The taxi left dropped her off downtown in a familiar neighborhood. This was all buildings where the first floor of every structure was boarded up and the street corner she stood on collected hungry eyes, lifeless eyes that ogled her top to bottom. She paid them no mind. If she had to make an example out of one of the apartment denizens, then so be it. Her dealer’s residence was in the dingy apartment complex across the street, the brown brick façade had attracted wealthy tenets at one time, but now the brick was covered in spray-paint, newspaper and other stuff she didn’t want to think about. Anne crossed the street avoiding any eye contact. She wasn’t in the mood for murder, but if some oddball crack head tried anything she was going to bite back.
The gangsters guarding the front door knew her and knew to be quick to move out of her way, no need to go in guns blazing. They were a part of the Seven Sons North crew Anne was dealing with. They procured supplies that only her cash could purchase. Anne ascended two flights of stairs and rounded into a corridor blasting loud hip-hop music.
The young gangbanger hanging by the black painted door at the end of the corridor moved aside and let her through. He didn’t miss the chance to lick his lips at Anne.
How cute, Anne thought. She caressed his biceps with her long nailed fingers. The gangster’s smile faded from his face. Oh, he can feel the danger. Anne smirked, fluttered her eyelashes, blew him a kiss and stepped through the door.
The whole place reeked of weed but Anne doubted the thick fumes floating in the living room would give her enough of a high for a fun time. She inhaled deeply nonetheless. The apartment was packed with the crew – two heavy muscled goons worked their jaws when she maneuvered around them, their grip on their semi-automatics tight. The gangsters watched her back warily, the sight of her more entertaining than the perky whores sprawled on the sofa. That was until their fear overrode their desire.
Leroy and his inner circle were in the kitchen counting cash and measuring LSD filled bags on a counter. When Leroy saw her he forced a wide smile. Anne took measure of him as always, all sharp suit and clever manners.
“Anne, always a pleasure to my eyes. I would have appreciated a call preceding your visit, but ah, I just can’t be angry with you.”
He got up and planted a kiss on the back of her outstretched hand.
“Leroy. I see you’re keeping busy.” Anne nodded and arched an eyebrow toward the black duffel bags filled with guns. She smiled at the firepower piled in there.
“Distribution business is going good, it’s solid. With these super powered motherfuckers jumpin’ through walls an’ shit, people call out for our protection.”
Leroy leaned in, a movement that didn’t go unnoticed by his personal security who slid off the stool and propped himself against the kitchen counter watching them.
“You hear Lil’ Cee’s crew got massacred? Shit’s fuckin’ scary. The kid was a lunatic but he held up his end of the deal real good.”
Anne allowed herself a small smirk though adrenaline surged below the surface of her cool skin. She remembered wiping Lil’ Cee and his crew’s blood from her hands and face. After she dispatched Lil’ Cee’s crew, and they had returned to her hotel room, Justin had shook his head staring at her naked form longingly. His notable arousal of her savagery made her feel like she could live in that moment once again. The smirk was erased from her face, the memory of her lover’s death only days later too fresh to be ignored.
“Yeah, saw it on the news. Nasty business. I also heard you took their streets running guns there too.”
Leroy backed out of her personal space. He poured two shots and offered one to Anne. She toyed with the rim of the plastic cup for a moment before tossing the warm liquid down her dry throat. The container may have been incorrect, but it was what was inside the cups that mattered.
“We’re fighting to keep a strong hand on the new turf. Others want those streets too. I like to make a statement, keep them breathless.” Leroy nodded toward the guns.
“No doubt you do. You’re the OG, Leroy. You keep them bloodied and busy.”
Leroy laughed. “You know it! What can I get you? The usual?”
Leroy went to the bedroom and soon came back with a paper bag filled with burners. “Take your pick.”
Anne rummaged though the purloined electronics and pulled out two phones.
“You are staying busy too I can see that. I respect that.” Leroy paused and locked eyes with Anne. “Though your business seems way shadier than mine,” Leroy added.
Anne winked at him with long lashes. “A girl’s gotta protect her own. And what girl doesn’t love keeping secrets?”
“You need any guns too sweetheart? All numbers wiped, untraceable. I got Glocks, Smith & Wesson. Nine mil just for your hand size.”
Anne paid him handsomely, just like he liked and expected from her. “I pack my own baby.” She patted her handbag. “I’ll see you around, Leroy.”
“Miss Anne,” Leroy bowed and kissed her outstretched palm again. “I look forward to our your next visit.” He straightened. “Please let me know in advance before you visit though.”
Outside, Anne waved at another cab. Two or three ignored her hail. It wasn’t until she stepped out into the street and blocked one that she got her ride. Once she was inside, after the stream of profanity from the driver she gave her destination address. As the cab accelerated, she pulled one of the prepaid phones from her purse and dialed.
“Detective Massey speaking.”
“Meet me at 483 Eastlake Avenue East in thirty minutes.”
“Not now. Thirty minutes. Eastlake Avenue.”