(2018-09-08) Crimson Coke
Maddie has a job for Vincent.


The door behind the bar leads to a dark and dimly lit hallway with a single staff restroom and a closet, but beyond that is the large, square storage area. Boxes stacked upon boxes, shelves full of dusty old liquor bottles, a ground covered in hay and old cigarette butts; it's a mess. This is not only where the employees of Johnny Slim's come to grab fresh bottles of liquor, but it's also where they go to unwind on their breaks.

There's a small poker table in the corner, with some rusty metal fold-out chairs surrounding it, and a ratty and peeling faux-leather couch pushed up against one of the black-painted walls. The room is windowless, the only light coming from a swinging and buzzing bulb hanging from a wire in the ceiling.

Johnny Slim's has been closed since the shooting, but today's the first day it officially stopped being a crime scene. Everything's been cleaned and moved. The blood, the bodies, the broken glasses. The entire building had been swept ceiling to floor by the police, but today? Today it's just a bar again. An empty one that's slowly gearing up to reopen. But not quite yet.

That's why it's empty when Vincent comes in. That's why the music is off and the lights are dimmed. The only person here is Maddie, pouring herself a cold beer behind the bar. When she sees Vincent, of course, she pours another. "Back here," she says, offering him a lopsided smile and guiding him through the door to the back room. It's dark and dreary, and a bit dusty — but it's cozy. Relaxing in a way. Maddie seems comfortable here — it's where she goes to unwind during work. She situates herself in one of the creaky iron chairs by the poker table, and sets both beers a top it, hands freed to draw and light a cigarette. "Staying outta trouble?" she asks wryly, starting up some casual conversation as she inhales a cloud of tobacco smoke and lets it filter out through her lips.

Slowly strolling up along the road down the street, behind the wheel of his black pickup truck that lets out a rumble that sounds like it's about an hour away from breaking down with each turn of its wheels, Vincent parks up on the side of the road a block down from Slim's. Turning his key, the headlights flicker out and the truck-turned-home grows still and quiet. "Alright…" he murmurs to himself, taking out a flip-phone and glancing back and forth between the screen and a wrist watch he slips out of his pocket. Opening up the truck-door, his keys jingling as he snatches them up in his left hand and then locks up the door shortly after shutting it.

Quickly jaywalking across the street, Vincent glances over the front of Johnny Slim's as though there's a pig waiting behind a trashcan to jump out, but as he gets closer to the doors and no one hops out with a badge and a gun pointed his way- it becomes safe to say that he isn't getting busted yet. Stepping into the bar, Vincent's eyes instinctively look over and linger on the spots where the two men were killed. He stares for a second, before he blinks and looks back over to Maddie. "Yo." he says to her, and then follows after her as she leads him into the back room. His eyes squint, a bit of adjusting to the dark, but he seems fairly content. Not like he expected much more. Stopping by the poker table, he slowly nods at her question- his gaze wandering as he takes in the room. "Takin' a lot of effort, but I'm managing, yeah." he says with a glance back to her. "How about you? They put you under a lamp and pull the good cop bad cop routine on you?" He pauses after his question, glancing over to the cigarette between her lips, "Can I bum one of those off you?"

"Well, we'll fix that," Maddie says with a wry smile, before giving a lazy swish of her hand. "Make yourself at home. And si, help yourself." She nudges the pack of cigarettes forward a little, causing them to slide along the table toward Vincent and his beer. She doesn't touch hers much, not yet. She crosses her legs at the thigh, and leans back into the creaky seat. She yawns, but it only last for a second. "They tried the good cop, bad cop thing I think, I don't know. The policia in this town are… Strange people. But it was not so bad. I did nothing wrong, and most of them know me from when I was a girl." She just finishes that sentence with a mild bounce of her narrow shoulders, and a curl of her smile. "It is not the local police that worry me, but the federal." Her smile grows at that, dimpling her cheeks. "Did you ever deal, at all? In school, or something?" She pauses. "Or in jail?"

Vincent grabs the pack, lifting it up and picking out a cigarette between two fingers and a thumb, he fumbles it around between his digits for a moment before he brings it over to put between pursed lips. Shuffling a bit in place, his left hand reaches out and grabs the back of one of the folding chairs- lifting it up off the ground as he brings it around before setting it back down in front of himself, backrest facing Maddie as he sits down on it. Vincent doesn't seem interested in touching his drink either- though he has given it a couple of glances. Crossing his arms along the chair, Vincent's left hand hides behind himself before returning with a lighter.

"You say that like you have to do anything wrong." he comments, his right brow rising at Maddie for a moment or two before he lights up his cig and takes a long drag. He holds it, before he lets the smoke escape out his nostrils with a wrinkling of his nose. He eyes her at the mention of the feds, but slowly nods. And her question puts a slight grin on his lips, and he seems to be putting two and two together. "I was gonna, back in school." he says, glancing aside for a second before he looks back to the latina, "Things happened before that could happen." he says, bringing up his left palm to rest his cheek against. "But I passed a lot of things around in jail. It was the one job I could do that didn't have one group or another wanting to skin me. I even learned a bit about cooking too." There's another puff, and blowing out a small cloud of smoke aside. "So you want me to move some stuff around for you, is that it?" he asks her, his brows dipping slightly as he gives Madds an appraising stare.

Maddie just watches with her usual calm and careless ease as Vincent gets himself settled in the chair. She flicks her finger against a stray bic lying on the table, causing it to spin on over to Vincent's side, almost twirling off the edge. She leans onto her elbow, and gives a gentle puff at the butt of her cigarette, eliciting soft clouds of white smoke that obscure her face for a moment. "We're all innocent until they decide we're guilty, I suppose, si." She smiles at that, and taps out some ash onto the floor. "Sort of." She looks down at the backpack by her feet, and then looks back up at Vincent.

"Dealing is kid shit, ese. For the ninos." She leans in a little, eyes locked with his. "You're too old for this. I want you to find people to deal. Students. Supply them. Make them pay it back. If they don't, you hurt them and take it from their wallets, or whatever you need to do. Because you have to." She picks up the bag and sets it down with a heavy THUNK on the table. It's packed full of… something. She lays her hand atop it. "Because you're going to have to pay it back too." She smiles. "If you agree, that is. It's a simple task. You turn this backpack and its contents into twenty-five-thousand dollars, and you get a cut of it." She pats it, eliciting a thump-thump sound that makes it seem like whatever's in there is dense. "But it has to be twenty five thousand. No less. You make more? We don't care. Keep it." She glances at the backpack, then Vincent, then the backpack again… And then Vincent one more time. "Would you like to see whats inside?"

Vincent doesn't avert his gaze when Maddie locks eyes with him. He simply stares back at her, a curious look on his face as he lets her patiently explain just what it is she wants him to do. There's a tiny dancing of his feel that roll back and forth on his heels, not quit tapping at the floor as he blows out the occasional bit of smoke to the side. There's a slow nod from him once she's finished talking. Vince looks over to the left, fixating on the bag.

There's a brief chuckle, flashing his teeth in a small smile before he puckers up his lips around the filter of his cigarette and then nods. "A'ight." he says, looking back at Maddie properly, one hand coming up to grab his cigarette and hold onto it between his fingers. "You're right when you say I'm too old for this." says Vincent, shrugging slightly- though despite his dismissive words, he glances back over to the backpack. Leaning in somewhat, Vincent's eyes stay on the bag before he speaks- smoke escaping from between his moving lips as he does so, "So… You want students in particular?" he asks, looking back over towards Maddie, "I know a couple of folks who I think will do this sorta thing, but none of them are students. I can find some students to sling stuff around, though." There's a moment of thought as she offers to show him what's in the backpack. He looks at it, and then he nods, "Yeah. I wanna know what I'll be working with." he says, and then he's taking another drag off his cigarette.

Maddie plucks the butt of her cigarette out of her lips between her thumb and the tip of her index finger, and a trail of wisping smoke follows it. "Students are good, yes, but do what you have to do to make the money. It's the first job, after all." She inspects the end of her cigarette, turning it and seeing how evenly the ember burns. She lets loose a casual squeak of a yawn, and sucks down another breath of smoke. It all comes spilling out her nostrils with her next words. "The college has the highest police activity in the town." A beat. "For obvious reasons." She rubs at the side of her nose with her knuckle, satiating a tingle of an itch. "We do not sell there much, but we would like to. We know they would buy. But we have no one to sell it to them, we need someone to deal who lives on campus." She clicks her tongue against the roof of her mouth, and a smile spreads when Vincent agrees to see the contents of the bag. "Good. So you are in…"
Her dusky gaze falls down to the zipper, and she clutches it with her cigaette-holding hand, and slowly opens it. Zzzzzzzip.

The contents are as expected; but also not. One and a half kilos of coke, shrink wrapped into bricks just like in the movies. Except for one key difference. The cocaine is hued a crimson red. "New batch," she tells him. "The boss calls it Blood Coke, but I don't think this is a very good name, si?" A little smile of mirth spreads into her dimples. "Just call it coke. Call it whatever you like, really, I don't care — just sell it." She picks a single brick up, weighing it in her small hand. It's heavy. She offers it out to Vincent to hold. "And do not sample it… It is very addictive." She sounds serious. "More than usual."

Vincent nods quietly, staring back at Maddie with a tilted head as she answers his questions. There's a moment where he stares at her as she yawns, and his brow rises slightly as he pinches his cigarette before he presses it down onto the metal rest of the chair, twisting it back and forth as he puts it out before he puts the remainder in his pocket to save for later. "Cute." he thinks aloud between her explanations. There's a slow nod in agreement concerning the college, "It's a good choice. Kids wanna party, and the only way they know how is by snorting back whatever they can buy, and drinking whatever they can find." There's a pause and he adjusts himself on his seat, pulling up one leg and turning to sit sideways on it and crossing one over his leg over the other before resting his left knee atop his right.

Leaning over a bit as she begins to open up the bag, the slow sound of the zipper moving from one end to the other has his brows slowly rising. When he peeks inside, he seems a little surprised at what he sees. He brings his hands together, linking his fingers between one another before he nods. "Blood Coke." he says, squinting a bit before he lets out a quick snort and chuckles a bit. "That's the sort of name you give something when you don't want anyone to use it." he says, letting out an amused sigh- the tip of his tongue briefly wetting his lips before he nods, "Not a good name at all." he says, looking sideways at her, "I'll come up with something a bit more appetizing." he says as he reaches his hand out and grabs the brick at one end, his hand dipping somewhat from him underestimating its weight before he raises it again and stares at it. Vincent cracks up in a grin when she warns him, and then he looks back over to her, "Pot's good enough for me. I don't fuck with powder." he says, giving the brick a gentle shake back and forth at the mention of powder.

Vince looks all over the brick, turning it upside down, sideways- examining every corner of it. "What the fuck did you guys even do to this to make it look like this? Looks like something right out of a movie." he asks, with a comment at the end- offering over the brick to Maddie for her to put back into the bag.

Maddie can't help but laugh at Vincent's reaction to the so-called 'blood coke,' and she gives a hair-tousling shake of her head in amused agreement. "Si, si… The, ah, the boss is a little sick in the head, I think." Her amusement fades at the reality of the statement, and she frowns for a second, but shakes it off. "Anyway. Yes, good. Stick to the ganja. This is too potent. It's almost too easy, really, how addictive it is." She gives the brick of red powder a nervous little look, almost afraid of it. "Almost like cheating." She shakes off the thought with a long and final drag on her cigarette. She flicks the butt into the distance, where it sparks and bounces off the black floors. "But that is what they want, ay? Easy money." She shrugs, and smacks her lips together. Then, a thin smile spreads across her rose-dark lips. "Very good question. I do not know. They cut it with something; hopefully not blood." She lets loots a subtle breath of a laugh at the idea, however sick it may be.
Then, she gets still and quiet again, all serious and dire. "… Do you even know who 'you guys' are, ese?" She looks down to the coke again, running her fingertips over the plastic, tracing idle shapes into it. "Malvado Cartel," she tells him, "From Meh-hee-koh. You have to sell this, my friend. I do not like getting people killed. So only take the job if you think you can do it." Her eyes are filled with a deep concern; she's earnest in her sentiment. It's palpable: she's lost friends this way before. "Okay?"

Vincent looks up, and then over to Maddie at the name. Malvado Cartel. His right brow rises slowly as he stares at the woman before he lets out a slow breath through his nostrils. "Might've been a bit easier for me to not know who I was working for." he says, the beginnings of a smirk on his lips before it fades into a thin line. "…But easy money is easy money." he says, nodding to her earlier words as he glances down to his lap- furrowing his brows thoughtfully as though he's reconsidering the whole thing.

Then he brings his hands around and into a small clap.

"Listen, Chica." says Vincent, grinning a bit as he got his spanish right. "It doesn't matter whether I can do the job or not to me." he says, looking back over towards her. "It's the only job that I have. People don't hire guys with criminal records like me. Especially not in the same town where you got that record." There's a pause, and Vincent stares at Maddie before he grins a bit, "But I'm not the guy who gets killed. That's for other people- not me." Then Vincent adjusts himself in his seat again, sitting backwards and facing her just like when he arrived. "Don't gotta worry about me, just about anyone who's dumb enough to fuck with me." he says haughtily, a cheeky little grin on his lips. "There any other players in town that may try and stop me, 'sides from the piggies?"

"Work is never easy." Maddie punctuates that sentence by plucking another cigarette out from the pack on the table. She pushes it past the crease of her lips, and gropes around blindly for the lighter while keeping eye contact with Vincent. "You know. So now you are in. Which makes it not a job. But maybe a career, depending on how things go." A flick of her wrist and the tip of the cigarette crackles to life. "Sorry about your record. I was forced into working like this too. For different reasons, but…" She gives a small shrug of a single shoulder and wobbles her head back and forth. "Similar, yes?" She sucks in that tobacco smoke like it was air, breathing it as she speaks. "You will do good. Prison is dangerous, so you have been honed, maybe." She curls her fingertip against the side of her nose, scratching it.

She smiles at something Vincent says. "I do not think it is for me, either. So let us stay alive, yes?" She gives a bob of her head at that, short-cropped locks dancing around her features. She pokes her tongue into the side of her cheek and raises her eyebrows with some amusement at Vincent's haughtiness, but she seems to like it. "And — Well, si, senor, of course there is." She chews at her lower lip for a second. "But we don't have to worry about this right now." She smiles, and brings her cigarette-holding hand up to the side of her face, fingers stretching out to smooth a stray lock of dark hair behind her ear. "And of course. You do not tell anyone where you got it, capiche?" She throws some italian into her english-spanish mix, just for the fun of it.

"Fuck you sorry for? You weren't the one who got shot and stained my reputation." Says Vincent, a small smirk on his lips as he leans forwards against his chair. It creaks a little bit under him with each movement he makes, his right brow rising back at Maddie as she maintains eye contact. "I know I got pretty eyes, but cmon. Don't gotta stare." he says, a small amused scoff let out before he leans back somewhat with yet another creak of his seat. "We do what we gota do to get by. And if someone closes off the highway, you take the back roads. This is what we do." he says. That'd be inspirational, if it weren't for the context. No doubt some gangbanger or another would agree though.

Chuckling a bit, Vincent turns his head when his question is answered- though of course it's not an answer he's entirely satisfied by. "Tellin' me I don't gotta worry only makes me worry more y'know… But I'll just cross that bridge when I get there. Si?" Vincent now leans over and flicks his fingers back and forth gently- searching and eventually finding his beer which he drags over and takes a slow sip from. His nose wrinkles a little when she speaks some more, and his lips leave the rim of his drink to set down on the ground besides him. "Where I got what?" he asks her sarcastically, giving her a knowing grin and a playful wink. "I got this, don't worry. Worrying will ruin your face, if some cowboy hopped up on some big ego doesn't first."

Vincent sits there for a few seconds, tilting his head as he stares at her before he rolls his shoulders, "I guess that wraps this up, right?" he asks her, looking her over before he pauses and then holds up a digit, "Actually. I could use something else too, for this." he says, with a finger pointed in the direction of the bag. "You got a place I can crash at, or know one? I don't think doin' this sort of thing while living out of my truck will go over that smoothly."

The boldness of the statement has a scoffing laugh peppering out of Maddie as she nurses her cigarette, letting out tiny little cloudy puffs of smoke. "Si, that asshole who got in the way of your bullet." She rolls her dark-lined eyes, and waves her hand in the air, a trail of smoke following it as she uncrosses and then recrosses her legs. "Mhm." Her lips purse into a tight smile when Vincent talks about his eyes. "Do you bleach your hair?" she wonders in an idle thought, before moving on. "Spoken like a true poet, Vincent." Her 'S's curl with her mild spanish accent. She looks down for a moment, at her boot, and shakes some ash off the toe of it with a little wiggle of her ankle.
"Si." She answers him in kind, head inclining. "And my face is well protected; I carry a gun with me. I can handle a cowboy." She smiles and squints a little. "I have many times. And…" Her face just kind of drains into a blank expression at the request for a place to crash. She blinks a little, and looks around. "There is a bed and breakfast, and that hotel near the boardroom." She taps a single fingertip against the table, thinking. "And I suppose you could sleep on this couch, here, if you did dishes. But you keep working for Malvado, you can get yourself a place, if not a trailer, si?" She smiles. "Maybe even a mansion like the boss.

Vincent scoffs a little himself, slowly bobbing his head up and down in a nod as his eyes linger aside and stare at nothing in particular for a moment. "Yup." Vince up his lips for a moment before they open with a small smack, "That one." he says with some small hints of lingering remorse before he's looking back up and over to Maddie. He blinks when she asks about his hair, his eyes flicking up and then he looks back down, "Yeah." he simply says, "Whenever I can, at least." he says, looking aside for a moment or tw before he looks back to her.

"Yeah uh- I don't know if staying at a bed and breakfast is such a smart idea, to be honest." he says, looking back at Maddie with a half-amused look. "And a hotel would be nice… If I could afford it." he adds, briefly swiping his tongue over front of his top row of teeth. "I can do dishes tho'." he says, bringing his hands together to let his thumbs wrestle against one another, glancing over to the couch. "Beats the driver's seat." he says with a quiet sigh. The mention of mansions has Vincent grinning, "Grunts don't get mansions." he says, looking back to Maddie with a raised brow, "But I'll be happy if it's got a bed." he adds at the end, before he places his hands on his chair and pushes himself up to his feet. "That's all, then? Anything else before I go?" Getting up has him knocking over his thing of beer, which spills out a little before Vince leans down and picks it back up- setting it upright on his chair.

"No," Maddie says in a lazy voice, a tan hand pushing the backpack full of coke towards Vincent. "Twenty-five-thousand," she repeats for him, before stifling a yawn. "Have a good night, Vincent. Stay alive, si?"

Grabbing the backpack by its straps, Vincent pulls it up and makes sure it's all shut before swinging it over a shoulder. There's a glance back at it and then back over towards Maddie. He gives her a small thumbs up, "I don't die." he says to her, and begins heading over towards the door. He pauses, and then looks back to her. "You have a good night too. Call me if anything comes up." Pause, and a tilt of his head, "Or if you wanna get down." he says, and then he's stepping out into the hallway and back over to his truck.

Maddie watches the man leave, and then twists the ember of her cigarette out into the scorched felt of the old poker table. "We all die," she murmurs to herself, hand wafting through the remnant smoke in the air.

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