The Lady with the Guy from 5hanghai

I saw something today that gave me a reason to keep going.

Harry Street | Oct 25 | 10:35am

I got a list of groceries like any other order, some kind of picnic fantasy for the one called Tyrell, 1 lb romaine salad, 1 lb potato salad, 6 deviled eggs. Then came a confusing text message.

HANS:
order[75C64] !truncated #Dude

Long orders came in multiple messages, or there were items added after I left the store, forcing me to double back, but this wasn’t one of those.

I texted back.

winston:
what

While I sat and waited for a response, the engine of the beat-up Corolla whirred and overheated itself. It wouldn’t restart until it cooled off, which is why I usually cruised around between orders, to keep the car moving and me distracted.

Back in the band, I watched the world from behind my drum kit, settling into a groove the rest of the band could build off of, but orders from “HANS” broke every rhythm I tried to find.

The only move I made was to lift the aluminum mug from the cup holder and take a sip of my secret beverage, a wine selection from the cheap shelf of a nearby liquor store. To the outside world, it would look like coffee, but I’m committed to my drinking regimen, and I’m not gonna let working for a living uncloud my mind.

By the time I got the car started again, there was still no response from dispatch. “HANS” was having some kind of trouble, or just stoned out of his mind. I pulled away to pick up the shopping list I understood.

Tyrell Headquarters | 57 min later

Parked in front of Tyrell’s house, I stood on the passenger side and picked through the bag, wondering how to steal potato salad for later without something to keep it in.

The idea of robbing the houses wasn’t working like I planned. The people I delivered to barely seemed to own anything but furniture and their computers. I took some DVDs and knick-knacks, but that wouldn’t get me free.

HANS:
Stop stealing and pay attention.

Before I could question that message, a Mercedes braked and double parked, blocking me in.

The blinkers clicked on. An Asian guy in a dark suit got out of the driver’s seat and went to his trunk.

The face of the woman in the passenger seat was masked in a veil of cigarette smoke. Her door opened, the smoke parted, and my jaw hung open when I saw her.

Her heels clicked the pavement once each as she closed the car door. The chilly ocean air and thin silky fabric of her black dress showed the exact position of each nipple, while her whole front rippled with the the buoyancy and unrestrained weight of each breast. She turned, and waves of dirty blonde hair brushed across her naked back, almost reaching the ass that bulged the short tight skirt. I caught sight of the fragile string tied at the back of her neck that held the top up and prayed for that knot to slip open.

My eyes traveled up across her long pale neck and pouty lips. I saw her giant blue eyes looking straight at me, and she smiled at watching me check out her body.

That body was so great, it took me a second to notice the swollen patch of scar tissue through her right eyebrow and across half her forehead.

Her expression changed when she saw me checking that out. “Close your mouth or I’ll stick a dick in it.”

The girl had a way with words. I closed my mouth.

The guy in the suit came around her side of the car with a Trader Joe’s bag and a big smile. “Thanks for waiting, Tink. I’m sure we’ll make it to lunch in plenty of time. I just–” He noticed me and stood in front of her, a protective gesture, like I shouldn’t even try. “Hi, are you delivering here too?” His smile never dropped for a second. “So that’s what truncated means.”

I nodded and looked over his shoulder, trying to burn that gorgeous rack into my memory.

He held out his hand, still smiling. “I’m Roger.”

I shook his hand and gave my fake name. “Winston.” His skin was surprisingly soft.

“Ah, the new Winston.” He sized me up. “What’s your real name?”

I sized him up. “What’s your real name?” Casimir always said, never trust suits. This one looked expensive, like the blonde’s slinky black thing. Her smile made me wonder if she was in the mood to slum it. I wondered if she was the kind who liked a fighter.

He laughed. “Still Roger.” He seemed to laugh all the time. I couldn’t remember the last time I had a reason to laugh.

The phone shook in my pocket. I fished it out.

HANS:
Do you see the girl with Roger?

I looked around. Could he see us?

Roger stepped past me towards the house. “Any idea why they sent us to deliver at the same address?”

I had the answer right there in my hands. Harry set us up, but I wasn’t sure why.

HANS:
Let’s see if she does smoke rings.

I looked up. The girl with the scar was watching me, half visible again through the cloud from her Virginia Slims with a sly smile, the front of her hair pulled over to block the scarred side of her face, but I was distracted wondering if Harry could see her too.

I turned around and saw a camera mounted above the front door of the house. The phone vibrated with a final message.

HANS:
I bet you $100 I fuck her first.

And that was it, the hope I felt for a second was shot in the head.

I figure Harry and Roger are already fighting over her and I’d just be caught in the middle. I don’t have her number, and I don’t have a hundred bucks to lose.