|Chapter 5: My World|
|Interlude: Tips—The Immortals||You Are Here||Final Chapter: The Recounted World 2|
Having successfully captured Chané Laforet earlier that day, Graham Specter and his gang wait with their captive in their headquarters—an abandoned warehouse—for Jacuzzi Splot to arrive as per the instructions they gave him in a ransom note. As the evening wears on and the sun well past set, Chané realizes that these men have mistaken her for a girl named Eve Genoard—and thus have nothing to do with either her or her father Huey.
With no further reason to stay, Chané ignores Graham and Shaft and prepares to leave. When she is challenged, she takes out a knife and prepares to disable Graham's arm; Graham blocks her knife with his wrench instead, and affirms that she must not be Eve after all. As they trade blows, Chané realizes she has made a mistake: she has been instinctively attacking him as if he is Ladd Russo, and she adjusts her tactics.
Jacuzzi enters the factory and interrupts the fight, alone and struggling with his crutches. He does not have enough money for the ransom, so he offers up himself instead—or rather, the Russo Family's bounty on his head. If Graham hands him into the Russos, he and his gang will receive a substantial reward.
The offer surprises both Graham's gang and Chané for different reasons, and Graham is so moved that he decides to let Chané go free. Chané would rather fight him some more, but Jacuzzi's Gang makes a literally explosive entrance onto the scene before the fight can resume: a bomb blasts apart one of the factory walls, and Nice Holystone, Melody, Donny, Nick, Chaini, and others spill into the factory through the resultant hole.
Graham objects that he asked Jacuzzi to come alone, so each individual gang member protests that they each individually came alone. Jacuzzi recognizes an unfamiliar voice among them, prompting the other delinquents to investigate and single out a certain redhead—Felix Walken, aka Claire Stanfield—back by the wall.
Chané charges at him, but her hand freezes before her knife can reach his neck. Blushing, Claire confesses his love for her and proposes marriage—an act of sincerity that throws her heart into turmoil. Her fear does not go unnoticed; he assures her that inviting new people into her world will not destroy her world but expand it, and he promises to protect that world no matter what. Chané, faced with sincerity on both Claire's side and Jacuzzi's side, is overwhelmed.
Graham, overwhelmed himself, tries to bring the conversation back on topic. Claire informs him that he will fight on Chané and her friends' behalf, and introduces himself as 'Felix Walken'. Graham's followers assume he means he is the legendary assassin of the same name (formerly), but Graham reminds them that they have their own legendary killer on their side—Boss Ladd.
Claire asks him if he means the same Ladd who "fell off the train," and reveals that he is the person who 'dropped' Ladd just a couple weeks prior. Graham immediately attacks him, but Claire dodges all of his attacks with ease, crediting his ability to withstand the impact of the wrench to his training with Cookie.
Several minutes into the fight, Graham realizes that Claire has not made a single counterattack. He abruptly calls the fight off and declares that Claire is Ladd's opponent, not his, and that Ladd will surely murder Claire in the future. As he and his gang leave, he invites Jacuzzi to use the factory whenever he likes.
Jacuzzi watches him go and wonders to Nice whether Graham is a good man or a bad man. Nice is more concerned with whoever the redhead Claire is; while Jacuzzi thinks Claire looks familiar, he cannot place him, and decides that it does not matter for now—with him, Chané looks almost happy.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Chané Laforet
- Graham Specter
- Jacuzzi Splot
- Nice Holystone
- Felix Walken