Courtney was beginning to have serious doubts about making out with Duncan last night. The early morning sun was shining though the blinds of the window, and she was curled up to his side. His chest rose and fell in a rhythm that almost made Courtney want to go back to sleep. And worst of all, snuggling right next to him made her feel extremely guilty. She let out an enormous sigh that, surprisingly, didn’t wake Duncan.
Why did we make out so much last night?!
Courtney’s inner self rolled her eyes and replied, Seriously. You just felt sorry for him. He could have died saving your life, and he looked hot with that bandage on his shoulder.
Kind of like big Baby Booms after wars and stuff.
…Riiight. Except without the sex part. Or the part where Baby Booms happen to soldiers who obey the law, not rebellious gangsters. OR the part that there was a war.
Shut up. I just haven’t been myself lately.
Mhmm. I think we’ve established that already.
But…I made out with him. Doesn’t that mean I like him? At least to some extent?
You may have a tiny crush, Courtney, but really, can you actually imagine Duncan turning into a responsible father?
Oh, now you’re talking marriage?
Just answer the question.
Well…no. Not as good as I can imagine the apple salesman, Frank Gardetta.
Come on, you’re not seriously crushing on him again, are you?
No! I’m just saying that whomever marries him will be with a great husband.
But what about that complete break-down I had with the whiskey and tears and crap after that Mary girl kissed Duncan? Does THAT show I have at least some sort of attraction to him?
Uh…no. The wine was just making you tipsy, and you overreacted. Just like how any girl would do if her crush was kissing another girl right after flirting with her. Except maybe minus all the whiskey consumption.
Gee, thanks for all your unending sympathy.
I’m here to help. Now let’s just forget that unfortunate event because, truly, it was downright embarrassing how you totally broke down, imaginary-Courtney shuddered in her mind, but apparently Courtney really did shudder because Duncan’s eyelids were suddenly gliding open.
“Cold, Princess?” he asks drowsily, staring at her with those hypnotizing teal eyes of it. That was it! I was hypnotized!
Instead of sharing her internal debate with him, Courtney just lies and agrees with him, “Mhmm.” Duncan flips a heavy down comforter over them, adding a comforting weight to the pile of blankets. Then he squeezes his eyes shut and lets out a huge yawn. Courtney snuggled her head right into the crook of his neck. Why did he have to be so cute?
Suddenly, the bedroom door slams open. Courtney flinches, but Duncan’s eyes calmly glance towards the door. Damien stood there, excited blue puppy-dog eyes twice the size they usually are, and exclaims, “Duncan! Thomas Crane is downtown selling pot again!”
“But I thought he retired from drug dealing!” Duncan replies, eyes wide and a smirk on his face.
“Guess not! So hurry up. He says that if we pay in credit instead of cash, he’ll let us buy in bulk,” Damien explains.
“Are you fucking serious?” Duncan asks, a huge grin on his face and his eyebrows lifted high. Damien nods in response and Duncan looks at Courtney. “I’ll be right back, babe.”
“Ew, do you know how many toxic chemicals are in marijuana?” she chides Duncan and Damien leaves the room. Duncan lifts an eyebrow in amusement.
“Princess, nobody here calls it marijuana. We call it pot. Or weed, or ganja, or Mary-Jane, or grass, or chronic, or buds, or blunt, or hootch, or jive stick, or ace, or spliff, or skunk, or smoke, or dubie, or flower, or zig-zag, or--,” Duncan lists off the top of his head.
“Okay, okay, I get it! Calling marijuana marijuana is probably such a huge social misapprehension in your world of liquor, ammunition, and prostitutes. And it probably labels me as some prissy, stuck-up, rich girl whose never even smoked a cigarette before just because--.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, sweetheart. Pause. Rewind. Did you say you’ve never smoked a cig before?” Duncan clarifies.
Courtney rolls her eyes and continues, “I’ve never had a cigarette. And I’m definitely not going to start any time soon. But you need to stop smoking marijuana. Do you know how bad that stuff is for you?”
“Oh, and now you suddenly care about my health, darling?”
“Well, darling,” Courtney retorts, “I just have a bad feeling about going and meeting this Thomas character.”
“Calm down. He’s, like, a brother to me. Besides, I hardly even like pot. I mainly get it for my guys.” Duncan slips out from under the bed sheets, slides some ripped jeans over his boxers, and buttons up a new cotton shirt.
“Well, that’s good.”
“Sure thing. My preferences are for cocaine,” Duncan tells her, winking, and running out the door before he could face her wrath and a rant about his health. Courtney climbs out of the bed and heads to her closet. She puts on some dark-wash skinny jeans and a aquamarine v-neck tee over a white cami. Then she wraps a cashmere jacket around her shoulders.
Courtney walks down the stairs and meets Duncan by the front door. He opens the door and they head down the sidewalk to the Rolls Royce. They climb in as multitudes of Duncan’s accomplices load crates of liquor into the backseat. “But I thought we were buying on credit,” Courtney points out.
“When you run a liquor business, darling, credit just means we buy in liquor, not cash,” Duncan explains, revving the engine. They shoot off, driving down multiple one-way alleys and roads that barely get used. Eventually, the car pulls up besides a dark alley with spider webs clinging to rusty fire escapes.
“I’ll be right back. You can stay here,” Duncan tells her as he grabs a crate of the liquor from the back. He carried the heavy crate under one arm and sets it down near the entrance of the alley. Minutes later, a silhouette of three guys walks down the alley.
“Hello, Duncan,” the man in the middle says once they were barely feet away from each other. Courtney could see Duncan’s fists tense up. She was glad she could hear their conversation from the small crack where her window was rolled down.
“What did you do to Thomas Crane?” he demands.
“Oh, we took care of him. Once we found out he was dealing with you, we knew you had to put a stop to it,” the shadow says.
“So... you... killed him?”
“Good thing you’re catching on, Duncan. One drug dealer isn’t enough for two gangs,” the man explains. Finally, Courtney understood. These men were from a rival gang. They were probably even the ones who were close to running her over on the day she met Duncan. These guys were dangerous.
“Alright, then. I’ll just leave this case here,” Duncan says, tapping the crate with his foot. “You guys can have as a sort of endowment from Log Cabin.” The men just glare at Duncan, and so he turns around and slowly begins loping towards the Rolls Royce.
“Duncan!” Courtney cries out as two of the men jump onto his back, bring Duncan down onto the hard concrete. The other man’s gaze flicks over to the car, and Courtney slowly sinks down into the seat. Shut up, Courtney! Shut up, shut up! That man heard your shout. Next time, just keep your fat mouth closed, she hisses to herself.
He walks over to the car, and Courtney’s hand whipped out towards the door lock. The man jiggled the door handle and glared down at Courtney with an evil, amused smirk on his face. She was now shaking in fear and her heart beat as fast as if she had just ran a marathon.
Courtney lunged for the car keys, which were still in the ignition, to hopefully start the car and drive away. But could I really leave Duncan like this? No. Her hand snapped back from the car keys as the man punches his fist into the car window. There was extra purchase from the window being open an inch, and a loud shatter echoes through the air as glass flies all over Courtney.
“Courtney!” Duncan shouts as she screams and lifts her arms from her head from trying to cover herself from the flying shards of glass. The man had already reached through the jagged window and unlocked the door, which was swung open. Courtney kicks at him as she leans her torso away from his approaching figure. There was no connection, however, and he angrily grabs her ankles.
He harshly tugs her out of the car and she falls heavily onto the concrete. Courtney’s body was frozen in shock as her forehead was pressed against the cool brick road. She was facing the dog-pile where Duncan and the rival gang members still fought it out. Suddenly, Duncan was tackled to the ground and his head cracked against the hard ground, making him wince. The two men hold Duncan down.
Courtney and Duncan finally make eye contact, her eyes full of fear and his full of sorrow. I’m sorry, Duncan mouths to her. She manages to nod in forgiveness, but not before something slammed into the back of her head, causing her vision to black out and her body to go limp.