The phone wouldn’t stop ringing, and Sean Clark had finally given up on trying to answer it. He floated in and out of dreams seamlessly, totally unaware if he was awake or not. His head throbbed, and he didn’t know how long he had been in bed, out of touch.
From being dumped at the Embassy Hotel he managed to get a cab to take him to his apartment in
The cab dropped him out front and
The driver muttered something in his native tongue and got out and went around to
Of course, this being
“Hey, hey asshole,” the neighbor said. “You’re blockin’ the door,” and gave
Eventually he got undressed, and propped himself up in the bathroom so he could take a look at himself. His face looked like it had be pulverized by a hammer, his left eye was swollen shut, his cheeks were puffed out, his chin was split, his lip was cracked and his hair was messed up beyond what was considered chic. It was also matted with his blood.
He tried to shower and bandage his face. It was nighttime now, and he retired to his bed amongst the buzzing of his cell phone.
Sometime the next day
Ramirez had been trying to get in touch with
“So when’s he gonna get out?” Ramirez asked the doctor.
“Give him a day or two to get his fluids back in order, his jaw reset and that nasty eye infection slowed down. He’ll be fine, he’s a tough kid,” and the doctor walked off.
“They were dredging the river for you, you know that?” Ramirez said as he sat back down. On the little table by his bed,
“Really?” Came out muffled from under his bandages, but Ramirez could tell that
“Really, we all thought you were toast. You know they found Milano’s and his driver’s body in his Mercedes yesterday? It was ditched out in the Rockaways, they were both naked and gutted.”
“I knew,” he managed to say. Ramirez looked out the window. “So what’s next?”
“You’re going to get better,” and Ramirez stood, “and maybe take some time off,” and before
At St. Luke’s in
“I’m here to find out what happened to Giovanni Capasso,” she said. The black woman didn’t turn or even acknowledge De Rossi’s presence, she kept typing. “Excuse me!” And the woman turned back towards Rossi, looking at her from over her glasses.
“I heard you the first time, I’m busy. If you want to check on a patient’s status, you need to see the duty nurse down the hall. This is general information, ms.” And a thick slice of attitude was served to De Rossi.
“Are you family?” and without hesitation, De Rossi answered in the positive. The nurse gave her a once over, and then told her to sit down in the waiting area, a doctor would be there to talk to her shortly. She did as told and waited, sitting down between an old woman who coughed too much and a bunch of children arguing. She thought it was funny that she was called to this hospital in
She cocked a denim clad leg over the other and let her Luis Vuitton heel dangling from her toe as she flipped through an issue of Time magazine. Her long jet black hair fell into her face and she whisked it behind her ear. A few minutes went by and she grew increasingly impatient. She ordered her men to go wait in the car, and they left without protest. Shortly there after, an Indian doctor called her name.
“Ms. De Rossi, what’s your relationship to Mr. Capasso?”
“I’m his niece,” she lied.
“Ok, well, I have some very tough news to give you. Mr. Capasso died this morning of a heart attack. He was brought here by ambulance, but he was gone by the time we could get to him. His brain had been without oxygen for about ten minutes and there was no activity once we had him hooked into machines. I’m so very sorry for your loss.” And De Rossi wobbled on her feet. Her head went light, and she went to sit down, but there was no seat under her. The doctor grabbed her and held on to her. She pushed away and walked back outside to her waiting
“Qu’est il arrive?” One of her men asked from up front.
“Il est morte,” she said absently. There was a heavy silence, and one of the men made the sign of the cross.
“You know what these means, don’t you?” The same man asked her.
“Yes, I absolutely know what this means,”
“la vie longue la reine,” and the trucked pulled out.
Sean Clark was back at his apartment. It had been a few days and the place stunk like a bloated dead body. He picked up his bloodied clothes and threw them away along with the bandages he found all over the bathroom floor. He eventually found his cell phone and plugged it into the wall because the battery had drained out of it. Once it went through it’s start up, he checked his messages. There were easily fifty missed calls from Ramirez, but there were also a few missed calls from a number he didn’t recognize. He thumbed through and saw the caller had called from that number six times in the last two days.
He rubbed his swollen jaw and wrote the number down on a piece of paper. He started up his computer and sent an email to his friend in Warrants to do a reverse look up on the number. He then set about to do some grocery shopping.
Clark dressed in his usual super liberal casual attire, a hip tattered snug fitting flannel button up in gray and black, with a pair of tattered jeans, his gun and badge under his shirt that hung just to his zipper. He had his old black hi-tops too, and his Ray Ban sunglasses over his eyes to help hide his semi bashed in face.
He bought a few frozen dinners and some beer, and returned to his apartment from the bodega down the street. He checked his email and his friend in Warrants came through.
All I can tell you is that it goes to a cell phone on the upper east side, but from there I lose track of it. You know how many cell phones are in that area? Let’s get beers soon.
He decided to give the number a call and see where it would lead him. He thumbed the number up and hit send, pressing the phone to his sensitive ear. It rang twice and then was picked up by what he would consider an angry woman.
“What!” Came De Rossi’s voice.
“Who is this?” He said into the phone.
“You called me asshole, you tell me who this is.”
“This is Sean Clark.” And there was a pause on the other end.
“Oh, Mr. Clark. I was starting to wonder when I’d hear from you again. Have you changed your mind on my offer?”
“I dunno Ms. De Rossi. Your guys did a number on me. I was thinking of just cutting my losses and going home to
“Why don’t you come by my place this afternoon and we can discuss any long term plans in person, where it’s far more … personable?”
“Ok, what time and where?”
He was announced by the door man at her
“Ms. Martina will see you shortly,” the short maid said as she stepped away.
Off in the distance, he thought he could hear drums being played. Not like a procession of drums, but someone actually practicing them. He followed the sound down a hallway and up a set of stairs. He came into a big reading room with a few short couches and guitars mounted on the walls. Amplifiers were set up and computerized monitoring equipment was around. It was a musical studio.
De Rossi sat behind a full drum kit, dressed in a black tank top with a glittery logo on it and skin tight denim designer jeans. She stopped her drumming but didn’t bother to hold the cymbals. She looked at him from behind the drums and held both sticks in her left hand.
“Good afternoon Mr. Clark,” she said from behind the kit, watching him.
“Good afternoon to you too, Ms. De Rossi,” and she came from around the kit and offered her hand. He took it and gave it a slight kiss. She smiled. “That’s cool that you play the drums,” he said.
“I play the guitar too, and piano. I’m from a very musical family,” she walked away and turned slightly as she spoke. Her hair was up in a pony tail and he noticed she was sweating a bit. “Would you care for a drink?”
“Sure, what do you got?”
“Whiskey’d be great actually,” and she wandered off out of the studio to an adjacent room. He followed looking at her slender back and curves. She stood in front of a small serving tray and poured a glass of whiskey for him, as well as a cognac for herself. She turned and offered him the drink which he took, sipped, and made a little face. She giggled.
“I thought the Irish loved their whiskey, is that not true Mr. Clark?”
“It’s true, but we like Irish whiskey, not this Canadian club soda you’re trying to pass off on me,” and she frowned and went to take the glass back. He pulled back, holding it away from her. “I was kidding,”
“Mm, you should be more careful with your words, Mr. Clark, first impressions are everything.”
“This isn’t my first impression, my first impression was the other night at the casino,” She smiled, and he loved the way she smiled. He even let himself smile a little bit, even though it hurt is face. She picked up on his labored efforts and reached out and touched his chin.
“I’m glad to see you didn’t lose those boyish good looks, Mr. Clark. I apologize for the way my men treated you. Michael and Michael Anthony are very protective of me, you must understand.” She slipped away from between him and the cart and sauntered down the hallway. He tried to keep up. “Especially now that I’m the new Boss of the Capasso Family. Well, I mean, the De Rossi family.”
“Giovanni Capasso died this morning of a heart attack. Being that I am next in line, I now run what was the entire Capasso Family.” She smiled at him and walked back so that they were close. “Cheers to a new era?” And she lifted her glass. He tentatively touched his glass to hers.
“Are you sure that the rest of the family will follow suit? Not everyone’s hot to follow the lead of a female boss,” he said from behind her again. She looked back of her shoulder, a sly smile on her face.
“I have a way of dealing with men who do not like to take orders from women, Mr. Clark. What you suffered was just a love tap,”
“Have you ever killed anyone?” He asked her. She sighed and sat down on a leather couch in a small intimate library. Between them were low little white tables with candles and they were surrounded by books. He took a seat on another couch and put his elbows on his knees, looking at her through his sunglasses.
“Take those off,” she said. He did so, placing them on the table. She looked over his eye and smiled.
“Of course I have killed. It’s how things, real things, get done in our line of business, is it not? There are two types of people in the world Mr. Clark; those who listen to reason and those who listen to force. And it is unfortunate that most often in this life we lead, we deal with the latter than the former.” He nodded and sipped his whiskey. “Haven’t you had to kill?”
“Once, just once. I didn’t like it,” he said with finality. She nodded. He thought back to the kid he chased through a park two years ago. There had been shooting in his patrol sector, two blacks arguing over a 40 oz bottle of beer. One got heated and the other called him a bitch. That’s when the guns had come out. The first boy shot the second dead on the spot. His car was called to the scene, and when they arrived, the shooter was running down the street.
The kid was 14.
“So let’s get back to business, shall we Mr.Clark?”
“Do you want to work for me, or do you want to go back to
“What’s in it for me?” She smiled, blushed a little bit and took a sip of her cognac. She leaned in a little, giving
“Whatever you’d like,”