2011-02-25: Short Shorts and Long Shots



NPCs: Mike, Bob, Bob's cow-orker, and some thugs in a Dodge

Date: February 25, 2011


Can't a guy go about his business without getting attacked? Not this time.

"Short Shorts and Long Shots"

Body and Soul Auto Shop

"What? You're cuttin' out again. Damn bridge's got too much metal or some shit. Somebody oughtta blow it up so we can rebuild it— gotta be some new space-age material by now, right?"

Pulling off the freeway, Stefano has one hand on the wheel, the other holding this week's el-cheapo cell phone, squinting as he waits for the light to turn. "All right, I'll catch up with you two as soon as I'm done here. Usually takes… what, an hour? If they're backed up more than that, I'll let you know." Regular oil changes are important, especially when you're in the line of work that he is.

In the shop, Savannah's head is under a car and just her legs sticking out. It's those unflattering baggy pants. The woman is whistling Dixie. No really, some Dixie tune that probably makes the local skinheads proud. Bob, because every shop has a Bob, is manning the register right now.

"I don't know. You sure the newbie should be working on the cars already. Hell, I'm not sure that one should even be around them."

"The boss said to put 'er to work. So I did."

The men in question are watching the 'new guy' work under that car with more keen interest then on the door.

Phone stowed away, keys in hand, Stefano climbs out of the car and waves to Bob and his buddy as he holds the door open. "Hey, in for the usual," he says, tossing the keys onto the counter in an easy underhand arc. "Who's the chick?" he adds, gesturing toward the opening of the garage. The pants may be better suited for someone's eighty-year-old Aunt Tilly, but the same can't be said for the wearer, from what little he's seen so far.

"Oh! That's the new girl." Bob offers. He gives a whistle. "Ava, hey front and center, girl."

Savannah slides from under the car and tosses back a few strands of brunette hair. There is a large smile on her features as she walks out into the shop. "Howdy, y'all need something?" Savannah's eyes move over the trio of the men.

The emergence draws another whistle, this one long and low in appreciation. "Put a pair o' Daisy Dukes on that, huh?" New or not, the employees have had more time to get used to the sight of her than Stefano has.

"Here for an oil change," he explains, "probably needs somethin' rotated too. Oughtta be in the computer already." One of the advantages of having a regular place to get work done.

Savannah gives that large Georgia Smile (TM). It shows all her teeth pretty much as she nods. "Well Sugah, isn't that the best? Ah mean y'all sure ah goin' to be takin' cahe of it." She smiles a bit more to Stefano. "Now Ah wouldn't be rockin' those shoahts. I man can ya just imagine?" Savannah laughs at the picture in her head. Then her hand comes out. "Savannah Montgomery."

"Hey, pleased to meetcha, Savannah," as a battered credit card is passed across the counter to Bob, along with a meaningful look: Hell of a way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. If she actually knows a monkey wrench from a monkey suit. And then his attention's right back on her again. "So what brings you way up here? That ain't no Boston accent I'm hearin'." As opposed to his own, a distinctly local vintage.

Savannah looks over at the credit card for a name. One doesn't know if it is the real one. Bob nods his head as if to say the girl knows her way around. "Well sakes alive it is not." Savannah laughs lightly and cocks her hip against the counter. "Ah'm from Georgia. Y'all been heah long?"

This card does match; it's the one Stefano uses for most of his legitimate transactions. The ones with fake names are rotated often enough not to fade or pick up scuff marks.

"All my life," he answers, pocketing the card again once it's returned. "Well, I better let you get to work, I'm gonna run a couple errands. Call me when it's ready to pick up?" Or if it turns out to need more than routine maintenance.

Savannah watches the man for a few moments of thought. Then she laughs. "Bob, do y'all think that he knew Ah was goin' to be askin' for a church to go to?" She presses a hand up to push her hair back. "Well, Ah'm goin' to work on his car."

Unaware of that line of conversation, Stefano is already a few steps out the door, thinking ahead to where he's headed. Pick up the weekly payment from the pizzeria down the street in return for driving more business their way; have a word with the print shop on the opposite corner, make sure they appreciate the type of violence that turns up in this neighborhood sometimes—

—only to hightail it back into the shop in double time, making a beeline for Savannah. "Get down!" he yells, and pulls her down below the level of the counter without waiting for an answer. A second later, the reason for his concern makes itself known: another car pulls through the lot, tires squealing against concrete as a swarthy man in the back seat rolls down his window and fires a couple of rounds into the lobby area. The revving of the engine is nearly drowned out by the crash of breaking glass.

The men are already swearing and calling the police at this point. They are preparing to pull a gun and return fire. The glass falls with a shatter as the bullets ring through the air. Savannah is grabbed and brought down. Her hazel eyes are huge as she looks at Stefano. Women are hard and ruthless things. They are stronger than men give them credit for. So what does the mechanic do?

… Savannah faints into Stefano's arms.

He hangs on to Savannah just long enough to keep her from whacking hard into the floor, setting her down and then popping his head up. Bob isn't the only one going for a weapon; Stefano turns out to have a revolver of his own, taking potshots at the offending vehicle and shattering its rear window for good measure.

There's enough distance between the two sides to make it awfully damn difficult to hit such a fast-moving target— or to hit anyone while moving that fast. The car leaves as quickly as it came, and Stefano is right back up on his feet, muttering under his breath as he heads for the water cooler. "Motherfucker. Well, at least Jimmy's in the clear— or else Mike's in on it too—" Shaking his head to dismiss that thought, he pours out a cup of cold water and moves to revive Savannah with it. By splashing it into her face, if need be.

The cold water splashes her face and Savannah comes up with a swing. Her left fist balled up as she swings at Stefano's face (more importantly his eye) least he jump back and away. "What in Momma's Sweet Biscuits was that? Ah ain't nevah seen anyone come by and just shoot up a store?"

Given how quickly she lost her footing earlier, Stefano doesn't see that bit of fight coming at all. "Ow! The fuck'd you do that for?" Taking a step back, he picks up the rest of the water and splashes it onto his own skin.

"Welcome to New York, lady. The good news is, beaners can't aim for shit." He isn't about to let on that they were gunning for him specifically, but he does seem strangely accepting that this sort of thing happens sometimes, and not just to Other People.

The gasp heard around the world!

That is what leaves Savannah's lips. The other men are suddenly and quickly flying back to work. In fact, Bob gives Stefano a sad and almost sypathetic look. The reason is quick to find out. "Ah might be givin' y'all another one too. Don't use language like that in front of a lady. Why where did you learn ya mannahs?" She shakes her head to that. Those hands ball up and plant on her hips as she steps in front of Stefano.

Savannah has that Southern Lady angry streak somewhere in her backbone. Those hazel eyes are shining with fire now. She even faces off to Stefano. The man smells of bad boy and do not get in his face.

The gun is stowed again, almost as quickly as it was drawn in the first place. Stefano locks eyes with the grease monkey— and smirks. "Hey, relax, would ya? You should get outta here, get some lunch— Bob, you got things covered here, right?" When in doubt, throw out a distraction.

Bob offers from the back. "Yup." That yup means that he's not jumping into a fray with a girl with that look in her eyes. Savannah looks at Stefano with a bit of disbelief. "Relax?" Then there is a toss of that overly large hair of hers. "You may buy me lunch to make up for that insult earlier. You are forgiven."

"Works for me," replies Stefano, with just a hint of fine-twist-my-arm to his tone. He was going to suggest that anyway, might as well let her think it was her idea first. "You like pizza? There's this place down the street, I was about to head there anyway before—"

Savannah reaches up to pull off the covering of her hair. It falls easily around her shoulders. "Sugah, give me a minute to wash mah hands? Ah don't want them to get all ovah the food." Savannah doesn't wait for an answer. She is gone for a bit and comes back in better clothing too. Her jeans are a bit tighter and she's in a loose and large sweater. She looks all female and everything. "Okay Sugah, y'all goin' to show me wheah ya takin' me?"

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