I wrote this piece some time ago. After writing the original ending I couldn’t help wondering what else might have happened (in my twisted imagination) and so wrote two additional endings. The ending here is in keeping with the group (I hope) but if you would like to explore the other endings I envisaged then have a look at my writing or find out where and what the others are at the end of the story. I hope that you enjoy it/them and would love to hear any comments you might have.
Claire was already a little drunk by the time she got there. Ben had been going on at her for weeks about this bar and about how way out it was. He had told her he had seen Bud Atkinson there. Bud was a local hard man. She knew of him a little because of Ben. She had seen him a few times but spoken. He was much older than they were, in his fifties, over six feet six tall and stocky. His expression was always angry and he had a way of getting his point across without ever needing to speak much. Claire had never seen him fight but Ben had told her that he was very violent and had hurt a lot of people. He was often getting arrested but nobody ever dared report anything to the police so he never got caught.
The bar itself was nothing special and Claire was quite disappointed. She had expected much more the way Ben had spoken about the place but to her it just looked like a local late night bar. She had worn a shirt black dress with her hair down. She now felt self conscious. She would have worn jeans and a t-shirt if she had known what the bar would be like and wouldn’t have stood out so much. Ben liked the place though, mainly because of the people that were there. He always had this gangster fascination and to him Bud Atkinson was like the Gambino’s.
Ben introduced Claire to the few people he knew and then left her fir a while to go and drink shots with one of them. She stood about for a while talking to people she hardly knew. When she had finished her drink Ben was nowhere to be seen. She went to the bar and asked for a small red wine. Ben had most of the money but she had enough for one. The girl behind the bar went to get it.
She was standing at the bar facing the dance floor with her back to the entrance and the toilets. She turned around to wait for Ben. He must have turned at the same time. Claire remembered recognising him immediately. He stared at her so intently that she laughed nervously. He was huge. He oozed menace and it was clear just from looking at him that this was the way he expressed himself.
Claire didnt know if it was his reputation or just him. He just glared and scowled. His skin was rough, his greying hair cut very short. He wasn’t good looking but he radiated so much aggression that made he made her tongue dry and her legs weak He was intimidating.
‘Who are you?’ He growled. There was nothing pleasant about his manner.
I’m Claire,’ She managed to say. She wanted to tell him she was with Ben, or that she wasn’t from round here or something else but she stalled under his gaze and just felt stupid. It was stupid. She had no more reason to be nervous around this guy than any other one. The only difference was what she had been told, what she knew. It was that and her own mind that created the fear of meeting him. It was like meeting someone famous. She felt silly because she was clearly a little star struck.
‘You getting a drink?’ He asked. When he did he seemed to look her up and down, not undressing her, more like he was trying to figure her out. Claire nodded and opened her mouth to speak. He cut her off.
‘I’ll get it.’ He said flatly. She didn’t think to argue. She just looked at him and smiled.
‘Thanks,’ She managed to say.
When the girl behind the bar put the drink down Claire thought she saw a nervous glance over at Bud but couldn’t be sure.
‘I’m getting hers,’ said Bud. The girl looked at him briefly and then with a small nod began collecting glasses off the bar. She wasn’t expecting him to pay and she eventually walked off.
Just then Ben turned up standing beside her. She took one look at him and knew immediately he was getting very drunk. His eyes were gone and he had a stupid expression on his face. He looked from Claire to Bud as if he wanted to be introduced. Bud took a sip of his drink and glowered at Ben.
‘Whose this?’ He said, clearly to Claire.
‘Ben,’ she answered, ‘my boyfriend.’
‘Hey,’ said Ben trying to sound relaxed.
Bud scowled at him again. Ben tried to smile and held out his hand. Bud reluctantly took Ben’s outstretched hand and gripped hard as he shook it. She could see it hurt but Ben tried not to show it. Ben was a Bud wannabe. He didnt have any of the attributes but it hadn’t stopped him finding the bar. Talking to Bud and having that kudos rub off on his was exactly why he had dragged her there.
Bud was laughing now. Ben looked distinctly uncomfortable. When he let go Claire saw Ben favouring his hand.
‘Wanna polatlı escort drink?’ he asked Ben who immediately smiled. Bud looked at Claire again. Ben didn’t seem to notice.
While Bud gave off that air of aggression and although he didn’t speak about himself much if at all he turned out to be reasonably friendly, almost pleasant to talk to. He was interested in Claire. She told him she was training as a nurse and that she was from out of the city. Ben was local and he was delighted to mention mutual friends, most of whom Claire suspected Ben knew of rather than actually knew. When Bud finished his drink Ben bought him one. She wanted to tell Ben that bud didnt pay for his drinks in any case but there was no opportunity. Bud listened to both of them talking with what appeared to be genuine interest and when he left them a little later Claire was left with the feeling that he was more friendly than I had first though. He was borderline interesting. Ben was positively beaming.
‘He likes us.’ Ben declared while he watched Bud talking to a rather rough looking group by the toilets. Bud looked over at Claire briefly.
‘Yes,’ she said thoughtfully.
‘He’s alright isn’t he? He’s a good bloke?’
Claire recalled his shaking Ben’s hand, that and the way he looked at her. She wasn’t about to nominate him for a Nobel prize just yet.
‘I thought you said he was really violent and couldn’t be trusted?’
‘Well yeah but get in with him and it’s big time stuff.’
Claire shook her head slightly. ‘Ben you really need to be careful. I’m not sure if he is likely to be your best friend.’
‘Don’t worry.’ Ben scowled. ‘I know what I’m doing.’
Claire sensed him getting defensive at which point talking to him wouldn’t be worth it.
‘Okay,’ she said in a calming tone, ‘but just remember sometimes people like Bud Atkinson are only interested in themselves. That’s all I’m saying.’
Ben scoffed. ‘I’m getting another drink.’ He told Claire and turned to the bar.
Claire noticed that others looked at her and Ben now. It could only have been because they had been talking to Bud. It made her feel a little more secure than she had before but couldn’t help thinking that some of the looks she got were of something other than respect. Ben didn’t seem to notice. Instead he began to drink heavily and got louder as time went on. Claire could see where he was heading and tried to get him to slow down. He said he would but didn’t. He went to the bar regularly and each time he came back with drinks for them both. He then drank his followed but ones Clair hadn’t started. When she tried again he accused her of spoiling the night. By about 1am Ben was bickering. He began to lose it soon after. The bouncers came over twice to tell him to cool down. He told them it was all Claire’s fault and as they left for the second time he called her a stupid bitch, swayed drunkenly knocking into a table sending drinks over a group of people all of whom began to argue with him. As he squared up to them he was stopped by the bouncers. It looked like the night was about to come to abrupt end.
I don’t remember much about what happened until I ended up with Bud. I was pretty drunk in the club and then Claire started mouthing of like she does and we left. I was annoyed at her. I was speaking to Bud and it was a good chance to get my face known. Things like that get you noticed and that’s all it takes. I wanted to get in with him and she just had to start like she always does right when he was there. We argued again outside and she must have left. I figured that she would come back as I had the taxi money. That’s when Bud came out. He was alone and came over to me smiling.
‘Where’s your pretty girlfriend gone?’
I shrugged. I didn’t know and I didnt care. ‘she’ll be back.’ I told him. He nodded but his expression suggested he doubted it. Then he looked at me, like really looked at me. I felt a little uncomfortable but it had happened to me before. We looked at each other for a second and I knew that I should say something but I couldn’t think of anything.
‘I’ve got some things I need to do and I need someone to help,’ he said, ‘You want to help?’
‘Yeah,’ I said almost before the words were out of his mouth. He stared at me and smiled, maybe smirked. I felt stupid. I had to remind myself to try and be cool about this. I was getting noticed. Bud tipped his head and walked off. I followed.
His car was parked behind the club out of the way. It was an older style Audi and if I am honest now I was expecting something a little more stylish. As soon as we got in he began texting on his phone. I sat for several minutes waiting, watching and feeling increasingly uncomfortable. If he cared he didn’t show it.
‘So, what are we doing?’ I asked eventually. I hoped it didn’t sound like I was asking what adventures we were going to have tonight but from his expression it probably did. Bud didn’t say anything pursaklar escort immediately. He finished a message that he was sending, started the car and pulled away before speaking just one word.
We drove for a while before he spoke again. What he said made me hopeful.
‘You want to get into business?’
‘Yeah, I do.’
I thought about it for a minute. Money and power were the main things but I didn’t think I’d start with those ones. ‘I’m not going to live nine to five,’ I said. ‘I want to live life my way and make something of it. I hate the shitty law and the shitty government who tell us all what we can and cant do and all the time do what the fuck they want behind our back.’
Bud nodded. ‘What about the hard stuff, what about the stuff nobody wants to do, the stuff that carries risk as well as reward. Can you do the stuff nobody else will to get ahead and stay ahead?
He was testing me. I knew what answer to give and I wanted to make it confident.
‘Fuck yeah.’ I said.
‘You sure. The kind of stuff that gives you the edge over the next guy, starting at the bottom. Right at the bottom?
‘You tell me what needs done and I’ll see it through.’ This was great. He was actually thinking about letting me in. This was my chance. ‘I’ll do what needs to be done Bud.’
He nodded and turned a corner before stopping outside of a twenty four hour convenience store. ‘Let’s see then.’ He said. Bud motioned to the glove compartment and told me to open it. There were seven plain brown envelopes in. All in a pile with one much thicker than the rest. As I passed them over I figured by the size, weight and the way that they flexed under my fingers that they had notes in them. Bud looked through them. There didn’t have anything written on but he seemed to know what he was looking for. He handed one of the smaller ones back and told me to return it to the glove compartment. He then handed me another of the smaller ones.
‘Ask for Ashad,’ he said indicating towards the store. ‘Give him that quietly And make sure you tell him its from Bud. Got it?’
‘I nodded and got out of the car. The door had a bell that rang as I entered. There was a guy buying alcohol at the till and another looking up and down the aisles. Behind the counter was an Asian guy I suspected might be Ashad. My heart was pounding a little and I was a bit nervous. The customer at the till moved off and walked towards the door with his wine. I waited as long as I could without looking odd and then spoke.
Ashad? I asked.
The guy behind the till frowned, perhaps because he’d never seen me before and I knew his name. He nodded and I placed the envelope on the counter. ‘From Bud Atkinson.’ I said.
I don’t know what I expected him to do or say but I didn’t expect the look of hatred that crossed his face. For a second I thought I had got something horribly wrong, even though I had done exactly what I was told. Then the guy slid the envelope off the counter and looked behind me at the second customer approaching the till. Feeling a little awkward I moved to one side and then decided to leave the shop. I returned to Bud in the car. As soon as I closed the door Bud pulled away.
The same scene was played out at four other locations including a house where I had to ask for Tara and a casino where I handed it to a doorman with a tattoo on his face. The task was the same. The only thing that changed was the way that all the others seemed to accept the envelopes with a nod, a smile or a thank you. Between each one Bud sent texts. As I got back in the car after handing the last slim envelope to some guy in a terraced house Bud checked his watch and sent another text. He then handed me the thick envelope and drove.
Fifteen minutes later we pulled into a tired car park that seemed to be part of an old rugby club or cricket ground. There was what I assumed was a clubhouse partially lit to one side. The car park was bounded by trees and hedges making it fairly secluded and was empty except for one car near to the clubhouse and parked across three bays. It was a large Bentley. Standing out of the car and leaning on the hood was a guy in his late fifties. He was dressed in chinos and a plain but expensive looking shirt. He was slim, fairly tall with dark hair and a little stubble. He looked over as we drove into the car park but made no attempt to come over to us. We had stopped about twenty feet from him away from the lights of the clubhouse.
‘This is important,’ said Bud. ‘See that guy?’
I was looking at the guy by the Bentley.
‘He’s the kind of person I need on my side. If I lose him I’m fucked.
I nodded. My heart raced a little.
‘You want to get on in this business then you have to learn that people like him are more important than your fucking mother. That guy gets what he wants to keep him on my side. Clear?’
I nodded again.
‘Okay. Give sincan escort it to him and wait for him to count it. Don’t come back until he tells you to.’
I began to turn to get out of the car but Bud continued talking.
‘Sometimes if he likes the look of you he might take you round the back. If her does you do what he wants. You understand?’
I had stopped and was staring at Bud. His eyes narrowed.
‘You said you could do what it fucking took. Remember. The ugly stuff it took to stay one step ahead.’
I wasn’t sure if I had this right.
‘That man there is the most fucking important person you will ever meet. You start at the bottom and you do what your told and that’s the only fucking way to get on. If he wants you to go round the back if there with him you make sure he stays happy. Clear?’
‘Bud it’s just I’ve never…’
‘Never what, sucked a cock?’
I shook my head. ‘No.’
‘You ever had a hold of one?’ He looked at me and saw something. My mind had flashed to stag party I went on when I shared a room with a guy I didn’t know. We both got drunk and somehow ended up wanking each other in bed. The guy had wanted me to suck him but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I had left the following morning and never told anyone about it.
‘You want to play with the big boys you start at the bottom.’ He said flatly. ‘Leave the money and fuck off if you like but don’t go over there and piss him off. That wouldn’t be a good idea. You choose but make it quick.’
He might not like the look of me I thought. I mean why would he. I’d just go over, hand him the envelope and then I leave. ‘If’ he liked the look of me. That’s what Bud had said. I waited with my hand on the door handle. This was my chance. I had to take it. I opened the car door and stepped out with the envelope in my hand.
The guy just stood by his car and waited as I approached. When I got to him I handed the envelope over.
‘From Bud.’ I announced. The guy looked at me briefly as if he hadn’t expected me to speak and then opened the envelope to count the cash. I waited as he did. I looked at him nervously. His skin was slightly wrinkled with age and had a tan to it as if he spent time in the sun. His face was slim though he had quite a friendly expression. I wondered what he did to make him so important to Bud.
He finished counting and placing the envelope in his pocket. I hesitated and then just as I was about to turn he spoke.
‘What’s your name?’
‘Hello Ben.’ He smiled. It made me feel a little less nervous though only a little. ‘Are you a friend of Buds?’ He looked over at Buds car.
I wanted to say that I was going into business with him but something about this guy told me that lying, even a little was not a good idea.
‘I’ve just met him tonight.’ I told him. He nodded and then there was a pause.
‘He tell you about my payment?’ My stomach churned as he said it. I nodded.
The guy raised his eyebrows. ‘everything?’
I couldn’t meet his eyes with mine now. ‘yeah.’
He nodded then walked off towards the side of the clubhouse. I paused then feeling Bud watching me from the car I followed. At the side it was a little darker but not by much. He stood with his back against the building on a path that ran down the side and was lined with bushes. He unfastened his chinos and pushed them down to his knees followed by his shorts. Then he looked at me.
‘What’s the matter?’ he asked seeing my face. ‘You done this before right?’
All I could do was shake my head. He gave a short sharp laugh and his attitude changed from friendly to something much harsher instantly. ‘Kneel down, put it in your mouth and suck on it until I cum.’ He told me. ‘It’s that simple.’
He waited while a stood trying not to look at him.
‘Well,’ he said finally, ‘come on then.’
As I got to my knees at his feet he was playing with himself. He cock was hard. The foreskin slipped easily across the head. I reached out and took hold of it. It was like I remembered. The skin was hot, malleable and the core stiff.
‘Suck until I cum in your mouth,’ He told me. ‘You don’t have to swallow it but I do it in your mouth okay? If you do have to spit it out do it over there,’ He waved generally at the bushes behind me. ‘and not on my shoes like the last one.’
His hand on the back of my head was his signal that I should start. He didnt pull me toward him or in fact put any pressure on me at all. His hand just touched my head and I used the hand holding his cock to feed him into my mouth. I remember the taste of it. I had expected it to be salty, because that’s what people said, but it wasn’t. If anything it was a little bitter. It was slick but other than that there was just a vague taste of sex. What did surprise me was that although he wasn’t big it filled my mouth. I began sucking on him and could only get an inch or two in my mouth at first. I heard him sighing above me and looked up. His eyes were closed and his expression was one of pleasure. My head bobbed on him. I began to wank him as I sucked. The other hand I placed on his thigh. After the first couple of minutes he pulled it out and I swallowed the saliva and the slippery fluid off his cock. I could taste him more now.