Alas, Lavar didn’t take my apology in the spirit I’d intended. Instead, he did his smirk toward Lamar, incorrectly assessing my honest apology as cowardice. Then back to me, “Too little. Too late, Morgan.”
“So I don’t suppose you’ll let me buy you guys a beer and call it even?” I asked.
“You’d probably get arrested for walking into a bar without your pants on,” smirked Lavar.
“Ah, quid pro quo,” I said.
“What’d you call me?” said Lavar, flexing to keep his pump-up going. Lamar looked equally confused and flexed, too.
“Boys, that means eye for an eye. Pants for pants.”
“Yes it do,” said Lamar, wanting to keep up his end of the conversation.
“Too bad you feel that way, Lamar, Lavar,” I sighed. “Let me therefore apologize in advance.”
“In advance of what,” said Lamar.
“I truly didn’t want to hurt you guys, but you’re not leaving me much choice.”
The faintest shadow of concern registered as Lamar’s eyebrows seemed to grow together. He looked about to step back, but Cousin Lavar seemed to miss the implication of my pre-pology. He snickered and said, “We’ve taken down big guys before.”
“In a bar fight, maybe,” I said. “Fair warning. I’m a US Navy SEAL. Team Three if you know anything about SEALs. I’ve seen a lot of combat, and I could whip ten of you. So, last chance Lamar and Lavar Kendrick.”
I repeated their last name, for my streaming video record.
“Don’t forget Cousin Laverl,” said a voice behind me. Obviously, he couldn’t get to me with the car to my back, but perhaps he wanted me to turn so the other two could sucker punch me. My only risk in not assessing the threat might be a baseball bat to the head, but I mitigated against that threat by stepping away from the car and toward the two guys in front of me. Laverl would have to throw his bat, if he had one.
My forward motion threw off the timing of Lavar’s round house punch, which glanced off my shoulder, instead of my jaw. Lamar also stepped forward, which accelerated his throat into my two right knuckles headed for his larynx. Luckily, I pulled the thrust at the last instant, thereby saving Lamar’s life. But even the pulled punch put him out of the fight, which I knew it would. Lavar had quickly followed his right-hand round house with a left jab to my solar plexus, and it might have hurt me if I didn’t have the reach advantage. A split second after I’d slugged Lamar in the throat, the heel of my left hand slammed into Lavar’s unprotected chin. Combined with his forward momentum, the force snapped his head back and into a garage supporting post. He bounced rather nicely with eyes rolled back before he hit the ground. Now, where was that little scamp, Cousin Laverl?
I turned to see a wide-eyed statue on the other side of my car. He hadn’t moved since his opening line of the scene. A quick glance behind me at Lamar on his hands and knees and breathing, albeit with difficulty, reassured me that I hadn’t killed the poor devil. Maybe time for an olive branch?
“Laverl is it?” I said. “You want to take a crack at me, that’s fine. Or you can give me a hand with your cousins to make sure I haven’t hurt them too badly. Your call.”