“Show a nigga some love, nephew!” Uncle Duval has always been loud. He announces my entrance into the club as few customers in there turn in his direction, then in mine. They roll their eyes back to their food. Good thing I don't blush easy.
I give him a hug as two of his “boys” try to mean mug me, but they just nod at me. The tall one keeps his left hand slightly under his shirt the whole time, his hand on his gun. The short, dreaded nigga is all muscle, B-Boy stanced. I figure he's the brawler with little experience, given his size and no one probably steppin' up to him. Guess Duval didn't tell them about me. He knows I'd disarm that fuck faster than he'd pull his gun out, smoke him and his partner, and stroll out the door.
Me and Duval sit down at the table, and he waves at the food offering me something to eat. I'm actually not hungry. I got business on my mind.
“Turnin' down food, nephew? Shit, you must be ready to discuss business.”
I don't take my eyes off him as I nod my head. “It's gonna be different this time around.”
Duval doesn't say anything. He reaches for the nachos, looking at me as he grabs a few chips and stuffs them in his mouth. You ever see cows eat? That's what he looks like right now. I know he's thinking about what I said, because he forms a grin on his face as he's chewing. He finally swallows and answers.
“Talk to me.”
“I'm only in it until I make enough money to get the hell out of this damn town. My son deserves more than this, and I want to make sure he gets it.”
“All good nephew, I only need you for a bit.” He sticks a shrimp in his mouth and smacks the damn thing likes it's gum. Fucking disgusting. But who am I to judge? Look at what the hell I'm about to do. “'Sides, I need these youngins to better learn the art of...persuasion. They're damn sloppy.”
I smirk at the “girls”. “Like you said, they're youngins.”
“And what's dat make you, nigga?!” a raised voice from the tall one. Good, he's not so quiet; those are the ones you watch out for. “You just some washed up ass nigga come crawlin' on his knees to his uncle wantin' some of the pie again!”
Kid has a big fuckin' mouth. I like that. I sit staring at Duval, and he smiles.
“Not here. Don't need you fuckin' my boys up yet. Fellas.” Duval nods to the left, and they move slowly to the side of him, eyeballing me all the way. I don't make it any better. I stand from my seat and face them, my chin low and hands loose on my sides. Nothing like an old fashioned skullfucking between fellas to see who punks out down first.
None of us budge. The 'girls' stare at me like two wolves ready to jump in for the kill on a downed deer. Time to mess with them. Faster than they react, I act like I reach for my gun in the small of my back, and come back with my gun finger pointing at them. The slow ass niggas are barely reaching for the guns in their belts. Damn right I get the drop on them.
“I've seen women better prepared.” I laugh and walk off, throwing the table a peace sign. Duval is laughing, too, but I know he's pissed. Hell no I don't trust him. I remember what he did years ago to another runner who he thought short changed him. The kid's face was beaten into hamburger, and he made me do it. I always remembered that, and told myself he wasn't going to do it to me. Now he knows I'm wise to his shit, and I'll be ready.
Small messages go a long way.