“Whadda you doing here?” asked a kid with a gun stuck down the front of his pants.
“You could shoot off something you might want to keep, carrying a gun that way.”
“Yeah, but it’s your problem, not mine. Tell Lucky that T want’s to see his smiling face.”
“Why would he want to see you?”
“You might want to give him the message, so he doesn’t have to keep me waiting. He won’t like that and if he doesn’t like it, I guarantee that you won’t like it either.”
The kid was smart, he didn’t argue, he just went inside. He was back in a minute, waving me in.
“T-Baby, what’s up?” said Lucky, coming in for a hug. Ten guys got up and left the room.
“You’re looking good for an old man,” she said, smiling at him.
“Hey, I’m twenty-two, still old enough for you though. Anytime you’re ready.”
“I’ve got a proposition for you.”
“I have waited a long time to hear that,” he laughed. “Sit down.”
“Here’s whats going on….”
Toledo gave him the short version and waited a minute until he closed his mouth.
“I’m not. I want you to get the gang leaders together and set up a meeting. We’re going after the establishment and we are making room for those who have no voice and that, my sweet friend, includes you.”
“It will never work.”
“We have to try. Call me when the meeting is set up. Everyone needs to be there and weapons left at the door, if you can swing it. Meeting in neutral territory. No one has the upper hand on their home turf. We want equal footing for everyone, so get a round table.”
“Are we going to be the new Knights?” he laughed.
“I’m counting on it,” said Toledo, taking his hand. “I’m serious about this Lucky. I need your help. You’re the first step. We’re going to pour money into the city. We need you to oversee the process. We need all the leaders to do their jobs on their own turf. They will be expected to consult with each other in weekly meetings, to make sure everyone is working toward the same end. How’s your sister, by the way?”
“She’s got two kids. Hard to believe. You remember how wild she was.”
“I do indeed,” snickered Toledo. “Tell her I said hello and that I’m going to hit her up for a few favors.”
“I’ll talk to my crew, see what I can do.”
“If I don’t hear from you by the end of the week, I’ll be at your door.”
Lucky nodded. “I gotcha back, woman. No worries. Is that the only proposition ya got for me?”
“Oh, honey, I don’t want to ruin you for all the other women who will be in our life,” she said, running her hand down his arm.
“I’m willing to risk it.”
Toledo laughed, gave him another hug and pushed him away.
“I’m serious, T. I’m willing to take the chance and hey, I heard about your new father.”
Toledo turned and looked at him thoughtfully. “He’s not my father. He’s nothing to me, just a sperm having a good time.”
“I hear ya, T. Talk to you soon.”
She walked back to him and put her arms around him. He bent down and kissed her. She kissed him back.
“You know it’s always been you,” he whispered.
“You too,” she said. walking away.