The quiet, and the dark. It was what he needed. He felt his way up the stairs of the abandoned factory, back into the room where he had met everyone only hours ago. Leaving the light off, he made his way to the table using only the lights coming in through the dirty window. He sank into his chair, his head still swimming and his feet like lead. The watch on his wrist said it was ten thirty, and he stared at it trying to figure out how a wrist watch was lying to him.
Vinnie had expected the elevator doors to open to quiet, and potentially darkness. The party was downstairs, in the Grand Ballroom, and the rest of the building was just a sleepy hotel. He thought the top floor would be the most expensive rooms connected by an empty hall and he’d be able to find the men’s room in peace.
Vinnie – Face, or maybe the Face? He still wasn’t sure – had found the location of the safe. Smile had charmed their way in. Eyes had worked at the safe with obvious skill while Fist had stayed close to the door, keeping lookout. The safe had opened and for a few bright seconds they were able to look upon the fruits of their good work without fear: wallets, jewelry, and purses. The things too precious to just be left in those cheap room safes in the closets. Things owned by people who owned so much else, what was the loss of a single necklace, or a few bills?
In truth, he didn’t have to do much talking. Only the barest amount of small talk, whatever would make it appropriate for a simple touch. A hand shake. A pat on the arm. Sometimes Vinnie didn’t even have to open his mouth. The ballroom was so crowded he could pass off his hand brushing against someone as an accident.
Vinnie glanced at the gold and silver clock face hanging above the doors to the ballroom. It had been exactly an hour and twenty-three minutes since he had found Joey on the upper floor of that shut-down factory. Give or take a few seconds. And now, eighty-three minutes later, here he was in a nice suit and a touch of cologne, Smile draped on his arm like they had known each other for years, walking into the ballroom and trying to seem like it was a normal event for him. Not the first time he’d ever worn a suit off stage. Not the first time he’d ever been in any kind of room this nice, with people dressed in such furs and jewelry. You could just about smell the diamonds.
This was, easily, the weirdest first day on the job he’d ever had. Including the water park, and that first day had ended with three paramedics and a small fire. At least when he’d shown up the location had seen normal. Parking lot away from the customers, locker room, other college kids either eager or over it. The address he had walked to from the train was a factory with some old logo fading off the brick, surrounded by other factories in varying levels of disrepair.