As Amato planned his next move, Cassandra was being released from the Louise Berkmeyer Rehabilitation Center in Manhattan. Still a bit wobbley from her injuries, she managed to get in the taxi cab. Once inside, the driver asked in his Long Island accent, “Where to Miss?” For a moment Cassie hesitated, since she didn’t have a home to go back to. As the motor ran, she answered, “Beringer Drive, Queens.” Resting back in the seat, Cassie watched the buildings get smaller and smaller as they drove further and further away from the downtown area.
When they reached Beringer, the driver slowed down and asked, “What was the address Ma’am?”
“Just stop here.” Cassie said.
Pulling over, the cab driver opened the door and assisted Cassie out. With no luggage and just an envelope of cash, she went to claim her inheritance. While in the hospital she assumed Amato was in trouble since he wasn’t returning her calls or responding to her texts and she knew just why. What Amato didn’t know was the police precinct he worked at was all mobbed up, meaning, there were good fellas everywhere. Cassie and her family knew the players because it was the nature of their business to know. You can’t make big money without spreading it around least someone in the family gets jealous and puts a bullet in your skull. That was one lesson her brother Dom never learned, and he was now six feet under.
When she reached her old childhood home, Cassie slowly made her way up the walkway and had a feeling of déjà vu. She rarely came home unless, it was to visit her mother, Fiona, who was the rock of their family. Her mother though rarely sentimental, was someone Cassie found comfort in confiding in since her mother was the only one she knew who understood the mafia lifestyle. From an Irish family of mobsters, thieves and thugs, her mother knew the mob life all too well.
Before Cassie could knock, her mother opened the door, “Cassie, what on earth? I don’t hear anything from ya in months, no phone call no nothin’!” Pulling off her black knit cap, Cassie revealed her half shaven head and the staples in her skull. Gasping her mother yelled, “What the hell happened?” Pointing inside, Cassie said, “We need to talk.”
Once indoors, she sat on the blue Queen Anne chair in the living room while her mother sat on the edge of the sofa less than two feet away. Looking around, there wasn’t a spot in that room that didn’t jog up some sort of memory. Hesitant, Cassie found it difficult to find the words, “Ma, I’ve done some horrible things,” she said as tears welled in her eyes. “Now I gotta make it right before a friend of mine gets killed.”
A flash of anger arose on Fiona’s face, because she knew that her daughter was dealing in family business and that was the last thing she ever wanted for her daughter. “Jesus Cassie, first your father, then Dom, now you? I can’t lose anymore of my family to this!”
Though she didn’t want to do it, Cassie played her only card and that was her mother’s loyalty to family. Looking her in the eyes Cassie said, “Ma, I promise it ends here, with me. I swear on Dom and Daddy’s grave, I will walk away from this.”
Exhausted, her mother rubbed her weary face with her hands and whispered quietly, “I swear Cassie, if you get hurt, I’ll die.” Looking away she wiped her tears with her sleeve and sobbed quietly. Cassandra hated doing this to her mother, but she needed help and her mother was the only one she trusted.
Silently, Fiona stood up and went upstairs to retrieve a box, a worn black oak wood box that was locked. It belonged to her husband Frank, Cassie’s father and only Fiona had the key. Relieved to see it, Cassie smiled as her mother handed it to her. Handing her the key, Fiona paced the room as Cassie looked inside to find a gun, an address book and a green journal. Confused, she looked at it and just as she was about to ask, her mother answered, “He was keeping tabs on some of the Cosmios just in case they turned on him.” Shocked, Cassie finally understood why her father was killed. “This changes everything,” she said staring at the journal.
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.