Zelos sat behind his desk, looking at nothing in particular, but somehow being drawn in nonetheless. Eighty-five grand, that man had made off Si. Nothing compared to the almost uncountable winnings that Zelos had made from the very same fight, but it was still a pretty impressive feat.
Zelos had recognised the man. Only yesterday he had been ushered into Zelos' office, asking to bet on a match, knowing that if you were serious about betting on Bloodbox, Zelos was the man you approached. Not Garson. Not any of those other men who had fallen in their business. Zelos was the real deal.
But now he owed eighty-five grand to a complete stranger. Again, it was barely a scratch on his multi-million winnings, but he knew they would never be his. Garson was going to pay Zelos not with money, but with his life.
The phone emitted a familiar tone. It was the default ringtone for any of Zelos' boys. Port, Stan or Hurley. Picking up the receiver, Zelos was greeted with the typically brutal voice of Hurley.
Port found himself feeling sorry for Si. Lying in bed, wide awake and unable to shut down, he stared up at his crumbling ceiling, waiting for his eyelids to droop. But he knew they wouldn't. Not with this much weighing on his mind.
For several years now, Port had been at Zelos' beck and call, and despite their rough introduction and shaky start, Port was now Zelos' unquestionable number two. But it didn't feel like it. The rotting apartment, the aching loneliness. Unless you were Zelos' number one - Zelos himself - your life was not worth living. Especially judging by the things Port had done to get here.
'My family is starving. We need money, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to earn it.'
Port's first words to Zelos had doomed him.
His thoughts were interrupted by a phonecall. Picking up the receiver, Port knew there would only be one person who would call him at this time. Zelos himself.
'Port, I need you to do something for me.'
'Is it about the cat who won eighty-five grand? Or is it about Garson?'
'Neither.' Damn. Another person Port would have to add to his hitlist on Zelos' behalf, no doubt. 'There's somebody wants to quit the game. They aren't going to.'
'They're tied to the Bloodbox. By both blood and money.' Port shuddered as he reminded himself of the horrible feeling of being completely owned by Zelos.
'Who's the guy?'
'It's a girl. Her name's Lilly. She's a good fighter, but not anybody who I can't recover from the loss of. I want you to go have a word with her. And then find some guy named Kev. He was behind the counter when Lilly signed out. He's screwed up, and has lost all his Bloodbox rights. Kill him.'
Zelos hung up. Two more were added to Port's hitlist. They'd probably both be dead by morning.