Grit: Love Interest 1

Do not get attached, that’s what they always told you. There was a reason why a lot of low level thugs only ever hung out with hookers – if they got killed you could go and buy yourself another piece of arse: Grit had always agreed with this line of thinking. Well, not always, but he was a quick learner – it had only taken one lesson to teach him that love was not an expense that he could afford. You had to be part of a big operation and have the security of that to be able think about settling down and having a family. Being a freelancer in the criminal world was not the best thing to be.
She’d existed on the periphery of his world for the longest time before he had ever considered her in terms other than someone he kind of knew. At first he just thought of her as something nice to look at – a bright spot in a day full of shit. He’d go out and do his job and then go to the pub to wind down, and there she’d be, something that really had no right to exist in a world such as his.
Brubeck caught him looking at her and shook his head, sucked on his cigarette and kept quiet, though he did shake his head. Parker noticed too and did a similar thing, except with him it was his pint he focused his attention on. It was Baker who finally opened his mouth and cut through the awkward silence.
‘Not a good idea, man – not a good idea at all. Whatever you’ve been thinking just forget about it.’
‘Not that I’ve been thinking about anything, but what’s the big deal? Why is she so taboo?’
‘Hancock’s daughter,’ said Parker.
‘Bad news,’ chimed in Brubeck.
‘Who’s bad news? Her or her father, be a bit more specific will you, you bunch of worry-warts?’
‘Nah,’ started Brubeck ‘She’s a good girl: never done anyone any harm as far as I’ve heard; hasn’t really been with anyone either, I don’t think. Nah, it’s her old man – he’s one of the meanest bastards who ever breathed.’
‘Is that so?’
‘Listen to him, Grit – we’re not just blowing smoke up your arse. What, do you think we’re trying to put you off so one of us can move in?’
‘I wouldn’t put it past you, Parker. It’s not like you haven’t done shit like that before.’
‘That’s true, but I swear, I just don’t want you to get hurt.’
‘Pull the other one – it’s got bells on it. Fuck me, Parker, what the hell is this? Since when did you get so sensitive, and since when did you give a flying fuck what happens to me? –‘
‘We’re mates aren’t we?’
‘We go for a drink once in a while, but fuck, you know if someone paid me enough I’d put a bullet in the back of your head. Same goes for all of you.’
‘Well, shit,’ said Baker ‘Same goes for all of us – we’re all fucking scorpions, ain’t we?’
‘Yeah, so cut the fucking three wise monkeys act, you lot. If I get with her – I get with her; not a damned sight her old man can do about it. If he wants to kill me after then that’s that – doesn’t mean he’ll get what he wants, does it?’
‘S’pose not,’ offered Parker.
‘Anyway, what’s her first name?’
‘Brenda.’
‘Good, you know what, wait here — I’m going to go and get myself her number.’

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