Alexandra, Damsel in Distress


I finished my beer and set the empty bottle on the rickety table. “I’m gonna wander on up the street and see what’s happening. Anyone wanna come?” I announced, rising from my seat.“Yeah I’ll go, but I gotta piss first,” Sarge said, draining the last of his beer.“We’ll catch up in a bit,” Digger added.I nodded and made my way outside. The cool night air felt good as I turned to admire the historic station to my right and tried to imagine what The Drive was like a hundred years ago. Depot Drive, or The Drive as it was referred to, had a long and infamous history. From the historic station to the west for three full blocks to the east, everywhere you looked was a piece of history. During the heyday of the railroad, The Drive earned its well-deserved reputation. The street was lined with saloons at street level and hotels, brothels, and gambling houses above. All of this packed with travelers, railroad workers, con artists, and criminals. The Drive’s infamous reputation became known far and wide, and one famous First Lady disembarked just to see it for herself.During Prohibition, the bars simply moved underground and set up candy stores, barbershops, and with other businesses as fronts. Several underground passages were built for patrons to easily move from one speakeasy to another without being seen. When prohibition ended, the bars and taverns moved back to street level. Later, other illicit endeavors utilized the hidden network for their operations.As modern modes of transport took over and rail travel faded into history, The Drive faded too. The hotels closed one by one and the brothels were raided and shut down, but many of the bars remained. The Drive’s rough reputation continued as bikers, drug dealers, prostitutes, and criminals moved in.In the mid-nineteen-eighties, the city decided The Drive needed to be cleaned up and transformed into a place for decent people. They bought, or simply took several of the abandoned buildings and demolished the more dilapidated structures. Property owners were warned to clean up their properties or have them condemned and taken. Increased police presence pushed out the drug dealers, prostitutes, and criminals. New sidewalks and street lamps were installed and trees were planted all along the bursa escort street.When beginning the project, city leaders envisioned The Drive as lined with cafes, ice cream shops, art galleries, and other family friendly establishments. However, they overestimated their ability to erase the long sordid history of The Drive. The bikers stubbornly refused to be pushed out and maintained their hold on the West End of the street. In addition, the big money investor, who they had been more than happy to assist in acquiring the entire eastern block, suddenly changed his plans and instead of restaurants and shops, he opened several bars, taverns, and night clubs. Other than a couple of new restaurants, The Drive remained primarily three continuous blocks of bars and taverns. The first block to the West belonged to the bikers. The third block, to the East, was the new clubs and restaurants catering to the Yuppie crowd. The middle block had one biker bar, a pawn shop, The Tropic Lounge, and a vacant lot where two buildings had been demolished.The Tropic was the one place where the bikers and the yuppies mixed, along with the third group on the street, the pool sharks. Louie, the owner of The Tropic, liked to play pool and he was good, so were all of his friends who hung out at The Tropic. Some very high stakes games were played there, if you were gonna play pool at The Tropic, you better be damn good and have a lot of cash. In addition to his income from the club and playing pool, Eddie was the bail bondsman of choice for The Demons, the local outlaw motorcycle club, a very lucrative position to hold. Being the one the club turned to for bail meant that Eddie always got paid, even if a member jumped, and also meant that The Tropic was under the club’s protection. No member would ever get out of line in The Tropic or let anyone else cause problems. Being a bail bondsmen also meant that Eddie had a good relationship with the police. So when the city’s push to clean up The Drive came along, the cops refused to hassle Eddie the way they did the other bar owners.A typical night on The Drive meant parking the bike in front of Tarantula’s at the West End and having a few beers there, then making my way from bar to bar until bursa escort bayan arriving at The Tropic, then working back down the street. All night long, groups meandered up and down the street in and out of each bar along the way. Only occasionally did we wander up to the eastern, respectable end of the street, and then, only to have a little fun putting a scare on the yuppies. They never wandered down to our end of The Drive. The farthest they ever made it was The Tropic. They came there to get a cheap buzz as the drinks were a third the price of those at their respectable clubs. We only tolerated them out of respect for Eddie.The cool night air had barely filled my lungs when I heard a scream and the sound of people running. I turned in time to see a blonde woman run past me and three yuppie douchebags chasing her. Instinctively, I stepped in front of the lead douchebag. He ran into me full force and went sprawling into the gutter. His two friends skidded to a halt, staring dumbly at their buddy sprawled on the ground and raising their hands as they slowly backed away from me. I was at least six inches taller than either of them and probably a hundred pounds heavier.“Hey man, we don’t want no trouble with you,” one of them said.“Then you shouldn’t be harassing women on my street,” I sneered, taking a step toward them.“That ain’t no woman! It’s a dude in a dress!” the one on the ground shouted, slowly getting up and brushing himself off.I half turned and glanced over my shoulder. The woman had stopped about twenty feet down the street and was watching with a frightened look on her face. She was slender, about five feet tall, and her low-cut top showed off firm round breasts. Her short black skirt didn’t quite cover the lace tops of her stockings and her stiletto heels accentuated her long legs. She had a great set of legs and looked all woman to me.“Looks like a woman to me,” I sneered, turning back to the douchebag.“It’s not, it’s a freak pretending to be a woman,” he shouted again.“Yeah!” his friends chimed in unison.I narrowed my gaze and stepped closer, forcing the douchebag to retreat. “You’ve got ten seconds get the fuck outta here!” I growled.All three quickly retreated to what they thought escort bursa was a safe distance, then douchebag turned back and shouted.“What, you wanna suck her dick!”All of the commotion had drawn attention inside and when he turned to run, he ran square into Digger’s massive barrel chest.“This one’s cute and feisty, he’s all mine,” Digger grinned, grabbing Douchebag’s ass.Douchebag yelped and twisted away as his friends raised their hands and slowly backed away as Sarge advanced, his sixteen-inch Bowie gleaming in the street light. I noticed movement behind Digger and signaled Sarge to put his blade away just as two cops rode up on bicycles.“What’s going on here, guys?” Officer Jenkins asked, stepping off his bike.Jenkins was cool, he worked the drive a lot and never hassled anyone over petty shit. The regulars on The Drive knew him well, and we all had his back if needed.“These boys seem to have a problem with the lady,” I answered before the douchebags had a chance to speak.Jenkins cast an amused look toward Douchebag and friends. “You boys having a problem with this lady?” Jenkins asked.Jenkins’s partner was new on The Drive and a little big to be pedaling around on a bicycle all night. He’d been trying to catch his breath since they pulled up. Now he swung off the bike and loomed over the douchebags.“That ain’t a lady, it’s a dude in a dress,” Douchebag nearly shouted at Jenkins.“And what were you going to do about that?” Jenkins glared.“We were… uh, nothing, officer. We weren’t doing anything. it was just a… a misunderstanding,” Douchebag answered, his voice faltering as he realized what he was about to confess.With a doubtful expression, Jenkins nodded and said, “Stay right here.”Sarge, Digger, and I subtly taunted the three, being careful not to draw the attention of Jenkins’s partner. Jenkins walked over to talk with the woman. After a brief conversation, Jenkins returned to inform the douchebags that she didn’t want to press charges and warned them not to cause any more problems. As they skulked away, Jenkins turned to Digger, Sarge, and I.“I appreciate you guys stepping in to protect the, uh… lady, and it’s all right to put a scare in those idiots, but please tell me it wasn’t going to go any farther than that,” he said, glancing down at the knife hanging from Sarge’s belt.“Just keeping the streets safe from the criminal element, Jenkins,” Sarge grinned.Jenkins tried to hide a smile as he shook his head, “Yeah I’m sure you are, Sarge,” he scoffed, climbing on his bike.

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