Chapter 40

My brain locked up, the periphery of my vision turned a dark grey, leaving me a tunnel to look through. “GO HOME”, the voice inside my head shouted. Grey Hair and Colletta stepped out the door of the restaurant at the very end of my tunnel. The two brothers led them to the car, opening the doors for their passengers. They got in as my vision improved with each gulp of air I inhaled.

“Rollo…..you there? Rollo, did you hear me?” said Nerd’s voice, ending my brain cramp.

“Pull up in the driveway and park. There’s a key in the flowerpot on the second step. No one is home, but the kids should be getting there in about ten minutes. My Ex keeps a .38 in her nightstand. Get it and engage, I’m on my way.” I fired up and burned rubber, abusing the SUV rental some more as Colletta’s Navigator headed the oposite way. I made it to the westbound 101 in under two minutes while Nerd gave me a verbal picture of what was happening.

“They made a circle and drove away when I pulled into the driveway. Now what?” he asked.

‘Get the gun and wait for me,” I said, driving the shoulder to pass the cars lined up on the metered onramp. Once on the freeway I shot all the way over to the carpool lane and got up to 70 approaching the 405 interchange, where I hit the brakes to merge with the snails. I used the shoulder again and got off on Hayvenhurst, heading to what used be home, ready to kill anything or anybody posing a threat to my kids.

My rental SUV was handling all the abuse I could dish out, cutting the twenty minute trip to my old neighborhood in half. I hit the school zone two blocks from the house and slammed on the brakes at the demand of an elderly crossing guard lady. I spotted my daughter a block up the street. She was talking to one of Grey Hair’s gorillas. The guard stood in front of my ride, holding up her stop sign while directing a half dozen kids and a couple of parents across my path. Up ahead a three hundred pound Russian signed his own death warrant by forcing my little girl into the back seat of the car as his partner, a dead man driving, pulled away from the curb. The crossing guard smashed her stop sign on the rear of my SUV as I wedge through the crowded crosswalk while getting Nerd back on the cell.

All I could do was watch and follow as they drove from the scene, hoping they wouldn’t spot me and panic with my daughter in the car. “I’m following these guys now…..they snatched my daughter from school. I need some backup buddy, we’re heading toward the freeway on White Oak…..I’m gonna be killing these assholes…..first chance.”

“I’m with you man,” Nerd said. “How’d you plan to take ‘em down?”

‘I can’t do much as lohg as she’s still in the car with them. Let’s see where they’re headed…..looks like east on the Ventura.”

“Probably back to Romanov’s Restaurant, ya think?”

“No, Grey Hair left with Colletta Meyers and two black guys posing as muscle. I’d bet on a rendezvous,” I said, and we followed them all the way back to the dead Major’s Hollywood Hills home, where Colletta’s black Navigator was parked in the gated drive. The Russian pulled up to the gate and got out to push the call button. He spun around when he heard my footsteps run up behind him. A pistol whipping put him to the ground. His three hundred pound partner stepped from the passenger side and was dwawing his weapon when Nerd jacked him with the butt of my Ex’s Smith & Wesson.

I pulled my daughter from the back seat and held her in my arms just as two carloads of FBI agents screamed to a halt, thirty seconds too late to do any good. They got out, pointing guns at us, shouting commands we refused to follow. I just stood there, hugging my daughter, when a third car drove right up to us. Green and Fontana stepped out, taking a position between us and the FBI. That’s what friends are for.

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