Manhattan Jasmine and The Canyon of Heroes, part 4
by Digitalicat (The stunning conclusion! for those joining us fashionably late, go read parts one , two and three first).
Ed. note: while jasmine is off studying for the bar, she's rounded up some forces to keep the readers happy while she's gone. enjoy!
update: there is actually the teeniest chance that library adonis knows how to find this place. he slid into the chair next to me as i was posting this and then jumped onto my computer when his froze. whether he looked at the address history...your guess is as good as mine. still no clue as to whether he's at all interested but if i had my way, we'd be spending some time together after this bar mess is over. that's a lie. if i'd really had my way, we'd have done it on one of the library tables by now. he ran out tonight but not before coming over to get my number, which seemed somehow out of place since we've been talking so much and literally spending about 15 hours a day in close proximity for over a week. for friends/sex/other, this one will definitely be good to have around. he makes me think about a lot of things i take for granted, it's enlightening. also, i will have PLENTY of that debauchery i promised on the sidebar over there. there are currently no less than 4 parties scheduled in the days immediately following the bar and one (1) trip to the hamptons to see a concert for a band and go to their afterparty at some mansion that they've rented (literally there are 30 of us going and we'll all have our own rooms, it's ridiculous). bar exam is tuesday and wednesday, will post hermes monday night and andy's wednesday, and will report to you bright and chipper (or still drunk from a 36 hour drinking binge) sometime at the end of the week. okay, go off and play kids, enjoy part 4!
Jasmine resented the implication, but she had to admit Skinny was right. She was a natural. She was riding like an old hand far quicker than she'd have ever imagined. After a few blocks, she even felt comfortable enough to take one hand off the reigns and reach for her phone.
She dialed Pretty's number from memory. He answered immediately. "Jazz? It's about time. They're on foot and they keep looking over their shoulders at me. They're gonna call the cops any minute, I know it."
"Calm down, Pretty. Where are you?"
"Bowling Green. They just turned south on to Broadway."
"That's only a few blocks away! We'll be there in a few minutes."
"Hurry, Jazz. I'm really not looking forward to a bodyguard ass-whupping."
Jasmine hung up without responding and urged her horse to move faster. Skinny was just behind her.
The Canyon of Heroes. What a fitting place for a showdown.
They passed through Bowling Green and Jasmine stopped abruptly.
"Jazz, what's wrong?"
"Look. Construction workers."
Several blocks of Broadway were lined with scaffoldings. Men with hardhats writhed back and forth between the metal tubes. Why did it have to be construction workers? Fucking urban renewal! There was nothing wrong with this neighborhood!
Skinny suddenly looked afraid. "What are we going to do?"
"I've got a plan. Take my horse and go ahead of me. You should be just fine. It's always me they're after, but maybe you'll distract them enough for me to slip through unnoticed."
"Are you sure you want me to leave you?"
"It's the only way. They'll definitely see me riding a horse."
"Ok. If you're sure. I'll try to catch up with them and slow them down."
Skinny took both horses and headed into the Canyon of Heroes. The construction workers immediately noticed her. They watched intently, but said nothing. Jasmine could swear she heard Skinny whistling, like a child trying to keep the darkness at bay.
Jasmine looked around, desperate to find an idea that would allow her to pass through this gauntlet. We have a winner, she grinned. She ran forward to a UPS truck sitting nearby. She placed her hand in her bag and wrapped her fingers around her most powerful weapon while she waited for the driver to return to the truck.
Jasmine had to muffle a laugh when she saw the signature brown uniform. The man was enormous. He was easily six foot five and 300 pounds. Well, I won't have to worry about the clothes being too small. She stepped out from behind the truck.
"Police officer! Sir, I need to commandeer your vehicle!"
"What? Bullshit. You're not a cop."
She pulled from her bag the weapon she'd been fingering and calmly leveled the creme brulee torch at the man. "You don't want to get scorched, do you? Get in the truck."
"Please, lady, take the truck! Just don't burn me!"
"I'm afraid that's not enough. I need your uniform, too. Get in the truck and get undressed, Big Boy."
Two minutes later, Jasmine was wearing the driver's hat and ridiculously large shirt over her dress. She'd taken pity on him and let him keep his pants. His shirt was almost long enough to wear as a nightgown anyway. She put the engine in gear and urged the truck south. She could not see Skinny or the horses, but she could see the faint glow of The Golden Mraz in the distance.
I hope Skinny made it through ok. I'd feel terrible if anything happened to her. She glanced out the window to find the construction workers staring at her intently. They hung from their scaffoldings at odd angles. They know something's not right, but they can't figure out what it is. She pulled the hat lower and slid down the seat. Her ruse only needed to hold for another two blocks.
Focus on the prize, Jazz. Almost there. The glow of the Mraz was getting brighter. I'm catching up. He must be stopped around the park. She was so focused on the Mraz that she wasn't paying attention to the traffic. She slammed her stolen UPS truck right into the back of the car in front of her. Suddenly grounded again, she saw the traffic was at a complete standstill.
Shit. I can't afford another delay. She grabbed her bag and clambered out of the truck. Immediately she regretted that decision. The construction workers were suspicious before the accident. Now they knew something wasn't right. One of them started making kissing noises at her. Then she realized her mistake. Her legs! She looked down at her exposed calves. Her cover was completely blown.
She tore off the shirt and hat. The disguise was useless now. Several of the workmen made appreciative noises. Jasmine shouldered her bag again. She thought back to the anti-harassment advice she'd been given. Unfortunately, she could only think of one tip. Not having a better idea, she jammed her index fingers into her nostrils. The catcalls quieted considerably. She could hear one of the men say "Eew!"
Jasmine began to jog toward the park. For good measure, she began to shout. "Don't look at me! I'm not sexy, I'm picking my nose! Nothing to see here people! Back to work! Just a nose picker here!"
In no time at all, she had passed through the Canyon and emerged at City Hall Park. Jasmine followed the glow and found Pretty, Skinny, two horses, the man in the rumpled suit, and The Golden Mraz all standing around waiting for her.
"Pretty, what's happening? Why is everyone just waiting?"
"They're waiting because I asked them to wait. They kept looking at me and I figured I had to say something if I didn't want to get beat or arrested."
"You mean that worked?"
"Yeah, sure. Mraz was quite anxious to see you again."
Jasmine turned to The Golden Mraz. He looked starstruck.
"Is this the girl then, mate? Jason? Hello?" The man in the suit tried unsuccessfully to get his attention. "Whatever. Young lady, when you're finished with him, do see he makes it back to the Four Seasons, won't you?"
"Oh, I think I can guarantee we'll be in his hotel room soon."
Pretty leaned over to whisper to Skinny. "What's in the bag? What's so important that she had to rush home?"
"The usual stuff, I imagine. Brulee torch, vole snacks, a MacGuffin or two."
"Mmm. Are you hungry? Egg MacGuffin sounds good."
"That's something else, stupid. Now shut up, I don't want to miss anything."
Mraz reached out to take Jasmine's hand. "Please tell me, what is your name?"
"I'm Jasmine, Jasmine Mraz."
He gave her a quizzical look.
She smiled. "Well, maybe not yet. But give me time."