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“The thing is what?” she prompted.

Oh hell. Nothing for it.

“The thing is I want my girlfriends over to talk about Hawk.”

“I know Hawk,” she offered.

“Yes, but he’s your boss.”

“Sho’ ‘nuff, girl, so you need me there.”

“I do?”

“Hon, Janine may be in charge of doin’ the grunt work to organize his life but who you think gives her her grocery orders and sends her out to buy cargo pants? Me. You want the lowdown on Hawk, ain’t no one better equipped for that action.”

“Wouldn’t that be inappropriate?” I asked and I heard her hoot (again).

“Fuck yeah but who cares?” she asked back then went on. “Listen to me, Gwen. I been working for Cabe Delgado for seven years. When I walked my ass into this place to interview for the job, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Hot guys everywhere. So much fine ass, shit! I woulda worked here for nothin’. First day, thirty minutes in, these boys, they became a pain in my ass. Sortin’ their shit out is like herdin’ cats. Luckily, eye candy provides job satisfaction, if it didn’t, I’d have gone to the supply cabinet and got myself a baton and wailed on some commando ass long before now. Then, coupla days ago, Hawk walks in and tells me to go to Nordstrom’s. Nordstrom’s! I didn’t ask, I just grabbed the company card and hauled my ass outta here. I was all over that shit. You think I won’t do all I can do to see that my duties include occasional trips to the mall, you… are… wrong.”

Oh boy.

“Perhaps you aren’t going to be able to be very objective during the discussion,” I suggested.

“You bet yo’ ass I won’t be objective,” she agreed then continued. “I’ll see you at five twenty, what do you drink?”

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“Um… cosmos.”

“I’m all over that,” she declared then ordered, “Call your girls and see you later.”

Then she gave me dead air.

Hmm. I was uncertain how that went. What I was certain about was that Elvira was going to be there at five twenty.

I called Cam and Tracy, found that they both could make a five twenty come to a meeting of the minds about Cabe “Hawk” Delgado. I gave them directions to the lair and a head’s up about the Elvira addition and then I sipped more coffee.

Then, because I could be a girlie idiot, I flipped my phone open just to see Hawk’s numbers on my contact list. As I was scrolling down, the bar highlighted “Ginger”.

I stared at my sister’s name. Then I thought about the fact that the best case scenario was my sister going into the witness protection program and I avoided any thoughts of the worst case scenario because they threatened to give me hives.

Then I got a wild hair, hit go and put it to my ear.

“What?” she answered.

Holy crap. She answered!

“Ginger? It’s Gwen.”

“I know, bitch.”

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Okay, maybe I didn’t care that my sister might disappear into the witness protection program.

The problem was, I cared about the possible worst case scenarios.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“What do you care?”

“Ginger –”

“Listen, got shit to do. Don’t waste my time callin’ and pretended you give a shit, okay?”

“I do give a shit,” I replied.

“Right.”

Sarcasm.

Welp, guess that meant that Ginger’s serious trouble didn’t make Ginger reflect on her way of life and familial relationships. Why was I not surprised?

“Yes, right Ginger. Listen to me, I know we’re never going to be tight, you don’t drink cosmos and I don’t do acid trips, but you’re my sister, I’ve been living a taste of your problems and I’m worried. You might not believe me but that’s the real deal. I’m worried, Dad’s worried and Meredith is worried.”

“None of you were worried the other night when I needed a f**kin’ shower,” she retorted.

“That was before the firebombs and drive-bys.”

Silence.

“Maybe I can do something for you,” I offered softly into the silence.

“Oh yeah, right, now you’re willin’ to do somethin’ for me. All these years, you treat me like a piece of shit. Your livin’ room gets blown to shit, you wake up. Is that it?”

“All these years I didn’t treat you like a piece of shit,” I denied and I did this because it was damn well true.

“Unh-hunh.” More sarcasm.

Now I was getting mad.

“Unh-hunh,” I repeated. “I don’t know what it is with you but if you have time to process this, we will. See, I didn’t cut the hair off your Barbies. I didn’t steal your shit to buy drugs. I didn’t put my hand down your boyfriends’ pants. And I didn’t f**k your husband.”

“I knew you’d eventually throw that in my face,” she returned.

Was she for real?

“You f**ked my husband!” I yelled.

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“Yeah, Gwen, and then you got shot of his ass. You never shoulda hooked up with that dickface in the first place. Now you’re shacked up with Hawk f**kin’ Delgado, of all f**kin’ people, you should be kissin’ my f**kin’ feet.”

This point had merit.

“I knew you did that for me,” I said quietly.

“Someone had to wake your shit up.”

Oh. My. God.

Was that sisterly love I was feeling for Ginger? I couldn’t quite tell since I hadn’t felt it for what seemed like centuries.

“Ginger, honey, please listen to me –”

“No. I don’t know what Conan told you but you have no idea what’s goin’ down with me. What I know is perfect, sweet Gwennie doesn’t have the tools to help me sort this shit out. No one does. Not even Conan. I’m in this alone and I don’t give a f**k. I’ve always been in it alone.”

“Maybe if you’d accept a little help –”

“Fuck you, Gwen. You don’t want to help me. You want the drive-bys to stop.”

“Yes, I do. Definitely,” I agreed. “But I also don’t want my sister to be out there on her own against multiple bad guys when maybe I can help.”

“There is no help for this.”

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