Click here for previous "Royce."
"Apply pressure, damn it!" Anne screamed at Royce. She was driving her Oldsmobile at a dangerous speed as Lady bled to death in the back seat. Oberon had shot Lady in the back during a meeting in which Oberon threw a bag of cocaine in her face. Lady in turn pulled a blade and slashed Oberon across the chest. "Are we near the hospital?" Anne asked Royce. "This is not the time to be silent!" she screamed.
Royce removed his tie and attempted to soak up the blood pouring out of Lady's back. He climbed into the front passenger seat and stomped on the brake. The car screeched to a halt.
He looked at Anne and she climbed out of the car as he slid into the drivers seat. Anne jumped into the back seat and cradled Lady. Royce sped the car in reverse and turned down an alley.
"Where are you going? This is not the way!" Anne shouted. "Where are you taking her?" Royce looked at Anne in the rear view and continued driving well over 110mph. "It's going to be alright, kid. You'll see. We will take care of you. You will not die", she said as she pat Lady on the head. Lady coughed and blood sprayed the back of Royce's head and part of the windshield. Royce sighed and wiped the blood with his hands.
"I fucked up, didn't I?" Lady asked Anne. "But I have been clean for so long now and..." she trailed off as her eyes rolled behind her head. Anne shouted and began to wail. Royce looked back at her and rolled his eyes.
"Royce, we have to get her to a doctor RIGHT NOW!!!" Anne hollered in Royce's ear. Royce continued to ignore her and pulled into his driveway. "Why are we at your apartment, Royce?" she asked. Royce slid out of the car and opened the back door. He threw Lady over his shoulder and went into the house. Anne's cell phone rang. "Hello?"
"That was an interesting dinner", Albany said.
"I don't have time for your shit right now, brother!" Anne shouted. "That giant freak will pay for what he did to Lady, I swear to God!"
"Of course. I will make sure he is notified. I shall punish him if that would please you" Albany said.
"I want him dead!" Anne said.
"Well, that will not be happening, I can assure you of that", replied Albany. "But I will dock him a weeks pay. That should make us just about even." In the background Oberon could be heard cursing. "Calm down."
"Blood, Albany" Anne said. "I demand payment in blood." She turned her phone off and followed Royce inside. "Royce, please tell me what you're doing."
Royce dropped Lady on the couch. Her skin was turning gray and she was barely breathing. Anne went into Royce's bedroom and grabbed his blanket off the bed. Just as she threw it towards Lady Royce snatched it out of the air and went back to his room and slowly re-made his bed.
He came back to Lady with another blanket and rolled Lady over to her stomach.
Royce unfolded a leather satchel and took a pair of pliers and some large tweezers out. He took some vodka from a cup and splashed it on Lady's wound. She awoke immediately screaming. Royce forearmed her in the back of the head and she was out cold. He tore her shirt off and began digging into her wound.
"Do you know what you're doing?" Anne asked him. Royce continued working in the wound. He dabbed at the wound with the blanket and fished inside her back until he pulled out the metal slug. "Thank God!" Anne screamed. Suddenly blood spurted out of Lady's back and she awoke again. Royce punched her in the back of the head, knocking her out once again. "Is she going to be okay? I still think we need to take her to the hospital."
Royce went to the restroom to clean himself up. He returned with a towel and placed it on Lady's back. Anne began pacing the apartment. Royce sat down and pulled a small, black comb from his pocket. He slowly slicked his hair back. Anne stopped pacing and looked at him.
"What are we going to do about our brother?" Anne asked. "I can't let him get away with this bullshit." Royce placed his comb back into his pocket and stood. He slowly rose and walked over to Anne. He placed his hands on her shoulders and sighed.
"I understand, baby brother. How many bullets do you think we'll need?"
"What up, playa?" Oberon said to Royce. "Ya brother thinks I could learn a thing or two from ya. I think it's the other way 'round. See when you were new to this game cars had them cranks on 'em. Ya'll had to put bullets in the barrel with a stick. Ya fell me?"
Royce just sighed and started the engine. Oberon was asked by Albany to accompany Royce on at least three jobs to study his technique. Anne disagreed with Albany. She felt that Oberon would instigate a fight with Royce as an attempt to start "The War." Oberon poked around the car before his eyes settled on Royce's glove compartment.
"Whatever you do, do NOT open his glove box!" Albany told Oberon before Royce arrived. "I have absolutely no idea what he has in there but he has beaten, maimed, and shot people for even looking at it."
"Well, shit, man. Now I really wanna dig up in it!" Oberon replied.
"Please, Oberon. Whatever he does to you for that infraction I will not defend you" Albany said. "I would send Djinn with you to make sure you behaved but he has been in one of his moods."
"I saw. I was close to checkin' his room for tampons. Nigga needs to get his shit together. He told me a little bit 'bout how ya'll met" Oberon said.
"Ah, yes. That was quite a day. He tell you about the murders he committed?" Albany asked.
"Yeah. Sumthin' 'bout them killing his family and killin' em with a knife. Forty of em of something?" Oberon asked.
"Is that what he told you?" Albany asked while chuckling. "Wonder where he got the number forty from. No. It was seventy-five. And he did not use a knife as he says."
"What he use?" Oberon asked. "A gun?"
"His bare hands" Albany replied.
"Bullshit!" Oberon exclaimed. "That is fuckin' impossible."
"Nothing is impossible with the...right motivation" Albany said.
Oberon looked at the glove compartment and licked his lips. He wanted to see what Royce would do. He looked at him from the corner of his eyes. He could see Royce staring at the road intently. It did not appear that he had a gun nearby but Oberon knew better than that. He swears he once saw Royce pull a gun out of thin air once.
One second he was at gunpoint and the next three men lay on the ground dead. So his hesitance was not fear. It was wonder. He quickly reached for the handle to the glove compartment and felt something sharp at his neck.
"I was just fuckin' with you, man", Oberon said. He tried to see what Royce had at his throat. It felt very thin and small. "I just wanted to see what you would do. I heard about people fuckin' with your glove box and wanted to see what you would do." Oberon felt his collar getting wet. "Fuck, man! This shirt cost more than this piece of shit car, man!" Oberon shouted. "Now drop that shit and let's settle this like men, my nigga! Pull the fuck over and let's squabble! Are you scared, ya Chris Cooper lookin' muthafucka?"
Royce slammed on the breaks, jumped out of the car, and ran over to Oberon's door. Oberon tried to hold it shut, gripping the handle until his fingers hurt. Royce yanked it open and Oberon fell on his knees. He looked down at his pants. They had torn at the knees when he had fallen.
"You sumbitch! These pants cost more than your house!" he shouted. Traffic had come to a dead halt. Royce had stopped the car on La Cienega and Beverly Blvd. Oberon took his jacket off and cracked his knuckles. Royce just sighed and took a step forward. Oberon threw a right hook, connecting with Royce's jaw. By this point people were out of their cars watching the fight.
"Leave him alone!" a woman shouted. "He's an old man, you thug!"
"Fuck you, bitch!" Oberon said as he threw a left forearm into the side of Royce's head. "This bastard cut my neck!" Oberon attempted to knee Royce in the ribs. Royce caught it and swept his under leg underneath him. Oberon went down hard. As he tried to scramble back to his feet Royce kicked him in the shoulder. Oberon grunted and grabbed Royce's foot as it came at his face. He twisted it and Royce spun with it using his free foot to kick Oberon in the cheek. "You fight dirty, grandpa!" Oberon said as Royce took a step back to allow Oberon to his feet.
"I don't need your mercy, bitch" Oberon said. He threw a straight right and Royce caught his arm at the elbow as it passed his head. Royce brought his elbow down on Oberon's bicep while kicking him behind the knee. As Oberon went down Royce grabbed his collar and drove his forehead into Oberon's nose.
Oberon growled as Royce released him. He held his nose and spat blood. "If this shit is broken I am gonna kill you!" he said as he got back to his feet.
Royce took a step back and fished in his pocket. Oberon grabbed his gun and fired two shots. The crowd ran and Royce did not flinch. Oberon, as Djinn mentioned, was not known for his great aim. Royce pulled a cigarette from his pocket and lit it.
"You think this a game?!" Oberon screamed as he ran at Royce. Royce inhaled and spun as Oberon threw a wide left. Royce punched him in the small of his back and Oberon crumpled. He dropped his gun and gasped for air. "What...the fuck you do to me?" he asked as his legs twitched.
Royce walked over to Oberon and rolled him to his back. Oberon's eyes were wide with fear. His breathing was ragged. Royce slapped him across the face hard enough to make many watching wince. He took Oberon's cell phone out of his pocket and dialed Albany's number. Oberon gasped and coughed up blood. Albany answered on the first ring.
"Yes, Oberon. Hello? I hear you. Say something" Albany said as the phone lay next to Oberon's ear. Oberon could barely get enough air into his lungs to breathe, let alone reply to his boss. "What is happening with you two? Answer me!" Albany sighed. "Did you try to open his glove box?"
Royce drove off leaving Oberon in the middle of the street.