Mandy Rose Chapter 2: Cleithrophobia @kaealeah
Mirrors That Repeat Mistakes

MIRRORS THAT REPEAT MISTAKES

The inside of Tarasov Imports was in a frantic rush as people scrambled in and out of the building, working at a consistent speed while trying to load up all their wealth and transport it to another location. Wealth that ranged between stacks of money and gold bars, all being taken away by cars that were disguised as yellow cabs.

A nervous henchman strolled into Abraham Tarasov's office and gently closed the door behind him. He turned around to face his boss and saw the man sitting at his desk, clearly just as worried as him while breathing in a lit stogie.

"Is everything loaded?" Abraham asked, taking in a deep breath of the dense smoke that bitterly filled his lungs

"Almost," the henchman responded.

"Almost." Abraham mocked the words before scoffing.

"Sir, with all due respect, are you sure this is our best option?" the henchman asked, not able to see the logic behind his madness. It felt so abrupt, giving up without a fight. "I mean, why can't we just...correct the problem?"

"Because...!" Abraham raised his quivering voice that was dry with age and smoke. "My fuckin' nephew killed a dog. And he stole a car. A car..." he grimaced with the words falling from his mouth, "which is currently among our inventory."

This only confused him more. "So we're giving everything up for a car?"

"It's not just a car." His eyes were swimming with sinister dread. "It is John Wick's car."

The henchmen froze as everything clicked in his mind. The method behind the madness. "Oh."

Abraham's lips curled up and he leaned far back in his chair, breathing in the heavenly aroma of smoke. His body refused to cease its shaking, breaking out into a cold sweat while rolling his eyes to the back of his skull. He swore he saw his life flash before his eyes, one in which being an old story of a woman who wore danger on her red lips like it was an accessory. "It's not just him though. Because that crazy bitch, Mandy Rose...is back in fucking town!"

The henchmen stood there and just felt reality slip away for a moment, snapping back like a rubber band. "Ah shit." The words just poured from his mouth without a single thought. "Sir, why don't we just give it back?"

Abraham's jaw tightened. "They killed my nephew. My brother. And a dozen of my men. Over his car." He got up from his chair and spoke his words very lowly. "And a puppy. And you...you think they will stop now?"

"Sir, it's just two of them. Why don't we just eliminate them?"

Abraham stared wide-eyed, breathless at the sheer stupidity he had just witnessed, only to laugh at it though. "John Wick is a man of focus, while Mandy Rose is a genius. He has commitment...and she has iron-clad determination. John...has sheer fuckin' will...but Mandy though...is just insane."

Silence held his tongue and the whole world felt like it stood still.

"John Wick once killed three men in a bar..."

"With a pencil, I know." The henchmen shook his head. "I've heard the story."

"With a fucking pencil! Who the fuck can do that?" His heart was beating erratically and he kinda wished he would just drop dead already so he won't have to feel such fear anymore. "10 years ago, Mandy...she dated that Romanov kid who inevitably got killed, and because of that...she massacred 20 of our fucking guys in a single night!" His whole world was beginning to swim with all the stories that sprung from those two."I can assure you that the stories you hear about those two, if nothing else...has been watered down."

It began with the sound of two motorcycle engines bouncing off the tall buildings in Manhattan. The wet roads acted as a mirror for the iridescent purple signs that hung off the side of the structures, giving an eternal illusion of one's mistakes in a repeating reality that no one could break free from. It was a haunting realization that chilled them to the temperature of absolute zero, feeling nothing left and totally numb to everything around them.

Everything finally came to a head when the slick roads caused a motorcycle rider to topple over and skid across the ground. He leaped up to his feet and hastily limped over to his fallen-over bike and hopped back on, driving off the first chance he got. A moment later, a red rider drifted around the corner and took off in hot pursuit of him and closing in fast.

They both weaved dangerously in and out of traffic and didn't let up on the gas as the red rider began to gradually catch up, turn after turn. The rider up in front took a sharp turn down a different road with the red horseman closing the distance between them. He was almost caught when a car suddenly pulled out in front of them and caused him to slam right into the passenger's side. His body flipped before crashing into the ground, laying still.

The red rider slowed to a halt and looked to the car that abruptly stopped. He lifted his arms up in a rude and annoyed manner before hopping off his bike. He kneeled down in front of the dead or unconscious rider and searched through his pockets to try and find something. Unzipping his coat and feeling inside the lining before he touched something hard and pulled it out.

A solid black card that had an emblem on the back of it.

The rider got up and waved it to the car before walking over to the busted passenger's side door and jumped in.

"Aurelio was right," a smooth female voice said, reaching up to her helmet and pulling it off. Chocolate brown hair fell into her face and her shimmering brown and gold eyes reflected the glittering purple lights outside. Mandy Rose grimaced with the name that was moments away from falling from her bruised and cut lips. "Abraham Tarasov has it."

John Wick kept his steely gaze very calm, terrifyingly calm actually, but he made sure his voice was gentle though when he spoke to Mandy. Closing his eyes and taking a breath, she kept her keen gaze upon him. "Ok. Do you want to help me out? For one last time?" It was a question that only needed a yes and no answer, and whichever one she chooses, he would respect. Clenching the steering wheel tightly though...he prayed that she would agree.

Mandy leaned her head back against the headrest and just stared at him, smiling warmly. She reached her hand out that had an array of purple bruises and red cuts across her knuckles, gently stroking the side of his equally scarred face. It became a habit for him to just lean into her warm gesture. "Come on, John. Let's get your car...and go the fuck home already." Her smile stretched to a wide grin that showed off her teeth. "I'm really, really, really tired right now."

He shuddered out a breath and held her hand tightly. Biting down on his lips, he nodded his head. "Ok." John put the car in drive and pulled out onto the road before any more witnesses could see them.

The brightness of Mandy's phone illuminated her face, badly colored with black and purple bruises and cuts upon her cheeks and lips. "All right. You're going to follow this road for a while, but when we get there let's take the back entrance into the building. Abraham's probably on to us and is trying to wrap up shop as quickly as he can before we get there." She turned her phone off and her face was lost in the darkness. "Hopefully we won't have much trouble."

The iridescent purple light showered over the car as they drove down the street, flashing Mandy and John's face every other second. "You say that but things never go as planned," he said.

"Yeah, knowing us. Can't be lucky all the time." Mandy frowned and adjusted in her seat, feeling a sharp pressure against her back. Her side burned and she immediately knew it was the bullet wound she sustained a couple of days ago. She swallowed her pain and had nothing else to do but suck it up. It was agitating but she hid it well to not worry John, knowing he would.

She shuddered away in silence and took a glance over to him, his expression only slightly readable. Tired, worried, and tense with only a tinge of anger. Those were the only things she ever saw in his eyes, though loneliness wasn't as prominent as it usually was this time around. He looked more anxious than anything though...and she could imagine why.

"John...You're my best friend above everything...but I love you far too much to see you like that anymore."

Mandy swallowed hard and felt her heart swell with anxiety as well. She chewed the inside of her cheek and took a breath to try and calm herself down, closing her eyes and counting to 10 before opening them. "John, when this is done...and when we can finally put this whole thing behind us-"

"We have to talk. I know." John finished for her.

It was a sensitive topic that they both desperately wanted to talk about but were too worried to even speak a single word, much less know what to even say. Thinking about it made the tension bubble up even more, but not a single hour had rolled by that they both weren't racking their brains with questions that should be asked first.

'Did we make a mistake?'

'Was our friendship ruined?'

'Where do we go from here?'

Mandy and John, without speaking a single word to each other, decided not to talk about it until things truly did settle down.

They ended up driving in utter silence.

Wick and Rose slinked around in the darkness of the import station after getting inside with the metal card, bypassing all the employees that were in a rush to pack up all their goods. Mostly everyone didn't even bother to take a single glance in their general direction, so John and Mandy managed to slip by undetected.

They searched around for a couple of minutes and happen to walk by some of the cars they had in their inventory. They were all covered by silk blankets to keep the dust off, so Mandy at to flip up every single one of them to see if she could spot the Ford Mustang.

John took guard over their surroundings and made sure no one was watching them while she searched.

Mandy finally came upon the last car that was in the row and flipped up the cover, seeing a shimmering metallic paint job underneath. Keeping her mouth shut, she snapped her fingers repeatedly and got John's attention. She pulled the silk cover off and revealed the Mustang in all its shining glory that was still in one piece. Thankfully.

The two were careful while getting inside the car and made as little noise as possible, but as soon as the doors closed behind them, a rush of relief filtered through their bodies. They still didn't utter a single word to each other but the sheer satisfaction on their faces said it all. From Mandy's glowing smile and John's focused eyes, they recognized how close they were to things finally coming to a conclusion. They got what they came for and now they can, at long last, put everything behind them.

The comfort didn't last for long though since they still had to leave. They couldn't stay and bask in the glory any longer cause as soon as they start up the car, they will be found out.

John pulled down the sun visor above him and the keys fell into his lap. He grabbed them quickly and stuck them into the ignition and turned it on. The car growled and they felt the whole thing vibrate under their seats. John locked the car in reverse and pulled out, holding his foot down heavily on the gas.

A guy noticed what was going on and shouted for them to stop, of course though, they didn't. He instantly got struck by the back of the car and rolled over the top, cracking the windshield and probably putting a dent on the hood and roof as well.

Swinging the car back around, John slammed it in drive and turned the wheel and peeled out.

Mandy looked over to the back windshield and saw Abraham's men rush to get into cabs to chase after them. "Ah shit," she grumbled and reached to the back of her belt to make sure her pistol was still there and everything was all right with it.

The engine was red hot and the tires burned while drifting to the side. John darted his head around to find an exit and spotted something not far. A gloomy blue sky beyond a large garage door. He pushed down on the gas and headed straight for the outside. The car hit a ramp on its way out and the whole thing went airborne as everything down to Mandy and motor screamed. It landed hard against the ground and screeched, drifting to the side and racing off with yellow taxi cars right behind them.

Out of nowhere, a taxi flew in from the side and abruptly slammed into them. It was then a constant stream of cars ramming them one after another and leaving the Mustang to spin out of control. John and Mandy were flung everywhere inside and slammed into one another too. The windows shattered and small pieces of glass were thrown into their eyes when finally...everything came to a standstill.

John lifted his head up from the steering wheel very slowly and glanced over at Mandy to make sure she was all right. Blood was dripping down the side of her head and the glass had actually managed to give her a couple of new cuts on the right side of her face. Aside from that, she looked fine, if not a little annoyed now.

John put the car in reverse and backed up right into one of the stalled taxi cars before spinning the wheel and driving off.

Mandy's whole body was sailing left to right and her head was swimming in the sound of the engine and burning gas. She was holding onto the door for dear life and felt her stomach heave and settle, plummet and shrieked with every hard turn John had to make. Mandy glanced over to him and picked up on the sound of a motorcycle coming up behind them. She lifted her head and looked back, seeing a single guy driving up to them. "Door," she called to him.

John unlocked his door and pushed it wide open before slamming on his breaks. The rider crashed right into it and snapped it completely off.

"Weren't we supposed to save the car? not break it!" Mandy shouted.

"It was your idea." John shot right back and spun the whole car back around and drove through the narrow doors of the garage to try and find another way out.

Up ahead was a gate that was slowly closing. John didn't care though and was about to ram it open when a car came out of nowhere and knocked right into the side of the Mustang. John didn't have a door anymore so he flung right out onto the cold and wet ground.

That about knocked all the air from his bruised body. Drenched and exhausted, John pushed himself off the ground and looked over to his car, now in shambles. "Mandy?" he called out. "Mandy!"

Mandy was still inside, however, her face was twisted into at least six degrees of pain. Her back and bullet wound was on fire and she couldn't even try to hide the pain anymore. She hunched forward and leaned her head on the dash, breathing in these quivering breaths of air and whimpering a little too.

"Get out now!" John continued to hound her.

She unlocked the door and kicked it open with her leg and started to climb out, but very slowly. "I know! Stop yelling at me already!" she grunted and pulled her legs to the side

"Mandy!"

Finally becoming alert to what he was shouting about, she looked up and saw the bright headlights of a taxi speeding up to ram her and the car. Mandy gasped sharply and threw herself out just as it struck the Mustang, missing her about an inch.

Men rushed at John from the side and at least three more ran out from the taxi towards Mandy.

Abraham stood absolutely frozen in his chair with his eyes wide open. He listened to the belting screams of his men, either fighting against John and Mandy or simply being killed with little to no effort at all. He wanted to grab another stogie to lose himself further into oblivion but he was so afraid to even move and just sat there, minutes rolling by and nothing ends. The screams were still prominent as ever and the hot blood in his body just flushed completely away.

There were these sudden loud gunshots though and everything became quiet, including his own heart that had finally shriveled up and died.

Seconds later he felt frost began to slip through the crack of the door as footsteps approached his office. The double doors slid open and John walked in with Mandy standing silently in the doorway, gun in hand. They both were soaking wet and covered in more cuts and bruises than when they first arrived. Still, they both somehow managed to come out on top, despite the odds against them.

John limped over to Abraham's desk and stared at the petrified man who refused to meet his eyes. He grabbed a bottle of alcohol and unscrewed the lid, pouring himself two glasses. One for him and one for Abraham. John forced his gaze upon him with the will and coldness of his tired eyes, speaking while holding up his glass. "Peace," he says, voice withered and exhausted.

Abraham's lips curled. "Can people like you know peace?"

John looked back at Mandy and saw her confused stare. For once he was glad she didn't speak nor understood Russian.

He chewed the inside of his cheek and looked back. "Why not?"

Abraham gave a short laugh and picked up the glass. "Peace."

Their glasses clicked against each other and the sound rang in their ears. They both downed the alcohol in a second before John put down his glass and turned around to leave.

Abraham called back to them. "I hope you and Ms. Rose enjoy your retirement, Mr. Wick." It didn't sound like a threat, but a warning actually.

John didn't say anything more to him and patted Mandy on the shoulder. "Come on," he said and guided her out of the room.

"Hold up," she suddenly called out and walked back into Abraham's office. She looked the man dead in the eyes, picked up the whole bottle of alcohol for herself and left with her long time partner.

Abraham waited for a moment until the footsteps were totally gone, only then did he light another stogie. "Pitiful woman."

Author's Note:

Welcome back to the second installment of Mandy Rose. I do hope you're all still interested with this story and will continue to read it. Please let me know because it really, really, really helps me out and motivates me.

Anyway. I hope Mandy will pull herself together since she was kinda falling apart emotionally back at the end of Autophobia. And I hope to really focus on Mandy and John's growing relationship during this story too. Let's hope for the sake of Mandy's sanity that she'll be too pissed off to even care about becoming depressed.

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