Serenity Vol. 2 Going Under Part 9

The back of the limo they have Jillian driving’s outfitted with a lot of luxuries. A fridge with drinks, snacks, magazines. Jia’s annoyed there’s no liquor but with a pregnant woman being the target apparently it wasn’t deemed necessary. As she prepares to terrorize a pregnant woman though, she finds it pretty necessary.

A door opens and a woman who looks very pregnant plops inside, not even taking a moment to look first. She tosses her purse aside and is starting to buckle herself in before noticing she’s not alone. The doors lock and Jillian starts driving. She wanted to ask how she felt about doing this to someone in the same situation but was too afraid she’d get punched in the jaw as a result.

When the woman sees Jia sitting there her eyes go wide. She glances to the door but seeing them locked, she doesn’t make a move to escape. “What do you want?” She reaches into her purse and pulls a pack of cigarettes out. Grabbing one and stuffing it into her mouth, her hand shakes as she lifts a lighter to her face. “You see what you’re making me do? Blame yourself if my baby comes out with three arms or something.”

Snorting in the front, Jillian puts up the barrier between the front and back of the limo. Jia stares the woman down, unsure what she can use against her. She planned to threaten the baby but now she wonders how effective that’s going to be. “I’m here representing a group that would like your help.”

Blowing a cloud of smoke right at her, she narrows her eyes. “You’re with the Delux Gang.” Jia’s eyes go wide and the woman rolls her eyes. “Give me a little credit. There aren’t any others that want Rich dead that bad. What,” she says with a pause between words, “do, you, want?”

Closing her eyes, Jia takes a moment to wonder what sort of forgiveness she’ll need for what she’s about to do. Opening them again, she leans across the limo and snatches the cigarette from the woman’s mouth. She takes a single puff of it herself and then puts it out on the woman’s left leg, exposed under the shimmering silver dress she’s wearing. She lets out a yelp. “What the hell’s the matter with you? That hurts.”

“It’s supposed to. I’m not playing games with you. Figured we’d get that out of the way real quick.”

“I’m not even putting up a fight you slag.”

She presses a hand to the side of the woman’s face, pursing her lips and trying to look sympathetic. That lasts only a moment as she takes her hand away and slaps her as hard as she can manage across the face. “You’re not. Now you know not to. This can go a few different ways but there’s one you’re going to be a lot happier with. Are you ready to listen?”

The woman presses her hand to her slapped face, rubbing it. “I’ve been ready to listen since you got here. I’ve asked you twice what you want. Why don’t you stop wasting my time and say what you want? Slap me if I deserve it, but don’t do it for fun.”

Jia leans back in the limo, getting comfortable and trying to figure this woman out. “It’s really pretty simple. You don’t have to make anyone dead or anything like that.”

“Pity. I can think of a few people I’d like to.”

Fighting the urge to jump across the limo and slap the woman again, Jia says, “You’ll be on your own for that. We want you to be a spy in your boyfriend’s organization.”

“Done.”

Did she hear that right? She had a huge speech prepared about how it would keep her safe. As a backup plan she figured she’d slap her around a little more, keeping it to the face. She didn’t have a plan for if the woman went right along with her. “What do you mean done? We haven’t talked about reasons, details, compensation, anything like that.”

“I’m pretty sure we can work that out. I want a few things but I don’t think you’ll have a hard time getting them. More than that though, I want to stop Rich. Working with you can make that happen.”

“Why?”

“Does it matter?”

The woman reaches into her purse and starts to pull out another cigarette. Jia snatches this one before she can light it. “Ya, it matters. We need to know we can trust you. Someone this eager doesn’t seem trustworthy.”

With a sigh, the woman puts her hands on her stomach. “You have any idea how heavy this is to carry around? Not half as bad as it’s going to be carrying a baby around while constantly watching over my back for people like you in the shadows. I want out. I want to take my baby, move to the middle of nowhere and have the money to do it. I don’t want to worry about Rich over my shoulder. I gave him the chance to set me up with it before and he refused. Wants his boy with him. Asked him to leave with me and the baby, he refused. Loves what he does. I don’t have any other choices. I don’t have any money and I don’t have nowhere to go. You give me another option and I’m jumping on it.”

Staring her down, Jia realizes she got what she wanted without having to fight. “Fair enough then. You’re to listen for anything about missions against the Delux Gang or any other major players. Any big territory moves. Any other details you think we can use.” She takes a card from her pocket, a gift from Tommy. Passing it to the woman, she looks her straight in the eye. “That’s a direct line to me. It’s a burner phone but if I have to switch it out, I’ll find a way to get you the new one. You know something, you call it from an unknown phone. Either a burner, a pay phone, a land line that isn’t tied to you, something good. We’ll meet and you’ll pass any details on in person. Sound good?”

“Whatever.” She looks bored but she takes the card and slips it into her purse. “Drop me off down the road from my place. I noticed we’re moving that way. You know the place.”

They pull to the side of the road and for the first time since the woman got in the limo, they stop. She reaches for the door but it’s still locked. “Are you going to let me out? If I don’t get home soon people are going to get suspicious.”

Jia reaches out and puts her hand around the woman’s neck. “One last thing. If you betray us, we’ll find out. We have other sources. If it comes down to it, you won’t be the one to suffer, at least not at first. Your baby will suffer long before you do.”

Jillian unlocks the doors from up front. The woman glares at her but doesn’t say another word. She climbs out of the limo and slams the door behind her.

Slumping in her seat, Jia puts her hands over her face. She’s going to be a real joy to work with. Hopefully she won’t be here long enough to have to actually manage the woman. The glass divider between the front and back of the limo comes down and Jillian looks through with a grin on her face. “Welcome to the Delux Gang. This only gets harder from here.” She turns back around and soon the limo’s moving through the night again.

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