The ride back to the hideout is uncomfortable and silent, due to the mistakes that had taken place. Three of our heist crew didn’t make it and the last one was Quinn’s fault alone. Echo made a mistake and deserved to pay a price but being beaten to death was a completely unnecessary happening; another was pushing his corpse into traffic, leaving an obvious trail of which direction we’re heading. When it comes to most things, she’s not the best at being able to control her actions, even after it’s too late.
I peek back at the frustrated woman and hold my view at her bloodied figure. She used her pistol to beat the brain chunks from Echo’s head and she’s soaked in the red juice that kept him going. Her left leg is jumping up and down as she rests the joints closest to her fingertips between her lips, yet not in her mouth; eyes gazing out the window, without a shaky sensation of adrenaline from what she’d just done. Murder isn’t new to her and she hasn’t given a shit about it for a long time.
The behavior she carries does bother me sometimes, especially when her actions can come back on us, which is her every action. We hit the bank and managed to get more of a cut for ourselves, though the money’s not why I’m here. By the expression on his face, Trane seems on the edge of upset about the job going sour; however, I don’t think this is the proper time to converse about the unfortunates we had. Our result is three million at a four way split, instead of three and a half at seven.
I’m a little ticked about Quinn trying to get herself killed over a bag of money that wasn’t even her share. Hitting the bank was an attack at Danielle Melligan, a corrupt businesswoman who’s at the top of a large chain of food in this city; an attack that seems more like a vendetta, with the way Quinn reacted to losing a share of bank-marked bills. We exit the recently distraught beauty of upper Manhattan and enter the shitty rundown side of Harlem. Not too far into the district limits, we stop off at a warehouse we paid cash to rent to switch our vehicles to something less conspicuous.
As we’re unloading bags from the truck, Charlie approaches us, “What happened to Echo? I almost ran him over in the street.”
The blood-soaked Quinn answers with her bag and an attitude, as she walks to our car, “None of your fuckin’ business, just get in your car and go.”
He backs off, doing as he’s told with his duffle bag over his shoulder like the rest of us. I collect my second bag and so does Trane then we both follow her lead to our dark gray sedan. Charlie starts up his car, waiting. Trane and I toss our bags in the trunk over Quinn’s, before I hop in the driver side for a long drive. Harlem is just where we stashed our replacement cars, presuming a successful getaway. Unfortunate enough to not have clean clothes, a semi-cleaned up Quinntella returns to our car and gets in the back seat. I initiate our very long, six-hour drive back to Buffalo.
We’re long gone from the cops but I think Trane and Quinn are much too bothered to wanna stop for food on the way to the hangout. My home is nowhere near where we’re heading but I prefer being close to Quinn when new tasks pop off in her head. She mostly comes up with her own work to put herself on the map as one of the most dangerous people in the state and it works. Her hotheaded demeanor and brutal methods has brought a level of fear into people’s minds that has labeled her a psychopath in their eyes. Hours without voice or music result in our arrival at our shit hole of a hangout, smack in the middle of nowhere.
I pull up to the two-story cabin and state, “Here we are, off the grid.”
Trane gets out first and goes for the trunk to grab some of the money. I’d do the same but Quinntella is still seated in the back, stiff as a board and lost in thought. I watch her through the rear-view mirror, only briefly, until the trunk closes then she snaps out of it with her eyes. Looking straight at the mirror into mine, I don’t back down my stare until she exits the car. I follow her out, grabbing the remaining two bags from off of the dirt and following her to the house.
The cabin is nice and we use it as a base of operations for when things in the city get too hot, like now. We spend most of our time in Brooklyn, although she takes us all over to dip into everybody’s everything. Before going inside, I notice the second vehicle, Charlie’s, pull up close behind ours. I begin to wonder why he’s here, until Brandon’s smart-ass words reel me in. He’s a tech that sets up our drug deals and heists, also despite being the weakest of us, the biggest asshole I’ve ever met in my life.
He asks in a happy tone, as he spins circles in his computer chair, “I take it things went well?”
Brandon is a bit of a genius with a mouth that he doesn’t care to control. He boasted his way into bad situations and ended up on the wrong end of a gun more times than he’d care to remember. The last two times, Quinn kept running into the tortured version of Brandon, saving his ass from death both times and recruiting him on the third. He’s a handsome Caucasian guy, and dresses the part by always wearing a suit, as if he were at a regular job; again, standing out as an asshole, compared to the rest of us.
Quinn answers as she enters the main room, “Yeah.” Her attitude raises, “Everything went fuckin’ fantastic. Wish you were there.”
I step through the threshold into the cool breeze of air conditioning, only now realizing how humid it is in the swamp not too far from here. The cabin opens right up with a huge main living room and stairs on the immediate left that lead to the upper level; the back-left holds the kitchen and dining rests straight back in the center. The angry Quinn heads to the single doored room in the back right corner.
A true psychopath, Warren, speaks from the dining area on his way over to us, “Told you, you should’ve brought us along.”
Stereotypically, based on his dreads, Warren is an islander, though he never talks about where from or anything about himself. Similar to Quinntella, he’s a shoot first and never ask questions kind of guy; the only difference between them is accents, hairstyles, and on Warren’s behalf, sadism. The things that he does scares the shit out of me sometimes and he keeps tally of how many people he’s killed by cutting himself. I don’t know how Quinn and Warren met, but they seem meant for each other.
Quinn turns to Warren and states, “Two of my closest and four expendable, that was the plan.”
Warren watches the front door, “I see you brought back an expendable.”
We all face the door to see Charlie step in with his share of the money hanging off of his shoulder. Why did he come here? Only the five of us know about this place and I know Quinn intends to keep it that way. Hopefully, he’s here for something important but I’ve got the feeling he’s not.
I warn him, “You should leave.”
Charlie speaks without care, “Hey, I don’t mind being expendable. I just wanna know if you guys wanna grab a drink or maybe talk about another job.”
A gunshot rattles me, momentarily, as I watch blood sprout from the back of Charlie’s head and onto the right side of the door. His surprised facial expression leaves my sight as his body sinks backward onto the floor. Without thought, I trace the direction over to Quinn and see her lowering her gun back at her side. Because nobody’s supposed to know about this place and I should’ve paid attention to my tails, I can’t even argue with her about this kill. No one has a comment with what just happened as she turns and goes into the room, slamming the door behind her.
Why is Quinntella so upset about the bank job going bad? Trane and I are alive and we only lost another person’s share of the take. A crunching sound rakes my eyes over to the left, observing Warren taking a bite out off his sandwich. One thing I don’t have right now is an appetite and it doesn’t surprise me that he can still eat after seeing something like that. His scarred left and right arms prove that he’s no longer affected by someone’s untimely demise. Warren strolls over to the body, while still eating his sandwich, and grabs the back of Charlie’s shirt.
Without stopping, he drags the body out of the front door, leaving it open. Trane sits on the couch in front of the flat screen and Brandon spins back to his computer. I go to the room in the corner and knock, entering without waiting for permission. Like the rest of the cabin, the room is just typical, no decorations and no love. Quinn is pacing back and forth on the other side of the bed against the right wall.
She glances at me as she paces, “Don’t you knock?”
“I did.” She resumes pacing in peace, therefore I pry, “What’s goin’ on Quinn? We hit Danielle’s bank. The money was just a bonus to pissing her off.”
“I don’t give a shit about the money.”
“Then why are you so agitated?”
“You can’t bullshit me, Quinn.”
She angrily states, “I don’t have to explain myself to you either.” I keep my calm eyes on her then she looks at me with a sigh on her breath then sits on the bed, “I’m sorry, alright?” Her voice calms to a bit frustrated while I stare at her back, “I keep forgetting.”
“It’s okay.” An awkward silence doesn’t cease the conversation because I speak again, “What’s goin’ on Quinn?” I discourage her hesitance, “Quinn, what is it? You can talk to me.”
She speaks lowly, “It wasn’t our job.”
Seeing as we just hit a bank, I don’t know what other job she’d be so worried about or referring to. Not being our job means somebody needs a cut, but not a ridiculous percentage that it would break us. Giving Charlie, Delta, Echo, and Fox a five hundred thousand split each should only leave a small amount for whoever the handler is.
I remind her, “You know I’m not here for the money. Take my cut, problem solved. You’ve got Charlie’s share now too. Pay whoever you-”
She quickly rejects my offer, “The money’s not the problem.”
She turns her head to the left, not looking at me behind her, but straight at the wall. Thinking back to the bank job, heading down to the vault, I remember seeing the opened room; the room containing loads of safe deposit boxes; a room that’s not supposed to ever be left open, under any circumstance.
My mind pieces together why the door was open as I confirm my suspicion, “Fox’s bag had a deposit box.” My attitude raises, “You shoulda told me, I would’ve carried the damn bag myself.”
Quinn matches my tone, “I didn’t know he was gonna get gunned down. When Echo fucked things up, I was trying to get us all out alive.”
“What was in the box?”
“How the fuck am I supposed to know?”
She makes a good point. They call them safe deposit boxes for a reason and I doubt she had time to check it out before that alarm started ringing.
I normally ask, “Who’d you cut the deal with?”
My voice raises again, “Bruno? As in Bruno Yigarin?” She doesn’t answer me so I express my frustration, “You made a deal with Bruno behind my back?”
She rises from the bed and shouts with fury, “Who do you work for?! Everything I do is behind your fuckin’ back! I don’t answer to you, you answer to me! You got that?!”
I back down, “I got it… He’s gonna kill you, Quinn.”
“He can try.”
She’s being intentionally dismissive. Bruno has a reach much higher than Danielle’s, despite sharing the same table in the upper class criminal world. All he has to do is throw out a high enough number and we’d be dead before the day is up. On a good note, I don’t think he knows we lost his box since only two of the guys died at the bank. Once he does find out, we’re all responsible for that box’s whereabouts.
I ask, “Does he know we went with you on the heist?”
“What difference does it make?”
“Just answer the question.”
She shouts, “I don’t fuckin’ know!” She calms down, after a brief silence, “The four of you are my go-to backup for everything… He might assume… I’ll just tell him you guys had nothing to do with it. I’m not scared of Bruno or anybody.”
“What the fuck does that supposed to mean? I’m not lettin’ you take the heat for this shit by yourself.”
“Then he’ll kill us all.”
“He’s not killing anybody. We just need to get the bag back somehow.”
“You’re too far gone. We’ll be better off taking our chances with Bruno than trying to get that bag back.”
“Just give me some time to sort things out. I’m not gonna abandon you again Quinn.”
I take my thoughts and exit the room. Getting the bag back won’t be easy, but it’s definitely doable. Due to the radical behavior that Quinntella exhibits, cops aren’t too big a fan of her to be bribed. Her face is everywhere; however, people never pay too much attention to us, and I always make sure to keep myself masked or hooded on big jobs. I can slide under the radar and I have to take the risk for Quinn to not get killed.