Members of the gang quickly filed out at the sound of my gang name, but two- my brother, and Niall took their time, eyes locked on my mine as they exited the room and shut the door behind them. I pulled out a chair, and sat down, becoming more intimated by the second as I felt his gaze on me. "You doin' good?"
My fingers drummed over my thigh, a nervous tick that I had never outgrown. "Never better, and you- Malik?" I quickly added. Whether I liked him or not, respect was something I always showed.
"Good, good." He nodded, a vague smirk on his face as he looked down, focusing more on the dirt underneath his fingernails; an action that showed I was nothing more than scum to him. "Let's get to the point, eh? Have you been watching the news?"
Watching the news? That would require actually having a working television set, and although when put together Zayn and I had a fair amount of money- It was never used for material things. Essential only, our phones were an exception considering we needed to be within reach at all times. "No."
Yaser looked up, and chuckled as he shook his head. "That was a stupid question- You obviously have more important things to do than sitting around watching a flickering box. A better question," he paused, and set his hands down on the table as he leaned forward. "..Have you been listening to the streets?"
An eyebrow involuntarily rose as my fingers ceased their drumming, and I narrowed my eyes. He was intrigued, meaning that there was something big going on. "In order for me to listen- Someone has to be talking." I edged him on carefully.
This was a game to him, hence why the back and forth was in code. In a game, in order to win Yaser felt as though you must have leverage. He had the same feelings about life, gang dealings included. He'd always stay ahead if all he ever knew was never revealed- Don't ever expect him to reveal his knowledge nor his source. "And they are, on more of a global scale though. I'm sure you're familiar with Anne Cox?"
"Of course." I nodded curtly. Anne cox was the CEO of the leading business organization in the UK, VirtueTechnicals- The business focused on the advancement of technology using green energy. "Why are people talking about a CEO?"
"That woman alone brought home a salary of over one million pounds last year, and as a whole 2.3 billion." Yaser said and reached down, opening the drawer on the left side of the table. "The project they're working on is substantial and all, but let's remember that this company has only been running three years. Within those three years, she's shown progression that other companies haven't achieved in three decades."
"So what I'm hearing is that there's something fishy going on behind the scenes- A scandal?"
"Maybe, and I think I might know what." Yaser set a stack of labelled files on the table, and pushed them to me. "Look over them."
I reached for the nearest file, and when I opened it I could tell he had been over the papers already by the highlighted sections. As I skimmed I noticed that what I was reading was mostly just interviews, and comments that bashed the woman's success. "I don't know what I'm looking for."
"I felt the exact same way. I thought it was just trash until I came across a comment- It's the one highlighted in blue." Yaser told me and I looked down before reading it aloud.
"With a steady fence I was able to build my company. What's that gotta do with anything?"
"Read between the lines. You aren't like other people, you're from the streets- You know the slang. Now, tell me what's a fence."
A moment passed before I answered. "The middle man."
Yaser nodded. "A fence is the middle man between the buyer and the seller in the black market."
"So what you're suggesting is that her raw success story is because of her involvement within the black market." I asked, looking for clarification.
"That's exactly what I'm suggesting, and if I'm right then we have a problem. Her budding achievements are getting to the point where they'll exceed the amount the market is even worth."
"Meaning that she will ultimately gain control of the largest underground economic system in the world, and I can't let that happen." Yaser took the files, and began putting them back in the drawer. "Technically, we have the most influence in the UK with so many separate sections around belonging to the gang, but if she gets farther ahead than she already is, our connections will probably be cut off."
"I don't understand what this has to do with me- Not meaning to be disrespectful."
"We need to shut this down- All of it, but before we can do that," he set down a photo of a young boy around my age. "We need him."
"Who is he?"
"Anne Cox's son, Marcel Styles, and in order to get to her, you're gonna have to use him."