Early the next morning, I walked up to the trailer park and saw Cesar getting into his Savanna.
"Hey CJ, what up man?" he asked me, smiling kind of like he embarassed,"Sorry I got so pissed last night, you about the only man on the planet knows what I just been through, losing my homies like that."
"It's cool man, where you going?" I asked him, and he grinned.
"Smelt something on the wind late last night, something familiar," he said,"Gonna go check it out now, you wanna come with?"
"Actually, I gotta go settle a few things with your cousin," I told him,"Can you take me to her cabin?"
"Go see Catalina?" he asked, and now his smile was gone,"Yeah... I guess.... I.... well, okay man, hop in."
I got in and we started driving, quiet at first, then finally Cesar spoke.
"Hey man, about Catalina.... she was the only person I could get to you who I thought could help you.... but I didn't think she'd stick around afterwards.... sorry if things get a little, uhh, intense with her."
"She's... different," I said, not wanting to insult his cousin as he drove over dirt paths past hills and trees,"But she's also gotten it into her head she can push me around. I gotta go see her and set her straight on that point."
Cesar turned to look at me, looking surprised, then just nodded. We pulled up in the Savanna at the bottom of a dirt road leading up into a hill not far out of Blueberry and he shrugged,"This is it, holmes."
"We ain't going to drive up there?" I asked.
"We ain't doing nothing, holmes," he said, blowing air out his mouth and then sighing,"You can walk up that hill, I ain't gonna be anywhere near Catalina when someone "sets her straight."
"Hey man, you scared of her?" I asked, a big ass smile on my face,"Damn, homie, she high strung but she just a lady."
"I've stared down crackheads and PCP freaks armed with guns when I only had my bare hands, holmes," Cesar told me,"I'm fucking petrified of Catalina, good luck to you, man."
I hopped out and he drove away, and I shook my head and laughed. She must have kicked the crap out of him when they were kids or something, and she'd handled those rednecks pretty well, but there was a difference between scrawny rednecks or little Mexican kids and a brother who worked out each morning when he got up and grew up in the roughest part of Ganton with Sweet Johnson for a brother.
Catalina wasn't nothing I couldn't handle.
I'd walked up the hill as mist rolled in and the sky turned cloudy and gray, like a storm was coming. I'd reached the cabin, a cozy looking place with a nice looking car - a Buffalo - sitting outside and figured I'd get her out with some sweet talk, then lay down the law to her.
I'd called out to her as I knocked on the door, calling her baby, telling her we got off on the wrong foot, I'd had a rough time, been a little harsh with her, asking HER to forgive me even though she was the one who had abandoned me at the trucking depot and told me I stunk.
But when she didn't answer and didn't open the door, and I peered through the cracks in the boarded up window (what the fuck she hiding all the way out here?) I got a feeling that she wasn't there.
"Now where is this stupid bitch?" I asked myself out loud, and that's when I found out.
And there's where we were now.
"Who's the bitch now, eh?" she shouted at me, then paused,"Joo shaved joor beard?"
"HEY!" I shouted,"Bitch let m-"
"I SAID WHO'S THE BITCH NOW!" she shouted back at me, pressing the gun harder into my cheek,"Answer me, joo fucking piece of shit!"
"Oh baby, baby, I'm so sorry, baby," I told her, realizing I was pretty much her bitch right now, she was crazy enough to unload her strap into my face if she didn't think I was being "nice","You so right... please forgive me, baby, just.... just don't fucking shoot me, PLEASE!"
"Joo think joo sorry, HUH!?!" she shouted at me, but the gun wasn't pressing into my cheek now,"How joo going to PROVE joo sorry?"
"C'mon now, baby, c'mon," I said, thinking hard, what the fuck was the right thing to say to this crazy messed up bitch? And then I figured it out, changing my voice from begging to playing,"I am going to play with you SO rough, baby!"
"KEEP TALKING!" she shouted, and I could feel her pressing her lap up against my shoulder.... damn.
"Yeeah," I whispered, putting all my effort into sounding like a playa and not like I about to shit my pants,"And I'll take you to rob banks and shit..."
"Ooooh!" she moaned, stepping out in front of me so the gun was pointed at my face, a little moan of surprise and pleasure, the kind of sound you usually would kill to have a girl make. Time to go for the kill, tell her JUST what she wanted to hear.
"Hm-hmmmmm," she said, making a little moan, tongue running out between her lips and.... goddamn was I getting turned on?
"I'm gonna treat you right, baby," I told her, on my knees in the dirt with a gun pointed at my face,"Just... c'mon... just please don't shoot me."
"CARL!" she shouted, stepping forward, me leaning back as the gun got closer to my face,"I.... I....."
Oh that was just what I fucking needed. Shit, a crazy girl with a gun to my face just told me she loved me, I had to say just the right thing back to her.
Her eyes went narrow and her gun started to come back up slowly as I stood up, so I recovered the best way I knew how.
"You wanna go rob some shit, baby?" I asked her.
She grinned and bit her lower lip and I felt Carl Junior starting to shift, wanting to know what the fuck was going on. She swayed her hips and moved up beside me, me putting my arm around her waist as she made that little moaning noise again. Okay shit, so she loved me, that didn't have to be a bad thing, because goddamn, she might be crazy, but she was fine.
We moved over to the Buffalo and I hopped in, sitting in the drivers seat until I realized she was standing by the passenger door with arms crossed, looking pissed. I jumped out and ran around, opening the door for her, and she smiled and said,"Thank joo, Carl," before getting in. I got back into the driver's seat and started her up.
"We near Blueberry," I told her,"You want to rob that liquor store?"
"Jes," she said grumpily, then said quietly,"That cabron didn't ask to see my ID."
"Nothing, just drive," she yelled.
"OK," I said,"But this time we're gonna do it real chill, no crazy psycho shit, baby."
"Speak for joorself, soft boy," she laughed, rolling her eyes,"Today I feel like killing all the men I meet!"
"Ah baby," I said, shaking my head.
"Don't worry," she said, voice all cutesy, flirting with me,"I make an exception for some of the men in my life.... now DRIVE!"
We drove out from shelter and a few drops of rain hit the windshield, looked like that storm was coming all right. I switched on the radio and shifted through the static till I got to K-Rose, and Mary-Beth was right in the middle of an ad for Carcer City, which sounded like a complete shithole.
"Fucking country music is all joo can get out here," Catalina complained, then frowned when she heard the name of the town in the commercial,"And I don't like that bitch who hosts the show, Maybelle Beth or whatever the fuck her name is."
"I'm Mary-Beth Maybell!" shouted Mary-Beth out the radio,"The weather-man told me last night over dinner to expect a heavy storm today... then he told me he wouldn't leave his wife. Unfortunately I just heard his brakes failed on his drive home.... poor old boy."
I looked out the window at the clouds, getting darker, it was gonna be a big fucker of a storm all right.
"Here's a song that should be in the jukebox of every bar, to remind men to stop having a good times with their friends playing pool, smoking and drinking...." Mary-Beth told us,"Come on home so I can scream and throw things at you for nothing because I'm on the rag!"
"Maybe she is not so bad," grinned Catalina as a deep sleepy sounding cowboy started singing about a letter that Johnny Walker read, and that's when the rain come pounding down, right as we turned into Blueberry and down the street to the liquor store.
And that's when it all went to shit.
"Those maricon bastards have our money!" shouted Catalina, eyes wide, not like she was shocked, but like she offended. They started up they Quads and began peeling out from out front of the liquor store, Catalina screeching at me that it was her money, HER MONEY!
"That's my MONEY!" she shouted at the first cowboy - a lean, smart looking motherfucker with a cigarette hanging out his mouth who didn't pay her no mind as he zoomed past her.
"Catalina, I-" I started.
"That's MY MONEY!" she shouted as the next two drove by her.
"Catalina, we-" I tried again.
"THAT'S MY MONEY!" she screamed, and the fourth started up and began moving, driving towards where we were, not even noticing us, after his friends.
The Quad rolled to a stop and the redneck lay still in the rain, blood already running thin. But Catalina ignored him, rushing for the Quad, shouting at me to drive after the "maricons" and she'd take care of the rest.
After seeing her blow that guy out of his seat, I wasn't going to argue.
"C'mon, move joor fucking butt!" she screamed at me as I kicked the Quad into gear and got it moving, feeling the tires wanting to slide on the wet road... shit, these cowboys probably knew the fucking area AND how to drive these fucking things in the rain, plus they didn't have Catalina jumping all about on they backs screaming at them to drive.
"Get us closer, Carl!" she hissed in my ear, leaning up over to get to my ear, her titties pressing against my back, hand sliding around over my waist,"Joo get us close and I got a fucking prize for joo."
"Yes ma'am," I grinned, kind of getting into the rush of the chase despite myself, and pushed down harder on the accelerator.
"That's it! THAT'S IT!" she laughed, standing up tall, pressing her lap up against my upper back to support her as she lifted her gun to take aim,"JOO MESSING WITH THE BIGGEST BITCH IN TOWN, ASSHOLES!"
They weaved wildly, slipping along the muddy road now, not so confident now that they had a crazy lady blasting at them.
"JES, CARL!" she shouted, humping her lap against my back,"JES! JES!"
"Oh fuck "jes"," I said under my breath - bitch was getting horny from firing her gun!"You just keep doing that ba-"
The Quads disappeared over the top of the hill and suddenly Catalina stopped humping, screaming at me,"THEY'RE GETTING AWAY! JOO DRIVE LIKE AN OLD LADY!"
"CALM THE FUCK DOWN!" I shouted as we went over the hill,"THERE THEY FUCKING ARE!"
"THEY'RE DOTS IN THE DISTANCE!" she screamed, even though we were less than 20 yards from the nearest one,"FASTER!"
They turned onto an actual road and I followed them, realizing we were coming up on Montgomery Intersection, which would take them into Los Santos if they got on. But these boys weren't stupid, at least the lead cowboy hadn't looked like he was, for one thing they'd taken briefcases to stash the money into instead of sacks or pillowcases or anything stupid like that. They'd thought that far ahead, they'd know not to take Quads onto the freeway. For one thing, they'd be run down by a truck in about 30 seconds, and for another once the liquor store clerk had given descriptions to the police, Quads on the Freeway would raise a lot of red flags.
"JOOR PATHETIC DRIVING IS HELPING THEM ESCAPE!" Catalina screamed in my ear as we passed under Montgomery Intersection and the Quads split around an old farmhouse,"KEEP UP WITH THEM!"
We passed under an old water tower and while I was trying to clear my ringing ears from Catalina's screaming, I saw that the roads came back together and so had the Quads. I was looking at them and now what was ahead when Catalina suddenly grabbed my shoulder and squeezed.
"OOooooooh fuck," she moaned in my ear,"They're going to jump it Carl, follow them, make us FLY!"
"Are you fucking cra-" I started, but then Catalina was firing over my shoulder, making me shout out in surprise as the sound blasted right into my ear. The Quad bringing up the rear spun out of control, the bald freaky looking redneck riding it slumping forward with half his head missing, and off the side of the bridge into the river. By that point, it was too late to pull back, the other two Quads were moving up the bridge and I had to follow or lose them. With Catalina pissed off and holding a gun only a few inches from my head for the second time in a day, that wasn't something I was going to let happen.
"THAT MOTHERFUCKER DROPPED HIS BRIEFCASE IN THE RIVER!" Catalina screamed at me after the bump of the landing. For a second I was confused, then realized she meant the bald freak who had got into the river before we jumped the bridge.
"He dead then he ain't going nowhere!" I shouted back,"Forget him and pick off these other two motherfuckers!"
"Ooooh Carl," she moaned in my air, sliding her hand up under my hoodie over my chest as I turned the corner onto the main road into Palomino Creek, chasing the last two cowboys,"I like it when joo take charge!"
That caught me by surprise, but hell, it looked like she got off on danger and adrenalin, and who was I to look a gift ho in the mouth? I reached behind me to stroke her side,"Hey baby you kn-"
"STOP THINKING WITH JOOR DICK AND KEEP JOOR EYES ON THE FUCKING ROAD!" she screamed at me, twisting my nipple hard.
"AHHHH GOD FUCKING DAMMIT CATALINA!" I shouted, swerving the Quad and sending it spinning in circles on its wheel, picking up speed and ramming into the back of the next Quad, which shunted to its side and slammed into a tractor being driven by some redneck idiot in the middle of town during a fucking rainstorm.
I got the Quad under control and Catalina opened fire on the cowboy as he tried to get his Quad back up on its wheel. He did a funny dance-like shake across the wet road and then just went down. We pulled up alongside him, giving Catalina enough time to grab up the briefcase, and that gave me time to see that while this redneck was dressed the same, he wasn't the smart looking redneck I'd seen leading them out of the liquor store. He was still somewhere up ahead.
"FLOOR IT, CJ! FLOOR IT!" Catalina shouted at me and I shook my head and hit the accelerator again, peeling out of Palomino Creek up onto the dirt road leading up into the hills.
"There's that motherfucker!" I shouted, pointing ahead into the thick rain and mist where I could see the redneck cowboy riding his Quad up the next hill.
"Carl, joo are too slow," Catalina hissed in my ear,"....and very fucking shit!"
"Fuck you, I don't see you driving!" I shouted back at her.
"Joo don't get to fuck me if joo can't catch one stupid fucking cowboy!" she shouted back, then grinned and pressed her lap up hard against my lower back,"But if joo can......"
"The things I do for women," I sighed, and floored it.
We passed North Rock and now I could see buildings and skyscrapers coming out of the mist and the gray skies. We were getting close to Santos, did this motherfucker actually mean to go down into the streets? That couldn't be, it made no sense, where the fuck was he going?
A fucking trailer park? Of course.
I slowed the Quad down and rode through the trailers, spotting the other one sitting idling by a trailer looking out over Santos. The Cowboy stood there, lean and cool, smoking a fresh cigarette, briefcase in hand, leaning against what I guessed was his trailer, like he waiting for us.
"That was quite the chase there, folks," he said as we pulled up in front of him,"You done gone and killed three good men coming after me, all for this?"
He lifted the briefcase and patted it, then gave a little laugh.
"Well hell, way I see it is now I got three less pardners to share with, and I see your purty lady there got one of the other cases," he pointed to Catalina and actually winked at her,"So I guess'n Cody's briefcase went into the river with him. That's one case each, which works out to a bigger share for me than I'd have gotten any road, and you dint have to do any of the work robbing the liquor store to get it."
He dropped his cigarette to the ground and grinned up at us, stubbing it with his boot.
"So what you folks say? Santos is too close to risk opening fire on me, and I ain't giving up this case, so what say we make a deal an-"
"That cracker could talk, huh?" I said, as Catalina picked up the dead cowboy's - who hadn't been so smart after all - briefcase,"But I don't think he was laughing at y-"
"Joo are one to talk about talking too much, idiota," she said, sounding pissed,"Now get back to that river and get me my last briefcase."
"Yes'm, Miss Daisy, I can shurely do that," I told her.
"WHO THE FUCK IS MISS DAISY!?!" she screamed at me.
"Oh fucking forget it," I sighed, and started driving.
I stood dripping with water, the storm passed now but the day gone too, holding the final briefcase, looking over at Catalina waiting to hear her say something to me - I'd have settled for,"Good job, Carl," but was kind of holding out for,"Fuck me now, Carl!". She stood staring back at me for a little bit, her body drenched wet too, and I started thinking how good she'd look naked and wet in the moonlight. Goddamn she was fine, and if she was still on a high from the cha-
"What the fuck joo just standing there for, get us a fucking car to take us back to the fucking cabin, cabron!" she shouted at me.
Well.... I shouldn't have been surprised.
We got into the Moonbeam Van we'd jacked and started driving, Catalina ignoring me as she checked the briefcase that had been in the river, seeing if the money had been wrecked. They looked okay to me, but she was going through and checking each note, all the bundles.
"Catalina, I got something to say to you," I said as we drove along, heater turned up to full to dry us out. I figured she would be too busy counting money to think about pulling a gun on me for what I was about to say, but I had to say it - she was just too unpredictable, I'd half expected her to blast me down during the chase,"You're a fucking psycho."
She just rolled his eyes and snorted, hardly the reaction I'd been expecting.
"All joo little men are scared of strong women!" she told me, still counting the money, not even looking at me,"If we're passionate joo say we're crazy, if we're upset joo say we're hysterical, we sleep with men, we're sluts, if we don't put out we're frigid bitches."
"Yeah we.... who you calling little men?" I asked, then shook my head,"You went berserk back there at the liquor store!"
"That?" she snorted again, shaking her head,"That was just another day at the office! Joo can't stand the head, go put joor tiny balls in the freezer!"
"Tiny balls!?!" I shouted,"Now just wait a minut-"
"Enough!" she shouted,"Just shut up and drive, I'm counting the fucking money!"
I shook my head, turned up K-Rose and just kept on driving. What the fuck had I been thinking, I needed money and she was hot, but I was the insane one for letting this fucked up relationship even one moment longer.
"Hey, there's a new Buffalo parked there," I said, pointing at the car in the shelter under the roof by the firewood,"And the lights are on, somebody i-"
"Shut up, Carl," she snapped at me,"Everything is fine."
"GRRRRR!" she growled, shaking her head,"When joo going to learn to stop thinking and just sit there and look pretty? Huh? I said everything is fine."
She hopped out of the car and walked around to my side, leaning through the window and grinning at me, flirty again all of a sudden out of nowhere,"See joo soon, handsome."
She started to walk away, the money she'd divided on the way stuffed into one of the briefcases, the other on the passenger seat beside me and the empty one chucked into the back. Suddenly she stopped and looked back, grinning and slapping her ass with a loud smack,"Next time, we play REALLY rough."
"I like that, that's cool," I grinned back at her, powerless to stop flirting back whenever she started in with me,"But we can also play for some real money. I got some money to... well, it's a long story, but I need some serious paper, fast."
"Joo come and see me again soon," she told me, promising me something a little more without saying it,"We rob a real bank."
She swayed her hips as she walked inside, and I sat there watching her go. Shit, one flirty comment and a shake of her ass and I forgot all about how crazy and scary and dangerous she was.... and that last line, robbing a bank? Oh man, with the money from a job like that....
I shook my head and laughed, putting the Moonbeam into gear and moving down the dirt road. Shit, maybe the crazy was catching? All I knew was, I needed money, she could get it for me, and if I played my cards right I could get laid out of the deal.
As long as I kept on her good side, what could possibly go wrong?