Writer Notes: If you’ve noticed my site format has changed, this is why…I installed a new print screen program (well it’s not new to the public, but it is to me) so I had to get a bigger format to support bigger pictures.
Warnings: discussion, opinions, awkward moment, an idea, some language, aggravation, and ok on the gangsta business
“Ok,” Peppermint finally said in the uncomfortable silence. “It’s been a week and you haven’t said anything about this.”
“This?” Jack questioned.
“Don’t play stupid with me, Jack.” Pmint said. “The possible engagement.”
Jack shook his head. “You mean the impossible engagement.”
“There’s the brother I know and love.”
“You haven’t said anything for a week, Jack.” Pmint said. “I know you have an opinion so you might as well get it all out now before I make my decision.”
“What do you want me to say?” Jack asked. “That I think you’re being an idiot? That Toulouse is scum and will always be scum? That if you get with him how much respect you’ll lose, not just from the gang, but me? Is that what you want to hear?”
“No, not particularly.” Pmint sighed. “But it was kind of expected.”
“Dear sister of mine, use that brain that I know you have.” Jack said. “What do you expect with getting back with Toulouse? For him to be there like he was for the past four and half months?”
“So you want me to root him out completely?” Peppermint asked.
“I think he does that pretty well on his own.” Jack replied. “No, let him play Dad when he wants to, but I’m sure that will be too difficult on him and his career. And down the road? Do you think you’ll be the only one disappointed?”
“But he is the father of this baby, Jack!” Peppermint exclaimed. “And, yes, it is up to him to be a good father or not. I know this! But I want him to be.”
“Hell, Pmint, we all want him to buck up and be a good father.” Jack said. “The chances of that happening any time soon is slim to none. This proposal isn’t anything, but him trying to reel you back in away from Drake.”
“This has nothing to do with Drake!”
“If you think that then you are an idiot.” Jack said. “Toulouse has been struggling with Drake being here with you and playing your caretaker. And for a guy with an ego like Toulouse that must burn into his soul.”
“You know how stupid that sounds?!” Peppermint shook her head.
“Do you know how stupid Toulouse is?” Jack asked. “That’s precisely what his issue has been since the beginning. Drake had been taking care of you and Toulouse let it happen. Now he wants to show up Drake the only way he knows how, Pmint.”
“What? Trap me?” Peppermint laughed. “This isn’t trapping me, Jack.”
“No, I don’t think that’s what Toulouse’s point would be.” he replied. “If he gets you back, then he’ll show Drake that you would always pick him over Drake no matter what.”
“That’s silly.” Peppermint said.
“This is guy ego’s we’re talking about.” Jack answered. “There’s no logic in it.”
“Don’t let Toulouse use you.” Jack said. “Because that’s exactly what he’ll do if you let him back in.”
“And the monkey took all the bananas without the man noticing!” Drake laughed. “It was awesome!”
“Hello,” Kenneth Grace said emerging from Kassidy Lane’s room with her on his arm. “How are you this evening Kat?”
“Ummm, fine, thank you.” She replied. Kat had kept her distance from Kassidy Lane since the party at Sasha’s. She knew that KL must have a tremendous rage against all of the gang at the moment or maybe she realized that she had been in the wrong. Maybe, but unlikely.
“So no Rez tonight?” KL asked.
“He had to reschedule.” Kat replied. “But that’s all right, Drake was fine with taking me home.”
KL glanced at Drake with his head bowed. “Of course he was.”
“Well, excuse us, we’re late for a dinner party.”
“So Tom and Jerry tonight or is that only for Shalanae nights?” Drake asked. Kat didn’t ever hear him. Her thoughts lately had been on what KL had said at that party and it just couldn’t leave her.
“I’m sorry.” Kat shook her head. “Did you say something?”
“You know, you’ve been acting weird since that party.” Drake sid. “You wanna talk?”
“I’ve got an open schedule.” Drake smiled.
“No you don’t.” Kat replied. “You gotta go take care of Pmint and stuff.”
“Yeah…” Drake sighed. “Yeah, I know. I’ve been concentrating on her pretty hard and letting you other girls run wild without me.” he smiled. “But I’m here now.”
“It’s all right.” she said. “I’m fine. I just…I think I need to find something new to do.”
“New?” he let all the suspicion fill his voice. “New, like how?”
“I dunno.” she answered. “Maybe joining yoga or something.”
“In that case, you might want to go talk to my friend Clay.” Drake smiled.
“Clay?” Kat was trying to figure out who he was talking about. “Oh. The guy who owns the art gallery?”
“Yep, he’s also a fitness instructor in yoga and many other things.” Drake said. “There’s no one better.”
Kat bit her lip. “I don’t know about that.”
“Now dis doesn’t leave da four of us.” Shane said. “Iz been trackin’ a lot of the crime on our streets.”
“That’s not anything new.” Dewy said. “You’ve always been anal about knowing who’s doing what.”
“This is different.” Rez said. “We’re talking about hate crimes and gang movements.”
“Hate crimes?” Sasha shook her head. “Is this about Rez and Angel’s house getting burnt down? Shalanae and I have talked, neither of us know any other Fire Element in the region and we’d know if another entered our territory.”
“Besides,” Sasha continued. “You killed one of the guys who you suspected of burning the house down and it’s been months without the other guy coming back at us.”
“Will ya please let me talk!” Shane exclaimed. “Do ya think I haven’t put everything together? Do ya think I just have ya here so ya can talk and I say nothin’?”
“Well, then what’s new?” Sasha giggled.
Shane gave her very serious eyes, a wasted effort on Sasha Fire.
“Oh, don’t get your panies in a wad.” Sasha said. “What-the-hell is up with the gangs?”
“They’re scared.” Shane replied.
That made Sasha hesitate. “They’re scared?”
“Every contact I have had said da same thing.” Shane said. “They want no part in fighting those guys I gunned down.”
“And they won’t tell us who those guys work for either.” Rez added.
“Shit.” Dewy said. “That means they’re more scared of whoever those guys are than you, Shane. That’s some serious bullshit.”
“It’s worse than that.” Sasha replied. “It means they would rather cower and allow these guys to terrorize the city than to support Shane.”
“I think they know this is serious stuff now.” Rez shook his head.
“Bout time.” Shane sighed. “I need ya two with open ears and eyes to what’s goin’ on da streets and with other gangs movin’ through town.”
“So we don’t know who those guys were working for.” Sasha said. “But we know it’s a scary enough guy that no one wants to fight him.”
“Yeah,” Shane said. “And we’re bout da only group left that’s not gonna cower to this…guy.”
“Sounds like you need my help in more than one way.” Sasha smiled. “I’ll ask around.”
Dewy knew Sasha was specially trained for things like this, among other things. She had once been the bodyguard of a very high profiled politician, but had transferred out when things seemed in order. He didn’t know exactly what Sasha could do and part of that scared him. She was a Fire Element after all.
“Let’s not make ourselves too obvious out there, people.” Shane said. “We can’t get them knowing we’re snooping around.”
Sasha smiled. “You know I’m good at low key.”