Nervously, Amato looked out of his window, before answering the door. He wasn’t safe as long as his heart was still beating. They wouldn’t quit until he and Cassie were dead which made his situation dire.
Luckily, it was just the manager wanting his money. Quickly Amato shoved the $300 into the old man’s outstretched hand and hastily shut the door. He always made sure to pay cash because he didn’t want to be traced. Amato knew the boys in blue were watching his accounts and waiting for him to make a mistake. It had been nearly a month since he had been ambushed at the hospital parking lot and he had spent it laying low and watching his back.
Since his exile from his beloved Brooklyn, he spend his time amongst the junkies and prostitutes who made their nests in the dingy Palais Motel. It wasn’t uncommon to lulled to sleep by the sound of arguing or gun shots. His meals consisted of fast food which he always ate on the go and because of it he suffered from reflux. He was an Italian, and wasn’t used to eating fast food garbage. Nonetheless he couldn’t leave, not while Cassie was still in the hospital recovering. She had made a lot of strides in her recovery, his source in the hospital a nosy nurse by the name of Sheryl, gave him progress reports every other day.
In fact, she was feeding herself and even talking in short simple sentences. It stunned her doctors who thought she would be a vegetable for the rest of her life. She remembered little of what transpired over the past few weeks, let alone knew anything about the ambush in the parking lot. Things were going so well, the doctor believed she could go home by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, Amato prepared to go public with his surprise namely, a file that contained the dirty deeds of every officer, politician and judge in town. Bribes, prostitution, drugs, the file was a virtual list of every sin a human being could commit. With his attaché he looked at the file over 200 pages thick, and sighed. How had it come to this?
Immediately, Amato was sent down memory lane by his brain which refused to forgot the moment that led to this fateful day. In another life, a young Amato was sent deep undercover by the FBI to investigate his own co-workers and what he found disturbed his superiors. He remembered that moment 10 years ago when his supervisor read the report, as his hands began to shake as he stammered to Amato, “Not a word to anyone. This kinda of thing can cause a riot.” He was of course referring to the already uneasy relationship the police department had with the community after multiple scandals, including the arrest of the police chief’s own son for human trafficking. “It’s too damn hot for the administration to deal with, they’d have to fill the jail cells with half the damn precinct!” he yelled tossing the file on the desk disgusted. The middle aged supervisor rubbed his face with his hand while a stunned Amato protested, “You can’t just ignore this!” Grabbing the file, his supervisor pulled out a lighter from his jacket and set the file aflame and threw it in the steel waste paper basket.
Shocked, Amato could only watch as his supervisor went over to his chair and stood over him while pointing his finger in his face, “This never happened.” Unceremoniously he left the room slamming the door behind him, while a dazed Amato stayed seated in his chair. It would the first of many times he’d questioned whom did he serve, the department or the public?
Like Cassie, he had some serious loyalty issues to deal with and just like her, he was without a home, without the support from his brothers in uniform he was lost, and questioning again, whom did he serve?
Going over to his bed, he took his gun and put on his coat. His mind was made up, he was going to do what he should’ve done years ago.
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.