Another extract from my WIP, from a little earlier in the story when Kaya desperately needs some money.  Originally she met up with her band first before Stan, but I swapped the scenes around so now when she leaves this scene she goes and meets her friend Sayuri, as well as Candace and Ashley who she’s become a little less friendly with (she’s kind of grown to think they’re idiots):

Stan Greif was a squat, bald, little bulldog of a man sat behind a table covered in green felt. “Well now,” his voice reverberated from deep inside him, “if it isn’t my least favorite delinquent. To what do I owe the woe, Cade?”

“Missed you too, you old wandought,” Kaya quirked. “How’s the business going?”

Stan leaned back into an antique chair to light a cigar, flanked either side by two huge suited bouncers who just stood like statues. “It would be a lot better if certain punks actually paid their tabs on time.”

“Well that’s kind of what I’m here to see you about,” Kaya had a backpack with her that she slipped off her shoulder onto the table. “I need cash.”

“What’d you do to get fired this time?”

“Nothing!” Kaya insisted, “… much. This guy was being a jerk and I… well, he said it was assault. I say it was teaching him a valuable lesson. Store manager took his side though.”

“You know the jerks name? I could send the boys here round for a chat. Or I could have words with this manager…”

As tempting an offer as that was, Kaya suspected in the long run it would only add to the guilt and nagging shame she already felt. “Thanks, but no,” she said. “I just need a bit of capital so I can get myself on my feet.”

Stan blew a smoke ring at her, Kaya not enjoying the smell or the damage being done to her lungs but it wasn’t like she could ask him to go outside. It was his building – she just had to wait until he made a decision. “Don’t know what it is about you, Cade,” he said. “You remind of this fox I found once bleeding by the side of the road. I knew I should have put him down, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger. You remember, boys? We drove it all the way to the vet and had to miss the security van.”

“You’re a great humanitarian, Stan,” Kaya said, “it’s what I tell everyone who asks about you.”

“Can’t help myself. So alright – show us what you’ve got.”

Kaya emptied the backpack. There was the laptop she’d freed from that jerk McCall which would surely be better with a different owner, as well as some chains, watches, and other bits and bobs that were just weighing people down.

“You have been busy,” Stan nodded approvingly. “I’ll give you two hundred.”

“Two hundred?” Kaya frowned. “You can’t be serious…”

“I’m always serious, Cade. I’ll take a little off your tab too, because I’m such a humanitarian. We have a deal?”

She had no choice, really. It was his now whether she took his money or not, so she might as well take the money. Stan liked her, but he wouldn’t like anyone thinking he was soft. If she refused he would offer her a position in his organization as an example and Kaya knew well she was no example for anyone. “Fine,” she agreed.

“Pleasure doing business,” Stan said, counting out the money from his own wallet. “And Cade, if you need work, we’re looking for a new driver. Last lad let us all down then fell asleep at the wheel.”

“I suppose now he’s sleeping with the fishes?”

“No Cade. Carbon monoxide. Very sad.”

“Right,” Kaya accepted the money and was very keen not to outstay her welcome. “Well it is the invisible killer. Go green, save lives, that’s what I always say,” she said for the first time ever. “But like I said, I’ve gotta sort myself out.”

“Offers open. You playing with your band tonight? The Killer Aqua Barbies?”

“Bunnies,” Kaya corrected. “Killer Aqua Bunnies. And yes.”

“What the hell is an Aqua Bunny?” Stan puzzled over for a moment. “Well, whatever. Just keep it clean. I hear any swearing and I’ll burn your instruments and you with them, got it?”

Kaya often puzzled over Stan’s priorities and morals. She’d started acquiring things for him shortly before she left school – some of her dad’s friends had connections. It wasn’t something she was proud of, but she needed to get away from home and survive on her own and working for Stan was better than most other alternatives. He was basically honorable and never took advantage or tried to force anyone working for him to do things they weren’t comfortable with. But he was still a crook, and Kaya kept hoping that every time she met him like this it would be the last. For now though it shouldn’t be too difficult to accommodate his wishes.

“Brats on the beat,” she said. “Got it.”

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