“Well Rodney let’s go talk to Soda POP.” I said. “I think we just dodged a bullet.”
“What did you do?” He asked. “I changed the gang members mind. Wasn’t no big deal. But we need to talk to Soda Pop.” I explained to Rodney.
“Soda, we need to talk to you outside,” I said. His crew stood up. “You, your bad ass neighborhood thugs aren’t invited.” That put the crew a little on edge. “If you boys want to get hinkie, now is the fucking time. I’m out of patience with you bitches. There are three of you, and no Kevlar vests on any of you. So I figure I can get two of you before you hit some non lethal spot on me. Then I figure Rodney here for at least one of you and he will be the one standing at the end. Now, if one of you street corner thugs want to go for it do it now, otherwise sit your asses down.”
Soda turned to them and said, “Cool it. I’ll talk to the bitch.”
We were standing in the hall when I said, “There will be no gang photo op. Not today, not ever.” I looked him hard in the eye. “Do we understand each others?”
“Who do you think you are?” he asked.
“TJ, let me explain something to you. If you get killed, your mama or your whore, is going to sue the racetrack and the manager. So they have to carry liability insurance on your ass. The insurance company insists they provide you with a body guard, so they at least have a chance to say we did all we could. That will make any payout they have to make smaller. Me and Rodney here are those bodyguards. Now, if we say fuck it and walk out, you no longer have insurance and your concert is canceled. Now, if you were some big star they might worry about the crowd going off on them, but you ain’t. You are just a wanna be at this point. So, if we have a situation we can’t control, like an uncooperative client, we walk. We walk Soda Pop, and you are finished in the business period. Your thug friends are not body guards, they are fucking window dressing and you know it. So like I said, there will be no more gang photo ops. Did I make myself clear.”
“The bitch speak for you brother?” TJ asked Rodney.
“I got one brother, and it sure as hell ain’t you. So she speaks for me,” Rodney said.
“Alright, but go easy on my posse,” TJ demanded.
“If they pull a gun, it’s a threat period. I will take them out,” Rodney said.
“You some hard ass mother fuckers,” Soda Pop said.
“What other kind of mother fuckers you want keeping your ass alive?” Rodney asked.
“That conversation was bound to happen,” Rodney said.
Yeah, now you babysit them, while I go out to the van to get my Kevlar,” I said with a grin.
“Woman, you so full of it,” Rodney said then he laughed.
I got my light weight Kevlar vest. I had to switch off the American Desert Camouflage tee shirt, for a much large and slightly heavier plain red one. It hid the vest better and was longer to hide the pistol better as well. The .38 shoulder rig was replace with an ankle holster. I felt like a walking gun shop. I moved the stun gun to a back pocket in my jeans. That and the holster for the Glock 22 made my jeans want to fall off my skinny ass. I would have preferred the Colt .38 but the swamp dog wanted the Glock 22, so I put up with the damn holster dragging down my pants.
With the change in clothing I felt like the Pillsbury Dough Boy, but I went back to my post. “I’m back Rodney,” I said as I walked to the front door of the raceway entrance and office building.
“Roger that,” he replied.
When I got down to the dressing room, I asked. “You need some time alone?”
“No, I seem to be over my little affliction.” he said.
“Okay then tell me why you walked to the office to tell Joan about the gang rather than call on the radio?” I asked.
“If somebody takes down one of the office staff , he could steal a radio. If that happened he will know exactly where and how to pick us off. The less we use the radio the better.” he said.
“Point taken,” I replied.
“Lesson learned in the sand box,” he said.
“Well I’m impressed,” I said smiling. “So I guess I need to go inside the dressing room and watch the group and the groupies dress.”
“Better you than me,” he said.
“You know I feel that way myself,” I said with a smile.
“Just remember, if you don’t see it for yourself the bulge is probably a pair of socks,” he said smiling.
“Now you think that interest me?” I asked.
“Ah yeah,” he replied.
I was already half way through the door. I stood by on the inside of of the door and watched while the men dressed for the show. There were lots of tight pants and open shirts showing lots of gold chains. It was a concert after all. It was all about the fantasy which they all lived.
After they were dressed the smell of pot filled the air. I would bet my ass there would be blow just before the show. There morals or their potential legal problem were not my concern. So if they did it, let them. I chose to stay ignorant. It seemed that they chose not to do it in front of me. I found that to be a good choice.
I stood off to the side of the door. Everyone else would be a target, but I would be able to get a shot off at any shooter who came into the room. The door opened and Rodney came through it. “The fans are coming through the gates now.” he said.
“I thought, I heard a lot of noise coming from out there,” I said. “Thanks for the heads up and you be careful out there. If the crowd is filling in the local band should be on stage soon.”
“Yeah, they will be jacking up the audience,” Rodney said. “When they get them to the right level of excitement, or they run out of time we will be escorting the Star of the show, TJ Soda Pop, to the stage.”
“Well I know this is bullshit, but let’s pretend we care whether the asshole lives or dies,” I said.
“It’s gonna’ take some acting, but I will do it for you Sylvia,” Rodney said.
“Rodney before you go repeat after me. It was a righteous shoot, and I want a lawyer,” I said.
“What?” he asked,
“That’s what you say to the cops and that all you say to the cops. Just repeat it over and over to them, if you have to lite someone up tonight,” I smiled at him before he got ready.
He led the way for Coca cola and I brought up the rear. It was a regular train. What with the singer his crew of three thugs and Rodney and I. The roadies had all been checked out by the promoter, so we weren’t supposed to have to worry about them. Nonetheless, I worried about them having done their job right. I really didn’t give a shit, if a spotlight fell on the arrogant ass, but I did worry about some new hire being a hitter. Those stage accidents could be faked as well as any bullet to the brain.
The crowd was about 75% black and 100% insane. The music was all talk in rhymes to a pulsing beats. We stayed for 90 minutes while Soda pretended to sing. When it ended the crowd stayed for the closing act. We were loading soda into his bus, before he got greeted his fans. Joan showed up about that time.
“Sylvia, we need some photographs of TJ and his fans. We need them to promote the next concert. I know he is going straight to it, but we need to get them up on the net,” Joan said.
“How long you going to need him?” I asked.
“Half an hour max,” she said.
“We will take him back to the dressing room. Bring your fans in there,” I suggested.
“Perfect,” Joan said.
Rodney saw and heard it all. “That is bullshit. We have been going like hell since last night. I wanted to get some sleep. Now we got to babysit his ass while a bunch of stupid teenagers and some white stay at home single moms come in and fawn all over this idiot.” Rodney said.
“Such is the life of a private body guard,” I said grinning. I said it as if I knew what I was talking about, when the whole time I was winging it.
On the return to the dressing room I led the little caravan. TJ was not happy since he was coming down from the blow.. “You might want to suck it up Soda Pop, we gonna’ go greet your faithful fans.”
“Man all I want is to sleep,” he said.
“Well that ain’t gonna happen, so suck it up and do the photo shoot for the next concert. Unless you want me to tell Joan the promoters road manager that you refuse. She wont like it. She has her photographer and a couple of dozen fans waiting for you.” I turned my head to check out what if anything was following us. When I turned back TJ was doing a line. “You Dumb son of a bitch, I’m not going to jail for your ass, so get rid of the blow. I swear to god I will testify against you. Now get rid of it, or I will call a cop.”
“You talk big puta,” one of Soda home grown body guard said. “You only got one hand.” It seemed like as good a time as any to establish the pecking order. I hit him with the stun gun first. He went down hard. I was pretty sure Rodney had my back, so I laid one of the box openers against his penis. At least I thought it was were it should have been.
“Now I have heard that puta shit for the last time, and you are going to dump the blow. Am I right, or do you lose your joy toy?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“That would be yes ma’am you tough guy wanna’ be ,” Rodney said waving the Glock 22 around.
“Yes Ma’am,” the thug said.
“Now get in there and greet your adoring fans,” I said.
It was about an hour later when Rodney and I put them back on the bus. We were off duty till the next concert three day in the future. “Who would have thought our biggest problem would be with his body guards,” Rodney said.
“Oh they are more dangerous than that. They are fucking pretenders. They don’t want to be thugs, They want to pretend to be thugs when it suits them. So anything that makes them look weak or embarrassing is going to require retaliation. A thug would just move on. These guys have to save face and they have to do it here.”
Surely you are not going to allow three men with guns, who are looking to retaliate against you for humiliating them, to hang around,” he said.
“Yeah I am. The problem is they aren’t a threat to Soda Pop. They want to protect him, as much as we do. They are only a threat to you and me. Of course I can’t prove any of this, so we just have to wait them out.” I said.
“I would bet my ass that you have a plan,” Rodney said.
“Oh I do, I’m going to get the thugs busted. See Rodney my gun and yours are licensed. And we are licensed at home as private protective agents. Now Soda thugs aren’t. I expect their guns are illegal, and that they are holding. So when we know for sure that we need to get rid of them, I’m going to drop a dime on them. In the meantime we watch them, as well as the crowd.”
“Roger that,” he said.