From last time ...
And she was glad. Glad that this place hadn't changed. Glad that this one place could be her shrine to what they had - to what they might have had.
She laid down across the bed, clothes and all.
"G'nite, Jake. I love you."
And now ...
Sarah slid into the booth across from Ma.
"G'mornin', Ma. Maria said you wanted me to come here."
"Yeah. I was thinkin' about cookin' breakfast fer ya, but I guess I don't feel up to it, this mornin', if ya know what I mean."
"Yeah, I guess I do."
"I know yer not goin' to the buryin', and I guess I can't blame ya, but I gotta go. I can't not go, ya know?"
"Yeah, Ma, I know. I know. When are you going?"
"Two Feathers is sendin' one of them young bucks off the Res up here ta get me. I figure he'll be here 'bout 9 or so. I oughtta be back right after lunch. Anyway, we got some time and I got some stuff here from Jake fer ya and we got some stuff ta talk about so I guess we better get started. I ordered ya some eggs, toast 'n coffee which oughtta be up in a minute or two. I hope that's okay."
"Yeah, Ma, that's fine. I'd guess you've got some questions ..."
"Yeah. I do. What the hell is this all about, Sarah? I know you and Jake was up to more than just that pattycake you were playing in the room that night, but Jake never said anything, you never offered, and I wasn't gonna ask 'cause at the time, it tweren't none 'o my business."
"I don't know how to answer that, Ma. It's a long story."
"Well, go right ahead. The way I figure, we got three hours."
"Okay. Short version. A fella I met when I was a Stew wound up as a killer for the mob in Vegas. He came to kill me, one night, but saved me, instead, when he recognized me."
"Wait a minute. Why would he want to kill you?"
"Do you remember the casino job about a year back, when those four out-of-towners came in and took all that money off the elevator in the casino? I saw Sully casing the place - I saw him in an area he never should have been in. That made me the only person who could tie Vito Giamatti's people to that job. The Kid was sent to kill me because I saw Sully. At least, that's how Jake and I figured it."
"Okay. Then what?"
"I saw Sully kill The Kid. I swore revenge over his dead body. I met Jake, he taught me how to shoot, how to be a sniper, really, he gave me a rifle and I killed Sully and Chico when they tried to kill Jake."
"So that's why you left outta here in such a hurry. I figured you and Jake got yerselves in some kinda fix - but I actually thought you to might have had a fight. Well, that explains a lot. But Jake loved you. Why didn't you come back?"
"I made a promise, Ma. I thought I'd done enough to keep that promise. I convinced myself it was done. I couldn't come back here and face what I'd done. No. That's not true. I couldn't face what I really knew I still had to do. I loved Jake and I wouldn't admit it to myself - 'cause if I did, I'd have to come back - and if I came back, I'd have to finish what I started."
"I still don't understand. Finish what?"
"I swore I'd kill them all, Ma. Every one of Giamatti's men."
"I see. Well. I guess that explains this, then."
With that, Ma laid several amply filled manila envelopes on the table.
"Jake left these for you about a month ago. Right after they put all that stuff up in my attic. You're gonna want to look at this stuff in these envelopes very carefully."
"Why? What's in them."
"Everything you ever wanted to know about Giamatti's men. Every one of them."
The waitress came and slid a plate of eggs in front of Sarah, along with some toast and a cup of coffee. Sarah eyed the stack of envelopes as she picked up her silverware and started to cut up her eggs.
"I guess once I open those envelopes, there's no turnin' back, huh? Ten more people are gonna die. Ten more. I don't know, Ma."
Ma slid the envelopes over to Sarah's side of the table.
"They killed Jake. Shot him down like a dog. Kill 'em all, Sarah. Kill every last one of those fuckers."