Read Haven (The Breadwinner Trilogy) Online
Authors: Stevie Kopas
Book II in
The Breadwinner Trilogy
Published by Stevie Kopas,
Amazon Kindle Edition
Copyright © 2014 by Stevie Kopas
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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or
places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously.
Adult Reading Material: This eBook contains Adult content
Original cover art created by Evan Lerman
Part I: Haven
The gentle rocking of the boat gave Samson little comfort. In fact, the drunken stupor he had put himself in the night before was showing its mean face with every movement The Dockside made in the gulf. He hung himself over the side and puked for what seemed like hours. His throat burned and his head felt like it would explode any minute now. He slipped backward and landed on his ass with a grunt. Vomit trickled down the left side of his face and he casually wiped it away. Samson exhaled hard and propped himself up on his elbows, trying to steady
himself and get rid of the spins. He cleaned his hand off on his black polo, no use in worrying what he looked like, he was already covered in blood, what would a little vomit hurt?
“You think you’re finished yet?” Samson saw dirty white sneakers appear out of the corner of his eye.
“I sure hope so.” He looked up at Veronica who loomed over him, hands on her hips.
“You need to get some rest.” She held out her hand. “We all need to get some rest.” Ben came up on the other side of Samson and helped Veronica get him off the floor of the boat. There was a small cabin on the boat with just enough space for the group of six.
Veronica had set up some linens and towels on the floor inside for Samson, and Ben helped him into the makeshift bed. “Ya know, we might have had some medicine for all that pukin’ you’re doin’,” Clyde stared down at Samson and spoke through a full mouth of potato chips. “But somebody locked us out.” He raised an eyebrow at Samson, awaiting his response. Samson simply lifted his hand and waived it at Clyde.
“You can give him shit later man, let him sleep the drunk off.” Ben took a seat on a wobbly folding chair between Samson and the table Clyde sat at. “Got anymore chips?” Clyde rolled his eyes and handed them over to Ben.
Veronica stood in the doorway and watched Juliette sleep soundly on the small loveseat opposite the table. “How do you think she’ll be when she wakes up?” Veronica spoke softly, almost nervously.
“I don’t know.” Clyde hesitated, as if he wanted to say more, but he didn’t even have the energy to talk shit about Juliette at the moment.
They felt the boat come to a stop and heard Andrew call out to them. Veronica stepped aside to let Clyde and Ben pass. She shut the cabin door behind her and followed them outside.
“I figure this is as good a spot as any to drop anchor and let everybody get some sleep. Nobody gonna fuck with us out here unless they got a boat of their own.” Andrew cracked his neck and
gently massaged it with his left hand. “Shit, and the day those things learn to drive a boat will be the day that I die.”
“Where are we?” Ben lit up a cigarette.
“Not really sure to tell you the truth.” Andrew looked around but for all he knew they could be halfway to Mexico and he wouldn’t be able to tell with how dark it was. “Been headin’ west now for almost three hours, and I’m not gonna lie and tell you that we have a whole lot of gas left to go much further because I don’t know shit about boats. So let’s get some shut eye and make some plans when we can actually see where the hell we are.”
“Got it.” Ben nodded at the brothers as they disappeared into the cabin. “You should go in with them.”
Veronica shook her head and joined Ben on one of the empty seats on the deck, she pulled her legs up and hugged them into her chest. She leaned her head back and stared up at the black expanse of the sky. She’d never seen that many stars in her life and it reminded her of how small she was, how insignificant they all were on this backdrop of stars.
Ben dropped his finished cigarette to the deck floor and stepped on it. “So what’s the grand plan for Veronica from here? You’ve gotten us this far.” He smiled at her through the darkness.
She picked her head up and squinted at him, trying to make out his facial expression but Andrew had cut all the lights off. “I don’t know. I never really knew if I’d actually find a way out of the city, but I did. And then I never knew how I’d get out of the bay once I found the boats. So really, I haven’t gotten us anywhere, everyone else has gotten me somewhere.”
“Hey, hey. What is that attitude?” He lit up his last cigarette and tossed the empty pack down at his feet. “If I recall, you are the reason we’re even all on this boat, so don’t get all emo teenager on me for Christ’s sake.”
She cracked a weak smile, but he couldn’t see. “Sorry. Guess I’m just still in shock. “The last couple of weeks have been pretty intense.” She swallowed hard, “The last couple of hours have been pretty intense.”
“What happened back there in Franklin? Is this Samson an alright guy?”
“He’s no better or worse than you or me. You’ll like him. Everyone has been through their own stuff. Nobody’s having a nice time.” She rubbed her eyes.
He nodded, he understood. “Just wanted to make sure you didn’t lose your spark.” She snickered somewhere in the darkness. “I’m really glad we found you, kiddo.”
“I’m really glad you found me too.”
Andrew was the first to wake up. The sun mercilessly shone down on his face through one of the cabin windows and his body was drenched in sweat. He gently moved Juliette from off of him and she groaned slightly. He stretched and every inch of his big frame ached. There was bottled water galore on the boat and he grabbed one as he left the cabin to check out their surroundings in daylight.
The sun was out in full effect, he glanced at his watch, 11:45. They were all so exhausted it didn’t surprise him how long he’d been able to sleep in such cramped quarters. He squinted his eyes at the sun’s reflection shining off the beautiful gulf waters and climbed the steps to the captain’s chair.
“Holy fuck.” Andrew didn’t know what he was expecting to see but he sure didn’t expect that they were this close to land or that they’d be right in the middle of a vacationer’s wet dream. He put the bottle of water down and fumbled with the binoculars that hung around the steering wheel and kept clumsily knocking into his legs as he was driving the boat last night. He recognized the resort immediately with its tiki hut beach bars, an enormous indoor/outdoor swimming pool, and the algae stained space straight down the middle of the towering building. It was once a breathtaking waterfall leading from the pool on the roof to the pool on the ground floor. Two smaller towers were to the right and left of the main one and an enormous green E sat at the very top of the center.
“That my friend, is The Emerald City.” Samson shielded his eyes with one hand and held a water bottle in the other.
Andrew hadn’t even noticed Samson below him at the bow of the boat. “I know what it is.” He called down. Samson continued to stare out at the resort as Andrew climbed down to join him up front.
Samson pointed at the binoculars and Andrew handed them over. “Stayed there a few times for some weekend getaways with the family.” Samson stuttered over the word family as he scanned the beach with the binoculars. “Even thought about getting our own condominium, but I never got around to it.” He lowered the binoculars and tucked the water bottle under his arm, extending his hand. “I don’t think we were formally introduced. I’m Samson Eckhart.”
“Yeah I know who you are. Big shot attorney that kept me nice and busy.” He shook Samson’s hand firmly, “Officer Andrew Hansen.”
“Job’s a job.” Samson raised a hand toward the empty shore. “Or at least a job was a job. The others, they’re with you?”
“Yeah, my brother Clyde, my girlfriend Juliette and the other one’s Ben. Right place, right time I guess, just shitty circumstances.”
Samson shook his head, “I can’t imagine anyone meeting under anything other than shitty circumstances anymore.” He handed the binoculars back to Andrew and sipped from his water
bottle, staring aimlessly and was suddenly snapped from his daze by a flash of light from one of the towers. “Did you see that?” He squinted his eyes and snatched the binoculars back out of Andrew’s hands.
“What’s the deal man?”
“I swear I just saw something.” He adjusted the focus and searched floor by floor for any movement from the middle tower. As he was about to lower the binoculars again he saw the flash of light once more from the 24th floor. “Up there, top floor, somebody’s signaling us.”
Andrew grabbed the binoculars back from him and took a look for himself. Once more the light flashed. “Signal mirror or something.” He mumbled to himself, waiting for any more light. A figure that Andrew could barely make out from their distance appeared on the balcony. They waved one arm and then two, then back to one again. “Well there sure is somebody up there, but who knows if that’s them sayin’ hello or tellin’ us to go the fuck away.”
Samson took a look again and the person added a little jump into their waving. “It looks to me like they might actually be a little excited to see us. We should wake the others.” Andrew hurried to get the rest of the group while Samson remained at the front of the boat. He decided to give whoever it was on the 24th floor a couple waves back. The figure stopped jumping and waving and quickly disappeared back inside the condo. Samson frowned, he didn’t know how to take the sudden cease in communication.
A minute or so passed and everyone but Juliette joined Samson at the bow. “How many people did you see?” Veronica held her hands out for the binoculars but Samson put them back up to his eyes again.
“Just the one, but they’re gone now.”
“Could you tell if he was armed?” Ben took a cigarette from Clyde and lit it up.
“Nah, can’t even tell if it’s a man or a woman from here.” Andrew folded his arms across his chest, furrowing his brow. “If there are more people in there, maybe they went to go get them?”
“This could be bad,” Clyde exhaled his smoke and the soft breeze off the water quickly cleared the air again. “We’re like sittin’ ducks out here. What if this motherfucker went off to get a sniper rifle or some shit?”
“Relax.” Samson gave him a sideways look. “They didn’t look hostile to me. Besides, if they were lookin’ to kill us I don’t think they would have let us know anyone was home.”
The group stood silently for a few minutes, studying the tower for any signs of activity. Veronica grabbed the binoculars and pointed at the beach excitedly. “Somebody’s running down there.” Her eyes followed the figure as it quickly moved on the sand toward a Beach Rentals Kiosk. “How did ya’ll miss all the damn jet skis down there?” She looked from Samson to Andrew and back to Samson again, rolling her eyes. The stranger on the beach grabbed
something from inside the hut and hopped onto one of the jet ski rentals, starting it up in no time. “We better hope this guy is friendly.”
“He’s going to ride a jet ski out here to us?” Clyde’s hand instinctively went for his firearm but he’d left it inside. “Damn, I need my gun.” He hurried back to the cabin, cussing the whole way.
“Grab ‘em all.” Andrew called out to him.
“What now? Give me those.” Samson tried to take back the binoculars from Veronica but she jerked away. Her mouth hung open at the 15 or so eaters that made their way onto the beach in pursuit of the man on the watercraft.
From what Veronica could see the dead were not so graceful at navigating the sand. They bumped into one another, knocking each other down and tripping over their own feet in an almost comical fashion. They waddled and shuffled toward the water, arms flailing and almost moving as one. She heard the whine of the
Jet Ski as it grew closer to The Dockside. Clyde returned with what little weapons the group had left and Juliette followed slowly behind him.
The man on the
Jet Ski came to a halt once he noticed the 4 men with guns pointed at him. He put his hands up immediately and revealed a gun holstered on his shoulder. “Whoa whoa, I come in peace.” His British accent was recognizable immediately. He looked from face to face across the boat, he stopped at Veronica and narrowed his eyes. “You’ve got children with you?”
“I’m not a child.” She stepped forward, as if she had intended on doing something about his remark but Ben put his arm out.
“No. There are no children aboard.” Ben responded to the man, pistol still pointed at him.
“Those things, behind you,” Andrew nodded toward the shore, “do we need to be worried about them right now?”
He turned around as the eaters tumbled into the water, getting knocked over by gentle waves and uneasy on their decaying feet in the crystal clear waters. The man sort of chuckled, “Nah mate, lucky for us they don’t swim. They get far enough out they sink and probably just stay there. To be honest, I don’t care where they go once they’re in the drink, as long as they don’t bother me anymore.” He wiped the sweat from his face on his forearm. “Listen, how about this, I throw my weapon aboard, you put yours down?” He spoke slowly and clearly. No one in the group said anything to him. “Look, I haven’t got anything up my sleeve.” He wore no shirt and shook his hands in the air, smiling at them.
Andrew looked to Ben and he responded with a nod. “Alright. Remove your weapon. Slowly.” Andrew watched closely the man’s every move. Once the man had the holster off, he brought his hands back up. “Toss it on up here, no sudden movements or I shoot.”
The man nodded and with a light underhand throw, the gun gracefully flew up for Samson to catch clumsily. The men looked at each other and dropped their guns to their sides.
“Alright then.” The man rested his arms on the
Jet Ski and leaned forward slightly, shifting his weight. “My name’s Gary. I’ve been living up in the tower, where you first spotted me.”
“How many of you are there?”
Gary looked at Samson solemnly and shook his head. “It’s only me now.”
“Oh, so you mean to tell me you’ve got the whole place to yourself?” Samson raised an eyebrow. “I don’t buy it.”
“Hey, look, I know, it sounds mad.” He rubbed his eyes. Samson could see the familiar hurt in them. “There were more. I can promise you that. But we ran into a problem, quite a big one. The last few days I’ve just been sneaking around like a rat between buildings trying not to get myself killed. I suppose the only advantage I’ve got over those things is I’ve still got my wits about me.”
Samson took a few steps over to Andrew and leaned in close. “I wanna know what happened. And if anyone here is gonna be able to call a liar on his bullshit, I’d like to think it’d be me.”
Andrew thought about it for a second and nodded, “Alright, let’s bring him up.” Clyde stormed off, obviously disagreeing with their decision to bring the stranger aboard.
”Why don’t you come on around back so we can talk this out.” Samson walked to the back as Gary fired up the
Jet Ski and brought it to the stern. The ladder dropped into the water with a light splash and Samson helped the stranger climb up.
The Dockside. I’m Samson.”