The further adventures of Jack Noir, PI – “Sometimes you gotta use your brains, sometimes you gotta use your gun…” – as far as he’s gone, so far.
Should I restart @JackNoirPI?
No matter how much the sun – and the sight of Tom’s corpse – made my head throb, I would have to let Vera look me straight in the eye.
Vera was a tough bird. Tougher than me that one time, when I was staring into the business. And she would have taken a bullet for Tom too.
My face – and my stomach – tightened as I walked through. Out west they would call her place a bungalow, here is was a carriage house.
Vera’s door was cracked open. A man’s voice, snapping. Her gasp. I stopped, instantly noon. Grabbed the gun out of my suit.
I trotted up the walk. Pressed my back flat against the doorjamb opposite its opening. I raised a fist, rapped the door, it jerked open.
A thug swore. A gun cracked, a burst of wood splintered on the doorframe – whistling heat and gunpowder tang tried to slap my face.
I twisted, still behind the half open door, thrust my gun in, like I was going to fire in blindly. Show him I was wearing iron too.
Vera screamed. Another shot, wild, pounded into the wall above the door, plaster dust flew. I heard the goon scramble away toward the back.
I twisted, slipped around the door, gun up. Vera was sprawled on her living room carpet. In back, the thug grunted, a window squealed open.
Vera looked up at me, face bloodied but okay. I ran past her. Her bedroom window was open. Watched him hump over the fence, gone.
I swore, my breathing sharp, adrenalin socking my gut. I shut the window, keeping out the summer breeze. Vera was in dutch, alright. And me.
She was standing when I got back. “You better sit,” I said. She just shot me a look to pump lead. But her eyes were red and puffy.
“So you know?” I asked. Her mouth tightened. “You mean what the gink told me’s true?” I looked at the Philco hulking in a corner. “Yeah.”
“Jesus, Jack!” She keened like a siren. The kind of cry you’ll remember thirty years later. Sobbing, she collapsed into me.
After she exhausted herself, I got a washcloth and a steak. She was too tired and shaken even to wince. I would ask about the goon later.
Tending to the gash on her temple now was probably more affection than I had show her in all the four years we had been together.
Yeah, I still had feelings for her. Different now, softer maybe. Despite her moxie, I could tell she needed being taken care of right now…