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The Morning After

Charlie wanted his first time would be something special. But Charlie's going to find out "special" is a loaded word when it comes to a life of crime. And there's more than one way to get fucked.

Stealing is the easy part. It's getting away with it that's the bitch....

The Morning After by JB Christopher




“You awake?”

“I was.”

“I can’t believe we did it.”

“Is that what you woke me up for?”

“Not exactly.”

“Oh yeah?”

“You want to do it in the butt?”

“Gross.”

“You said it would take something special. I think robbing a bank and walking away with a cool three million is something special. We didn’t even trip the alarm.”

“I did say that didn’t I? About it being special before I’d let you put it in my ass.”

“You did.”

“Well, it’s not over yet. Like we still have to get away. Cross the border over to Vancouver. Remember that part? Wait—what are you doing? I told you we’re not doing that. Now stop rubbing it against me. Goddamn animal.”

He rolled over with a grunt, but his mind was still buzzing from earlier that day. He climbed out of bed, flipped on the bathroom light and walked over to the Adidas gym bag placed on the settee at the end of the bed, staring at all that cash.

She handed him a glass of water and said he needed to relax. He finished it in single gulp.

***

In the morning, she slipped on a pair of denim shorts tight enough to show some cheek and moved about the suite looking for a top. Her body, bronzed and athletic, didn’t have any tan lines. She sunbathed nude. That’s how they did it in Spain she said when he asked her about it. She’d been all over the world and reminded Charlie of it enough. He’d never been out of Sacramento. That was gonna change. She’d warned him to keep moving, don’t stand still. But he laughed it off and told her she was paranoid. She wanted to tell him this wasn’t her first robbery. In the getaway car, he’d thrown up in the back seat.

“You know what time it is?” she said in a loud voice, her hands on her hips. Her hand moved to her breast, scratching it, letting it linger. “Want some?”

He pulled the covers across his body until his head was covered and said something that sounded like not now. She strained a smile at him, bloodless. Nighty night, Charlie.

“You mind if I wear this? Of course not.” She found a top she liked, one of his wife beaters, and pulled it over her head. In the mirror, she tussled her hair, pursed her lips, touched her curls with an open palm.

At her reflection, she said, “Hotter than the devil.” But Charlie wasn’t listening.

He heard voices, distant, muffled.

He saw a shape, moving, and he couldn’t figure out what was going on.

He tried to get up, he really did. But he couldn’t. It just felt so good to stay in bed.

The door slammed shut.

***

It wasn’t until he heard the sirens that he was pulled from his sleep. He imagined something being lifted from a bucket of water. That’s how he felt.   

His head hurt. His throat felt dry. It was nearly noon. Drugged, he thought.

In the seconds it took him to inventory what had happened, he remembered what she said.

Do you know what three million dollars looks like?

He didn’t and he didn’t think it was strange her asking if he did. That night he had stared at the bag long enough, and thought he knew the answer.

The memory of her leaving, easing into focus, a backpack and a black overcoat, not looking back.

She wasn’t coming back, Charlie.

He rushed over to the bag on all fours.

He yanked on the zipper—

The police sirens louder now, just outside.

Inside the bag, neat stacks of bills secured with green rubber bands. He pushed the stacks to the side. He felt a pit in his stomach. Two yellow pages stared back at him. So did the King James Bible. The room spun and he ran to the bathroom and threw up.

Outside, he could hear sirens, loud and distinct.

“That bitch,” he said. The words stung and he didn’t believe them. No, he still loved her.  He remembered when he first met her—no—when she chose him. She sat next to him at a bar in a tight silk red dress and said she was in town for a convention. He wasn’t even thinking at this point. Hot girl with a Colgate smile sits next to him, buys him a drink and starts talking. Laughing at things he said. Arching her back enough as if putting her bits on display. With each drink, each flash of teeth, he found himself sinking into her bosom, tasting the honey-colored skin of her neck and cleavage. She touched his arm, and said lets go back to my room.

Hooked.

That was all it took.

She had it all figured out. But she made it seem like it was his idea. He figured she was a hustler. He just thought he could rein her in, keep her in check. But you couldn’t do that no more you could keep a hurricane in check.

He scratched at his eyes.

All the promise of what three million could get you walked out the door. Dreams of starting over with her and a new life gone now. He dressed and ran after her the way a boy runs for his lost puppy but doesn’t know where to start.

Outside, he squinted under the California sun and ran until the wail of the police sirens faded and his appetite for revenge turned.

JB Christopher can’t sit still for long but when he does, he writes short stories on violence, lust, deceit, and perdition. His debut novel, The Last Fall, is set for release in December, 2012 (Rainstorm Press). His short fiction has appeared in Shotgun Honey, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, Powder Burn Flash, Darkest Before the Dawn and SNM Horror Magazine. Visit JB Christopher online at http://www.jb-christopher.com or Twitter at https://twitter.com/jbchristopher1 (@jbchristopher1)