As the morning sun struggled to pierce through the grey clouds, Detective Amato tried to make sense of what happened in Xavier Park. 24 hours ago it would have been inconceivable that a woman was able to take down one of the Mob’s up and coming stars. Now the question remained, for what? Cassandra was clearly paying the price for her role in her brother’s demise.
Clinging to life for the last several days, she nearly pierced the veil into eternity on three occasions. Each time, the doctors and nurses were able to bring her back but for how long? It was a question that went through Amato’s mind as he watched from a steel folding chair across the room. It was the kind of Karmic justice where no good deed goes unpunished.
Since Cassie was in critical condition, visitors were monitored by the head nurse of the ICU. She let Amato pass since he was no stranger to their hospital, she’d patched him up on multiple occasions. Handing him a coffee from the vending machine, she asked, “She a girlfriend of yours John?” Smiling, Amato answered, “Sort of.”
“Sorta of?” The middle aged black woman scoffed. “The last I checked, there ain’t no such thing as a sort of girlfriend,” she said making quotation marks with her fingers.
“Well Sheryl, in another life she was my fiancé,” he said swirling the stirrer in his coffee.
“Oh, sorry.” She said feeling like a busybody. “You should go home, we’ll call if anything changes.”
“I’ll be fine,” Amato said annoyed.
“Alright, no need for an attitude,” she said leaving the room. As the sound of her orthopedic shoes squeaked down the hall, Amato was relieved to be alone once again. Now it was just him and his thoughts once again.
He was avoiding the obvious question— what now? With his career in shambles, he knew what awaited him at the precinct. It was small, pink and had his name written all over it. After all a cat his age, didn’t have any more lives left. Rubbing his tired eyes, Amato stood up and took one last look at Cassandra before leaving the room. Navigating the halls with the messy colored lines, he found his way to the parking garage. As he approached his car, he noticed a man sitting right on the hood. It was his partner Steven Ignacio, and immediately Amato felt a sense of dread wash over him.
Sliding off the car, Ignacio took two steps toward him. Sighing, he looked around avoiding eye contact with Amato. “Sorry John, but Capp’n sent me here to get your gun and badge,” he said. Complying, Amato reached into his coat and pulled out his badge. “Life has a funny way of working out doesn’t it Steve?”
“Yeah, who’d thought it would’ve come to this?” he said laughing nervously again, looking around. Immediately Amato took out his gun and handed it to him. Snatching it from him, Officer Ignacio took the gun and pointed it at him. “Sorry, Amato but you’re a liability just like that rat Fenetti,” he said of course referring to Cassie. Pulling the trigger Ignacio was shocked when all he heard was the gun click because Amato had emptied the chamber. Smiling, Amato threw the magazine on the ground and invited him to pick it up. “Shit!” Ignacio said as he fumbled around with his holster desperately trying to get his department issued weapon. When he finally pulled it out, he pointed it at Amato but before he could pull the trigger, Amato was out of range.
Unarmed, Amato ducked between the cars as his assassin shot round after round trying to finish him off. Hiding behind a Black Chevy Tahoe, Amato stayed put as Ignacio crept closer and closer to him. When he saw his feet, Amato lunged at him knocking him to the ground. As they struggled for the gun, Ignacio tried to turn the gun on Amato who in turn, kneed the man in the gut. With the wind knocked out him, Amato grabbed the gun and took off. Getting into his car, he started the ignition and heard wheels screeching in the garage. Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a van and several men get out to aid Ignacio. They were all dressed in black and looked like street thugs.
Backing out of the cramped parking space, Amato made an attempt to run over the hoods but they got of the way. Putting the car into drive, he floored it and sped out of the hospital garage on to the street, running a red light. Checking his rearview mirror, he saw Ignacio and his crew tailing him tightly so he had to think quick. Seeing another red light with several cars at a complete stop, Amato jumped the curb and began riding the sidewalk. Doing his best to avoid pedestrians, he made a sharp turn onto Carnegie Avenue nearly ripping the muffler right off the grey Ford Taurus issued to him by the department. However Amato had no worries because he was on his home turf. He immediately made a right into a small alley at the end of the block and ditched the car.
Knowing they were coming from the south, Amato fled north with only a stolen gun and badge that was now meaningless.
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.