On Labor Day Wade was sitting in a restaurant eating breakfast when, without invitation, a gentleman just took it upon himself to sit at his table. He was immediately furious until he looked up at the man and realized it was Christopher Gregory who had been released from prison a couple months ago. Christopher did not waste time with nice conversation, “Mr. Wade Martin. How’s life been treating you?” “I saw you walk in, why are you walking with a limp,” he sneered? “I heard you had a little accident,” he said very sarcastically. Chris continued, “I did not appreciate being set up and thrown under the bus just so you could save your own skin. I heard your daddy sent you off to rehab. I wonder if that was to get you off drugs or to get you out of the way for a while. I’m sure he needed a break from you,” he laughed. Wade glared at Chris but he didn’t say anything. Chris continued. “You know, it’s ironic that even while in jail, I maintained my business and you, Mr. Martin, couldn’t hold down a job; even your little brother fired you.” “You wanna know what else is ironic, you have a $10,000 drug debt and a $100,000 gambling loan debt and no clue as to how you will pay it back.” Wade sat up in his chair as Chris leaned back in his. Chris had a very ominous smile as he watched the smirk on Wade’s face fade as he was becoming visibly distressed. When Wade regained his composure he asked Chris, “How do you know who I owe what to.” He took a breath because ‘the voices’ were screaming and telling him “just hit him in the face! “ Wade said in as calm a voice as he could muster, “And why is any of my business your concern, Mr. Gregory?” Wade was struggling to keep his voice low, but he was livid and the ‘voices’ were screaming. Wade scoffed, “Why are you still disturbing my breakfast?” Chris leaned close, placing on the table not only the IOUs Wade signed for drugs but also the IOUs he signed for the gambling loan debts. He laid those papers down so smooth you’d have thought he had a hand full of spades and was about to clean the table. Chris leaned a little closer with his fingers stroking his nicely low-cut beard, and said, “What you didn’t know, Mr. Martin, is that you were buying drugs from me.” Squinting just a little Chris continued, “I made it possible for you to get all the drugs you wanted. I bought your gambling loan from my good friend, Mario. I told him not to get his hands dirty trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip. I told him I know just how to handle you, don’t I Mr. Martin.” Chris set there for a moment and watched Wade squirm a little more. “You see, Mario’s plan was to hurt your family, but you and I both know that you could care less about your family, isn’t that right?”
Chris explained how he ran a successful drug and other commodities import and export business from prison. He was the self-proclaimed “Godfather” of Beaufort. “I watched as you dug yourself deeper and deeper into a hole, robbing Peter to pay Paul.” “I knew you were a junkie and a gambler.” “I knew you threw me under the bus to take the rap for the drug bust, and I know that you thought you’d seen the last of Christopher Gregory.” Again, Chris sat back in his chair.” After a moment Chris pulled his chair close to the table. “Remember your “little” incident in the alley those years ago. It should have been a warning to you. I see it wasn’t. You think you are smart and can handle your mess.” “I made sure you bought drugs from my dealers. I allowed you to get deeper and deeper into debt until I had you right where I wanted you.” Chris looked around the room then looked at Wade, shaking his head, “the reason you are so pitiful is that you never understood that there were smarter wolves in the pack than you.”
“I’ll be in touch after the holiday. I have a proposition, Wade, that I think you will not dare refuse.” Wade said nothing. Chris stood and held out his hand to shake because there is an honor, even among thieves. Wade wasn’t feeling honorable. Chris laughed and walked out of the restaurant.