"MOTHERFUCKER!" screamed the courier.
"MOTHERFUCKER!" I screamed.
Then we both went down.
The difference was, I went down a few feet, he went down over a hundred.
Cesar had called me, telling me what few contacts he still had in Santos had discovered the way that Smoke got drugs into Santos from Fierro and how he got the money back to them. I'd taken the police bike me and Catalina had jacked and headed out in the direction that the courier with Smoke's money to pay the dealers in Fierro was heading. I'd waited half an hour on that bike, and then there he had been, driving an expensive TOUGH looking Patriot Humvee, bunch of boxes stacked in the back. Anyone else, it would have looked like some guy moving stuff to storage, but to those in the know, it was dirty money on the move - drug money. I'd tailed him out into the country and then got after him, doing my best to run him off the road, knocking loose the boxes filled with cash under old rags, blasting at him to keep him from trying to turn around and drive through me. The police bike had left him confused at first, thinking it was someone Tenpenny hadn't let in on the secret, but once he realized I wasn't 5-0, he put the pedal to the metal to try and get to San Fierro and the protection of the dealers.
He hadn't quite made it.
People were starting to gather, getting out they cars to look over the side down into the water where the Patriot had already sunk. There were still a couple of boxes of cash in there, but that wasn't my problem, in my pocket or in the ocean, at least it hadn't gotten to the dealers in Fierro.
I got back on the police bike and pulled out of there, hearing some confused calls from the fools checking out the crash. Cause I'd been on a police bike, they'd thought it was some kind of pullover gone bad, and if anyone asked or they'd be able to say was that it was a black dude on a police bike.... not exactly a helpful description. I drove out into the countryside, pulling off the road to count the cash I'd picked up off the road after the boxes fell out of the patriot, find out exactly how much money Smoke was leeching from Santos.
Shit, that mean there'd been maybe... what, 2k in the back of the Patriot? That wasn't much, even if they did go out twice a week according to Cesar. 4k a week was chump change to service all of Santos with drugs, which could only mean one thing.... Tenpenny was selling the shit I'd killed the Russians over at Gray Imports, and bringing in just a little bit of drugs from San Fierro to keep the dealers there happy for when he eventually ran out of the stash. Fuck, I'd felt so proud using those drugs to keep Tenpenny busy while I took out those Ballas at Glen Park, and just like everything else I'd done it had come back to bite me on the ass. $1200 was chump change to Tenpenny, he wasn't going to notice it, outside of minor irritation from the dealers in San Fierro.
I drove to Blueberry in a bad mood, laying down cash from what I'd taken for a shitty motel room and crashing out to get some sleep. I had to find a way to make a real impact on Tenpenny, shut him down for good, and so far the only way I could think to do that was to get close to The Truth, and for that, I needed more cash.
The next day, I got my chance in the form of a screaming bitch.
"Carl, it is me, Catalina!" she said as I sat on the edge of the bed in my boxers. I grinned, figuring to tease her a little, in a better mood this morning after a night's sleep.
"Heeeello!" I grinned,"How y-"
"WHY JOO SO CHEERY?" she screamed down the line at me,"JOO THOUGHT I WAS ONE OF JOOR CHEAP WHORES?"
"Baby, you gotta chill the fuck out and-" I started, already feeling my good mood fading.
"I'LL CHILL OUT WHEN JOO GET HERE!" she shouted,"JOO BETTER HOPE I DON'T MAKE TESTICLE KEBABS WHEN JOO ARRIVE!"
"Hey now, look," I shouted back, getting angry,"This ain't no-"
"GET JOOR ASS UP HERE, NOW!" she screeched, making me pull my ear away from the phone. When I put it back, there was nothing but a dialtone.
"I got to get clear of that crazy bitch," I sighed, then got up to grab a shower. I headed out, stopping at a clothing outlet in Blueberry to grab a fresh change of clothes - couldn't show up to my lady's in stinky clothes - and then grabbed a Sanchez from out the parking lot, the police bike dumped outside the town the night before.
I drove on through the day, getting up to Catalina's a little after six in the evening. I figured she bad mood must have mellowed by now, and stepped on up to the door wondering if I could talk myself back into her pants without having to go through that other weird shit she put me through last ti-
Well, so much for that idea.
"Damn, what'd I do now!?" I demanded back, even as I was stepping backwards and she kept coming forward.
"Joo all the fucking same, eh!" she shouted at me,"I see it on television! I read it in books! I hear it in music! Joo all the same!"
"..." I tried to say back.
"Fuck this, fuck that!" she yelled, humping her crotch at me,"Well... FUCK JOO!"
"I gave to joo," she told me, leaning forward as I stumbled back down the stairs,"As a woman. No! No more!"
She stomped past me, then twisted around and pointed her finger at me, accusing,"From now on, we just business partners. OK?"
"Eh," I said.
"WELL!?!" she demanded.
"If... if that's how you want it," I said slowly, trying to keep a big-ass smile from crossing my face, i was FREE,"But I mean.... uhh... you're breaking my heart..."
"I'm warning joo," she hissed,"I'm in a really bad fucking mood, today I kill EVERYBODY who fucks with me! Especially joo! MOVE!"
She stood pointing and staring at me, and then suddenly a huge grin crossed her face and she let out a long, happy sigh.
"I feel good today," she said,"Like a woman reborn!"
"......cool," I said at last, surprised by her sudden good mood,"Maybe... maybe you won't go berserk, huh?"
"Oh, I go berserk," she grin, looking like the devil, talking with that tease in her voice that drove me crazy,"But not until I really pissed!"
"Oh... well, that's a relief to hear," I said, shrugging and turning around. I couldn't fucking understand her, and I'd miss fucking her, but goddamn she was so volatile, soon as I'd heard that she wanted to break up I'd felt like a huge weight had lifted off of my shoulders. I headed towards the Buffalo, only one of them there today, resprayed a different color, like she'd been up to shit without me.
"Perhaps this time no cowboy motherfuckers will get in our way," Catalina laughed as she hopped into the car, then she was all business, clapping her hands together,"Come on, DRIVE!"
We drove in silence for a little bit, she just staring ahead of her with a hard look on her face. One minute she pissed, the next happy, now looking like she getting angrier and angrier. I didn't want to say anything, didn't want to bring it up, but the silence was getting too much, and the one time I reached for the radio she shot me a look that made me pull my hand back. Finally, I had to ask, even though I didn't want to.
"Nothing," she snapped,"I just hate men."
"Yeah, well... give me a break," I tried.
"Here's joor break," she growled,"Joor break is joo're not on my barbecue being eaten."
"Well, that's one way of looking at shit, I suppose," I sighed, mostly to myself.
"Now, try to be man this time," she snapped at me, then gave me that sly grin again,"Now... drive, lover!"
"Lover?" I said under my breath, what the fuck was wrong with her, was we broken up or not.
We drove into Montgomery and pulled up outside of the betting shop, Catalina getting out first and rushing to the back, pulling out something bulky and little black boxes with aerials poking out. What the fuck she up to?
I was holding the satchel charge, trying to figure out how the fuck it worked and WHERE the fuck she got it from when I heard her screaming at the poor bitch behind the counter, telling her not to push the fucking panic button or she'd kill her and her children too. Now at least I knew why she wanted them, at the bank once the alarm had gone off we'd had to settle for the ATM cash. Here, if the same thing happened we could blow our way through to the back door and through they little safe.
The alarm blasted my airs and Catalina swore, pissed off beyond what I'd seen from her so far.
"I warned joo, joo stoopid bitch!" she screamed and unloaded right into the poor bitch's face,"STOOPID FUCKING BITCH! NOW I KILL YOU! EAT MY SHIIIIIIIIT!"
"Jesus," I said, shaking my head, then moved to the door and slapped the satchel charge against it before rushing back to the doorway,"Catalina, step back, baby!"
"About fucking time!" Catalina shouted at me as I grabbed the cash out of the safe... there was a shitload, probably more than the fucking bank would have had,"JOO'RE A FUCKING SLOTH!"
"Whatever," I said back, rolling my eyes,"Let's roll."
We walked through the betting shop, the customers and workers all crouching and weeping or moaning, all except the poor bitch whose brains Catalina had blown out. Once we were clear, I was going to call up The Truth and find out how much more money he wanted, because I didn't want to have to work with her again, she was too much, too fucking volatile. Plus, we was getting known now, they was talking about a "couple" robbing places on the radio, sooner or later the police were going to start loo-
"GET IN THE FUCKING CAR!" Catalina screamed, and we both rushed for the Buffalo as the police began screaming at us to put down our weapons and get out of the cars... like fuck we would!
"There's a garage that'll respray the car in Dillimore!" Catalina shouted as I floored it, busting past officers on foot opening fire on us, firing wildly and not hitting anything,"Get us there and don't let the fucking cops see it!"
"If you don't mind, I'll concentrate on keeping us alive first!" I shouted, looking in the rearview and seeing police rangers zooming after us.
"That is joor fucking problem, Carl," she laughed, hard and cruel, lifting up her piece,"Joo concentrate on staying alive, I concentrate on killing."
She shoved her head out the window and began shooting backwards at the police, laughing and daring them to come after her, just try and fucking catch her.
We were inside the garage for three hours, the sirens disappearing in the distance a long time after we went in. The mechanic seemed to know Catalina pretty well, got on with her like Mr. Whittaker had, making me wonder why some people she just seemed to click with when she could be a psychotic bitch with everyone else. Finally we left, the Buffalo fresh and white now, Police Rangers driving right by us, just going about they normal patrols, the guys looking for us probably spread out across half the county by now.
"Take me home now, big man," Catalina ordered, going through the money in her lap, managing to make "big man" sound like an insult.
"How'd we do?" I asked her.
"Is that all joo care about?" she asked, pissed but kind of quiet too,"Money?"
"No," I sighed,"But I really need that paper-"
"Joo revolt me," she growled at me,"Joo make my skin crawl."
She put her hand on my thigh. High up.
"Yeah... well," I said, looking down at her hand, stroking my thigh now,"Well I ain't too crazy about you, either."
"That's just it," she told me, talking like I stupid, giving my thigh a little squeeze,"How little joo know. Now, don't talk, let us enjoy the peace and quiet."
I stopped the car and turned off the headlights, and she turned to look at me, and suddenly her hard face was replaced by that smile again, that sly, "I know something you don't know" smile.
"Joo impress me, Carl Johnson," she said, surprising me into a smile before she handed me a pile of cash, all wrapped up nice in bands,"Here's joor cut, big man."
She got out of the car and headed up the stairs, her ass shaking back and forth, leaning back to smile at me, bright white teeth before stepping inside and bumping the door shut with her butt.
"Goddamn, one thing I will miss is that booty," I said, shaking my head before backing up the Buffalo to park it... and saw another Buffalo was parked there again.
I had no idea what, but something was going on up here in this cabin when I wasn't around, and suddenly those little smiles of Catalina's didn't seem quite so teasing no more, more cruel.
The next day, the day of the big fucking thunderstorm, I'd find out exactly what.