C+A

 

 

She likes sculpted black boys. Her words, not his. They’re lying on the bed, him on his back, her curled across his chest purring in satisfaction. Fury flows through his fists, but each time they clench he forces them back open. Don’t give in to it, don’t let her score a single fucking point. Sculpted black boys. Ten out of ten for hitting the rawest nerve. Bullseye on her first throw of the dart. He’s up against a professional here, she knows exactly what she’s doing. He strokes her downy arm with his right hand, his left holds a Marlboro Red to his lips as he sucks it down to the bitter end. She arches her back, nestles deeper into his sternum, rubs her thigh against his stomach. He flicks the cigarette out the window and spits a jet of saliva in its wake. Neither of them speaks. Two Apaches fly low along the coast, crows and gulls scatter in panic.

 

***

 

“She’s something else, man. Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it”

 

Doron looks at his brother, arches a quizzical eyebrow.

 

“Nu?”

 

Guy leans forward, slams back the remains of the J&B, grimaces, wipes his mouth with the back of his hand.

 

“She’s the most arrogant girl I’ve ever met, she couldn’t give a fuck how it comes across. We’ll be walking down the street, arm in arm, and she’ll stop and say ‘I bet you’re happy’. I reply ‘yeah, why?’, and she goes ‘cos you get to walk round in public with someone as fit as me’ – I mean, she’s got a point, but that’s for me to think, not her to say, isn’t it?”

 

Doron smiles, leans back in his chair.

 

“Welcome to bandit country, boy. TLV plays by its own rules, this ain’t Maida Vale anymore. And fair play to her. She’s got it, she flaunts it, and she calls a spade a spade. Anyway, what are you complaining about? I’d love to fuck one like that, and I’d definitely be wheeling her out for show whenever I had the chance. She’s like a Contache, bro, you don’t even need to be driving her to get your kicks – just posing next to her on a busy street’s a good enough buzz”

 

Guy thinks this over, head starting to loll from the cheap whisky and the ninety degree heat. He signals for a waiter, a beaming kushi trots over looking like an extra from a Del Monte advert. Sculpted black boys. Guy narrows his eyes. The waiter waits. Doron re-arches his eyebrow.

 

***

 

Shiri stares at herself in the mirror, hands by her side, towel dropped to the floor. She studiously avoids catching her own gaze, sways gently as she scans every last inch of skin. Her long lashes flicker a morse code SOS. Tears form, swell, burst the banks of her eyelids, cascade down her cheeks. Her phone snaps her out of her trance, private number, she presses red and reaches for her pillbox. The Apaches are back, heading south to the badlands.

 

***

 

Every single day of every single week of every single month they strut their stuff. The beautiful people. The tanned, the lithe, the smooth, the good, the bad but never the ugly. The ugly know their place. The ugly take the hint and stay the fuck away. Out of sight in the nooks and crannies, hiding in the shadows while the catwalk marches on, on, on. Tel Aviv takes no prisoners, has no time to waste as it oozes allure from every pore.

 

***

 

If you will it, it is no dream. Guy wanted in, so he’s in. Abandoned the mothership and set sail for the promised land. No clue what he’d do when he got here, but he’s never been one for thinking that far ahead. London wasn’t doing it for him, and he’d been reciprocating for as long as he could remember. He didn’t have money, didn’t have looks, didn’t have class, but he did have an unbelievably silver tongue, and coupled with his older brother Doron’s Israeli connections, the two of them were mining a rich seam from the moment they stepped off the plane at Ben Gurion.

 

Their dad’s cousin Motti met them in the arrival hall, short, stocky, Sephardi to the core. Flamboyant with every gesture, he kissed, then double kissed, then triple kissed them on both cheeks, seemingly ready to dive back in for more before Doron fended him off by asking where they could smoke. Motti stood between them, clamping a meaty hand proprietorially around each of their waists as he led them outside, pausing to pat the mezuzah on the doorframe and kiss his fingertips as they passed. Guy was dying for a cigarette, Doron was dying to pepper Motti with questions about the rest of the clan.

 

“Where’s Ziv? And Royee? And Amir? I thought they’d all be here to greet us, is there a broiges going on?”

 

Motti laughed, pointed towards the car park, kissed his fingers yet again for reasons unknown.

 

“Ziv’s in the Jeep making business calls, the others are at a simcha, you’ll see them when they get home. Savlanut, Doron, savlanut – all in good time, b’ezrat Hashem”

 

Guy stayed silent, let his Marlboro do the talking as he took in the sights and sounds. Three years since he’d been here, even longer since he’d seen Motti and Co. The heat rose from the paving slabs in translucent waves, his polo shirt stuck to his skin even though the sun had long since sunk into the Med. Doron was a regular here, he’d been back every six months since his army days; Guy’s refusal to follow suit and enlist when he’d come of age would come back to haunt him, Doron had warned, but Guy had held firm and ignored the call to arms.

 

“Dod Motti, take this, it’s for you and the boys”

 

Motti beamed at the bottle of Baileys Guy thrust towards him, delighted with the gesture, even more so with the contents of the bottle. Guy never touched the stuff – far too common, even for him – but he’d been prepped by his dad to stock up at Duty Free with the kitsch and the cheerful in order to impress his Mizrachi hosts. Bars of Toblerone, bags of Fruit Pastilles, slabs of Cadbury’s, anything with a shiny wrapper and he’d be onto a winner – and so it seemed so far.

 

“Todah, todah, what a good boy you are, here, jump in the back and we’ll get you home”

 

Motti ushered them into the mammoth 4×4, clambered into the front seat and revved up the engine. Ziv turned round from the passenger seat, mobile pressed to his ear, flashed a toothy grin at his English cousins and pointed apologetically to his phone. Guy and Doron waved their forgiveness, but Ziv had already turned round and was barking guttural noises down the line. Motti sped off into the night, windows open wide to allow hot air and helicopter roars to welcome Israel’s newest arrivals home.

 

***

 

Shiri’s a sabra. She’s a blueblood. No magic carpet ride from chul to haaretz for this little treasure, her family’s set up camp here since Bible times. That’s what her forebears say, at least, though half of them crossed the desert with the rest of the Arab exiles in ’51. Iraqis, Iranians, Yemenites, Kurds, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, trains of camels following yonder star. 

 

She’s super hot, sizzling, mercury-poppingly off the scale. Beestung lips, caramel skin, voluptuous but slim, every Israeli barmitzvah boy’s dream. Queen Rania meets Ofra Haza meets Jessica Rabbit. A-lister, no question. Peerless from Sderot to the Shebaa Farms. Only one drawback. Mind’s in a worse state than Sheikh Yassin’s back wheels, she does her best to hide it but it’s ripping her soul to shreds. 

 

She could have been anything that she wanted to be, and she wanted to be a lot. Once. But that was then and this is now and there’s no point crying over spilt milk. Not when you’ve got a hundred and one other things to shed your tears for. Anorexia, bulimia, depression, fatigue, the conditions line up like planes coming in to land over Sde Dov, they hit terra firma and never take off again. No one knows why, though everyone’s got an opinion. Poor little rich girl, ain mah l’asot. Take two sculpted black boys and call me in the morning. Sorry, that’s not a nice thing to say. But I’m not the first one to say it, and I won’t be the last.

***

 

Doron refuses to drink at So Frishman on principle. Frishman’s not an adjective, it’s a proper noun. There’s Frishman Street and Frishman Beach. Zeh’u. So you can’t call a bar So Frishman any more than you can tell your wife you’re feeling so Old Kent Road after a hard day’s work. That’s how Doron looks at it, at any rate, and why let the prospect of a good time – and, more importantly, good business – get in the way of an entirely irrelevant and barely cogent argument? Guy knows they should be at So Frishman at least once a week, but he defers to Doron now as ever. Doron’s the ben bachur, the firstborn and/or prodigal son, so Guy’ll have to suck it and see.

 

Truth be told, they do enough trade on the rest of the strip to allow Doron’s idiosyncratic hatred of So Frishman (spit, scowl, harrumph) to matter far less than it might. Trade usually means a two second handover under a plastic beach chair bookended by a five- to ten-minute drink with whichever street dealer’s buying in bulk from Aboody Brothers Wholesale. ABW’s the easiest gig of Guy’s life to date, so easy in fact that he sometimes wonders where the catch is, because there must be a catch. There’s always a catch. His cousins, led by Ziv, swear to him there isn’t, but they spout more shit than the drainpipes on Jaffa Beach, so he’s hardly convinced. Doron sides with the others, says this is how it is in the Holy Land, it all runs like clockwork, you’ve just got to have the right blood, the right attitude, and the right to bear arms. That last point’s crucial, these are mean streets they’re walking. Doron keeps a baby Uzi close to his chest, or rather shoved down the back of his black Etienne Ozekis, it never comes out, but never say never.

 

Guy knows he and Doron are just glorified delivery boys, but he still walks with a swagger and keeps his head held high.

 

“Where next, achi? Actually, hold on, look at that little cusit strutting by like a peacock – hey, you, capara alayich hamuda sheli”

 

Doron laughs at his brother’s slang, marvels at Guy’s duck-to-water adaptation to life in the Mizrachi lane.

 

“Back to see Ziv at the port, he’s got two new people for us to meet. We’re done for tonight anyway, we’re almost out of pills. Catch us a cab, I’m just ducking into the kiosk”

 

Guy wanders out into the road, forcing cars to swerve into the second lane but proving an effective way to flag down a monit. The driver is wider than his seat, his gargantuan belly wobbling in time with the Apache blades overhead. He’s shouting into his hands-free, they’re always shouting into their hands-free, every fucking cab’s got a Gordon Gekko at the wheel, and woe betide the fool who tells them to shut up. Guy tells him to shut up.

 

“Gever, do you want them to hear you in Syria? Just turn around, take us to the port in silence, then carry on your pit trading when we’re out of earshot”

 

Doron jabs Guy hard in the ribs, Guy ignores him. Guy knows he’s speaking the driver’s language, and whaddyaknow, the conversation ends abruptly and the fat man sings no more. Guy stage-whispers in Doron’s ear.

 

“When in Rome, dear brother”

 

Doron knows he’s right, sulks outwardly all the way to the end of Ben Yehuda while inside he beams with pride. Guy’s alright, he’ll go a long way like this. We both will. ABW. Tel Aviv, London, New York. Branches opening near you soon.

 

***

 

Shiri wakes up, can’t remember where she is. She should look to her left, that’s Guy’s calf entwined with hers, that’s his striped Lacoste polo slung over the headboard. She blinks a couple of times, gets back in character and practises her purr. Always purring, that girl, purr purr purr like she’s been mainlining Whiskas. Guy sleeps on, Shiri untangles herself from the bedsheets and tiptoes to the bathroom. Turns on the light, looks in the mirror. Doesn’t like what she sees, what a surprise. Change the record, darling, the vinyl’s worn through.

 

She really likes Guy, she wishes she could tell him. Wishes she could unzip her outer layer like a shell-suit and let her true self step out into the light. She necks two Valium, fills her mouth from the tap, swallows hard, heads out onto the balcony to stare at the moon. She likes Guy in spite of his front, not because of it. She can see how much effort he makes to fit in, chulnik chameleon that he is, but it’s something else about him that gets her. His insecurity when he thinks no one’s watching, his internal deference to anyone better looking or richer or taller or smarter, the creases that line his face when he’s worried where it’s all gonna lead next. She sees herself in his doubt, knows a kindred spirit when she sees one, but she can’t open up. Can’t let him in. Can’t talk, won’t talk. She’s waltzed into his life like a vex-free vixen and for all she knows he’d run a mile if she ever dropped the act. She drapes her legs through the railings and skins up a j.

 

Back in the bedroom, Guy’s phone vibrates under his pillow. He’s instantly on it, wide awake and alert and sunny day and a-o-fucking-k. No need for that response, no need at all, this ain’t pistols at dawn in Grozny, this is merkaz Tel Aviv at half past midnight. He barely registers Shiri’s absence as he jumps out of bed and yelps into the phone.

 

“Yes, bro, what is it? Where’s the danger?”

 

Doron sighs down the line.

 

“Guyush, relax, there’s nothing going on, I just wanted to ask you a favour”

 

Guy doesn’t believe him, wants blood and guts and war on the street. Nebbuch.

 

“What, Doz? Ask me, what?”

 

“I need to go up to Haifa tomorrow, cos there’s a friend of a friend who’s got a package we might be interested in. But I need you to cover me, cos Ziv can’t know anything about this. Not Ziv, not Amir, none of them. I’ll tell you about it when I’m back, but trust me Guy, this goes no further than the two of us, ok?”

 

Guy’s loving it, loving it, loving it, he’s loving it like this. ‘ABW going solo’ scream the newspaper sellers in his mind. A management buyout less than a year after they went public. Yeah, motherfucker, crack open the Cristal – what’s that? Can’t afford Cristal yet? Ok, fuck it, the Cava then, but give us six months…

 

“Sure thing, Doz, not a word. By me the Sphinx is a gossip”

 

Guy’s buzzing, Shiri’s purring, the Apaches are growling. Good night kids, sleep tight, see you in the morning. What about the sculpted black boys though? No, not now, it’s time to go to sleep. We’ll talk about them tomorrow.

 

***

 

Tel Aviv rents are a disgrace. Seriously. A total fucking disgrace. How’s anyone meant to afford to live in the city when there are so many foreigners pricing the locals out, so many second homes so many tourists so many rich-kids so many hi-tech millionairesandtheirex-wivessomanypeoplewithmorethanmeandit’snotfairandi’mgoinghomeihateyoualliwishiwasdeadwahwahwahwahendlesswah? That’s just the way it is, nothing you can do sunshine. Don’t like it? Write a letter to your friendly Knesset Member. If they’re not in jail for corruption or busy fighting wars or pandering to the haredim or jetting off to serenade Congress I’m sure they’ll get straight back to you. Yihyeh beseder. Everything works itself out in the end. And if it doesn’t, you can always go and live in Bat Yam. Bat Yam’s got it all, baby. Glorious beaches, glorious weather, glorious gang members and drive-bys and used needles and bombs. Picture postcard perfect. Wish you were here.

 

***

 

Shiri and Guy are getting married!!! They’re happy as can be, terms and conditions apply of course, especially in her fucked up, drugged up little mind, but who’s worried about that right now when there’s a wedding to plan? Who’ll be the best man? Doron of course, silly question. Maid of honour? Don’t ask me, that’s for Shiri to sort out. As long as she’s thinner than anyone else under the chupah then everything will be peachy. You should see the ring, ab-so-lutely massive, don’t know how he afforded it. (The rumour mill knows though, the rumour mill says it’s a blood diamond, says it came straight out of the Congo in one of the Herzliya Belgians’ tefilin bags, says Guy paid a tenth of what it would fetch on the bourse, says Doron’s clout is growing by the hour and that it pays to do the brothers a favour these days).

 

Ziv and his mishpacha still rule the roost, but they know they’ve created a monster. Two monsters, actually, not to mention the ever-growing entourage that greases the wheels of the ABW bandwagon. For now, all is calm, all is bright between the OGs and the NKOTB (great acronyms, no? If you can’t work them out, look them up, it’s the only way you’ll learn. Ok, fine, but this is the last time: Original Gangsters and New Kids On The Block), but sooner or later something will have to give.

 

“Doron, you got a minute? There’s a lairy fucker on the phone says we owe him ninety bags”

 

Doron flops out of the pool like a shikkur sealion. He is a shikkur sealion, k’nayna hora.

 

“Ninety thou for what? We don’t owe anyone anything, I checked with Yossi yesterday, the books are balanced bang up to date”

 

Guy shrugs, holds the phone towards his brother, beckons Shiri with his free hand. Doron takes the Blackberry, Guy cups both hands round his mouth to try and shout to his fiancée over the blast of the choppers. There’re four of them today, each one louder than the last.

 

“Yakiri, baby, come let’s eat, yeah?”

 

Has he gone out of his mind? Shiri doesn’t eat, does she Guyush? Leave her be with her girlfriends, they’ve got dresses to design and hair to plait and tables to plan and Prozacs to munch. But no, he won’t let up, he really wants her to come inside and sit with him in the lobby bistro. Shiri’s far from impressed, she kisses her teeth and flounces over. Oy vey. And they seemed such a mamashe happy couple.

 

***

Guy’s kindly agreed to do a pre-wedding interview for us – no pictures though, for obvious reasons – so we’ll take a sample of reader’s questions and put them to the man himself:

 

Do you ever get high off your own supply? (Mikey, by email)

 

(Laughs) Good question, Mikey – but an easy answer. No. Never. I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt and thrown up all over it, and that was back in London before I’d even left school. Ket was my thing, and it did serious damage to my mind, body and most of all soul. Now I drink a bit here and there, but that’s about it. Couple of lines on a big night out, but the older I get, the wiser I become as well, and God knows that’s vital in my line of work”

 

Aren’t you worried about getting caught? (Shosh, Ra’anana)

 

“Caught by who? The police are in our pockets tighter than a three ounce bag, they know the score and they leave well alone. Our tentacles don’t stop there, Ziv and Motti buy protection all the way from City Hall to the Knesset, they’ve been in the game for decades and there’s not a single blindspot. Sure, a couple of our runners get picked up now and again – we have to throw the pigs a bone once in a while – but me? Doron? Teflon, chamudi. We’d walk any charge and then sell the judge’s daughter a six-wrap on the way home”

 

Don’t you ever think about the lives you’re ruining with the products you push? (Chana, Jerusalem)

 

“I think you’ve got me confused with the Payas Lottery commissioner. Or the Goldstar chief brewer. Or the forex brokers, or the Toto odds-setters, or the Lubavitch kiruv-crew – see what I’m saying? Yeah, in an ideal world no one would need the escapism that a few pills, scratchcards or pages of the Torah offer, but this ain’t an ideal world and I’m no revolutionary. I know my place, I know the role I’ve got to play, and I do what I do with pride. Sermonise all you want, but if you really wanna get to the root of the problem, attack the disease itself, not the symptoms. And when it gets you down that you can’t do a damn thing to change it, come see me or Doz, we’ve got what you need to pick you up again”

 

How’s Shiri doing in the run-up to the wedding? Is she recovering well after her last round of rehab? (Lior, Rishon Letzion)

 

“Not sure, to be honest, she’s not been around much lately. (Pauses, frowns). She’s a thousand times better than she was when I first met her, now that it’s all out in the open about those shvartses from a couple of years ago. But is she really better? Fuck knows. I pray that she is, but I’ve got my doubts. She told me the other day that her family’s forgiven… actually, forget it, that’s too personal. Not for this kind of conversation. Next?”

 

Do you actually care about this country at all? Or are you just here for the good life? Sorry to ask, but it seems from the outside that you’ve got no real emotional connection to the state. What do you think about the peace process, for example? (Chaim, Sderot)

 

“Woah, woah, steady on there soldier. I’m as Israeli as the next man, I’m doing more than my fair share to up the GDP, aren’t I?(Laughs) Ok, maybe not, but that’s only because the Finance Ministry won’t include our trading on their balance sheets. Look, I’m not gonna lie, Doz and I came here because we had a golden opportunity thanks to our cousins, but we’re no fair-weather friends of the country. We’re here for the long haul, we want to raise kids here, send them to the army, pay our taxes – one day(laughs) – and put down roots for good. The peace process? Whatever, man. Peace, love and unity, but that could just be the pills in my pocket talking. Peace’d be good for business, at any rate – we use locally sourced ingredients already, and an end to the fighting would only lower the price of raw materials, so bring it on. Anyway, ask any Tel Avivi what they think of politics and they’ll just soak you in water as they dive into the pool on the Marina Hotel roof. Why should I be any different?”

 

Who’s really running the ABW show, you or Doron? Everyone knows you try and paint Doron as the top dog, but I’ve heard differently from people close to your crew – what’s the tachlis? (Dima, Givatayim)

 

(Narrows eyes, purses lips) Doron’s in charge, always has been, always will be. I’m just backing him up like a baby brother should. Nothing’s gonna change, and nor should it. Without Doz we’re nothing, and I’ve got no shame in saying that. (Cracks knuckles) People should stop worrying about our family’s business, cos we’re not looking for an audience like we’re the fucking Osbournes. Chalas, let’s wrap this up. Yeah, be in touch, yalla. (Kisses forefingers, raises clenched fist towards an Apache overhead)

 

***

 

Doz and Guy, Guy and Doz, Guy and Shiri, Shiri and Guy, Shiri and Doz… what? Are you serious? Or are you just repeating that tired and vicious gossip that’s dogged the brothers for months? Give it a rest, mate. And anyway, Doron’s with Tova now, so why would he want to play away? Ok, Tova’s no Shiri in the looks department (who is, let’s be honest?), but it’s a marriage of convenience if nothing else: Tova’s uncle Shai is Motti’s oldest and best friend, and their relationship is one of the central pillars on which the whole firm stands. Shai and Mott, Mott and Shai, brothers in blood until they die. Mazel tov Doron, mazel tov Tova, I hope you’ll both be just as happy as Shiri and Guy. It’s time you all settled down anyway, family trees won’t water themselves.

 

Shiri still stares in mirrors whenever she gets the chance. She’s over the worst of it now, but she still hasn’t told Guy the real story, she’s still hiding behind her buffalo stance. As far as Guy’s concerned, she just had a bout of jungle fever when she got out of school, which lasted through her year of national service and a few months beyond to boot. She can see he hates the thought of it, but whatever dark-skinned demons are mocking him from within are nothing compared to the torture he’d suffer if he knew what actually happened. The twelve months of near-daily degradation, the photos, the films, the pass-the-parcel routine, the public humiliation, the private hell, the cries for help, the familial rejection, the suicide attempts, the violation of her every last cell, molecule, particle, atom. Sculpted black boys. That’s one way of putting it.

 

***

 

Fish are jumping, the cotton is high – must be summertime on the strip. It’s always summertime on the strip, but August is boom time for anyone plying their trade among the tourists. Guy and Doron only walk the streets for pleasure these days, the business is handled by subordinates ranked way, way down the food chain. The brothers are getting old before their time, they’ve got nothing to do and no way to keep themselves amused. What would you do if you could do anything, I mean a-ny-thing, for one day in Israel? Would you walk round the Old City of Jerusalem and marvel at the history all around you? Would you drive out into the Galilee and bask in some of nature’s most stunning, soothing scenery? You could float in the Dead Sea, smear the mineral-rich mud over your body from head to toe, then wash it off under the waterfalls of En Gedi – or how about a high-octane night on the town in Old Jaffa, where gentrification’s turning the town into a magnet for the achingly trendy and the filthily rich? So much to see, so much to do, so much to try, the old and the new… Not if you’re Doz’n’Guy though, they can’t see past the end of their snub-nosed pistols or the stacks of hundred-shekel bills piled up in their safes. They’re living in a vacuum, a marble-and-palm-tree-lined one maybe, but a vacuum all the same. Paranoia’s eating them from the outside, ennui’s doing the same from within. At least Shiri’s pregnant, that gives Guy a bare minimum of focus; Tova’s oven remains bun-free, however, and Doron’s not taking it well. Not well at all.

 

“Guy, what’s it all about, bro?”

 

Guy looks up from his laptop, tries to spot Doron through the nocturnal gloom.

 

“What’s what about? And whatever it is, can it wait till I’m finished this?”

 

Doron chews on a fingernail, watches the Apaches’ taillights flicker as they thunder past.

 

“You, this, us. Why is there a distance between us, what’s going on?”

 

Doron’s fishing for something, Guy can sense it, can’t be bothered to take the bait.

 

“Nah, there’s no distance, I dunno what you mean, man. Hakol d’vash”

 

Everything’s honey. Proper Mizrachi speak. Doron used to find Guy’s expressions endearing, now he fucking hates each and every one. Hates everything Guy’s become, even though it was all done to impress Doron, to show him his little brother was ready to step up to the plate. Hates his manner, his clothes, his woman, his baby-to-be. Hates the fact that even though everyone else thinks Doron’s in the driving seat, the two of them both know that Guy’s on equal footing at the very least, and most likely the true force behind their firm. Doron wants it back to how it used to be, wants to call the shots again without worrying about a coup. He knows half, if not more, of the firm would back Guy if it came to a mutiny, knows there’s nothing he can do about it other than try and keep the peace between one another. But he’d rather wage war.

 

“Oy, don’t fob me off with that. You know what I’m talking about, why the cold shoulder?”

 

Guy puts his laptop on the glass-topped garden table, lights a cigarette and walks towards his brother’s voice. Doron glares at him as he approaches, props himself up on the sunlounger and radiates as much hostility as he can muster. Guy squats down next to him, looks upwards and into his eyes, gets the body language just right, trying to defuse the tension before it gets out of hand.

 

“Doron, I genuinely don’t know what’s bothering you. If it’s about ABW, then tell me, or if it’s something else…”

 

Doron cuts him off mid-sentence, snaps at Guy like a pitbull.

 

“Of course it’s about ABW, what else could it be? You’re getting too big for your boots, and it’s starting to become a major issue”

Guy shrinks slightly from the force of the attack, keeps shtum, keeps out of arm’s reach and harm’s way.

 

“I want you to walk away from it for a while, I think we need a break from each other. A long break”

 

Guy is stunned, even if he had seen it coming he never thought it would come to this.

 

“What do you mean? How can I just ‘walk away’, I’m as much a part of it as you”

He walked straight into that one, Doron’s all over the statement like a rash.

 

“Exactly, that’s exactly what I mean. Yeah, you are part of it, but you’re not as much a part of it as me. This was my gig from the off, it was me who set it all up before we were even out of London, it was me who had the vision, me who gave you the push to come with. It’s my baby, not ours. Fuck’s sake, Guy, can’t you see that?”

 

Guy can, but he doesn’t think he should have to anymore. He still holds back though, knows the slightest spark could set off all kinds of explosions. He shrugs, widens his eyes in a placatory gesture.

 

“Don’t just stare at me, answer me – I’m deadly fucking serious, I’m not letting this go on one day longer”

 

Shiri stands at the French windows, watching the scene unfold. Doron looks up, sees her, she’s red rag to the raging bull he’s morphing into.

 

“You, inside now – Guy, get her indoors fast, this has got fuck all to do with her, and it’s not a pay-per-view argument”

 

Guy’s bluff’s been called, he can’t take that one crouching down. Time to stand and deliver a left hook to his self-righteous brother’s jaw, shame Doron parried it, shame Doron jumped up and hit him with a jab-jab-uppercut, shame there’s a flash of steel and a darting thrust and a tearing of cloth and a severing of flesh and a thick crimson circle of arterial blood getting wider by the millisecond.  Shame there’s no rewind button to press, shame that the credits roll when you thought the film still had three acts left.  

 

***

 

Two days without an Apache. People are starting to talk.

 

***

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