When they arrived at the hotel, they took the back route so the other guests who might be in the lobby would not see them on their bikes and thus, gather attention they did not want.
The alley was empty as was the rear area of the hotel and they stashed their bikes and went to the further trouble to hide them under a couple of old drop cloths stored in the back for painting. Anyone who happned to go to the trouble to get back there would only see the air conditioning units, some building materials and a tarp covered lump.
The kitchen was empty and dark when they went inside and were about to go in the lobby when they heard shouting and screams coming from within. Carefully peering through the door, they could not see the lobby proper, only the backend of the restaurant. So they quietly went into the restaurant, but left the door slightly propped to cut down on noise.
"Gimme all of it, b**tch! I ain't got all day waiting for you!" shouted an angry voice.
"Please, that's all I have. I am poor like you and I am only trying help.." said a whimpering voice.
"Shut up, you h*! Get over here old man! Gimme that watch! Where is the likkah around here. Dey got a bar but it all empty. You drink it all you old craka a**!?" another voice yelled.
"There's another guest here, on nine. He has money and gold jewelry. He probably took all the alcohol to his room. I'll show you his room and you can get him, just let me go, okay?" pleased the same female voice.
Curiosity got the best of Patty as she knew the other guests were in trouble and the voice that was presumably selling out Lamar out sounded familiar. She lay on the floor and looked though the table legs of the nearest table to the lobby and saw the scene in its entirety.
There were three young men wearing "urban wear"; high tops, baggy pants and baseball caps. Two were armed with sticks or clubs of some sort, but one had a nickle plated automatic and was waving it around like he was in a music video.
The rude old man from last night was laying on the floor but appeared unharmed. The pleading woman was none other than Dee from late last night in the kitchen.
Forgetting about Dee, Patty concentrated on the three thugs and how she might be able to diffuse the situation, but realized force would be neccessary. Patty had taken a handgun safety course and two firearms training classes and both covered situations and scenarios like this, but this was the real thing.
Scooting back into the restaurant, Patty motioned for Lamar to get back into the kitchen. She then instructed him to bring the shotgun and one box of shells from the bike as quietly as possible. She had a plan, but it was a big risk considering Lamar's lack of firearms experience.
Going back to the restaurant, Patty watched the lobby carefully from her concealed spot. Running a head count, Patty confirmed three assailants and five guests in the lobby. She had no idea where the others were and the thugs might still leave after they had robbing and insulting the guests they had captured.
"Go off back there and see what they got hidden, Ralz" said the apparent leader and only one with a gun motioning towards the restaurant. That was bad, thought Patty, the time to act was now.
Crawling backwards she waited until the thug was halfway across the room before she stepped out and shouted,
"You! Put down your weapons and put your hands behind your head. Do it! Now!"
The thugs froze for a moment, the closest staring down the barrel of Patty's Glock with eyes wide open.
"Shut up, b**ch and give me that thing!" said the leader with the gun. "Then I gonna bend you over that chair and schools you." he said laughing and looking at his friends.
Patty did not laugh. A haze went over her and she was back in the alley with the drug addict. His foul breath in her face, his hips grinding against her, his horse voice in her ear.. She drew a bead on the leader and squeezed off three rounds.
The report was deafening in the enclosed space as the thug fell to the floor blood gushing from his solar plexus. Patty turned toward the other man in the back of the lobby who literally screamed, dropped his bat and ran zig zag to and out the front door. The third one who was closest, moved towards Patty when he stopped suddenly and tripped over his own feet.
At that moment, the trademark sound of a shotgun racking sounded behind Patty and broke her shock induced state. She turned and saw not Lamar, but Manuel holding the shotgun with three other young men behind him. The last thug lay on the floor and started pleading,
"Please don't shoot me.. please don't. He mades us go wif him. Please..."
"Shut up," said Patty.
"Hello Manuel, I wasn't expecting you."
"Hello, Miss Patty. We were coming to get the food when we saw this man messing around with the shotgun in the alley. I know him from the hotel and he told us what was happening. You want us to take him outside and put him somewhere?" he asked nodding at the man on the floor.
"That would be great but tie his hands and feet first, alright?" said Patty.
Two of the young men came forward and one pulled a lockblade knife out and cut the useless pwer cords from two of the lamps in the lobby. It was then Dee spoke,
"You murdered that poor young man. What kind of homocidal vigilante do you think you are? Someone needs to get a police officer in here immediately and put you under arrest. And those guns need to be handed over to the authorities as well!"
Patty ignored her and went over and picked up the handgun dropped by the leader on the floor. She gave his body a cursory look and realized he was deader than a doornail.
"Manuel? Do you want this?" she said as she held out the handgun.
"Sure, Miss Patty. I guess you need your shotgun back?" he said.
"I am afraid so, Manuel. We might need it again." Patty replied.
"I knew it! You people are all in cahoots. Where were you when this all started? You probably led them here didn't you?" said the older guy from last night as he snatched his watch off the ground. "As soon as I can find a police officer, I will insist a full investigation takes place and ..."
Patty went and stood in front of him, her Glock still in her hand and his tirade immediately ending.
She then turned to Manuel,
"Manuel, check the dead guy for spare magazines or ammunition, they are getting hard to find. Then get your friends and let's divvy up the food, but you probably want to keep an eye on these people while Lamar and I get our things."
Patty went to her room and grabbed everything she wanted, but first filled up all her water containers including the hydration bladder. She also took all the bottles left in the fridge as well as the rest of the mini bar's contents. Shouldering the bag, she went in the hallway and took the last of the bottled water from the maid cart, several bars of soap, four rolls of toilet paper, a couple of the sewing kits and a hand towel and stuffed them into a plastic laundry bag.
She went downstairs and was joined shortly by Lamar, similarly loaded down. They went into the kitchen and worked with Manuel and his family members on the food. Patty and Lamar took a bag of apples, some limes and lemons, a bag of hard rolls, ziplok bags of sugar, salt and flour, some spices and a plastic bag with a half a dozen slices of ham which needed to be eaten by dinner.
The first guests who figured out what was going on and to come into the kitchen was the young man who helped move the couch in the lobby and with him was a young woman around the same age. They both had good sized bags over their shoulders and the man had a pillow case loaded with some things as well.
"Looks like you guys are heading out too. After that scene in the lobby, we packed up and are getting out of here. Is it alright if we take some of the bottled water and any food which might be available?" asked the man.
"At least you are doing something, sure, help yourself. At this point, it's every man, and woman, for themselves to get out of the city. Where are you heading?" said Patty.
"Joplin, Missouri. It will be hard, but I think we can make it if we keep our heads on straight." he said.
"Dan was a Boy Scout and spent four years in the Marines including tours in Iraq. If anyone can get us home in one piece, he can." said the woman looking at her husband admiringly.
"Well, take what you need and get going, you have a long walk ahead."
The kitchen door opened and Dee pushed her way in.
"Mr. Dexter has gone to get a police officer and we will put an end to this racially motivated murder and disgusting violation of the law. This was clearly a hate crime and you can bet I will be testifying in court against you, Miss Valdez, and will joyfully watch when you get carted off to jail where you belong."
"I am shocked that a violent person like you, a typical rabid gun user, is allowed to even have children. What trauma your daughter must have suffered in your so-called home. Fortunately, if you ever get out of prison and get back there, you will find that the authorities will have by then placed your daughter with a loving and open minded family who will most certainly educate her on your past and make sure she is first and foremost devoted to diversity and justice." Dee added smugly.
Patty moved quickly across the room, drew her Glock, shoved Dee against the wall and placed the barrel to Dee's temple.
"Hey, gringa, you want justice? I've killed two men in the past two days since I'm feeling diverse, knocking off a fat cow like you don't mean nothing to me, no more. Got it, ese?"
"You mess with my daughter you mess with me, you hear me, ese? You talk about my daughter again, I'm gonna mess you up!
"Don't nobody wants you around anyway. Even your ugly old partner don't care if you dead or alive no more. The gangstas don't even want you, b**ch. Now get your old butt outa my face before I cap you."
Patty stepped back and Dee fell to the floor sobbing, the others in the kitchen staring at both women.
Lamar stepped forward and said quietly, "It's okay Patty, it's alright" and he gently lowered her gun hand which still had the Glock pointing at Dee. Patty turned and cried into Lamar's big chest, her body hitching and finally breaking down after the past two days.
Dee stayed on the floor, clearly in shock from the confrontation and hesitant to stand in face of the onslaught of rage she dragged out of Patty. She wanted nothing more than to find a hole, crawl inside and wait for this hellion to leave once and for all.
After Patty composed herself, she and Lamar hauled their things out to the alley and went through a quick pack job of the trailer, their backpacks and the panniers. While Patty wanted to redo everything due to her detailed oriented nature, it was Lamar who suggested that they move now and regroup in the event the one thug who escaped brought back friends.
Manuel and his family had brought a large garden cart and a big child's wagon for taking their share of the food and other things from the hotel. In addition, each of the young men had a large pack or bag with them and one of them had thoughtfully loaded his down with rolls of toilet paper and paper towels.
Manuel had the semi-automatic, a nine millimeter, the dead man carried, but when he checked the magazine, there were only five rounds inside. Patty took ten rounds from her gear and handed them over to Manuel.
"You've been a good friend, Manuel. I wish you and your family the best." she said.
"Baya con Dios, Miss Patty. I hope you get home to your little girl soon." he replied.
After the four young men walked away, Dan and his young wife, whose name was Tara, also said goodbye and disappeared quickly.
"You think they will make it?" asked Lamar.
"I sure do hope so." said Patty. "Well, daylight's burning and we have a long way to go."
They climbed aboard their bikes and headed out.
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