“Hi Lois,” Sam said. “How’ve you been?”
“Good. Say I wonder if you could do me a favor?”
“That’s pretty much why you come to me, isn’t it?”
“You’ve got a point Lois. I’m looking for a car.”
“We don’t sell cars here Sam. We only license them. You’ll have to locate a dealer,” Lois said sarcastically.
“Right,” Sam said. “Look, this is important. I’m looking for the owner of a gray Bentley.” Andy had given him the color.
“There are a lot of cars in this city Sam. And you know I could get in trouble for this.”
“I know. I’ll make it worth your while. A Bentley is a British car so I’m thinking their might not be a lot of them around.”
“I know the Bentley is British Sam, I work in Motor Vehicles. Let me see what I can find.” Sam waited while she worked her magic on the computer. “Well you’re in luck. There’s only three of them in the city. Let me print this for you.” The printer clicked out a piece of paper. “Names and addresses,” she said. Sam took the paper and stretched out his hand to shake hers. He slipped her a twenty. “Ooo,” she said. “Now I can retire.”
“Best I can do, Lois. Thanks.”
“You’re welcome, Sam. Be careful.”
“Always,” he said. Which was a lie.
Sam checked out the cars. The first one sat in a driveway partially covered by a tarp. He could see from the street that one side was covered in rust. Couldn’t be the one as Andy had told him the car he was looking for was in perfect shape. The next one was also in a driveway and an elderly couple was just getting out of it with groceries. And it was Blue. The last one he found, was registered to a rental agency. Morrison Luxury Car Rentals. Sam parked and went inside. He asked if he could use the bathroom. The man behind the counter gave Sam a look of disdain and pointed the way. When he came back he asked the man about their rentals.
“We have the most beautiful cars in town,” he said.
“I’m looking for one in particular. I’d like to rent a Bentley. A gray one.”
“We do have one. A limo, in fact, but I’m sorry to say that it’s rented out right now,” the man said.
“I don’t suppose you could tell me who you rented it to? I really need one and maybe I could convince your renter to let me have it.”
Sam noticed the rental book was sitting on the desk in front of the man. Before he could object Sam said, “Oh, by the way. When I was in the bathroom just now I noticed the toilet was leaking.” The man turned his head and saw water running out under the door.
“Oh crap,” he exclaimed as he ran for the bathroom.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” Sam said, as he flipped the rental book around. He found the Bentley on the second page, quickly wrote down the information and turned the book back. He left the store before the man could get back from the bathroom. Sam had plugged the toilet up so badly that it would take him quite a while to unstop it.
The address that the rented Bentley was registered to was a hotel. Sam drove through the parking lots but didn’t find the car. Finally, he pulled into an empty spot and sat, thinking. What could Scarlet be into, he thought? He didn’t feel she was a deceiving kind of person as she had always been honest with him. Even when her honesty stung a little. And again, could he be wrong about this whole thing? Scarlet was certainly strong enough to kick in a simple door if she needed to, and who knows, maybe she was dating some rich guy who had a driver and other people working for him. If she was, she didn’t owe Sam and explanation. They were friends, nothing more. Even though he had wanted more, it just hadn’t worked. Sam pinched the bridge of his nose. He could feel a headache coming on. The day had been cloudy and gray and now it started to drizzle rain. Out of the corner of his eye, Sam saw a car approaching. It was the gray Bentley. It pulled in under the carport of the hotel as Sam got out of his car. He had no idea what if anything, he would do. A man got out of the back passenger door and behind him was Scarlet. The man grabbed her arm roughly and pulled her from the car. She tried to push his hand away and he grabbed her with both hands and moved her toward the hotel door. At that moment Sam appeared from behind the Bentley. Moving swiftly to Scarlet, Sam reached for a finger of the hand of the man holding her and bent it severely backward. The man let out a yell on let go as Sam shouldered him out of the way. Pulling out his massive 357 Magnum, Sam grabbed Scarlet around the neck and pulled her away, pointing the gun at her head.
“Alright, everyone just take a deep breath,” he said. “She’s coming with me.” Another man got out of the car and pulled out a pistol, pointing it at Sam. “Uh, uh,” Sam said. “I’ll blow her head all over your expensive suit, pal.” Sam pulled the hammer back on his pistol.
“Look,” the guy with the gun said. “Let’s talk about this. How about we all go inside and sort this out. I’m sure we can come to an agreement.”
“Not happening,” Sam said, and started backing away from them. The guy with the now, broken finger pulled out his own pistol as Sam and Scarlet headed for Sam’s car.
“Don’t,” the first guy said. “Don’t shoot him. We’ll find them. To Sam he yelled, “You’re dead buddy! I don’t care what it takes, we’ll find you!”
Sam stuffed Scarlet into his car and went around to the drivers door. Inside he started the car, shifted into reverse and backed out of the parking lot and onto the street. Shifting into first gear he burned the tires all the way down the street. Shifting into third and then fourth gear he checked his mirrors. They weren’t following.
“Dammit, Sam! What do you think you’re doing?!” Scarlet yelled.
Not looking at her, Sam said, “Maybe you hadn’t noticed but I was saving your ass.”
She pounded her fists on the dash. “Goddammit Sam! You shouldn’t be involved! You don’t know what these guys are capable of. If they catch us, they’ll kill you! Don’t you get it?
As calmly as he could, Sam said, “Don’t you think I’ve faced situations like this before? This is what I do, Scarlet. I put myself in danger nearly every day, doing what I do. If anyone can handle this, it’s me.”
Scarlet sat fuming. She realized he was right, but that didn’t make her any happier. Sam took a series of turns, went down some alleys and finally headed up a ramp to the freeway. No one was following. “There’s no where we can go Sam, that they won’t find us. They’ve got plenty of connections.”
“I’ve got a place in mind,” Sam said. “Don’t worry, they won’t find us.” Sam steered the car into the left lane and hit the gas. They were doing 85 as they headed North, out of the city.