They all made themselves comfortable in the Suite. The woman made the introductions to Clementine.

“My name,” she began, “well, I won’t tell you my real name but you can call me Pebbles!”

Pebbles then nodded to the young man, who was now sitting by a desk, in the back of the Suite.

“And this is my son,” she said, “you can call him Bam!”

“Pebbles and Bam-Bam?” Clementine snickered, “are Judy and Elroy arriving later?!”

Pebbles smiled, “She has a smart wit, doesn’t she James?”

“She’s more like a smart ass!” Ford replied. Clementine just grinned.

“Nevertheless,” Pebbles continued, “what your father is doing here today was attending a fashion show to try and find a young lady to join our wire mob.

“What’s a wire mob?” Clementine asked.

“A pickpocket gang!” Pebbles answered, “there are a couple of conventions here in town this week that would provide the proper environment to make a large amount of money, in a very short amount of time!”

“Sweet!” Clementine replied.

“So if James, er, your father,” Pebbles continued, “recruited the proper lady, we would then instruct her in the art and science of picking pockets!”

“Well,” Clementine excitedly replied, “I’m your proper lady!”

“Hold it! Hold it!” Ford spoke out, “this is all going way too fast for my money! I don’t want my daughter getting involved in any of this!”

“And why not?” Clementine asked.

“Because I said so!!” Ford angrily replied.

“James, I apologize!” Pebbles interrupted, “you’re right! She is your daughter and I had no business stepping in between the two of you. I just think, whether she is your daughter or not, she has some great potential! She’s smart! She’s pretty! She thinks fast on her feet.

At the show earlier, I knew she didn’t know what to do but she didn’t panic! She quickly sized things up and made a decision! A sort of unorthodox decision, but a decision nonetheless! One that got her out of the bind she was in! She’s shown she can “think outside of the box”!

“See, I can think outside of the box!” Clementine said to Ford.

“You don’t even know what that means!” Ford replied.

“True, but I can still do it!” Clementine answered.

“Well, I say you can’t!” Ford replied, “besides you have no experience in any of this stuff we’re talking about!”

“That’s actually perfect,” Pebbles interjected, “then she’ll have no pre-conceived ideas. We can teach her the proper way. Mold her to our liking! Besides James, how many of those models up on stage do you think had any ‘wire mob’ experience? And you were considering picking one of them!”

Ford didn’t reply.

“C’mon!” Clementine said to Ford, “you told me yesterday you’d do anything I asked to make up for you not being there for me and mom, remember?!”

“You wanted me to show you a con,” Ford answered, “and if you remember, Marcia Brady, I showed you one!”

“But you yourself said it was an old con,” Clementine replied, “what did you call it, oh yeah, a ‘dinosaur con’! I want to learn some new stuff! Please! Please!! Pleaassee!!!”

“Okay, quit your whining,” Ford said, “I’ll think about it!”

“Don’t think too long, James,” Pebbles replied, “you know I want to get this operation up and running in two or three days!”

“Its just that I don’t want you getting any ideas about making this your career!” Ford said to Clementine, “I don’t want you to follow in mine or your mom’s footsteps, okay?”

“Mom’s doing alright!” Clementine defended, “she now works hard at an honest job for honest pay!”

“Okay, okay, girly cue,” Ford restated, “I didn’t mean any disrespect to your mom, its just that you need to understand. I don’t want you becoming a common criminal!”

“If I get real good at it,” Clementine replied, “I won’t be common!”

“Clementine!!!” Ford scolded.

“Okay, okay, Papa roach,” Clementine laughed, “I’ll be good! It’ll be just this one time, okay? Lets just look at this as a ‘take your daughter to work day!’”

Ford just shook his head. ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about all of this,’ he thought.

Next: Chap. 8 “Divas and Geeks”

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