Outside of the Town of Orlando
I was sitting in the bed of my pickup drinking my last can of beer. My sleeping bag was rolled up behind my back. I was planning on just crashing inside the cab. I lit my last cigarette and knew I needed to find a job, soon. The severance pay from the Army wasn't going to last much longer. Opening my checkbook, I looked at the three hundred and ten dollars on the bottom line.
Here I was a twenty-six years old ex-Green Beret. I was in my prime of my life, and should still be killing the enemies of the United States. I would have been, but for that stupid Lieutenant and a battle in Basra. That battle got me kicked out, for not charging the enemy machine gun nest.
Well, he got his purple heart. I and two others lived because we didn't go. He got fourteen men killed when they charged into the trap. The five hundred pounds of explosives planted in the building they ducked into, did the job. It also gave Saddam Hussein's guerrillas a propaganda victory, while killing fourteen of my friends.
Finishing my beer, I hurled the empty can out onto the field. I laid down with my head on the duffle bag containing my clothes.
I was almost asleep when the night air was shattered by gunfire.
Sitting up, I looked around and could see headlights between two buildings. Jumping out of the truck, I landed in a crouch by the old Dodge. Reaching inside through the open window, I opened the glove box and pulled out the Colt Python I kept in there. Checking, I saw it was loaded. I grabbed the three speed loaders. Pocketing the loaders, I ran towards where the gunfire had come from and then it started again and went silent. I reached the corner of the building and peeked around the edge.
I first saw two men laying on the ground, and then a third leaning against the wheel of an SUV. Sitting on the ground between the three men were two large duffle bags. I could hear crying coming from one of the cars, so I ran over using what cover there was. I reached the two men on the ground and found them dead. Checking the third man, I saw he was alive but not for much longer.
He opened his eyes and looked at me and said, "Take the bags and the girl. Get her the hell out of here. If they find you, they will kill you, and do worse to An..." his head dipped down on his chest.
"Kill me? Why?" I asked but he never replied.
Standing up, I looked into the car and saw a form huddled behind the seat. She was wearing a pull over sweater with the hood pulled up so I couldn't see her face. I tapped the glass with my knuckles and I saw her cringe so I asked, "Lady, are you ok?"
She turned her head and looked at me so I smiled and asked again. Her face was streaked with tears, a strand of her red hair hung down her face as she looked at me. I tried opening the door and it was locked so I pointed at it and said, "Come on, your friend asked me to get you out of here."
She reached for the door tentatively and then she opened it for me. I pulled it open and helped her out. She saw the men on the ground dead and gasped in shock. She knelt beside the man near the car and touched his face as tears ran down her face. "Poppa!" she said in a whisper.
While she was talking to her father, I used my handkerchief to wipe the handle and closed it gently. Turning I reached down to the girl and pulled her to her feet, and said, "Come on, he said I had to get you out of here or they would kill you."
I started walking away and realized she wasn't following. Turning, I saw her opening the truck of the car she had been in. She reached inside and pulled three bags out and then I remembered the two on the ground. Going over, I picked one up and groaned under the weight. It had been a long time since I carried a hundred pound pack. Throwing the bag up on my shoulder, I picked up the second as the girl came towards me with her three bags.
"What's in these bags?" I asked.
"Not now. Where's your car?" she asked.
"Around the corner," I said and she started walking that way fast. I walked by the second car and looked inside. On the back seat was another bag and dropped the bag I was carrying. I used my shirt to open the door and pulled it out. It clinked as I lifted it and I smelled gun oil. With a smile, I tucked the pistol in my belt and picked up the bag I dropped and followed the girl to my truck.
She was looking at my truck and turned to me and said, "This? This is your car?"
"Yup," I said as I tossed the three bags into the bed and then her bags. I guided her to the passenger side and opened the door. In the distance, I could hear sirens and I knew the numbers were falling. I helped her inside and ran around to the driver's door. Opening the door, I slid in and had the keys in my hand. I had the seatbelt pulled out and around my waist ... Clicking the seatbelt, I pushed the keys in and fired the big V8 engine up and put her in gear. I drove down the old flight line and darted off onto a dirt road halfway down. Just as I exited onto the road, a small plane came in for a landing.
"Shit, hope they don't get my plate!" I said as I floored the truck and we flew down the dirt road.
"I don't know how they could. We are pretty far away," she said.
"If they have low-light goggles they could, by the way. My name is Matthew Jefferson Davis, you can call me Matt," I said as I flashed her a smile as I drove up onto the blacktop road.
"Anastasia Lowell, you can call me Ana," Ana said.
"Nice to meet you," I said as I saw the flashing lights ahead turning onto the old airport road. Turning at the next intersection I just had to ask. So I did, "What the hell went down, there?"
"Those men killed my poppa, and were after me, and for what's in those two big bags," Ana said as she looked out the window with tears running down her face.
"Why?" I asked as I turned onto the freeway and headed north. I didn't know how far we could get on three hundred in my checking, but no way in hell was I going to let them hurt this girl.
"They want me for ... sex ... sex to men for lots of money," she replied.
"You're what? Fifteen?" I asked in shock.
"Sixteen, and the man who wants me was my poppa's boss. My poppa took something from him. He ordered his men to find my poppa and kill him and to bring me back to him. He said that I would be his whore and make him lots of money, or he would kill me slowly. I told him I never be whore. I free here. He sends people after us, and we run. We were supposed to be on plane to run to Brazil. But I have feeling he knew we were going there. His men drove up and gave flashlight code, like they supposed to, and shoot Poppa. But Poppa no fool. He have gun ready, too!" Ana said as she wiped her eyes again.
"I see, so what's in the bags?" I asked.
"Money, lots of money. Hank, that's Poppa's old boss, wash money for people. Poppa restacks it and gets it ready to go to other country. But daddy does switch and he takes money and we run. We run long time, and they still find us. I don't know how, I change looks, daddy change looks, we change bags for money, but they find us," Ana said as tears started flowing down her face.
"Well I know where they can't find us, if you trust me that is?" I said as we drove.
"No choice, Matt. I must trust you. I dead if they find me," she replied.
"I will have to dip into your money to get us there. I only have three hundred to my name," I said as I pulled into one of the service islands on the turnpike. I stopped the truck near the pumps, and pulled out my debit card. I shoved it into the scanner and started filling the three tanks.
She was watched me fill the tank. Then she let her eyes wander across the parking lot for danger. She watched each vehicle as it came into the rest stop.
Ana jumped when I knocked on the glass. She slid the window back.
I said, "Ana, go get us some Starbucks coffee, and some food. Make sure you go to the bathroom. Then come right back."
I handed her three twenties I had taken from the bag after stuffing a bundle of them in my pocket.
She took the money and climbed out of the truck.
I walked into the building and into the bathroom. I quickly peed and wiped. Going to the sink, I washed my hands, as a fat woman and her two daughters came in. Pushing past them, I went out into the lobby, and across to the Starbucks restaurant. Ordering two cups of coffee, I grabbed some cream and sugar, along with six donuts from the donut shop.
I walked by the fat woman again, who was watching the local TV. I heard her gasp loudly. Looking at her, she was looking right at me. Then she glanced at the screen. I looked and there was a picture of me, and a man holding the picture. He was saying he was my poppa and that I ran away. He was offering a one hundred thousand dollar reward for my return.
Fear raced through my heart. I ran out of the building as the woman started screaming. I angled away from Matt and his pickup, so we wouldn't be connected. He looked at me and I pointed towards the exit. He nodded his head.
I just hung up the hose and screwed on the cap when I heard the scream. Looking up I saw Ana come running out of the building and she saw me looking at her. In the doorway a large obese woman was screaming and pointing at Ana. I looked back at Ana and she was pointing to the exit and I climbed inside the truck as she started running.
I laughed as I noticed she was trying not to spill the coffee as she ran. I let her get out of sight and drove towards the big rigs parked together. Reaching up, I pulled the light bulb for the cab and went around the trucks and stopped. The door opened and Ana jumped in and I put the truck in gear again. I exited the island, and headed north, towards Wildwood. I prayed we could get there.
"What happened Ana?" I asked as I changed lanes.
"They have picture of me on TV. Fat woman scream, and I run. They offer lot of money for me to be returned home. Man on TV says I his daughter. I no his daughter. Poppa my father," Ana said.
I noticed her English was getting worse the more she got upset and said, "Calm down Ana, I cannot understand you. You are getting a thick accent."
Ana took a deep breath and replied, "Sorry. When I get upset, my Russian overcomes my English, and I forget words."
"It's ok, you have a pretty accent, now, don't worry about it. No one saw you get in the truck and we should be safe. I know where we can get a different vehicle and we should be able to vanish. I just need to exchange some of the money so I can buy it and I know someone who can help," I said ... or, I hoped she would.
We drove down the road, and Ana fell asleep against me and I put my arm around her and held her. Before I knew it her head was in my lap and I stroked her hair. Ninety minutes later I pulled up outside of a huge house at the outskirts of Ocala. Ana woke up and looked around.
"Come on, let's go," I said as I hopped out of the truck. Ana stepped out of her side and we walked up to the door where I rang the doorbell.
A few moments later, the door was opened by a woman with silver hair wearing a dark blue robe.
I smiled at her, and said, "Hello, Mother."
"MATTHEW WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?" Marylyn Whitman said and pulled her wayward son into her arms.
I broke the hug gently and kissed my adopted mother on her cheek.
"Mom, I need a favor," I replied.
"Just like your father, only come home when you need something. Come in, and let's talk. Who is your friend?" she asked as she held the door open.
I looked at Ana, and noticed she had pulled her hood up to hide her face.
I replied, "This is Ana. She's the reason I came to see you."
"Oh? You got her pregnant? I don't help with abortions!" Marylyn said.
Ana started blushing as we stepped into the living room and walked towards the dining room.
"Not that," I said as I pulled the chairs out for us and we sat down.
Ana sat, and lowered her hood to look at us.
"You're the girl from the TV," Marylyn said.
"Yes, Ma'am," Ana replied.
"Matt, she's underage. Her father is looking for her!" Marylyn said.
"I doubt it. Her father was killed in front of her eyes. The man on TV wants her as a sex slave," I said.
"What? He seemed to know her very well," Marylyn replied.
"Yes, he has known me since I was babe. He wants me to be his whore. I refuse, and he sends Без перевода after us. They kill poppa," Ana said, as tears started running down her face.
"What was that?" Marylyn asked.
"It's Russian for thugs, Mrs. Davis," Ana replied.
"Oh, no. I'm not Matthew's real mom, but I did help raise him. I was his friend after his mother was killed. Now, how can I help you get away?" Marylyn asked.
"I need to exchange some cash so I can buy a motor home, I figure we can live in it and head to the property owned by your dad and my grandfather," I said as I looked at Ana.
"Well, that I can do, how much do you need to exchange?" Marylyn asked.
"Well, I don't know. Can I use your computer to check the sites?" I asked.
"You know where it is, but first pull your truck into the garage in case someone is looking for it. Ana, come with me. Let's get you cleaned up. I think some of Judy's clothes will fit you," Marylyn said
"Judy's here?" I asked.
"No, not yet ... But you know, I think I'll send her with you two, just in case," she said as she led Ana upstairs.
I went outside and brought the bags in, and then drove the truck into the garage and parked it. I grabbed my pistol and the gun bag, and carried them inside. Going into the den, I sat at the desk and turned the computer on. The old oak desk was covered with photos of mom and her family as well as me and dad.
Shaking my head I leaned back in the chair and looked around the den. The walls on both sides of the room were covered with books, mostly law books on the right side while the wall across the room held more pictures of Marylyn. Some were of her in her robes as a judge while others were awards she had received over the years.
Turning to the computer, I did a search for Ocala RV dealerships and brought them up. I scrolled through the ones they were offering and my eyes settled onto the one called the Bounty Hunter. It was forty feet long and it could carry a lot of supplies to where we would be going. Rubbing my chin, I brought up the price and wondered if mom could afford it.
"Find what you wanted?" Marylyn asked as she walked into the room.
"Yes, but not sure if you could afford it," I replied.
Marylyn walked over and looked at the screen and whistled, and said, "No problem. We can get it in the morning. What about supplies?"
"The back goes up. It's what they called a toy hauler. I can put a lot of stuff in there," I replied, as I showed her the garage part.
"You're going to need a good truck if you're going where I think you're going. But right now I think a thirty foot cargo trailer loaded with equipment, is what you will need," Mom said.
She sat beside me and sent the order for the RV to be delivered, with plates, to her residence. She also had them install a hitch, and satellite dish with a computer internet connection. She then jumped to another page she had bookmarked, and ordered a new trailer and requested it be painted green and brown.
I sat there shaking my head at how fast she was going. Then she looked at me.
"Go to bed; take the guest room on the left, next to Judy's room. Ana is sleeping in Judy's bed. I set the alarm and we are safe for right now. I can trade in some of that money. It's no problem. In fact, bring me three hundred thousand of it, right now," she said.
I went out to the bags, and brought one of them inside. Setting it on the desk, I started pulling bundles of cash out. Mom started putting them in her safe. She stopped me as I was handing her another stack, and I put it back. The bag was still mostly full and I wondered how much was in there.
"Five million," Marylyn said.
"Huh?" I asked.
"You were wondering how much was in the bag, I just told you. You have ten million in those two bags. That's one of the reasons Mister Alfred Meyers wants it back. Its laundered money and I know I should call the police, but after what Ana told me. I know you two need to disappear. You will need the money. Now go sleep," Marylyn said.
I kissed her and walked out of the room.
I sat down at the computer and started writing a list of supplies that would be needed. Some I sent to where I thought they were going, and had them warehoused. I bought ten thousand in supplies and equipment, and had them set up and delivered to the house. I worked all night long at the ordering, and used the entire three hundred thousand.
'When Matt pulls out of here, he is going to be well stocked, ' I thought as I sent the last order out.
Stretching, I walked into the kitchen and poured a cup of coffee. The front door opened and the alarm went off. Before I could move, the alarm shut off, and I smiled.
I watched as my eighteen-year-old granddaughter walked into the room and smiled at her.
"Morning, Sweetie," I said to Judy.
"Hi, Nanna. How are you, this morning?" Judy asked as she set her bag down on the table.
"I'm doing good. We have guests. Matt is here," I said and it was all I got out.
"HE IS? WHERE?" Judy replied in a loud excited voice.
"He is sleeping. His friend Ana is sleeping in your bed, so be quiet when you go up," I said, but I was talking to the wind.
I ran upstairs and opened the first door and saw Matt sleeping on the covers. He looked so handsome lying there. His hair was longer then the last time I had seen him. He was snoring softly as I ran over and jumped on the bed and he jerked awake. I fell across him and started French kissing him before he was fully awake. I slid my hands around his body and my hand hit something cold and I realized it was his pistol. Pushing it to the side I laid across him, and felt his hands on my ass. I moaned as he kissed me back.
I jerked awake when someone jumped on me. My hand reached for the pistol and then I realized it was Judy kissing me. I grabbed her ass and squeezed it tightly and felt her tongue trying to go down my throat. I rolled us over and I was looking into Judy's green eyes and I said, "Hi."
She smiled up at me and replied, "Hi back. Where have you been? You missed my graduation. Now we can fuck, I have been so horny for you."
"I know, and I am sorry. You up for a road trip?" I asked.
"Sure where we going?" she replied.
Before I could answer, a voice interrupted us.
"Matthew?" Ana said from the doorway.
I looked over at Ana's voice registered and saw the tears on her face and she fled the entrance to the room.
Edited By TeNderLoin