Chapter 23

Alex liked getting her hair done, normally. It was the one girly thing she really liked. Manicures and pedicures were a no go. Shopping was tiring and frustrating. Brunch was baffling and made her hungry. She stuck to a once every three months hair styling. 

Her favorite part was getting her hair washed and the accompanying massage and Maya was good at that. She leant over the bathroom while Maya rubbed the strange days cares away.

“You feeling better?” Maya asked after drying her hair and setting to work on the dye. 

“Only a little.” Alex shrugged. “It’s a lot to have dropped on your lap.”

“If it’s any consolation,” Maya was mixing the dye. “You were a really good soldier and it seemed to suit you. You were good at your job. Until you got shot and they made you crazy.”

“It’s…” Alex paused. She wasn’t sure it was, yet. It was good to know. But not necessarily comforting in any way.

“It’s good to know.” She settled. “Also good to know that it’s not just IJS messing with my brain and Leo getting in on a joke.”

“You don’t really think she would do that?” Maya frowned. “Just for a joke? She hates all things government. She wouldn’t actually side with her arch enemy just to make a joke.”

Alex almost nodded and then didn’t. The presence of ammonia ridden pigment would make anyone pause in moving their head.

“What color are you making my hair?” Alex tried to change the subject. Maya held up the box in reply. Alex’s brown hair be turned into red. She was going to match Leo.

“But Leo…”

“Leo is getting a hair cut and she’s going to black.”

“And you?” Alex stared at the dark haired girl. 

“I’m gonna bleach it out blonde. May take a while, I might have to use a wig for a bit.”

They sat in silence for a few moments, Maya brushing the dye into Alex’s roots.

“Are you guys actually weapon’s runners?” Alex finally broke the silence.

“Yep.” Maya nodded.

“And you actually sell to the Russian Mob?” Alex gaped.

“Yep.” Maya nodded again. “They’re sweet guys. Even brought cupcakes for my birthday, to apologize for bringing us out on a special night.”

“Oh.” Alex was still trying to process the weapons running. Much less the Russian Mob bringing cupcakes. “That was nice of them.”

“It was.” Maya nodded.

“But what do they do with the weapons?” Alex asked.

“We don’t ask. We don’t try to associate certain news stories. We don’t think about it. They are a means to an end. I.E.: supplying the rebellion.”

“And there really is a rebellion in the underground?”

“Yep. The leader is bad ass. I like her. She’s a good friend of Leo’s.”

“This is so weird.”

“I know.” Maya bound up the top layer of Alex’s hair in a clip and moved on to a new layer. “It’s weird to me, too. And it was my idea.”

“You got into the weapon’s game?”

“Yep. We needed money and the weapons came across my radar. I found buyers. And we made enough money to get groceries and some more weapons. We kept going, met Sam, and we grew. We even went to Israel.”

“I heard about that.” Alex said. “While we were all talking. Sounds legendary.”

“Oh.” Maya grinned. “It was. And traumatizing. But we couldn’t have bought better advertising.”

Zoe FleischerComment