Jul. 15th, 2005

milliways_sawyer: (Arrogant smile)
This isn't his world, so this isn't the Karnes he knew... but he's similar enough to the lowlife from Sawyer's world to make it work. He's still a junkie who can't remember half the time if he actually knows you or not. He still wears those ugly-ass polyester suits ("They're vintage, man!") anytime he's out making a deal.

And, he still manages to be a man with connections, and Sawyer needs seed money for this con to work.

It's for that very important last reason that Sawyer is sitting in this bar that has the audacity to have the words "Best Food In Louisiana" blazing in neon outside. It's for that significant last reason that he's ignoring the combined odors of stale beer, cigarette smoke, and more bodily fluids than he cares to think about. It's for that oh-so-crucial last reason that he's stifling any comments about the equally nauseating bright orange shirt the other man is wearing with that baby blue suit.

Because he needs that folded slip of paper Karnes is sliding across the table to him. The paper with the name of a man who might be willing to fund the con.

Sawyer flips the note open with his thumb and reads the name and phone number printed there.

A nod, and he stands to go. He can't wait to get out of this dive that smells just as strongly of piss as it does of beer. Just a couple more weeks and a little luck, and he'll never have to walk into one of these places again.
milliways_sawyer: (Cool)
Sang Rouge Winery sits on one of the less-traveled streets of New Orleans. Pretty much the only people who know it exists are real wine enthusiasts... and folks who are more concerned with the business that takes place in the office upstairs. It's into that office that Sawyer walks now.

Adrien Durand sits behind a dark cherry desk in a high-backed chair. The desk is too neat, too orderly, to have ever been used for actual work. Sawyer suspects he just has it for effect.

One of Durand's men, a bald gorilla with the word Verde tattooed at the base of his neck, walks over to give Sawyer his second pat down in the last five minutes. It's not like he had a gun to bring even if he'd wanted to; Jaina hadn't given back the one she borrowed yet.

Grunting as if he was slightly annoyed at not finding anything, Mr. Tattoo steps back over to stand by his boss's right hand, and Durand gestures for Sawyer to sit in the small chair in front of his desk. "I understand you have a business proposition for me..."

Forty minutes later, he walks out of the winery with a briefcase containing a quarter of a million dollars. Sawyer knows he could just skip town with Durand's money (and the 20% cut of the con that he'd demanded), just run back to the bar and hide out, and there'd be nothing the Frenchman could do about it despite all his threats. But, if Claire was wanting to come back here to live anytime soon, it wouldn't be smart to go making enemies.

Anyway, the hard part was done. He had the seed money.

Now, it was time for the fun part.
milliways_sawyer: (Dressed up)
Sawyer sits at the bar watching the men and women around him chat. The party is invitation-only, but he'd managed to find a way in. He always does.

The bartender is a chatty old fellow who apparently has worked these parties for years. "That guy over there, he's Theodore Millens. He made millions selling candy, of all things. And those two, they're the O'Keefes. They're loaded..."

Sawyer chuckles. Virtually everyone here was "loaded". That's why he was here. To do this right, to set Claire and himself up for good, he needed a mark with some serious money. He was going to have to be more careful this time around. The richer the mark, the more likely they'll be to get the police to investigate. The best thing would be to find a woman who had independent access to the money (something few of these men would allow) and just keep the husband out of it. Fear of people judging her "affair" would keep her from taking too much action once the deal was done.

He scans the room while the bartender chatters on until his eyes rest on his prey -- a tall blond scowling at a group of men across the room, one of whom is undoubtedly her neglectful husband. She's just old enough not to be the belle of the ball anymore, young enough to still be vain about her looks. Perfect.

Sawyer grabs his whiskey and walks over to her table. "Evenin', sweetheart."
milliways_sawyer: (Dressed up)
Sawyer sits in the restaurant waiting for her to arrive. This is their fifth dinner date in the past three weeks, and Evelyn is ready to run away and marry him.

Which means it's time to set the hook.

He smiles and stands as he sees her approach the table. As he walks around to pull out the chair for you, he says, "I was starting to wonder if you was gonna stand me up, sweetheart."

She giggles (an annoyingly high-pitched giggle) and replies, "I had to wait for John to leave. He's meeting some friends for a drink."

"And he didn't mind you not going?"

Her face darkens a little. "He never minds. He's probably meeting his whore there. I bet they're --" She breaks off and smiles as she finally notices the briefcase he's set beside him. "Never mind. It's not important. Soon, you and I will be far from here, far from John and his little plaything."

Sawyer smiles reassuringly. "You bet we will, honey. Sipping mai tais on our own little island paradise."

Her eyes slide over to the briefcase again. "What's that?"

"This," he says as he taps the case, "is how we're going to afford that island paradise."

He breaks into the spiel he knows so well, tells her about the imaginary oil mining operation in the Gulf of Mexico, the government-sponsored fund that kicks in and triples your money in two weeks. This is their chance, he tells her.

She sits quietly for a couple of minutes, and Sawyer starts to worry that maybe the past month's worth of work is about to get up and walk away. Then, "How much do you have there?"

"Two hundred and fifty thousand. It's all I could scrounge up."

She smiles at him. "What if I could get you more?"

Bingo.
milliways_sawyer: (Beautiful Fucked-Up Men)
Sawyer walks into the office flanked by two of Durand's men. In his hand is the briefcase he'd left with, returning twice as heavy. He sets it on the desk and smiles. "There you go, chief. A little over five hundred grand."

Durand pops the locks on the briefcase and inspects the contents. "Good. Very good."

Sawyer nods silently for a moment, then says, "Well, I reckon that's it. I'll find my own way out." He turns to walk out, anxious to get back to Claire. It had been a long month.

Durand calls out behind him. "Not so fast. I've changed my mind."

He stops and speaks without turning around. "Twenty percent was the deal. That's what you got."

"Yes, but I've decided I want the rest of it, too."

"Fuck you."

Before he can do anything else, Sawyer feels a searing pain in his thigh as one of Durand's men shoots him in the leg. He cries out and drops to the ground.

"You will tell me where the rest of the money is," Durand says as he steps around from behind his desk,.

"You kill me, and you won't know where I hid it," Sawyer spits.

"Oh, we won't kill you. Yet."

***

He sits in the same small chair he had the first time he visited this office. This time, though, he is tied there.

And the fingers on his left hand are broken.

As are his jaw and probably a couple of ribs.

His left eye is swelled shut, and the bullet wound in his right thigh is leaking blood all over the floor.

Mr. Tattoo is standing over him wielding a ball-peen hammer. "Let's try this one more time, trailer trash. Where's the money?"

Sawyer just shakes his head. He'd given up on trying to speak.

"That's a shame," his tormentor sighs. "Hope you won't be needing those big toes."

About that time, the office door opens, and another of Durand's men walks in with a large gym bag. "Look what I found outside, boss." Sawyer's heart sinks.

They found the money.

Durand laughs. "You hid it outside the front door of my store?!?" The truth is, Sawyer hadn't had time to hide it somewhere safe. He was planning on squaring up with Durand and heading immediately back to the bar.

"So, we don't need him alive no more, right, boss?"

"No. But don't kill him," he says to the thug who had been drawing his gun. "I got a better idea. Cleaner. Load him into one of the trucks."

***

Sawyer tries to brace himself as the delivery truck comes to a halt, but he isn't quite up to the effort and clenches his teeth in pain as he tumbles onto his side. A couple of seconds later, the side door opens, and Durand steps in with his man.

"Since I'm a nice guy, I'm giving you a chance. It isn't much of a chance, but it's better than a bullet to the skull. See, the way I hear it, there's all kinds of nasty folks that live around here. People disappear, and nobody asks any questions. Maybe that'll be you."

Mr. Tattoo grabs Sawyer and tosses him unceremoniously out onto the sidewalk, and the tires squeal as the truck pulls away.

Trying his best not to pass out from the pain and blood loss, it takes Sawyer a few minutes to realize where they left him.

Rue Royale. A few yards away from Richard and Amadeo's home.

Despite the jaw, Sawyer laughs.

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James "Sawyer" Ford

February 2006

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