“Put in your 8 months leave. You’re coming on the road with me.”
David turned and walked away, and Jason walked out from the counter.
“I work at a hot dog stand! What could you want with me? I can’t just put in my notice, it doesn’t even go up to that in most offices. How am I supposed to eat, make a living?”
David turned back to him. “You know why I want you. And I’ll tell you how we’ll survive. Your ex, Cait. She’s the best in the business. She’ll keep us fed on her salary.”
“Salary? She’s a card shark! She’s fucking vicious!”
“You don’t have to go near her,” said David, walking along again with Jason from the stand.
Jason almost stopped entirely. “I don’t want to be near her ever again!”
“Too bad, coz I’m relying on you.”
“Well, don’t. You can’t. I won’t.”
They stopped walking, and David marched forward into his space, backing Jason up a few steps. “We’re going on the road. We’re pulling the biggest heist in history. I could leave you behind, but I can’t her. You got me?”
“I get her on board, and you promise you’ll leave me.”
“No deal. You’re coming.”
“But you just said –”
“Doesn’t mean I will.”
“Then why should I do this?”
Jason watched him go with a sinking feeling. The last time she’d seen him, it had been in the fury of revenge in their home. He was in the shower, and she had the bright idea she would beat him at his own game, she would trick the trickster. But he had seen her coming, and the moment she tried… down rolled the projection slides at both open doors, before and behind her, written large with advice for her future tricking.
Furiously, she tried to backtrack, to avoid his smug face, but she couldn’t punch through the projection slide behind her. Growing desperate, she moved forwards, tearing down the slide before her and crashing into the shower, bending him over so she wouldn’t have to see his face, created blood smears on the wall next to his head despite trying to hold him back from smashing his head into it.
“I don’t need you to lecture me with your smugness,” said Cait. “I don’t need it.”
“I was only trying to help.”
“Bullshit, you were trying to humiliate me. Again.”
The memory wasn’t a fond one. When he walked up the silent emptiness of her crap shack, the echoes of it bounced around his head.
He sat in a white plastic seat in her kitchen as she stared. “What do you want?”
“This isn’t about me, it’s about David.”
“So you said. What about him?”
“He wants to take you on the road, for a heist. From the look of this place, you need it.”
“You be there?”
“He wants me. I don’t, so much.”
“Because of me?”
“The fuck you think? Of course you. But it’s not just that. I got a life here. I’m not gonna be pulled back with you. I’ll sort it, you don’t have to worry about me being there.”
“What’s he want me for? I don’t need him, I could get out of here on my own.”
“Then why haven’t you?”
“I score enough to get by.”
“You’re in a rut, just admit it. You need his ambition to claw your way out of it.”
“If I am, you know the cause. Why would you give a shit?”
“Because David’s on my ass about it. Look, I’ll win you over by telling you one thing you never heard from me. You’re the best, you’re not second.”
She smirked. “You think I’ll join because of you?” she asked, looking up at him with that old light in her eyes.
“I think you’ll do it to go over me.”
“God knows I wanna do that,” she said.
“Then do it.”
She looked at him. “Fine.”
David pulled him away from Cait as soon as he showed up at the lot. “You got her, good on you! Now tell me, you on board?”
“No way. I’m moving on.”
“You work at a hot dog stand. She needs this as much as you do.”
“Be real, Dave-o,” said Jason. “What you want her for? She low-time. She can’t possibly provide for all of you,” he said, looking around at all the caravans.
“She’s a high roller,” said David. “She’s gonna win us big bucks. I told you, she’s the best.”
“Yeah, whatever you say.”
“You ought to believe in her more. And yourself, for that matter. I’m just trying to help you out here. When your stuck in the low class and she’s rolling in the big bucks, who’s gonna win? It’s gonna be her.”
“Damn,” said Jason. “You win. Fuck you, I’ll come.”
“Atta boy,” he said, patting him on the shoulder and walking away.
“Son of a bitch,” said Jason, “bamboozled me.”