“So we’re at the couch now, Mr. Babyface. Do you know who the ring is yet? 450,000 lindens worth of the ultimate 500,000 remain to be paid out. Do you want to be a wealthy man or a poor man, Mr. Face?
What’s this precocious child’s end game? he wondered while puffing rapidly on his pipe. Red Dragon, mmm. So soothing. But, Collagesity to Middletown — it really happened! She really did it. “Wealthy, I suppose,” he then answers.
“Then find Leona and her village full of mechanoid people at the hilltop lakes with the lone star shaped swimming pool and ask for Flo. And also: go *with* the flow. Synchronicity.”
“All right.” He was trying to keep up with her pace, or at least pretend to.
“(And) take Greg Ogden with you. That’s her husband after all. Good cover for you as well.”
“Didn’t know that fact. But: will do. I’ll take Red Boy.”
In fact, Mr. Babyface and Greg Ogden had become quite close during their stay in the Kidd Tower. A common heating system can sometimes bring people together.
He was staying with Thimble these days, another dancer. Not that their relationship was all that serious of a thing to him — when was it? — but her second floor apartment’s view toward the Gaston-Berry Police Station put her top shelf over the other Berries.
And, yeah, The Berries really dug Duncan. He was different, unique. No, I’m not really talking about his singular status as a male African-American in Sugar’s employment. It’s just that they could see the inner boy within, the core innocence, unruined — unlike the case with about all of them. It attracted these kind of women like flies unto maple syrup.
But tonight we flip sides of the record. He had to dance for a dude. Alright, cool, cool, he said to himself when learning about the assignment. It’s all for the art form — good to keep practicing and staying limber. And he gets to keep all his clothes on; no funny stuff there. Sugar said the guy also requested that he doesn’t look at him. “Just focus on the dancing,” she ordered. “Don’t make eye contact. Just interact with him in as minimal a manner as you can get away with. He’s probably self conscious because of the damage to his face. I don’t know what happened to him — don’t really care. He paid good money and that all I need to know. And you too.”
Midway through his first sequence, the bleached face man spoke. “You don’t even know who I am, do you?” But Duncan kept to his routine per Sugar’s instructions and didn’t answer.