Home > Pulled Under (Walker Security #2)

Pulled Under (Walker Security #2)
Author: Lisa Renee Jones


Leather. Tattoos. Wine. Whiskey. Music. Women.

I left a world filled with those things ten years ago, and did so tattooed, fucked in the head, and with a vow to never return. And yet here I am, behind the bar of one of New York City’s dive bars, AC/DC’s Back in Black blasting through the speakers, handing a dude with long hair, tats, and more eyeliner on than the blonde chick with him, a beer. He grabs the bottle, tips me a whole two-fucking-dollars, and leaves. His chick however, does not. She lingers a few beats, casts me a glance with her bedroom eyes, the kind filled with an invitation that says: Get me naked in the back room right now. As far as I’m concerned, any chick banging a dude with eyeliner isn’t getting a piece of this.

I motion her onward. She glowers and turns away, attaching her arm to that of eyeliner dude’s, leaving me with only one question: How the fuck a chick who gets off on that guy, gets off on me? I mean yeah, sure, I’m inked, and my blond hair is on the long side, but those are holdovers from deep cover special ops. And the only damn make-up I wear is the kind I’ve kissed off some hot chick’s mouth right before I kiss her everywhere beyond as well.

I toss the money into the tip jar for whatever poor soul that ain’t me who needs two bucks to help them survive New York City. I’m not that guy, literally or figuratively, nor am I a victim or a fool, all of which I can thank the hard lessons this shitty lifestyle taught me. Though at the moment it’s not quite as shitty, considering one of the staff’s female members is dancing on top of the bar a little to my right, in shorts that barely cover her fine ass. But then, a fine ass is not why I’m here, any more than the music. I’m here to give a mother and father the justice they deserve over a daughter gone too soon, along with three other look-a-like young women, all dead after visiting bars like this. All dead after doing some cocktail of a drug that no one else seems to be dying from.

My motivation to give the parents peace, and catch what might be a serial killer, is the only reason I let my boss talk me into this hellhole in the first place. I scan the dimly lit area, surveying the bars left and right that frame the warehouse-style room, both with neon blue skulls over the top that match the one behind me. In between them are double doors that lead to the stage and seating, which are shut now, set to open soon.

Two young guys stop in front of the bar, snickering as they order drinks with dirty names, amused in a way I hope like hell I was never amused by such things. I pour the mixtures and slide glasses in front of them. “Two buttery nipples,” I say, leaning forward, to shout over the music, and add, “Come back when you have the real thing and the drinks are on me.”

They curse at me and this time I don’t even get two dollars for a tip. In a highly appropriate moment, the music shifts to Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” and now I actually am amused. I bark out laughter, while my gaze catches on the entryway to the lower level of the two-level building, and my target, the guy my team at Walker Security believes is the guy we’re after, walks in the door. “Ju-Ju,” he calls himself, a nickname for drug dealer in his mind, and in mine: stupid fucking idiot, and perhaps, a killer. In which case, I’d like to nickname him “Dead,” but the law says I’ll just have to call him “Arrested,” instead. In times like these, I miss those Navy SEAL days, when I dealt with shitheads like him in jungles, deserts, and dark caves, and was even ordered to do so.

Ju-Ju gives me a two-finger wave, his one-tat sleeve accented with black jeans and a white T-shirt not so unlike what I’m wearing. I chose my get-up to blend with the crowd and I’d bet my new BMW that the same applies to him. He’s stupid, but he’s not dumb, and anyone who doesn’t understand that stupid is a mentality, and dumb is just plain dumb, is lucky. They haven’t met someone like Ju-Ju. I have, too many times.

I pour him what I already know to be his usual: whiskey Sour, a short pour, and plenty of lemon. It would be a simple drink if not for the high-end whiskey he favors, combined with the short pour that tells me he needs a level head and he won’t waste an expensive whiskey. That level head he maintains is about that stupid business of selling drugs. He motions to the women with him to sit down on a love seat, and heads in my direction.

I serve a customer, and by the time I’m done, he’s standing in front of me, slapping a hundred on the bar. “For you,” he says, shoving the bill in my direction before sipping his drink, and doing so a little too properly to match his spiky black hair and tattooed-up neck. This isn’t where he’s from. It’s where he burrows.

I grab the bill and shove it into the tip jar. He frowns. “That’s for you.”

“Community tip jar,” I say.

“No one else is on duty.”

“New guy is starting tonight.”

He leans closer. “Let’s talk after the bar closes. Meet me.”

“Sorry, man. Unless you get a whole lot prettier, which is doubtful, you aren’t my type.”

He laughs. “You’re a funny man. I’m going help you make some cash. Take a break before the club closes. We’ll talk.” He motions behind me. “Bring something the girls will like.” He slides another hundred on the bar. “The extra is a gift, not a tip. Keep it.” He walks away.

Bingo.

I’m in.

And the father of Lily Waters might just get the justice the police haven’t delivered. The man deserves that justice, and then some. His kid was eighteen and on her way to Yale when she died, poisoned on a night friends say she just wanted to watch a band play at a similar club. Which was the same story for every girl now dead and buried, all with the same drug in their systems, laced with poison. A drug that I’ve determined that only Ju-Ju sells, and since he’s favoring this club now, I’m favoring this club now.

Aiming to satisfy his women where I doubt he can, I make two chocolate martinis in between filling three orders before I deliver the drinks to Ju-Ju and his “girls.” I don’t look at them. I barely look at him. I’m hard to get like that. I turn away from them, which is when I find Riley, the grumpy old ex-rocker who runs this place, standing behind my bar with some new dancer chick next to him. She’s brunette, with long hair, a slender frame, and big breasts. I’m guessing I’ll round the bar to find short shorts, and an ass that will make me stand at attention. Hey. I deserve it. I’ve just broken through with Ju-Ju.

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