If you want to catch the very beginning of the story here’s part 1.
Cassandra has done the unthinkable, she’s become an informant for the Feds and now she and her late fiancé John Fiore a.k.a. Detective Vincent Amato are joining forces to take down her brother and the Cosimo crime family.
Pacing the halls of the hotel, Detective Amato impatiently waited for Cassandra as she dressed for tonight’s extravaganza. “Come on Cass, how long does it take to squeeze your lady parts into a damn dressed?” Cassandra snapped, “Me and my lady parts don’t squeeze into anything. What’s your rush, we ain’t supposed to be there until 9, we got plenty of time.”
“It’s 8:30 whattaya mean plenty of time?” After that he got no response, the door opened and out walked Cassie in a white beaded Versace gown. “Wow, I don’t know what you did, but hon you did it.” “I know” she responded walking past him to the elevator. Flanked by two armed officers who were posing as goons dressed in black suits and matching wingtips, they all casually made their way downstairs.
As the elevator door closed, they went over the plan one last time. “Remember, I walk in first and you, Cassie, wait for your cue.”
“Got it.” she answered.
When they got to the lobby, they received stares from the desk clerks and staff
making Detective Amato nervous. “Maybe we shoulda left the building through the garage?” he whispered. “Nonsense” Cassie said, “You wanted to know if we’d make a splash, and we are.” Wrapping her white mink stole around her shoulders Cassie laughed at the visible stage fright on this veteran detective.
In the limo, the good Detective Amato scarfed down a vodka tonic as the driver took them to the new Karen Vaughan Ballroom in uptown Manhattan. While Cassie watched as the city passed by in blur, she began recognizing the old Madison Square area which took her back to the 90’s, when she and her dad would run errands in this neighborhood. Well he ran the errands, she just watched his back.
Cassie could remember the day when her dad was ordered to confront a suspected rat. It wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t handed her his snub nose revolver, with the orders, “If anyone comes near this car, blast ‘em, got it?” She watched helplessly as he disappeared into a dilapidated building, leaving a 12 year old girl alone, in one the seediest places in New York.
Staring down at the gun, her heart was in her throat as she looked around at the junkies and prostitutes perusing the street. Suddenly she heard footsteps then, a loud bang right next to her. Terrified, Cassie pointed the gun up at the driver’s window, only to see it was a bum knocking on the window. “Hey Miss, got any spare…whoa” he said, when Cassie shoved her Smith and Wesson directly in his face. Slowly backing away, the man nervously said, “Alright, alright, don’t shoot” he said, then quickly retreated into the shadows.
“God damn it Cassandra will you pay attention?” Detective Amato yelled at her annoyed. Yanked out of her daydream, Cassie noticed the limo had already stopped and Amato was waiting for her to do a final sound check on her mic. “Yeah, yeah, let’s get this over with.” She snapped.
“Atta girl. There’s my sunshine!” he said sarcastically. Quickly, Amato exited the limo first, with his entourage in tow while, Cassie waited for her cue. If he screwed this up, they would both be dragged out of this pretty little ballroom riddled in bullets.
It wouldn’t be the first time Cassie heard bullets ring out in Madison Square, going back to that day when her dad took her on her first run, she remembered the chaos and gun shots that rang out from the building. As her twelve year old heart sank, her instincts told her to get behind the wheel and bail, but she couldn’t. Her dad was still inside and he needed her. Instead, Cassie grabbed the gun and went over to the side door to get a peek inside of the building. Through the crack of the door, she could see her dad wounded and being held up by three men.
Creeping up behind one of them, Cassie got the drop one of the guys and put her gun to his head. “Aw shit!” he said when he realized Ernesto hadn’t come alone.
To everyone’s dismay, Cassandra took control of the situation and demanded they all put their guns on the floor. As they did, one of the men decided to fake her out, but before he got the opportunity, Cassie pulled the trigger. They all watched in horror as the man fell dead to the ground, courtesy of a twelve year old girl.
What stunned them even more was when Cassie casually walked over to her father, and stood between him and his would-be killers. Staring them dead in the eye, she said, “Here’s how this goes, we’re gonna leave, and you’re gonna watch. If not, you get a face full of lead.” It was one of the bravest and stupidest things she had ever done.
Smiling, Cassie scooted over to the minibar to pour herself a shot of Jack Daniels. Remembering all the joy and pain she smiled, and looked up at the stars then raising her glass, she toasted her father, “Salute Papa.”
Rachel Rueben is author of the bestselling YA novel “Hag” and “The Eternal Bond Series” both available on Wattpad. To keep up with Rachel, you can sign up for her frighteningly entertaining newsletter here.