Chapter One (Part Two)
I couldn’t stand listening to that pussy one second longer blathering about how much he regretted hurting the girl, that he really thought he’d loved her. If he knew how many times I’ve heard that self-serving shit from men who need to rationalize screwing around on their wives, he’d shut his mouth before uttering one more word. It was all I could do not to punch him in the mouth when he bleated for perhaps the twentieth time that it wasn’t sordid, Ms. Wire, oh, no, it was true love. I make them call me Ms. Wire because that way, I’m not covered in their filth. It’s enough to make me swear off men the way these idiots act like tomcats in heat. I’m sure this girl was sooo different—that’s why he’s sending me to break into her house to retrieve something of value which might link him to her. Besides, if she was sooo different, he wouldn’t have dumped her, now would he? I had had half a mind to turn him down cold until he mentioned how much he was willing to pay. Twenty-thousand, flat. A cool ten-thou resides in the back pocket of my jeans in the form of a check, and the other ten thou will be mine after I deliver the goods. That’s ten months of rent money—which is nothing to sneeze at.
After leaving his office, I return to my studio in the Mission, after detouring at my bank, of course. I don’t even bother to think about the case until that check clears. Why waste the brain power if I don’t have to? This time, however, the check clears right away. Funny, what money can buy you. I forgot to mention there’s a five-thousand dollar bonus if I finish the job in three days. ‘I really need to ease my mind, Ms. Wire,’ he had said, earnestly pushing his glasses up his nose. I can’t imagine fucking a wet noodle like him, but to each her own. If someone was buying me diamond rings and shit, maybe I’d be willing to think of my country and spread my legs, too. Hell, I did it often enough in the old days. I light up an unfiltered and inhale deeply. I quit smoking two years ago, but allow myself the pleasure when I’m figuring out a job. I have a firm rule that once I’m on the job, I can’t drink until I finish, and I’m an ornery bitch if I don’t give in to one of my vices. Since my other fave is heroin, I figure smoking is the least harmful to my profession.
I’m not an ordinary thief, mind you, and I hate being called that. I don’t break into houses for the hell of it and bust shit up. I don’t carry a piece, and I don’t kill anybody. Killing is for losers—I saw enough of that while living on the streets. In fact, it was after I witnessed someone getting killed for a couple bucks that I began to rethink my lifestyle. As fate would have it, a hooker in the Tenderloin asked me to help her retrieve something from her pimp, and when I was able to do it successfully, she recommended me to a friend. Thus, a career was born, and I’ve been thanking Cocoa every since. She got sliced and diced a year back, and they still haven’t found the son-of-a-bitch who did her. It’s some john, of course, but no cop gives a good goddamn about some Tenderloin whore. It’s just me and the girls who mourn her, and that asshole pimp of hers, Johnny Dee, except his grief is only for the loss of a paycheck.