While Butch and MIllicent went over her part in the job, which poison she thought would work most effectively, how it would be best administered, and how to distract the mark, Pauley sat on the bed where she started this nightmare.
The dress, fitted tight around her hips and thighs, made it difficult to get comfortable. Her makeup, something she never wore, started to itch, and the updo MIllicent crafted was giving her a headache. Pauley pulled the pins loose, trying to ease the migraine, undoing all of Millicent’s meticulous styling.
Watching Butch lean into his conversation with Millicent, the way he laughed when she touched his arm, was giving her heartburn. Pauley didn’t trust the chemist, and she’d be damned if she let the bitch poison her relationship with Butch.
She’d have to play second on this hit, and it galled her. She didn’t work with partners, something she learned from her dad. One less person to screw up the job and one less person who could squeal if caught.
Lost in thoughts of using Millicent’s head as target practice, playing the scene over and over in her head, imagining how different caliber ammo would impact her skull, Pauley realized Butch and Millie had stopped talking and were both staring at her.
“What?!” Pauley hoped she hadn’t unconsciously said anything aloud during her daydream.
“Millicent had a great idea,” Butch touched Millicent’s arm, and Pauley flinched. “Since you are already dolled up, she thought it would be a good chance for a little recon.”
Smiling at Butch, and making no move to extract her arm from his grasp, Millicent turned her attention to Pauley.
“I want to see how you interact with strangers, if you can be a convincing coquette. That means…”
Pauley slid off the bed with little grace, and in two steps was standing in front of Millicent, blocking any exit from her chair.
“Gawddamit! I’m not stupid.” Pauley shook with anger. “I even read books without pictures.”
“Whoa, Pauley,” Butch stood and put his arm around Pauley’s shoulder drawing her away from Millicent. “I don’t need the two of you to knock each other off before you make this hit. I’m calling a truce and you both need to abide by it.”
“You’re not the only one with a college degree!” A struggling Pauley yelled over Butch’s shoulder as he pushed her away.
“That’s enough, this ain’t gonna turn into some sort of cat fight,” he grabbed Pauley’s shoulders and made her sit on the bed.
Keeping one hand on Pauley, Butch turned to MIllicent.
“You would do good to listen to what Pauley can teach you about a clean hit. It’s not just opportunity and luck. A lot of finesse goes into it too.”
Millicent held up both hands in mock surrender, “You’re the boss.”
“Damn straight, I am. Now, come over here and fix Pauley’s hair and makeup. You two are hitting the town.”
Together with Lance’s “All the Plans,” these are the next installments in the “Dead Money” series. For previous chapters and background on Millicent and Pauley, check out Pauley: Dead Money in the nav bar.