Chapter 3: II

“Mum, there's a huge drug deal going down in Ganghaven during the weekend.” Jo said as she sat down and grabbed a fork, waiting for her mother to dish her share.

“Have you informed the cops?” Ruth asked as she divided the pie into two unequal shares, leaving the smaller part for herself and sliding the larger part over to Jo.

Jo dug into her pie, taking some huge spoonfuls before she replied, “Yes. But they don't seem to be interested in whatever happens here,” with her mouth full.

Ruth looked terrified, “Jo, you might be the leader of one of the most feared gangs in Ganghaven, but you're still my daughter and you'll act like it! Don't talk with your mouth full.” 

“Sorry, Mum.” Jo said, before she caught herself and covered her mouth. After she'd swallowed the sweet pie, she spoke, “The police aren't interested.”

“That's sad. We're always treated differently down here. I guess they'll be caught next time.” Ruth shrugged.

“Next time? Next time? Mum, we don't know that there'll be a next time. These guys are big boys in the drug market. It would be stupid to throw away this opportunity.” Jo huffed.

“Well, I don't see anything you can do.” Ruth said, putting a spoonful of pie delicately into her mouth.

“I can rally my men, and we'll take them down.” Jo said, hitting her fist on her open palm.

Ruth almost choked on her pie, “Jo! Is that wise? You said it yourself that these people are huge in the drug market. You know what that means? Competent men and top notch guns.”

Jo smiled, “Wow, Mum! You're good at this. You could be my second in command.”

“Don't try to change the subject, Jocelyn. I'm worried about you. I've lost my husband, I don't want to lose you.” Ruth said, her eyes tearing up.

Jo sighed, left her pie, went over to where her mother sat and put her arms around her in a comforting manner, “Don't worry, Mum. Nothing'll happen to me. My men are the best too.”

“Do you have to go?” Ruth asked.

“Yes, I do. I need to stop these drugs from getting into the grasp of minors. You should see all the children in Sia's clinic who are there because they overdosed on narcs.” Jo said.

Ruth nodded and fixed her stare on Jo, “You better come back to me safe and sound. If you don't, I'll follow you to the afterlife and kill you again!”

*    *    *

Ash and his second in command, Capo were sharing food bags to some houses when he ran into her.

“You!” They both said simultaneously.

“Jo!” Capo said a second later, “How are you?” He asked, smiling.

“Capo.” Jo said, smiling as she hugged the wiry man.

Joe? What sort of name was that? What the hell was she trying to prove answering a man's name? And why the fuck was she chummy with Capo? For some reason that annoyed him, he felt like tearing them apart.

He felt marginally better when they drew apart. 

“What the hell are you doing with this loser?” She said, smiling infectiously at Capo.

Ash thought her mouth was too sensual to be spitting out insults.

“He's my second in command. I didn't know you two know each other.” Ash said, frowning.

“Well, we do.” Jo said and Capo nodded.

“How do you two know each other?” Ash asked. Inwardly, he hoped they had not dated. He didn't know why his stomach roiled-up at the possibility.

Then he remembered that no matter how attractive he found her, it didn't diminish the fact that she was nothing more than a ruthless and amoral killer.

“We met—” Capo started to reply, but Jo cut him off, “I don't see how that's any of your business.”

Ash wanted to laugh. How he was enjoying this! He decided it was time to fire a quip of his own, “I'd like to stay and chat, but I have this rule about talking to women who aren't the most beautiful in their clique of friends; I don't. Maybe, I'll stay next time when your friends are around.” Ash thought he'd burn in hell for his lie. Her friends were beautiful no doubt, but she took the cake for him. Too bad she had to be dirty.

He tugged at Capo and they turned to leave. Capo gave her a smile.

Jo saw red at his insult. How dare he? How dare he have the last word? She wanted to run after him to have the last word, but they were in public and it would be unbecoming of her as a gang leader to engage in such a puellile stunt.

What were they even doing in the neighborhood? Jo thought.

She wondered why once you met someone, you tended to see the person everywhere you went, even if you didn't fancy the person.

At that thought, the angel on her shoulder gasped in shock at her lie. Fine, fine. She admitted to herself that she fancied the hell out of him. Not that she was going to do anything about it. In fact, she was going to go out of her way and avoid him, and try not to look cowardly while doing it.

*   *   *

When they were out of Jo's earshot, Ash let out the laughter he'd been stifling. God! But no woman had amused him as this one did.

Immediately, he turned to Capo, “So, how did you two meet?”

Capo shrugged, “I got shot, so I went to the charity clinic. Y'know the one that's run by the pretty little doc.”

Ash didn't know, but he nodded, eager to get to the heart of the story.

“The doc is a friend of her's. She didn't got no one to assist her so Jo filled in. So you can say I kinda owe her my life. Boss, you should see what they do there. They actually help sick and injured people.” Capo said, sounding like a fan boy to Ash's ears.

His heart leapt at the possibility that Jo was like him, using an instrument of evil for good, but a second later, he squashed that hope. Appearances were deceiving, he'd found out the hard way. 

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