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Courtney was already walking up to the front door and Ellie followed in tow. The door opened before they even got all the way up the front porch steps, Jim greeting them with a small smile.
“Hey, hey,” Courtney greeted, slipping in past him. “I brought you a present!”
His eyes fell upon Ellie and he grinned. Ellie responded in kind and moved forward to embrace him, hugging him tight. He only stood half a head taller than her, but his stocky form enveloped her almost entirely.
“Holy shit, El, it’s been forever,” he pulled back, regarding and taking in her appearance. “You look great.”
Her grin widened. “I know. You look… alright.” She looked him up and down slowly, nodding. He laughed deeply.
“That’s my girl! It’s great to see ya.” He stepped aside to give her more berth to enter. She took in her surroundings. The house was modestly decorated, a few paintings adorning walls. Otherwise, it was sparse, with an open living room dominated by a sectional couch. On the coffee table in front of it, the smoking implements immediately caught her eyes. Tupperware containers full of weed, and a multicolor bong – at least, she assumed it was. It didn’t look like glass. And another odd piece she couldn’t recognize, though this one was obviously glass.
She wandered over a little, the smell hitting her nose. A feeling of nostalgia washed over her. “What is that?” She asked, pointing to the bong.
“Oh! Silicone,” Jim said with a grin. “Wally hates glass. Can’t keep anything longer than a month before breaking it. So he got that and I gotta say, it’s pretty nice.”
“What a time to be alive,” Ellie murmured, shaking her head in disbelief. Her companions laughed, rounding the table to sit on the couch. She joined them eagerly. “I can’t believe you’re living with Wally… or that he’s even out of jail. Where is he?”
Jim rolled his eyes. “He owes his supplier so he’s getting cash right now.”
Ellie cast him a wary look, then looked at Courtney. “We’re gonna die from a drive-by,” she deadpanned. “Why are we smoking his pot if he hasn’t even paid for it?”
“Not our problem,” Jim shrugged. There was a drawer on the coffee table that he opened, fetching out a small circular container. He popped it open and plucked a long rod out of the drawer, then dug it inside, pulling out something that looked like wax.
He grinned and nodded towards the glass piece she hadn’t been able to identify. “Ever done a dab before?”
Her eyes widened. “…no?”
Courtney shook her head. “Ohhh, no! We’re not starting her with that. She’s been smoke free for years! Just give her some flower.”
Jim rolled his eyes. “Fiiiine. But she’s doing a dab before she leaves.” He set down the dab, resting the metal rod on the edge of the container. Then, he pulled forward the silicone bong and grabbed a grinder out of the drawer. Ellie watched as he chose a Tupperware containers and pulled out some nugs to grind.
“Wait, so what’s a dab?”
“Live resin, basically,” Jim said with a shrug. “Gets you really high really fast. You don’t need much.” He winked. “A dab’ll do ya.”
Her brows raised. He packed the bong with practiced ease and handed it to her. She took it gingerly in her hands, becoming more confident as she pulled it into her lap and felt how solid it was. He handed her a lighter and she took it, shifting back further on the couch to lean forward, placing her lips against the mouthpiece.
It felt surreal as she lit the herb and inhaled slowly, falling back on her limited past experiences to guide herself. She watched almost cross-eyed as the smoke built in the chamber and she pulled out the female piece, releasing the shotgun. She sucked in hard instinctively and immediately coughed up a massive cloud of smoke.
Jim took the bong from her as she coughed harder, face reddening. “Easy there,” he laughed.
She had a small coughing fit, hitting her chest with her fist. Eventually, she sucked in a clear breath and settled herself. Her head felt like it was full of cotton and it was relaxing. Jim passed the bong to Courtney, who promptly took her own hit.
“Shit,” Ellie rasped, laughing. “I’m glad I didn’t do the fucking dab.”
Jim laughed as well and Courtney, caught off guard, pulled back from her hit with a short cough that deteriorated into a fit as she fought to breathe and laugh at the same time.
“Seriously!” Ellie cried, leaning her weight more fully into the couch. She pulled her hair back from around her face, having quickly washed and detangled it before she’d left, and into a messy ponytail. She was so high. “I’m fucked up.”
Jim’s phone rang. He glanced at it and then stood. “One second, ladies,” he said as he excused himself to the kitchen to take the call. Courtney set the bong down on the table, having recovered from her own coughing fit, and cast her friend a big, lazy smile.
“Welcome bahis firmaları back, bitch,” she cackled and Ellie couldn’t help but laugh too. She felt heavy yet light. It had been so long since she’d smoked, and even then, she’d never really been a stoner. But being free now, itching to try things she’d wanted to try but been to scared to, made her want to indulge. She reached out.
Courtney raised her eyebrows. “Ohhh! She’s a real stoner now!” She snatched up the bong and held it back out to Ellie who took it with a hungry look in her eyes.
They sat for a few moments, shooting the shit, Ellie comfortably cushioned in a nice haze. When Jim returned, she looked over, smiling, only to find him not return the expression.
“Hey, so,” he started slowly. “Uh… so Wally’s supplier might come by.”
Her smile dropped but the playful high stayed. “Oh no,” she said dramatically. “At least I get to die doing what I love.”
He shot her an annoyed look and she barely bit back a snicker. “It’s fine,” he insisted. “Just, uh. Listen, he’s just kind of intense, okay? Apparently Wally owed him before now and he’s pissed off. So Wally just told me the supplier will probably get here before him. But it’s fine.”
“You saying it’s fine doesn’t make it fine. You know that, right? Do you know that, Jimmy?”
“God, you play too fucking much.” He rounded the sectional and sat down. “He probably won’t even show up.”
Courtney leaned forward to look past him at Ellie. “Surprise, bitch,” she said in a low voice. “This is where you fucking die.”
“I knew it.”
“No one’s gonna fucking die!” Jim seemed fully annoyed now. But the frustration belied an uncertainty that gave Ellie pause. He continued though. “It’s literally fine. Just- ugh, did y’all really cash this and not even repack it?!”
“That’s not how you treat guests,” Ellie chastised as she picked up the grinder. “Give it. It’ll be my last good deed in this world.”
“I fucking hate you,” he said, shaking his head, but a small smile tugged at the edges of his lips. “Fine, whatever, but you’re still doing a dab before you leave.”
The time passed easy. Another bong packed and cashed and Ellie was in heaven. Floating and thinking idly. As Courtney and Jim chatted about Courtney’s husband, Ellie allowed her mind to wander. Before, whenever she’d smoked, she’d uses to write poetry. Not very good poetry, but poetry all the same. Now she wanted to write something else, maybe finish that short story she’d been working on earlier…
A hard series knock at the door yanked her out of her reverie. She and Courtney fell silent as Jim looked over. His face was pale and seeing it made Ellie nervous.
He stood and walked over, peering through the peephole. He swore softly under his breath and glanced at them over his shoulder. “Chill,” he warned in a low voice and Ellie was pretty much panicking now, marijuana heightened paranoia creeping up her spine and through her guts.
Jim opened the door and a tall figure shoved past him into the house. A man, younger than she’d expected, likely in his early 30s. He was wearing mostly black; a black shirt and heavy black hoodie, dark jeans with maroon boots. His hair matched his clothing palette. Dark tresses fell around one side of his face in a slightly asymmetrical haircut that was cut shorter on one side. The cut framed a long, chiseled face and sharp jaw. He looked relatively normal, aside from a few extra body modifications; tattoos peaking out from under his jacket, a piercing through the bridge of his nose and stretched lobes. He towered over Jim, standing easily over 6’7. He was not as bulky as Jim though; his figure was lithe though she could see the musculature beneath his collarbones under his shirt. His eyes were especially striking, a bright hazel that complemented his caramel-dusted skin. They levelled upon Jim with a hardness that made the other, smaller man take another step back.
“Where’s Wally?” The man asked. His eyes moved from Jim over to them. Ellie tensed as he made eye contact with her briefly, lowering her gaze instinctively.
“He’s on the way back,” Jim answered quickly. “He’s getting cash.”
When Ellie chanced a look back up at him, she could see skepticism etched across the man’s sharp features. He started upon Jim who stepped back again. His hand moved, shifting and revealing a slip of the handle of a gun on his hip. “I’m getting real fucking sick of this shit.”
Despite the obvious anger and tension, his tone sounded almost amused. A mirroring amusement fell upon his face at Jim’s obvious fear. “I swear, Tom – just, listen, he’ll be here in a second. I’ll call him! Let’s just do some dabs, yeah?”
He stepped backwards, eyes still trained on Tom, an uneasy smile on his face. His hand waved over towards them. “These are my friends Courtney and El! They’re here to see Wally too.”
Again, he looked kaçak iddaa at them, but this time he focused on Ellie with a steady, unwavering gaze. She glanced away uncomfortably. Jim kept talking. “Ladies, this is Tom! You were sampling his wares earlier.”
“Hey,” Courtney waved weakly.
Ellie’s mouth was dry. She never should have come out here. “Hi,” she parrotted, then, without thinking: “Good product.”
She wanted to slap herself. When she was nervous, she made jokes and that didn’t always work out for her. Her eyes were now focused on the drugs on the table instead of him.
“Tch,” Tom snickered. She looked at him now, although only briefly, surprised. He walked over, settling himself in the arm chair that sat near the sectional couch, adjacent to her. His long legs stretched out well past the ottoman in front of it. “So Wally stood you up too?”
His tone was casual but nothing about the situation matched it. Ellie had been in some weird situations and had always been able to talk her way out before. This was a very different beast. Yet, her typical instincts took over before she could stop herself.
She shrugged and offered a tight smile. “This is why we can’t have nice things.”
Tom smiled at that and it was a weirdly endearing sight. His teeth were pearly white and straight, disrupted only by gold caps on his canines. “Tell me about it.” He nodded towards the table. “What’d ya come for?” Then, a fast and hard look at Jim. “Aren’t you supposed to be doing shit?”
Jim had been typing furiously on his phone only to put it away with a look of dismay. He stood motionless, only jumping a bit when Tom addressed him, and rushed to prepare the rig. “Sorry!” He yelped. Ellie pursed her lips as she watched him.
“So?” Tom pryed. She looked back at him to find his gaze resting intently on her face as though she was the only one in the room other than him. She resisted the urge to squirm.
“Just some flower,” she answered vaguely with a shrug. Then added, a little self-consciously: “I’m a newbie.”
“Oh, yeah?” Tom’s brows raised in interest, his grin wolfish. “To weed or everything?”
She nodded, face serious. “Yes.”
He laughed and the sound was warm despite how it left her gut feeling like she’d been stabbed. What the fuck was happening? The sound of the blow torch cut through as Jim heated the bowl of the rig. She watched, fascinated, never having seen the process before.
He lit the bottom of a glass chamber that she would have assumed would be for packing the weed into. He heated it until the bottom was glowing hot, then blew softly on it. He grabbed the container he’d been digging in before, extracting another dab with the metal rod. They watched silently until he was done and pushed it on the table towards Tom who shook his head.
“Ladies first,” he said, waving towards her dramatically. She blinked at him and then at it. “You’ll be fine,” he assured her.
Her lips pinched in tight, brows furrowing as she looked down at the glass before her. She carefully reached out and took it in both hands, bringing it towards her face. Jim hesitated in bringing the dab towards her, only to have Tom leave his seat and lean forward, taking the rod from him.
“You’ve smoked a bong, right?” Tom asked. Ellie nodded, placing her mouth onto the piece. She could feel Jim and Courtney staring at the side of her face. “Just do that. I’ll tell you when to breathe in harder, okay?”
His voice was surprisingly gentle. She nodded again as he dipped the dab into the bowl and against the glass. She breathed in slowly, again watching cross-eyed as the chamber filled with smoke. “Keep going,” he murmured, and she obeyed.
He pulled back the rod and capped the bowl with another piece on the table. “Breath in harder for me.” Again, she did as she was told, closing her eyes tightly. “Aaaand you’re done!”
She pulled away, face scrunched, and opened her mouth to release the smoke from her lungs. Immediately, she felt light headed and then hot as she started coughing hard, pressing her fist against her mouth.
“Good girl,” Tom praised with a smirk and a nod. She was already flushed and warm, but him saying that made her even hotter and she definitely had to get the fuck out here somehow. “Took it like a champ.”
She coughed a bit more as Tom pushed the rig back towards Jim, nodding at Courtney to indicate she was next in the rotation. Sucking in a breath, she cleared her throat and let the breath out slow, steadying herself. And shit, she’d never been so high in her entire life.
Her anxiety was still there. She was in a new place, with a new and dangerous person, and on the verge of being uncomfortably high. But her limbs also felt heavy, she felt comfortable and warm, settling into her seat on the chair. Tom had also gotten back into his seat, watching her with an amused look.
“You okay?” He asked with a laugh kaçak bahis in his voice. She laughed a little herself and nodded, looking over at him through lidded eyes. She gave him an “ok” symbol with her fingers and his grin widened.
Jim’s phone rang and she hurriedly answered it as Courtney hit the rig. “Dude, where are you?” He asked loudly, then groaned out a breath and closed his eyes. “Okay, well get in here now, cause like—”
“Is he outside?” Tom asked, rising up. Jim looked up at him with wide eyes and nodded. The drug lord hurried over to the door in a few long strides, opening it and rushing out. In his absence, they sat in silence for a few moments.
“What the fuck?” Courtney exclaimed finally, breaking the silence. “El, what the fuck—”
“I don’t even know,” Ellie blurted out. “I don’t know, I get nervous and I just make jokes and I don’t know—”
“It’s fine,” Jim cut in. “Wally has his shit, so he’ll get it and go. Just don’t say anything if he comes back in, okay?”
Ellie was nodding before she even registered it. She needed to get out of here. This was a situation from something she’d write, not something she actually wanted to experience. She didn’t want to be in the same room as a drug dealing psychopath with a gun, no matter how good of a premise it might be for a story. A yell caught her attention, and theirs. People shouting outside. Her heart pounded in her chest.
A few moments passed. They said nothing. More passed and then footsteps could be heard on the other side of the door — more than one set. Ellie released a terrified breath as the door opened, revealing Wally, looking shaken but otherwise fine, and Tom behind him, looking a little annoyed.
Wally flashed them an obviously fake smile. “H-hey, ladies, sorry for the hold up. Let me get you guys all packed up and good to go.”
Tom cut past him towards the hallway and walked down it towards Wally’s bedroom. Wally followed, the literal personification of a dog with a tail between its legs. They watched him go, still silent. ‘Almost over,’ she thought.
She looked at Courtney who met her gaze with a wide eyed one of her own and a small shake of her head. Obviously, they were on the same page. They could hear Tom and Wally talking in the bedroom in low voices for a few moments longer before the men left the room and came back into the living room. Tom held a small, black makeup bag in his hand which he set down on the table in front of them — specifically, in front of Ellie.
Ellie stared. Her eyes felt so dry yet she couldn’t bring herself to blink. She looked between it and him a couple of times.
“Sorry we held up your night,” Tom apologized. He nodded towards the bag then towards Tim. “Here’s some party favors. I told him to leave my number with you, so if you need anything else, you can just come to the source.” She felt like he was leering at her but she wasn’t sure if he was or if she was just really high. He focused on Wally again, brow arched. “I’ll see you next week,” he said flatly, turning to head towards the door. He opened it and was off.
Ellie slammed her face into her hands and bit back a scream. “What the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck?” She rambled, shaking her head.
“I’m so sorry!” Wally walked towards them, rubbing at the back of his neck. “I wasn’t even expecting to see him tonight, I thought I owed him later this week—”
“Boy, you need to stop smoking!” Courtney cried, standing and slapping at his arm. “He had a fucking gun! He could have killed you!” She shifted her attention to Ellie, expression caught somewhere between confused and frustrated. “Girl, what the hell? What did he give you?”
“A quarter of bud, two hits of molly, a strip of acid, and an eighth of shrooms,” Wally said. He was also looking at Ellie now. He seemed almost afraid. “What the fuck did you say to him, El?”
“What did he say to you?” She was standing now also, pointing at him. “Why did he give me this?”
“I don’t know! He said I was fucking rude for keeping you waiting or something and told me to put all that shit together. What did you say?”
“I just shot the shit!” She was on the verge of panicking. Still, there was a weight in her brain, a slowness in her body. “I need to get out of here, can we please go?”
Courtney was already grabbing her things. She pointed to the bag. “Grab your shit,” she said, then shoved off Wally’s hand on her arm. “Y’all are doing way too much. We’re out.” Then, she looked at Jim. “Don’t give him her number. Just keep his.”
They were out and in Courtney’s car in record time. Ellie had worried momentarily that Tom would still be out there waiting for them, but she didn’t see him or any sign of a car. Once she’d settled into the passenger seat and buckled her seat belt, she could finally push her fingers against her eyes when the burn of tears began.
“I’m so sorry,” Courtney said softly, touching her shoulder. She’d gotten into the drivers seat and locked the car, her attention now trained on Ellie, expression sympathetic. “I had no idea anything like that would happen. I’m so sorry, I know that’s not your scene.”
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