Coming out a deep sleep, before I even open my eyes, I realize two things. One, laying sideways in the cramped backseat of a Mini Cooper is not comfortable. And B, my head is no longer resting on my backpack. Since I very much doubt Jackson would be so courteous as to rest my head in his lap, that can only leave one person.
Turning my head just an inch to the side, I open my mouth and bite down hard on the thigh that my teeth come into contact with. Grinning, as I yank with my teeth on the bit of jean-covered flesh.
“Ow! Ow! Fuck! Anna, let go!” Gabriel’s plea is music to my ears.
With one last tug, I release his now slobbery pant leg and turn my head to slowly open my eyes and look up at him innocently. Stretching, and ‘accidentally’ smacking him in the face with my right palm, I say groggily, “What? Wow, I was just having the coolest dream that I was a dog.”
As I start to sit up, his hand smacks against my forehead, pushing my head back down to his lap again. “Uh-huh, sure you were. Down girl. I liked you where you were at.” Since his hand is holding me down by the forehead, I guess I’ll just sit tight.
“Hey Annabelle,” he answers from where he’s driving up front.
“Are we there yet?” By ‘there’ I mean Bari, a town we’ve been driving to in Southern Italy where you can catch a ferry to Greece. Why Greece? Well, Simon has a place in Athens where we can hole up, wait for Porky to send us some fake ids and passports for Gabriel and try to figure out who the hell put the hit on my ex-boyfriend. Forcing me to spend time with him.
“Almost,” Jackson answers. “About twenty more minutes and we can get out of this death trap Europeans call a car.”
“I think it’s cute. And I think you look cute driving it, Jacks.” I taunt him. “It’s like a Smurf car.”
From where my head’s laying on Gabriel, I can see Jackson’s profile and the mock-horror expression on one side of his face. “Anna, you really need to get away from loverboy back there. You’re turning soft. Like a girl.” I see one of his eyebrows raise, “I’ve got an idea. How about we off him? We’ll get paid for the kill and get rid of him at the same time. Like a two-for-one deal.”
“I can shoot you in the head from where I’m sitting. I won’t even miss given that there’s only two feet between me and you right now in this puny car.” Gabriel says in all seriousness.
“Then we’d crash and all die,” Jackson says matter-of-factly. “And none of us would get paid for it.”
The hand on my head starts stroking my cheek. I turn to look up at Gabriel again. He’s smiling and looking quite satisfied with himself. My glare says what I‘m thinking without me having to verbalize it, ‘quit petting me, I’m not a dog’.
His answering look tells me, ‘but, I love you’.
My look back tells him, ‘I don’t believe you’.
His eyes say, ‘I’ll do anything to prove it to you’.
I hope my eyes are saying, ‘you can’t’, and not, ‘please do’.
“Why are you two so quiet back there?” Jackson asks suspiciously.
“We’re making out,” Gabriel answers without cutting eye contact with me.
“I’ll expect fifty percent of whatever Anna’s charging you.”
“Did you just call me a hooker?” I yell at Jackson and give the side of his face a dirty look.
He shrugs, “Hey, if the thong fits.”
“That reminds me. Jacks, remember the time--”
He cuts me off before I can finish, “No.”
“Well, I do.” I tease him.
“No you don’t.”
“You were a pretty little girl,” I say sweetly.
“What is this all about?” Gabriel asks in anticipation.
“I still haven’t forgiven you for that,” Jackson sulks.
“And I still don’t care! It was so worth it! The look on Simon’s face when he came