Sam doesn't like the idea of his new waitress becoming a dancer, and he especially doesn't like the idea of his dancer, Becky, trying to wait tables. Nonetheless, Sam lacks the power to outright deny the demands of Knuckles.
Sam was washing glasses, trying to keep up with the busy night, when Knuckles left his table and came to the bar, leaning over it and motioning him close."Who's the new girl?""That's Paulina, our new waitress," Sam said. "Why, did you have a problem with her?""No," Knuckles snorted. "No problem at all. In fact, I'd like to see more of her.""What do you mean?" Sam knew exactly what he meant, and he didn't like it one bit."I mean, can she dance?""I didn't hire to dance," Sam said. "I need a good waitress, and she's the best I've had in here in a long time.""Why don't you take that stick, Becky, and put her on the floor taking orders, and put Paulina on the stage." Knuckles gestured toward Paulina, making a sweeping motion toward the stage. "That woman's got some meat on her bones." Knuckles chuckled, and his goons joined in, laughing in unison.It was like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon, or an old-time gangster movie. Maybe that's where Knuckles and his gang got their playbook. Sam looked at Paulina as she worked her way from one table to the next. She moved with fluidity, as if she'd been doing this for years, but he doubted she could dance. He looked over to the dance floor. Becky was throwing herself into the pole, spinning around it and sinking slowly to the floor in the splits. She could dance, but she was no waitress. He'd lose business with Paulina on the stage. It'd be even worse with Becky on the floor. He grabbed a tumbler and shoved it over the bristles of the brush, stalling for time, hoping that Knuckles would suddenly burst out in laughter again, and tell him he was just kidding."Hey, I'm talking to you." Knuckles reached across the counter and poked at him, before squeezing a handful of his shirt into his hand.He wasn't laughing."She's not a dancer," Sam said. "She's a good waitress, the best I've had in here in awhile, and it's only her second day." Besides, what would I do with Becky?""Becky's none of my concern," Knuckles poked his finger into Sam's chest. "You tell Paulina she's gonna dance, and me and my boys here will tip her well if she does.""What if she doesn't want to dance?" Sam already knew what Knuckles was going to say, but it didn't hurt to ask."If she won't dance, you'll fire her. If you don't fire her, I'll have your bar fired, if you know what I mean." Knuckles made a wide sweeping gesture with his arms. "Can you imagine this entire place reduced to ashes? What would you do then?""I'll do what I can." Sam stopped washing glasses, grabbing a towel instead, and squeezing it till his fingers hurt."You'll get her to dance, or I'll become very upset," he said as one of his goons flicked a lighter, bringing it to flame. "And I think you know, bad things happen when someone makes me upset."Knuckles turned, and walked out of the bar, his entourage following behind him. Sam squeezed his towel again as Knuckles passed the table where Joe Johnson sat, and Joe looked up at him. But Knuckles paid him no attention, either not seeing him, or not recognizing the bounty hunter.
Hope you enjoyed this scene. As always, comments and critiques are welcome. You may have noticed my diminished posting as of late. Please bear with me as I enter the final stretch in completing the draft for this story.