Saleem noticed Daz across the street, nodded a hello and walked over to him, glad that he was alone. He had something to ask him, but couldn't do it out here, it was private. Daz said hello and Saleem smiled nervously and gulped, ready to put his plan into action.

"Can we talk?" He asked him

Daz nodded. "What is it?"

"I mean, later"

"Back at mine?" Daz replied.

Saleem nodded and Daz was surprised that he was so forward but didn't mind at all. They agreed to meet later on and Saleem sepnt a while rehearsing it in his head before the time came to face the music and his legs grew shakier with each step up to his friend's flat. He carefully knocked on the door, hoping that he wouldn't be laughed out of it. Daz opened the door and invited him in. He offered him a drink while Daz got himself a coke. Saleem refused and watched Daz take a sip and suggested that he sit on the mattress. Saleem shook his head while Daz's voice took on a gentler tone to prove to Saleem that it was ok.

"I know you didn't come here just to talk" enquired Daz.

Saleem hovered by the door and tried to make his offer clearer, he could agree to this with a little persuading.

"You're........a tough guy aren't you?

"I can take care of me self....yeah" Daz said suspiciously.

"Could you do me a favour?" Saleem asked shuffling his feet and leaning against the wall. Daz squinted at him for a brief moment before coming to his own conclusion.

"I don't beat people up, I leave that to loans sharks and the mafia"

Daz couldn't believe what he was hearing and tried to understand what he meant. Saleem sat on the floor and decided to tell him the truth and hoped Daz didn't laugh in his face.

"Don't you wanna know the target? He asked.

"No" Daz replied bluntly.

"It's me" saleem said cautiously.

Daz sat on the matress and stared at him, thinking this was just a sick joke.

"Tell me you're not serious"

"Daz, it's just one hit" Saleem reasoned. "Pleasure and pain go hand in hand don't they?"

"What self help book did you get that shit from?" Daz tried not to raise his voice, but it was crazy that Saleem actually thought that Daz, of all people was gonna harm him for kicks. Daz didn't know what he was the most annoyed at, the fact that he wanted to be hit or that he thought that Daz fitted the part to do it. He shook he head and gulped some more coke down.

Saleem tried to get him to listen. "You don't have to hit me in the face, maybe me back or stomach, as long as my ribs aren't-"

"Why do you want this?"

"Just to try it"

"I ain't doing it, you should go" Daz leaned back and slid his hands over his coke can. Saleem felt disappointed, but tried not to show it.

"I'll just have to go somewhere else" Saleem said.

Daz leaned up sitting. You do that there'll be some psycho hiding, waiting for ya, and they won't stop"

"I'll deal with it" Saleem got up and went towards the door but Daz got up and grabbed his sleeve. "Don't punish yourself, there's no need"

"That's easy for you to say"

"It's easy for you to stay here for abit"

"So you can change me mind?" Saleem asked, now in two minds about the whole thing.

"So you can change your mind, sit down eh, I'll get you a drink" Daz got him some water and by the time he came back Saleem, was on the mattress hands clasped, shoulders hunched. Daz passed him the glass and Saleem thanked him.

"So err..... you gonna stay the night? No hanky panky or spankin' Joked Daz

"Sounds good, but I've embarrased myself enough for one day" Saleem got up. "Thanks for the drink"

Daz nodded and watched Saleem leave, wondering why he wanted someone to knock him about when he beat himself up every minute of the day anyway.