Mess Us Up – Jaxson Kidman



Les stands next to me.

I lean against the open garage door.

The day is about to become night.

We have about an hour before the sun will start to set.

I have a lot to do before that time.

Then again, in my life, when the sun goes down, things get even busier.

“It’ll be okay, bro,” Les says to me.

I look at him.

I don’t say anything. I don’t nod.

I don’t agree. I don’t disagree.

In fact, I can’t stand the fact that Les even would say something like that to me.

Who the fuck needs to hear that?

Not with everything going on.

I take the last drag of my cigarette and flick it out of the garage.

I turn and walk through the warehouse toward the door where everyone is sitting at the table.

Waiting for me.

I still have to keep control of my crew.

There’s still life to live.

Business to handle.

No matter how fucked up things get, I can’t let this slip. Not for a second. Not one inch.

Trust me, you don’t want to know what the other side of it looks like.

I open the door and Taz is arm wrestling Aric.

They’re leaning over the table toward each other.

Their faces are bright red.

Their arms flexed tight.

“Give up, motherfucker,” Taz growls.

“Fuck yourself, Taz,” Aric says.

“Come on, bro,” Raf yells to Aric. “Here’s another fifty on it… let’s go.”

“Fuck that,” Ado said. “I’ll match it. And add another.”

Ado puts two fifty dollar bills on the table.

I look back at Les.

He shrugs his shoulders.

The match wears on.

The only way someone will win is when the other gets too tired.

But these guys are crazy.

They won’t stop.

I walk to the table as Ado is literally hooting.

Like a growling owl.

He starts jumping on his toes like he’s in some nightclub after a few drinks, thinking he can dance.

I grab Ado’s shirt and he stops.

He shows his hands.

I let him go.

Then I put my hand to Taz and Aric’s hands.

“How we doing here?” I ask.

“Waiting for this pussy to give up,” Taz says.

“Never,” Aric says. “You’re fucking afraid of me, Taz.”

“You have some good hand strength,” Taz says. “All those hours of jerking off are paying off.”

“Whatever it takes,” Aric says.

I look at Taz.

I look at Aric.

I look forward.

I pull at Taz’s hand and give him the win.

Raf slaps the table. “Fuck! I just lost two hundred fucking dollars.”

“He cheated!” Aric yells. “Fucking Mac helped!”

My right hand grabs Aric’s shirt.

I pull him nose to nose.

“Fuck,” he whispers. “Sorry, Mac. I got out of hand there.”

“You think?” I ask.

I let Aric go and I swipe my hand to the table and scoop up all the cash.

I look at Taz. “This is what you do?”

“Sorry,” Taz says. “We were just killing time. Waiting for you, bro. Aric was running his mouth.”

I put the cash into my pocket and walked to the head of the table.

“Everyone sit the fuck down,” I say.

They sit.

I don’t.

I don’t have time to sit.

My head is racing.

Maybe faster than it ever has in my life.

“We shift gears for the moment,” I say. “Got it? We have to take care of something before we get back to the other thing.”

The other thing…

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that means Jolie.

I swallow hard and feel a sting of pain in my heart.

I miss her.

I fucking miss her.

I can’t believe everything that’s happening right now.

I use my finger on the table to draw a map.

“We just have to be careful,” I say. “This isn’t some small time bullshit stuff. Okay? We have to drop off the car right here. There’s going to be a green SUV waiting. It has to be green. Anything else and we’re fucked.”

“Fucked?” Aric asks.

“Anything but green means the deal is off,” I say. “And it’s not the kind of off where you just drive away. It means things have blown the fuck up.”

“Whoa,” Ado says. “This is heavy shit, Mac.”

“Anyone who doesn’t want to do it, stand up and walk out right now. It’s your choice. But it’s also your final choice for everything else.”

“Nah, not me,” Taz says. “I’m in until the end. Don’t even say that shit, Mac. Nobody at this table is going to walk out on anything.”

I look around the table just to be sure of it.

Nobody moves.

“It’ll be me and Les in the car,” I say. “Okay? Taz will be driving my SUV. The rest of you will be in the SUV. You wait for Les and I. If shit goes bad, you leave us there. If shit does go bad, then you go straight to