Chapter 09: The Worst Date Ever

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Kim stood inside the dark and empty store, not super psyched about this mission she was being forced to perform, but also not super mad about having a few minutes away from the Terror Trio. It would give her some time to get her head straight and plan her next move.

And besides, whatever, buying a store was easy. The owner would make some chit-chat that Kim would tap through as quickly as possible because it was boring, then he'd name a price in K-Stars or money, Kim would pick whichever one felt like less of a hassle, and then she'd get Kris to pay, since Kim herself had neither K-Stars nor money at this point. Boom, done, the end, fast forward to the next scene please.

"Sooo, anyone here?" Kim called. The dusty wooden floors creaked heavily beneath her feet. She had to dodge an immense cobweb to get into the room, which smelled heavily of armpits or crotch-pits or some horrifying combination thereof. She swore she heard tiny furry bodies squeaking and scuttling along the sideboards.

"Hello? Anyone? I want to buy your very gross store?" Kim said.

A light clicked on in the far corner of the room and Kim screamed as a horrible monster came into view. OK wait not actually a monster, just some guy. A very gross guy: he had a shaggy beard, and was balding yet had his hair pulled back into a greasy ponytail. He was wearing an ill-fitting sports shirt of some kind of and stained sweatpants with Birkenstocks. Everything about this man screamed BAD VIBES, RUN AWAY but Kim held her ground. She feared no man. She did throw up in her mouth a little about him though.

"Hi there. Thanks for coming," the man said. "The name's Silvio Carbone."

"Hi Silvio. I'm Kim. I'm here to buy your store."

"Kim," the man said, enjoying the sound of her name. "A pretty name for a pretty lady. Haven't seen you around before. I'm sure I'd remember, looking like that. What brings you to The Hamptons?"

"Um I just said? I want to buy this store?"

"Let's save the business talk for after," Silvio said, taking out a bottle of wine. "Would you care for some Fancy Wine?"

"After what?" Kim asked. "And no thank you, this conversation is already so fun."

Silvio ignored her and poured two glasses. Kim noticed he had something sticking out of his mouth. An unlit cigarette? A toothpick? A lollypop? Whatever it was it was gross and unpleasant. Every time he spoke it bobbed around, making her think of the inside of his mouth. Which was a bad thing to be forced to think about.

"So where are you from?" Silvio asked.

"Extremely far away," Kim said. "So look: clearly this space is not generating any revenue for you in its current state. I feel that we can work out a sliding-scale deal for you. We'll take the property off your hands in exchange for a minority ownership share in the business. This will be mutually beneficial as it gets you out from debt in the short-term and aligns your financial interests with ours over the longer-term of the relationship. The better the store does, the better you do."

"So we're in a relationship with benefits, huh? I like the way you think," Silvio said, winking.

"What? No, that's not what I said. What I'm talking about is an arrangement-"

"-Should we order some dessert?" Silvio asked, cutting Kim off.

"What? From where? No!" Kim said. "Ugh, look, how much do you want for the store?"

"So what movies do you like?" Silvio asked. "Personally I'm a huge fan of the work of Brandon Marlo. What's your favorite movie of his? Probably The Drowned Ring, right? Girls always say that one. But actually the Dark Streets series was his finest work."

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