Disclaimer: Mine, mine, mine. Okay they look familiar but there are many women who look like that right? Yeah don’t we wish.

Language: Plenty of it and it’s not all good.

Sex: Woowho, is there ever. If you are under eighteen please move on, if you’re not skip over it if you like or dwell awhile. Whatever suits ya.

Violence: It’s New York City for Ares sake!

Song Lyrics used belong to Melissa Etheridge and DMX

For comments or questions mail me at: Bohemia125@aol.com 


By: Morrig AKA Piti-pup

Part 2

Shadows rose like fingers across the pavement, formed from the haze of the newborn sun, Magali retrieved the blue Ray-bans instinctively. Her eyes extra sensitive after the darkness of the bar. Fuck, have to chase this stupid, bitch ass mother-fucker, nooo, can’t stay and relax…Casey, hmm . Rather be chasing you around. The streets were empty, a few gypsy cabs drove lazily by, drivers eyeing the corners for workers needing a ride. Her boots hit the concrete with heavy strides, exhaustion catching up to her from lack of sleep. Eddie had squeezed himself past the gear shift and into the drivers seat, going through a red light he caught up to her, nostrils flaring in the abandon of the moment. "Zee catch!" Searching the dips of alleys down the street, and catching the airborne gun through use of her peripherals, she ran into an open doorway.

A cool tiled hall led to a wide, open space surrounded by scratched windows and a brown staircase in a corner. Adrenaline filled her, shook her beyond feeling. "Where are you, you sonofabitch? Fuckin’ coward." The whispered words were followed by an all too familiar sound, a roof door had slammed shut atop the fifth floor. Fuck. Her blue eyes narrowed, a pink tipped tongue touched her lips, then her feet fell into their own rhythm taking her up the stairs two at a time. Each flight taking her further away, she sucked in for empty air. Was that Jorge’s voice? Click clack, a bullet moved into its chamber, another breath.

Ryan, legs spread shoulder width, arms outstretched, pointed the revolver at the tin door. He pulled the hammer back with his thumb just as the raven haired menace pushed through onto the tar surface. Two barrels perfectly aimed at each other, hovering still in the gray air of morning. "Hello Zero. You must have a thing for roof tops…but it won’t be me on a stretcher today bitch." She moved her head to peer over the blue rims, nailing him with the cold she knew was in her eyes. "I’m not here to kill you Ryan. I just want my money, that easy…we can lower these together, get on with business."

His dark brown eyebrows lifted into his receding hairline, dark eyes filled with suspicion. "Where’s Michael?" Michael? Was that the guy’s name? Great, now he has a name, shit. "Your partner? Dead. But you don’t have to be, I can make this disappear, like it never happened." Hypocritical piece of shit, corrupt mother-… His sight fell momentarily, the fear of his dead brother in-law confirmed. Too late he realized his mistake when his back hit the floor. Magali throttled his chest, the square barrel of her .45 pressed into Ryan’s mouth. "Now…you’re going to tell me where the money is, we’re going to go get it, then we’ll pretend this was just a big miscommunication." Shit she’s fast. Her voice reached a timber between threat and patronization, and Ryan nodded moving the barrel along with his head.

Eddie had kept the engine running, half expecting a running Magali to rush into the Jeep at any minute, but the expected bang never happened and he had begun to worry. The sight of the older Detective walking casually next to her dark figure surprised him, and he covered his reaction with practiced ease. Magali hid an arm under her coat, pointing the gun at the Detective for security, she gestured for him to get into the Jeep’s backseat. "But your pit-bull’s back there." She raised an eyebrow at him, tilting back her head with an air of force. Swallowing hard Ryan pulled himself up and in. Devi sat on her haunches, lightly snarling at him. "Devi watch," she pushed the gun back into her holster, surveying the street for witnesses she closed the door, and drove off. "Don’t ask Eddie…I don’t have an answer." Yes I do. What would you see in those green eyes then huh? Why should you care? She shrugged, "maybe it’s the death sentence." Not.

A loud series of yeeps woke her up, and she pulled the covers over her head after banging the hell out of the alarm clock on the crate near her bed. 2 o’clock, I’ve got to get up, I’ve got to get up, crap. Mid October in New York wasn’t cold enough for her landlord to turn on the heat, and too cold to walk on the floor barefoot. She stretched the weariness away, feeling small jolts of dull pain in her back from the previous night’s efforts. Well, no need to join a gym now, even if I could afford it. Recounting all the names of the major bones and minor muscles, she allowed her skin to warm under the stream of the shower. Conducting a rap song of skin disease names, she pulled on her jeans and a t-shirt, grabbed a muffin out of the refrigerator, her campus bag off a chair and ran out the door of the fourth floor studio apartment. Shit, I need a jacket, she thought running down the stairs. Aww forget it, deal with it. Going up four flights right now is not an option Casey.

The cross-town bus was filled, people pushed against her as she held on to the horizontal bar above her head. A lady sitting on a single seat got up to leave the bus, and she scrambled for the spot, relieved to get the weight of the bag off her back. She watched the stores of the avenue breeze by through the smoky window, her mind drifted back to the bar, and to a pair of deep blue eyes. I wonder if she’ll show up tonight, probably not. Jesse had been extremely apologetic after her cousin’s exit, offering her a ride home in the early hours, which she had gratefully accepted. What am I thinking? Jesse’s right, she’s not my type.

A black Jeep pulled up next to her window, and she caught her breath, then smiled sheepishly when the teenaged driver stuck his head out to yell at a pedestrian. . Hmm, what would a woman like that find attractive? Stop it Casey, you’re playing with fire. The bus stopped a block away from the hospital, and the building housing the medical school. A square plexi-glass covered cart offered coffee and bagels on the corner, and a short line of students waited for their morning fuel up. Casey caught the sight of a black pea coat, wool not leather, out of the corner of her eye and did a double take. Oh but I like it hot, don’t I?

I know a place

Down past an old shack

On a road that goes to nowhere

Ain’t nobody coming back

We can go there tonight

We can talk until dawn

Or maybe something else

I’ll leave the radio on…the radio on

2:00 pm: Count the money. Bundle the bills. Count the money. Bundle the Bills. "Devi stop chewing on that!

3:00 pm: Count the bundles. Stack the bundles. Put the bundles in the bag. "Eddie get me some coffee will ya. Do somethin’ with yourself, Eddie. Eddie! Wake the fuck up!"

3:30 pm: Hot coffee black no sugar, it went down her throat and gave her a sudden jolt, then nothing. Shit, shit, I’ve got to stay up.

4:00 pm: West Side Highway at rush hour. Exit 125st.

4:30 pm: Kahmal was just waking up when he heard the banging on his door, more like someone was kicking it. Clad in a towel, his dark muscular frame ambled across the brownstone floor, gun in his hand he looked through the door peephole. Zero? Opening the door he caught sight of the two men standing off to the side, the large head of a fawn pit bull sticking out from between Magali’s legs. "Hey Zero. What the fuck is he doing with you?" One long finger pointed at Ryan accusingly. "Long story Kahmal. You have any access to some product, like right now," she asked stepping in through the door. He crunched up his face, waving in the two men and the dog, who followed Magali silently. "How much are we talking about?" She slammed herself onto the long couch against a wall, placing her head between her hands, she leaned on her knees. "Ten kilos, no more, no less." Kahmal whistled through his teeth, "that’s a tall order on short notice kid. You in a rush or something?" He pinned Ryan with narrowed eyes, making the Detective fidget nervously under his gaze. "Just get it Kahmal. I don’t have any time to screw around. I’m expected in Chinatown, get it, or buy me some RIP flowers tomorrow." Unmindful of the company, Kahmal pulled the towel from his waist and ambled off to his room. "Be right back."

5:30 pm: Twenty first street and 12th avenue was a solitary street in an otherwise busy section of Manhattan. Windowless buildings lined the street from corner to corner, mostly storage facilities opened twenty-four hours a day, one security guard each. Magali slipped the guard behind the window two one hundred-dollar bills, and snatched the keys that were handed back to her in turn. Up the crated elevator, Devi yawned loudly, Eddie rubbed his eyes, Kahmal leaned against the wall staring at the Detective menacingly. The small room with a solid gate door was at the far end of the aisle. Eddie remained sentinel at the front with Ryan and Devi stretched out like a slaughtered lamb.

5:45 pm: Weigh, pack. Weigh, pack. Shit, I inhaled that. Weigh,pack.

6:00 pm: One, two, three, four, five……"a little for me…you mind Kahmal?" Six, seven, eight, nine, ten. "Guillermo won’t care, too small to count, go ahead. All the money in that brief?" Sniff. "Yeah, I’ll take it to him tonight." Tsk. "I can do that for you, I have to go see him anyway." Sniiff. "Auggh, fine. Make sure you do Kahmal." He nodded yawning, "oh yeah, like I want to fuck you over. How long has it been?" Sniff. "What?" He peered at her questioningly, "…since you slept." She stopped pensive for a moment, "what’s today," she asked blankly stuffing a small, white filled bottle in her jeans pocket.

6:25 pm: Drop Kahmal off on 125th Street.

7:10 pm: Leave Eddie and Ryan by train station.

8: 00 pm: Chinatown. "Nai ho grandfather."

She took the long way home, choosing Broadway rather than the highway. Beep, beep. Fuck, what now? She searched for the protesting cellular stuck in the crease of the passenger seat. "Maga, who the hell was this rush job for?" Figures. "Wu"

"Who the hell set it up Magali. Did you? It’s sloppy"

"…no, no, Ryan set it up pop." She could imagine his face over the cigar in his mouth. "Ryan! What…he’s not happy with his payoffs?" As briefly as possible she explained the events of the last hours or days, whatever. "Is he gone?" The question was barely audible, but she knew it from long practice. She swallowed, bracing herself for what would follow. "No." As the scream came through she pulled the phone away from her ear, Devi popped her head up tilted and confused as to the vaguely familiar noise. She let him go on for the next few minutes, not really paying any attention to his ranting, when it was over she threw the phone, nearly hitting Devi on her haunches. Beep, beep. "What the fuck?! Yell at me some more tomorrow!"

A brief moment of silence came through the speaker, then a soft chuckle constructed out of Jesse’s voice. "Hey Zee, hard day?"


"Just wanted to know if you were coming out tonight?"

Oh yeah. That’s today? "Uhm, sure. What time?"

Jesse had thought about making the phone call for hours before she dialed the number. It was easier to just ignore Casey’s extended invitation, but there were times she missed her dark and dangerous cousin. The weary look in Magali’s eyes the previous night and the strain evident in her shoulders, incited Jesse to reflect on the conditions of her cousin’s life. She remembered the smiling girl of their pre-pubescence, clever and filled with laughter and mischief, now shadowed and brooding. She won’t last much longer Jesse, someday she’ll be gone…and then?

It was a small place with wood paneling and the cloudy scent of cigarettes. Jesse sat with her back against a wall, her brown eyes nervously glancing at the door periodically, she played with the curled end of her blue polo shirt’s collar. I fucked up, I fucked up. Magali’s going to come in here and shoot this dumb bitch trying to pick up Casey. I saw that look in her eyes last night, haven’t seen that in awhile. Come to think of it, Casey didn’t exactly back down from her either. Shit maybe she’ll chase this bitch away before she gets here, please God. The auburn woman had turned every head in the bar, clad in a white half T-shirt, low cut jeans hugging her hips, and the black watch flannel shirt tied tightly around her waist. Jesse had been a little surprised to see a small jeweled hoop hanging delicately off the woman’s navel, oh yeah Magali is gonna flip.

Sure enough, the tall frame of Magali barged through the glass covered door of the bar, the pink light from the neon sign in the window reflecting off her sunglasses. It took her all of a second to spot them sitting at the bar, a short cropped blonde attired in a dark blazer leaning close over Casey. She snapped the glasses off her face and pushed them up to sit on her head. Casey felt her spine prickle, saw the tense look on Jesse’s face, who stared wide eyed at the door ready to bolt. Did my heart just stop? Oh yeah, most definitely. Standing, wide-stanced, decked in black leather pants, taut black T-shirt, and an unbuttoned, black velvet overshirt, Magali placed her hands on her hips and crossed her brows over ice blue eyes. Frozen in the moment, Casey missed the woman’s purposeful strides that brought the black velvet closer, a strong shoulder pushed against a blazer. She leaned over the bar, over Casey, and came face to face with Jesse, "let’s get out of here," she snarled. A blue gaze turned on the blonde, who was searching for some retort in her defense, "no offense Jesse, too many fuckin’ blazers in here." Magali was moving towards the door with a blatant display of power, a distraught cousin close at her heels. What the fuck just came over me? Too much coke maybe?

"Hey Zee! Umph." A heavy body hit her midsection, stealing her voice momentarily, the bar door slammed behind her. "Devi! How are you girl? " She rubbed the dog furiously behind the ears, looking both ways down the street for her fiery relative. A gasp from behind her told her Casey had left the bar. "Oh she is so cute!" She had given the blonde a short look of apology and had scurried off after the cousins. "Oh yeah, real cute, especially with this spike collar mommy put on you huh Devi? Careful Casey, I need to introduce you to her first, or she might think she needs to guard…" The fawn, muscled physique leaped at the shorter woman, landing strong paws on her chest, and getting in one good lick on her cheek before falling to the ground. "Weird. She never acts like that with strangers." Devi took off down the street at the sound of a sharp whistle, rounding the corner, her back legs slid out from under her and quickly recovering, she disappeared. "Casey come on! Follow that dog!"

Magali leaned her forearms on the sill of the open window. She kept the door open, one foot firmly on the ground, the other inside the Jeep. Devi jumped in gracefully, tongue hanging from her mouth happy to be chased by the two laughing women close behind her. She watched entranced by the changing shades of Casey’s hair flowing behind her as she ran. A soft glow from the street light casting shadows across her moving figure. The sound of honking cars, the smell of exhaust on the cool thick air faded. They stopped short in front of the open door, with Magali raising an eyebrow at them. "Come on get in will ya," it was a demanded request graced with a smile. Jesse opened the passenger side door, and pushed the seat forward for Casey to get it. The small woman wrapped her arms around the Pit-bulls neck, planting a hard kiss on the wide head, and laughing. "Payback Devi." Magali smirked at her through the rearview mirror, and started the engine. What do you know, Devi likes her, that’s a first. "Oww, what the…Shit Zee, don’t you ever wear this damn thing? I got the antenna up my butt!!" Magali grabbed the phone away from Jesse, and laughed at her rapid rubbing of her backside. "Gimme, you and your butt fetish Jesse" she said attaching the phone firmly to her waist. "Where are we going Zee?" The CD player hummed on, blaring the hard chords of Joan Jett’s Crimson and Clover. "Meow Mix. Haven’t been there in awhile, and no blazers."

Houston Street was a wide four lane stretch of asphalt crossing the lower section of Manhattan island. It divided the Soho district from the village east and west, lined with housing projects, restaurants and antique shops. The black Jeep sped down the lanes cutting off slower drivers, and zagging through the traffic of yellow cabs and trucks. Casey took in the interior of the Jeep, dark inside as it was outside. The glow of lights coming off the goose-necked equalizer of the sound system, sparked colored glints off the skull shaped knob of the gear shift, caressed by a strong hand. She reached across to the front seat and touched the golden Z hanging from the rearview. "Where’d you get this?" Magali didn’t bother to turn her head, her peripherals catching the movement of the smaller woman, she had stopped her breath waiting for a casual touch. "Jesse gave it to me wh…a few years ago." Jesse caught the turn in Magali’s speech, and turned in to herself and the day she had visited Magali at Singer on Riker’s island, the city’s prison for women.

Dark rings surrounded her eyes, her bright eyes turned bitter and smoky, she wore a subtle frown. A dark bruise colored her forehead and reached down under her black hair, red finger marks stained the sides of her neck, identical brands blazed her wrists. She looked thin and fragile, the muscularity nearly gone from her figure after the long ordeal of a trial. "Magali what happened?" The gay mischief she had known in the amber voice void, "I slipped in the shower, it’s nothing." Jesse had extended gentle hands to touch her, and found that Magali leaned away from her. "Don’t forget yourself in here Magali. You’re not like these people. You did what you did because you were hungry, and Jorge would have killed you all." They had been the last words she had ever spoken to her using her proper name. She had left, leaving behind the golden letter M on a thin chain with a guard to store with Magali’s possessions. In the shower, the phrase sunk in with a sickening clamp in Jesse’s stomach. Shortly after, when she had been released, Magali had the letter altered into a Z.

She parked the Jeep on the corner of Houston and Suffolk, directly in front of the crowded bar. "What the hell is going on in there? It’s Tuesday for fuck’s sake." Jesse let out a pleased yelp. "It’s Xena night!" Magali rolled her eyes and threw back her head, while Casey watched the arch of her throat intently from the backseat.

Hot bodies pressed against each other in the small confines of the bar, attentive gazes on a small screen over the bar’s counter. Hardly anyone turned to see a dark figure push her way towards a busy barkeep. "Hey Dawn! Dawn!" Her voice carried over the din of voices, to a strongly built bartender with short bleached hair, pouring a frothy drink into a cloudy mug. Dawn’s hazel eyes lit up at the sight of the tall form calling her name. "Hey Zee! Longtime man! What ya having?" Magali scowled as the crowd pushed into her, aroused to movement as some action on the screen elicited rude comments on some character’s sexual preferences. "Shot of Glenlivet, a Heineken, and whatever you got on tap for Devi!"

Jesse leaned over closer, attempting to find space along the counter next to her taller cousin. "Hey, how about you order something for the rest of us while you’re at it Zee. I’ll find us a table. Two Coronas Zee, with a lime okay." Jesse pushed herself away from the crushing crowd and towards a waiting Casey greedily guarding two empty seats at a small round table. "Get me two Corona’s too, with a lime Dawn! I’ll be right back." Grabbing the cold mug of beer she was handed, Magali shouldered her way through the crowd and back out through the door, where Devi waited patiently for her share of the fun.

A stool had been set up outside, a dark skinned figure sat atop it, surveying the street and opening the bar door for patrons. Devi laid under the stool, stretched out and head propped up on immense paws, watching as cars drove by. Her tail wagged as the cool mug was set in front of her by a well-acquainted hand, her snout went to work on the suds immediately. The stoic bouncer cracked a smile, ‘nice to have her under there again, I never get a complaint." Magali nodded, patted the wide head, and taking a breath of the cool air reentered the bar. She had begun to feel dizzy, in a haze, everything seemingly farther away then usual. Fuck, this is not good, not good at all. Lucky I brought some shit with me, or I’ll pass out before the night is over. Jesse had her eyes on the screen, moving her head side to side to get a better view, and looked annoyed as her cousin obstructed her line of vision with drinks carefully balanced in her hands. "Jesse would you take these, I have to go to the bathroom…Jesse!" A small tender hand reached out and grasped the beer bottles, a feathery touch grazing Magali’s wrist. She held on to them for a brief moment, her eyes meeting green, a bundle forming in her throat and stopping her breathing. "I’ll take those Zee." Zee. "Uhm, yeah, thanks.

Steadily the crowd moved away from the counter once the screen had gone to static. "That’s it folks!" Dawn cried out. "Trivia contest later for prizes!" The bar roared in unison, and took on the air of any ordinary bar once the music resonated through the crowd. Magali returned in time to wince at the ear-piercing sound, straddling the chair Casey had kept for her she swallowed down her shot of scotch and chased it down with half a bottle of beer. "So what the hell was everyone hollering about?"

Casey gave her an amused look. "Where have you been Zee, that show is huge, everyone knows about it. Don’t you watch T.V?" Magali took another swallow, licked her lips, and faced her. Oh my God, they are so blue, you’re in big trouble Casey. Big trouble.

"No I don’t."

Casey giggled, pinching her nose. "Too busy hanging out huh?"

Another swallow and the beer was gone. "You play pool Casey?"

Oh boy. "A little, why?"

Magali spun the empty bottle on the table, "there’s a table downstairs, dare a game with me?"

Oh do I ever. "Sure. Jesse, you want to join us?" A long, haired brunette stood next to Jesse, smiling down at her, the two involved in some discussion about the infamous television show. "Never mind…Let’s go, I’ll follow you Zee." A firm grip held her wrist, the warmth of the hand seeping through skin and bone, and Casey was being led down a dark staircase.

Red bulbs reflecting off light blue walls cast a strange light over the small room. Lined benches leaned against the walls, occupied by kissing couples and rowdy friends. In the center of the room ominously alone, a green topped billiard table took up the majority of the space. Magali picked up a cue stick by the handle and pointed its blue tip at Casey. "For you." Casey took the stick and stepped closer to the dark woman. "Thank you." Magali rummaged in her pocket and produced a neat bill, laying it at the edge of the table, she gave Casey a wink. "Winner takes all?" The smiling paramedic eyed the bill on the table. Shit, that’s a hundred. "I can’t meet that Zee," she said exasperated. Magali grinned wickedly, "you can make it up to me." Casey smirked back at her, "how do I do that?" The dark grin became a penetrating smile, "you’ll think of something." Music covered them, ripping cords and a dulcet voice.

Meet me in the back

Don’t make me wait too long

I could change my mind

And tell you that it’s wrong

So meet me in the back

Where the light don’t shine

First show me yours

Maybe I’ll show you mine

Casey lost miserably, each game Magali piled another bill on the table, the purse grew up to five hundred dollars by the time Casey quit in a fit of laughter. She had watched the woman bend and turn her strong frame to fit the angle she shot from, deliberately missing every now and then feigning distraction. Casey took advantage of her playful mood, knowing somehow it was unusual for Magali, she continuously placed her chin on the table’s edge and smiled. "Stop trying to distract me Casey, I’m still gonna whip your butt." She ambled over, bearing close to Magali, "are you saying I can’t distract you?" Magali pulled on the cigarette hanging from her lip, "nope you can’t." Casey pressed closer, "bet I can." She let the smoke out in rings that floated in the red air. "Yeah, how are you gonna do that, huh?" The shorter woman’s chest barely touched her, through the short distance she could feel the heat emanating off the smaller woman who leaned close to her ear and whispered. "Can’t do those things in public Zee." The cigarette fell, and Magali scrambled after it, slapping at the glowing embers on her T-shirt. "Shit, shit." Casey collapsed with laughter, bumping into a husky woman who passed behind her. "Hey watch…Casey?" That you?" Remember me…Samantha, from security…at the hospital?" Casey crossed her brows in thought, "oh yeah. How are you", she asked gasping for breath. "Alright, hey why don’t you join us? Shame for a woman like you to be here alone." Casey crossed her arms over her chest, defensive for some unknown reason. "I’m not alone…I’m here with Jesse and…hey where’d she go?" Casey searched the small room for the velvet shirt, but to no avail. "You mean Zero?" Perturbed she didn’t bother to answer, heading for the stairs was tugged back softly by a hand on her upper-arm. "Hey Casey, you don’t want to be around that nut trust me." Casey pulled away from her, "First of all you don’t know me that well, and second…I don’t think you know her that well either." But boy do I want to get to know her. Samantha’s red brows lifted high, "you’re kidding right, everyone in the hospital knows that bitch. We’ve seen her handy work…she always seems to get away with it though." Okay, that’s enough, I’ll end up smacking her if I don’t move.

She shirked the woman’s grip off, and climbed the stairs, leaving Samantha shaking her head. Jesse had become better acquainted with the brunette, who was sitting on her lap, twisting at Jesse’s short, straight locks. "Jesse, did you see your cousin?" Jesse kept her eyes fixed on her new friend, "nope, did you lose her?" Casey shrugged, "she just took off all of a sudden." Brown eyes left the cleavage they had been staring at, and scanned the room. "Let me guess, Samantha showed up downstairs." Disconcerted Casey nodded. "Zee slept with her girlfriend, she was just probably trying to avoid a fight or something. Check the bathroom." Now why would she back away from Samantha? That’s new, Wonder if she’s carrying, or maybe…nah, she wouldn’t do that for anyone, why would she do it for Casey. Yup she’s carrying.

There was a crowd blocking the entrance to the narrow hallway, two doors adjacent to each other led to bathrooms, and women were taking turns using one. Well, I don’t see her. I can’t believe she just left like that. Well she was a little sweaty, maybe she stepped out for some air. Yeah, she’s probably petting Devi. That’s it. "Why isn’t anyone using the other bathroom?" She twisted through the crowd and pushed the last door open with her shoulder. "Hey don’t go in ther…" Too late she heard the warning and slammed into a bent over figure by the sink. Quick arms pushed her further into the tiny tiled room lips claiming her mouth hungrily, an unfamiliar bitter taste numbing her briskly then dissipating. There was no feel of velvet she had caught sight of the shirt hanging off the back of the toilet. The compact body that held her firm, wore a short sleeved shirt, she could feel the skin of the woman’s arms around her midsection, knew who it was, the smell of leather and velvet heavy. Her hands lifted to strong shoulders, thick leather straps gracing each, she traced one down towards a ribcage, where a bulk of leather and metal told her what she was feeling, and her eyes popped open. "Humphy hipt!"

Magali pulled away from her at the strange sound made by the strawberry blonde, and took the opportunity to deposit the small bottle back into her pocket. She leaned back onto the sink, ran a hand over the surface, white specks fell unseen to the floor. "What", she asked deadpan, one dark eyebrow raised. Casey’s jaw hung speechless, she pointed at the gun holster strapped to Magali’s torso. "I’m sorry…I just had to…kiss you", she said stepping closer, her body looming over the gaping woman, mesmerized by the color of her eyes. Casey forgot the weapon, forgot the bathroom, the bar, aware only of this dangerous intoxicating creature that was demanding her, and damning her all at once.

A heavy pounding came at the door, slowing the increasingly aggressive movements held back for too long. Why does it feel like I’ve needed this forever. Shit, I just met this girl. What are you doing to me Casey? A familiar voice shouted through the doorframe, "Hey Dawn told me to tell you to get your butts out of there." Raven hair appeared abruptly, frightening the unsuspecting woman glued to Jesse’s side. A threatening voice growled, "Why are you here Jesse?" Brown eyes averted the angered woman, "I drew the shortest straw…Dawn says you’re starting a line out here, and people are doing the ‘I got to pee’ dance all over the bar." The sheepish look on her cousin’s face made her laugh, and she pulled a reluctant Casey out from behind the door. "Casey? It was Casey in there with you Zee?" Magali put her arms around the smaller woman, clasping her hands over a ringed navel, pleasantly shocked. "You got a problem with that Jesse?" A tight knot formed in Jesse’s chest, "no Zee, no problem." Fuck Zee, she’s new at all this, you’re gonna fuck her up man, but Jesse couldn’t bring herself to say so, the gleam in her cousin’s eye forestalling the speech. I know what you’re thinking Jesse, and you’re probably right. But….

At the counter they sat close with the smaller woman at full speed, one bronze arm draped over the back of a high chair, Magali yawned and looked at her watch. "I thought you were used to being out late. Am I boring you?" Another yawn, "you have no idea, and hell no you’re not boring me" Casey looked around the bar, tilting her chin up, "so what’s with the yawning?" Magali let her head fall, "forty-one hours that’s what." Casey knit her brows, mustering her no nonsense glare she used with unruly patients. "Forty-one hours of what?" Magali shrugged, "I haven’t slept in forty-one hours." The slim figure jumped off her chair, and pointed a finger at Magali’s chest. "You haven’t slept in what?! Come on, you’re going home and I’m driving!" Indignant, and not sure why, Magali let the small woman pull her off her stool, and drag her towards the exit. I must really be out of it. I’ll never hear the end of this.

Jesse had decided to stay behind with the inebriated brunette sporting a mischievous grin on her face. Devi nestled into a warm corner of the backseat with a towel Magali laid out for her. She had had to adjust the drivers seat various times before she was able to drive the jeep, a hesitant Magali handing over the keys. "Not many people get to drive this you know." Casey stuck her tongue out the side of her mouth and gently bit it while turning the key. "Well, I guess I just keep owing you more and more tonight huh…put it on my tab."

Sometimes I know that it’s never enough
Survival is fine but satisfaction is rough
I try with an angel tonight
Spread these wings and I’m off for a ride
Cruise these streets where my innocence hides
There’s some things you just can’t deny
What is it about this human condition
I need some kind of promise
Some kind of submission tonight
Ain’t it heavy
Ain’t the night heavy

Magali was half-asleep by the time they reached Fort Washington Ave, she had managed to direct Casey there through half opened eyes. She had kept her sight on the road, determined to keep her range of vision from falling on the leather clad legs spread out beside her. And what exactly do I plan to do once I get her home? "Here, just pull into to that garage", a sleepy voice instructed. A barn red door clanged opened at the touch of a button on the dashboard, it opened up to a wide declining ramp, leading underground beneath a glass and chrome high rise. Trees on either side of the door hid its presence in the dark.

Silently the trio trudged through the dark garage, coming to a brightly lit, wood and gold elevator. Magali pressed the button for the tenth floor, and leaned against the elevator door, her eyes closed. "I hadn’t realized how tired I was until I got in the Jeep." Casey pressed into a corner, unsure of what was expected. "Thanks for bringing me home, I would have gotten into a wreck, again." Again? How many times does she do this? A dull beeping sounded, and Magali clipped the phone off her waist and put it slowly to her ear. "Yeah…I’m going home pop…no I haven’t…sure…I’ll do it in the morning." Just as easily she clipped the phone back to her waist and stretched. Casey followed her down an immaculate dim hallway, wooden doors and gold numbers. A strong twist of a key and Devi was running inside, disappearing into a blue kennel at the end of the long hallway.

A few steps to the right a short case of steps led down into a dark living room, Casey could just make out the bookshelves along the walls and the lit computer. Magali paused and genuflected in front of a small altar at eye level. The small wooden shelf displayed two small white candles Magali lit. At it’s center a small statue, decked with a gold crown and diamond studded halo, a yellow robe around it’s shoulders, a boat holding smaller figures of three men at the virgins feet, dominated the altar. "Who’s that?" Magali blew out the match in her hand, and placed it in a small glass near the candles. "Patron Saint of Cuba", then padded off down the hallway, popping her back as she did.

Casey wandered around the living room after finding the light switch, slowly reading the title and authors of the books, letting them sink in. The Art of War, Nietzche, Mao tse Tung, Metamorphosis, For Whom the Bell tolls, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Autobiography of Malcolm X? Oh boy. She pressed the power button on the stereo, the volume surprisingly low, a CD began to spin, and a piano sonata played. Beethoven? Magali watched her at the rooms entrance, phone against her ear. "Eddie…I know it’s late, what the fuck all you do is sleep man!…Come see me in the morning…no…no later than ten…I know that’s only five hours away! Just do it." She threw the phone on the couch in disgust. "Quite a collection you have here Zee." Magali crept up closer, peering at the books as if seeing them for the first time. "I read a lot." Casey felt her breath against her neck, "uhm, you have a cab service I can call Zee", the soft touch fell back at the question. "You can stay here if you want…I won’t touch you…promise." You deserve better. "Maybe you’re right, it’s late, and I…hate cabbies." Magali chuckled lowly, ambling off towards her bedroom.

It had been quiet for far too long, and Casey tiptoed down the hallway in search of the black velvet. Sheer curtains allowed light to filter into the room and fall on a four posted bed. Inquisitively Casey approached the curtains before a glass panel stretched ceiling to floor. It’s a door. She pushed the material aside, revealing a white marbled balcony. She stepped through, a cool wind hitting her and blowing her hair back. She looked over the waters of the Hudson River, black sheer cliffs across its expanse, another world. She heard the shifting of silk, and turned to see the prize the exposed opening had lit. Sprawled on her stomach, arms and legs spread and bare, essentials covered with a thin fan of white silk laid Magali. Dark lines worked their way from the base of her spine to end between muscled shoulders. She crossed the hardwood floor to inspect the intriguing design, not one creak but stumbling over an empty discarded holster she flinched. There, delicate and intricate was a duplicate of the virgin on the altar. A ribbon underneath her displaying unfamiliar words, ‘Perdona Me’, she tried to pronounce them. A subdued tone held her at bay, "pair-doe-nah meh." Magali shifted, her hair falling to the side of her head, dark against the silk sheets. "What’s it mean?" She nestled her head into the pillow, answering lower than before. "Forgive me." Casey straightened, God. "Uhm, do you have an extra blanket I could use?" They were both whispering without any apparent reason. Magali curled into herself, wrapping more of the sheet around her torso. "You don’t want to sleep on that couch, it’ll fuck your back up. Too soft. Just sleep here." She patted the empty space beside her, and fell soundly asleep one hand under her pillow. Casey looked on at the steady breathing, the dark against the light, the tattoo that said more than just two words. She stripped off her jeans and T-shirt, pulled on the flannel she had worn on her waist, and buttoned it up. Carefully, she took up the space Magali had indicated. It wasn’t long before she felt Magali stir, one arm landing firmly across her midsection, the contact causing her heart to hammer wildly against her chest. Leather and velvet, lulled her to sleep.

"Caaaseeey wake uuup. Casey. Casey!!" Rubbing her eyes, and stretching languidly over the satin sheet, Casey yawned, shaking the sleepiness from her body. That voice…it’s familiar but it’s not…"Jesse? What are you doing here?" Her spiked black hair and big brown eyes made Jesse look cartoonish from the position Casey saw her in, but the expression she wore was anything but comedic. "Man I’am so sorry Casey, I should have never let you leave with her…I don’t know what I was doing…shit, shit…" Casey inhaled slowly, "shut up." Spiky locks fell on the pillow next to her, "I knew she was going to do something stupid one day, worse than ever, and now you’re caught up in it, man I am so sorry…" Casey exhaled,"Shut up Jesse! What the hell are you talking about!" She paused her next round of apologies to peer quizzically at the strawberry blonde in the flannel shirt.

"She’s gone Casey, she called me at around 9:30, said she would be taking off for awhile, and I should come get you out of bed and lock the apartment up." What the, we didn’t even sleep together, well not technically anyway. "Jesse this isn’t what you think. She never touched me, I just slept here", she explained waving a hand over the bed. "You mean you slept In Magali Guerrero’s bed, and woke up unscathed?" Casey nodded agreement. "That’s one for the record books kid…I can’t…" Casey slammed herself against Jesse, knocking the words quite literally out of her mouth. "Now, what do you mean she’s gone?" Jesse had been laughing until then, abruptly her eyes saddened taking on the emotion they had displayed earlier. "Here, maybe this will help you understand."

A folded newspaper laid at the foot of the bed, and Jesse gently picked it up and handed it to over to Casey. The headline was simple, NYC COP FOUND DEAD, INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY. She managed to read half of the article before feeling completely sick, it told about the condition of the body, how it had been shot close range with an alleged .45 caliber, and how dental records identified the man as Detective Mark Ryan. An investigation was underway, including a manhunt for a well-known offender who had been at a bar Ryan visited the night before the murder. "That’s the death penalty right there Casey."

Continued..Part 3


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