Chapter 33

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Oliver lights a cigarette as he approaches the door, while I trail behind him, trembling my ass off.

Before he could take a puff, the wind picks up and blows out his cig.

"Shit." He pulls out his lighter and attempts to relight it. As I wait behind him, I see some disfigured movement through the broken shutters. Shouldn't be here, shouldn't be here! I think, though I'm not sure if I'm directing that towards myself— or whatever's behind those shutters.

Okay, get this: instead of knocking or opening the door, he moves it. The door, off it's hinges, is nonchalantly placed to the side.

I shiver as I peer into the 'hospital'.

A full coat hanger is the only thing that isn't damaged. A dim, wooden hallway recedes into the distance. I squint. Do I see curtains down there?

And it smells hands-down illegal

Oliver takes a step inside, and the floorboard croaks loudly.

A boom sounds somewhere near. Very near.

I yelp, jumping behind Oliver.

He turns to me, annoyed. Blowing hair out of  his eyes, he assures, "They just dropped something."

"W-Who's they?" I whisper.

A string of cursing follows two men as they approach us from the hallway. My hands ball into fists.

"Leave the cooking to the fucking Italian, you butterfingered cunt— oh, you're here!"

The first man blocks the view of the entire hallway, he's so obese.

"I brought a friend." Oliver motions behind his back at me.

"Lemme look at her up close."

No, no, no!

He looks down at me, his black eyes showing no favor, one way or another. He looks me up and down, then back to my face again.

Then, his face seems to light up in recognition.

"You're a Montague too! I've seen those features before," he remarks proudly.

The other guy pushes his glasses up his nose, looks at Oliver, and states, "She's allowed."

I'm intrigued. "How did you know I was—"

"Welcome, little Montague. Welcome." The large man chuckles, whereas I notice his mustache hairs enter his nostrils.

His scrawny assistant holds out a clammy, bruised hand, which I don't take.

"You're looking for Rico, little Montague? Well, let me indroduce ourselves first. I'm Fozzy, and over there— is Skunk."

The assistant scowls, his hand still held out. "It's not Skunk, it's Kirk."

Fozzy laughs. "Pay no mind, Skunk. They're simply aliases."

With his harsh grip, Oliver pulls me in front of him. Both Fozzy and Kirk stare at me strangely.

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