"Michael! Don't! Let us take care of him."

I stared back at Management. "You had your chance. I saw how well that went." Quickly, I cocked the handgun, pressing it back to Simon's throat.

"Michael! Shooting an unarmed man when the FBI are about to arrive will put a big dent in your future. And you have a big future."

What the hell was he talking about? Was he offering me a job? At this time? He looked over his shoulder to where the sirens where coming steadily closer. "I should leave. I'll see you soon."

I paused, suddenly unsure.

"Are you kidding me? You're gunna listen to the old man? Four point seven five pounds of pressure on that trigger, this all ends! Come on!"

Simon's rambling didn't quite penetrate me. I was thinking. If I killed Simon now, with the feds about to crawl all over me like a swarm of ants, I would be done for. Management had made it clear that he wouldn't get me out of the bind I'd be in. More than that, if I fell into the feds' hands, they'd want to get to the bottom of this which meant Ma, Nate, Sam and Fi would have hell raining down on them.

I thought of Ma and her phone call earlier that day, warning me to stay away. The feds had already hit her, what would they do after they had me locked up? I thought of Nate and Ruby... Ruth... whatever her name was, and how he'd never forgive me if I screwed his marriage up. I thought of Sam and his already less-than-stellar reputation. And Fi... I'd never forgive myself if they swarmed on Fi. Never.

I didn't quite know exactly what the police and feds were bellowing, but I could guess. Putting on a smile that felt so wrong, I set the gun down and let go of my hold on Simon. He chuckled.

"Oh, he owns you now, boy. It's just a matter of time, then you're just like me."

Everything felt surreal as I placed my head against the sidewalk, raising my hands to my head. I tried not to meet Simon's gaze, but it was too penetrating.

"Just like me," he chuckled. "Just like me."

A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!