Johnny checks the runnerboard for undead stowaways, then alights from the truck and trots over to the gatepost. "P," he says to the security camera, "open up before the zombies chew my ass off."
A beat, then the double gates bristling with wire peel open. Johnny returns and taps on Zachary's window. "Get out, kid. For this part I'm driving."
Zachary reluctantly relinquishes the wheel and Johnny drives them slowly up his minefield-ridden driveway. Johnny's house makes federal prisons look like toy factories.
Cruz is sitting on the porch in a rocking chair. She is barefoot, has on a blood-orange sundress and a rather fetching straw hat, and would look like a Madrid postcard were it not for the cigarette she is furiously smoking, and the sub-machine rifle she is cradling at her side.
"Clive called," she says, spitting smoke. "He is dropping Bill off in half an hour."
"Then we should be on the road in forty minutes," retorts Johnny, grabbing the car keys from Zachary. "Christ, woman, why haven't you put some real clothes on?"
Cruz rolls her eyes. "Tranquilo, si? I said half an hour, chapero."
"Que te jodan," shoots back Johnny, disappearing into the house. Davenport never learned where Johnny picked up Spanish. It's one of those talents that Johnny mysteriously develops overnight, like fungal footrot. One day he only spoke two languages; the next they picked up Cruz in a Tijuana ghost town and the two of them were babbling away in Espanol.
"Jode a tu madre," murmurs Cruz comfortably. She beams at Davenport and offers him a cigarette by way of greeting. When they first met, she clubbed him over the head and bit his ear; since then she has taken pains to be extra nice to him, which Davenport appreciates because when it comes down to absolutely fucking deranged, Cruz could have given McAvoy a run for his money. Personally, Davenport prefers Cruz. McAvoy couldn't cook to save his life.
Cruz prods Zachary with her toe as he tries to edge past her. The boy freezes instantly. "Ah," chuckles Cruz, "the pretty one, he returns." At Davenport: "You like, no?"
Davenport considers replying that he doesn't keep house-pets like Johnny, but he's still got the scars behind his ear. He merely glares.
Cruz rises and wafts ahead of them into the house like an orange flame. "Sit down. Do shit. We wait for Bill." She dumps the rifle on a convenient sofa and disappears up the staircase. "You want coffee, it is down the hallway."
"She doesn't like me," says Zachary with what Davenport thinks is more petulance than his due. "Last time I was here she poured soup on my head."
"She thought you were going to stay here. Cruz doesn't like to share."
"Oh." Zachary applies himself to thinking. "So she and Johnny are...?"
Davenport doesn't actually give Cruz and Johnny's relationship much thought. Cruz hangs around the Depp estate like a chain-smoking, sloe-eyed cat because she likes having the run of the place, she likes to cook in the big kitchen and plant bizarre deathtraps in the garden and lie on the rooftop in the desert sun, picking off stray zombies for target practice. If she ever sleeps with Johnny it's probably because both of them get bored so easily.
"Your observation skills are rubbish," he informs Zachary tartly. "I'm going to take a shower, get coffee if you want. Don't touch anything that whirs."
shoot to thrill
- now | cruz