Crook Takes Pawn Part 98

"The van only had about 20,000 miles on it." Greg comments. Rebecca shrugs.
"It was a good ride, but I think they'll have more use for it than I do," Rebecca decides, "Julie will be big enough to ride up front pretty soon. I'll just put the car-seat back in the Nissan."
    They drive in mutual silence. Then Rebecca realizes something.
    "I guess  I can't sign the Nissan over to you now," She says apologetically, "It's my only means of transportation."
    Greg laughs. "You think only of other people, Rebecca. YOu should think about yourself sometime. I didn't mean to drag you into this second life of mine."
    "People make mistakes," Rebecca says, leaning onto his shoulder, "some folks give up, but some keep it going. All you can do is try to find a new path, and not forget where your old trails lie."
    "You sound like a fortune cookie sometimes," Greg jokes. She playfully slugs him.
    Greg drives a few miles before he can't stand it anymore. He pulls the car over. They kiss and embrace. Laboriously, they climb over the seats to the back. Greg is overzealous. He tears her panties on accident, ripping the waistband in two. She is dry at first, but that quickly changes. The rumpling sound of the leather accompanies their horizontal mambo. The condoms they brought were in the trunk of the car, and neither is willing to pause their coitus to get them.    
    Rebecca's love bordered on infinite. Everyone who came into contact with her was left with traces of her liveliness. Diane was a prime example. An estranged ex of Greg was not immune to Rebecca's kindliness. And here she was, expressing the most intimate act of that love, with Greg.
    It was dark, and he couldn't see her, but he could feel her. Oh, he could feel her. that inner softness, wet and inviting. He closed his eyes and pictured her in that bikini at the hotel. The way the material warped to the dimensions of her body, the way she pulled her swimsuit bottoms from the crack of that tight butt. He had every intention of pulling out, but Rebecca hugged him to her tightly, not letting go. One look in those eternally frosted eyes and he loses control. The passion of the moment overtakes them, and Greg finishes inside her without using a profolactic.
    After exiting her, Greg realizes what this means.
    "You might get pregnant," Greg says worriedly.
Rebecca shrugs in response, as she rightens her clothes position.
    "You know, there's something we can do to stop it," Greg says with a dry mouth, "I think if you orgasm, you can push it out."
    Greg does not reveal where he learned such a tactic, but let's just say you had to be 18 to see such a sight online.
    Rebecca's face squints in disgust. "I'm not doing that," she says, "that's fucking sick, Greg. Get your head on straight!!"
    "But, if you get pregnant--"
    "Whatever happens, happens," Rebecca says simply, "I have more than enough money to raise it. Could you handle being a daddy again?"
    Greg sighs. "You mean, could I fuck up another kids life?"
    "Think of it as a do-over," Rebecca suggests, "Raymond is still right here. He's not going anywhere. There's no reason you can't have 2 families."
    Greg exits the vehicle and stands for a moment in the humid night. A few cars drive by, flashing him in light briefly. Another possible dilemma has come about. Greg sits back in the drivers seat. They have arranged another hotel stay, this one about 2 hours away. The road has made Greg weary. Now there was much more to think about.
    "They make a morning-after pill," Greg says dully, "I'm just letting you know the options."
    Rebecca is blank-faced as she stares at him. Greg cannot read her. It is like a venus fly trap that has suddenly snapped closed. Her emotions are shut-down from him. She looks at him like she is scouring his very soul. Greg drops his gaze and stirs the hotel coffee with an grip of angst. This could spell trouble.
    Rebecca does not speak to him for 2 hours. She won't even look at him. He nervously tries to leap into conversation, but she only grunts replies. Greg feels helpless.
    "I'm sorry, this is just a bit much for me," Greg says in an outburst, "I'm wrestling with all of it. Please understand. I don't want to hurt you."
    "Neither of us meant it to happen," she says, referring to his unprotected ejaculation, "but it takes two to tango. So, at the very least, let's not assign blame."
    "okay," Greg says.
    She grasps his hand and puts it to her chest. His knuckles dwell within her cleavage.
    "Don't you want to have a baby with me?" she says with unshielded openness. Tears fall from those earthly orbs of hers. Greg hears the desire in that voice. She aches for him, he understands right then. She loves him. To bear his child would be something special to her. Morning after pill? No.
    But is it too soon? Greg shored up one bank of his river of woes, only to have another one crumble down. How much money did Rebecca really have? That seemed to be the deciding factor. Stress could be measured in dollars and cents. She was awaiting his response.
    "Yeah," Greg says, "but the timing could be better. I just want to make the right decisions this time."
    "We can work it out," Rebecca says adamantly, "just trust me, Greg. You know I trust you, too. Let's just start from there."
    By the time they get to the motel, all energy has been drained from them. They call an order for room service, and then they're out like a light.
    They did not visit Mount Rushmore, or any other sights. Too much had gone down, and home was the only thoughts on their mind. Well, that and the constant worry of being pulled over by a California cop to check on that vehicle inspection. Greg was greatly relieved to leave California. His prior attitude of the Sunshine State still upheld. It would be great to get back to Iowa, where things were slowed to a crawl.
    They stayed at another 2 hotels across the days-long journey. Greg seemed hypnotized by all the driving. His mind would wander sometimes, and when he came back to himself, he found that long stretches of time had passes, sometimes an hour or so.
    They made love at the one hotel, but not the other. Greg used a condom at the hotel, and Rebecca seemed to have an odd reaction to it. Greg thought she had babies on the brain now. It wasn't like they were trying to get pregnant. Why increase the likelihood that she actually would fertilize? that was Greg's reasoning, and they went through with it. But she denied him at the second hotel, claiming a headache and being tired. They would need to have a serious discussion when they got back. Also, a pregnancy test.
    Rebecca's house never looked so inviting. Greg couldn't see how truckers could do this sort of thing for days on end. His ass was killing him. It got to the point where his old coccyx injury was throbbing. He would need something to ease the pain. Maybe Rebecca had some valium, or vicadin.
    Amy met them in the living room. Julie sees Greg and immediately slips down from Amy's lap. So eager is she to reach him, that she almost spills onto her face. Amy lends a hand to her decent, preventing the accident. Ju-Ju walks precociously over to her paternal figure, squealing with delight. Greg scoops her up and does the whole tossing routine again.
    "Hello BaAaAaABY!!" Greg says in an undulating tone. Julie claps her hands, then covers her face. She is overwhelmed to shyness upon seeing her daddy. Rebecca watches Greg interact with her, and yearns for another child.
    "Where's the van?" Amy asked, confused. She had witnessed them driving off in two vehicles, but now only one returned.
    "I signed it over to Greg's family," Rebecca says nonchalantly.
    "How much did you sell it for?" Amy asks curiously.
    "I just gave it to them. No money exchanged hands."
    Amy's expression tightens. Greg does not wish to get into the matter while it was still fresh. He made his way outside, and texted Rebecca that he was going to check on the store. Greg had done enough verbal fighting the past few days. He didn't want to deal with Amy's cutting remarks today.
    Greg mosies over to the Pawn and Payday in the Caprice. It feels good to not have to worry about the amount of emissions pluming from the tailpipe.
The store is still open for another 30 minutes. Greg sees a commotion near the front of the store, by the checkout counter.
    There is a crowd of maybe 15 people in the Pawn and Payday. They encircle one of the largest TV's in the store. They are playing Killer Kombat. Greg recognizes the anguished sound effects from his foray with Raymond. Greg gathers there is a tournament from the bracket of names pinned to the wall. Greg's timing is impeccable. This is the last battle. Donnie is one opponent, while someone named "Cookie" is the challenger.
    Greg shuffles around, until he gets to the front of the pack. Greg sees the obese man, the one who bought the lamps from Greg. This has to be Cookie.
    Donnie is wearing the Pawn and Payday shirt, along with a Digital Dreams pin-on button. Donnie's collar is ruffled, and the shirt is unbuttoned, revealing his white undershirt. Donnie is maniacally tapping the buttons, trying to recover. Cookie seems to bide his time, almost playing with Donnie.
    "Finish him off, Cookie!!" someone yells. Greg is surprised by the wild energy in the room. Everyone is on the edge of their seat. Donnie lands a brutal blow to his opponents groin and the crowd groans. Donnie appears to gain the upperhand, but Cookie stops his playfulness and swoops in for the kill. The big man leans forward, threatening to fall off his stool. With surprising agility, Cookie plants one blow after another. The hand-eye coordination shows in Cookie's graceful movements. Cookie wins. His execution is lighting his challenger on fire, and kicking his head free from the neck.
    Everyone cheers. Donnie howls comically, falling from his stool and sinking to his knees. He looks towards the ceiling, shaking his fists in hyperbole. People mull around Cookie, patting his plump back. Donnie gets on a small microphone that Greg recognizes from his stock.
    "Okay everybody, it's official," Donnie says with a slightly distorted ring, "The Robert Fuller Benefit Tournament has a new champion. COOKIE!!"
    Cookie rises to a smattering of applause. Some of the contestants look dissatisfied that they lost to a hefty guy. Other better sports celebrate his victory. Donnie hands Cookie a T-shirt with custom printing. It says "Digital Dreams Video Game Tournament Champion". There's only one problem: the shirt is way too small for Cookie. He tries to put it on over his head, but gets stuck with the effort. Donnie helps remove the insufficiently sized shirt.
    "Do you have 4X sizes?" Cookie asks with a chuckle. Donnie shrugs and puts on the shirt.
    "LOoks like the runner up gets the prize!!" HE says, making the speakers crackle, "Don't worry cookie, I'll have the print shop make up another one, just for you."
    Donnie sees Greg for the first time in days. Donnie looks like a completely different person. He has put on enough weight, and kept it on, so he looks like a healthy human being now. Greg would even go so far as to call him handsome. The smile really transformed that face, made it something brighter and bolder. Donnie turns and sees Greg.
    "Hey everyone," Donnie says, waving them to be quiet, "the store owner is here. He just got back form a trip. Let's hear it for Greg Jefferson!!"
    Everyone applauds, turning their attention to Greg. He waves meagerly to the crowd.
    "Well Greg, we started this tournament for one of our fallen bros. Robert Fuller (correct last name?) was wounded in a shootout in this very store. Greg here was forced to defend himself, and took down the criminal. But, our pal Robert has been in the hospital for weeks, with debt steadily climbing. I just want you to know, with this little tournament, and your $15 entry fee, we've raised $300!!"
    Another round of applause. Donnie pulls out a brand new copy of the newest Killer Kombat game. It's still in the cellophane wrapper.
    "As grand prize, I give Sir Cookie the latest installment of our favorite fighter, Killer Kombat!!"
    Donnie continues for some time, until people start to leave and thin the crowd. Something is eating away at Greg. All the computers are gone, and most of the monitors.
    "Where's the Digital Dreams cases?" Greg asks worriedly. Instead of answering, Donnie smiles and opens the cash register. He produces a check. It is stamped by the Cedar Rapids Police Department. $6000.
    "I sold em all, dude," Donnie says with that same wild smile.
    "How did--" Greg says, stupefied.
    "I went in to pay towards my fines, so I can keep my license," Donnie explains, "and I had a hell of a time finding the right person to talk to. It seems they couldn't find my file, since I didn't have an address. So I ended up going to the computer records department. I had to wait forever, because they were upgrading the servers. One thing led to another, and I threw out Digital Dreams as a bidder."
    "So, how many did you sell?" Greg asks.
    "All of em, and then some," Donnie says proudly, "20 computers in all."
    Greg high fives him. But then a thought stops Greg's celebration.
    "But how come it's $6000?" Greg asks, "if they sold for $400 a pop, that should be, like $8000."
    "We knocked down the price to $300, to compete," Donnie says, "and the Police Department got some kinda special tax benefit because Digital Dreams is a small-business."
    "But, we don't even have that many computers left," Greg says doubtfully, "we've only got like 10 or so."
    "Right, Ben needs to go to the CNC company that manufacturers his computers. He's already submitted the specs to them, and it's gonna be awhile."
    Donnie paces around the store excitedly. "In the meantime, we're gonna ship them 5 computers to get by, then wait until the rest are done being assembled. Looks like the police state of America has played into our favor, for once!! Cops budgets never get cut!!"
    "Won't that fuck up your commission?" Greg asks, "if you lowered the price?"
    "I'm not getting commission on this one," Donnie says, "Ben needs the money to build the new systems. He's letting me stay at DD, in the back loft, for free. I've got no complaints, dude."
    "So, where's the remaining computers?" Greg asks, gesturing to the empty floor.
    "Ben took them back to DD, because he needs part numbers on the mainboards. Once he has all the accessories needed to build, he's gonna bring them back. Don't worry."
    "oh, I'm not worried," Greg says with a toothful grin. He throws an arm around Donnie's shoulders, and looks around at this business, which has been resurrected from the grave.
    "You've done well, Donnie," Greg compliments.

Uploaded 07/27/2012
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