men fell to the ground. Another sound, another monster down. Demetrius felt a pain in his shoulder after another sound. It was a silencer. He ran over behind Kari, using her as a shield.

© The Moonlight Bard