“It’s less now about a mass movement,” said Warren, “and more about a serious group of players not afraid to do what needs to be done. The few who have what it takes. Like you?”
“Like me,” I said, wanting to prove myself worthy of this seriousness.
“Starting with our little job,” said Rich with a mischievous grin.
“About that,” said Warren, rapidly shifting his gaze between Rich and me. “John’s out.”
Rich looked confused. The rejection stabbed me.
Warren held his hand up to me.
He pointed to Rich.
“Get someone else.”
“I want to be part of that,” I said, fighting to belong.
“Hold on,” said Warren, then he looked at Rich. “Who else you got?”
“Vince,” I said to Rich, trying to get back into the conversation.
“I don’t know, man. I don’t think so.”
“He’s good for it,” I said, looking at Warren.
Rich shrugged. “Maybe.”
“Get it done,” said Warren.
“Why am I out?” I asked.
“You’re not out,” said Warren. “You’re in, man, and your willingness is duly noted. Chemistry can be a good thing. It makes things go boom. You’re a special guy. We have a place for you.” He leaned across the table, looking around to make sure we were not overheard. “Let me tell you what we need from you. You know those electronic scales you got in your school? One of those would be a big help to us.”
“Let’s just say it would. Can you do that for us, your buddies in arms?”
“All right, then,” said Rich.
“Another beer, pal?” Warren asked, filling my glass.
I watched the beer pour out of the pitcher with a remarkable intensity.
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