“Where were you?” Charleston asked. “I tried to call the room, but you never answered.”
“I was on my way here,” Jason replied tersely. “You were taking too long. I figured you needed some help.”
Charleston slumped in his chair. “I didn’t need no help. I caught her all by myself. It’ll be easier to get the money outta her account if she’s with us, won’t it?”
Jason smirked. “It sure will.”
“But I told you, Charleston, I don’t have anything in my bank account to give you.” Katrina said.
Jason snorted. “And you lied to him, like you always have. I know you got the money, and I don’t want to hear any different,” he said, waving the gun threateningly in her direction.
“So what happens now?” Gavin asked, speaking for the first time since Jason’s sudden appearance.
Jason chuckled. The sound make Katrina shiver. If she had thought Charleston was filled with evil, Jason made Charleston look like a fluffy little bunny rabbit.
“We all sit here,” Jason said, “until morning when I will take Katrina to the bank. She will empty her bank account and sign over her car and home to me. We can use the notary at the bank. Charleston will wait here with the gun pointed at you, mister lawyer-man.”
He turned his head to look at her. “If I call him, Katrina, and tell him you haven’t cooperated with me in every small particular detail, he will shoot your pretty little lover right between his pretty brown eyes.”
“He’s not my lover,” Katrina said, “and I don’t own this house. I rent. I can sign over my rattletrap of a car and close my bank account, but there’s only a couple of thousand dollars in it.”
Jason got up and walked across the room, touching the muzzle of the gun to the tip of her nose. Katrina sat absolutely still, closing her eyes. If the end was coming, she didn’t want to see it on its way.
“I thought I told you, little slut, that I didn’t want to hear any more lies about not having Andrew’s money. Didn’t you hear me tell you that?”
Katrina swallowed, though it was hard to find any spit in her mouth. She tried to say ‘yes’ but a hoarse whisper was all that emerged from between her parched lips.
“Then I advise you that if you can’t be honest, you’d better shut up…that is, if you want to live long enough to go to the bank with me. Do you?” Jason moved the gun from her nose and slid the barrel along her jaw, almost in a caressing manner.
Katrina whispered ‘yes’ again, misery filling every pore of her body,
Jason suddenly whirled toward Gavin. “Give me your wallet,” he demanded, “I’m hungry, and you’re going to pay for dinner.”
Gavin looked at Jason just a moment, then shifted his weight, fishing his wallet from his back pocket and silently handing it over.
Jason opened it, flicking through the contents. “No cash?” He shrugged. “Oh, well, plastic will work.” He turned to Katrina. “Is there an all-night pizza joint in this town?”
She looked at him, helpless, then shrugged. “I don’t know, I’ve never ordered pizza in.”
Jason turned to Charleston. “What kind of a brainless idiot did you marry?. She doesn’t even know how to order in pizza.” He turned back to Katrina. “We’ll find out about the pizza. Where’s your computer? The internet’s the best way to order pizza.”
Katrina dropped her eyes to the floor. “I…I don’t have a computer.”
“What? What kind of an illiterate lump has no computer? How can you possibly survive without the Internet?”
Charleston got up and moved toward the phone nook. “I thought I saw a phone book in here. We can look it up the old-fashioned way.” He picked up the book and brought it over toward his chair.
“Find an all-night pizza place,” Jason ordered as Charleston turned the pages. He bent over Charleston’s shoulder, his lips moving slightly as he read the entries.
“I’m surprised they can read well enough to work the phone book,” Gavin muttered. Katrina suppressed a sudden, nervous giggle, but was glad neither brother heard him.
Finally the brothers agreed on a place, and made the phone call, ordering two large pizzas with everything on them, giving Gavin’s name and credit card number. Jason hung up the phone and threw himself back into his chair, then looked around the living room.
“You keep the TV in your bedroom, slut? We could watch a little TV while we wait for the pizza.”
“I…don’t have a television, either.” Katrina’s voice was low and she blushed, embarrassed at her lack of technological possessions. “There’s the radio…”
“Screw the radio,” Jason growled.
Charleston chuckled. “I’d like to see you try.”
Ignoring his brother, Jason looked at Gavin. “When the pizza gets here, you answer the door. I’ll go with you. Sign the paper to pay for it. If you say a word, even one word, to the delivery boy, Charleston shoots Katrina. Understand?”
Gavin looked at Jason a lengthy moment before he nodded slowly.
It was a long wait for the pizza, the four people in the room sitting, staring at each other, not moving.
After nearly an hour, a car pulled into the driveway and the door slammed. Jason motioned to Gavin, and he rose from the couch.
‘Noooo!’, Katrina thought. ‘Don’t leave me alone in here with Charleston!’
Jason handed Charleston the gun. Charleston stood and walked over to where Katrina sat, holding the gun so it pointed directly at her heart.
Gavin walked slowly toward the door, Jason so close behind him Katrina was amazed he didn’t step on Gavin’s heels.
Katrina heard the door open, then a long silent pause. Suddenly there was a grunt and then silence.
“Jason?” Charleston asked, his voice a little quavery.
“Come help me with this lump,” a hoarse whisper came from the doorway.
Charleston turned cautiously toward the doorway, his gun outstretched before him.
Katrina, translating thought into action, grabbed the lamp on the end table next to her with her good hand, and, as Charleston took a step toward the door, hit him in the head with the base of the lamp. It connected with a solid thump and Charleston collapsed in a heap, blood pouring from the back of his head.