One: Family Business
Feeling the cigarette embers fade at each puff I inhaled, comforting my lips. It had put me at ease of every hard job I wasn't really responsible for, like tonight. A range of boats settled near the docks with a delivery shipped from Germany. Ignoring the stench of seaweed and fishy waters, I forced myself to focus on the burning tip of my cigarette. Looking past the large boats and ships coming in, the ocean gently clashed into each other.
Inhaling deeply once more, the smoke leaves my breath as I exhale. Flicking the remains of the burnt out fragile stick known as cancer flakes. Funny to think about, it was addicting and I was barely new to the smoking ordeal. My dad strongly believed every kid should be put at least on some ground rules. Even if it sounded dumb like me drinking and smoking until I was of age, because his excuse was if I started earlier than twenty-one. Who was going to look after the business? If I had been admitted to hospitals for my lungs giving up. He was caring but very odd in my opinion and that really didn't matter.
"Aye Kameron, the boxes are unloaded!" Glancing back at the glowing cigarette on the ground, I run my foot over it. Crushing it as I walk away, I threw the hood of my sweatshirt over my head. After this, it was gonna be a trick when I'd finish the business of what was for King.
"You label the parts?" I ask, near enough for one of the guys to hear me. I didn't know their names, I didn't have to since they change the guys every other day.
"No, was that supposed to happen?" I scoff, it was only a small joke. King was right, anything you say to them they take it to an exaggerated idea and literal. Amused at his expression, I hide my faint smile with a cough.
"No. I'm kidding. So, who was this?" Cramming my hands into my pockets made me forget about the chilly mornings around this area. Damp and cold on the dockside of our deliveries. Fishy air surrounding the morning mist, not to forget.
"Kent Lars, felt that he was doing everyone a favor. We heard he had been talking to the Rodent on the other grounds." Rodent had meant one thing, mouse and rats that snuck around and scrounged for scraps. Or at least that's how I know them by the name.
That's who they were, Rodent had the tendency to mess with the business we had in other countries. They were a somewhat group ran by an unknown guy who we still try to figure out what his deal was. We get a trail like crumbs into dark holes, leading us only to groups like ours being shoved onto the black market. Disgusting this guy was, as if he thought we'd been trafficking things or even people.
"Shit, so the guy died on their territory and left the crate of rocks?" I sighed, pacing for a second before looking over the box that already smelled rotten. Kent's body had probably looked like slivers of meat wrapped in plastic wraps. The fucking gems he left behind were the best of a negotiation we had with others from Alaska.
My terms of what were diamonds or drugs weren't discreet enough for the government officials to not know. But, this wasn't my department in the family, I had only been good with the financial issues. My family had a business that was risky but worth it at times. Asking questions was like having answers slip from your fingers once you had it. And I sure was told not to question the process but to trust it.
Getting caught was a different story, after my uncle had nearly cost us our lives. A small mistake that caused news reporters and officials of the government to get concerned. He was sent to prison five years ago, for working for the White House and embezzling near there. Sending the money over to the people we stole from, when my grandparents were alive. We almost got caught in the situation until he took the blame and changed his name before actually getting sent away. He was supposed to spend fifteen years but things might've changed as his wife wanted him in there.
She was a different story, I know for a fact my dad hated her. Remembering her was odd, a pedophile in leopard leggings and cheap gold rings. Leaving her fingers green, my family may be rich under our household but it was a hidden kind of money. King told me sketchy stories of how she told him 'if I were younger, would you want me?' At the time he was ten, confused and innocent.
"Just get his limbs or whatever is in there, out of here. Send this man's files to King and our dad, don't forget to mention about the rocks. I have to get going now." Watching as they all nod their head at me, I walk away quickly as I could.
I was already late on my morning routine, running through the park in front of my school. I had enough time to get back and get ready for my classes. The only child in the family at least to finish college was a personal accomplishment. King had gone to school but dropped out to focus on his duty in the family. My job was stressful as his was but I wanted to at least be a decent candidate to defend my family. Studying to be a lawyer behind their backs was hard and easy. Their attentions were on King mostly, they think I'm studying to be a doctor or something.
Jogging as I neared the decent car that wouldn't make me stand out. I still saved myself cash that didn't rely on the money we sat on, to buy a dream car. Relying on that money was like an interest that came with it and threatened the idea of taking what was yours. We may be family but sometimes family can be greedy.
Nearly running to the car had gave me a safe bet that no one would see me associating with 'thugs'.
I've tried my best to live normally than what my life planned for me. I didn't have much problem with the business, only if good people weren't involved.
Sliding into the driver's seat, I turn the car on and place my hands on the heaters air. Ready to pull out the cigarette box stashed in my glove compartment. A sudden thud hits the trunk of my car until I see the blank face of a girl. Her hair had covered half of what I stared at but she pushes them aside fast. Her pleasing eyes gave me chills down my arm. "Can you open the door?" Shocked at what I should do, I didn't give too much thought at what could happen. That is until I unlock the back doors, watching as she slid in with a large jacket covering her whole body.
"Can you pull away from this area, please? Hurry!" She panted with puffy eyes and shaking fingers that crept over the seat beside me. Listening to her, I confusingly pull out of the parking lot across a coffee shop. Looking in my rear view mirrors, I glance at her and see her eyes shut, relieved. Looking back at the street behind us now, a group of other people had hoods on and crowbars?
"Are you okay?" I ask glancing back at her as she panted slowly now. What do I do in this situation?
Listening for a reply from her, she finally talks. "I'm sorry but I need to get off by the bridges road down the university's field." Curiously looking at her, I remembered that was where the girls dorm hall was located.
"Are you a student there...at the university?" Hesitantly I ask her, waiting for a reply she only mumbled and eyed the streets we passed. Silently taking her there, I was glad that I wasn't being mauled or killed in her presence. Taking her there was no problem until I stopped and she ran down the mini parking lot. Running onto the green grass of the field, I didn't leave until I didn't see her anymore. Disappearing over the small hill, and what I could assume were the other dorms that peaked behind the hill. I left in utter confusion and shock at the encounter with her.
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