Not wanting to let go, Fiona, held on to her daughter Cassandra as they embraced on the stoop. “Come back home, you hear me?” she said still hanging on. “Got it ma,” Cassie answered, as she let go of her mother’s hand. With everything she needed, Cassandra had to find Detective Amato and save him from himself.
It was going to be a tough task since he hadn’t responded to her calls in weeks. The only clue she had was an envelope of cash with her name on it. This alone, showed just how dire his situation was. Cassie was no fool, she knew things with his brothers in blue had gone sideways and he was most likely in the wind. Now all she had to do was find out where, but if she failed, the consequences could be fatal. It was only a matter of time before they found Amato and she had to beat them to it. Alone he was a target, together, they could take these stonzi (assholes) down.
Heading to the subway station three blocks away, her first stop would be Amato’s apartment. As the car doors sealed shut behind her, Cassie made her way to a seat in the back of the train next to an elderly woman with a rolling cart. While the train slowly took off from the platform, Cassandra’s stomach began to fall to the floor and nausea started to set in. As the train accelerated to 25 miles an hour, she dug her finger nails into the fabric of her seat as a friendly recording announced each stop over the loudspeaker. All along the route, the brakes of the train screeched an ungodly pitch as it let off passengers to their allotted destinations. Breathing deeply, she held on for dear life as the train seemed to crawl to her destination.
When the nice lady announced Cassie’s stop, she couldn’t be more relieved and bolted out the door. Pushing past several other commuters, she made her way to the bottom of the mezzanine and was rewarded with a blast of cold air to the face. Feeling much better, Cassie slowly made her way up the steps to Landsberg Ave.
Walking down the street, she was stopped dead in her tracks by some familiar faces lingering around the neighborhood. One was parked down the street in a silver Toyota Camry, while the other patrolled the area on foot. Immediately, Cassie took refuge in an alley between two brownstones to avoid detection. This is crazy, why the goon squad? As she pondered that question, a police car rolled up and parked right next to the Toyota. Stunned, Cassie watched as the cop unrolled his window and began speaking to the driver. Oh how she would’ve given anything to hear their conversation.
With all this security getting to Amato’s apartment would be impossible. Disheartened, Cassie began to make a quiet retreat when she turned around and saw a homeless man who put his hand over her mouth and dragged her towards an abandoned building behind the brownstones. Biting his hand, and elbowing him in the face, she managed to free herself from his grasp. Turning around, she kicked him right in the yam bag when the homeless guy yelled in agony, “Damn’ it Cass!” Doing a double take, she looked closer at him only to realize it was Amato. “Jesus, John, what the hell you doing walkin’ up on me like that?”
“Tryin’ to get you out of trouble!” he said through gritted teeth. Doubled over, Amato took deep breaths trying not to vomit in the alley. Blushing, Cassie tried not to laugh. She was tempted to apologize but that wasn’t happening. Besides, it was nice to know she could still handle herself even in her messed up condition. A few minutes passed before she asked, “Ya gonna be alright?” He looked up at her bewildered, “No wonder we broke up.”
Shrugging her shoulders, she answered right back, “Not every man can handle a strong woman.”
“Not every man wants a ball buster.”
Straightening up, Amato signaled for her to follow him as he limped away. Not feeling all that great herself, was starting to feel a sharp pain in her head. She had forgotten to take her meds and was now paying the price for it. As the two of them hobbled away from danger, the sounds of the city permeated the air playing a soundtrack to this ridiculous love story. Sirens, barking dogs and Amato’s bitching rang loudly in Cassie ears as she wondered how the hell they were ever gonna make it through this?
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.