MAVERICK, R&R, D&D
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Prez asks, annoyed at the severity and yet how non-specific Reid’s statement was. Prez is many things but patient isn’t one of them. Reid stops pacing and looks at Prez with his head tilted, as if trying to figure out how to proceed.
The goosebumps return all over my body.
“I think it is possible some of the girls are working there against their will,” he finally says before going silent. He leaves Prez and I to process his words – the thought of women being forced to sell their bodies makes us all physically ill. We all have moms, sisters, nieces, wives and daughters – we don’t deal with human trafficking for a fucking reason! Prez’s face is reflecting what I’m feeling which is a great deal of anger and disgust – there is no way we’ll be letting this go without investigating it further.
“What makes you say that? You got proof?” Prez asks with a snarl, already worked up about the situation. Normally he is calm and cool but when it comes to the abuse of women and children, he tends to lose his shit. His old man used to knock his mom and him around all of the time so joining the gang was his escape from that life – out of one world of violence and into another. Reid sits down, one of his knees bobbing up and down nervously.
“The girl they gave me tonight,” he says, shaking his head. “She was young – too young to be this experienced already,” he says with a grimace. Clearly, he is speaking from personal experience and is now feeling guilty about it. Prez waves him off while replying.
“A good lay hardly means she’s being raped, Veep,” Prez dismisses, but Reid will not let it go. He stands again, his agitation in full gear as he leans over the desk toward Prez. If it were anyone else, I’d haul them back into the chair – deeming them as threatening but I know Reid isn’t going to hurt Prez, he is simply trying to get his point across.
Whatever happened, freaked him the fuck out.
“Fuck you, Pierce,” Reid says, stunning Prez into silence. This level of disrespect is punishable by the severest forms of torture we have available to us – neither of us can believe Reid’s behaviour. It is evident he has either lost his mind or is truly that desperate to express himself. Once the shock passes, a dark look settles in on Prez’s face – a scary one, and Reid resumes his seat.
“I strongly suggest you make this worthwhile and fast, VICE-President,” Prez growls at Reid, expressing both his anger and reminding him of his position at the same time. Reid rubs his face before answering, his frustration and exasperation evident.
“Prez, this girl… you can’t fake what I saw in her eyes,” he nearly whispers. At first, I’m dubious – he’s basing all of this on a look? But the pain I see in his eyes is real – he is truly upset by what he experienced with the young lady he was partnered with and it is still haunting him. If it is at all possible she’s being made to prostitute herself, then we have to step in and stop it – even if Mama’s Place is in neutral territory and we’d risk a turf war.
“Are you sure?” Prez asks, needing confirmation before acting on this ‘tip’. Reid nods silently, his face the saddest I’ve ever seen it. Prez leans back in his chair, contemplating the information just given to him. The room is quiet except for the occasional squeak of his chair as he adjusts or shuffles in his chair while thinking. This goes on for several long minutes before Prez finally breaks the silence.
“I’ll go in myself and get a feel,” he says ominously, “before we do anything further. If I believe the same thing, Veep – we’ll act on it, you have my word,” he vows and Reid nods approvingly. Plans are made for Prez to visit the next night and to ask for the same girl before we all go our separate ways for the night. I head to my house, knowing damn well I’m not going to get any sleep tonight – the very thought of anyone in that situation… no, I won’t be sleeping much tonight. None of us are good men – in fact, we’re downright horrible pieces of human garbage but we’re not rapists, human traffickers or child molesters. We don’t deal in pornography – it is just too easy to cross into some scary and questionable areas and even people like ‘us’ have boundaries. Guns and drugs are easy because we sell to someone who sells to someone who sells to someone else, and on it goes. It is easy to benefit when you’re not the one injecting the needle or pulling the trigger.
I don’t think about it.
I’m here to do a job and while it isn’t a legal one, I do it to the best of my ability every single day. People’s lives depend on me so I can’t screw up, and I don’t. If I had a title it would be ‘Head of Security’ but TIC works just as well – Third in Command. People do what I tell them and I look over Reid and Prez’s security teams when they’re out. Because we’re low profile and not into the truly nasty shit, we tend to stay out of other people’s business for the most part and off their hit lists. Since Pierce took over as President, I’ve only had to take three bullets for him and none for Reid so all in all – a success story. We do have our enemies though, of course – you can’t be in a business like ours and not make your fair share and we’re not an exception to that rule. We especially make people hate us when we break up rings like these where humans are trafficked, or women and children are being used. We don’t tolerate this kind of bullshit – never have, and in our own misguided attempts at correcting wrongs where we see them, will ruin any and all ‘businesses’ we come across doing this.
If Mama’s Place is making women sell their bodies against their will – it’ll stop with us.
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