Sitting in a small café along Venice Beach, Leon White had to smile at his luck for finding a place such as this. Unlike the desperate creatures he observed walking along Ocean Front Walk, he had not been disappointed when he arrived.
Relaxing in a pair of crumpled cotton pants, floral shirt and buckskin vest; most would have been surprised by his past. Originally from Chicago Leon had been a beat cop on the payroll of the Syndicate, which was the more polite name used by the mob. He’d happily accepted his first bribe a few weeks on the job, having hoped it would come when he joined the force. Unlike some of his fellow recruits at the academy, he knew that money brought power as much as a gun and a badge. So he figured he might as well have all three.
He’d straddled the line between good and evil for many years, before a storm of justice descended on his shady city. Finding himself under investigation, Leon had jumped at the first opportunity to escape that came his way. The skills he’d learned on the force and on the take had made him a dangerous man and had led directly to his new employment.
Soaking up the sun by the ocean, Leon felt as though things had turned out alright. He’d always tried to live in the moment, and right now the moment was very good indeed. Taking a sip of cold beer, he watched the arrival of a young girl on the boardwalk across from him.
Each day for the past two weeks she showed up around noon with a small beat up guitar. Today was no different as she shuffled over to a spot of grass and sat down, laying her wide brimmed hat out in front of her. Taking the guitar out of the case, she began strumming it and humming along to a nameless tune.
Without the hat, her long auburn hair seemed to glow in the autumn sun. A small braid ran across the top of her head and then ran down the side. Chuckling to himself, Leon thought he could even see the odd flower woven into the long braid.