Racetrack had been saving up for this race for months. He had played his way to winning at every poker game he could find across the city, he had cheated some of his friends out of money, and he had conned Weasel into giving him free papes for months. It was all going to be worth it. He was going to make his fortune at this race, and then he would pay everyone back.
Well, not everyone. There was no reason to give Weasel money.
Of course, this plan had one small problem. He had been so sure that Strawberry would win the race, he had been winning consistently. But Strawberry had stumbled, and Racetrack Higgins was broke, again. And he was pretty sure that Weasel wasn't going to want to give him free papes the next day, and nobody would lend him money for lodging because he almost never paid anyone back anymore. Whoever had told him that Strawberry was lucky should be shot.
And he was hungry, which was clearly the most important of his problems at this particular moment.
Which was why he was particularly glad to see one Spot Conlon lurking around by the races. Maybe it meant that his luck today was going to improve.
Not that it would be particularly easy to con Spot Conlon; the guy wasn't the ruler of Brooklyn for nothing. Which was what made it so interesting; the best conquests were the ones that you had to work at. And you had to work at Spot Conlon to get him to bend to your will. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't impossible either.
"Spot!" he called, and the Brooklyn leader whirled around, a smirk appearing on his face when he caught sight of Racetrack.
"Higgins," Spot responded.
Racetrack used his considerable poker skills to keep a grin from appearing on his face as he made his way over to Spot. This was going to be fun.
"How's your day at the track been, Higgins?" Spot asked, taking a puff on his cigarette.
"Same old, same old," Race drawled. "What about you? You don't usually sell down at the tracks."
That was true, Spot usually had his pick of the selling spots around Brooklyn, and since most of the regulars down at Sheepshead bought from Racetrack, it wasn't that profitable for others.
"Felt like it," was all that Spot said. "C'mon, lets go get lunch."
Racetrack let his grin show now. This was going to be easier than he thought. "Well, since you offered, thanks for the lunch, Conlon."
"Who said anything about me buying?" Spot responded. "I figured since you sell in my town, you should buy lunch."
Racetrack winced. This was not going to be as easy as he had thought.
"Yeah, well, I already ate," he said, forcing a smirk. Of course, while he was able to control his facial expressions, his stomach was another matter and it let out a traitorous growl just at that very moment.
"Doesn't sound like it was much of a meal," Spot observed. "Heard your horse lost."
Racetrack raised an eyebrow. He hadn't told anyone which horse he was betting on.
"What makes you think that?"
"The fact that you were sulking after the races," Spot responded. "C'mon, I want to eat."
The two of them headed out of the tracks, and Spot easily swiped some fruit off of a pushcart so that the two of them could have something to eat. Neither of them liked to pay for things if they could avoid it; swiping and swindling was half the fun.
Taking the apples and strawberries that Spot had swiped over to a bench that was outside of the races. Spot tossed one of the apples to Race, taking the strawberries for himself. He sucked on one of them lightly, and Race winced. He didn't know why, but the sight of Spot sucking on the strawberries was... well, it was interesting.
"So what are you really doing here?" Race demanded, trying to tear his eyes away from the sight of Spot and the strawberries. Sadly, his eyes weren't really cooperating.
Spot smirked at him. "That's what you'd like to know, Higgins," he replied, popping the strawberry into his mouth.
Without even realizing what he was doing, Racetrack leaned towards Spot. "I want an answer."
"Demanding, aren't you? Follow me."
"I don't take orders from Brooklyn," Racetrack replied, but he followed Spot anyway into an alley. "So why are you here, Conlon?"
Spot answered by pushing him against the wall, and kissing him, and Racetrack responded, thinking that maybe strawberries were lucky after all.