It was the hat that drew you over. The middle of a gambling card game in the alley behind the old speak easy wasn't where you planned to spend your early afternoon, and definitely not in this tramp's company. You were going to say something, give the guy some well deserved snark. Some how, you were going to reach over two gambling goons blocking your path to snatch that hat right off his head, because now that you're close enough to see, you know
that's the same hat you "lost" a year back when you had to spend an unfortunate amount of time with the same sleazy bastard. Galvin "Gal" Wright. It could've been his real name, but that also could've been a hat he bought.
Instead, you got distracted. The guy was cleaning house, or he would've been if that was cash between his legs and not a pile of rocks. Almost laughable to see men like them not playing for stake, but it wouldn't have surprised you if they didn't have a coin to share between them. It did surprise you how over the course of seven minutes, Gal's stash had dwindled down to his last pebble. The dimmest looking of his "friends" sat with the largest pile, but you knew better than to trust the dumbest looking person at a card game.
"Watching can't be that much fun," Gal said, his hawkish gaze boring into yours. It hadn't been long enough since you'd last heard that voice, had it? "Now that we have someone here worth playing with, we can up the stake, you in?"
They had a little to play with after all. Fine, you deserved to win some of his money. You sat down next to him, close enough to see his shaggy hair was wet, not greasy, and you could smell the perfumy shower soap of whatever woman he'd managed to follow home the night before. And now that your eyes had time to adjust to the shadowed alley, you noticed his clothes were nicer than yours, but did his jeans really have to be that tight? He wasn't looking as swallow as you remember either. Heck, the man would've passed for clean cut if it wasn't for his perpetual stubble and the mean glint in his eye. Even your hat looked cleaner. No doubt, Gal had found himself a little success since the last time you'd done more than give him a passing glance.
You played well for a while, and kept yourself in the game by betting small when you didn't. After some time into it, luck won out and you found yourself set up to win some serious money. You were about to go all in, when suddenly barking and cage rattling from behind you had you startled. You hadn't even noticed caged dogs the entire time you'd been in that alley. Confused, you turned to look at the offending animals, and got the barest glimpse of a black tarp covering what had to be the cage or cages underneath, when something else grabbed your attention, causing you to freeze in place.
It happened so fast you had to fight from second guessing yourself. Your reflexes had to have been a bit too slow to catch the distraction in time that day, and his nimble fingers just a bit too quick. You saw Galvin pull the card from his sleeve.
So, that was how he was finding his success, the slimy git...
-No matter how sour this turns, I'm gearing towards our characters eventually coming to some sort of impasse or even a mutual agreement.
-This could take place in any number of settings, modern, dystopian future, prohibitioned past, and so on. I'm open to any further elements you'd like to add, so give them to me!
-Here is the inspiration picture for Galvin's look. Not a copy by any means, but the feelings are the same. (And Gal would sooner charm the strings off a guitar than play one.)Guitarist by Tahra on Deviant Art