I blinked awake and found myself laying in the backseat of a car, my head on Lucy's lap. Nick was kneeling on the opposite end of the seat, his head and shoulders hanging out the car window like he was a dog or something. I felt groggy, sluggish, and dizzy. "What's... where...?" The last thing I could remember was Marisol, descending on me like Ursula the Sea Witch.
"Shhh," Lucy whispered, and she brought the edge of her skirt to my forehead. A searing pain went through my body.
"Owwww," I wailed, moving to clutch at it. I felt like Harry Potter when Voldemort was near. "Owwww! Stop!"
"You're bleeding," she said impatiently, "I need to sop it up."
Great, I was gonna have the damn scar, too.
I wiggled, trying to get away from her, and she protested, and we started arguing and Nick turned, "Will you both shut the fuck up?" he demanded in a growl, "God, isn't it enough you gotta play tonsil hockey, not to mention act like a freakin' old married couple..."
I was about to ask what he meant about tonsil hockey when a sudden erruption of gunfire made him start and turn back to the window. I noticed he had his gun out and he started firing back.
"Oh Lord," I groaned, trying to sit up, "What's happening?"
"Nothing you need to worry about as long as your head's bleeding," Lucy snapped. She pushed me back down into her lap.
The push sent a memory spiraling through my head. Marisol's well-aimed kick, the wind knocking out of me... "Bullshit, he was here just yesterday!"
"Nick!" I shouted, "Nick, AJ's alive!"
"Shut the fuck up Brian," Nick snapped, concentrating on his aim as more gunfire sounded around the car. Clinking told me that they were hitting the back bumper. It smelled like urine and I turned and realized the driver was some random Brazilian guy and it was a cab.
"No, Nick, Marisol ---"
"--- is fucking shooting at us with a machine gun, okay? I'm trying to concentrate," Nick interrupted me. He hung out the window.
I looked at Lucy. "Luce, you gotta listen to me, AJ's alive, he's alive, he's in London."
Lucy raised an eyebrow, "You can tell us that when we get to the airport."
"What if I die on the way over?" I begged. It was true I still felt dizzy. What if I was bleeding out?
Lucy smirked. "You're not gonna die from a concussion," she assured me.
"If you two love birds don't shut the fuck up I swear to God ---" Nick snapped.
"Love birds?" I demanded.
Lucy turned pink. "He's still pissed about the kiss."
"KISS?" I demanded, my eyes widening, my heartbeat rising, "What kiss?"
"In the alley..." Lucy whispered.
Nick ducked into the cab as a harsh, too-close-for-comfort round of shots sounded outside. "Yeah, Bri, the one where all we were missin' was a radio active spider and you would've been Peter fuckin Parker. That kiss."
A flash of a dream went through my head... a dream where I was kissing Leighanne. Hanging upside down in an alley way, kissing Leighanne. But the longer I thought about it, the more Leighanne's features contorted as the dream became a memory. I clapped my hands over my mouth.
"Oh my Lord in Heaven," I gasped, "I'm an adulterer!"
"She looks mad."
I turned around and stared through the glass window. Lucy was standing there, arms crossed, staring at the brown stained wall.
"Well, call me crazy," I said dryly. "But I don't think girls appreciate when the guy that just kissed them like he hadn't gotten laid in years screams out that he wasn't of right mind, prays for forgiveness, and," I paused, saving the best for last. "rubs his tongue with his palm like that's going to erase some imaginary evidence."
Bri winced. The dark-skinned Latino who was of questionable origin concerning a medical license grabbed a pair of scissors and finished up the stitches. He stared at me and I handed over a wad of cash that made him smile ear-to-ear.
"He doesn't have a concussion, right?" I asked the guy.
"Will I have a scar?" Brian asked.
The guy was stroking the money like it was a Zhu Zhu pet.
"Do you speak English?" I asked.
Brian looked panicked. I leaned closer and stared at the stitches. "They look good," I offered.
"I need to call LeighLeigh."
The part of me that was still raging with jealousy and anger wanted to agree with him. I wanted him to get yelled at and I figured the best person to do that would be his wife. On the other hand, we still had a mission to do.
"Not yet. What were you saying about AJ?"
Bri looked confused for a moment. "AJ?" His eyes lit with understanding. "Marisol told me he's in London."
Our confrontation with Marisol had ended when our smelly, yet talented cab driver, had hooked a tight corner. We flew on two wheels for several seconds before righting and continuing at breakneck speed. Meanwhile, Marisol's car had misjudged the turn radius and connected with a tree. We didn't hang around to see if anyone was dead. By that time, I had an internal lovers' quarrel on my hands inside our own car.
"So he's alive?"
"She made it sound like it," Bri said. He touched his head and winced again. "She was like Medusa. Even when she knew I wasn't AJ I just couldn't move. Then something happened to the building--"
"I set off dynamite," I said.
"What? I could have been killed!"
"Instead you got a kiss," I scowled. I stepped towards the door.
"I didn't want a kiss," Bri complained. He was almost whining. "She's...not my type."
I stopped and looked out the window again. Lucy was playing with the tip of her ponytail. Her dress had a huge rip in it, showing a sizeable chunk of ivory waist.
"What's wrong with her?"
"Nothing!" Bri said. "It's just I go for a different...look."
As if she sensed he was talking about her, Lucy turned and glared at both of us. I took her all in.
"Yeah, pretty much."
"That's cause you like the fake ones."
"LeighLeigh doesn't have...fake ones," Bri said. I snorted.
Before I could answer, Lucy yanked open the door.
"Are you two sorry excuses for fake cops ready? We have a problem."
She glanced back out in the hall. "Not that I care, but..."
"I just heard a female's voice asking some questions out at the front desk in rapid-fire Spanish," Lucy paused. "It's either Tits-Magee or that Airport Cop." Lucy glanced at Brian. I could see the hurt in her eyes. I felt the innate need to make it better.
"If you're willing," I said softly. "We're going to need you as a decoy one more time."
"I think London's going to be our last stop. And I promise I'll make it worth your while."