Fade Away Page 18

Camouflage made a scoffing noise. “We look like guys who like to chat?”

Myron motioned to Brick Wall. “He does.”

There were three ways to get out of a situation like this unharmed. One was to run, which was always a good option. Problem was, his two adversaries were close enough yet spaced far enough to tackle and/or slow him down. Too risky. Second option: your opponents underestimate you. You act scared and cower and then whammo, you surprise them. Unlikely for Myron. Goons rarely underestimate a guy six-four, two-twenty. Third option: you strike first and hard. By doing this you increase the likelihood of putting one out of commission before the other one can react. This action however required a delicate balance. Until someone strikes, you really cannot say for sure that a physical altercation could not be avoided altogether. But if you wait for someone to strike, this option becomes null and void. Win liked option three. Then again Win liked option three even if there was only one opponent.

Myron never got the chance to make a selection. Brick Wall slammed a fist into the small of Myron’s back. Myron sensed the blow coming. He shifted enough to avoid both the kidney and serious damage. At the same time he spun and delivered an elbow strike to Brick Wall’s nose. There was a satisfying, crunching noise like a fist closing over a bird’s nest.

The victory was short-lived. As Myron had feared, these guys knew what they were doing. Camouflage Pants struck at the same time, connecting where his comrade had failed. Pain erupted in Myron’s kidney. His knees buckled but he fought it off. He doubled over toward Brick Wall and threw a back kick, his foot snapping out like a piston. His lack of balance threw off his aim. The blow landed on Camouflage’s thigh. It didn’t do much damage but it was powerful enough to push him away. Brick Wall was starting to recover. He groped blindly and found Myron’s hair. He grabbed and pulled up. Myron pinned the hand with one of his own, digging his fingernails into the sensitive pressure points between the joints. Brick Wall screamed. Camouflage Pants was back. He punched Myron straight in the stomach. It hurt. A lot. Myron knew he was in trouble. He went down to one knee and bounced up, a palm strike at the ready. It connected with Brick Wall’s groin. Brick Wall’s eyes bulged. He dropped like somebody had pulled a stool out from under him. Camouflage Pants connected with a solid shot to the side of Myron’s head. Numbness flowed into Myron’s skull. Another blow landed. Myron’s eyes began to lose focus. He tried to stand up but his legs wouldn’t let him. He felt a kick land on a rib. The world began to spin.

“Hey! Hey, what you doing? Hey, you!”

“Stop it! What the fuck!”

In his haze Myron recognized the voices. Joe and Bone from the bar. Myron took the opportunity to scramble away on all fours. There was no need. Camouflage Pants had already helped Brick Wall to his feet. Both men ran.

Joe and Bone quickly came over and looked down at Myron.

“You okay?” Joe asked.

Myron nodded.

“You won’t forget about sending us that autographed picture, will you? Cousin Brucie never sent one.”

“I’ll send you two,” Myron said.

Chapter 8

He convinced Joe and Bone not to call the cops. They didn’t take much convincing. Most people do not like activities that involve law enforcement. They helped Myron into a taxi. The driver wore a turban and listened to country music. Multiculturalism. Myron spit out Jessica’s Soho address and collapsed into the ripped cushions. The driver wasn’t interested in conversation. Good.

Myron mentally checked over his body. Nothing broken. The ribs would be bruised at worst. Nothing he couldn’t play through. The head was another matter. Tylenol with codeine would help tonight, then he could move down to Advil or something in the morning. There was nothing much you could do for head trauma but give it time and control the pain.

Jessica met him at the door in her bathrobe. He felt, as he often did around her, a little short of breath. She skipped admonishments, drew a bath, helped him undress, crawled in behind him. The water felt good against his skin. He leaned back on her as she wrapped washcloths around his head. He let loose a deep, totally content breath.

“When did you go to medical school?” he asked.

From behind him Jessica kissed his cheek. “Feeling better?”

“Yes, Doctor. Much better.”

“You want to tell me about it?”

He did. She listened in silence, her fingertips gently massaging his temples. Her touch was soothing. Myron imagined there were better things in life than being in this tub leaning back against the woman he loved, but for the life of him he couldn’t think of any. The pain began to dull and slacken.

“So who do you think they were?” she asked.

“No idea,” Myron said. “I imagine they’re hired goons.”

“And they wanted to know where Greg was?”

“Seems so.”

“If two goons like that were looking for me,” she said, “I might disappear too.”

That thought had crossed Myron’s mind too. “Yes.”

“So what’s your next step?”

He smiled and closed his eyes. “What? No lectures? No telling me it’s too dangerous?”

“Too cliché,” she said. “Besides, there’s something else here.”

“What do you mean?”

“Something about all this you’re not telling me.”


She put a finger over his lips. “Just tell me what you plan on doing next.”

He settled back down. Scary how easily she read him. “I have to start talking to people.”


“His agent. His roommate, a guy named Leon White. Emily.”

“Emily. That would be your old college sweetheart?”

“Uh huh,” Myron said. Quick subject change before she started reading him again. “How was your evening with Audrey?”

“Fine. We mostly talked about you.”

“What about me?”

Jessica began to stroke his chest. The touch slowly drifted away from being merely soothing. Her fingertips caressed his chest with a feather touch. Gently. Too gently. She was strumming him like Perlman on a violin.

“Uh, Jess.”

She shushed him. Her voice was soft. “Your ass,” she said.

“My ass?”

“Yep, that’s what we talked about.” To emphasize the point her hand cupped a cheek. “Even Audrey had to admit it was edible, running up and down the court like that.”

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies