“We should have brought beer,” Brock Smith said, stretching his legs out on the grass.
Kevin Flynn tucked his hair behind his ears. The sun was well on its way to setting, its long rays streaming through the very tops of the trees in Onondaga Park, leaving the walking paths and green places in a hazy blue twilight. The lights ringing the Little League fields were already on, brilliant flares against the violet sky.
It was swampy hot, without even a breeze across the park's man-made lake to cut the heat. For a moment, Kevin's mind went home to the mountains, where the winds would shift at twilight and begin blowing from the east. The streetlights of the town would be on, and they'd walk down to the river and swim in the cold, clean current, so different from the still-polluted Onondaga Lake--
Kevin snapped back to the here-and now, where his home was in Ireland, not the Adirondacks, and where he was going to scramble up the next rung of the prescription drug dealer ladder if he didn't blow the whole thing by getting distracted. “Nah. I was just t'inking. You're right, a beer would be good right now.” He glanced around. Nothing but joggers and dog-walkers on the path and a cluster of teens shoving a soccer ball around in a way that suggested they'd rather be texting. “Wouldn't want to be picked up for open carry, though.”
“God, you're paranoid.” Brock flopped back on the grass with the utter carelessness of boy whose parents were rich enough to get him out of any trouble.
“Soon as I open my mouth, even a park ranger would be asking for my ID.” Mouth came out as mout'. One thing he didn't have to worry about was the accent. Until he emigrated to America to join his brothers in Boston, Kevin's dad had lived his whole live within a mile of Limerick's Treaty Stone. Kevin's slang might be a little dated, but the cadence of the Irish Mid-West was embedded in his brain from birth.
“Oh, man. Easy is gonna love you. He's always going on about, like, double and triple checking everybody.” Brock eased a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and held it out. Kevin pulled one and picked up his lighter, laying on the grass next to his phone.
“T'anks.” He took a deep drag. Kevin-from-Millers Kill had never smoked in his life, but Kevin-from-Limerick did. It was alarming how quickly it had gone from being camouflage to being a pleasure. He tossed the lighter to Brock. “When's he going to get here?”
“He'll be on time. He likes to run it like a business, you know?” Brock sucked on his cigarette. “Swear to God, I'm learning more about enterprise economics and organization here than I am in B-school. It's all about distributors, supply chains--”
“Hey, I don't use up much of the stock. That's just a bonus.”
“He doesn't like it, though.”
“I'm the best distributor he's got. That's why he's letting me introduce you.”
“Yeah. I appreciate it, mate.” The reason Brock had become the top producer over the past two months was because Kevin, selling for him, had unloaded one hundred percent of the inventory at top price. To the Syracuse Police Department, a detail he had failed to share with the grad student. Kevin had no doubt he was going to be Easy's best distributor as well. As long as this meeting went well.