Desperate Times Introduction

Curtis stood outside the door of the bar. “I know,” he sighed, pulling the phone away from his ear so she wouldn’t hear his heavy sigh. “I’m doing the best I can, Lise.” He paused as he listened to her rant. She was angry, but more than that she was worried.

“We needed that money, Curtis. The insurance won’t pay for these treatments and he needs them now. You promised me that Jack Abbott was the answer. You swore that you could keep your job at Newman and get this money from Jack. I was counting on you. Luke was counting on you…and now you go and get caught. Not only is Jack finished with you, but you’ve lost your job too?! What the hell am I supposed to do?”

“You don’t think I’m worried?! Dammit, Lise! I was doing this for you…for Luke. I did everything I knew how to do. Just give me some time…I’ll figure this out.”

“That’s what you said the last time. Luke doesn’t have time. He gets sicker every day. If we don’t get him those treatments…and soon, he’s….”

He heard the break in her voice. He recognized the desperation. They had both been hanging on to this thin thread of hope for months–ever since their little boy had been given that terrible diagnosis. To help his son, he would have done anything, taken any risk, made any deal, with Jack, with Victor, with the devil himself.

“I’ll fix this,” he promised. “Please, just give me a little while. I promise I’ll fix it. Lise? Lise?” She was gone.

He opened the door to the bar, stepping inside and walking up to the counter. He locked eyes with the guy at the other end, a slight nod confirming his identity. The man rose, taking a seat beside him, reaching into his coat and passing him a paper bag. Curtis glanced inside, checking the silver barrel before passing a thin, manila envelope to him. Then he was gone. Curtis sat quietly for a minute. The weight of the bag in his pocket nothing in comparison to the weighted worries on his mind.

He had made mistakes. He had let his wife down. He had let his son down. Lise blamed him and he couldn’t blame her. He only blamed one person and that was the one that got him caught–the one that got both of them caught…and that was Phyllis Abbott.

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