"The Irish Kiss." He gasped again. "If he's shorter than you, you aim for here." He reached over with his finger and poked the top of Looey's head. "Same height as you, you go for the nose." The same finger gave Looey a sharp rap on the bridge of his nose.
Conor knew he was going to need this move and everything else he knew to win this battle. The fact that he'd become the leader of the Hands Gang pretty much by accident, to impress Stacey, the wild child, the beautiful rich girl, didn't matter now. What mattered was the Boulton Blood Crew was coming after him with everything they had. They didn't know that the Hands Gang only had three guys. They didn't need to know. All they needed to know was that they were in for the fight of their lives!
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The Hands Gang
By Rick Hughes
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2012 Rick Hughes
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Green Gym Bag
What it came down to was that the kid in the Celtics jersey just wasn't looking where he was going. Maybe he was nervous, so when he crashed into Conor, the gym bag he was carrying hit him right in the knee. Conor's knee's was really sore already and it really pissed him off. So he grabbed the bag pretty much by instinct and he hung on to it and tore it out of the kid's hands. He was just going to wave it around a bit to jerk the kid's chain.
But the kid in the Celtics jersey started going mental. "Give me the bag!" he started shrieking in this panicky voice and he tried to grab for it.
So Conor pulled the bag away and held it behind his back. He couldn't believe that a guy who he outweighed by about a hundred pounds was getting so intense.
Then the kid pulled out the gun. He reached under his Celtics jersey and pulled out a pistol and aimed it right at Conor. Conor stared. He'd never seen a real gun before and especially not pointed right at him. He just stood there staring because he didn't know what to do.
Neither did the Celtics kid. The kid didn't want to shoot a guy right in the middle of the mall and Conor didn't want to do anything to get himself shot, so they stood there kind of frozen, which was when Pete came around the corner. Pete was wearing his security cop uniform and it was Celtics who saw him first, so he stuck the hand with the gun under his jersey to hide it, but he wasn't going to go anywhere without his green gym bag. He didn't want Pete to see the gun and it didn't look like he had.
So Conor went over to Pete and started high-fiving him and jumping up and down, doing the chest bumping thing that he always did with him in the Weight Room. What Conor was really doing was trying to get behind Pete, and he did. Celtics just stood there hating them both and seriously wanting his bag back.
Which was the moment that Looey turned the corner and was amazed when Conor jammed the green gym bag into his belly like a football hand-off and shoved him in the back so hard that he almost fell trying to keep his balance as he staggered down the hall with a head gesture from Conor to keep going. Looey tried to do what he thought he'd been told and he started running as fast as he could, tucking the green gym bag under his arm like a football.
Celtics wasn't sure what had happened, but he knew that Conor didn't have the gym bag any more. He started to chase after Looey, so Conor stepped in front of him. The kid crashed into him and fell to the ground. Conor looked down at him and took the opportunity to introduce him to Pete.
"Pete, this kid in a hurry is a Celtics fan. Isn't that your favourite team?"
"Celtics, this is Pete. He's head of security here in the mall."
So Pete stuck out his hand to help the kid up, but the kid didn't want to stick his hand out because he still had the gun in it. But Pete was a friendly guy and he was sticking out his hand and so the kid had to decide what to do.
So what he did was to scramble to his feet, trying to keep his right hand under his shirt. Then he tried to avoid shaking hands by sticking out his left hand to do this props thing, but Pete thought it was weird and stood there looking at him funny. The kid couldn't take it any more, so he started telling Pete that he wanted his bag back. Pete just kept looking at him funny. Conor kept blocking his path.
Then Celtics started going seriously mental. The green gym bag was getting farther away every second and here he was talking to this fool security guard. This was the point when the kid made his big mistake. He started swearing.
Pete did not approve of bad language. This kid was using every word he could think of, trying to get Pete to understand that his gym bag was gone and he wanted it back. Right fucking now. His motherfucking bag.
Pete was a good church man and he did not care about any gym bag. He cared that this rude boy was swearing in his face. He decided to remove him from the building. He put his hand on his own gun in the holster at his side and looked down at it. He suggested to Celtics that he should proceed with him to the exit.
The kid thought about his options for a second and then decided to follow Pete's suggestion. He walked down the hall with the security guard, but every few steps, he glanced back with hatred at Conor.
Which was how Conor came to be walking down the hall, trying to find Looey and the gym bag. He couldn't believe what had just happened. He was thinking how lucky it was that he hadn't got shot.
He was also thinking that he really wanted to know what was in that green gym bag.
Chapter TwoI Need A Guy
Conor headed down the hall trying to take in the idea that he'd just had a gun pointed at him. It was an experience that he'd never had and one he could definitely have done without. It was certainly one that he didn't want to repeat. He was already starting to look over his shoulder, imagining the kid in the Celtics shirt around every corner. He was also hoping that around one of these corners he'd see Looey and the gym bag.
He didn't really know the kid, only that his name was Looey and that he came to the Weight Room. He was a really annoying kid, always coming up to him when he was trying to work out, telling him stuff that he didn't want to know. Conor turned the corner, getting annoyed now because he couldn't find him, although he felt pretty sure that he wouldn't just take off with the bag. The kid might not know what to do with it, but he wouldn't dare to just take off with it.
When he turned another corner there was a girl staring at him like she knew him. He didn't know her, but he wished he did. She was amazingly beautiful, tall and blonde, looking like she belonged on the cover of a magazine. With one arm she was carrying a huge shopping bag. With the other, she was pointing down the hall. She smiled at him with brilliant white teeth and she said, "He went that way."
"Who?" Conor was so amazed, it was all he could think to say.
"The one with the gym bag." Then she dropped her arm. "Or do you want the one with the gun?"
Conor didn't know what to say. It looked like this girl had seen everything. "The one with the gym bag."
"He went that way." She pointed again. "The one with the gun is that way." She pointed behind him. "He's looking for you."
Conor couldn't help but look back. "You saw him?"
"I saw it all." She gave him a smile that was so dazzling that it took his breath away. "There he is now."
Conor looked and there was Looey. He was walking toward him with the green gym bag tucked under his arm. There was another guy with him, a skinny kid wearing a sideways baseball hat. Looey was coming over to him like they were buddies or something, probably to show off to the other kid that they were friends.
The kid seemed really happy that Conor had called him by name, maybe because it was the first time that it had ever happened. Looey couldn't resist looking back at his friend to see how impressed he'd be.
"This is the guy I was telling you about. The guy who can bench press four hundred pounds."
The sideways hat kid looked impressed. "Four hundred pounds. That's more than we weigh together."
The kid's hat had an 'S'on the front. Conor thought it might stand for 'stupid'. Right now he was staring stupidly at the blonde girl like he was hoping Conor was going to introduce them.
"Well, Conor," the girl said with another one of those smiles. "I've got some more shopping to do." She turned and walked down the hall. The three guys stood there staring. "Four hundred pounds," she said as she walked away and she gave a little whistle.
Conor stopped himself staring and gave himself a shake. He wanted to know was what was in the gym bag, but before he could say anything, Looey was already telling him more stuff he didn't want to know.
"Hey, Conor, remember what I was telling you about the game the other day?"
Conor didn't have any idea what the kid was talking about; he never watched games. He wanted to talk about the gym bag. "Yeah, remember I was telling you about it. In the Weight Room." This seemed to be more for his friend to hear, but the friend was busy staring down the hall at the disappearing blonde girl. He might have been drooling. But this kid Looey seemed to want him to remember about this game. Conor figured he'd go along. For a second.
The kid was going over the moon. The mighty Conor had spoken to him twice in a row. He'd better say something quick before the kid started in about this game. And he wanted to get rid of the sideways hat kid.
"I want to talk to you. Just you."
Looey could hardly believe it. He turned to his friend with this cool shoulder roll. "Yo, Lamb, I'll catch you later."
"Yo, Looey, cool."
Off went the friend, probably wondering what the hell was going on, but if Conor wanted rid of him, he was leaving. Conor put his hand on Looey's shoulder and steered him around the corner, taking a quick look to see that there was nobody around. He spun him around and stuck his face right in his, nose to nose.
"Did you look in the bag?"
"Bullshit." Conor kept his nose right in Looey's face.
"Yeah, I did. Just quick."
"What's in it?"
"What kind of pills?"
"You tell me." Conor hadn't let go of his shoulder. He squeezed it now.
"Yeah, but I want to hear you say it." He squeezed again until Looey winced in pain. "And I want to know how many pills are in that bag."
"They're all there. Every one of them. All the Ecstasy. About a thousand of them. I didn't take any." Conor didn't let go of the shoulder. Looey couldn't keep the pain out of his face.
"Does that Lamb kid know?"
"The Sheep? He doesn't know anything."
Somehow Conor found that easy to believe. "Do you know how much they're worth?"
"I don't know. Maybe ten dollars each." Conor let go of the shoulder. "I think you'd better give me that bag."
"I was going to." He tried to look Conor in the eye. "That's why I didn't go home with it." He offered up the bag and tried to put it into Conor's hands. "I knew you'd want it back."
Conor took the bag and walked away from the kid. His mind was whirling. He wasn't that sure he wanted this bloody bag back. There was someone else who wanted it back bad enough to point a gun at him.
On the other hand, he wasn't a hundred percent sure that he wanted to get rid of it. There were a lot of pills in that bag and it would be pretty bloody stupid to just throw them all away.
"Give yourself a shake! What are you getting yourself into?"
He thought he'd better take a walk to figure out what to do, but it had better be a short walk. He didn't want to be holding on to this bag any longer than he had to. With that thought in mind, he turned a corner, stopped for a second, looked around, opened the bag and started stuffing handfuls of the pills into his jacket pocket. That way, no matter what else happened, he'd still have a bunch of them. No use letting something like that go to waste.
Holy mackerel, ten dollars each! If you just sold ten of the bloody things, you'd have a hundred dollars! He grabbed another handful of the pills and stuffed them into his jacket. It was a bloody fortune. He'd have to be nuts just to throw them all away.
After all, he was going to have to deal with the Celtics kid, no matter what he did with them. That part wasn't going to change. Celtics knew who he was and was going to come looking for his bag back. What was he going to tell him, that he lost it?
Then he had a sudden flash of inspiration.
He hurried back around the corner. An idea was forming in his head. He saw Looey still standing there; he hadn't moved. He looked like what he wanted to do was turn and run, but he didn't. Conor slowed his pace and tried to give him a smile to put him at ease.
"I didn't take any." Looey stood there, frozen to the spot.
"I know you didn't. You're not that kind of guy." Conor gave him another smile. Looey still didn't move. "You're the kind of guy who knows people."
"Oh, hey, I know people." Looey was starting to relax, but only a little.
"That's what I thought." Conor reached for his shoulder and Looey couldn't help flinching, but Conor just gave him a pat on the back. "You know people."
Looey relaxed a little more. "I know a lot of people." He shrugged and even managed a small smile. "When you're popular, you're popular. What are you going to do?"
Conor rested his free hand on the kid's shoulder. His other hand was still clutching the gym bag. "That's why I just realized I should come to you first."
"I need a guy." He kept his hand back on Looey's shoulder. "A special kind of guy." He looked him in the eye. "The kind of guy you can trust not to do something stupid." He looked down at the gym bag. "And a guy who knows people."
"What do you want?" Looey was trying really hard not to sound scared, but he didn't quite make it.
"Maybe you're a bit young." He started to take his hand off his shoulder.
"No, I'm not." He was still trying hard.
"I don't know."
"Hey, I told you. I know people."
Conor gave him a hard look. "need a guy who can move the product."
Looey stood there like he'd been hit over the head with a blunt object. He wanted to say something. He just didn't have any idea what it was. Then he spoke. "What do you mean? You mean sell these?"
Conor didn't answer; he just stood there, looking disgusted.
"Let me get this right. If I move the product, it means I get in?"
Conor wasn't sure what the kid was talking about, but it was looking like he was willing to sell the pills. He decided to try and close the deal. "You want in?"
Looey gave him a slow nod; he was thinking. "They're ten dollars each?"
"What if somebody wants three?" He was trying to sound like he was on top of this, like it was something he did every day.
"You can cut deals, but bring me back the money." He stuck his face forward till his nose was only an inch from the kid's face. "Bring me back all the money." He gave Looey's shoulder a hard squeeze and stuffed the gym bag into his hands.
Then he wheeled back around the corner. He didn't think that there was any way in the world that it was going to work out, but at least now when the Celtics kid came back, someone else would be carrying that green gym bag.
Chapter ThreeThe Irish Kiss
Conor sat on the bench in the Weight Room and tried to give his head a shake. He was hoping that pumping some iron might clear his head. It was empty in the fitness club this late, but he had a key. He'd thought that by coming here, he could get the world to feel at least a little normal. So far, it wasn't working.
He reached into his coat pocket, took out a handful of the pills and sat there staring at them. He was having a hard time taking it all in. Up till now this kind of thing was just something he'd heard about. Ecstasy. Eckies. Vitamin E. People took the pills at clubs to have more fun dancing. He fished one of the pills out and held it up close to his face to look at it. There was a design on it. A little hand print. Ten dollars a piece! For one little pill! No wonder Celtics was freaking.
He put the pills back in his pocket. He had no temptation to take one. He didn't even take steroids.
Excerpted from The Hands Gang by Rick Hughes Copyright © 2012 by Rick Hughes. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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