“Don’t say it. Don’t you dare say it,” Said Graft as he backed away slowly from Nikita.
Nikita didn’t know what Graft was talking about. They were standing outside Pete’s Diner which was on the ground floor of the Magnus Building. Their bosses were talking business inside — something about managing the bay area business, now that Rubin was in the slammer for three lifetimes. Nikita and Graft had been tasked with keeping an eye out for cop cars. She thought she had spotted a rather suspicious-looking blonde man staring at them from a second floor window from across the street when out of nowhere, Graft had tried to kiss her.
She had pushed him away awkwardly when she realised he was not trying to kill her. Then she considered the possibility that he may actually have been trying to kill her. Then she discarded it again.
“Say what?” she asked, frustrated. “What do you not want me to say?”
“Don’t say I am your friend. Don’t say you just want to be friends with me.”
“What bothers me Graft, is that you chose THIS moment to completely lose your mind. There is a cop on the second floor to your right. He is likely talking into a mouthpiece right now, telling plainclothes men to converge upon our location. Your boss and mine are inside, sitting at what has to be a bugged table, speaking words that would incriminate them in at least a dozen cases. And this is the moment you chose to try and kiss me?”
Graft turned to look at the man on the second floor and threw a look this way and that. He then said, “I don’t want to hear you say you want to be just friends with me. It will kill me.”
“No you fucking idiot! The cops will kill you.”
“The man on the second floor is Benny’s uncle Frank,” Graft said. “Frank stares out of his window at the diner in hopes that he will catch a glimpse of Patricia. Frank is harmless. Don’t worry about him.
“Who the hell is Patricia?” Nikita asked, confounded.
“Patricia is… was Pete’s sister,” Graft said pointing his thumb at the neon sign above Pete’s diner. “Frank used to love her. She married someone else.”
“I am sorry I asked,” said Nikita. “Why do you even know this? You are a muscleman.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Graft asked indignantly. “Just because I am a muscleman, I can’t know about love? I can’t want love? I can’t hope to have someone who loves me?”
Nikita decided she wanted to be more delicate with Graft. She took a step towards him and said, “That’s not what I meant. Listen. I don’t…”
“DON’T say it. Didn’t I just tell you to NOT say it?” Graft said loudly — a little too loudly — and took a step back as if Nikita’s next words would disintegrate him. The whole street heard him. People inside the diner heard him. Frank heard him. Nikita wanted to kill Graft.
She looked inside. Chairs were moving. Gun safeties were clicking. Threats were being made. Nikita turned to find Graft but he was already running away towards the car, wiping his tears on his sleeve as he did so.
He didn’t stop even after the first gunshots from inside the diner indicated that things had gone south. Nikita draw her gun and gritted her teeth in anger when she realised that Graft was out of range now.