Warning! The following may contain bad spelling, grammar, punctuation, cardboard characters, cheesy plots, offensive NSFW material, and / or puns. Reader discretion is advised.
“You bastard!” Alan struggled to break free from Freddie’s grip but was unable to do so. “Don’t you dare touch her.”
Freddie easily lifted Alan off the floor and swung him away from Vinnie’s goon, who was stepping forward. “Settle down! You are not helping the situation.”
Tom moved to block the goon. The two were nose to nose, the goon looked like he was going to enjoy plastering Tom’s face all over the floor. Tom’s face was the very definition of calm, showing nothing to indicate that he was riled by these events at all.
“Whoa! Everyone settle down.” Vinnie spoke up. “You, back.” The goon gave a last snarl at Tom then took up his position behind Vinnie again.
“Mister Foster made a bad bet. Yes, he owes you the money. We don’t dispute that. You, obviously want to get your money. Wouldn’t it be better to get some now, and some incremental payments until he pays you rather than demanding it all up front, which might lead to not getting paid?”
“Listen,” Vinnie came over to Tom. “I got a business to run. I’ve got a reputation to uphold too. I let this little punk get away with not paying me what he owes me, or pay it a little at a time, word gets around. Then everyone wants to pay me a little at a time. You know what happens then? I’ll tell ya. People don’t respect me. They stop paying and think ‘Oh Vinnie is a nice guy he won’t mind if I don’t pay him this month.’ Then they don’t pay me at all. Then I have to get nasty. It’s better to keep to business as usual.”
“I can understand your position. But in the end, being inflexible to conditions in the world will lead to your downfall.”
Tom turned to Alan. “Mister Foster, how much money do you have that you can pay to Mister Piorelli?”
Alan looked dejected but finally mumbled “About twenty grand.”