Leo envelops me in a big bear hug. I try not to let on how terrified I am. He rubs my back affectionately.

“Take care of yourself, Lyla.”

I let go of him and wipe my eye.

“I’ll try. Thank you, for everything. I owe you.”

“No offense, but I hope I never see you again.”

“None taken.”

Leo turns to Omari.

“You ready?”

“Is this really necessary?”

“Yeah, it’s fucking necessary. I’m not dying for y’all. Don’t be a pussy. Just do it.”

Omari sighs wearily and decks Leo. He spits out a mouthful of blood and wipes his face.

“Nice hit, new guy! Shame you’re leaving. Okay, get my eye this time.”

Omari hits him again and I wince at the sound. Leo’s face is already starting to swell but he doesn’t seem too bothered.

“Now hit my nose hard enough for it to bleed, but don’t break it.”

“How do I do that?”

“Figure it out.”

Omari punches him and blood gushes out. I step between them.

“Okay, okay. That’s enough. We need to speed this up. Omari, warm up the car.”

I toss him my keys and he goes outside. I delete the security footage, get my soda out of the fridge, and grab the ropes. I hogtie Leo behind the counter.

“Are you comfortable?”

“Yeah, actually. You’ve obviously done this before.”

“You better shut it before I give you another black eye.”

“So what’s the deal with you and Muhammad Ali?”

“It was end-of-the-world sex. That’s it.”


I kiss his cheek.

“Good-bye, Leo.”

“I’m rooting for you, kid. See you in another life.”

I stuff a clean rag in his mouth and lock up the shop. I don’t know how long we have before headquarters finds out. I smash our phones with a rock and throw them in the dumpster. A homeless man sleeping under an awning watches us peel out of the lot.

We drive in total silence. I can tell Omari is seething. We fly canlı bahis şirketleri through the endless, hypnotic desert.

Omari erupts out of nowhere. He slams the dashboard with his fist over and over again.

“Whoa, hey. I know you’re angry but please don’t do that. This thing is barely hanging on.”

“Shouldn’t you have a nicer car? What happened to all that mob money?”

“I really am just the bookkeeper for front-of-house, they keep me clean. And I still owe a lot on my student loans.”

“You ruined my life.”

“I ruined your life?”

“Yeah, you heard me. I had a family, I had friends, I coach fucking youth athletics. I have people counting on me. And now, not only can I never go home again, but I gotta worry about them getting murdered by hit men. Fuck you. I can’t even fucking look at you right now.”

“First of all, we’re equally to blame here so you need to stop. You’re right. I should have warned you about the vault since the stakes were unusually high. But you also shouldn’t have come in without my permission, and you’ve worked enough jobs to know that. Second, quit acting like some delicate flower. It’s gambling. You knew what you were getting into. Third, don’t worry about your family. Well, I mean, you know. Leo’s going to tell Mr. G I killed you, or kidnapped you, or something. I forget. Either way, no one’s going to bother them. They might even get some money.”

“Thanks. I guess.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I mean, my family is going to think I was murdered. You didn’t help that much.”

“Yeah, well. Life isn’t great for me either.”

Omari gets quiet again.

“I don’t understand why we couldn’t tell the truth. You’ve worked there for how long? We could have explained.”

“Apparently G wanted me to talk to some IRS guy last night, convince him of something. Leo didn’t say what. They’re getting audited now canlı kaçak iddaa because of us. I’m sorry. We couldn’t stay.”

I glance over at Omari. He stares sullenly out the window.

“I know this sucks. But you have to trust me. The less detail you know, the better.”

He doesn’t answer.

We drive all night and all day. Exhausted, we pull into a shitty roadside motel just after dusk. I extract my go-bag from underneath the spare tire. I put on a cheap brunette wig and take out a Massachusetts ID and an envelope full of cash. We check in and head to our room.

“Edna Appleberg?”

“That’s Miss Appleberg to you. We’ll get you new papers, too.”

“I can’t believe this is my life.”

“You better get with the program, fast. This is happening.”

I close the blinds and prop a chair under the doorknob. Omari lies face down on the bed.

“I’m going to take a shower, don’t run off on me.”

“Where would I even go.”

I stand under the scalding water until it burns my skin. I work up a lather with the cheap motel soap and notice I’m bruised from last night. I stroke myself quietly as I remember the way Omari’s body felt against mine.

I wash my clothes in the sink and carefully wrap a towel around me. When I come out, Omari is sitting on the edge of the bed with his head in his hands. He’s crying softly.

I sit behind him and rest my cheek against his back. I fold my arms around his waist. Hug him tight. His shoulders rise and fall with every breath.

“I’m sorry. I really am. None of this is fair, and it’s not your fault. It’s just a shitty thing that happened. But I’m going to get us through it. I promise.”

“You can’t promise that.”

“No, but I can promise to do everything in my power to keep us safe. We’re not running blind. I have a contingency plan, and you can fit into it if you’d like. Or I can help you get canlı kaçak bahis set up someplace else, and we can go our separate ways. But you’re not alone.”

“I feel alone.”

“You’re not. We’re in this together.”

I gently kiss his spine. I kiss his shoulder blade. Omari reaches back and tugs on my towel until it falls to the bed. He runs his hands over the curve of my ass. I lick and suck his ear lobes. He tips his head onto my shoulder and brings his lips to mine. He kisses me sweetly.

I slide my hands under his shirt and feel his chest and stomach. I extend my legs on either side of his body and he caresses them. I touch his hard cock through his pants, then I wriggle my hand inside. I tighten my grip and work him smoothly. He writhes under my touch.

I hold him close and rub my pussy against the bed. He thrusts into my fist. I cry out into his neck. I squeeze my arm against his chest and grind harder.

Omari gently lies my wet body onto the bedspread. He touches my face softly, then my lips. I take his hand in mine and kiss it. He undresses slowly for me. I touch myself as I watch him.

He teases my nipples with his tongue and brushes my stomach with his fingertips. I play with his hair, close my eyes, and smile for the first time in weeks. He tickles my clitoris with his nose and tastes me. The sheets are cool and damp underneath my skin.

I move my hips into his face and he pushes down on my pelvis. The pressure is intense. I moan and bring my thighs together. He forces them apart and digs his tongue in deeper. I put a pillow over my face to muffle my screams.

Omari comes up for air and I kiss him deeply. Our faces are slick. He enters me and we make love. I collapse into him. He trembles when he cums.

He curls against my back and holds me close. We’re too tired to clean up. I anxiously stare out the window, and my heart stops every time I see headlights. I feel like I have something to lose now.

“If I have to go through this,” Omari murmurs. “I’m glad it’s with you. And not just because I bet you could fuck a bitch up.”

I kiss the palm of his hand.

“Me too.”



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