“I’m Sylvia Porter,” I said to the two men who had asked Joan about me. They were obviously cops.
“Are you armed?” the younger of the two asked.
I looked up and saw Rodney, shift his weight uncomfortably. “More or less,” I answered. I have permits for everything and i am licensed as a private protection agent,” I said.
“Which don’t mean dick,” the cop’s older partner said.
“Well, let’s see. Am I under arrest for something?” I asked.
“Not just yet, we are investigating a accusation that you tazered a man and threatened him with a knife,” the young one said.
“That’s interesting did the gentleman in question surrender his illegal weapons, or did you even ask him, if he were armed.” Judging from there lack of response I said, “I guess not. I also guess you better arrest me, or I’m through talking.”
“Then you are not going to deny the charge,” he asked.
“I have nothing more to say. If you arrest me, I’m going to lawyer up in front of these civilian witnesses,” I said. “I’m going to walk out that door, then to the parking lot to get in my SUV and drive the hell out of Atlanta.”
They didn’t stop me. Rodney and I drove toward our next concert until we were out of Georgia. During that drive Rodney was nervous and watched his rear view mirror.
“Don’t get too nervous Rodney, you aren’t the one in the cross hairs. Besides if they really had anything, we wouldn’t have left that room. Those cops knew that it was bogus. A member of a thug crew accuses a skinny white girl of all that shit. Who is the jury going to believe, you and me, or this thug wanna bes.”
“Tell you what Sylvia, I ain’t never gonna doubt you again. I think you are some kind of female Dirty Harry,” he said.
“Reminds me of a porno movie, called dirty Harriet,” I said with a laugh. After a short drive we were in South Carolina. We stopped at a motel just over the South Carolina border for some much needed sleep. I got some eggs at all night breakfast place near the motel, then crashed, Rodney just crashed.
“Hey you ready to go,” I asked when the half naked Rodney answered the door.
“Go where he asked,” he asked. I wasn’t dressed for going anywhere. I was in my running suit. My running togs that morning were sweat pants and a sweat shirt with cut off sleeves.
“I thought all you commando types ran before breakfast every morning,” I said.
“Us Commando types sleep till noon, when we been up for two days with nothing but high tension shit going on around us. But give me ten minutes and I’ll meet you in the parking lot,” he agreed.
I was drinking coffee from the motels office coffee maker. It was there along with sweet rolls for the guest. I just took the coffee. I had enough problem with sweet things during the day. I saw Rodney come down in this Jeans and a sweat shirt that could be mine’s twin, but it was much larger of course. They were both blue with cut off sleeves. I would guess his didn’t come from a thrift store though.
He made a motion directing me to start. I threw the coffee in a trash can. looked at my watch and took off. It had been a while since I ran, so I shot for one hour of solid running. I doubted that I could hold out that long without a break, but it was a goal. The service road was filled with motel parking lots and even a truck stop. The road had to be three or four miles long at least. I lead Rodney to the stop sign, then we turned and ran back. The hour was up but that run would have kicked my ass anyway, so I knew it had been too long, since I ran. Even so we ran around the three motel parking lots as well. That probably added another mile or so to the run.
I was tired when I stepped into the shower, but I wasn’t in pain. That would come in about an hour. I dressed for the day in the green fatigue pants, they were sold in stores under the name cargo pants. Mine were big, sloppy and black, most women wouldn’t dare wear. I loved them because they had lots of big pockets. I had even had a special holster made for the .38. It was made in probably the last shoe shop in the USA. The holster had a front and a back made of stiff canvas with a Velcro strap over the hammer for safety. There was no way to attach it to anything. But it slipped into the pocket of those cargo pants beautifully. I could wear those pants with a tee shirt and still carry the .38 and a couple of box openers, as well as the stun gun. What was there not to love about the pants? Well except that they wanted to fall down all the time.
I packed the Glock on top of the duffel bag. I wanted to be able to get to it, before we had to meet with Soda Pop. We weren’t scheduled to meet till the next day, but we were on call. If Joan came up with anything for him to do, it would be sooner. I was actually looking forward to seeing Soda and his Posse, we had issues to discuss.
We left the little South Carolina pit stop at 8AM after stopping for take out biscuits. It was about a ten hour drive to out next stop, so we wanted to be on the move reasonably early. We pulled onto the highway with Rodney at the wheel and me with a large coffee and biscuit in my hand. He was juggling his breakfast, trying to eat and drive, while I just ate. I had my headphones on playing the highway music I had recorded for my drive from the mountains to the game warden station in the swamp.
I was singing along with ‘get your motor running, get out on the highway,’ when Rodney said, “Look at this fucking traffic would ya.”
“If you insist but there is nothing I can do about it,” I said smiling. “You ready for me to drive?”
“When I stop for a gas and bathroom break, yeah,” he agreed.
Rodney drove till roughly 10AM, then we stopped for gas. When we left I was at the wheel. “You want to turn right then under the bridge turn left back onto the expressway,” Rodney said.
“If you are going to be a fucking backseat driver, you are going to have to get into the back seat,” I said angrily.
“Okay, I’m sorry just habit,” he replied. “Been riding with too many idiots. Armored car drivers are not the brightest bulbs in the closet.”
“Apology accepted,” I said. I put myself in a hypnotic trance of sorts as I drove the big SUV along the interstate highway system. The time drifted by until we were in the Arlington Virginia area. Lots of signs started to appear for the city and various Washington DC attractions. When I got to the correct exit I left the interstate mess and pulled onto a far too busy access road. From there the GPS unit sent me to our motel. It had been booked by the tour. Of course when we pulled in there was no sign of the tour bus. “
Where are they,” Rodney asked.
“My guess is they were still trying to get their heads removed from their collective asses without major surgery,” was my reply. “Well, do we check in or wait in the parking lot,” I asked Rodney.
“Hell, it could be 2AM, when they finally get here. Let’s check in then call Joan on her cell phone. She would already be here,” He suggested.
“Okay, sounds like a reasonable plan,” I admitted.
I approached the desk clerk first. “Hi, I’m Sylvia Porter I have a reservation,” I informed the cute black woman running the desk.”
“Yes ma’am, your room is ready and it’s all taken care of. You are in room 221. Would you like some help with your bags?” she asked.
“No, I’ve managed so far I can make it the elevator, thanks though,” I walked away while Rodney approached the desk. There was a coffee maker set up in the lobby, so I went to it and poured myself a cup of the stale brew.
“I’m a son of a bitch,” Rodney said. “This is just unfucking believable. They don’t have a room for me.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“No reservations, and no room in the inn. It seems summer is the overbooking time of the year,” he said.
“Go back and charm her, I don’t want you part of the walking dead again,” I said as a reminder that he didn’t function as well without sleep as I did.
“They don’t have a room period,” he said.
“Okay you can share my room, but just to sleep not to screw, understand,” I said.
“One of the great myths of the twenty first century is that all black men want to screw any white woman. Sylvia I like you as a buddy, but I don’t fuck my buddies,” Rodney said.
“Good, come on lets go move our shit in,” I suggested. Of course the room had only one bed. I was pretty sure a good night’s sleep was more important to my survival than any false modesty.
“Which side of the bed do you want?” He asked.
“Well I can sleep anywhere, so it don’t matter none to me,” I said. We were throwing our shit around the room, so I didn’t think he was going to be shy either.
I called Joan. “Hey Joan what’s with this booking one single room for us. At least you could have gotten two beds.”
“Shit I forgot that you two weren’t a couple. I’ll get you something else,” she said.
“They don’t have anything else, but in the future get us two rooms, or a double room at the very least,” I demanded.
“So you are already there?” she asked.
“Yeah and I assume you aren’t,” I said.
“We didn’t get out of Atlanta till almost noon. Best we can do I’m told by the driver is 11PM. So we are going to sneak into town. There will be no crowd of adoring fans on our website tomorrow.”
“So sad,” I replied. “Is our friend who called the cops still on board.”
“Yes, but he doesn’t appear to be too happy that you weren’t arrest, or at least fired,” Joan said.
“He is going to be even less happy when I see him again,” I said.
“You have to promise me no violence,” Joan said.
“No violence and I won’t make a scene, but we are going to have a talk. Traveling with someone who obviously wants me dead, is not gonna’ happen.” I replied.
“As long as it doesn’t make the eleven o’clock news, I could care less,” Joan replied.
“So Rodney and I have the night off, I assume?” I asked.
“Like hell, I want you to meet this stupid bus. You are going to have to sweep the parking lot at least,” she said.
“Do you have someone to sweep the bus?” I asked because of the reputation tour buses have.
I think we are just going to get a new one at every stop. I’m not sure this thing can be cleaned enough for me to ride in it again,” Joan said.
Rodney and I went to dinner at one of those chain restaurant. I figured it was safe enough, since we had about four hours before the bus would arrive. Actually the food was good, and the service was more than adequate. Rodney used the company credit card to pay for it.
“I’m not sure about that food, but there was certainly nothing exotic about it,” Rodney said.
“I think your intestinal track is safe this time.” I replied.