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First You Die, Chapter Nineteen: Jip Meets Rawy


Chapter Nineteen

Jip Meets Rawy

Rawy felt more relaxed now that he had straightened this mess out. Sat would see the intruders off on the plane or take care of them one way or the other. The doctor was on his way and the girl was safely strapped to her bed. Everything was
working out perfectly. Khun Wou would be pleased.

The girl- she was the key to everything. How unbelievable -the way things had happened. Time for a talk with her. Rawy smirked as he strolled down the hallway. He entered the room, grabbing a gray metal chair and pulling it closer to the
bed.

Rawy sat down and leaned over. ‘Well, Soopies, we’ve been looking all over for you and your boyfriend and now you’re both here in Phuket. Everything comes to he who waits.’
Soopies eyes flashed and widened
slightly. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. I want to go back to New York. I’m a homeless person. Leave me alone.’

‘Who do you think you’re talking to now, some stupid clinic worker, an idiot doctor? It’s all over for you and your boyfriend. It ends here. It’s just an extraordinary coincidence that you turned out to be the
girl with the rare blood.’

‘You pig, what did you do with my girlfriend’s body?’ Soopies strained at the straps.

Rawy smiled. ‘That’s better. Let’s drop the pretenses, shall we. What girlfriend are you talking about?’

‘Porn, they murdered her in Bangkok. Did she get a Buddhist Ceremony? Was she put to rest properly?’

‘She had quite a send off; I can assure you of that and by the looks of you, so will you.’
‘What do you mean? What will you do with my body?’ I’m a Buddhist and I want a proper cremation.’

Rawy stood up and leaned on the bed railing. ‘I have never told anyone what was going to happen, but you have been so annoying, I’m going to give you something to think about. You were heading towards the Ford Explorer outside.
You will be taking a ride in it after you are dead. A body like this should not go to waste.’ Rawy ran a hand down the sheet and over her breasts, rubbing her nipples through the material.

Phooey!! Soopies spit at Rawy’s face. Saliva ran down his cheek. ‘You Kee Moo. Pig, Snake, don’t touch me.’ Soopies arms quivered as she tried to break free of the straps.
Rawy smiled malevolently. Now let
me tell you exactly what is going to become of you in the next few days.’

‘Rick’s going to kill you for this.’

‘Rick is probably dead already.’

After a few hours in Phuket traffic, Jip drove the rented car up a driveway in Ko Sire and stopped at the guard post. Ahead of him were a two-story warehouse and an asphalt lot with a half dozen trucks and cars lining one side. A young man
in a brown uniform saluted and stood by the gate.

Jip turned down the window. ‘I’m the doctor from Bangkok, here on business. Open the gate.’

‘Yes Sir.’ The guard pushed on the end of the long red and white metal pole that hung across the drive and it rose in the air. ‘Khun Rawy is in the office on the second floor. Please go right up.’

‘Well, that was pretty easy.’ Rick turned and reached in the rear seat for the green duffle bag. ‘Are we taking the rifles into the building?’

‘You bet. You know who Khun Rawy is?’

‘No, should I?’

‘No reason you should know, really. He’s a dangerous man and a vicious murderer, been around a long time.’ Jip clipped the Smith & Wesson on his belt, handed an automatic rifle to Rick and stepped out of the car,
heading toward the loading dock. Rick was right behind him and they walked past a few workers loading white fiberglass rice bags onto the back of a truck. Jip continued into the building, walking past stacks of boxes and white bags piled high
on pallets.

Rick had held his weapon down by his side when he had entered the building but now he had it up and ready. ‘Those guys hardly paid any attention to us walking in here with guns. Hey, there are those boxes, just like in the clinics.’

Jip pulled the car keys from his pocked and shoved a key into the corner of a white rice bag. ‘Those guys outside have probably seen all kinds of things here. It’s good to know when to mind your own business. Let’s see
what’s in these bags.’

Jip worked a hole into the bag and pulled out the key. Opaque shards of crystal-meth spilled onto the cement floor. ‘So that’s what it looks like; let’s keep on going.’

Jip and Rick entered a hallway on the second floor and peered into rooms as they passed, quietly opening the doors. ‘Look’s empty.’ Rick had his finger on the trigger of his rifle.

‘Rawy’s here someplace.’ Jip turned a corner, motioning to a fresh bloodstain on the floor. They came to the last door at the end of the hallway. Rick held the weapon to his shoulder and nodded at Jip to open the door.
Jip turned the handle and pushed the door open. Rick stepped inside and saw a man leaning over a bed.

‘Hands up. Get back.’ Rick shouted as Rawy turned, a small piece of stainless steel gleaming in his hand.

‘Don’t get excited. Someone may get hurt.’ Rawy held the scalpel against Soopies’ throat. ‘This blade is very sharp. If I fall or get shot, I’m sure the girl’s jugular vein will be severed.
Now why don’t YOU get back-and put the gun down.’

Rick bent over and laid the automatic weapon on the tile floor. ‘Don’t hurt her. Let her go.’
‘You next little man.’ Rawy nodded to Jip. ‘Walk over here and hand your pistol to me.’
‘No deal. Get away from her and you can live through this.’

‘Possibly, but I can assure you that she will not.’

‘Give him the gun and let him go. I just want Soopies safe.’ Rick’s voice echoed in the tiled room.

Jip unclipped the revolver from his belt. ‘Your life for hers. Take the gun and get out of here. You get an hour’s head start.’

‘Remove the gun from the holster and hand it over butt first.’ Rawy reached out, still holding the scalpel to Soopies’ neck.

Jip held the pistol by the barrel. ‘Take the knife away from her neck.’

‘Not just yet.’ Rawy took the gun and put the muzzle against Jip’s head.

‘You’re free to go.’ Rick held his hands up and took a step forward.

‘But you’re not. I can’t just let you walk out of here. And I have no intention of going anyplace. I have business to take care of. But you can take a ride in the Ford- to the farm. You are Captain Jipthep, I presume.’
Rawy nodded at Jip. ‘As much trouble as your father, and now you can prepare to meet him.’

‘What do you know about my father?’

‘Oh, I owe him a debt. He was he who got me started in business in the first place. It’s funny how things are working out today. Life is full of coincidences.’

‘You’re a liar. My father would have nothing to do with a dog like you.’

‘That may be true; however he was instrumental in me advancing along in the Ang Yee when I was a young man. The organization was protecting a gambling establishment on your father’s block but he was not a reasonable man. I volunteered
to remove him.’

‘You? You murdered my father?’ Blood rushed to Jip’s face and a vein throbbed on his forehead. A roar like the sound of a run-away freight train filled his ears.

‘Yes, and now you.’ Rawy’s finger tightened on the trigger.

‘Yaaaaahhhhhaaaa!!!’ Soopies screamed at the top of her lungs.

Rawy was startled and the scalpel sliced into her neck. Jip brushed the gun aside, grabbing the man’s shirt, pulling him close, bending down, flipping the man over and slamming him to the floor, away from the bed.

Rick ran to Sonia, putting his finger against the wound in her throat. ‘Take it easy, don’t move. Let me look at this.’ Rick said a prayer that the blood would not come out in spurts as he removed his hand. It was a small
incision and hardly bled at all. The blade had missed the artery by millimeters. ‘You’re going to be OK. Why did you scream?’ Rick reached for the leather strap on her wrist.

‘Somebody had to do something while you guys were standing around talking.’ She sat up and rubbed her wrists. ‘This man says that Porn’s body is at a farm north of Bangkok. I want to get her and give her a proper
ceremony.’

Jip held Rawy against the wall, the pistol digging into his throat under his chin. ‘Where’s the farm?’

‘What do I get out of it?’

Rick had untied Soopies and came closer. ‘You get to live.’

Jip spoke slowly and distinctly, his voice cold, ‘no he doesn’t.’

Rick put his hand on Jip’s shoulder. ‘You’ve killed enough people.’

‘No I haven’t.’

‘Take it easy. Let him live.’ Rick looked at Rawy. ‘Where’s the farm?’

‘An hour north of Bangkok on Route One, turn at mile marker 214. It’s a few kilometers down a dirt road. You’ll see a big brown sign out front. Don’t let him kill me in cold blood. He can’t do this. He’s
a police officer.’

‘He’s right. Ease up. Put the bastard in jail.’

‘No. Get out of here for a minute.’

‘You can’t shoot him down like a dog.’

‘Yes I can. But I’ll give him a chance.’ Jip backed away, still holding the pistol on the man. ‘I’m going to give the guns to Rick and he’s going to leave us alone in the room. You can try to escape
and I can try to stop you, see how it turns out.’

‘And suppose I make it past you?’ Rawy rubbed his throat. ‘Will your friend let me go?’

‘Rick, pick up the weapons and wait in the hallway. If Rawy comes out first, let him go.’ Jip handed him the pistol.

‘You’re kidding.’

‘I’m serious. But that won’t happen. Khun Rawy is going to be killed in an escape attempt.’
Rick shrugged his shoulders. ‘Up to you. Open the door, will you Sonia. Be careful, I’ll be right outside.’
Rick nodded to Jip and closed the door behind him.

‘My God I missed you so much.’ Sonia wrapped her arms around Rick, his hands full of weapons. She kissed his face. ‘I was so worried about you.’

Rick dropped the rifle and Jip’s revolver on the floor and held her tightly. ‘I was worried about you too. You’re my whole life. I don’t know what I would do with out you.’

‘I’m not your wife, not yet anyway.’

‘I didn’t say wife. I said life. I said you’re my life, my entire life. I love you so much.’
Sonia put her arms around Rick’s neck, holding him close. She looked into his eyes, her face inches from his,
her lips moist, her breath heavy. ‘Is there anything you want to ask me now?’ Sonia’s voice came out in a husky whisper. ‘Something I’ve been waiting to hear for a long time. Something we have both been thinking
about?’

Rick encircled her with his arms and held her close. ‘Why didn’t you let me know where you were going?’

‘What? What did you say? Let you know where I was going?’ Sonia pushed him away. ‘Rick Randel, you are the most unromantic person I know. Don’t speak to me. I hate you.’

Rawy had his hands on his hips and looked down at Jip. He was a foot taller and thirty pounds heaver. ‘Is your friend an honorable man?’

‘Yes he is.’

‘So, I can kill you with impunity?’

‘No you can’t. Kill me, that is. I’m going to strangle the life out of you. I’ve been thinking about this moment for thirteen years.’

‘But that’s the trouble you see. You haven’t thought enough.’ Rawy opened a drawer and took out a revolver, pointing it at Jip.

‘You can’t shoot. Rick will come in and blast you to pieces.’

‘Yes, that’s why I have this.’ Rawy put the pistol in the drawer and pulled out a huge curved blade. ‘Do you recognize this? It’s a hog knife- used to slaughter pigs, but you’ll do. Rawy leapt at
Jip, sweeping the knife in an arc in front of him. Jip jumped back and landed in a crouched position, his hands in front of him. He would pick up a chair and crash it against the man in a second but he knew that he could not take his eyes from
him.

Rawy sprang forward and slashed again. Jip bent backwards- the knife ripping across his cheek, blood bursting out and running down his chest. Jip was off balance as Rawy lunged and thrust the knife towards Jip’s chest, just at the
center of his ribcage. Jip turned to the side as the knife sliced into him. He grabbed Rawy’s arm and turned abruptly to the side again, his leg under Rawy’s, smashing him to the floor with a thud.

Rawy held on to the knife but Jip lay on top of him forcing the knife towards his neck. ‘Say goodbye dog.’

‘Your father-would he want you to do this?’ Rawy gasped.

Jip hesitated. ‘Smart, ever so smart. ‘OK, get up.’ Jip took the knife and grasped Rawy by the shirtfront. ‘Outside. You can spend the rest of your life in prison.’

‘But do you think that I will?’ Rawy smiled. He knew that he had won.

‘We’ll see.’ Jip put his foot against Rawy and sent him flying through the door.

‘What the fuck?’ Rick knelt and grabbed for the pistol.

‘I can’t believe it,’ Sonia screamed as Rawy appeared in the hallway.

Rick fired the gun halfway up and the big slug tore through Rawy’s chest knocking him back against the man behind him. ‘Stop shooting,’ Jip hollered. ‘I told you no shooting.’

‘Jip.’ Sonia screamed in joy. She jumped up and down, like a kid at Christmas, her hands in the air.

‘For Christ sake, I thought you were dead.’ Rick was relieved but sounded annoyed that Jip was alive.

‘I was right behind him. You could have shot me and besides I told you not to shoot him.’ Jip pushed the body aside.

‘I thought he killed you.’

‘I decided that you were right. My father would want me to take him to trial, even if he might go free. And now you shot him.’

‘Just making the world a better place to live.’ Rick shoved the gun into his belt as Sonia ran to Jip.

‘You’re bleeding.’ Sonia pulled Jip’s shirt up, her eyes wide in alarm. I’ll get some bandages.’

The body on the floor shuddered and moved. Rawy groaned. Rick used his foot to turn him over. There was a black hole in his shirt just about where his lungs were. Pink foamy blood covered his chest. Rawy’s lips quivered, he gasped
and coughed, ‘Help me.’

Rick bent over the man on the floor. The bullet had gone through his lungs alright. He would not live long without medical attention.

Rick knelt down and touched the man’s chest. ‘Do you want me to call you an ambulance?’
Rawy nodded his head.

‘Cool, you’re an ambulance.’

The words slowly dragged out of the injured man’s mouth, a puzzled look on his face, ‘Wha.. What?’

‘Just an old joke.’ Rick stood up and turned to Jip. ‘What do you want to do now?’

‘I’m going to arrest Johnny Wou.’

‘On what charges?’

‘I’ll think of some.’

‘How will we get into see him? His place is a fortress.’

Sonia waved her arm. ‘You see all of this, the clinics, the doctors. Do you know what it’s for?’

‘Sure, drugs, transplants and stem cell research.’

‘No it’s not. Wou has enough money from drugs and gambling and he doesn’t care about the transplants. I’ll get you into see Wou. Come on, I’ll explain on the way.’

Stickman's thoughts:

No comments today as I'm away from Bangkok and pressed for time.