For those of you who have read Fatal Transaction and would like to know about Derry's past, read on. For those who have not read Fatal Transaction you may want to stop here. The following story gives away part of the plot in Fatal Transaction.

"Come on Derry. I need some protection while I sell this stuff. Your stepdad won't know anything about it." Chuck stood next to the streetlight, pleading.

Derry glanced back at his rundown house. Not his house really, but his stepfather's house. A fact he was reminded of daily. "I don't know. Five points ain't our turf. Going over there this time of night means trouble."

"Duh, that's why I need you to come. Look. I got the buyers all set up, but they said the deal's got to go down tonight. They said if I don't show up tonight the deal's off." Chuck glanced around before whispering, "It's some high-end CPUs I swiped from work. We'll be back before your old man even knows we're gone. It'll only take a few minutes. Just in and out, and you'll make some nice change in return for just standing around."

"Standing around where?"

Derry turned to see Tami, someone his stepdad didn't approve of. But there wasn't much his stepdad did approve of. He said no Irishman should be seen with someone like her. She was half Hispanic and the other half no one knew, not even her mom.

Derry reached out his arm and slid it around her waist. "Hey, your mom let you out after all."

"Yeah, I told her I'd be out with you. She knows you'll watch out for me, keep me safe." Tami snuggled in a little closer.

Derry peered down into her soft brown eyes. With the sun setting behind the Rocky Mountains, the light made her eyes shine like melted milk chocolate.

"So, are we going or what?" She smiled up at him.

"You don't even know what's up and you're ready to go?" Regardless of what his stepdad said, Derry knew this was the right girl for him. She'd follow him to the ends of the earth, if he asked.

"We're going to Five-points. We got some business over there," Chuck chimed in. "And you ain't going. Don't want you in trouble with your mommy." Chuck thought Tami was too young for Derry, and had told him so hundreds of times. She was two years younger, but that did not matter to Derry.

"Thought you said we'd be in and out of there in no time. Well, I want her along, so if you still want me to help you she comes."

"Fine, but she ain't getting part of the score."

After parking the car, Chuck grabbed a small box out of the trunk before the three of them headed to an alley a few dozen yards away. "You better get her out of sight. I told them it was only gonna be you and me." Chuck held the box tight as he glanced around the alley. Finding a small hiding spot behind a downspout he slid the box in.

Derry examined the length of the alley. It turned left at the end of the building they were standing next to. "Come on." With his arm around Tami, they moved thirty feet down the narrow back street, just beyond a green dumpster. "How about you wait here."

"It stinks back here. Why can't I wait up there with you?"

Derry smiled. "Cause it will cause problems for Chuck. Besides the smell back here ain't no worse than your mom's kitchen."

She belted him in the gut. "Hey, my mom's a good cook. See if I ever invite you over again. Besides, I thought you Irish liked cabbage."

"Is that what that was?"

The bantering lasted until Chuck called to Derry. "Hey, here they come."

Derry glanced up to see Chuck standing a few feet off center of the alley entrance. Both the alley and the street were dark.

"Get her out of sight and get up here."

Derry turned back to her. "We'll be done in just a few minutes. You wait here." He gave her a short kiss and moved up next to Chuck. Within seconds three black males joined them. One of them approached Chuck while another approached Derry. The third hung back and stood at the entrance to the alley, keeping watch on the road.

"You got the stuff?" The voice was filled with anger as he glanced around Chuck. "I don't see it on you. Where is it?"

Derry almost let his smile show. All these street punks knew was intimidation by attitude. It didn't work on him. The only good thing his stepfather ever taught him was how to fight. And Derry was one of the top students at his stepfather's dojo.

"You got the money?" Chuck mimicked the head movement of the other man. "I don't see it?"

The black man took a step closer. "I ain't showing you nothing until I make sure your crack's as good as you say. So, where is it?"

Derry's head snapped toward Chuck. This was not what he'd signed up for. The one thing Derry stayed away from was drug deals and Chuck knew this.

Turning back to the young man in front of him, Derry noticed a gun had appeared. The young man pointed it at Derry's chest as he smiled.

"And how do I know you didn't just come here to rip me off? Show me the money and I'll let you see the crack."

"If'in you and your little friend want to get out of here alive, you'll hand the stuff over. Otherwise, tomorrow's headline will say two dumb white boys wandered into the wrong area of town again." The man in front of Chuck kept his eyes on Chuck as one of his hands rested behind his back under his shirt.

"Yeah, I heard about you trying to rip people off. Not this time." Chuck reached under his shirt.

The other man pulled out his gun and started bringing it around front. Before he got it there, Chuck had a .22 pointed at the man's face. Both took a short step back.

"You think I'm some stupid punk that you can just come in and rip off? Think again." Chuck repositioned the pistol a little. He put up a good front.

The man glanced behind him. "Hey, Jimmy, cover him while I search him for the stuff."

The man on road-watch turned and headed toward Chuck. Chuck shifted his gun between the two of them. "You stay back."

As Chuck faced off with his opponents, Derry refocused on the man in front of him. He'd dropped his index finger to the trigger.

Seeing movement out of the corner of his eye, Derry acted. Using both hands, Derry pushed the gun to one side as he stepped around to twist it free. Derry was pulling the gun away as it fired. Keeping his hands going in the same direction, he brought his elbow up into the man's throat. Two more gun blasts filled the alley before the three men ran.

Derry dropped the gun and glanced over at Chuck. He could feel each beat of his heart. Chuck stepped toward the street as he brought his pistol down to his side.

The distant sounds of sirens filled the night. Chuck shifted his focus form the street to Derry. "Cops! We need to get out of here." Chuck turned and grabbed the box before he ran toward the car. Derry followed close behind.

As they approached the car one word flashed through Derry mind.


He glanced back. The empty street filled with a sudden summer downpour.

"What are you doing? Get in. We gotta get out of here, now." Chuck opened his door and tossed the box over the seat into the back.

"Tami, she's still in the alley."

"Forget about her. She probably cut out the back."


Chuck jumped into the driver's seat and started the car. Derry turned away. He heard the car lay a patch as Chuck hurried to save himself. Derry ran back into the alley as the sirens grew louder.

He looked around. "Tami?"

He rushed to the dumpster. "Tami?"

Nothing. It was dark and the pouring rain made it even darker. Chuck was right. She must have run out the rear of the alley.

He turned to leave when a flash of lightning showed a small body leaning up against the grimy brick wall a few feet from the dumpster.

"Tami." He rushed over. She didn't move. He pulled her away from the wall. She fell into his arms. With the next blot of lightning, he saw the small red hole in her temple. Blood poured out, mixed with the rain and ran down across her lifeless face.

Minutes passed, no maybe it was hours, before he felt arms pulling him away from her. Her life was over and so was his.