By Kelly Wyre
Story on a prompt: “Any of your New Amsterdam characters and a paintball.”
Starring: Clark, Daniel, Heather, Jeffrey, and Lucian
Clark stilled the terrycloth towel on the bar that marked his domain and eyed the group of men gathered around a table in the middle of Glow. Suits and summer wool and Italian silk, oh my. Clark whistled to himself, noticing and rather enjoying it when Heather flanked his right and Jeffrey his left. There was a certain amount of safety in numbers, and Clark was sure neither of his employees was above using him as a human shield.
“You know you’re gonna die, right?” Heather muttered, ostensibly putting dirty dishes in the sink.
“Nah,” Clark replied, mouth barely moving. His target was approaching the optimal position.
“He hasn’t yet,” Jeffrey put in, resting on his elbows and not even bothering to appear otherwise busy. It was an hour until last call, and most of the patrons were gone, except, of course, the ones doing dirty business on neutral territory.
“Preternatural good luck does not last forever.” Heather crossed arms over her polka-dotted corset and red mesh shirt.
“True,” Jeffrey conceded. They watched several of the stuffy men stand, shake hands, and head for the exit. Three men remained, however, like the sitting ducks they were.
“And should this night be so fortuitous, I call dibs on Clark’s personal liquor cabinet,” Heather said.
“Fine. I get the leather goods.” Jeffrey picked up a pen off the bar and started doodling on a coaster.
“I want the Jag.
“No way!” Jeffrey cried.
“You can’t even drive a stick,” Heather pointed out, exasperated and fascinated by what Clark imagined had to be his audacity and bravery, and not, say, his sheer masochistic death wish.
Jeffrey’s grin would do the devil proud. “Then I get Daniel. And the professor’s stick.”
“Children, as amusing and comforting as it is knowing where all my worldly possessions will go after I leave this mortal plane, do a man a solid and shut up so I can calculate trajectories.” Clark retrieved his weapon from beneath the bar, loaded the ammunition, and waited. The target glanced over one shoulder, not suspecting a thing. “And by the way?” Clark muttered, taking aim when presented a bulls eye of spine and shoulder blades. “Nobody touches the good professor’s gearshift but me.”
“Spoilsport.” Jeffrey replied, but in a hushed whisper. He gaped and gasped as Clark pulled back the slingshot’s band and let the paint ball fly. It hit the immaculate Lucian Edward Gray’s back with precision accuracy, exploded in wet ropes, and decorated Lucian’s shirt, shiny waist-length hair, and both Lucian’s mammoth body guards in harmless, obnoxious, neon pink. Lucian spun, reaching for a weapon no longer in its shoulder holster. Clark was crazy, but not stupid. Aaron and Cale were in on the gag and had divested Lucian of the Colt earlier in the evening. Lucian swiped a dainty fingertip through a puddle of pink paint, stared at it, looked up to meet Clark’s eyes, and the expression of sheer, diabolical outrage was worth every single second of the potential impending beating.
“Fuckin’ awesome,” Jeffrey whispered.
“Yeah,” Clark agreed, grinning. “Now… run!”
Lucian snarled, Clark pivoted, and the chase was on through the kitchen and into the alleyway where Daniel was waiting with the car. Ken the cook casually attempted to trip Lucian with a broom, while Heather and Jeffrey cheered Clark onward, and Clark was out the rear exit, over the metal railing around the service platform, and into the Tesla with Lucian hot on his heels. Clark slammed the car door, waving to Lucian’s shaking fist of vengeance with boyish glee.
“Did we have a good time?” Daniel asked, spinning tires onto Twenty-Second Avenue in a getaway that would make Hollywood proud.
Clark collapsed in the seat, heart hammering. “Always. And you owe me a hundred bucks.”
Daniel fetched a folded bill from his front pocket with two fingers, and Clark snatched it. “Pleasure doing business with you, Sir.”
“That’ll teach him to keep you out late on a Saturday.” The sight of Daniel Germain smug and content was even better than Lucian pulling a wet-cat hissy fit.
“One can hope, Sir. One can hope.” Clark caught his breath and ran through happy mental visions of what he could look forward to in his Monday meeting with dear, vicious, vindictive Prince Luke.
Kelly Wyre enjoys reading and writing all manner of fiction, ranging from horror to romance. She used to work in advertising but is now happily chained to her writing desk and laptop. She believes she’s here to tell stories and to connect people with them. She’s written several novels, novellas, and short stories and has no plans on stopping anytime soon.
Kelly relishes the soft and cuddly and the sharp and bloody with equal amounts of enthusiasm. She’s a coffee addict, an avid movie lover, a chronic night owl, and she loves a good thunderstorm. Currently Kelly resides in the southeastern United States.
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