"So this Jizzy.... he's a drug dealer?" Michelle asked me, shoving another plate of pancakes in front of me.
"Nah, he's a pimp and a middle man," I told her between bites. I was hungry, but she was piling way too much food in front of me... but she'd taken me in while the police were looking for me and spent most the day fixing up the Pimpmobile, I could hardly tell her no,"And his club is probably the perfect place to funnel drug money in and bring clean money out. He just a.... concierge.... the real dealers are some gang boss called T-Bone and a normal looking white motherfucker with eyes like a shark."
"I've heard of T-Bone," she said, sitting down opposite me and drinking her coffee,"He's got a bad rep."
"I know all about bad reps," was all I said back, sipping my own coffee.
"So you're going to... what? Bring down their drug empire? Just to get back at some cop?"
"It ain't as cut and dry as that," I told her,"Some of its revenge, some of its for personal gain - I can't get out from Tenpenny's thumb because he's a cop, but if I fuck things up so badly for him without him knowing its me, he might not have a thumb to hold me down with much longer. Most of all it's about my best friend, though.... at least I thought he was, till he sold me and my brother and Grove Street out for money."
"I don't lik-"
The phone rang, cutting her off, and I picked up knowing who it would be.
"CJ, Jizzy," he said,"You wanna be in the game, playa?"
"Hey yeah, Jizzy," I said, changing my voice so I was dumber, eager to please, a stupid dog,"Jus-"
"I wasn't done talking. A little lesson, dumb muscle. Wait for a man to finish speaking before speaking back. You understand?"
I was quiet, I hated the way he talked, stupid pimp thinking he sounded smart and just coming across like it too much effort to put together a sentence.
"I asked you a question!" he shouted.
"Yeah Jizzy," I said,"Just tell me what I got to do."
"I got two girls, Candy Trix," he said,"They got work to do for me tonight, and so do you. You gonna be driving them, playa, keeping an eye on them, making sure they johns don't get out of line. Capiche?"
I waited a moment, then answered,"Fo shure, where I pick them up?"
"Up at the palisades, girl be waiting," he said,"Don't let me down, C to the J, you run those girls good and I might have more work for you."
He hung up and I did the same, pushing my chair back from the table and standing up.
"So he calls and you come, like a good dog?" Michelle asked me, frowning.
"For now," I nodded,"Guys like Jizzy always forget that dogs bite."
"Hey big boy, I'm Candy," giggled the blonde hopping into the passenger seat,"I ain't seen you on the streets before, you my new guardian angel?"
"Something like that, yeah," I told her,"Where we going, girl?"
"Calton Heights," she said,"I got a john there waiting to blow his pay on me."
"His money, yo time," I shrugged, and turned the car around and headed away,"You want the heater on, it must be cold in that skirt."
"HA!" she laughed, delighted,"It's not about being comfortable, it's about showing off the goods - guys like goosebumps."
Damn, pimps and hos, it like a whole other world.
"Give me 30 minutes, hon," she grinned at me,"There's another girl waiting for you in Juniper Hollow... you'll know her when you see her."
I drove away giving the john a hard look to remind him what was waiting for him if he fucked with Candy in the wrong way, and drove through to Juniper Hollow, wondering what Candy had meant by me knowing the other girl when I saw her... and then I saw her.
"Candy? How the hell you ge-" I started, but cut off as she started laughing.
"I'm Trix," she giggled,"Candy's twin sister, you must be new, big boy."
"Dammit," I said, feeling like an idiot. I must have been the worst pimp ever, real pimps were supposed to have they girls living in fear of them, these two both seemed to be having a good time making fun of me,"Where to?"
"Battery Point," she grinned,"Step on it, I got a lot of appointments tonight."
We drove up the road towards Battery Point, passing the Palisades where I'd picked up Candy and then Candy pointed out her john.... standing outside of Katie's house!
"What the fuck did motherfucker doing outside of this house?" I asked. Katie wouldn't be home, she worked the night shift, so what the fuck he doing standing outside of her house.
"Relax, honey," giggled Trix,"We set houses we know are empty as pick up points so if the cops show up we can say we live there, he's just gonna take me into the bushes... real romantic, huh?"
"Yeah, a little girl's dream," I grunted, still pissed.
That's how it went most of the night. I picked up Candy and dropped her off just in time for Trix to finish up with her john and pick her up and take her to her next "appointment" then repeat the whole thing over and over again. I was starting to think that being a pimp was just a sleazy boring version of being a courier when I got the first panicky phone-call from Candy.
"PIMP!" she shouted as I picked up the line,"I GOT A CHEAPSKATE WHO WON'T PAY!"
Right, time to impress the hos and hope word got back to Jizzy.
He lay groaning on the ground as she ran over and dug into his side with her heel, then went through his pockets and grabbed out his wallet, hopping into the seat as I pulled away leaving him lying.
"YOUR COCK WAS PATHETIC!" she screamed back at the john as we drove away, and I had to laugh.
"Hit him where it hurts, eh girl?" I grinned.
"I get paid to tell them they've got the biggest cock I've ever seen," she grinned back,"I don't get paid, I just tell them the truth."
"You get many like that?" I asked her,"Deadbeats?"
"Some," she said,"Guys who think that the movies are just movies and pimps won't really beat them up... usually the more money they have the less they feel like they should pay."
"Well hopefully that's the last of the night," I said.
"Easy way or hard way, everyone pays, CJ," Candy told me as she checked her lipstick in the rearview mirror and brushed the blood off of my shoes,"Nice work today, you didn't fuck with me or Trix and you dealt with the deadbeats quick and fast without getting too crazy. You can pimp for me, anytime."
"It ain't hard work," I said,"Don't require much thinking."
"Neither does lying on your back lying about how good it feels to get banged by a fat middle aged accountant," she laughed, a bitter jaded little laugh. She was maybe 25 at the most and already talking like a 45 year old broke down barfly,"Here's your cut."
She handed over my part of the money she'd collected on her back throughout the night and half the day. We were parked up in the wastelands, the construction site empty ever since I fucked the place up and scared the workers away. One thing about hos, they knew all the little empty places in a city of several million where you could go and be all alone.
"Too bad Jizzy gets most of that," she laughed, waving at Trix as she came walking around the corner. They two hugged and pecked each other's cheeks,"He didn't really do anything."
"Maybe we should give him a bonus?" giggled Trix,"You ever had sisters at the same time, Carl?"
"Nah, maybe I might take you up on that some time," I said, putting on a phony grin, pretending like I wasn't disgusted by the idea. Sure they was fine, and there had been plenty of sisters I'd fantasized banging together growing up.... but these two being taking fucks for men all night and all day. It was hardly jack-off fantasy,"I better get Jizzy his paper."
After stomping on a john with more money than sense over at Avispa Country Club I'd gone to an Auto-Repair place and had a quick and dirty spray job done on the Pimpmobile to keep the police from spotting us, but Jizzy still wouldn't want it anywhere near the Pleasure Domes. I'd drop it off at Michelle's for repair work, head home and crash out, and tomorrow I'd bring Jizzy his money.... and maybe work some more on getting my In into the Loco Syndicate.
Shit, I wasn't sure if I'd walked in just at the right time or if everything was all wrong. I hadn't expected to meet T-Bone so soon, and I was glad when he just glanced my way then turned right back to looking a hole through Jizzy, who was doing his best not to look like he was being intimidated.
"Carl - T-Bone, and in reverse," he said, putting one arm down on his thigh and staring off into the distance between me and T-Bone, putting that look on his face that he thought made him look like he contemplating shit too deep for the rest of us.... but really just looking like he a dumb cross-eyed pimp staring into empty space.
"Wassup," I said.
"Horale, ese," Mendez grunted, not paying me no mind, I was just another wannabe pimp to him.
It went quiet, T-Bone just staring that hole through Jizzy and me just standing there, and Jizzy tried to prove how cool and calm he was by dismissing it all as a joke, making it even clearer to T-Bone and to me that he was sweating it.
"Hey holmes," growled T-Bone,"Don't be such a pinche liability."
"Liability? Liability for what?" snapped Jizzy, all narrow eyed and trying to look dangerous,"Now, there's 3 of us and I'm getting 20%. What type of math is that? That's fool's math, playa!"
He crossed his arms over his chest and looked off into the distance again, but T-Bone wasn't impressed, he obviously used to Jizzy, especially the way he stopped between sentences trying to make you step in and look a fool when he went back to talking. T-Bone just kept staring at him, that hard look that said he didn't fuck around, and it was Jizzy who broke first.
"You knew the deal," replied T-Bone, his voice growling but he was contained, in control,"You agreed... besides, we could have said 5%, and what would yo-"
"EEeeeehhh ehh an-an-and what What WHAT!?" shouted Jizzy, still sitting like he relaxed but obviously wound up tighter than a junkie looking for a fix,"Cat got your tongue?"
That was it, T-Bone was up on his feet and I was bracing myself to get between them, sure that Jizzy was being stupid and in T-Bone's face because he thought I'd be there to back him.
"You as bad at talking as you is at mathematics?" Jizzy asked T-Bone, who clenched his fists and... then took a deep breath and let it out.
"Hey," he said,"You want to make this shit personal, ese?"
Before anything else could happen though, T-Bone's phone started ringing and he scooped it out of his pocket.
"Hello.... yeah.... what?" he shouted into the phone,"Man... damn!"
He turned to Jizzy, putting the phone away,"Hey, man, I gotta bounce."
T-Bone just shook his head and turned to walk away, Jizzy turning to look at me.
"Carl, come with me," he said,"We gonna have to bust us a couple of melons up in here."
"This ain't no joke, ese," growled T-Bone, squaring his shoulders like he getting ready to go into battle,"Our latest shipment has been ambushed."
"What you mean..... what do you mean the shipments have been ambushed?" shouted Jizzy, grabbing T-Bone by the shoulder as we reached the doors,"We can't just go out there T-Bone, it could be a DEA trap!"
I'd walked into the middle of something alright, the Loco Syndicate wasn't a tight-knit group, and Jizzy was they paranoid, freaking out frontman. T-Bone looked down at him, then over at me, sizing me up, getting an idea of my muscle under the suit, the way I carried myself.
"Muscle, eh?" he grinned, a nasty sneering grin,"Okay fine, let's send your boy, what's his name?"
"Carl," I said before Jizzy had a chance to speak,"CJ."
"Okay CJ," grinned T-Bone, tossing me a set of car keys,"There's a Banshee out front, head down towards the docks, some fools hijacked one of our shipments. I don't give a shit what you do to them, but get my... get our product back and we'll see if got any right to be here with us."
"Hey hey," complained Jizzy,"He's my bitc-"
"Shut the fuck up," grunted T-Bone, not taking his eyes off of me,"What you waiting for, ese? Go get our product back."
"Horale," I said, and headed out the door.
The bikers had strapped packages of T-Bone's "product" to the backs of they rides and were pulling away as I got near, but there was a spare bike in front of the van, T-Bone's men had taken out at least one of the hijackers before they'd gone down. I jumped out of Banshee and rushed to the bike, jumping on and kicking it into gear, getting after them. If drug dealers wanted to kill each other I had no problem with that, but if I could get back T-Bone's product I'd be in good with the Loco Syndicate, and fuck Jizzy and his pimping.
They'd gone for mobility with the bikes, but that meant they couldn't secure what they'd hijacked, and with me after them on a bike just as mobile, it was a simple matter to get up behind them and take what they'd stolen one by one. Each one chased me, but they wasn't any organized syndicate, they was just a group of bikers who'd hatched a stupid plan to try and hijack a drug shipment and scatter to the winds, sell the product for a tenth of what it was worth and still end up with more cash than they'd normally see in ten years. They was good on they bikes, but I was better, and before I knew it our roles was reversed, and I had all they stolen packages stuffed down the front of my jacket while they chased ME through the streets of Fierro. I had to get the stuff back to the Pleasure Domes, but I couldn't let them follow me, and I definitely couldn't let them capture me.
Luckily, I had just the escape route.
"YEEEEEEE-HAH!" I screamed, adrenalin pumped and blood flowing, a high like a junkie would never know. I stopped and looked back at where I'd jumped over 220 feet, seeing they little heads poking over the corner. I grinned and waved, then turned and drove away.
Nice try, assholes, but these drugs were sticking with they rightful owners, they was my key to being taken into the Loco Syndicate with open arms.
And that's when I could take them all out for good, cut off Tenpenny's supply of drugs to Santos, and leave him, Pulaski, Ryder and Smoke completely fucked, high and dry. Then it would be ME dictating terms to Tenpenny about getting Sweet out of jail, and finally, finally, we could all start out new lives.
It was all going to work, I could see it now, nothing could stop it, it had the air of destiny.
Unfortunately for me, what destiny never took into account.... was Mike Toreno.