CH. 43: If It's Gonna Be Me Or You, It's Gonna Be You

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An acrimonious blat erupted from the horn on Vanessa's truck one hundred yards away from Gregg Selfridge.

One. Blat!

Hundred. Blat!

Long. Long. Long. Blaaaaaaat!

Yards. Blat! Blat! Blat!

One hundred and twenty steps, give or take. And no matter how much time slowed down and no matter how much he thought about Rachel- Think about your kids, Man, the fuck?! he scolded himself- But, nope, he was ten feet in front of his wife's truck before he even knew it.

"Vanessa?!" Gregg called out, honestly surprised he'd gotten this close without being made to shove his own foot up his ass. "Come on outta there, Girl. Let's talk this out."

She continued to lay in the horn. He put a hand up to his eyes, trying to see beyond the glare of the high beams, but all he could see was her silhouette and hand clearly on the center of the steering wheel.

"Ness? ...Ness? Get out of the truck," he said, then decided that last part was a bit too harsh, so he followed it up with, "...Please..."

She hit the horn repeatedly then crushed down with her fist, causing the horn to blare in am extended, strangled whine. Then, the horn died.

The driver's side door opened but the headlights stayed on. Gregg heard first one foot then the other touch down on the gravel. He waited. He wanted to look behind him to see if anyone had his back, but he knew better. He kept his eyes fixed as she got out of the truck and walked one heavy footfall after the next until she stood before him, backlit by the headlights.

"Vanes- You."

"Me," Mac said.

Gregg's fists curled. "Where's my wife?"

Mac gave out a cracked and broken laugh. "Like you really give a fuck, Gregg."

"What do you want, Mac?" he said, fear gone, rage ignited.

"You surprised to see me, asshole? After you sent that thug, Jack 'The Cutter' to come see me? What do I want? I want what you want. An end," she pointed back and forth between them, "to this."

"Jack 'The-' I didn't send- My fucking father, he-"

"Oh, sack up, Gregg. First it was Virgil and now 'Oh, my dad.' Don't be such a pussy and take some responsibility for your actions!"

Gregg's mouth dropped at her self-obliviousness. He peered at her and finally realized what the headlights were hiding from him. Mac was shaking. She was practicing dancing in her skin, unable to stand still. She kept taking tiny steps forward and pulling them back. And her eyes were like giant fucking saucers bulging out of her skull.

"So, we just gonna have it out again, Mac? That didn't work out so well for you last time."

She let out another laugh, this one like a shattering pane of glass. "A fistfight? No. But-"

But, nothing. That was all Gregg needed to hear. He lit up in blue and white flame and drew up fists wreathed in twin fireballs, determined to stop this confrontation dead.

Mac's pelvis began to glow and a revolver appeared in her hand. Before Gregg could fully materialize a thrown fireball, she pulled the trigger. Gregg felt an instantaneous impact to his chest and there was immediate pain and he stumbled back clutching for a wound but what he found instead made no Goddamn sense.

One moment he was coated in flame and the next, he was covered in...

"Water?" Gregg said, finding himself drenched from his arms and clothes and hair.

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