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10. Identity Fraud

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For the record –

My name is Deacon.

Yes. I’m aware that it’s a boy’s name. What can I say? My family was insane.

This is me running away from my old life. This is me starting over. You see how well it’s going? Maybe one day, I’ll tell you what I was running away from, why I got up and left. Until then, here we are. This is my new life. This is starting over.

I ran away from gang troubles and Linkon and all else. And here I am. Back in the same city I started in. Hopefully this time, the mess will clear itself out.

Saying I have no family is a lie. I have one, somewhere, but they’re not important. I’m not getting into that right now. Right now, I’m here, in this.

I knew I had to get away but I had no way out at the moment. I would have to suffer this until the end. I’d run the course and try to survive. This was a game of survival now. I had nothing left to lose. And dangerous is the person with nothing to lose.

My body was wrecked. My soul was sold. My heart was bleeding. All I had left was the absolute, indestructible drive to keep moving. I’d come this far and the road wasn’t getting any shorter. I’d get up and keep going. Running away didn’t seem to be doing anything for me. So I’d fight this war, one way or another. I just needed to heal up first. Not even fully, but enough to stand. I couldn’t let them think I was running scared. I couldn’t let them think I was afraid of them. Linkon would get off on that. I couldn’t give him the satisfaction.

My only real option was lack of failure.

I stayed in bed for about a week then went home. I gave my thanks to Irish and Colt, and walked there myself. I didn’t want help or protection anymore. It would only get in the way, cause more trouble. I just needed to figure things out on my own for a change. I needed to stand my own ground. And from there, I could do anything. I got home and laid down on my own bed for a while to think. My eyes stared into the surface of the ceiling, then past it for miles. My mind wandered to the possibilities, to the infinite. I just needed to make it past this.

Past this one last man.

Linkon Ransom was my downfall. Because I didn’t deal with him when I was supposed to, now he’d come for me. He’d always be there unless I finished this. But I couldn’t exactly walk up to him and blow his brains out, no matter how much I wanted to – it would be a suicide mission. But I decided then and there, that I would have to. Despite all else. It was my only escape. I had to end this. The gangs were already at war. Fuck this. The waiting and wondering. This was a new day. This was the rest of my life. This was my taking the reins and pulling this fucker back into control. My control.

I got up, took a shower, and changed. I grabbed my coat on my way out the door, taking a quick glance around the place to see if I’d forgotten anything. I’d done a lot of writing since…the incident. I couldn’t say the word, I could barely think it; I was still fairly scarred. And I closed the door behind me. There was no point in locking it – I had nothing worth stealing. It’d all been stolen already.

See also – my innocence.

I walked to the bar. I didn’t have anything with me but ambition. I walked fast, not wanting to waste a moment. I got there to find it busy, as usual. Irish was behind the bar, talking to Colt who was seated close to her, in a distant corner. They both turned to see me as I walked in. Dusk was standing next to his brother, in his circus attire; ready to turn and leave when I stepped in. I felt like the whole place stopped because I walked in.

Aren’t you tired of being weak?

Yeah. I am.

Straight up to the bar. Step. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Hand on the counter. Make eye contact. Look and sound convincing.

“Hey Irish, got a firearm I could borrow for awhile?”

She raised a brow, shooting a look at the boys. “Awhile?”

“A few hours, tops.”

She nodded, again shooting looks at the boys. “Ammo?”

“One round would be sufficient.”

She frowned, folding her arms and standing back. “Going on a trip, kid?”

And it took me a minute to grasp, but I got it eventually. I laughed, even though it hurt to do so. I looked at the boys, flashing them each different smiles. Dusk nodded devilishly and took his leave to go back to the show. They were always waiting for him there. Always. And Colt just sipped his drink idly. Irish shrugged and reached under the counter, producing her own sidearm. She pulled the clip out, inspected it, and slammed it back in. She put it on the bar, sliding it over to me, her hand resting on it.

“Take care of her for me, huh? Gotten me through a few tough spots. You’ve got enough in there to take down a hell of a demon.”

I smiled at her. “Just need one, Irish, just one. I’m going for the King.”

She shook her head. “Always fear the worst.”

And I took the gun from her, checked the safety, and held it loosely in hand. “Irish, I am the worst.” I smiled wide, nodded to both of them, and walked out. I could feel their eyes watching me, the dumbstruck looks. And I didn’t have to be standing there to hear the stool scrape across the floor as Colt got up to follow me. I kept walking.

I walked clear across town. To Linkon’s territory. I saw his thugs give me dirty looks as I came through. I recognize a few from the incident, and the incidents before it. They leered at me, smirking and smiling. I kept going. I was a good halfway to Linkon’s place before one of them stepped up.

“Hey, where do you think you’re going?” He had a cocky attitude to him, a good few inches on me, and easily a lot heavier. I couldn’t take him, even in my best condition. He smiled ear to ear as he waited for a reply. He had his hands on his waist, within easy reach of his own weapon. I smiled widely, looking him in the eye.

“Going? To Hell – wanna join me?”

He smiled wider, and before he could word his reply, I had my gun out, aimed right between the eyes. He was frozen in place.

“Hey babe, I was just kidding around, come on.”

“Babe?” I muttered, clicking the safety off. I lowered it from between the eyes and shot him in the arm. He howled and stumbled around the street. I kept the gun fixed on him until he straightened up, the cockiness lost from his eyes. “Now, we’re going to see your boss. Now. Without any more silly names. Got me?”

“You fucking…”

I took a step closer, pushing the gun to his head. “What? Come on, tell me.”

He swallowed hard. And he thought about his life. And he stepped away. “Let’s go.”

“Good boy.”

And we were on our way.

Every so often, it’s great being a bitch. And even more fun getting even.

This was my revenge for pride damaged.

Due to my escort, there were no other problems all the way to Linkon’s place. He held his arm as he kept at my side. I could see and hear the blood dripping from between his fingers. I considered offering him help but thought better of it. Fuck it, he’s a guy, let him suffer.

I walked into the building and right up the stairs. He’d be on the top floor. The top dog always has to be. It makes sense somehow. I could see the lackeys all the way up, watching me. They were thinking about calling the boss. I left my tour guide on the ground floor. No doubt Linkon knew I was en route. I marched up anyway. I would march into my death. Die amidst blazing guns. I’d go down with a fight.

I got to Linkon’s door, the gun still loosely in hand. I’d walked from the bar with it there the entire time. And nobody stopped me. God, I love this city. I knocked with my free hand. A girl I didn’t know answered.

“Can Linkon come out and play?” I asked. She looked startled. I gestured with my hand holding the gun, stepping inside and forcing her back. She was scantily clad, not that I was surprised. Another day, another girl. She stepped back as Linkon stepped into view. I saw his eyes lock on me, the gun. He turned to her, whispered a few words in her ear, and she was gone. He smiled at me.

“How can I help you?”

“Help? Me? Smile, lover.”

And I shot him in the chest. Point. Blank. Just like that. The smile was frozen on his lips as the force hit him and he dropped. I took a few steps, coming to his side. He was still breathing shallowly. I aimed and shot him another two times in the chest. His body jerked with each blow. He blinked a few times. And I shot him in the head.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Linkon Ransom.

Rest in peace, you son of a bitch.

I looked up from his body to find Dacien standing in a doorway, smoking casually. She was indifferent to the situation. Unarmed. She said and did nothing. She’d seen it all. I looked to another doorway, finding the girl that had opened the door. They’d both watched. I took a few steps over to her.

“Packed?”

She shook her head. “I didn’t have anything to come with.” She was dressed by now, my age or so, looking distant and scared. I put a hand behind her back and pushed her out in front of me. I shot a last look back over my shoulder, at Dacien. She was smoking, watching the blood seep out of her brother. Then again, with the indifference in her eyes, she could have been looking at a spot on the floor or something right next to him. I closed the door quietly, knowing that Dacien wouldn’t even think of moving until she’d finished the cigarette. I knew I’d make it home before the news broke out. Because Dacien cared about her brother about as much as everyone else did. Everyone knew he was a jerk. And he had it coming. I just gave it to him.

I closed the door behind me softly, listening to the little click. I could still hear Dacien’s whisper, carried through the air like a song, floating with a smile.

“’Atta girl.”

And we walked home, my new friend at my side. I had blood on me. I needed another shower. I stopped by the bar on the way home, putting Irish’s gun on the counter, sliding it back across.

“Thanks.”

She didn’t look surprised, just pulled the cartridge out.

“How many rounds?”

“I owe you for an extra four.”

She shrugged. “Don’t worry about it. Put the dog down?”

I smiled at her. “Yeah, for good.”

“Who’s the refugee?”

I had turned away to go home, my new friend in tow. I turned and shot another over the shoulder smile. “Just another casualty of society.”

And we were both gone.

On the way home, I found out her name was Brie. And her situation was complicated, like mine once was. But she was free now. Just like I was. Sort of. I offered her a place to stay for a while, which she accepted. And when she was feeling better, she’d take off. Or she’d stay. She was working on reinventing herself. I told her I always had room for another lost soul such as myself. Always.

And that was the end of Linkon’s reign, thanks to yours truly. And the beginning of a beautiful friendship. At the end of a long day, we both decided that sleep was the best option. And that’s what we did – after hot showers and burning of some key evidence. But after all the minor details, we both curled up and slept. Literally, curled up. Funny, the abused always tend to sleep like that. Not really funny. More like…

Ironic.

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