This is truly a character sketch and not a flash fiction. It’s also longer than a true flash fiction piece. Brittney Buxton, Bounty Hunter is a character I’ve wanted to use for some time. But only recently did I learn a lot about her and her back story. She and Rory will eventually cross paths. But what will those two make of each other?
Brittney Buxton, Bounty Hunter
© 2009 Suzanne Lazear
Brittney woke up with a start and practically vaulted out of bed. Quickly, without turning on the light she pulled on some jeans and a shirt, slipped on some running shoes and threw on a light jacket. The jeans were a little tight and her full breasts strained at the t-shirt. If anyone who knew her saw her like this, they’d laugh, but it was hard to nurse a baby while wearing a leather bustier. Or run away quietly into the night while wearing stiletto boots.
Grabbing the diaper bag, she haphazardly threw a few things into it. Clothes, diapers, binky, wallet, knife.
Then she went to the bookshelf in the ramshackle studio apartment. Finding the book safe, she emptied it of its contents and put it back onto the shelf. She couldn’t make it look like they’d run.
But they’d know anyway.
Still, if she could get to the airport and buy some tickets under their fake names it would make it harder. Especially if they could get out of the country.
That would only anger them further when they did catch up. But she owed it to Nelly to try. Life was so different now with Nelly in the picture. Not that she regretted it
Slinging the diaper back over her shoulder, Brittney grabbed the black fabric baby sling and put it on. Going over to the little crib, she scooped sleeping Nelly up, wrapped her up in a blanket, and tucked her into it.
Spying Boobles, Nelly’s stuffed cow, she stuffed him in the bag. Can’t forget Boobles.
Then, reaching under her mattress, she grabbed her gun. She and Jemima had been together for a long time. It was the longest relationship she’d ever had. Tucking the Smith & Wesson revolver into her waistband, she did one last survey. Everything they left behind was replaceable.
Kissing the still-sleeping Nelly on the forehead, she opened the window. Quickly she looked back and forth to make sure no one saw. She jumped from the second story window, landing softly on the ground in a crouch.
“Okay, Nel?” Her voice was whisper soft. The baby hadn’t even woken up. Good baby. She paused for a moment, reaching out with her senses. They were close.
Brittney took off running into the brisk March night.
The cold air burned her lungs. Her breasts, full of milk, made running painful. Her calves burned and the diaper bag bumped uncomfortably against her bottom. For recently having a baby she was in great shape. For an assassin, she was in lousy shape. For an on-the-run assassin…
She pushed forward, trying to run as softly as possible thought the dark and moonless night. Should she even find a cab? No. It would be safer to try to make it to the airport on foot.
Nelly mewed slightly and Brittney planed another kiss on that fuzzy black head. That sleeping baby was her everything and she’d do what she needed to do to protect her and give her the life she deserved.
Brittney’s spine prickled. Shit. They were very close.
Could she make it? She started running faster down the deserted street, not caring if anyone saw. Her primary concern was for Nelly. She had no one to run to, no one to trust. The only person who loved her was baby Nelly, who had no idea who and what her mom was.
They weren’t going to make it to the airport. There wasn’t a cab in sight. Cars passed, but she couldn’t hitch a ride. That would endanger innocents.
Fear clutched her chest, her heartbeat quickened. They were going to catch her and there wasn’t anything she could do about it.
She kept running anyway.
Her back prickled again. She was surrounded. She only had seconds now.
The black sedans pulled into view from every angle, almost in unison. Trapping her. Sure, she could keep running, but they’d catch her in a foot chase. Or just trank me. If she fell, she might hurt Nelly. If she was unconscious she couldn’t negotiate for Nelly’s safety.
Stopping, she assumed a defensive stance, one that would allow her to both attack and protect the sleeping child strapped to her chest. One hand reached for her gun, but she didn’t withdraw it from the waistband of her jeans.
The doors of the sedans opened and several mafia goons got out. But this wasn’t your average mafia. Outrunning these guys would be easy if they were human.
But no. She had to go work for the Sidhe.
Hindsight really was 20/20.
But these weren’t the guys who scared her.
As if on cue, a good looking man with slivery blonde hair got out of one of the sedans. He looked like a jovial, expensive lawyer. Actually, he was a jovial, expensive lawyer. “Hello, Brittney.” That silvery voice cut though the cool night.
Nelly stirred. “Good evening, Mr. Calloway, sir.” Mortimer Calloway, also known as “Uncle Morty” was also the brains behind the neutral Sidhe mafia that terrorized the east coast.
Those piercing blue eyes looked her up and down, then rested on her precious Nelly in a way that made her chest tighten. The Sidhe loved children. He wouldn’t hurt Nelly, but he would take her away. He jerked his head towards the sedan. “Maternity leave’s over. I have a job for you.”
He always had a job for her. He would until the day she went on a job and never came back. People like her only retired in death.
She didn’t move. She was completely surrounded by goons now. “I’m retired, sir.” She tried to make her voice tart. But she had a good reason to fear Uncle Morty. She’d be stupid if she didn’t.
“Just get in.”
Now she wrapped her arms around Nelly who opened her eyes and cooed, completely oblivious to what was going on around her.
He peered into the baby sling to get a better look. “Nothing will happen to her. She’ll be safe. I promise.”
Sure. Safe in Elfland with no guarantees she’d ever see her again. “I told you, I didn’t want to do this anymore.” Her voice was soft, arms wrapped around the baby sling. She had, the day the stick turned blue, the day she couldn’t fit into her leather skirt, and the day before she’d run.
Reaching out, Uncle Morty gently touched her cheek with a gloved finger. “What are you going to do, Brittney? Get a job?” He laughed. She glared. “You’re good at what you do.”
She was. She’d yet to meet a mark she couldn’t kill. But that didn’t mean she wanted it to be her life. Not now that she had Nelly.
“This is a contract job.” Meaning someone was paying Morty for her services. “It’s just one person. You go in, do what you do, leave. Easy.”
Most jobs were. Still.
Sensing her hesitation, he continued. “I’ll tell you what, you accomplish this, and I’ll give you a new job. A respectable one. You can work for my law firm as a secretary, I’ll give you an apartment, pay for daycare even. I’ll still ask you to do a job now and again, but you can refuse – and I’ll pay you double.”
His extraordinarily generous offer caused her to pause. Uncle Morty’s offer’s always had strings.
“I don’t take out Vamps, sir.” The only people who could do that were Vamps.
He smiled. Morty knew very well what her limitations were. “Not a Vamp.”
“Is it the Lycaon?” The leader of the American Weres. That would start a war. Maybe someone wanted a war. Wouldn’t be the first time.
“No. Now get in the car.”
What could be so big? But it would mean a life that would be good for Nelly. A respectable job. Wow.
“Babies have to sit in car-seats.”
Those blue eyes flashed a warning. “Get in the car.”
She had no choice. If she ran, they’d shoot her. “If I kill this mark, then I get a legit job, and right of refusal?” She’d never had right of refusal. This must be quite the job. But it would be worth it.
“I’ll even send you to college.”
What? Secretly she’d always wanted to go to college. “What about Nelly?” In the end, Nelly was all that mattered.
“Even if you fail, Nelly will be safe. Even I couldn’t hurt an infant.”
Britney eyed him skeptically. She never failed. Even though he was a shyster, he’d never outright lied to her. “Promise.”
Raising a gloved hand, he murmured words in a language she didn’t know. But she could feel the magic in them. “Now get in. You don’t want the baby to get cold.”
With a sigh she got into the black sedan, Nelly still strapped to her chest. “It’ll be alright, Nel.” She gave Nelly another kiss. Morty slid in next to her.
She had to admit, the terms sounded good. This would be as close to freedom, to normal, as she’d ever get. Will you even like being a secretary?
But secretaries came home every day.
“So who is this person and who hired me?”
The sedan took off. Uncle Morty handed her a manila folder. “Family First.”
They were a religious right wing group that didn’t like anyone who was different. She flipped opened the folder and there was a picture of a rather pretty redhead. “Who’s she?”
“Former FBI, she works for SAGE.” SAGE was the supernatural police. This mark wasn’t human. But Brittney Buxton, Bounty Hunter, had yet to meet a non-Vamp she couldn’t kill.
“You leave tomorrow for Seattle.”
“Tomorrow?” She wasn’t even back in shape yet. Quickly she scanned the dossier as they drove off. This woman didn’t look like she’d be much of a problem. Basically she was a supernatural cop. Easy. Though her file didn’t say what she was, why they wanted her dead, or gave any indication why Morty was making the deal so sweet.
Whatever. She was probably related to someone important. By tomorrow night Agent Rory Richards would be dead. Then she and Nelly could start some semblance of a normal life.