Leaving with my head still full of meds and wine, my lust still on her lips, we knew our next steps controlled the destiny of years. I didn’t care for what my life was before her. To be by her side, to feel her hair brush against me, to hear her voice call my name, these are what my life consisted of now. We waited on the corner for a ride she arranged while I was asleep. I nodded briefly, a victim of my hangover, and woke when I heard the muffled, “thump, thump, thump, thump” of its muffler. The car reminded me of an older converted cop car. The hard seats were uncomfortable as I slid in, as my knees rubbed against the armored back of the front seat and I stared at the only eye I could see of the driver in the rear view mirror. Putting my finger through the holes in the security screen to pull myself forward and maintain my balance, I used this distraction to subtly adjust my gun. He deposited a short rubber burn on the road that left a wispy smoke reminder marking our departure from this nether world. I liked riding in this unmarked car, it was sufficiently close enough in appearance to standard issue PD vehicles that it garnered startled reactions from the ambling drunk zombie-like old men, twitching meth addicts, and keen-eyed dealers of illicit pleasures. I laughed at the antics of the riff-raff loud enough for the driver to give me a warning look through his one-eyed mirror. He took his job very serious, and I did as well, knowing that these paths took me through dire straights of exploit and malice. His eyes were cold, like looking down a deep sinkhole, the kind that scared me as a kid but provoked me to explore their dark depths. I loved and hated the feeling of danger. I wanted to both challenge any intimidation of my world, and run like a scared rabbit. She looked out the window, soft hair flowing over her shoulder, holding my arm with a vigorous grip, like a bear holding its prey. My emerging knighthood beckoned me to protect this vixen queen, facing the death-wish actions I had all my life. Thousands of insults and shame producing injustices added many logs to this bonfire of rage. Having held rejection as a lover, I didn’t really give a shit whether I died or lived. But now my anger and boldness met my fear and insecurity, and as I reached under my shirt to dig the gun’s hammer out of my side, I remembered that this is why I work my mundane, back breaking job, so I might see her and escape from the listless world that was mine, outside this Queen’s castle.