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Running Red Lights- Part Three

Mark and Ellie pull off their first big heist.
Ellie wanted us to rob this place. For a few minutes we just sat and stared at the front windows. Normally in a situation like this, I would be shaking and on the verge of shitting my pants. This time I wasn't; I was ready and eager. Ellie gave me this weird confidence boost just by being next to me. The longer Ellie and I spent together, the more attached I became. Deep down I hoped that she was feeling the same way about me. Sabrina may be gorgeous, but she never made me feel this way.

“So what do you think? While you were passed out someone in Walmart said that the place is run by a woman in her mid-fifties who likes her ‘Mary Jane’. If what they is true then I doubt that she has cameras hooked up inside.” Ellie said.

“So what plan do you have?”

“I’m not very good when it comes to planning, but I was thinking that I provide a distraction while you make a move for the cash register.”

“That’s it?” I was surprised at how simple her plan was.

“Yeah,”

“Have you given thought as to how we’re supposed to open the register when we get it?”

“I think my ex has something that we can use,” Ellie opened the glove compartment and began digging around. The owner’s manual, receipts, and other random pieces of paper went flying. After finally getting to the bottom, she pulled out two metal objects. One looked like a flat allen wrench and other looked like a pulled apart paper clip

“Sweet, it’s still here.” She held up the object with pride.

“It’s a paper clip and an allen wrench?” I questioned.

“Nope, it’s a lock pick set. My ex had a thing for picking locks. Mark, I want you to try and pick the lock to the register while I have the owner follow me around the store.”

“Why can’t you pick the lock? I’m sure you picked up a thing or two from your ex.”

“Just because I know that he did it doesn't mean that I came along or picked up anything. We’re wasting time. Move the van to the back of the building.” Ellie hopped out of the car and slammed the door shut. I hit a nerve when I made the assumption that she did anything criminal up to this point. I did what she told me to. I parked the van behind the building and low and behold there was a back exit. The only thing that worried about that door was the possibility of it being the emergency exit. If it was the emergency exit then it would have an alarm system.

**

By the time I got inside the shop Ellie already the owner showing her an antique Christian Dior handbag. From what I could hear the owner was giving Ellie a complete history of the bag and Dior himself. If she kept it up then I would have plenty of time hacking into the cash register. Ellie saw me out of the corner of her eye and made a subtle tilt of her head towards the counter. I tiptoed as quietly as I could to register. It was almost identical to the one back at the station. I pulled out the tension wrench and the pick from my pocket. My hands were shaking so badly that it felt like forever until I could get the tension wrench inside the lock. My breathing was labored and I swore that Ellie and the owner could hear my heart beating out of my chest. Whatever confidence I thought I had went out the window. This isn’t gonna work and we’re gonna get caught.

My hand was shaking badly as I tried to insert the pick alongside the tension wrench in the lock. My hands were sweating profusely. I dropped the pick and the sound of it clanking on the counter sounded like an atomic bomb. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. I quickly surveyed the store and Ellie and the owner were nowhere in sight. I picked the pick up again and successfully inserted it inside the lock. I tried jiggling both the wrench and the pick, but nothing seemed to be happening. I was getting frustrated and I heard Ellie and the owner walking back towards the front of the shop. Fuck it.

I yanked out the wrench and the pick and threw them back in my pocket. I picked up the damn register and raced as quietly as I could out the door. This thing is fucking heavy. I looked around the parking lot and a few cars passing by. There was no way for me to hide the fucking thing, so I sprinted back to the van, tossed the register in the back of the van and waited for Ellie to come back.

I couldn't get my heart rate to slow down and I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins at one hundred miles an hour. I felt like screaming, I was so worked up. Before I could I saw a flash of gold flying in the wind. Ellie was running at full speed toward the van. She hopped into the passenger seat and slammed the door shut. Her eyes were wide, her pupils dilated; her cheeks flushed a deep crimson.

“Go now before the old bat figures out what happened! Go, go, go!” she screeched. I backed out of the lot and made a b-line for the highway. As soon as the shop was well out of sight I erupted into maniacal laughter. I had no idea what came over me, but I couldn't stop laughing. I turned to my right and saw Ellie laughing right along with me. Neither one of us could stop.

“I guess you couldn't get it open because when I bolted out the door the entire register was gone” she guffawed.

“I tried, I really tried. The pressure, I couldn't take it. Just grabbed the whole thing and bolted.”

“Pull over into that grocery store parking lot and I will try and open it.” I parked and we both made our way to the back where I half-hazardly tossed the register. I handed over the lock pick set from my pocket to her. Ellie easily got both parts inside the lock an deftly maneuvered the pick around. The drawer clicked open and we were greeted to the sight of green and a lot of it. The owner must have never put any money in the bank because all the slots were on the verge of bursting from the shear amount of cash.

“Oh my God, do you see all this?” she squealed with excitement.

“Nah, but it looks like we’re gonna covered for a while.” I matched her excitement.

“What should we do next? Where should we go?”

“Alright, now I have an idea. You count the cash and I’ll get us out of town. We need to put some distance between us. Find some place for us to rest a bit.”

“You got it, Clyde.”

“I’m Clyde now?”

“Yeah, you’re Clyde and I’m Bonnie.” She laughed. We were kinda like Bonnie and Clyde, except we had no guns or any kind of blood lust.

**

About one hundred miles out, we ended up some kind of resort town. Everything was green and the people walking around looked like they owned time shares and a membership to a country club. Ellie had finished counting the money and it came to around nine hundred dollars. In a sense, that shop was asking to get robbed. That’s way too much money to keep in the register.

Anyway, I dropped Ellie off at a grocery store while I drove around trying to find a place for us to recuperate. I knew that most places for ask for a credit card to keep on file, which couldn't happen. I ended up finding a romantic Victorian style bed and breakfast that took cash and didn't ask too many questions. Did I unconsciously pick this place to sweep Ellie off her feet? That was a very big possibility. There was a sleazy looking Motel 6 a few streets down, but I couldn't even fathom the thought of both us bumping uglies with God knows what crawling around on the floor.

After getting the keys to our room, I drove back to the grocery store to pick up Ellie. She was sitting on the curb messing with her phone with a giant twenty-four pack of Dos Equis. 30 bottles of light beer. I felt my stomach lurch.

“Heading for a frat party, young lady?” I asked as I rolled down the window.

“It is for a party, but it’s a more intimate affair. Don’t imagine that there will be any keg stands tonight.” She smirked. She grabbed the beer and grocery bags and threw them in the back of the van.

“I need to check your I.D. mam. I need to make sure that you’re not underage.”

“You’re joking, right?” I gave her a look showing her that I was serious.

“Fine,” Ellie huffed. She dug her wallet out from her bag and handed me her license. The year 1991 stood apart from everything else on the card. She was just a kid. 23 years old and running around with a guy more than ten years her senior. I’m robbing the cradle.

“What’s wrong officer? Does everything check out?” she snickered.

“You’re, uh, you’re 23. You’re just a kid.” I handed back her license.

“And that’s bad because?”

“I’m robbing the cradle.”

“What? No you’re not. Don’t overreact over something as trivial as age. Besides, you can’t be much older than me.”

“I’m 34.”

“Oh,” Ellie let out of long sigh. For a moment we sat in silence, quietly thinking.

“We’re quite a pair, aren't we?” Ellie broke the silence.

“We’re something alright.” We both laughed.

“Did you find a place for us to stay?”

“Yeah, and I think you’re gonna like it.” I began driving in the direction of the B&B. I badly wanted something romantic to take place during our stay, but I was hoping that she wouldn't read too much into it.

**

I’m not entirely sure how we made it through the front room with the stolen register protruding ridiculously out of black duffel bag that Ellie found in the car without raising suspicion. Maybe it was the shit ton of beer that we brought in as well and the lack of baggage, who knows? When we got to our room, we wasted no time in cracking open a can and settling in. Ellie was able to sneak in a couple of blunts inside the duffel bag. Tonight would definitely be interesting.

As we continued to drink our warm beer as the night continued and we climbed up onto the roof from our balcony. Ellie lit the first blunt and took a deep inhale and then handed it to me. I hadn't smoke weed since my college days and I was afraid about how I would react to it. You dirty old man.

“Tell me how you ended up working at that gas station?” Ellie handed me the second blunt of the night.

“You wouldn't like me if I told you.”

“I like you already, Mark. Just tell me, I’m not one to judge.”

“Alright,” I handed her the blunt. “I was lawyer and a damn good one; the best in my firm. You and many others would think that I put away the murders and the mobsters. Well, I didn't, I kept them out. Every time I would win a case my clients would treat to the best liquor and the most beautiful women that money could buy. I thought I was infallible, no could touch me. I was dead wrong; I had deluded myself thinking that I was untouchable. My final case, this guy was a psychotic murder and the prosecutor had all the evidence against him. The first few sessions in court I was getting my ass served to me. I had nothing, no idea on how to get my client acquitted. I got desperate and tried to bribe the judge that was presiding over my case. I whipped out my checkbook and asked him to name his price. The worst part was the judge turned me into the Bar when it had lost the case. I couldn't find work anywhere else and now that I think about, I deserved to work at that gas station.”

“Who was she?”

“What do you mean?”

“You said that your acquitted clients were able to give you the most beautiful women that money could buy. So, you had to have fallen for one of them.”

“I did. Her name was Sabrina.”

“And you loved her,”

“She loved my bank account more.”

“If it makes you feel any better, I’m a screw up too. I’m a college drop out. I gave up my scholarship and all of my promising talent to follow around a boy who could play guitar.”

“A girl like you could never screw up, at least not too badly. School is something that you can always come back to. And boys like that don’t ever make it in life.”

“You’re way too nice. I think we all go through tough times in life. And both of us are at a crossroads at this point in time. At some point things will get better.”

“I have to ask you, why did you come with me? I don’t get it.”

“I could ask you the same thing. You told me the other day that you were desperate and needed to get away. You said you didn't want to go along. Why me?” If I told her why, it was gonna make things awkward. Then again, being drunk and high might help things.

“When you handed the money to pay for the beer and the candy bar, our hands brushed together. I felt this violent shiver run up my spine. I had this feeling like I couldn't let you get away. It was like an out of body experience really.” Ellie just stared at me for a good long moment before she finally broke the silence.

“That’s really romantic, Mark. Are you in love with me or something?” a giant smile spread across her face.

“I’m getting there, I’m close.”

“Are you sure that’s not the beer and weed talking?”

“Pretty sure. So, why did you come with me? Were you scared?”

“Well, you started stuffing cash into my purse, I didn't have much of a choice. Plus, I thought you cute. Kinda like a lost puppy. I really don’t regret anything that’s happened so far. It’s been the best time of my life.”

“I really dig you.” Real smooth there buddy.

“Ha, I dig you too.” You know how in movies there’s that moment where a kiss happens? Well this was that moment. I leaned over Ellie and just looked at her for a moment. She was the most beautiful girl and definitely the most sarcastic. Her full pink lips were puckered and waiting for me. Being high and wafting smoke coming from the blunt added to the atmosphere. It also began to irritate my nose. Oh shit! You cannot sneeze on her. That was exactly what I did. I was barely able to cover my nose and mouth before a giant sneeze ripped through my body. 

Thank god Ellie started laughing her head off. I guess a shit ton of beer and a couple of blunts will would make anyone laugh at a disastrous attempt at a kiss.

“Nice try, old man!” Ellie pushed me off of her and continued to try and contain her laughter.

“Can I try that again?” I was desperate to taste her lips.

“What? No! At least not now.”

“Please?”

“We’re too drunk and too stoned to even think about trying that again. I’m too tired anyway. I haven’t slept in the past twenty-four hours either. I’m done for the night, darling.” Ellie stood back up and stumbled back to the ledge of the roof that lead to our balcony. I followed suit. We jumped down onto the balcony. Ellie stopped and looked at me.

“You can carry me to the bed if you want.”

“Is that an invitation for sex?”

“Absolutely not.”

“Okay then, I can wait.” I scooped her up into my arms and carried her to the bed. Ellie was heavier than she looked, but nothing that I couldn't handle. I would carry her around anywhere if she asked me to. I’m already pussy whipped. I gently laid her down on the soft bed, but I didn't stop there. I gently took off her beanie and one by one rubbed each foot after taking off her shoes. She began to moan from my ministrations. Hearing her moan was causing my dick to rise and stiffen. Her soft snore interrupted the atmosphere and my erection began to dissipate. It’s better to wait, old man. She’s worth waiting for. I got up from the floor and climbed into bed next to Ellie. You’re too tired anyway, you wouldn't last more than a few minutes.

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