I Don't Do It for the Money Anymore

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San Francisco, July 2nd, 2013. 8:38 PM.

Mrs. Paquette sat at her desk, thumbing through a magazine that she had already read through more times than she could count on her fingers. She looked up at the clock. She couldn't wait until this was all over. Then he would take her out to dinner, and they would be the only two people on the face of the Earth.

Then, as if on cue, she watched him get up and walk towards her. He always walked with purpose and a certain flair. She saw that slut Crystal admire him dreamily as he swaggered towards Linda. Then that dreamy look turn to indignation as he smiled at her.

"I have to use the bathroom, babe. So when we go out, I don't have to waste any time away from you."

"Sure. It's at that new restaurant Tabouli, right?"

"Tamouli, dear. I can't wait."

"Neither can I."

She watched him disappear behind her, and sighed contentedly. What a perfect end awaited her at the end of this wonderfully boring day. She savored the angry look on Crystal's face, and began to think of the first day she had seen him. And at the same time, of something smart to say to him when he walked out of the restroom.

But he didn't. Five minutes passed. Ten minutes. Maybe it was a number 2. She smiled to herself as she thought, he's emptying his stomach. For tonight. For me.

But she could feel something was off. And, feeling a little foolish, she turned to exit the booth and check up on him after fifteen minutes had passed.

That's when the front door burst open. Thoughts of Brad's smiling face were still on her mind as she looked at the situation on hand.

Quincy Lee had robbed his fare share of money over the years. He had retired so many times his friends laughed whenever he did. He could never really place what made him keep on coming back. Keep on coming back to the profession that had robbed him of so much and at the same time exhilarated him beyond anything. 

Tokyo. Paris. New York. Dubai. Cape Town. London. Moscow. Panama City. Rio. You could not name a country that Quincy hadn't been to on "business". From the diamond held by Sazki Kumagi, a rich Tokyo businessman with just about as many prostitutes as friends, to being chased by the whole city police force (and quite a few other mob members) for the World Cup trophy in Rio, he had done it all. No job was too outrageous for him.  No job was too high-profile for him. And most importantly, no job was too hard for him. If Quincy ever denied a job, it was due to other reasons, such as the family or a deal satisfying both sides not being reached. But difficulty? Never. 

There was no point hiding what he did to his family. He had stolen his first wallet at age 14, and from then on people in the "industry" always watched their pockets a little closer when around him. He was 53 now, had two kids, both out of the house by now, and they were completely normal. His wife, Nora, worked at home running a dim sum shop underneath their modest apartment in Chinatown.

He had lived the high life for a time, of course. The high rises and the mansions. But that had worn out, and eventually he settled into the city he loved and had grown up in. Fog City. And with the financial cushion to take a hit if the job failed, he had allowed Nora to run her bakery. It was better that way, he thought. It was better to feel as if life wasn't easy and that you had to work to make a living every day. After all, retirement was terrible. Smoking weed, playing golf and going to dreaful Giants games had gotten dreary. So after a boring five years (the worst of his life), he had come back into the game like Jordan, and continued doing the "hits" as normal. But something had changed, and this he contemplated as he led the men into the fire.

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