Wrong Way Excerpt
The gun barrel pressed under his chin and Hurks whispered in his ear.
“Don’t fuck up. Your life literally depends on it.”
Jake would have been happy to just have nodded, but he cringed inside when his mouth took over.
“Sure thing boss, it’s not like I want to be jailbait if this goes sideways.” He quipped with the gun still pressed against his skin.
“Such pretty jailbait you would make too. So, we agree, it’s best not to screw the pooch on this one.”
Jake pushed the gun away with one hand then gave a little wave over his shoulder before heading out the door. Before he left, he could of swore he heard Dolowitz mutter, "Ballzy little shit!”
He was glad to be back in the open air away from the psychopaths. Drug trafficking wasn’t a great thing to have on a collage applicant, so Jake took a deep breath and prepared himself to do whatever it took to make sure he wasn’t caught with his cargo.
It didn’t take him long to get to the restaurant. He waited in line patiently occasion glancing out the big picture window. There was a prickle at the base of his neck telling him something wasn’t right, but he couldn’t see or hear anything to back it up.
When he got to the front of the line, he made his order and paid, pocketing the change. The old woman behind the counter didn’t even look up at the order, just grunted and punched it in the computer then shooed him into the waiting crowd.
Jake took this chance to slip into the bathroom. While he was washing his hands, a custodian came in and mopped the surrounding floor. Jake watched as his book-bag was jammed into the cleaning cart then replace by an identical bag in less than half a second.
Jake finished what he was doing then took his new bag out to the storefront to finish waiting for the food. This bag was empty, or if it had something it was small and hidden, he assumed they didn’t want him going in with a bag and leaving with nothing.
Finally, a plastic container filled with some delicious smelling food slapped up on the counter.
Jake did a quick once over of the contents before putting the food in and strapping to his back.
He pulled his phone out once he hit the street and headed towards the condo. The prickle at the back of his neck alerted him again to something not being right.
He glanced around pretending to be looking to cross the street. There was a man half a block back that was watching him too closely and a car sitting just around the corner with tinted window.
Nothing backed his suspicion, but he trusted his gut. He crossed the street and continued home. After two blocks he took an unnecessary turn into an alley and just stood there waiting.
The tall, Caucasian, man took two quick strides into the alley skidding to a halt when he saw the boy waiting.
The silence lasted a moment as they locked eyes. Then the man’s hand moved, and Jake saw a gun under his jacket.
Jake had positioned himself so he had an easy out if things got weird, so he took it. He bolted up the fire escape leaving the guy cursing and jumping forward to follow.
The building wasn’t high, only two storeys. Once Jake got to the roof, he bolted to the other side and jumped. He had noted the closed garbage dumpster when he had walked by so he hit the top then rolled onto the concrete to keep running.
He heard the man snap "Fuck!" at the slick move but he didn’t look back.
Jake bolted down the street for a block then crossed the road avoiding a few cars that had to slam on their breaks and blare their horns. He chanced a glance back and saw the man still coming. He took the next alley and put every last bit of speed he had into it. He saw the chain-link fence coming and leapt to get a high enough handhold to scramble over the top.
As he dropped down the other side, the shoulder strap of the bag caught on the top barbs. It jerked his right shoulder, and he hissed in pain as he dropped out of the bag. Wasting valuable moments, he would have to climb up and unhook the bag before he could continue. He couldn’t be sure there wasn’t something hidden in the bag so with a frantic look at the fast approaching man he pulled himself up enough to work the bag free then fell back down.
The man hit the other side of the fence and was swiftly making his way up as Jake turned and bolted down the end of the alley. Unfortunately, his speed made it impossible of him to avoid the black Charger that screeched in between the buildings.
His side exploded in pain as he hit the hood of the car before rolling off onto the concrete which did not agree with his shoulder.
Dark spots swam in front of his eyes and he had to lay there for a moment before he could even think about moving. He wasn’t given much of a choice though as one set of hands grabbed his wrist and twisted it behind his back another set of hands tore the book-bag off.
Handcuffs snapped on roughly, pinching skin. This at least answered his question though, they were most likely cops.
“Fucking little shit!” The tall Caucasian cop sneered though heavy puffs of breath. He frisked him tossing his cellphone, wallet and change out onto the hood of the car.
“Whoa! Easy there, cupcake, I don’t do that on the first date!” Jake quipped as the man checked around his crotch area. “So, you two are who? You know so I at least can tell my friends I knew the name of my first hand job.”
That got him an extra slam back into the hood. His shoulder and ribs jolted but Jake kept his mouth shut.
“Do you make it a habit to run from the cops? You know is illegal right?” He snapped back.
Jake watched the massive African-American man turn his bag upside down and empty the contents onto the pavement.
“Do you make it a habit to stalk underage boys then chase them without identifying yourself? Because when some strange man follows me with a gun I kinda wanna get my cute teen ass out of there!”
The man swung him around and sat him on the pavement with his back against the car.
“My name is detective Mason, this is detective Roberts of the RPD narcotics division.” The man rattled off.
His Chinese order was the next thing to be dumped out and Jake gave it a sad look.
“Wow. What did my supper ever do to you?” Jake pouted at the ruined food.
“Want to unlock this?” Mason asked looking down at him holding out the phone.
Jake snorted a laugh.
“Wanna get a search warrant sunshine?” Jake countered knowing full well he would need one to look through his phone. The man didn’t press it and moved on to his wallet listing off the minimal contents till he hit Jake’s student ID.
“Jake Zachery Daniels, Riverview Consolidated High school, age fifteen.” As he read it both men looked at him as if they could determine his age by looking at him. “Fifteen huh? So, what’s a fifteen-year-old doing at Cho Sing’s restaurant?”
Jake put on the most confused look he could manage.
“Buying counterfeit hello kitty collectables! Why else would someone go to a restaurant?” Jake said in mock-shock.
“You know, that mouth will get you in shit, right?” Roberts rumbled.
“I picked up supper. Do I really have to say that out loud?” Jake demanded. His voice raising. “I am sorry if my ‘mouth’ is offending you but apparently I get a little testy after I get hit by a fucking car.”
“Language.” Mason snapped pulling him to his feet. “And nobody goes to Cho Sings for the food, it is shit! What they go there for is drugs. You have any drugs on you Jake?”
“No, I don’t, but I would love an aspirin if you are offering.” Jake stared at the cop and got the distinct feeling he didn’t believe him.
“Who sent you to Cho Sings?”
“No one did. I was just walking around and picked it. I moved here less than three months ago, I don’t know many places.” Jake answered, this time without the snark hoping that would make them more inclined to believe him. They stared at him long enough he fidgeted in his handcuffs.
“Who gave you this bag?” Roberts demanded with a stare so intense lesser men would have cracked. Jake snorted a laugh.
“My mother. A few months ago, for this magical experience called school!” He couldn’t help the sarcasm this time, it was a defense mechanism hard to break. Fortunately, most adults just chalked it up to him being a disobedient punk and thought nothing else of it.
“Oh, I don’t like him.” Roberts rumbled crossing is arms.
“Hard on the head, isn’t he?” Mason agreed, “Wanna take him downtown?”
“Naw. He can step for now, but I think we need a picture because I feel like we will see him again.”
Mason pulled his own phone out a snapped a picture of Jake’s face. Jake rolled his eyes.
The cuffs came off a lot gentler than they went on. Jake rubbed his wrists absently while holding the cop’s stares. Finally, he reached out and collected his items from the hood before picking up his bag.
They left him staring at the food.
“You guys should replace that.” Jake sighed, “I was looking forward to eating.”
“I wouldn’t be too sad kid. Seems they forgot the shrimp in your Szechwan Shrimp. That’s just rice and sauce.”
They said nothing else as they both got in the car and backed out of the alley.
Jake waited till they were gone before letting out the breath he didn’t know he was holding. It wasn’t how cops usually did things but maybe they knew something more that he didn’t.
With a glance at the time he cursed and started off for his apartment. He had more psychos to deal with tonight and he really needed some pain meds already.