Louis was a fifty year old man who owned three gas stations in the greater LS area. He had a wife and four kids. The amount of money made off gouging prices on snacks had put two through college already. The other two were going to be lucky to get a tech job with how they threw their lives away. Mandy, the youngest, was nearly 18. Louis was already informed of four porn flicks she’d starred in. Carlos was running for the Ballas on the weekend, while claiming he was just out partying. Partying was never to land a man in the hospital with that many gun wounds that regularly. He was 19. It was a mess.
K found this out through numerous robberies, sticking up Louis’s convenience stores and making a decent get away. The deal was Louis didn’t try shooting K, K didn’t shoot Louis or any of his attendants, and the police were called a few seconds after K left the building. During the stick ups, while Louis generally took his time getting the bills out, the entire life story had come out. Being a weekly thing, K felt more than a little bad for the man. “I just don’t know what to do. I mean, Mandy has done more before she’s legal than my wife’s let me do in the past 35 years. And I get to hear it through my friends? Crap. Chances are, you’ve seen her too if you watch anything. Heard she does them free for now, just to get her name out there. I mean, aren’t the cops doing anything to stop this? Went down to the precinct to report it, and they all said they’ve seen her too. I just don’t know. And Carlos? Running drugs. He’s not even running for the right gang! He’s Hispanic, running for the Ballas? Why not the Vargos? Idiot.” He handed the cash over in a bag. “Anyway, I’ll count to five. See you next week.”
The score was nearly two grand. It wasn’t the biggest, but Louis gave him less bs than the other clerks at other stores. It was why he only did the hit weekly instead of twice a week. The sirens could be heard in the distance as he jumped into his muscle car, the buffalo, and tore off through the streets. They wouldn’t catch him. They never did. The only time he almost went down was when the clerk pulled out a shot gun as he ran off and a piece of buckshot got logged in his calf. From that point on he always pointed the gun at the clerk until he was clear of the store.
The sirens faded in the distance and K slowed down, driving through the streets to think. The money still wasn’t good. He still only had a garage to park his car. He slept on the floor, using a mattress and pillow he stole. The weather was good enough he hadn’t given serious thought to sheets, but it would be nice. Especially considering what he was used to. He had only been laid once in the two months in LS, and that was paid. He never had to pay by the hour in LC. “Damned mistake,” he muttered, pulling off and parking. He put his head against the steering wheel and closed his eyes. At least he was his own boss. No one owned him. No one gave him fat payouts, then grabbed him by the balls and told him what to do. It was a quick way to money, he knew it, but he didn’t want that free fall when the power structure fell. Like it had in Liberty City. All because of some Eastern block immigrant. He shook his head, “Should keep all those immigrants out.” Then he thought of Louis. “Maybe just some of them.”
K jumped as his phone vibrated in his pocket. He never liked having it on ring during robberies. It caused distractions. Vibrate he could ignore. Normally he didn’t even realize he had a call until the police had caught up. But it didn’t matter. The job was done. He shook his head and looked at the ID. Lamar. He pushed the call button, “What?”
“Shoot, homie, don’t need to be that way. I hear you been living in a garage out in the sticks. We need to get you made, son. Get you that penthouse you been dreaming of. Why you living out of a garage? Cuz you too proud, boy. So let me say, got this dude in the hood who can set you up with some fat stacks of cash. Know you not wantin to be tied to no one, so he’s a legit, no ties, no bs, brother.”
“What’s the take?”
“Nine grand, son. Nine big. Nine g, son. You just gotta fetch some powder. Some bikers got it under the highway. Can give you the goods on it and you work with three others. Just in case. Shouldn’t be no drama. What you say?”
“Trying to avoid the powder.”
“Come on, foo! With all this crap about legalizing it for medicinal purposes, you’re nearly doing a legal day’s trade. Hear bout them riots? What’s the man ganna say? He’s ganna say frick yeah, we legalize that crap. Legalize it here and now it mean they don’t get their sports cars trashed and their barely legal trophy wives gang banged by a bunch of tweaked out, pissed off rioters. Then what? You ganna be just fine, that what. So what you say, son? You ready to pioneer a good cause, medicinal cocaine, before it became mainstream? Be a dead to rights, mother, hipster on the war for crack use? Come on, brother, can I get an amen on this crap?”
“I hate when you talk. Nine big? Fine. I’m in.”
“That’s right, foo, I knew you in! You been in since moment you touched down. Shoot. I’ll text ya the goods. Other four meet you there. Mother, you bad. You bad, son.” Lamar was laughing as he hung up. A routine drug deal? Doubtful. With a biker gang? Especially doubtful. The Lost were not in good spirits the past month with some sociopath taking out their numbers. It wasn’t heavily publicized, but between the news of blood baths and the rumors on the street of some meth dealer who was aiming for more turf, it was easy to put the pieces together. And that’s why K wanted nothing to do with organized outfits. They can be targeted. They can be brought down. He was just one guy trying to make ends meet. In a garage. He cursed and read the text, figuring out where he had to go for this big score.
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