Bootsy was furious as he left the store and stomped out into the putrid night air; if he stayed he would have lost his temper and hurt JB and Mac for their stupidity, and something inside told him that would be a poor decision. He made his way through the alley behind Original 6 with his teeth clenched and his fists balled at the ready by his hips – no one bothered him as he walked. The streets were alive around him but his anger blinders funneled his vision to a fine red point which focused directly at his feet as he contemplated his situation and the options ahead of him.

After a mile or two, he allowed his fists and jaw to relax enough so he no longer resembled an ax murderer. He wasn't really mad at JB and Mac, and they certainly did not deserve the brunt of Bootsy's ire. When he got sent to the can it was JB and Mac who had stayed behind to clean up his mess and attempt to keep the store afloat. They were clearly not businessmen, yet they had done their best to do their boy a solid. And, incompetency aside, Bootsy felt kind of like a douche for being so angry with them when it was his fault in the first place for leaving and putting them in that tough position. After all, the building hadn't burned to the ground in his absence, the store was still open and relatively intact. He just had to regain control and remove the criminal element.

Easier said than done, however, because the criminal element in question was Dee Dee fucking Slayde.

God damn it.

Bootsy skulked along alleyways and walkways, skirted the pools of light thrown down by the overhead streetlights, and meandered past the multitude of festering dumpsters he passed along his route. But which route?

Where was he headed?

He spat into the blacktop at his feet and withdrew deeper into his high-collared coat in thought. He knew where he was going of course, it was inevitable. He could feign ignorance if he wanted, but the answer was blatantly obvious: he needed to find Dee Dee and somehow convince her to sell him back his shop. He had accrued some money while in the clink. If she was reasonable then maybe there was a deal to be made.

The only hitch here was that Dee Dee was using his legitimate business as a front for her shady back-alley activities, which he assumed she did not as an affront to him personally, but because it was lucrative. And call Dee Dee Slayde what you will, but she was – if nothing else – a keen business mind. She would need a way – financially – to recoup her losses.

Bootsy shook his head in frustration; there was no way in hell Dee Dee would give him back his shop for anything less than a king's ransom, even if it was true they had once shared feelings for each other, however briefly.

She was one cold bitch.

And how to find her anyway? That little psychopath/stripper/mafia kingpin had her grubby little mitts in every till in St. Walburgas, so it would make sense that she would have various haunts stretched across the city to enable her to achieve close proximity to all the latest goings-on, so how could he find her?

The only two people Bootsy could think of who might know Dee Dee's schedule with any accuracy were her two asshole bodyguards. He recalled with a grin Voodoo's busted nose, and could picture that sleazeball lying in some prone position at that very moment, popping Vicodin or Percs to stop the pounding in his head. Voodoo had hated Bootsy's guts for a while now, but now more than ever. He would rather die than to allow Bootsy to glean a tiny piece of satisfaction from him.

Joe on the other hand might be a little more forthcoming. As far as Bootsy knew, there was nothing personal between he and “Blaze.” Joe/Blaze was also a little slow. Not retarded, but he also would never be considered the sharpest jig in the tackle box either. But at least he was wise enough to realize his shortcomings he wasn't a strong enough conversationalist to be a bullshitter, and that was fine with Bootsy. Bullshitters pissed him off.

The End

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