Old Habbits Die Hard (Part 1 of 2)

20 de junio de 2008

Club Zero--a must stop for any of Lexington city's A-Listers and wannabe stars--was packed that night. Patrons danced at a maddening pace to whatever techno or trance was being spun at the moment. The dance floor heaved in time to the music; others pushed and hustled at the overly crowded bar, trying to order drinks. The real losers, however, were the wall-flowers or 'dick moppers' standing against the edge of the back wall. These were, more often than not, clueless individuals who'd have more chance winning the lottery than getting laid. Rex and Charles stood casually amongst this group, drinks held carefully guarding their chests, and trying their damndest to look cool.

"Hey," Charles said.

"What?" Rex said.

"Did I take my Parkinson's meds yet?"

"Damned if I know," Rex pushed his hair out of his eyes which were now two red slits, "I'm drunk as hell."

"No matter," Charles pulled the bottle of pills out of his pocket and poured several, directly from the bottle, into his mouth.
"Better safe than sorry," Charles said, and washed the pills down his glass of whiskey.

"Amen to that," Rex said, and started to walk away.

"Where you goin?" Charles shouted.

Rex turned around, "To the bar to get a drink. You mind?"

"There's a bar 10 feet to your right. Why are you heading towards the one nearly 100 feet across the room?"

"The exercise." He patted his stomach as if to show he was carrying excess weight. “Gotta watch my figure”.

"Right." Charles snickered.

"You sure you're senile?" Rex smirked.

Charles shook his head, "I think I'm gonna try that line you taught me, on those babes over there."

Rex turned his head, and immediately knew who Charles was refering to. There were three good-looking black women at the bar, sipping on mixed drinks and talking on cell phones. They spoke loudly and energetically, laughing together and presented an intimidating target for even the most seasoned lothario. The thought of them being approached by a fifty year old, balding Elvis impersonator, would be nothing other than a disaster.

"I gotta see this." Rex thought to himself.

Charles strolled up to them with an exaggerated swagger, his fingers snapping and arms still flowing with the beat of the music.

"Excuse you, ladies," He said.

All three women turned around simultaneously. One of them snickered a bit, and the tallest girl in the back hit her.
"Yes?" The girl sitting nearest to Charles said, eyeing him with child-like curiosity.
"I lost my teddy bear..."The girls at first looked confused, but then they started to smile.

"Awwwwwwww!" She said.

"Want to fuck?" He asked.

Rex, standing 10 feet to the rear--next to a table of raucous frat boys--smacked himself on the forehead.

"Charles, you clown!" He murmured.

The women, now jaws dropped to the floor, said nothing.
Charles thrusted his hips into the air, as if he were in the process of cumming.

"I'm talking real deep, my nubian treasures!" He continued to thrust, much faster now.

Somehow he was oblivious to the stunned, speachless faces that now watched him.

Rex eyed Charles for a minute and chuckled knowingly. Whenever he spent the night out with his uncle there was always an absurd story to tell the next day. Rex judged that soon enough Charles would tire of trying to entertain these sumptuous beauties and retreat back to a quiet corner of the bar with his tail between his legs.

He turned to his right, expecting to face the bartender. To his surprise, in the place of the hairy ogre of a man who usually tended bar on friday nights, was the lovely Natasha Stansfield. Was she promoted, he wondered? Rex had always kept an eye on Natasha. She was a slender but athetically built girl, standing 5'7" with shoulder-length, thick curly brown hair. She had the face of a movie star. She was no Cameron Diaz or Scarlett Johansen, however, but more akin to the beautiful starlets of bygone eras, classic beauties of the 40s and 50s. Her Betty Grable eyes were her most distinguishing feature, and would make her stand out even among a thousand women.

"What'll it be, Rex?" She said, breaking the trance.

"Crown on the rocks."

She smiled, and retrieved the bottle from behind her. Pouring the drink into the tumbler full of ice, her hair was so close to his face he could smell it. He inhaled deeply into his lungs and allowed the sweet scent of incense and wildflowers to intoxicate him. Leaning forward, to get a better whiff, he didn't notice she was now staring up at him. She smiled faintly and her eyes seemed to twinkle. For a short time they seemed to be stuck there together, basking in the feeling of radiance and warmth that filled their bodies.

"You there still?" She giggled.

"What?” He said, still in a daze.

Her faint, perfect little smile had now grown into a tremendous, wide-spread toothy grin. In the glittering club light that intermittently illuminated her face Rex now noticed how moist her lips had become.
"Sorry," He looked flushed.

"So, what brings you in here tonight?" She said and eased the drink towards him, "I mean ... besides the booze," She eyed him inquisitively.

"Oh, you know. It's a great atmosphere."

"Bullshit." She laughed.

"Well, the boss does --"

"I know you come here because of work. But you don't have to come here this much because of work."

"Well --"

"And there's two bars in this place. Why do you always sit at mine. Mmmm?"

"Technically - it's not yours and --"

She rolled her eyes, "Stop being a smartass. Why do you always sit at my --" She caught herself, "the bar I work at?"

He smiled, sighed, and bolted down the drink.

"Good service."

Natasha rolled her eyes.

"Well, if you must know. I sit here because the scenery is better."

"God. You're such a smartass. You telling me you like sitting here because the paintings above my bar are any better. Because let me tell you something, mister, none of his stuff is true ar--"

"No," He raised his hand like a cop stopping a flow of traffic. "I'm saying I'd rather look at you."

"So, am I the reason you came here tonight?"

"You're part of the reason."


"Well, I promised my Uncle Charles that I'd --" He darted around on his stool and peered at the opposite bar.

"What's wrong?"

"My Uncle Charles. You know how he is. If those black girls didn't kill him, some others are bound to."

Natasha began laughing hysterically. Rex swivelled back around in his stool.

"What's so funny?"

"I think your Uncle Charles is doing fine."

"Oh yeah," He eyed her. "What makes you say that?"

She pointed behind him, and held her other hand over her mouth, blocking off any excess laughter from escaping.

He swivelled back around, and got a good look at what she was pointing at: Charles, drunk as ever, danced wildy with the same three girls around him. Amazingly, the babes were so drunk they seemed oblivious--or just didn't care--about the fact they were bumping and grinding with a man nearly 40 years their senior. Just as Charles started to do the butterfly, they heard the first shot. It was a large, zigging sound. A sound that Rex recognized immediately.

"What was that?" Natasha said, her eyes looking panicked.

Two more shots rang out.

The music kept on playing. But where before it had blended smoothly with the loud chatter and club noise the thunderous beats now played against an eerie silence. Isolated screams rang out through the stillness and a number of women began weeping.

"Sounded like a 38," Rex said cooly, not turning around to face Natasha. His eyes scanned the
venue, trying desperately to locate the gunman. Several feet in front of him, the pack of partying frat boys now looked more akin to a group of kids waiting at the school gate for their mothers.

"Indeed it did, boy," Charles said, now standing at Rex's side.

Natasha jumped back, and clasped her heart, "What the hell?" Natasha said, using a serving tray as a shield.

"It's just gun fire, my dear," Charles fluttered his eyelashes.

"No. How the hell did you get over here so fast?"

"What?" Charles eyed her with some confusion for a split second before his instincts kicked in. With a grace that belied his age he hopped over the bar in one smooth movement and placed a stern hand on Natasha's shoulder.

“Get down!” He grunted and eased her down to safety behind the bar. Now standing directly behind Rex he began to whisper instructions into his nephew's ear.
"Don't worry," Rex said and loosened his tie. "I've got this under contro-" Before he could finish his sentence a barrage of bullets went off, mowing down several of the bar's patrons, and hitting Rex square in the chest causing him to fly over the bar and land just to the the right of Charles and Natasha.
"Rex!!!" Natasha cried and turned her attention to Charles, who was busy openening a pack of Chesterfield cigarettes. He hadn't even glanced at Rex's lifeless form that now lay sprawled over the floor just a few feet from him.

"Oh god he's dead. Don't you care!" Natasha screamed. Charles glared at her for a moment, lit his cigarrette and leaned over Rex, as if inspecting him for signs of life. Out of nowhere he threw a viscious punch that caused Rex's nose to make a horrible cracking noise. Thick streams of blood oozed from both of Rex's nostrils.
"What are you doing?!?!"
"He's not dead."
"Dead men don't bleed, m'dear."

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!" Rex screamed and lunged up in one awkward motion, as if doing a situp on methamphetamines. "What the fuck!??!" Rex put his hand to his nose and pulled it away, staring wildy at the blood which covered his shaking palm. "How'd that happen?"
"You were unconscious, m'boy. I had to wake you." Charles said.
"Why the fuck couldn't you have pinched me, or poured some ice water on me?"
"Water in a bar?" Charles scoffed. "Surely you're joking"

Rex eyed Charles for a second and shook his head in disgust. He turned his attention to Natasha who was know leaning over him. "Are you all right?"
She stared at him, wide eyed but not responding.

“You're shot Rex." She said, tears rolling down her cheeks.
"What?" He looked down at his chest. "Oh, I'm fine!" He smacked an open palm against his chest causing a hollow thud. "I'm wearing a vest." He placed a hand lovingly on her thigh.
"Look, enough of the chit chat” Charles interrupted them. He stood hunched over the bar, leaning from side to side of a huge concrete pillar, trying desperately to get the best view whilst remaining unexposed to any possible gunshot. “I think something's about to happen” Charles spoke quietly so that only Rex and Natasha could hear. Just then a loud booming noise rang out through the venue, as if confirming Charles' instincts were bang on the nail.
"What the fuck was that?" Natasha said.

Charles leaned down towards Rex and Natasha and glared at them authoratively. Natasha read what his eyes said so clearly; keep your voices down or we're all fucked.
"Shhh!" He whispered. "I see someone coming in."
A dark, stout figure of a man slowly began to appear within the dull red light of the club. He wore rimless glasses and a large sword through his skull. The glasses lent him an air of intelligence, and the sword let you knew that this was a man who rarely backed down from a fight. To top it all off he seemed to be dressed in clothing more fitting for a street corner transvestite than a rutheless gangster: black knee-high boots, fish-net stockings, skirt and some kind of tank top that exposed his flabby man-breasts and hairy arms and shoulders.

Accompanied by two large thugs, both armed with AK47 assault rifles, he trudged slowly through the bar with an obvious limp; his right leg dragged behind him. In spite of the limp, and the assistance of rather large, armed men, his mean, scarred face seemed to radiate power. Raising his hands in the air, he clapped them together 3 times. One of the Armed men quickly brought him a shiny, black bullhorn.

"Move in!" The swordman shouted into the bullhorn. A thundering noise rumbled through the building, so loud that it shook the walls of the club. Bursting through the door, clad in helmets, kevlar jackets and thick steel capped-boots, was the intimidating sight of 8 foot soldiers, who quickly gathered around the swordman in a show of strength. They stood in a row, single file, directly behind the swordman and his two guards. Putting the bullhorn back to his lips, he continued:

"I know what you're thinking," He shouted into the bullhorn, a sly grin spread across his face. "Here I am, out having a good time, maybe I'll even get laid, and some crazy bastard with a gun has to come ruin my night," He shook his head, still grinning. "Allow me to apologize. I assure you, I have nothing against you. Play your cards right and you'll leave these premises with your lives” He paused, as if to let the weight of his words sink in amongst the minds of the petrified crowd.

“My name is Diego Mandor” He continued. “The owner of this club is a crooked son of a bitch. He killed my wife and my children right in front of me. Right now, as you sit here in danger, he is on the top floor hiding like a baby. For the next five hours, this bar is mine." Pausing abruptly, he gave the whole dance floor an ice cold stare, as if challenging anyone to disagree. The crowd stared on in silence, several people cowered behind overturned tables and tried their best to hide behind the assortment of fake plants that decorated the lounge area.

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