The hero stared at a concrete wall, lifted a barbell and waited for something to kill.
He worked out in a gym frequented by ex-cons and second-string cage fighters. It was a small, dim place but the hero liked it. He’d gone to one of those fancy-plain places before, a place with posters yelling on concrete walls and pretty people yelling and feeling strong.
It didn’t work out that well.
Ex-cons didn’t ask questions when they saw the eagles and swastikas in thick, broken lines on his arms, nodded and let him work out whatever he needed to work out that pushed the hero to ink HOPELESS on his knuckles in a child’s unsteady scrawl or AGLÆCA across his throat in heavy block letters. The cage fighters knew better than to pick a fight without a purse, so they’d look away once they looked into his eyes. Neither of them usually brought girls to the gym. That helped too.
The hero had read enough and had made enough mistakes to know that heroes didn’t do well with girls.
“Stealing bitches on my patch!” The Greek spat and ground his teeth. “This fucking thing! Fuck this fucking thing!”
The hero waited and thought about killing the Greek. He thought about looting the restaurant and burning the restaurant and taking the Greek somewhere quiet until there wasn’t anything left of him to play with.
“Wipe the drool off your chin, you sick fuck.” The Greek stared into the hero’s eyes for a moment and looked away.
People didn’t like to look at the hero too long.
“We know where it takes them, we know where it leaves what’s left.” The Greek ticked the points off on his fingers, one, two. “We know that it’s strong enough to break a man’s back and we know that it doesn’t give two tugs of my dick about bullets.” Tick, tick, three, four.
“What else you need? You need the money up front?” The Greek swallowed and looked at the men he had guarding the door. The two men kept their eyes away from the hero.
“Tell me where it was and I’ll do the rest.” The hero stood and walked past the guards, dwarfing them as he walked out. “I’ll get the money after.”