What is a partner?  Some asshole you picked to go through one section of your life.  Really that is all it is.  Another human that you decide to drag through a varying degree of both your suffering and celebrating.  When you look over at that person you know someone helped you succeed or fail.  Maybe you sealed that partnership with a handshake, a signature or a kiss.  It doesn’t matter, it is just a way you set upon a journey.  And let’s face it, all journeys must come to an end.

These are the things that went through Conor’s head as he thought about George, his long-term partner in business.  The truth was this partnership hadn’t always been easy, but George was good at helping.  Conor thought about their unconventional partnership and the success it had brought.  George had been the strong muscular kid at school, played football and was liked by all.  Conor was a smaller guy, skinny and smart.  Conor had a short fuse, a big mouth and was generally a callous asshole.  All that got Conor into shit with the other kids.  That would have been a problem for most, but for some reason George actually liked Conor.  The truth was most likely George saw that Conor was smart and conniving, the kind of traits that find the quick way to success.  George was a good guy and strong but not particularly quick.

As they left high school Conor had found a way to make a lot of money, real fast.  He started out by peddling drugs on the streets, with George as protection.  Conor was a hell of a sales guy and he soon found himself moving up in the criminal enterprise.  Conor always assumed that George had a moral dilemma with their chosen path in partnership, but he never said anything.  Conor thought how they had consummated their partnership with a series of actions to better each others position and had never shook, signed or considered kissing to seal it.

Conor soon was trafficking drugs around North America.  He was smart, bringing them in from other countries and distributing to small town America.  George asked why they stayed out of the larger cities, and Conor quickly pointed out the turf there was wanted by all and meant fighting for it.  This way George had to deal with security on a smaller scale.  Conor spent years strengthening relationships at the drug producer end and at the street sales end.  George made sure the bills got paid.  Both got rich and the money was laundered through the home builder in George’s name.  George even enjoyed going to work on construction sites.  Even told Conor he would like to turn over the security on the drug ring and work construction going forward.

Conor thought of the 25 years they had spent as partners from high school to drug kingpins.  Now he sat there taking into stock the loyalty of their partnership.  He knew that George would always have his back, George was loyal and selfless.  He would give it all for Conor.  And that is when Conor realized that George would have to always be better than Conor, and Conor was ok with that.

Conor knocked on the glass and spoke “Hey, DEA guy, yeah I am ready to talk, I will tell you everything about George’s organization.  I want a deal for this though!”