The two men from the big Mercedes searched the truck looking for the drugs. Then they tried the bathroom, but it was locked like the sign said. Then they went back to the Mercedes to wait.
They had to know we had cell phone, so they should have expected our thug army to be on the way. Since they appeared to be just waiting, I called Barry. “We got problems here,” I said.
“What kind of problems?” He asked the concern in his voice.
“When we got to our first delivery the signal from the pickup people was wrong. I thought it was an ambush, so I split. The came after us like it was a hijacking. We had to leave the truck in a parking lot on the side of the road and take to the woods.” I said.
“So where are you now and where is my package?” he asked.
“We’re fine, thanks for asking. I have your package and we are watching the men, who are watching my truck,” I informed him. “There are two of them right now, but they might be waiting for friends and daylight to pursue us.”
“They are watching the truck to be sure you don’t come back and take off. When the sun comes up they will try to find you. It’s not a good place to be at night,” Barry said.
“You are right it’s cold that’s why I called you.” I replied.
“It’s going to be morning before I can get a crew. That’s the bad news. The good news it will probably take them just as long, if they can arrange one at all,” Barry said.
“Well do what you can Barry,” I said.
“Don’t do anything stupid,” he replied.
“You mean like trying to avoid frostbite,” I said.
“It isn’t that cold. You stay put and just wait till daylight,” was Barry’s advice.
“So Bruce, Barry said to sit tight and he might come for us. More likely he will come for his drugs. To be honest with you Barry is out of his element in the woods at night. Maybe they will be here sometime tomorrow, but I doubt it. Besides which the bad guys are going to have gun thugs on the way as well. So what do you want to do?” I asked.
“I want to sit tight like Barry said,” was his answer. He was shivering I expected he needed the obvious pointed out to him.
“Well its about six more hour till daylight, and thats just sunrise. There won’t be any heat from the sun reaching the forest floor. It is gonna be more like 10AM before that happens. We have no idea which group of gun thugs get here first, so it’s several hours of being chilled and then it’s watch either a grand reunion or a gun battle of some sort which our side might or might not win.”
“Yeah, it don’t sound like the best possible world does it?” he asked.
“No it don’t. There is an alternative,” I suggested.
“I had a feeling you had an idea. It involves us ambushing them don’t it?” he asked.
“Yeah, I’m afraid so. There is a good side though,” I said.
“What is that?” he asked.
“We can wait till daylight, if things don’t look right,” I said.
“What do you call right?” he asked.
“Well we want them back in the car first of all. If they both get in the care we can get behind them. If not, then we wait for daylight,” I suggested.
“We are going to get really cold while we wait for them to get back in the car. Aren’t we?” he said.
“Yeah there are some down sides,” I admitted. “They aren’t soldiers and likely never were, so they won’t take long to get to cold and move to the car. Also when they first get in they will likely turn on the car so they won’t be able to hear shit.” I looked over at Bruce in the almost total darkness.
He shook his head and then said, “Well it sure would make me feel better to get them out in the cold.” Bruce looked really cold. He clearly wasn’t dressed for it, but then neither was I. Weather at night got really cold in the mountains. We were in the spring of the year, but it still had to be down in the low forties by that time.
I wasn’t going to give them time to fall asleep for one thing they might be going to have people coming, so if we had the opportunity, we had to go with it. Oh they got back in the car but they left the windows rolled down. It was about an hour after I left the truck and I was pretty damn miserable. I knew Bruce had to be as well, but he didn’t want to show it. “Okay,” I whispered. “We can work our way around behind them, We should be able to slip up on the car, since they have the heater on. They think we are in the wind and they are just sitting on the car to deny us use of it. We slip up and put a pistol in each one’s ear.”
“Sounds good, do we shoot them,” he said.
“It would be much, much better if we didn’t.” I said. Bruce just nodded.
It took us over an hour to work our way around the edge of the parking lot. It was dark as hell and we stayed on the dark side of the parking lot lights. When we were directly behind the car I motioned for Bruce to move forward and I did the same. I was at a very bad angle for the driver to point his pistol at me. He did have the window down thinking it would help him hear. Those heater motors were so powerful I would have had to be a cow in order to make enough noise to be heard above it.
“If you move, you are both dead, so think about you friend,” I said. “Hand me your pistol over your shoulder. By the barrel,” I added.
“You do exactly the same thing she said,” Bruce added as he spoke to the passenger.
“Now I want you out of the car. Bruce search them.” I demanded.
“Right you are,” he said as he patted them both down. I wanted to get out of that parking lot quickly. I took the keys to their car and threw them into the woods. “Now guys I want you to start walking toward the woods. Bruce here is going to keep a gun on you till I get the truck started. When he gets into the truck, you can start walking back. I am going to leave your cell phone on the front seat, so you can call for help. I imagine you already have help on the way but, I’m going to take a chance. So good luck,” I said. It was quite a speech but took only a couple of minutes before we were off.
“You may be sorry you left the cell phone,” Bruce said.
“Hey I’m a driver not a gun thug,” I said. What I didn’t say was that I memorized the number. The cops could hack it and tell me who the hell was trying to rip us off.
We were at least ten miles from Sparta when I called Barry. We were stopped at a busy convenience store at at interstate entrance drinking back coffee. “So Barry, we are back in the truck and still have the packages,” I said.
“I told you to hold up and I would come get you,” he said.
“So you won’t need anywhere near as many thugs to come get us,” I said.
“Find a restaurant and hold up while I get to you,” he demanded.
“I’m across from a Waffle House Restaurant.,” I got the gps coordinates and sent them along. “There you go, now bring your cash cause we are ordering breakfast and you are paying.”
“You don’t tell me what to do,” he said with a bit of an attitude.
“Then I won’t go to the restaurant, I’ll go back to the parking lot and make a new deal with the guys there,” I said.
“That smart mouth is going to get you killed,” he said.
“It is a lot harder to get rid of a body, than to just stop calling me,” I said.
“You are right about that. I’ll be there in a couple of hours, since I don’t have to raise an army.” he said.
I had made enough twists and turns so that I wasn’t worried about the bad guys finding us accidentally. We drove across the road to the Waffle house and I ordered a steak and eggs breakfast. I had never had one, so it was a different experience. I had also never had a thug supervisor buy my breakfast. It was just a day filled with firsts.
When Barry showed up an hour later he didn’t look near as handsome as I remembered. I guess it was having always seen him in the half darkness before. “Damn Barry, I know I look like hell, but I been up all night running through the woods. That’s my excuse I hope yours is as good.” I said smiling.
“You got the shipment?” he asked.
“Yes and try to stay calm you are drawing attention to us,” I said. I also looked over my shoulder and saw Molly walk up and have a seat across from me. I knew better than to try to figure it out, so I just looked surprised.
“Surprise Karen, you had a rough night I hear,” she said.
“I don’t know what to say,” I said trying to appear confused.
“Don’t look so shocked, you work for me. Well me and Todd,” she said.
“I do?” I asked.
“Yeah Barry here manages the distribution for the winery. We have a few products and clients that aren’t in the catalog or the customer data base,” she said.
“Okay, I guess. I’m going to need sometime to come to grips with this,” I said.
“Nothing to it Karen, we are all on the same team here. That’s all there is to know. We need to go somewhere quiet to talk,” Molly said.
“Well talking, I can do, but I can’t give you any answers. I got nothing but questions,” I said.
“They will wait till we get somewhere quieter,” Molly said. “You armed?” she asked as we got to the truck.
“Yes I have a .38 revolver. Just a little colt chief special.” I said. Do you want it?”
“I should take it, trust me Karen, it won’t help you now.” Molly said. I knew at the very least she had tried to make me nervous and she had. I kept absolutely quiet until we pulled into an empty garage. One that had been used for gang activity, based on the fancy graffiti.
Bruce and I were seated in chairs in the middle of the floor. Really bad looking men surrounded us. I expected it to get physical at any moment. I was up to my ass in paranoid fantasies at that moment.
When all the shit went rancid I dumped the cop burn phone and now I was glad that I had. I had expected Barry to be looking for any possible leaks and I was the FNG. Being the ‘Fucking New Guy’ was enough to get you killed in a situation like this. At least it had been in combat zones. Still there was Bruce, who was new to me, so maybe he would take the heat off me.
“Before we get started here let me tell you that my money is on the home team,” I said.