He felt like an anvil was sitting on his shoulders. Exhaustion was setting in and his eyelids were struggling to even stay open. It had been over twenty four hours since his last hit, and his body was screaming at him to fix the problem. His brain hammered at the inside of his skull and it felt as if the devil was screaming into his ears.
Benjamin Hansen needed meth. He needed it bad.
Stomach cramping, he pawed helplessly at his belly and mewled in distress.
As long as he was using, Benjamin could go days without eating. It suppressed his appetite to the point where his lack of food was never an issue. Taking as much as he did meant that life on the street was bearable. He chased the high, and whenever he couldn't afford to eat, it helped him cope with it.
But now he was in agony.
He needed to find someone. Anyone that could fuel his habit.
Benjamin stumbled and fell against the wall to his right. Underneath him, his legs were beginning to lose strength. Every muscle in his body ached in a deep craving for rest.
Dulled to the surroundings, his senses registered nothing. The chill of the night air, the rough surface of the wall beneath his hand, the scent of stale garbage, the regular drip of a leaking pipe. All of it may as well have been white noise.
The only thing that mattered was the ache and desire for the high.
The sound of a car horn pierced through the night air in a shrill wail.
Looking up Benjamin saw the sedan pulled over on the side of the road, not forty yards away. The inside light was off, and the headlights were dimmed, splitting the darkness with the pale beams. Hunkered down behind the wheel, the driver was swamped in shadow, his form distorted by he shape of the hood pulled up over his head.
Past the ache of hunger, he felt his stomach lift in relief. He recognised the car. He'd seen it many times before. Every couple of weeks it would show up, lurking on the corners, waiting for buyers. While he'd never used the dealer before, people he knew had done in the past.
Ambling down the sidewalk, he stumbled once and placed the flat of his hand against the window. Startled as the glass was wound down, Benjamin stepped back and squinted to see inside the car.
"You looking for Tina?" the man in the car asked.
Benjamin, still swaying in place, nodded feverishly. His head pounded with the motion. "Y- yeah..."
There was a pause as the hooded figure turned to look up and down the street. Other than Benjamin and the car, the only other presence was a young woman, prowling around the corner in thigh-high boots. "Get in."
Fumbling with the handle, Benjamin opened the door and practically fell into the seat. Shifting in place, he tried to ignore the feeling of his throbbing headache and attempted to adjust his vision to the darkness. The attempt, however, was fruitless. The most that he could tell was that the man wasn't much taller than he was. Not that it mattered much.
His fingers drummed against his lap and his skin prickled in anticipation.
The sudden lurch of the car pulling away pushed Benjamin back in his seat, turning his stomach over inside him. Clenching his jaw down, he barely quelled the urge to vomit.
"Where the hell are we going?" he asked urgently, gripping the handle beside him.
"Just moving," the man replied. "We don't want to draw too much attention."
Driving for barely more than three minutes, the car slowed to a stop and again pulled over by the side of the road. Killing the engine, the hooded man turned in his seat towards the passenger side of the car.
Now that he had turned towards him, Benjamin was able to distinguish a few of the man's features beneath the hood. He was slightly tanned, with a stubble-dusted jawline that dipped sharply. His eyebrows were thick and outlined a pair of calm eyes.
In his hand he was holding a small plastic package.
"Thirty," he said, simply.
"Thirty bucks?" Benjamin blustered. "Fuck off."
"You don't want it, get out," the dealer replied, his voice casual. "I'm not low on business. You need this more than me."
Yet again, pain split his skull. The sparse contents of his stomach sloshed around inside him. He felt as if he was going to throw up. Need gripped him like a vice, clenching down on his brain.
He wanted to protest more. He only had thirty-three dollars. What's more he knew that he could get it for twenty-five.
He needed it. Bad.
Averting his eyes from the man, Benjamin fished into his pocket and searched for the banknotes with his fingers.
He never noticed the blackjack as it came down on his left temple. Red exploded in his vision as the pain blinded him. The heat of his headache roared into an inferno and his exhaustion grabbed hold and dragged him deep into unconsciousness.
Smirking to himself, as Benjamin slumped forwards, the man stowed the makeshift weapon and quickly checked the road again. Quickly opening the door, he popped the trunk and made his way around the front of the vehicle.
He worked fast, binding Benjamin's hands and legs with duct tape before wrapping a long length around his head several times, to cover his mouth. Within a few seconds he had finished and was already in the process of moving the unconscious man to the trunk of his car.
Once he was done, he clambered back behind the wheel of his car and turned the vehicle around. Before long he was back on the original street, slowing to a crawl so that his car moved parallel to the prostitute. Winding down the window he leaned out towards her.
"Hi Hun," she grinned. "Come into some cash, huh?"
"You bet'cha," he laughed, jerking his head to indicate the passenger seat.