Blimey…the bad-ass had just dispatched Adam with a flea in his ear as if he’d been a minion on Mac’s payroll. Done with a cool disregard that was a wee bit chilling. In a sub-zero sort of way. If Joe had met this particular Mac first…the Psycho Killer theme tune would’ve been a helluva lot more than a spot of mischief. He still didn’t think it was a million miles from the truth, but Mac was much too…multifaceted to be a stone cold killer. Despite his dead-eyed demolition of Adam, Joe knew damn well that Mac wasnae the psychopath he seemed at pains to portray.
In fact, he’d be prepared to swear blind that the bad-ass had been all-but heroic when Joe had deserved far worse than the withering derision Adam had been dealt. All o’which begged the question: was Mac a villain or vigilante? Righter of wrongs, or remorseless reprobate?
MacDuff or MacBeth?
Mayhaps too trite?
Too black and white?
Too basic to believe,
Why either, or?
In a civil war
To the death.
It might be as simple as Mac didnae split the difference. Just did what needed to be done. An equal opportunities assassin.
Joe may have done a spot of digging (his own grave) to see what his spade would chink against. An irresistible bit of Grootish button pressing to see how big the bomb blast would be. He’d got a very lot more than he deserved too…but that sure as ‘scuse me while I kiss the sky hadn’t been divvied out as Joe expected. The bad-ass was a tricksy devil, t’be sure. Trouble-shooting with Kryptonite green as the lush twerk of those lips set about shredding Joe’s worst intentions. Much as he might wish the last two days had impacted on Mac measure for measure? There was too much Machiavellian malarkey afoot to let himself believe that his Mac was…real.
The bad-ass must have mastered the art of appearing to be what his clients required to have acquired such kudos in the world he prowled so peerlessly. It was this mastery of masks that made Mac more dangerous than his ninja skills. The scoundrel had even sussed the one truth Joe had intended to keep schtum about.
Top-notch artillery Mac tossed onto the table as if it were nought but a trinket. A ten-a-penny bit of tat, when in fact, he had Mjölnir clutched in his mitts. A weapon no-one else had been able to pick the fuck up, let alone lay claim to. This was an itty bit irritating.
Was Joe just so worthless that Mac had no compunction in using him to get the job done, both in bed and out? The two weren’t mutually exclusive o’course…only one of those might be true. If so, which one? Why bother splitting the difference, when Mac sure had not? He was pulling both off. Joe’s head hurted. Think. There had to be a way, somehow, to prove his suspicions. Mac might be the meanest mo-fo in the business, but what was the bad-ass willing to barter in the heat of battle? Just how far would Joe have to push to find out?
It was a win-win whichever way Joe looked at it. He was quite prepared to toss the lot in the pot with nary a care for cussed conditions. Sooo, he would only lose if Mac decided that Junkie Joe was too tedious to be worth the trouble, or his time, and took his torture kit home. Well….he’d just have to make damn sure that Mr McCafferty didnae have chance to get bored. And while Joe was at it…how the bejeezus could he (l)earn Just Mac’s first name?
Nevertheless, the next few hours were a different kettle o’kippers. First up, Joe had to ensure that Mac was worth his weight in gold to those who needed convincing that he’d deliver the goods. If that was suitably pliant Joe? Then that’s what they’d get. It would be a hoot anyhoo, for a few hours.
My terms, my way? Had Mac really charted each course so ruthlessly? Every careful step along the byway? Only time would tell. Speaking o’which…the bad-ass had to be a Bowie fan. A snippet of info par excellence. Joe was on a Station To Station roll on the nuggets of knowledge front.
Knot in hankie: tell Adam to procure white tux, black fedora, waistcoat, fitted shirt.
In Time keeping terms? Mac had indeed ensured that his Thin White Junkie wasn’t too late to be late again…
“Right, c’mon then Trouble… ” Mac’s glinty grin was way more than a wee bit devilish. How was Joe supposed to keep his wits about him, pay heed to pesky plots, stomach Adam’s crap and its own cramps too? All this while persuading the lads to work on some new stuff with two sessions to go and nary a spot of practice since…their last gig? Oh and remember to…remember something else. What was that? Bugger. It sure as starving t’death wasn’t that. Is it time to go home yet?
“I can walk anyway, which seems to be so far beyond expectations, I think I’ll go for a stroll around the studio and then we’ll be done for the day.” Joe decided, pinning on a Cheshire cat with the cream-of-all-cunning-plans grin.
“I can’t argue with your first point, fucknows what time Adam was expecting us to fetch up. Insulting bastard.” Mac grunted, shoving the car door open with a snort of disgust. “Nice try…shift yer arse before yer heid explodes and Salivating Valet gets his just deserts.”
Mac still has a bee in his bonnet about that? His accent had been on the Irn Bru, tae boot. P’raps he just got snippy when folk touched his stuff? It wouldnae do if Mac’s AK-47 had been tampered with when he needed it most, after all. Blimey. Adam had better see about hiring the bad-ass a bodyguard for meet ’n’ greets. Sure to be a breeze, that.
“Mac?” Dang. That came out sounding as small as Joe felt, all of a sudden, while watching him exit the car like liquid latex .
“Yeah..?” When Mac glanced back, for one blink and miss it moment, a flicker of warmth—awareness—flared in glacial green. Gone, in a lowering of lashes. Replaced by steel trap resolve.
“S’okay…doesn’t matter.” Just checkin’.
“Joe? I—” Mac broke off, clenching his jaw so tight, it made the muscle tick in his cheek. “Let’s get this over with.”
“Then…?” A word barely louder than a wisp of breath, it hovered in air heavy with those unsaid.
“Then.” An infinitesimal nod and gleam of laser beam green before Mac snatched his gaze away to…square his shoulders and tug on the cuffs of his crisp white shirt. Worn with an open collar and the fancy schmancy black suit, he looked divine. Deadly.
Joe blinked and tried to swallow the sticklebrick stuck in his throat. Which Mac was real? The steel-sprung bad-ass, as flinty as fuck, fuelled by icy fury? Or the brutal tenderness seething beneath it, as molten as magma? Ruthlessly restrained, the latter felt twice as fierce. Infinitely more lethal. Both? Neither? Either…whichever served him best?
Blimey. Ten minutes in a car with the former was akin to being fed through a flippin shredder. The contrast was so mind-boggling, Joe’s brain might see fit to start spitting grey matter out of his ears like ticker-tape if he didn’t shift himself sharpish. He needed a pen. Paper. A white tux. Ha. There it was—slippery little sucker—he hadn’t forgotten. The wholly unexpected glass of rum. With pineapple juice…my way, my terms. Joe was willing to bet there’d be no titchy brolly in it, the blighters.
‘Shifting sharpish’ hadn’t been his best ever plan, it had to be admitted. Joe scrambled out of the car in such a flurry, he damn near fell flat on his face and snapped himself in half. He felt pretty sure he had lots more arms and legs than he’d got into it with.
“Oow…fuck.” He might’ve whimpered a bit, being crippled of cock and busted of kneecap.
“Y’okay?” Mac snickered, with no concern whatsoever for Joe’s pitiful predicament.
“Do I look okay?” he huffed, much miffed.
“Poor Joe…” Ooh. To accompany said affront to his person, Mac reached out to scruffle Joe’s hair.
Poor Joe scraped himself off the pavement, intending to deliver some rather ripe expletives. A string of salty slurs that puttered to a stop on the tip of his tongue when Mac abruptly blew out a weighty breath and raked a ‘f’fucksakes’ hand through his hair.
“Christ. C’mere…” he muttered, throwing an arm across Joe’s shoulders to tug him in for a manly-hug-between-mates. That felt anything but. Joe’s entire self all-but sighed against tightly-coiled strength, like a floppy rag-doll. Except, he felt sort of brittle, as if a wisp of wind might shatter him.
“What the fuck am t’do with you…” or something such, was mumbled into Joe’s hair. The fleeting press of plush lips was p’raps wishful thinking…with wiiiings. “Shall we..?” Mac inclined his head toward the door, letting his arm fall away.
Nary a word that wafted through Joe’s head was an acceptable answer to that, so he just nodded. Then followed in the wake of an incentive so sublime, it could even lure Joe in there, to face fucknows what at stupid o’clock.