As four brown eyes met, something minuscule in the brains behind those brown eyes knew that they could look at one another's forever. A pair began to blink furiously as they looked down, revealing a delicate pair of shimmering eyelids. The other focused theirs to a pair of hands that held a phone. One of the hands slender fingers had just rejected a call and then tucked the phone back into the bag hanging on her arm.
'Sorry,' A soft voice mumbled. 'I'm looking for Michael De Santa.' It continued clearly. He could hear a suppressed eastern twang escape her lips.
'Yeah, that's me.' He replied, showcasing a less suppressed eastern accent. The woman smiled as soon as she noticed this, raising her head and allowing their eyes to exchange another quick glance.
'I'm Niamh,' She continued, extending her slender hand. He took his from the door and reached out to her. As he took her hand in his, he lingered, trying to savour the soft, nimble hand. He hadn't so much as looked at another woman since Amanda left, that is a woman who wasn't a stripper or a prostitute, whom he was forced to pay to touch. But ultimately, other than that, he hadn't touched a real woman in over two months. She hastily pulled her hand back, noticing the extended period of hand-holding. 'Uh, Lester sent me over.' She nervously added, taking out a plastic folder from her bag.
'Oh, shit, I thought...' Michael coughed. It wasn't that the professional criminal hadn't worked with women before, he had, but none so feminine.
'That I'd be a guy?' Her east coast twang asked as she raised an eyebrow and smiled.
'Well, yeah,' He nervously laughed, opening the door fully. 'You'd better come in.' She smiled, accepting his somewhat awkward invitation.
'I get it all the time, don't worry,' She reassured him as the made her way through the door. 'Thanks.' She added as the passed him, showering him in the scent of her perfume and shampoo. As he inhaled, thoughts flooded his mind. Amanda didn't smell like this; her perfume was too strong and she always wore too much. As for the strippers and prostitutes, well, their scent was best unsaid.
Michael showed his new colleague (was she his colleague?) into the living room and through the trail of empty whiskey and vodka bottles, cigarette boxes and the occasional discarded cheap plastic lighter. He apologised for the mess, to which she graciously smiled, and showed her back into the kitchen. They sat on the chrome stools, away from most of the mess that Michael had created over the weeks.
Niamh placed the plastic file on the marble counter with a delicacy that Michael hadn't known was possible for such a simple action. 'This is everything you need to know, Franklin and Trevor will get the same files and you'll all see Lester three times in person before the planned date.' She informed him, two fingers when she said Franklin and Trevor's names and three for the times they'd se Lester, fully captivating him. She noticed his silence. 'Thats in there too.' She added, sliding the file to him.
'Ive got to be going, anyway. I've got to head for the hills and then to Blaine County.'
'You're going to Trevor's?'
'Yeah, he lives in some trailer park according to Lester which will be fun.'
'And he's sending you?' He paused, wondering if the tone he had spoken made if sound as if he thought she was incapable. He decided that it must have because she frowned at him as she plodded from her stool. 'I mean, he's a bit, well, strange...'
She laughed. 'I know all about Trevor Phillips. And Franklin...' She assured him as she made her way back through the maze of cigarette cartons and glass bottles to the front door. 'I think I'll manage.' She teasingly hushed.
'I could drive you. It's not like I've got anything else to do, I mean.' He blurted as he opened the front door for her.
'Are you sure you can drive?' She chuckled, looking back at the last dregs of a bottle of whiskey at the foot of the stairs.
'Ahh,' He dismissed, waving a hand as he grabbed his car keys from a nearby side table. 'I'm as sober as a monk.' This made her memory flick back to something she had learnt in school about monks inventing beer. Or something like that. Or maybe that wasn't it at all. She couldn't remember.
Before she had a chance to decline his offer, she'd been pushed into the passenger side of Michael De Santa's car and was practically on the free way. There wasn't really much said between the pair apart from the occasional question about each of their links with Lester. She had taken his number after being told he was looking for someone to help him out. If only she knew then that helping out Lester would actually be playing assistant and helping him plan all sorts. Including the obvious. As they entered the Grand Sahora Desert, Michael hazily remembered the weeks he had spent out here with Trevor and Patricia Madrazo. They finally pulled into Sandy Shores. The sun was setting over the mountains and was reflecting on the Alamo Sea. She had never been this far north other than to see the views of Mount Chilliard when a friend was visiting her and she was practically dragged out of bed at sunrise to get there and back in one day.
As the car pulled up at the almost derelict shell of a trailer, the pair left the car and headed to the door. Michael walked over the patches of burnt grass and trod on the empty beer cans on his way, whilst Niamh walked around them. Three stern knocks on the flimsy metal door to Trevor's trailer were made. The sound of glass smashing and cursing could be heard through the walls.
'WHAT?!' The man yelled. Niamh had no doubt in her mind that this man, this man who's only piece of clothing was a woman's floral mini dress, this man who's hair couldn't have been cut (or combed, for that matter) in at least six months, this man that stood before her that stunk of beer and stale sweat, was in fact, Trevor Phillips.
'Nice to see you too, T. This is Niamh, she's working with us.' Michael announced as he walked though the door, without even the slightest look of surprise regarding his friends clothing choices or his aggressive greeting.
'Hi,' She laughed, revealing two rows of pristine white teeth. 'I just help Lester really, I hope you've got more beer.' She played, nudging his arm as she walked in. She followed Michael and sat on the stained, broken and trashy sofa that she didn't think twice before sitting on. Michael thought she sat on the dirty couch as if it were one in The Oval Office, not in the living room/dining room/bedroom/kitchen on Trevor Phillips' dirty trailer.
'She's better looking than Lester,' Trevor bleated as he walked over to the crate of beer on his dining room table. Popping off the cap on the table, handing her a beer and jumping up on the kitchen counter in one swift move. 'Can we keep her?' He childishly added, swigging back a gulp of cheap beer and looking at Michael who could only laugh.
'Here,' she laughed, handing Trevor the same file she had given Michael and would eventually give to Franklin. 'I would flick through it before you see Lester, but I wouldn't say it's too major a read.'
'Why thank you, Niamh.' Trevor suggestively purred, stroking her hand as he took the file. As soon as his rough skin met hers, she instantly recalled the scene in The Silence of the Lambs where Starling and Dr. Lector exchanged such contact when transferring a file between them. She mentally laughed at this and decided that from that moment on she would refer to Trevor as Hannibal. Only to herself though, maybe save his number as Hannibal Phillips. If only she knew how appropriate that was.
'What are you doing out here, Mikey? I thought you said-'
'I drove.' He bluntly interjected, walking between the two as they faced each other, taking another beer out of the crate.
'Well Niamh here looks capable of driving a car.' Niamh couldn't tell if Hannibal Phillips just liked saying her name for she hadn't ever had someone say her name so many times in one sitting.
'He was bored.' She added, taking a sip of her beer and looking over to the man who had just sat back down beside her.
'Well he would be,' Trevor paused as he swung his head around childishly. 'Since Mandy-pandy packed up her yoga bag and bailed on him.'
'Shut up, Trevor!'
'Well I think Niamh should know a bit more about our lives.'
'Well why don't we tell Niamh more about your life,' Michael began, raising himself from the couch and slamming his beer bottle down the kitchen counter. He stood on the dirty checked kitchen flooring as if it were a stage. 'Trevor here, is a Canadian psychopath who kills old ladies and animals-'
'And Michael here is a fat, selfish, cheating asshole who-' Trevor began jumping down from the kitchen counter and walking into Michael.
'I think I'd better go,' Niamh yelled. The two men were stood chest to chest like guerrillas that were about to fight out their dominance. As the guerrillas turned their furious red faces to look at her, they saw she was smiling a fake smile, probably an irritated one. 'Its late, you should probably go too Michael.' He liked the way she said his name. He stepped back. A deep glare between he and Trevor continued for little less than a minute and was ultimately broken by Niamh walking between them. She pulled out her phone as she walked through the door.
'Hey, can I have a cab please? I'm at Sandy Shores.' She paused, hoping that the response would be positive. 'Thanks.'
'You're getting a cab?' Michael asked. He knew full well that she had just ordered one because he could hear her through the paper thin walls of Trevor's trailer.
'Yeah, I'm gonna' stay up north tonight. It's kinda' late for me.'
'Oh right, cool...'
Michael debated whether or not to wait around for the taxi to arrive. After all, he knew Trevor, and he knew that Trevor could swagger on out of that shack on bricks and hit her over the head with a shovel and that would be the last of her. He decided he should wait.
'I guess I'll see you at Lester's...' She added as the taxi pulled up.
'Yeah, nice meeting you.'
'You too, thanks for the ride.'
'No problem.' Michael closed the door of the cab, securing her, successfully keeping her from Trevor and the shovel, he thought. He could feel hear his sanity shouting at him; he should have taken her number (even though she'll have his, but why would she call him? She wasn't going to call and offer to take him for a drink, was she?). He shouldn't have started a dirty, name-calling brawl with Trevor. She probably thought he was a pathetic, desperate old slob by now anyway.
She couldn't tell if she was sick or hungry. She debated asking the driver if there were any diners out here but she eventually thought better of it. She'd get something on her way back tomorrow morning. This welcomed to her thought process how exactly she'd get back tomorrow morning. She had $100 in her purse and the cab to would cost at least...
'Twenty-five dollars please.' The foreign cabby announced. Niamh took the notes from her purse and handed them to him with a smile and thanks.
The "rest stop" was exactly how she had imagined it. Dirty, littered with trash and broken glass, cheap, hopefully, she wished, thinking of the remaining seventy-five dollars in her bag, and just what she needed for one night. She walked in through a pair of glass doors that if her mother had seen she'd have got a bucket of water and cleaned them herself. Eventually, after haggling down the frankly "ridiculous" cost of exactly seventy-five dollars for the room to fifty, she slipped into the cheap sheets and closed her eyes.