I woke that morning to the sound of Royce screaming at someone across the hall. I cussed and threw my head under my pillow, trying to block out the sound. Of course, my wonderful boyfriend insisted on continuing to break my ear drums. I groaned and sat up, running my hand through my tangled blond hair before turning to glance at the alarm clock next to my bed. What I saw made my therapist bill go up a few bucks. I stormed out of bed, walking across the hall to Royce's room. I started banging on the door rapidly with my fist, a look of utter rage on my face.
Royce swung the door open as I was bringing my fist down, causing me to punch him in the face. I gasped in horror, watching as he threw his hands up to cover his face. "Are you alright?" I asked breathlessly, my mouth wide in horror.
Royce laughed, putting his hands down. "As if you could hurt me, Rose."
I narrowed my eyes slightly, the words insulting me. But there was nothing I could do about it. I was utterly smitten with Royce. Well, half Royce, half the large sum his family has. I mean, it's never bad to have a few greens, is it? And I mean, now I have a man who can afford to buy me fancy things. I mean, 600$ a week for my pleasure isn't too bad. That thought brought me back to the matter at hand. I glared at Royce. "Now, please, tell me who you are screaming at when it is 6:00 in the fing morning!"
Royce laughed at my reluctance to cuss. "Calm down, Rosie. It's just Alec." I looked past my charming boyfriend to see Alec sitting in one of the chairs. He looked sheepish, and gave me a little wave. I gave him a sarcastic smile, my hands on my hips.
Royce sighed. "Look, Rose, if it bugs you, than move down the hall! I have to run this gang – after all, Father has a low chance of surviving the illness" Royce seemed unaffected that his father could die from cancer.
I groaned, throwing my hands up into tha air. "There aren't any open rooms, you know that!"
Royce sighed. "Look. I'm sorry for waking you up. Now you can go to work early."
I glared at him before reaching the knob from behind him and slamming the door in his face. I sighed dramatically, knowing he could hear me, before walking into my room. I quickly threw on a white button down, stained with oil and grease, along with a pair of skinny jeans flared around the ankles. They were my own design, put into the market by one of my friends, Tanya Denali. She had recently come into the fashion design business, and had asked me to help out with the first line. I had also modeled it for her. I ran a brush through my hair with amazing speed, before throwing on a pair of brown leather boots with 2 inch heels. I was the only mechanic in New York who worked in high heels. Probably why I got so much business from the guys.
I grabbed my tool belt from it's honored spot on the back of my door and snatched my purse from the floor, before waltzing gracefully out of my door. Royce had resumed shouting at poor Alec, and I groaned, walking through the shabby one floor building I call home.
Well, actually, it's not home. It's headquarters for The Greenbacks, the oh-so-wonderful gang belonging to my boyfriend's dad. As you've heard, he has a severe case of lung cancer, probably from his horrid habit of smoking cigars rolled in fake one dollar bills. He is in no state to care for the gang, so Royce has taken over. Royce was an interesting man. When he's sober, he's sweeter then sweet, showering me with gifts. But when he is drunk, he turns on me, beating me. He's drunk more often than not. I had started getting out of this place as often and as long as I could, eventually buying a mechanic's shop from an old man who wanted to retire. I'd always been good with cars, and making a living off of it was a dream come true.
I sighed and sat down in my car, a red convertible that I had bought with my own cash a few months ago. It was still in pristine condition, the leather seats shining like they were new. I grinned and slipped the key into the ignition, sighing happily as I felt the rumble of the engine beneath my feet. I pulled out of the lot slowly, making sure that none of the idiot gang members were driving behind me, before swinging into the highway that lined headquarters. I laughed and pulled out my sunglasses from my purse, slipping them down over my eyes. The wind blew my hair back, whipping strands around my face.
I reached out to the radio, turning up the volume. Driving was my favorite part of the day, as I was able to get away from Royce and his horrid habits. I also was totally in love with my car, so that helped a bit.
I pulled into the lot at my store around 6:30, smiling at the red, revolving sign in front of me. It showed a rose, laid on it's side, with the words "Rose's Mechanics" tracing the stem in black lettering. I had built it myself, the sign actually being the side of the back of a red pickup. I parked the car in my favorite spot in front of the door before fishing my keys from the uncharted depths of my purse.
I unlocked the front door, pushing open the smooth, glass surface. The little bell I'd hooked onto the door jingled as I walked into the dark shop, flicking on the lights. I breathed in the smell of oil from the back, mixed with the scent of the air freshener I kept plugged in behind the desk. I plunked my things down on the front desk before walking into my office.
The walls were painted a deep red, with a plush white carpeting underfoot. A softly humming computer sat on a cherry word desk, a large black leather office chair behind it. A few papers were stacked precisely in one corner, a box of beauty products to the right of my computer keyboard. A small coffee machine was sleeping in the back, next to a mini fridge stocked with fruit, a jug of martini mix, and a few protein shakes. I smiled as I got myself a cup of coffee from the fridge, popping it into the microwave above it. I had decked out the place with some of Royce's money. I was pretty sure he wouldn't notice a few hundred missing dollars. But if he did, that taught him to write his bank account number on the inside of his shoes.
I sat down in my chair, placing the steaming mug on a glass coaster to my right. I clicked the mouse on the dormant computer, watching as the screen sprung to life. I quickly logged into my email and poked around for a little, checking to see if anyone had emailed me ahead of time for a job. Once that was done, I opened a new tab and logged into Royce's email, another thing he shouldn't keep the password where I can find – this time, on the back of his computer. Really, Royce?
What I found in his trash was very interesting. Apparently a large group of boys he had hired all the way from Washington had failed to bring in two prisoners he had asked for, with three of their men missing, presumed dead. The prisoners were informants of a rival gang apparently, The Bloods. Scanning the email further, I noticed that Alec Volturi had been the one to recommend these men to Royce. Probably why he was getting screeched at this morning.
I couldn't keep my eyebrows from rising at the last sentence – Royce, it read. This is your last chance. You must capture either an informant or a hit team member – and you'd better do it fast. Or else. –H
I frowned. Who was H? And who did he think he was threatening Royce? The only one who threatened Royce and got away with it was me, and even then I only did it when I had to. You never knew where you stood with Royce.
I shrugged. Thinking about this would probably only age me a few years, and God only knows that I didn't need that. I clicked open Rose's Mechanic's website, flipping through new orders or questions. One of these almost sent me off my chair in laughter.
Do you repair cars? It said, an anonymous question.
I clicked on the reply box, typing back. Of course I do! Any car, any size, any brand, I can do it! With customers, you had to be nice. Always. I was about to return to my email when a reply to my reply popped up.
Good. Because a very special car might just be waiting for you soon. Would you like to see?
I sighed. God, I hated these stupid teenagers, pulling tricks on me. But for some reason, I replied. Sure.
Another bubble appeared underneath it, this one with a blue paperclip in the top right corner. The bubble itself was empty. I clicked on the paperclip, taking another sip of coffee as it loaded. A large white square pulled up on my screen, a little blue loading bar in the bottom right corner. I drummed my fingers on my desk, impatient. It finally started to show up, starting at the top. At first all I saw was the tips of a few trees, and the sky. As it scrolled down, I saw a building, and the top of a black car. By the time it was finished, it showed a black Hummer, sitting in a lot.
I raised my eyebrows and typed a question mark in the reply box. As it sent, I checked the time – 7:30. I cussed and stood up, walking into the front room. I opened in 30 minutes and nothing was ready yet. Maybe if I'd stayed, I would've seen the next message in time. But I didn't, and so I went to work.
I walked into the 3 car workstation, adjoined to the front room by a small wooden door in the back of my office. I switched on the light, watching as the electricity bathed the place in light. I walked over to the first car stand, bringing it up by turning the wheel. I then repeated that on all of the stands, before checking my inventory of gas and oil. It was 10:00 by the time I had my first customer, and even then it didn't really matter. She was annoying, insulting me at every turn. I just gritted my teeth and fixed the dent in the side of her car, although I was tempted to leave it there, along with what I thought of her. But I didn't, and took the payment without a word.
The rest of the day was slow. I got a few calls from soon-to-be costumers, asking for prices and times. I spent most of my day surfing the web, listening to the radio, and sifting through Royce and I's email. I had closed the tab that held my website.
Too soon it was 7, the sun setting behind the trees and roofs of shops. I sighed and packed up, shutting off the lights. I'd made a measly $150 dollars that day, which wouldn't be enough for Royce. I was sure to get hurt tonight.
It wasn't fair, that. I made more money in a day then Royce made in a whole week. Yet unless I was over the 4 digit mark, he wasn't satisfied. I only went over on my busiest days, and being a gang girl, there was no one who would dare take my side unless it was another gang member.
I sighed and shut off my computer, setting the alarms from my office. After emptying the safe I walked out, locking the doors from the outside. Settling into my car, I drove away slowly, looking longingly at the glowing sign as it faded into the distance.
Too early I pulled into the gang's parking lot. I took a while before I got out, waiting for the song on the radio to end. Then my favorite song came on, and I had to sit and sing. My mom had always told me that I had a good voice, but I didn't trust her. Yet singing was my passion. I sang along softly to the words of "If You Only Knew" by Shinedown, sitting in my still humming car. The night wind blew my hair back into my face, but I didn't care. This was the only time I could be myself.
Too early the song ended, the station going onto commercials. I sighed and pulled my key from the ignition, grabbing my bags and walking into the parking lot. My boots clicked on the pavement as I walked swiftly towards the light, my bag thudding against my hip. Too soon I was at the door, too soon was Royce standing in my face, the scent of alcohol coming of him in waves.
"Hey Roseh," he slurred. "How was work?"
"Good." I tried to push past him, but he wrapped his arms around me.
"Come on, Roseh. Shure yeh don't wanna leave me." Royce broke into a dopy grin.
I sighed and pushed away. "Stop this, Royce. I have to go to my room."
Royce pouted but let me pass. He must not be very drunk yet tonight. I walked as fast I could to my room, trying not to break a heel while trying to get away from Royce as fast as I could. I raced into my room as soon as I reached the door, slamming it shut and locking it behind me. I fell onto my bed and drew in a shuddery breath, closing my eyes.
Images of the mysterious car floated behind my closed lids, before morphing into and image of my father. I rolled over on my gut, mumbling to myself. In the middle of my rantings I fell fast asleep.