Part 13: Behind The Scenes - 100%
I slept most the day, when I got up my body still aching, but not so much I couldn't ignore. I stretched out, did a few exercises to try and get my body limber, then hopped into the shower to get the funk off.
I got changed and moved down to the kitchen, grabbing some cereal and milk and carrying it into the living room with me, chowing down as I look out the window, over at Sweet's. Curtains closed, no car out front, looked like Sweet wasn't home. I picked up the phone and rang Smoke's, but got no answer, but that don't mean nothing, if Sweet was around there, they'd probably be out in his garage or sitting on the stoop out back. I hung up and finished my cereal, dumping the dishes in the sink and heading outside. It was time to go to Smoke's and sit down and sort out just where this shit with Tenpenny was headed.
There was no answer at the door, but then I heard words coming from out back, and leaned over the balcony railing, seeing Smoke and Sweet walking up the driveway, and doing something I never thought I'd see.
"Hey," said Sweet, spotting me up on the balcony, big grin still on his face.
"Wassup?" I say to Smoke, and he give me a funny look, like he measuring me up.
"Wassup, man?" he say, then ask the last thing I expect to hear,"Wanna go to prison?"
I pulled back from the rail, and his whole face light up in a big goofy-ass smile, and Sweet explain.
"Nah... to pick up Jeffrey," he say,"He's touching down today. You wanna roll?"
"Yeah, for sure," I say, figuring I can tell them about Tenpenny on the ride over, or maybe after picking up Jeffrey. Speaking of which, Jeffrey was in prison? I knew he'd been around a little after I'd gotten back, but then I'd gone to work for Roboi and driving the cab, and hadn't seen him around at all,"What's Jeffrey doing locked up, anyway?"
"We'll talk about that later, man," say Sweet as I walked down the steps and slapped fists with Sweet, hopping into the driver's seat of Smoke's car to go pick up Jeffrey. We turned the corner and started moving, and I could see Sweet in the rearview mirror, staring at me, till finally he speak, surprising me with what he had to say.
"Good to hang with you, brother. I'm sorry I can get a little tense."
"Don't worry about it," I say, but feeling great, nice to hear nice things from my Brother. Almost two months ago he thought of me as the next thing to dead, now we were getting tight again, the way brothers should be.
"Hey, it ain't Jeffrey no more," grinned Smoke in the seat beside me,"It's OG Loc."
"OG Loc?" I ask.
"Oh yeah, he's a real gangsta now," say Sweet, and I could almost hear his eyes rolling back in their sockets. Shit, Jeffrey was always the tall, scrawny smart kid who woulda got bullied and beaten 1000 times a day if he hadn't somehow stumbled his way into being friends with me, Smoke, Ryder and Brian back in the day. He never a gangsta, when did that shit happen?
"What'd he do?" I asked.
They told me all about it, laughing again... hell, giggling... as we drove through the darkening light of Los Santos towards Police Central Plaza and the holding cells where prisoners were transferred in from real prisons. Apparently Jeffrey did anything he could to get thrown in jail, for his "career" as a gangsta rap star, joyriding, parking fines, all that small time nothing bullshit that adds up if you let it.
We reached Pershing Square and pulled up in front of the police station, and there he was.... OG Loc, fucked up gangsta wannabe.... and wasn't he a sight.
"Look at this fool, man..." sigh Sweet as we get out the car and Jeffrey spot us, grabbing his case and getting a big goofy ass grin on his face before remembered he supposed to be fronting,"Perpetrating like he bangin'... I know that fool can't be serious."
"Hey, man!" he say, putting his case down, puttin on his gangsta face,"It's OG Loc, homie - OG Loc!"
Oh man, same old Jeffrey, sounding like a fucked up crying Mickey Mouse. If he fronted on a real OG with a voice like that, and without me, Sweet or Smoke to back him, he be one squashed mouse pretty quick. Still, he a friend, even if he a pretty pathetic one, and I wasn't like Ryder, I not going to dis a homie.
"My bad," I say,"How was it, though, homie?"
"Man!" say OG, all up in my face, fronting, putting on a show for Sweet and Smoke, wanting to impress Grove Street's leaders, acting like I the fool,"What you think? How was it..."
"Hey, chill out, dude!" say Smoke, getting between us, acting like he taking Jeffrey serious, but I could tell he trying not to laugh,"So what you want to do now?"
"Man, I gotta kill some cholo motherfucker!" shout "Loc", right in front of the fucking police station, arms waving about all over the place, body bobbing and weaving, voice cracking like his balls only just dropped,"He was dissin' me, man!"
Well shit, you don't say, nigga?
"Hey Jeffrey," say Smoke, while Sweet stood to the side, scratching his head, trying to hide a smile,"I thought you was going to, uh, college."
"Loc" just stood there, looking like he about to boil over while we all laugh. Finally, when we done, he keep on like no one had said anything, going on about the cholo,"Motherfucker done stole my rhymes! He's in East Flores, hey, gimme a strap!"
"Man, why don't you stall us out with that shit and get in the car," snap Sweet, he heard about enough from "Loc" now, drawing the line at giving him a strap,"Fool."
We hopped into the car, "Loc" still bitching about the cholo, some spic motherfucker called Freddy who stole his rhymes in prison. Shit, maybe we should give him a medal then, Jeffrey book smart, but nigga can't rap to save his life. We asked him what his plan was now he free, a notorious "big time" gangsta with "street cred".
"Man, I ain't free!" complain Loc, sounding like he about to start crying... but that just the way the high pitched motherfucker always sound,"My parole officer lined me up with a job!"
"Motherfucker always trying to keep a player down," sigh Smoke, shaking his head sadly.
"You got that right!" shout Loc, his voice cracking a little,"Still... ain't so bad, I'm gonna be a.... 'hygiene technician'."
Hygiene technician? Shit, what does that mean? Janitor?
We moved onto the Freeway, traffic light as it got dark, most people home by now, including this Freddy probably, no idea that OG Loc coming to get him... not that he likely to be scared if he did know. I got us off the Freeway and drove through East Los Santos to East Flores, pulling up outside the curb of Freddy's house. I looked around, not liking what I was seeing.
"Ain't this a Vagos' hood?" I asked.
"Man, I don't give a shit, I'm GANGSTA!" shout Loc, holding the gun Sweet been dumb enough (or cruel enough) to hand him. He all fired up, ready to go in blasting, ready to represent Grove and take revenge on the motherfucker that wronged him.... till he heard what Sweet had to say.
"C'mon, let's leave Loc to deal with Casanova," he say, chuckling,"We got shit to talk about, fat man."
"Yeah yeah, baby," nod Smoke, grinning in the seat beside me,"Loc can handle himself, he a big time Gangsta now."
I looked in the rearview mirror and saw Loc's face, saw the way his eyes darting about, his mouth hanging open, looking about, worried... shit, not worried.... scared.
Shit, not scared, terrified.
"Hey," I say, feeling sorry all of a sudden for him, despite all his fronting, he still a homie, still a friend,"I'll stick with Jeff- I mean, Loc."
"Ok, cool," say Sweet, nodding his head like it all his plan,"I'll see you guys back on the set."
"Yeah, brother, got some shit we got to talk about," I say,"You too, Smoke."
"Any time, nigga," smile Smoke, and Sweet just nod as me and Loc got out of the car, watching as Smoke take the wheel and drive away, leaving us alone in another gang's hood ready to go throw down with some motherfucker just got out of prison. Just me.... and a fronting scrawny-ass gangsta wannabe.
We walked up the steps to Freddy's crib, and I moved towards the door, ready to ring the doorbell then kick the door in as it opened, be on Freddy before he had a chance to prepare, have him on his back and a gun to his head before he had a chance to even know what the fuck was going on. Trouble being, I didn't tell Loc that was what I was planning, and he was to set on looking like a hardcore gangsta who just don't give a fuck.
"Hey Loc, hold up!" I whisper at him, angry, but he all fired up now, doing that weird bobbing and weaving shit, throwing his arms about. And then I heard Freddy speak, shouting through the window, and it wasn't what I was expecting at all.
"Jeffrey, you got the wrong idea, man!" he call out in this lisping, fucking FLIRTY voice,"That was just a prison thing! I got plenty of muchachas on the outside, I don't need your scrawny ass!"
I couldn't help it, it was too much, I just lost my shit and burst out laughing, putting my head in my hands to try my hardest to hide my laughter, seeing Loc's skin growing darker, humiliated in front of me. Shit nigga, it had only been THREE WEEKS!
"Hey, you, gimme back my rhymes you thief," shout Loc, trying to pretend Freddy didn't say what he just say, then adding on the end, like he forgot for a second,"I'm GANGSTA!"
"You dropped the soap, sugar!" shout Freddy, knowing he got a reaction from Loc, not letting it go,"I don't know nothing about any rhymes!"
Loc pressed his face against the window, glaring, then jumped back with a surprised look on his face,"HEY, HEY! MOTHERFUCKER'S MAKING A RUN FOR IT!"
I heard a bike engine kick in behind the house and saw who I guessed be Freddy tearing up the hill path towards the road, riding on a pink (it figured) bike. I shook my head, guessing that was the end of that, till Loc hoofed it past me, running for the blue bike sitting by the side of the house.... ahh shit, he wasn't gonna let this go, was he.
"Protect your rep?" I mutter, after pushing him back so I could drive,"Then shit nigga, I'll catch the bitch, you kill the bitch."
I kicked the bike into gear and blazed up the hill after Freddy, Loc pressed up against me a little TOO tight, talking a mile a minute, trying to cover up that he was scared as fuck.... and what made things worse.... Freddy seemed to be enjoying it.
"C'mon, honey!" lisp Freddy, motherfucker actually stopping at the top of the hill to wait for us, like he getting off on being chased, fucking faggot motherfucker, knowing that Loc couldn't hit a parked truck, spraying his gun all over the place, hitting roads, walls and buildings but not getting near Freddy,"I'm losing my patience!"
"I like the fast ass, not the sloooow ass!" laugh Freddy, pausing ahead of us again, Loc pointing his gun but not firing, like he trying to think too much, figure out when the best time to shoot is, after all that time blasting at nothing. Freddy zoomed off again as we got closer, Loc not taking his chance to shoot, just settling down against me again (and again, too fucking close) as I tried to chase the motherfucker down.
We chased him through East Los Santos into Las Colinas, Freddy continuing to shout insults at Loc, shouting that he thought Loc was keen, calling him "cute buns".
"HEY MAN, FUCK YOU!" shout Loc, blasting with his gun crazy again.
Freddy led us on (fucking faggot) through into Glen Park, asshole getting even ballsier, singing out,"Catch me if you caaAAAaan!" as I tried to keep up with him. We were getting into territory I knew well now, and I had a better idea of how to keep up with him, up till this point we'd been in his hood, on his streets. But the motherfucker could ride that bike probably as well as he could ride a cock, always just staying out of the range where even Loc could hit him.
We passed through Mulholland Intersection into Downtown Los Santos and into Commerce, back around into Glen Park past the skate park where me, Ryder, Smoke, Brian and Jeffrey played as kids, back when Sweet had complete control over Grove Street, Temple Drive and Seville Boulevard Families and our gangs roamed half of Los Santos in complete control.
We burst out of the Skate Park and over the concrete slope down onto the freeway, passing 5.0 coming back the other way, officer in the passenger seat whipping his head around to look, eyes wide, mouth open. They didn't turn on they siren though, just kept going the other way.... 5.0 know sometimes when to do they job and when to look the other way.
"You KNOW I love the thrill of the chase!" Freddy mock us as we came back up into East Los Santos, motherfucker having run us all around fucking Los Santos trying to catch him, all because Loc embarrassed about giving up his ass in prison. We passed through the parking lot of a Cluckin' Bell, Freddy telling Loc to "move those sweet cheeks," and I was starting to feel like throwing up. I ain't a bigot or nothing, but fags freak me out.
We drove through back alleys, past strip clubs and shitty dime stores, Freddy mocking us to show a little more enthusiasm, calling Loc darling... and then I noticed him pull out a phone and talk into it.... how the fuck long he been on the phone back and forth to someone while we been chasing him? And who was on the other end?
As we chased him down the railroad tracks, I got my answer.
"MOTHERFUCK!" I yelled as I jumped off the cycle as the Vagos blasted at us, slamming into the mean looking motherfucker holding an Ak-47, knocking him down and out and rolling with it, grabbing the Ak and coming back up already shooting, while Loc was sitting on his ass with a dumb look on his face.
"Get up!" I shouted,"Get up, nigga!"
"Yo, I'm gonna kill that loud mouthed motherfucker!" shouted Loc, struggling up and grabbing up his piece.
"Don't tell me, nigga!" I shouted as the Vagos got over the fact they ambush didn't work and were turning to blast on us again,"SHOW THEM!"
"Don't you say a damn thing, CJ," Loc tell me when it all over, Freddy lying dead on the ground, Loc not having had a chance to fire a shot the whole fight. He stared down at the dead Vago, then blasted him in the chest, before throwing up his arms and bobbing and weaving again, giving me an earful of one of his "raps","Yo, who laughing now, "sweet cheeks?" Yeah, that's right, I'm OG Loc, I'm GANGSTA! I cap fools and break the rules, shoot you in the face with my strap, girls sit in my lap, I-"
"Was you lonely, Loc?" I asked with a big grin on my face,"Hey, I like a nice mustache myself!"
"I keep it real, unlike you fake ass motherfuckers!" shout Loc back, trying to act like I wasn't getting to him, like he above it. Motherfucker was smart, but not street smart, didn't understand the way it worked - shit, I knew he wasn't no fag, but guys lose their cherry in prison all the time and get ragged on it.
"C'mon, "gangsta"," I say with a grin,"Let's get back to the Grove."
"Nah, I can't," he say, suddenly looking sad,"I gotta go and sign in for this damn job!"
For a second I thought about hard I had tried to go legit when I first got back, and how this fool who had a brain was throwing his life away to "look" like a gangsta, and complaining about having a proper job handed to him. I wasn't going to judge though, shit, who knows why people do the shit they do, all I know is who my homies is and who ain't, and it's the ones that is that I got to back up.
"Whatever you want," I say,"You want a ride anyway?"
He spat on Freddy's body and walked away with a nod, and I sighed and rubbed it off. Police weren't going to look too far into a gang shootout for a suspect, but you still didn't leave DNA around on the off chance some bright young fuck solve the case. I moved down onto the street and hauled the door open of a Primo that had stopped to gawk at the bodies. I dragged the driver out his seat and hopped in, Loc standing looking a little shocked before pretending like he was cool and hopping in.
We drove through Jefferson, Glen Park and Idlewood onto the Freeway, Loc giving me directions to Verona Beach, and I was wondering what kind of job he'd hooked up with - Hygiene Technician? What that mean? Not a janitor after all, maybe some kind of Research Company with a nice new office overlooking the beach? Or a..... a.....
Oh shit..... oh....
"Don't be a stranger, fool," he say to me, getting out the Primo and looking up at his new job, acting like he King of what he surveying.
"Yeah, for sure," I say, hiding my grin,"I'll see you around."
"Like a quarter pound!" shout Loc, throwing up one of his GANGSTA poses, then turned and walked inside the Burger Shot, and that was it, the Quarter Pound line put me over the edge. I just sat in the Primo laughing my ass off for five minutes straight, letting loose a shitload of stress and tension that had been building up. Holy shit, Jeffrey, what the fuck you done to your life, man?
Finally I calmed down and sat back in the seat, a grin on my face, feeling good but tired. I'd set out to talk to Sweet and Smoke about Tenpenny, but never gotten the chance, and spent the whole night chasing some Latino faggot across Los Santos. But it was a new day, a new dawn, and a new chance, it was time to go and sort this shit out for good. I put the Primo into gear and started driving, cruising really, enjoying the morning son on my face, checking out some of the hot sistas in they bikinis already out to play on the beach. I switched the radio from Radio Los Santos to Playback FM, wanting something a little more laid back to listen to on my way to Smoke's, which was my first stop on the way back to Grove Street.
By the time I pulled up outside Smoke's, I was totally relaxed, and feeling good. I'd go in and talk to Smoke, then we'd go tell Sweet about the shit with Tenpenny and the ammo train and other gangs, and together those two would be able to figure out what that motherfucker up to. I felt like this was the beginning of getting Tenpenny off of my back, today was a brand new day for me t-