The Charming Monkey, Part 15
Puchenko swung his fist at my head. Without thinking I kicked my foot out under the table, pushing back on the nearest of the four legs supporting the sturdy piece of furniture. My chair rocked on its hind legs, and I began to fall backward. Puchenko's punch sailed pass my face as I moved back. My foot latched onto the underside of the table, stopping me from hitting the ground, just as the force of Punchenko's missed punch made him stumble onto the green beige. He was stunned and looked up at me, getting ready to lift himself up for another attack.
I saw the monkey in my hand and quickly swung it at Puchenko, hitting him on the side of his face. The force of the blow twisted his head toward the centre of the table. He spat out a mixture of blood and saliva, together with a couple of teeth that tumbled across the beige like dice. He slumped on the table, out cold.
Vadas hesitated, and then made a move toward me. I saw a glint out of the corner of my eye, and looked down at the figure lying in a heap in front of me. Puchenko's jacket had opened slightly, revealing a pistol hanging in a holster. I tossed the monkey into my left hand, grabbing the pistol with my right. I pointed it at Vadas, who stopped dead in his tracks.
"Think about what you are doing, Mister Cane", he said in a sombre tone. "This will not end well for you".
He was right. By trying to save some schmuck I didn't even know, I had now put myself in a situation which would haunt me for the rest of my life, however long that was. As I stood there pointing a gun and one of the most vicious and powerful men in town, I kept on thinking about the office and Madison, and how I'd kill to be back there with a cup of her coffee. I snapped back to reality and pulled back the hammer of the gun.
"Fortis and I are going to walk out of here", I said, hoping Vadas wouldn't pick up on the fact that every part of my body was shaking, "and then I'll get the monkey to you".
"You know that I cannot allow that, and I know that you will not shoot me. If you give me the monkey now, I may let you live".
I looked over at Fortis, who was still being restrained by Vadas' men. Images flashed in my mind of the fate that awaited him. The poor fool couldn't even start to imagine what Vadas had planned. Could I let that happen? It might teach the arrogant prick a lesson. I looked back at Vadas and lowered the gun. A look of horror passed over Fortis' face, his last hope fading away. He began to let out a scream, but his cries of mercy were drowned out by the alarm bells echoing around the room.