Paula/ Dani

Picking Up A Friend

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“Remind me again why we’re here?” Paula asked, letting her seat back a little.

 

The two massive men in the front seat sharply inhaled. People didn’t question Pauly LaVine; when he said jump his men didn’t even ask how high, they simply jumped until Pauly said otherwise. But Paula wasn’t one of her father’s men; with Paula, Pauly played a whole different kind of ball game. Pauly never wanted to be feared by his children; he’d experienced that firsthand growing up. With Paula and her brothers, Pauly was a soft and caring father. He never struck his children; hell, he never even spoke to them above a few decibels unless it was with excitement and passion.

 

“Just checking up on an old friend.” Pauly answered.

 

Sitting in the back of the blacked-out SUV, Paula, her father, and their favorite bodyguards, Simon and Gus, sat outside a large apartment complex. The building was a hot spot for drugs, and normally, Pauly wouldn’t be caught anywhere near it. He loath the men that hung around outside the building, preying on young and innocent children and getting them hooked on drugs before they even knew how to drive. But today wasn’t a normal day.

 

Paula opened her mouth to ask a question when her father held up a hand. 

 

“Gus, bust a uey, that’s him.” Pauly said.

 

Gus crank the car to life and did as he was told.

 

“Right there, in the green hoodie.” Pauly said, pointing to a tall, skinny figure.

 

Gus brought the car to a slow creep as Simon jumped out. Before the hooded person could say a word the trunk was open and Simon was throwing them into the back. Gagging and tying them up, he closed the trunk and was back in the passenger seat. Gus continued down the road as the father and daughter casually spoke about how lively the ghost neighborhood once was. After doing some circles, and switching cars, they headed to the safehouse where Simon tied the man in the hoodie to a chair before removing the sack on his head.

 

“Hi Jake, long time no see.” Pauly said, wiggling his fingers.

 

“Why has it been so long Jake? It kinda feels like you’re avoiding us.” Paula said, crossing her arms over her chest.

 

Jake shook his head so fast that the father and daughter worried he’d snap his own neck.

 

“No, no. I-I haven’t been avoiding you! I’ve been working. Working a lot of really long hours. I’m trying to put together all the money.” Jake said quickly.

 

Pauly clicked his tongue as he examined the large ring on his middle finger, the thing was practically indestructible. The ring was a gift from Paula’s mother, and though she up and left him, Pauly kept the ring cause it left a nice reminder on all the faces of those who decided they wanted to fuck with him. 

 

“You know Jake, dad doesn’t like to be lied to. When I was a little girl, he’d always tell me, it’s easier to tell the truth, cause you don’t always have to remember what you told people.” Paula said, placing a hand on Jake’s shoulder.

 

Jake shook his head again.

 

“It’s not a lie!” Jake said quickly.

 

Paula sighed as she withdrew her face from his.

 

“I warned you.” She said, shaking her head.

 

Pauly moved slowly, sliding a hand across his chest as he reached into the inside pocket of his sports jacket.

 

“Pauly, please! Don’t! I just need a little more-”

 

Paying Jake no mind, Pauly pulled an iPhone from his inside pocket and held it up.

 

“Jakey, relax. What are you afraid of iPhones or something?” Pauly asked with a chuckle.

 

Jake sighed and allowed himself to relax into the chair.

 

Unlocking the phone, Pauly tapped at it a few times before handing it to his daughter.

 

“Watch this.” Paula said, holding the phone up to Jake’s face. 

 

In the video, Jake was seen at a club; surrounded by beautiful women and bottles. Standing on the couch, Jake was seen throwing money around with his buddies as the girls drank alcohol straight from the bottle.

 

“That’s not my money Pauly, you gotta believe me.” Jake said fearfully. 

 

Paula slowly stepped back from the man just as her father cocked his fist back and slammed it into the man’s face. Jake’s head flung back, blood flying through the air as his chair fell over.

 

Standing over him, Pauly spat in his face.

 

“I don’t appreciate being lied to.” Pauly said. 

 

Paula handed her father a handkerchief as the pair made their way to the door. 

 

As they exited the building, her father’s men walked in and Paula could hear the sound of flesh meeting fists before the door slammed shut. 

Hopping into the car, Paula closed the door and they were off.


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