I wake up. It must be early morning from the dusty sunlight pouring from the gaps between the slats of the barn's walls. Nat and I are naked, tangled up in an old sleeping bag. She's snoring, as usual, drooling on my arm which her head is resting on. My head hurts, always does after too much excitement, booze and coke. The motorcycles sit down in the ground level of the barn. God, did we steal those? I always wonder that after a job: is this really _me_? Did _I_ actually do this? There's this detached voice, this person in me that can't believe that it's me who snorts coke, slams smack, steals bikes, even killed someone. Just once, though, and he deserved it. You see, Nat and I were pulling a job somewhere in Texas at this little hick Harley dealership and this guy, some rent-a-cop, catches us. I was looking for cash in the office. Nat was casually picking out her ride from a line of Sportsters in the showroom. This fucking guy comes in with his gun belt and mag-light and screams "Freeze!" I duck down as Nat is caught in his flashlight beam. She's motionless... I can see her right arm behind her back, reaching for a huge knife she keeps hidden in her jacket. But, she knows she's not fast enough. He has a gun pointed at her and she isn't stupid. I'm crouched behind the counter. I reach down to my boot and pull out a Glock 9mm from its holster. I bought it a few days before, on a lark. So easy, just point the gun and pull the trigger. BAM! Bad cop, no donut. "Don't fuckin move, chickie!" He bellows again, the flashlight shaking in one hand, the gun in the other. "I'll blow your fucking head to mush!!" Some fat, hairy hick that never got anywhere in school other than 9th grade shop. He's looking at her like she's some piece of meat, standing there with a gun pointed at her head. The sickest thing is that I can see him getting excited. He has a fucking hard-on under those polyester work pants. I hold that Glock in my hand, its ceramic cold handle in my palm, smooth and hard. I chamber a round with a small click and wait, quietly, although I want to pounce this guy now and blow a hole in him. I wait or we'll both be dead or worse... I have to wait until he lets the gun down.... "You don't really want to do that, sir." Nat's voice is calm. I can see her holding the knife in her hand, behind her back, blade gleaming in the dim lighting. Her knuckles are white but she's rock still. This must scare the guy. "Just doan fuckin move!" He reaches for the gun with the other hand, letting the flashlight's beam fall from her. I spring up, aim and pull the trigger: a flash, a kick of the gun, burning shell hitting my arm because I'm left-handed, and then a bloody pulp on the floor in front of me, next to a headless body that the flashlight illuminates when it rolls on the floor. I threw up for three days afterwards, Nat holding me every time as I heaved up bile because there was nothing else in me. After I stopped puking, I started drinking and drinking until I couldn't feel anymore. Then I slept for days. Nat was there the whole time. She knew that I'd never killed anyone. She had. I could see it in her eyes when she had the knife in her hand, some coldness under that smile... Nat's still sleeping and doesn't seem inclined to awaken any time soon. I gently lift her head and pull my arm from underneath. I sit up and pull on my clothes in the cold of the morning. I wrap the sleeping bag around Nat's sleeping body, kiss her head and stoke her hair. I climb down the ladder and squat down in the stale hay, contemplating the motorcycles, fingering the Glock that I still keep in it's holster in my boot. Then, I pull out my Zippo, spoon, baggy and hypo and start my morning ritual. Melt that smack, smelling the zippo fluid and twitching slightly. I pull up the smack into the hyp and flex my muscle. I've only been doing this for a month, since the guy, so my arms aren't fucked yet... My vein pops up and in goes the needle. Pull out the plunger and blood billows into the hyp.. my favorite part.. and then I slam it in. Rush... I lean back on my heels and then stumble and fall on my ass, so high. I study the spider webs on the beams above, listening to the morning birds chirping. How beautiful it all is. I lie in the hay. The musty shitty smell isn't so bad, mixed with morning dew. Nat wakes up and climbs down the ladder after dressing. I'm still laying in the hay, coming down. I can see her black motorcycle boots walking towards me from my perspective, on the floor of the barn looking straight out. She kneels down and I roll over onto my side. She leans down and kisses my cheek. "Feeling okay?" "Yea." Nat's clean. I've never seen her do more than a few lines or hits from a pipe of good pot. I don't what happened to me. Things just didn't turn out how I wanted them to. She lays down next to me, in the hay. I put my arms around her and hold her tightly. She strokes my hair and whispers in my ear the soothing things that she and she only knows to calm me down. She's smaller than I am and lighter in build but stronger in some ways. She has easily kicked me around a few times. She's half Japanese and half anglo. She showed me a picture of her parents once. Her dad looks like Rudger Hauer when he was the skin job in "Bladerunner." I love her. We take off the next day, riding our asses off into the wind. Nat looks bitchin on the Ninja, her black hair flying out from under her helmet. I gun my bike and pop wheelies for her amusement. We took the plates off the bikes and replaced them with plates I brought. There's nothing much else we could have done in the time we had. We can outrun anything the cops have, anyway. We're heading back to another stash point, one more before my garage. We'll do some trickery with the paint and the serial numbers and the bikes will be ours. I'm starting to feel the need again so I wave Nat to stop at the next turnoff. There's a rest station there that seems to be abandoned for the most part. We hide the bikes in a patch of trees, so they're not visible from the highway, and go into this old cinder block bathroom. The walls are painted slick on the inside and there's the sound of dripping pipes. I unload my stuff into the sink and then run my finger absentmindedly down the mirror with a squeak. I start my ritual. I lean, back against the wall, with the hyp positioned to go. "Hurry." Nat urges me. She looks anxious, pacing around, her hand in her jacket where her knife is hidden. I fumble with the needle a bit and then hit home, push in the plunger. I slide down the wall onto the floor. Everything is fine..... I look up at Nat as she stands over me. She smiles, despite her need to get the hell out of where we are. "We're going to have to something about this little problem." She sits down next to me. She seems ninety million miles off, calling though a layer of thick gauze. "In time, sweetness." I whisper, reaching out and touching her cheek with my fingertips. It's like reaching across the room. "In time." She leans over to me and gently places a kiss on my slack lips. "In time, then." There's noise outside. A car has pulled up. Someone has gotten out, a door slams. Nat jerks up and so do I. I'm reeling as I try to get up. Nat's pulling me by my shirt. We can hear footsteps outside. Boots. I wonder how visible the cycles are. The footsteps come closer to the door. Nat is pushing me into a stall. There's a window of frosted glass above this stall. I look at it. You're not there, window. I punch it though with my bare hand. Nat yanks on her riding gloves and finishes the job off. It's too late to go back now. I drag myself though the window and land in a heap on the ground outside. Nat comes out after me. I'm up by the time she's though and I grab her before she falls. We left everything in the bathroom: helmets, my jacket, my drugs... We're fucked! We crouch down in the bushes by the building as the boots run out to the door and then start around the outside of the walls. I reach for the gun, cold in my hand. I can hear something cock, metal on metal. Keys jingling and boots crunching in the pine needles. Heavy boots. Nat sees what I'm doing and pushes the gun down, giving me a look to stop. Not yet. The boots are really close. I can see them now, from where we're hiding. Snake skin and gray. Sheriff's polyester blue pants over them. Shotgun muzzle pointed to the ground, poised to go. I can hear my heart in my ears and my breath whistling though my open mouth. So can he. I see him take a step too close and spring. Nat's ready to go as well. She pulls out her knife and jumps out as I do. The guy is taken off guard and I knock the shotgun out of his hand as he stumbles back. Yea, fuck you, die. I see him reaching for his side arm and plant myself into the ground, both hands on my gun, its barrel inches from his face. "Just fucking stop right there!" I scream, spittle spraying all over. His hand is still. He's looking at me, eyes steady. "You don't want to be doing this." His voice is calm. "I can help you." "Fuck you!" I put the gun under his chin, digging its muzzle into the skin. "No way." He is motionless after that. His eyes are so sad. I can't stand it. Nat is telling me to kill him or let her. She has her hand on the gun, lightly. I can't move. I want to kill this motherfucker but I can't move. The cop moves, as my sight wavers for a moment and Nat isn't totally on guard, and takes my hand with the gun in it. I pull back, falling to the ground, and the gun goes flying into the air. I go at the cop, yelling. He has his side arm out and is aiming at my head as I come at him. Blam! I'm on the ground. Blood is soaking the dirt by my head. I can't tell where it's coming from. I can see Nat sticking her knife into him. His gun is on the ground by my hand. I can't feel a thing. Nat pulls me up into a sitting position and I see that my leg is shot. I put my hands on the wound. Nat pushes them away and starts swearing, cutting the pants around the blood with her knife, which is covered in the cop's blood. I don't think it's too bad because the blood isn't squirting or anything, just oozing out. Nat wipes the knife off and shoves it back into her jackets and ties a bandanna onto my leg and pulls it tight. Pain! I yell at her and she tells me to shut up. She picks me up, pulling at my shirt again, and I hobble with her to the bathroom to get our crap. I can't ride like this. We have to find somewhere to go. I can't think anymore. I'm just reeling. Nat seems to know what to do. She puts my jacket on me. She has my gun and puts that in her belt and holds the helmets in her hand by their chin straps. We'll ride on her bike. I can hang on. Nat and I make out way out to the bike, stopping for a moment over the dying man. "Bad cop..." "...no donut." I finish it for her. The blood is soaking the bandanna but we can't bother with that right now. My hand is cut and bleeding in a few places from where I punched in the window. Nat half carries me to the Ninja. There's no time to torch the enduro so we don't bother. She hands me my helmet and I somehow drag it on, smearing blood on it and the visor from my cut hand, as she does with hers and then she gets on the bike and fires the engine up. Good thing she left the keys with the bike. I'm swaying on my feet, coming down from the smack high and in pain. She motions for me to get on the bike and I somehow drag myself on. I grab onto the sissy bar behind the seat and hold on as she guns the bike and sends us hurtling out onto the highway again. I'm passing out on her. I shake my head, trying to clear it out. Blink my eyes. Nothing seems to be helping. I feel like I'm slipping away. If I pass out, I fall off the bike. I must concentrate on staying awake until she can get me somewhere safe.