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7pm has come and gone and Emmet still hasn’t heard a word from Terry. He’s been pacing the flat, moving through the rooms, growling to himself and muttering. It’s getting closer to 9pm now, Terry should have called and said something by now. But still there’s just silence. Emmet throws himself on to the sofa, grumbling. He snatches up the phone and calls Terry’s number. It just rings out. He tries to text but there’s still no response even after fifteen minutes. Out of desperation he does the same with Bill’s phone. It rings out and his texts go unanswered.

Emmet throws the phone on to the sofa cushion and grumbles to himself some more. He turns the television on and flicks to the music channel. The picture is crystal clear, the sound perfect. The channel is club music, playing all the latest and upcoming dance club hits. Then it hits him. Terry and Bill are probably out. Too buzzed to take his calls or even notice their phones vibrating. What’s worse is that they’re probably spending his money as well, not just Terry’s.

“Fucker!” Emmet snarls. It startles Sam as she comes to get a cup of tea. “Sorry babe.”

“What’s happened now?” Sam mutters.

“It’s Terry,” Emmet says with a sigh. “The fucker was supposed to bring me £350 from a deal I sorted out last night but there’s no sign of him. He’s probably out with Bill getting smashed on my money!”

“What did I say this morning?” Sam says. “You’re the dumbest out of the lot of them. Why the hell did you let Terry have the money?! You know what he’s like.”

“I know, I know,” Emmet says with a sigh. He leans forwards and buries his face in his hand. “I just thought he’d come through for me this time. I need that money! I’ve got to pay for some more of those boxes.”

“Like I said,” Sam snipes, “Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest.”

She turns and storms out of the kitchen and in to their bedroom. She slams the door behind herself, making her feelings very, very clear. Emmet groans. He’s already fucked up his plan. He couldn’t even get through step one! He needs that money; the money Terry was supposed to bring. He can’t get on to step two without it. Sam may have been right actually, about relying on Terry of all people to come through. After all, he’s never been the most reliable of people, especially where money is concerned.

He glances up at the clock, it’s almost time for Johnny Boy to come around. But Emmet doesn’t have the money to pay for the extra boxes. He wonders whether he should call, cancel and get him to come around another day. But those boxes are popular, they’ll sell out quickly and he won’t be able to get them. Perhaps he’ll be able to get the boxes on tick from Johnny. It’s possible after all. He’ll never know until he asks.

 

***

 

“You alright mate?!” Johnny says as he comes in to the flat. “Here’s those 7 boxes, just like you asked for. You got the cash?”

Emmet rubs the back of his neck and winces a little.

“Yeah… about that…” he says slowly. “Listen I’ve not go the cash like I thought I would have but –”

“You fucking time waster!” Johnny shouts. “What the fuck am I even doing here if you’ve not got the cash?!”

“I was supposed to have it! I swear!” Emmet cries. “I was supposed to be getting £350 today but it hasn’t come yet!”

“Blah blah blah,” Johnny snarls. “I’ve heard it all before. You can’t say anything new to me.”

“I’m serious though!” Emmet says desperately. “Look I want to do business and start one.  If you give me these boxes on credit… I’ll… I’ll order another 21 boxes next time!”

Johnny stops for a moment, his anger draining away as he thinks through Emmet’s words. It’s a bigger order. A really big order. A big order means a big profit. He shakes his head quickly.

“How do I know you’re gonna pay me?!” Johnny demands, pointing his finger at Emmet. “How do I know you’re not just gonna come up with some lame arse excuse again and give me the run around?!”

“You have my word!” Emmet says.

“Fuck your word,” Johnny says. “I’m gonna ask you again, how do I know I’m going to get paid if you can’t even pay me this time?”

“Look,” Emmet says with a sigh. “I have an existing network that I can flog these boxes to. They’re all good to go, ready and waiting for the boxes. And I’ve got the £350 coming to me. I’m going to make sure I get it. Give me a chance?”

“Nah mate,” Johnny says. “I don’t do credit without some sort of guarantee.”

He looks around the room, scanning everything in his head and working out values as he goes.

“You got anything of value?” Johnny asks after looking around. “Anything you can give me as security?”

“Erm…” Emmet thinks for a moment, images of jewellery in Sam’s jewellery boxes spring up in his mind. “What about gold?”

“Yeah…” Johnny says after thinking for a moment. “Yeah, that’ll do.”

Emmet race to his bedroom and finds Sam sat on the bed drinking tea and eating popcorn. Her eyes were locked on the TV but she turns to look at him when he bursts in.

“Where’s your jewellery?” he asks quickly. “I need to give it to Johnny Boy for security.”

“What?” she asks.

Emmet doesn’t answer. He’s already scrambling through their drawers and pulling out necklaces and bracelets. He tosses them on to the bed. Sam scrambles to her feet.

“What the hell are you doing?” she cries, “Those are mine!”

“I know, I know!” he says. He looks at her desperately, his eyes wide and pleading. “Please, it’s only for a little while, until I get the money off of Terry and sell the boxes Johnny’s brought for me. You’ll get them back.”

“What?!” Sam cries, “What the hell?! You can’t even come up with your own security things? You always do this, always rely on someone else. What are you gonna do if this doesn’t work out huh? I’m not gonna bail you out if this goes tits up.”

“It’s going to work,” Emmet says. “Turguy looked at the business plan earlier and said it’s a good one. He should know, he’s done it himself.”

“It’s a sheet of paper with some notes scribbled on it,” Sam says sharply. “That is not a business plan. And what does Turguy know? He’s an idiot who got lucky.”

“It’s all I have.” Emmet says. “Please Sam, please. I’ll make sure you get it back. I promise. I’ll do whatever it takes to get your stuff back. Please. I don’t want to be dealing any more. I don’t want to sell drugs. I want to be a legitimate businessman. Don’t you want that for me?”

He takes her hands in his and holds them close. He looks at her, right in the eyes. She looks back and then sighs.

“Fine,” she says. “Take them to the guy.”

He grabs her and kisses her hard. Then he gets all of the jewellery in his hands and heads out of the room. As he shuts the door he knows that he’s never going to hear the end of it, that Sam is always going to be bringing it up until she gets her bling back. She’ll probably keep bringing it up even after she’s got her jewellery back.

Johnny is still waiting for him in the kitchen. Emmet plonks the heavy weight of chains and trinkets in to his hands.

“Will this do?” he asks worriedly. “I mean, I know it’s not much but that should cover the security, right?”

Johnny looks at the chains and bracelets. It’s all gold, all shining and new looking. It’s covered in jewels as well, what looks like real diamonds and emeralds. It’s fancy stuff even if it is tacky. More importantly to Johnny, it’s probably worth way more than the £350 security that he wanted. He nods, keeping his face calm.

“Yeah, it’ll do.” He says. Emmet smiles. “But if I don’t get my cash in 14 days… I’m keeping it.”

Emmet’s face drops.

“Gimme 21 days bruv?” he says, trying to be prudent and negotiate.

“Nah,” Johnny says. “14 or nothing.”

“Fine,” He says with a nod and a sigh.

“Pleasure doing business with you,” Johnny says.

They shake hands and Emmet shows Johnny out. There’s a wide smirk on his face, a satisfied look like a cat who caught a really fat bird and ate it all. Emmet shuts the door behind the man and leans against it, sighing heavily. Now he’s got to get the rest of step two finished. He needs to sell the seven boxes that are now sat on his kitchen table.

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