The halls of the VFW buzzed with activity as old men sprung to life coming and going while they rearranged the room. “Bring in that chalkboard!” ordered a man pointing the way with his cane. A door opened and a beam of angelic light pierced the dark room, making everyone in the room pause to look. Seeing it was just Jimmy, they went straight back to work. “Guess they thought it was the Grim Reaper” joked Amato. His audience however was not appreciative. Sitting right across from him was Cassandra Fenetti, the woman he bailed on less than twelve hours prior. This was his third old geezer joke and like all the others before, all he got was a dead-eye stare.
“Okay Cassie, lay into me. You know you’ve been wanting to.” Again, all he got was silence and a stare. “Go on, tell me I’m a punk ass or a p*ssy, I can take it but know this, I did it all for you.”
Rolling her eyes at the pathetic attempt, Cassie answered, “You did it because you thought you could take on the Feds by yourself. Just like you thought you could take on the Cosimos, by yourself. This martyrdom act is gettin’ old John, I thought we were in this together.”
“Cassie, if I can do something dangerous without you, I will. If you’re waiting for an apology, then keep waitin’ sister.”
Cassandra didn’t like his tone, and in response she reminded him, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed but you don’t run shit around here! You sure as hell don’t…”
Without warning, a box of files landed on their table with a loud thud startling them both. “Since you two have so much leisure time I figured you might help out around here,” Jimmy said with a smile. Curling her lip in disgust Cassie flipped the lid off the box. Landing on Amato’s shoe he kicked the thing clear across the room. “That’s the spirit!” Jimmy said as he pulled up a chair.
Looking inside the box was a treasure-trove of photos, transcripts, legal documents and even newspaper clippings from yesteryear. “I thought they digitalized everything downtown?” Amato asked puzzled by all the artifacts. Grabbing one of the files, Jimmy laughed and said “They did, that’s why they won’t miss any of this stuff.” Figuring he had someone on the inside, Amato didn’t ask for any more details and Jimmy didn’t offer any. Meanwhile Cassie came across several photos of her and her father from what seemed to be surveillance footage. She did her best not to get sentimental, after all it was no use. Her father was gone, and there was nothing she could do about that. Instead she read the file attached to the paperclip that mentioned contacts, and business dealings which caught her eye. Noticing a list of restaurants, bakeries, and gas stations one name popped out, Pepolino’s. She remembered it was mentioned by her brother who was dying to get into that place. Sadly for poor Dominic he was too low level to get in, it was reserved only for the elite Mafiosos. However the file had it listed as a strategic dud, they were never able to infiltrate and labeled the place worthless. What a bunch of lazy cops Cassie thought to herself. How could they not notice all of the top mob bosses meeting at this joint every few months? It was conviente, too conviente and she knew why, this investiagtion had been tampered with but by who?
Catching a quick glance she tried to read Jimmy and didn’t get any strange vibes from him. His crew however was another thing. His boys could be mobbed up and he would never know the difference. Her dad did it all the time, bribe an entry level employee and voila, evidence gets lost, court cases get dismissed and everyone goes home happy. Should she tell Amato? A part of her said yes, while the other part of her wanted to see how this all played out. And since Amato was acting like a dick, her better angels lost out to her bitter ones. Sliding the picture of her dad in her sleeve, she sat back and watched the show.
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.