The Last Word - part 4 (Early Morning before takeoff)

“Kid I don’t blame you for shit. There is no grudge between us. Don’t mistake responsibility with anger and blame. Those are not the same things.” Vas clarified keeping his voice cool. “I'm trying to show you they’re consequences, that you pay and not just you. Your crew too. You think ir’s fair Marisol’s fuck up is going to get me chewout by Riley? Or when of one of you mess up I’m the one that takes the blame. It’s my responsibility. Your failing is my failing. I know I’m being hard on you, I don’t know any other way to be.” Vas tried to explain. “I’m hard because you have a sister and I wish I had someone that gave a damn about me. So yea I’m hard on you because you no idea what you have till it goes sideways and then believe me you will be blaming yourself the one time something did happen and you weren't there.” He said trying to keep to much sympathy from creeping in his voice.

“I love my sister.” Gill spoke carefully trying not to let his anger spark again but also daring Vas to suggest otherwise, “I took care of her before we came on board and I take care of her now, but you’ve met her. I’m just fifteen and she… is not your average nine year old. I do my best. I warned her off Marisol, I warn her off everything every day but she’s… slippery.” he could not help but chuckle and stopped short expecting Vas to grow angry. He spoke quickly then to cover his amusement. For all his frustration with his sister she was pretty much his gorram hero. She was so strong and willful and that temper of hers. He often pitied to the fool that ended up marrying her… he shook his head. “I do my best Vas I truly do and I know this shit has consequences but those consequences have limits as well. You should speak to Mr Bolak, if you don't want him watching Haddie after that I’ll do as told, but honestly she seems to have taken a shine to him and it's a relief to have someone offer to help. I suppose that's why I agreed, just gorram relief and a chance to go out and not worry. You should speak to him is all.” Gill lowered his eyes then, his temper finally simmered down and a good helping of guilt was beginning to well up inside him.

“We are grateful Vas.” he breathed quietly, “To be here and for the trouble people have gone to. We’re happy here. It’s the closest thing we have to family.”

“I get it, I do … I been where you are, I was so much younger than you and … it was such a bad situation. I didn’t have the benefit of a crew. There wasn’t anyone watching out for me and my own. I don’t want that for you. Look if Mr. Bolak don’t complain to Riley, it's fine, she's your sister you have final say. Don’t forget you have a crew to help you but you need to ask for it.” He reminded. “Oh yea one last thing … we got work to do so we’ll talk about this …” Vas said taking a coin out of his pocket. “ … later.” He said passing the Roost coin that had fallen out of Gill's pocket last night. “For the record I don’t think you're ready for thug life.” That sounded dangerously like a joke. “Just my personal opinion. Off with you we got work to do.”

Gills eyes grew wide and his face ashen as he took the coin and quickly put it away. A very small part his his testosterone addled mind rallied at the accusation of not being “thug material” until the larger more sensible part of his brain considered that this was probably on balance a compliment and he scarpered before the chief could change his mind and have that particular chat right here and now.

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