Chapter 14: Strike Night
At 10:00 AM, a car left from Viktor's garage, carrying 5 men. Viktor, Mordecai, Randall, Rocky, and Calvin. With them was enough ammunition for the impending raid, and all the appropriate weaponry for it. They were headed to a small town in Illinois. Viktor drove.
"Hmm?" Calvin looked over to Rocky.
"If you do a crazy dance tonight, be careful where you're aiming, there's a lot of us."
"Alright." Randall looked over at the two men. "Crazy dance?" Rocky nodded and smiled. "You'll see...it's a surprise!"
"Surprise! We're going to see aunt Millie!" Lorelei cheered as she spoke to the kids early in the morning. "We're leaving later today!"
"Yay!" Lyla smiled brightly, although Elias was still just barely awake and not really able to process the news. Lyla loved going to Aunt Millie's, if only because there was a big lake near them, and they got to swim, and fish, and it was beautiful...she wasn't so sure about swimming, though. Not in this weather. But even the views were enough for her to enjoy it. Elias liked, mostly, because it meant fire pits and playing in the woods.
"Now, you all pack your things and get ready, we'll be heading out around 2!" The kids scurried upstairs. Dominic smiled and kissed Lorelei. "Thank you so much for doing this…"
"Oh, it's not an issue. Millie loves those kids...and her husband can't cook like you." She winked. "Will 2 o'clock work? I know you've got...work to do when we get there. Have you got an excuse?"
"I'll be meeting with a friend of mine who lives in town there. For story purposes, his name's Alan." Alan didn't really...exist. But a man who was willing to call himself that for some cash? He existed, and lived close by. Dom held Lorelei. "I love lookin' at you in this light." He said. Lorelei looked down and purred, nestling into his chest. "I hope it isn't the last time."
"It isn't. Promise."
It was 2 o'clock. While Dom and Lorelei loaded up in the car, Fish looked on. He followed covertly. He sighed as he drove along. He looked as they turned onto a main road, and...they were heading in the direction of Slim's. Why would the whole family be out on this? Clearly trying to throw him off...he followed. They passed all the exits they'd need to take. 3 day weekend, maybe the kids were skipping a day of school and going to see someone? He rolled his eyes. I drove all this way for this?
Around 4, they got there. As Dom and Lorelei unloaded the kids, 'Alan' was hosting the rest of the posse. "So, all this for one hit?" 'Alan', whose real name was Malcolm, was a frail older man, who would be meeting Dominic at his place to talk about a case...in case anyone asked.
"It's a large place." Mordecai said. "We're going after a large liquor supplier who killed his father." Malcolm sat down. "Well, if you boys need anything, just let me know."
"You haf guns?" Viktor asked.
"...well, coffee." Malcolm responded. Calvin raised his hand. "Milk?"
"I have that, yes...anything else?"
It was 5 PM. Millie and her husband sat at the table, talking to Lorelei and Dom. "So, back to detective work, Dom?" Millie asked. "What's that like? Any better than the old work?"
"Much better...work can creep in some times, but it isn't something I'm so morally torn up about." Her husband, Michael, kept eating. "And the kids like you being around more?"
"Oh, certainly." Lorelei responded, putting her hand on Dom's. "He's really good with them...he's a great father, he just needs to be with them to actually be one." Dom looked over. "How's real estate?"
"Splendid. Managed to get this place, and things are looking good all around...just got a little boat for the lake. Might go fishing?"
Dom laughed. "Elias'll love that." He said. "Lyla might...she's more interested in climbing those trees, though." He said. "Got a boat fer those?"
He shook his head. "Definitely not." Dinner went on, and as things were settling in, Dom sat up. He shook his head. "Well, I'm stuffed, but I have to meet someone soon." Millie furrowed a brow. "On a friday?"
"He's a contact on a case, it's urgent…"
"Ahh, I see. You have ulterior motives coming up here, don't you?" Dom shrugged. "Well...it's closer to drive from here than from St. Louis. And I figure it'd be nicer for me to come to him." Millie smirked. "Well...pretty clever of me, huh? Guess I should be the detective." Dom smiled. "I guess...I'll be back in the morning most likely."
Dom walked out the front door, and into his car, driving to Malcolm's. Malcolm opened the door. "Everything good?" Dom handed over 50 dollars. "Sure is...Alan."
The gang got suited up. Thick suits adorned Randall, Rocky, Mordecai, and Dom. Viktor wore regular work clothes, the cold not bothering him much, and Calvin wore his great coat over the cardigan Ivy'd gotten him. They all covered their mouths, and pulled their hats over them. The drive was silent, save for the clicking of guns and ruffling of coats as they moved about. "Turn left." Rocky said, as Viktor drove. "Long vay left, ja?"
"Beats me, we'll get there when we get there." Some more time passed, and Rocky saw something familiar. "We're close...get ready." Most of them were. Rocky and Calvin were on opposite sides of the car, so as to lean out of the windows. Viktor sat next to Dom, who was also hoping to get a pot shot or two in...the lights were on at the compound. It wasn't bright, but it was clear someone was there...they saw tail lights turn in.
Wes stretched and got out of the car, huffing. "Alright, boys, let's get things unloaded, I wanna get...back...soon." He looked over as guards seemed to move about, ushering things inside. "Run! RUN!" A few guards shot. What the hell was going on? Wes soon found out.
Through the front gate crashed a car, with bullets pouring from it, hitting guards hard and fast. One man shot back and got something inside the car, but by the grace of god it missed everyone in it. That guard was pinned to the wall by gunfire. Wes scurried inside, finding Slim. "Slim! We have to get you out of-" Wes ducked under a window. Slim hid behind a couch. "Easy, boy! They're here for me, I can tell…" Wes looked up. The immediate shooting had stopped, as the front guards had surrendered...only maybe 3 of them were left.
He saw 4 men exit the vehicle...one seemed to slump and stay inside, still moving, but...hit. The one who got hit was big, and walked out with some sort of bandage on his arm. Wes rushed out with a gun. "Hey! What the HELL IS ALL TH-" his head was shoved by the butt of a thompson, and he was out cold. The three men who surrendered were rounded up and told to face the other direction. And one man spoke from the attacking party. His voice was gruff, Texan, and loud.
"Bring out Slim."
Slim walked out, wearing his hat, a large jacket, and work boots. He had his pistols with him. "You lookin' fer me, son?" He asked. "That's what all this trouble's for?" The man in the center of the yard nodded. "You killed my father, Cowpoke Slim."
"Really? And which one was that?" Slim smirked evilly. "I done that to a lot of folks...most of em's buried out back." His hands hovered over his pistols.
"This'n's gonna put you back there, Slim." He said. "G'on. Why not clear leather?" He asked. Slim and Dom stared each other down...the seconds seemed to go by like hours, slowly dripping away.
One of the prisoners was shot dead by Slim. The others looked over and shivered with fear. Slim laughed. "Hah! You flinched quite a bit there, boy...can't even tell where I'm gonna put a bullet, huh?"
"I can tell plenty." His palms stayed where they were. "You wanna make a move?" Slim asked. "After you, fine sir."
There was more silence. Life flitted before Dom's eyes. Not really before his eyes, as much as the back of his mind. He stayed focused. He thought he saw something...
Slim landed on the ground, clutching his leg. Dom went over, pulling off his mask. He shot him in the head. He walked to the car and looked around. "You gonna be alright?" Viktor nodded Silently. "Hey," he motioned towards Calvin, "Put those prisoners out, yeah?" Calvin butted them both in the back of their heads...it wouldn't kill them, but they might not remember what their names were. They pulled away, and Mordecai drove them back. "...we did it." Rocky cheered. "Woohoo! I feel so alive! Let's do it again! C'mon!"
"Rocky, please…" Calvin nudged him. Mordecai looked to Viktor. "Don't die on me, alright?" Viktor shook his head. "Ja. I'll be fine. Just graze. Flesh wound."
Cal looked over at Randall. "You alright?" Randall had vomited after the whole event, having never killed before...he'd been chugging water since he got in the car. "I...I'll be fine." He shivered. "I think."
The drive was just as silent. Dom felt...complete and empty at the same time. He got out of the car at Malcolm's house and shook everyone's hand. "Payment comes by the end of the week. Promise." He patted Mordecai's shoulder and hugged him. "Thank you...you've been helpful." Mordecai patted his back. "Any time...I can cover up any trail you left, as well."
Dom hoped so, for his family's sake.
The next week, Asa called Mordecai into his office. He looked annoyed. "Mordecai...I'm at a loss." He said. He sat down. "Sit, please." He motioned towards his chair. He popped a nut zipper in his mouth and looked at his messy desk. "The guy left for Illinois, Fish saw him do it...it couldn't have been him. Who else could've done it?" Asa angrily slapped the back of his hand on the desk. "It makes no sense! He was in Illinois! Everyone corroborates this!"
"I think it was another Texan. We've had a rat for a while, maybe he's starting to sell?" The rat problem was a story for a different time, but...it was still present. "Serafine's still working that one, isn't she?" Asa asked. Mordecai nodded. "She most certainly is, and very hard."
"I just...can't believe it. I mean, sure, I guess I'm a little glad he's gone, but it's amazing that Drago didn't do it." He said. "Unless…" Mordecai flinched. Asa shook his head. "No, no, that's ridiculous. Where does he even get a posse like that?"
"He had a few friends, the guy who did it. As soon as Dom became a revenuer, I either scared his 'old detective buddies' out of town or bought them." He said. "And yet here comes THIS guy, and the only paper we got is some sort of Zeb Wright." Asa laughed. "Zeb Wright? What kind of a name is that?"
"It is a strange name." He looked at his watch. "If you'll excuse me, I'm needed elsewhere." He tipped his head and walked back to his office, picking up the phone and calling dom, saying a coded message. "I wanted to get back to you and inform you that Cleveland plays the Cardinals for the opener this year." He hung up.
Dom smiled and walked downstairs, finding Lorelei at the desk. "Good news…" Lorelei looked up, with relieved eyes and a heavy sigh. "Please tell me that you got away with it."
"Looks like it." Lorelei hugged him tightly and smiled brightly, kissing him all over. "We're safe!" Her strong grip was matched by his, and he twirled her around the room...thank goodness the kids were at school. Lorelei pulled away and sat on the sofa. "You're paying Mordecai extra, right?"
"Definitely, he bailed us out big time." He said. "Lorelei?" He sat next to her.
"I love you. So very much." He kissed her tenderly and held her cheek with his forefinger and thumb. She pulled out of the kiss.
"I love you, too, Dominic."