books, Cereal Authors, Crime, Rachel Rueben, Romance, Thriller, Uncategorized

Fedelta 2: Salvation

Salvation
Image by Artistic Operations via Pixabay

 

When help began arriving, Jimmy briefed both the agents and police on weapons, as well as the layout of the building and the amount of people in the building.  As they were devising a plan to raid the building and rescue Cassandra, Cohen finally arrived to take charge or at least pretend to.  Jimmy kept his mouth shut as he watched Einstein repeat what was said by the senior officers all while pretending it was his idea.  Feeling the effects of the taser, Jimmy assumed the adrenaline was finally wearing off.  His head hurt and his ribs ached every time he took a deep breath.  Determined to see this mission through, he sucked it up, he wasn’t about to let Cohen screw any of this up.  If he so much as saw him going left, Jimmy would be there to knock him back right.

Just as these thoughts entered his head he saw out of the corner of his eye, a white Kia.  “Oh thank God,” Jimmy said out loud.  Finally, he didn’t feel so alone.  Seeing Amato’s face as he pulled up and park three cars down, Jimmy went up to meet him.  As he got to the car he noticed the gentleman in the back.  “I’ll fill you in later,” he said before Jimmy could even ask.  Seeing Amato, Special Agent Cohen marched right toward him, “I thought I dismissed you, Agent,” he declared.

“Yeah, about that, Amato said closing the door to the Kia, “I ran into someone really interesting”.  Walking right past Cohen, he went up to an old grizzly vet from the force, and asked him to keep an eye on the suspect in the backseat. “What are you doing?” Agent Cohen asked rather annoyed.

“I’m about to go into enemy territory,”

“No, you’re not!”

“We’re going to wait on SWAT to raid the building, capture Fenetti, and whatever else is crawling around in that cesspool.”

“It’ll take forever for SWAT to show, you know that, that’s why I have my little passport right here,” he said pointing to Devon.

“I don’t know what the hell you think you’re doing but you’re not going in there!”

“Cohen, the suspect has offered to assist in our investigation and can literally get us in the front door.” The sergeant in charge heard Amato, his interest was piqued.

“No! We’re doing it my way!” However when the sergeant glared at him, Cohen had to change his tune.  The police were the ones who would have to approach and breech, not the FBI.  Cohen may have been in charge of the manhunt but he wasn’t in charge of anything else.  This became abundantly clear when the Sergeant called all his officers together and began to ask for some spare vests.  Handing them to Amato, Amato in turn offered his gratitude.  Going back over to his car, he opened the back door and handed the vest to Devon.  As Amato uncuffed him, he instructed Devon to put it on under his shirt and to zip his hoodie.  Amato in turn put his vest on and buttoned up his jacket then put his gun in his front pocket.  While he dressed, Jimmy briefed him on the best place to enter and where exactly the basement was.

When he was done, Amato slapped Jimmy on the shoulder and saw him wince.  “Get checked out, Jimbo.”

“Thanks mom but I got some unfinished business first.”

Smiling, Amato turned around and signaled for Devon to step out of the car.  He wasn’t afraid of Devon running away because he had over a dozen officers with guns waiting to pounce if he tried anything shady.  Nobody was in the mood to screw around.  “Come on Devon, time’s a wasting.”  Amato said while several officers and agents began to circle the neighborhood to block off the bistro.  Once Amato and Devon were in, they would block off the street and sidewalk.  Beads of sweat began pouring down Devon’s face.  Amato tried to calm him down and said, “You don’t have to do anything but get me through the front door, after that, you can walk away.”

“Aiiight.” Devon responded.

Knowing that the Alunnis would be guarding this place like a pack of wolves after Jimmy’s escape, Amato knew he had to play it cool.  Paranoia and gangster didn’t go well together.  That’s why every cop car and law enforcement officer stayed out of sight forming a net around the block.  Amato would have to approach the building without any protection outside of his vest.  If he was having seconds thoughts, it was already too late because within two minutes they were right at the door of Matteo’s Bar & Bistro.  When Devon hesitated, Amato nudged him with his shoulder.  Slowly, Devon extended his hand and wrapped twice on the door.  Immediately the antique wooden door opened and an old man’s head popped out.  Devon made up some story about needing to see Danny and before you knew it, the door swung wide open.

Stepping inside, Amato looked around and noticed the place was deserted.  There was no indication that there was anything unusual going on, no goons, no guns, no nothing.  Going over to a corner booth, Amato sat down with Devon and gave him his walking papers, “Okay Devon, you did your job, now beat it.” Without a word, Devon got up and left the bistro before anything jumped off.  When the old guy returned to wherever he came from, Amato got up and started snooping around.  If caught, he would simply say he was looking for the men’s room.  As he went towards the kitchen, he noticed a hallway to his left and so naturally, he followed it.  The carpet was a taupe color and on it, was what appeared to be blood stains.  Instinctively, he reached for his gun and knelt down to see the blood was fresh.  “Jesus!” Amato said quietly.  Following the trail, he was led to a door much like the one Jimmy described and when he opened it, he saw the stairs leading down.  He had found the basement.  Though he didn’t want to, he followed it all the way down and found it completely empty.  No Cassie, and no Danny.  Getting on his phone, he called Cohen with the news, “They’re gone.”

As soon as he said that, the cops did their job and swarmed the joint.

The police did a sweep of the building nonetheless as Amato, and Jimmy stood in the basement astonished that the Alunni moved so quickly.  “They might be a small crew, but they’re good.” Amato said.  “Too good,” Jimmy said, “I was gone for less than a half hour and they picked up and found another location, right under our noses.”

“Sounds like they had a plan B.” Amato answered.
Stomping down the stairs with his gray trench coat flapping in the wind, Cohen yelled, “How the hell did this happen?”

“They must’ve got the drop on us somehow,” Amato replied.

“I want answers and I want them on my desk before the end of the day.”

A police officer interrupted their discussion, “Excuse me Special Agent Cohen, what do you want us to do with the suspects we found on the property?”

“Take ‘em downtown and hold ‘em.”

Taking their cue, Amato and Jimmy followed the cops to their cruisers and saw there were about 4 men, all of them middle aged and unlikely to be of any help.  These guys had been in the game too long, and both Jimmy and Amato knew they were hardcore gangsters.  They wouldn’t give anything up even with the threat of jail.  Nonetheless they had to try and so off they went to the Kia to get their answers.

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Fedelta 2: A Bad Day At The Office

Marielle Price

Image via Pixabay

“Hey Cassie, ya alright?” Jimmy asked softly.  When he got no response, it concerned him.  That’s when he really started to fight in order to free himself.  Using the prong in his belt, he started to slowly began to feel for the pins in the lock.  One by agonizing one, they clicked until the shackle popped at the top of the lock.  It was a miracle, he slid out from under his chains and made his way to Cassie.  She was bleeding from the head and was starting to make gurgling sounds as if she was aspirating on her own blood.  It didn’t seem to him that she was going to make it to Destiny’s public execution party.  He had to get help but in order to do that, he was going to have to leave.  Jimmy didn’t have any doubt in his mind that he could pull it off but he didn’t know if she would be alive when he came back?  Fate didn’t hand him a good hand in this situation but he knew he had to get out, so he began to prepare himself for escape.

Taking his belt he wrapped it around his hand, placing his middle finger through the metal buckle.  It was now a crude set of brass knuckles.  He saw inmates do this kind of stuff in prisons.  To even the odds, he took Cassie’s belt too and connected the lock to the buckle.  He could now use it like a pair of nunchucks.  He was no Bruce Lee but he knew how to inflict damage with his new makeshift weapons.  He pitied whoever he hit, because he was gonna do damage.  He already began coming up with various scenarios in his head as to how this was going to go down.  As he mustered up the courage to head off to war, he wondered if he lost, would they ever find his body?

Slowly, he crept up the basement and made it to the door, which was unlocked.  Destiny and Danny must of forgot to lock it and that was mistake number one.  Quietly, he peeked his head out of the door, and looked up and down the hallway.  There was nobody around, was this a setup?  He never knew the mob to be so messy, when they kidnapped someone, they usually killed them immediately.  There was little mercy and little tolerance for showboating.  He knew that once the other families heard about Danny’s plan there would be consequences, the old school didn’t like attention.  And they didn’t tolerate soldiers crossing the line and killing their bosses and installing themselves as king.  Was this why Danny was riding with such a small crew?  It didn’t matter Jimmy told himself, he had to get through this alive and well enough to make it back home.  Stealthy, he emerged from the door and closed it quietly behind him.  He saw a bright light in the north part of the building, avoiding it, he went south.  He didn’t want any confrontation if possible.  When he got to the end of the hall, he stood still with his knucks ready but again there was no one to be found.  What the hell was going on he thought to himself?

Proceeding into the kitchen he found himself alone and figured the staff of the bistro were sent home while Boris and Natasha executed their evil plan.  Seeing a door, Jimmy bolted towards it and spent a good thirty seconds unlocking the latches and chains.  Within in moments he was outside and he took off southbound towards a tiny alleyway.  Picking up the pace, he got further and further until he almost got to the corner, when a fat guy emerged from nowhere.  Jimmy knew he had to get the drop first before the guy knew what was going on so he didn’t break his stride and went straight at the guy.  When he was at arm’s length, Jimmy saw the guy reach into his waistband, so lunged himself at the guy, hitting him with his belt.  With all the might he could muster he directed the belt, lock and all at the guy’s face.  The surprise attack had the guy flat on his behind and Jimmy jumped on top of him trying to wrestled the gun out of his hand.  It was fast and brutal, Jimmy had no mercy on the poor bastard.  He had him beaten within seconds and his reward was a shiny new gun.  Looking around, he saw no one in sight except a homeless lady digging through the dumpster at the corner.  Casually as he could, Jimmy crossed the street all the while keeping his eyes peeled for anymore Alunni surprises.

With his heart racing, and the adrenaline still flowing Jimmy found the nearest public space which was a furniture store.  There, he startled the cashier who thought the store was being robbed.  He had to explain that he was a cop and needed to use the phone, handing over her cell, she threw it on the counter, still not trusting his story.  When she saw he called 911, her opinion changed.  He asked to be transferred to the department’s dispatch and gave the code words: Tom & Jerry.  Immediately, he was patched through to one of the local dispatchers and when she answered, Jimmy requested to be put through to his supervisor and gave another code word: Argos.  Within seconds he was on the phone with Agent Cohen who was at the office seeing over the manhunt.

“This better be good, I’m in the middle of an impor..”

“Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re busy!”

“Agent Schiavone?”

“Glad you noticed,”

“Where the hell are you?  We’ve been…”  Before Cohen could get the rest of the sentence out, Jimmy began talking over him, “Never mind, I was captured by the Alunnis with Fenetti.”
“What?!?” exclaimed Cohen.

“Bring backup to Matteo’s Bar & Bistro and bring a bus.”

“Are you hurt?”

“No, but Fenetti is.”

“Alright, I’ll be there in a..”
At that point Jimmy just hung up, he had neither the time, nor the patience, to deal with Cohen.  He had been through enough without having to play nice with someone he couldn’t respect.  For Jimmy this was just another bad day at the office and the future held no promise that it would get any better.

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Fedelta Book 2: The Devil Wears Prada

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Warning: Language

As Amato got lost in his thoughts, Jimmy was secured in chains down a moldy and damp basement.  He had an idea for escape and that included using his belt to pick the lock on his chains.  Squirming around, he managed to unfasten the buckle to the black leather strap.  Just as he had detached the belt from his pants he heard moaning and twitching from the body on the floor.  Was it alive or was that just rigor, Jimmy wondered?  Dead bodies were known to make weird noises as air passed over the windpipe and vocal chords.  He knew this from experience while in his rookie year.  Back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth he was assisting with a homicide and a John Doe sat up just as he was trying to tag him.  It scared Jimmy so much that he actually considered quitting.  But that was eons ago, and he’s not afraid of dead bodies anymore.  These days he raged against death, and even spat in its face on numerous occasions.  Still though, dead bodies creeped him out.  As he managed to feel the buckle with his fingers,  Jimmy began feeling for the pad lock.  That was when he saw out of the corner of his eye, the body sit up, “Shiiit!” he heard a woman hissing.

Stopping in his tracks, he recognized the voice, “Fenetti, is that you?”

Looking over her shoulder, Cassandra glared at Jimmy and moaned again, “Shiiit!”

“Nice to see ya too, bitch!”

“Fuck off!” she yelled as the room swirled around her.

“Not fucking with you period,”  Jimmy said as he continued trying to pick his lock.

“What the hell is going on?” she demanded to know.

“We’re about to be butchered because of you,” he answered her.

“I didn’t have anything to do with this!” she exclaimed.

“If you weren’t such a shady bitch, me and Amato wouldn’t have been running all over this town looking for your dank ass.”

“Keep talking troll and I’ll shove my foot straight up your ass.”

“Bring it Princess!”

“Oh the language!” A loud nasaly voice said.  Shocked, they both looked up and heard footsteps coming down the basement steps.

Though her instincts told her to run and hide, Cassie didn’t.  Instead she awkwardly stood up to meet her fate as Jimmy could only look on.  Slowly from the staircase emerged none other than Destiny Van Holsten, Stephano’s ex wife.  The site of her made Cassie sick to her stomach and she began to feel just as bad she did before.  Nonetheless she fought the urge to not tremble, Cassie would not allow this woman the satisfaction of intimidating her.  If this was the end, then she was determined to die with a little dignity.

Walking towards Cassie, Destiny’s black and white sheath dress made her look terribly out of place in a situation like this.  Behind her, was her new benefactor/boyfriend, Danny Marchesi. Immediately Cassie demanded to know, “What the hell is this?”

“A celebration silly, tonight we celebrate the life of Stephano Rimaldi while his fiance tragically disappears.”  Destiny answered.

“Tisk, tisk, you were always irresponsible Cassandra,” Danny snickered, “But not showing up to your own fiance’s wake, that’s disappointing.”

Being mocked by dumb and dumber made Cassie seethe and she lunged at Destiny but luckily for her, Danny grabbed her by her hair and pulled her back just a few feet out of range from Destiny.  That didn’t stop Cassie from spitting on her, which is right when she felt a carefully manicured hand slapping her across the face.  Like a sick threesome, the two got off on torturing Cassie knowing that her beloved could do nothing.  As Cassie was restrained by zip ties and held by her hair, Danny looked over at Jimmy and said, “It’s gotta hurt to see the one you risked everything for getting gutted.”  It was then Jimmy realized they thought he was Agent Amato, knowing there was a way to save Cassie, he said, “I think you got this all twisted.  I ain’t her boyfriend.”

Putting her pimp hand down, Destiny walked over to Jimmy and looked really hard at him.  “Holy shit, Danny, you got the wrong guy!”

“Don’t listen to him, he’ll say anything to trick us.”

“No, he’s not the guy I saw in the newspapers.  He wasn’t this small.”

“Hey, who the hell you callin’ small, Barbie?”

“Oh shut up, Frodo!” Destiny said with distain.

“Damn it!  I knew I should’ve checked before we pounced,” Danny lamented, “At least we got her,” he said yanking again on Cassie’s hair.

“Yeah, two outta three ain’t bad, but still it would’ve been nice to kill her while he watched.  The fact that he’s a fed just makes it yummy.”  She said laughing like a psychopath.

Taking his gun out of his waistband, Danny put the barrel to Cassie’s head and looked at Destiny, “You want the honor?”

Taking the gun from him, Destiny surprised everyone when she pistol whipped Cassie instead.  “Wish I could do it now, but she’s the entertainment.”  Lifting up Casssie’s head with her index finger, she explained, “We’re inviting everyone here tonight to watch the great Cassandra Fenetti get capped in the face.  We’re even live streaming it on social media.”  As Cassie’s face began to bruise, Destiny added insult to injury, “I would tell you to clean up and get yourself together but what would be the point?”  As soon as those words left her mouth, Cassie headbutted her, knocking Destiny right on her ass.  Though he didn’t mean to, Jimmy snickered and had to conceal his amusement at the events unfolding.

It was no laughing matter however when Danny unleashed several punches to Cassie’s face.  Unlike Destiny though, Cassie continued to stand upright and took the punishment. Outraged, Destiny kicked Cassie in the knee all the while shrieking, “You think we’re playing?”  As Cassie grunted in pain, she was down to one knee that’s when Danny went in for the final blow punching her in the temple.  Cassie collapsed in a heap on the floor still restrained and remarkably quiet for someone getting the stuffing beat out of her.  Disturbed by what he was seeing Jimmy yelled, “Hey!  You made your point, back the fuck off!”  This enraged Danny who wasn’t done dolling out punishment.  He took the gun off the floor and was stopped by Destiny who said, “No!  He could be a bargaining chip.” Stroking Danny’s face, she explained, “He’ll be useless dead.”

Looking back at Cassie, who was unconscious Destiny growled, “Fenetti, on the other hand is dead.”  Signaling him, while she fixed her messy hair, Destiny said, “Come on, we got a party to plan.”  Relieved that it was over, Jimmy watched as they slithered up the stairs and back to whatever pit they crawled out of.

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Fedelta Book 2: Captured

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Meanwhile at the Matteo’s Bar & Bistro, Jimmy was bound and trapped in the basement of the neighborhood hot spot.  When he first gained consciousness and he didn’t like what he saw.  Every instinct in his body told him this was a mob hit in the making and he had to get out of there.  As Jimmy scanned the room for a door or window, he heard footsteps coming down the stairs.  Quickly, he put his head down and pretended to still be unconscious.  The footsteps were slow and purposeful, they were also heavy, either the guy was huge or he was carrying something.  “Careful, the boss said he wanted everything done exactly his way,” a raspy voice said.

“I know what I’m doin,’” answered a very annoyed and out of breath accomplice.  Jimmy listened hard for any other voices or footsteps but heard none.  He still couldn’t be certain there were only two of them, for all he knew there could be ten more thugs upstairs.  Escape wasn’t looking good.  As Jimmy listened on, he heard dragging sounds then a thud, quickly, he peeked and saw a body being dragged across the floor.  His heart raced as he tried to discern whether this person was dead or alive.  Did it really matter?  There was nothing he could do, he was chained up like a dog which meant, this poor SOB was on his own.  Closing his eyes again, he kept his head down and made sure not to move.  As the men took off for God knows where, Jimmy was left alone with a body in the middle of the basement floor.

It was only after the door closed did Jimmy dare to open his eyes again.  Taking a deep breath, he calmed himself down and looked around for a way to get out of his chains.  To his disappointment, the room was completely bare, these guys were smart and weren’t taking any chances.  They seemed to have thought of everything; the windows were covered, the door was steel, and there were shackles on the floor as well as chains hanging from the ceiling.  However the most disturbing part of the décor were the drain traps on the floor.  It was becoming crystal clear to Jimmy; this place was a slaughterhouse.  Like cattle, he and his new roommate were going to be butchered.  This was not how he imagined his life ending.

 

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Fedelta Book 2: Into The Night

Fedelta_ Taken
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Following behind, Amato resealed the apartment and began coming up with his story as to why he and Jimmy were here in the first place.  While Jimmy left the building he saw a white van coming slowly down the street.  Not thinking too much of it, he waited on the curb until the vehicle passed.  Instead it came to a complete stop, hearing the door roll back, his heart stopped, as three masked men jumped out of the van and tasered him before he could even reach for his gun.  Amato could only look on horror from the lobby as they dragged his unconscious partner into the van.  “Son of a bitch!” Amato growled as he fumbled to get his gun.  Running to the front door, he made it to the sidewalk and shot at the white van but it was all in vain.  The patrolmen also stumbled to react quickly enough and before they could even start their car, the van had already turned the corner and were out of their sight.  Angry, Amato threatened the patrolmen, “Find them or it’s your ass!”

Not one to sit back and twiddle his thumbs, Amato got in his Kia and followed the chaos.  Sadly, there was no use, the van was gone, as was Jimmy.  So much for walking away Amato thought.  Immediately, Amato went into action and called headquarters to his old boss to advise him about the situation.  “Track his phone, the GPS has got to still be on,” Amato pleaded.  Within ten minutes the entire neighborhood was swarming with Feds and local law enforcement.  As the flashing blue and red lights reflected off the shiny glass door, it magnified the intensity of the beams nearly blinding Amato.  Right there on the spot, the investigators bombarded him with questions about the appearance of the men as well as the description of the van.  Calmly he answered their questions in the hopes that it would help them find Jimmy.  Regretting having ever gotten involved in this case, Amato started to question his motives.  Why was it so important to find Stephano’s killer?  Why did he care about where Cassandra had fled?

His answer appeared in the street, dressed in his street clothes, Special Agent Cohen walked towards Amato.  He began firing off questions, “What the hell is going on? How did some street thugs outmaneuver two FBI agents?”  Immediately Amato could feel every muscle in his body getting tense.  Taking a deep breath, Amato answered Cohen’s questions and only those questions.  He never mentioned the results of his own investigation nor did he speak of his methods.  He didn’t trust Cohen, not with this investigation and certainly not with Jimmy’s life.  Amato would not give what was not earned.  When Cohen was done with Amato, he tried to put together what was going on, was this a ransom attempt or terrorism?  There were parts of Jimmy’s personnel file that were still classified, it’s very possible he was working some pretty important case.

Seeing Cohen just sitting there, Amato grew agitated and took charge of the investigation going back to the apartment building where he found the manager and requested to see any and all security footage.  Flashing his badge he was able to get the manager’s cooperation and was escorted to a small room next to the broom closet.  Only one camera was facing the front of the building and it caught everything.  Rewinding and replaying, Amato was able to finally pause the video and get a look at the kidnappers.  There was one in particular who looked rather familiar but he couldn’t be sure since the man was wearing a ski-mask.  Taking a zip file of the footage from the manager, he went back to the office to see if forensics could help him clear up the fuzziness of the image.  So far, it wasn’t looking good for Jimmy.

 

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Fedelta Book 2: An Unofficial Investigation

Fedelta Unofficial Investigation
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Parking the Kia right in front of the building, Jimmy and Amato got out of the car trying their best to not look awkward.  Being an undercover agent for over a decade, they knew that any odd or misplaced gesture could raise suspicion.  Confidently, they walked into the building and going straight up to the apartment, they cut the tape that sealed the door and without a word, breached the crime scene.  What they were doing was dangerous, not to mention, illegal.  If caught, they could be charged with obstructing an investigation so they had to be quick.  Looking around the living room, Amato saw things overturned and ransacked.  Then he and Jimmy smelled the smoke, “Jesus, what happened here?”  Shrugging his shoulders Jimmy couldn’t answer, since he too was completely stumped.

Seeing the window was open, he thought it was odd but figured the investigators did it to clear the smoke out of the room.  Then he saw what appeared to be a high heel shoe which piqued his interest and since he didn’t have gloves, he searched for a bathroom.  Grabbing a roll of toilet paper he tore a piece off, with his hand covered he picked up the shoe.  It was scuffed up pretty badly and the bottom was worn out.  “Well this got a lot of mileage,” he observed.

“I can’t see the mate anywhere around here,” Jimmy said as he carefully looked around the room.

“Yeah, that is weird,” Amato remarked, as he slowly stood up from the crouching position.  Dropping the shoe back onto the floor, he also began looking about for the missing shoe.  Their search turned up nothing, so they moved on to the dinning room where in the center of the room stood a table that was completely charred.  “Looks like we got a point of origin,” Jimmy said as he leaned over the table and inhaled, “Smells like kerosene.”

“None of this makes any sense, why were they burning this place down?  With all the people and security cameras in this building, it’s not very smart,” Amato said.

“Maybe it was personal?” Jimmy answered.

“Might be.”

Since there nothing more to see in the dinning room they moved on to the bedroom, and once inside they saw yet another failed attempt at a fire.  “Who the hell is this?” Jimmy exclaimed at the botched arson.

“This can’t be a job,” Amato deduced, “This is broad with mental issues.”

“You think this was Fenetti?” Jimmy asked rather shocked.

“Not sure, but look,” Amato said while pulling out a belt from the charred pile of clothing, “What Mafioso wastes time burning his enemy’s clothes?”

“Maybe there was trouble in paradise and Fenetti, had Stephano iced?”

“Could be,” Amato said examining the rest of the room which was ransacked as well.  He had to keep an opened mind in this investigation but so far, it wasn’t looking good for Cassandra.  As they moved on to the home office, they noticed things missing, like a computer which was hastily disconnected from the modem under the desk.  Seeing the safe on the ground, Jimmy peeked inside but saw it had been cleaned out.  “Okay, so the money’s gone and whatever else he had in here,” Amato announced.  This showed that their arsonist was very well acquainted with the victim.  “It’s starting to look like it was definitely Fenetti,” Jimmy said rather of fact.

As Jimmy was already wrapping up their investigation, Amato noticed something out of place.  Staring at a cabinet that was obviously pushed away from the wall, he walked up to it and noticed, drag marks on the carpet which indicated it had been moved, but why and by who?  “Come over here,” Amato said, “Help me move this thing.”  Not sure why he was fixated on this cabinet, Jimmy went over to assist Amato move the thing and discovered a door.  “Bingo,” Amato said feeling like he just won the lottery.

Searching inside, they found a small footprint in the carpet, pointing at it, Amato said, “Definitely female.”  Standing there staring at the evidence he felt a sense of disappointment in Cassandra.  He never thought she would stoop this low.  Conceding to Jimmy’s theory, Amato sighed then said, “Guess you were right, it was Fenetti.”

Not feeling euphoric over the matter, Jimmy asked, “So now what?”

“We find her and throw her ass to the lions.” Amato said without any hesitation.

“Glad to see that you’re back on the team,” Jimmy said.

However Amato did not feel like celebrating, because they still had no clue where Cassandra could be.  And if they found her, then what?  It was unlikely that she would surrender even if confronted with a show of force.  In fact, it would make things that more dangerous because he knew from the surveillance video, she was well armed and not backing down from anyone.  In that instance, the thought that maybe he should turn these findings over to Cohen crossed Amato’s mind.  He didn’t mind if Cassandra shot Cohen, in fact, it would relieve him of all his problems professionally speaking.  His two least favorite people in the world taking each other out, now that was a thought that brought a smile to his face.  Giving in to the idea, Amato looked up at Jimmy and said, “We’re done here, I’ll call this in and call it a day.”

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Fedelta 2: The Search For Cassandra

Fedelta Book 2 The Search For Cassandra

Warning: Language

In the meantime, Cassandra Fenetti was awaking refreshed in a soft, memory foam mattress.  Not wanting to get out of bed, she commanded her voice assistant to turn on the television to the morning news.  As the picture became brighter and more clear, she saw her own image reflected back at her in the form of a composite sketch.  “Ugh!  Shiit!” she sighed, as she sat straight up in her bad.  Rubbing her eyes with her hands, Cassandra squinted to see the image again, just to be sure she wasn’t dreaming.  Unfortunately for her, it was no dream, her face really was on the morning news.  Running her hands through her hair she knew she had to act fast.  Sliding out of bed, Cassandra stumbled to her closet, where she found her trusty box of wigs, inside, she found a dark, but short brunette wig.  It was a far cry from her usual look, but nonetheless, she began pinning up her hair, to at least attempt to make the lace front look as natural as possible.  As she applied her makeup, she thought to herself, this was happening way too soon. Cassie knew how the cops operated, and this wasn’t their style.  To share their investigation with the public showed they were desperate or considered her a real threat to society.  Maybe this wasn’t the cops?  Maybe the Feds were on this already?  Otherwise, how could they have ID’d her so quickly?  Despite all of the questions, Cassandra knew she had to act quickly, if she was going to succeed at escaping.  Luckily, her only trip out of the safe house would be to the bank but there, they had lots of security cameras.  So she had to look and act as normal as possible.

Blocking out the “what do I do?” voice in her head, she focused on the mission at hand.  Cassandra had to keep telling herself that everything was still okay.  As she carefully finished putting on her makeup, she said to herself, “This is only a glitch, nothing’s changed,” and she meant it.  Her determination was no less shaken nor was her courage diminished.  She would get out of this town and not only that, she would return to exact revenge.  Whoever was trying to ruin her life, was going to be made an example of.  This thought was the only thing that kept her going.  As she searched the room for clothes, Cassandra looked around and thanked her neurosis for prepping this safe house.  When she decided to go back into this life, she made sure that she did not make the same mistakes her father made.  He was so stuck in the old ways that he never saw the new threats on the horizon.  He treated La Cosa Nostra like a religion, while others only saw it as a business opportunity.  Cassandra would make this life give her back everything it had stolen but in the meantime, she had a date at her local bank.  Giving herself the once over in the mirror, she made sure the wig was straight, the clothes were mute and her appearance didn’t raise any eyebrows.  Once she was satisfied with her appearance, Cassandra grabbed her gun, and her favorite purse then, headed straight out the door and right into the path of danger.

books, Crime, Fiction, Rachel Rueben, Romance

Fedelta 2: Putting In An Order

Fedelta Book 2 Putting In An Order

Warning: Language

As Cassandra slept, Amato and Jimmy were reuniting in Central Park after losing their tailgaters, “Hey long time, no see, asshole,” Jimmy joked.

“Come on, we gotta keep moving.  You dumped the car, right?”

“Yeah, it’s all the way on 9th and Broadway, probably getting towed as we speak.”

“You’re brilliant, for an old fucker,” Amato said, knowing the police will be searching that area for them, Jimmy just bought them at least half a day.

“Cohen doesn’t have the resources to track you and Fenetti, plus, the assassins.”

“I hope you’re right, goomba” said Amato, uncertain.

They both walked to the other side of the park and to the train station on 3rd.  He had a plan to get another car and Jimmy probably wasn’t going to like it, which is why Amato was keeping it a secret.  He didn’t need Jimmy throwing a fit, not now.  Walking down the street, they came across an old fencer who ran a chop shop parading as an auto part store.  The moment Jimmy saw Amato’s right foot cross over onto the property he exclaimed, “Whoa, whoooa, whooa, you’ve gotta to be crazy!”

“Come on, we need a car, and you know Desi’s got one.”

“Yeah but he’s a weasel.  Who’s to say he won’t snitch and get us killed?”

“He’s not snitching on nobody, just trust me.”

Reluctantly, Jimmy followed Amato into the shop and cringed at the sound of the bell on the door.  “Nice ambiance, assholes,” Jimmy said under his breath as he batted the stupid chain that hung from the door.

“Behave,” Amato warned.

Holding his tongue Jimmy played along with this farce, while his gut told him this was not going to go well.  Hearing that there was a customer in the shop, the owner himself, Desi Fostino, appeared in a dirty apron and even dirtier hands which he was trying to clean off with a red rag.  Though he looked like you’re typical middle aged Italian man, he was one of the most notorious car thieves in New York.  “Can I help ya’s?” he asked without bothering to look up.

“Yeah, I’d like to place an order for a 2014 La Crosse, no frills, just candy apple red.” Amato replied.

Snickering, Desi, continued to get the grime out from under his finger nails without bothering to look up at them, “I dunno what you’s guys heard, but I don’t play tha…” Amato stopped him by grabbing his grease rag.

“Hello Desi, remember me?” Stunned, and wide eyed, all the old man could do was nod.

“Look I don’t want any trouble, we run a clean business here,” he said trying to appeal to Amato.  Snorting, Jimmy wasn’t having any of it, “You neva, run a clean business Desi, just look at ya.”  Not wanting to scare Desi too much, Amato rephrase his request, “Desi, I need a car with new plates, can you do it?”

“Ye…yeeah!” he said shaking in his sneakers.

“Good, what ya got in inventory?”

“Three Corollas and a Kia Optima.”

“I want to borrow the Kia for a few hours, is it ready to roll?”

Nodding his head yes, Desi said, “I’ll go get the remote.”

“Thank you.” Amato said, while staring him dead in the eye intentionally making Desi uncomfortable.

As they waited, there was a television on the wall broadcasting the 6 o’clock news.  To their dismay, they were already broadcasting the murder, as well as the security footage.  As their day went from bad to worse, the news station even posted a composite sketch of Cassandra Fenetti, along with her name, age and last known whereabouts.  She was labeled a person of interest as well as a suspect brandishing a weapon at police.  “Geesh!” Amato said angrily.  Jimmy watched stunned by the carelessness of the local police.  “This isn’t gonna end well,” he declared.

Rubbing his jaw, Amato looked like he was ready for a fight.  Slamming his fist onto the counter, he said through gritted teeth, “Son of a bitch!  They shit all over this investigation just like I knew they would.”  Hearing the banging of Amato’s fist, Desi came out of the back in a hurry, “I’m trying as fast as I can,” he said doing his best to get them out of his store. Throwing the remote on the counter, Desi expected a look of contentment however, all he got was an icy stare from Amato who scooped up the remote.  Sensing the anger, Desi took a step back and said, “It’s out in the back, please, just go.  I don’t want anyone seeing this, they’ll think I’m a rat.”

“Too late,” Jimmy answered, not able to resist.

Following Amato out the front door, he inexplicably turned his head and saw Desi turning off the television.  It was too little, too late, the damage had already been done.  Amato was now on the warpath, and Jimmy knew nothing would stop him from finding Cassandra Fenetti, even if it was only to rub Cohen’s face in it.  This was becoming personal, but when it came to Cassandra and Amato, it was always personal.  He felt like a third wheel, but he had to look out for his friend and colleague.  There was bad blood in the ranks when it came to Amato.  There were still some who believed he couldn’t be trusted, considering since his return, seven agents were arrested for having ties to the Cosimo family.  This benefited only Fenetti, and her new crew the Alunni, she and Stephano had to purge and consolidate their power.  What better way than to get rid of all the back stabbers and make a public statement?  Amato looked like a foolish lover who got tossed like a piece of trash by an ambitious mafiosa.  It wasn’t right and Jimmy wanted to help restore Amato’s reputation, not to mention, his career.  He watched too many people get steamrolled by Cohen and wanted to put an end to it.  This was the perfect opportunity to do it.

As they walked around the building to the back, Amato reached for his gun as they turned the corner.  Following suit, Jimmy reached for his as well.  Creeping slowly around the corner, they were both relieved to find nothing but a white Kia Optima parked amongst some other beat up cars.  Using the remote Amato disarmed the alarm system, and unlocked the doors.  Inspecting the car for defects, he listened to the hum of the engine to be sure it purred just right.  He also looked at the plates on the car and they were New York license plates to his satisfaction.  “Smiling, Jimmy said, “Looks like Desi delivered.”  Amato simply nodded his head, still pissed off from the unwelcomed media coverage.   Jimmy could see the intensity in his gaze and knew he was already planning the next move.

books, Crime, Fiction, Rachel Rueben, Romance

Fedelta 2: Cooking Up Plans

Fedelta Book 2 Cooking Up Plans

Warning: Language

While Nicholson was trying to warn Amato, he was sitting in front of his television watching the New York Mets take on the Toronto Blue Jays.  In his black leather recliner, Amato ate his dinner and began to decompress from his encounter with Special Agent Cohen.  In the middle of the stretch he heard a knock at his door.  Cautiously, he opened the door just a crack and to his surprise, it was his old buddy Jimmy Schiavone. Opening the door all the way, he saw the look on Jimmy’s face, “Uh, oh!” Amato exclaimed, knowing something was up.  “Lemme guess, Cohen sent you?”

“What, no hello or how ya doin’?” Jimmy exclaimed.

Rolling his eyes Amato played along, “Okay, hello, how ya dooin’?” he said poking fun at Jimmy’s Long Island accent.

“Prick!  You mockin’ the one guy that single handedly saved your ass?”

“Single handed, eh?” Amato caught him exaggerating.

“Okay, I had a little help,” Jimmy confessed as he walked into Amato’s apartment.

Closing the door behind him, Amato muttered, “This is gonna be a long day.”

Seeing he was watching the game, Jimmy sat down on the couch and asked, “What’s the score, yo?”

“Mets, 6-2”

“Just in time,” Jimmy said making himself at home.

Returning to his chair, Amato sat back and waited for it.  Looking over at his plate, Jimmy asked, “Hey what ya eatin’ over there?”

“Vegan eggplant parmesan.”

“What the fuck is that?”

“What, eggplant parmesan?”

“No that other shit you said.”

“What, vegan parmesan?”

“Yeah, what’s this vegan shit I keep hearing about?” Jimmy asked curiously.

“It’s means no animal or animal by-products.” Amato answered.

“So what the fuck is on the eggplant if it ain’t cheese?”

“You know, soy or cashew.”

“Brotha, ever since you and Irene broke up, things haven’t been the same for you.  I ain’t neva seen an Italian put fake cheese on his food,” he said snickering.

Throwing his towel at Jimmy, he asked the big question, “Okay, Jimbo what’s up?”

Looking visibly uncomfortable, Jimmy clasped his hands as if he was trying to come up with the right words.  As he looked about the room, he finally returned his gaze to Amato, then confessed, “It’s Cohen, he’s requesting your personnel file.”

“So what?” Amato responded, unimpressed.

“You don’t know this guy Amato, he’s a total dick.  He’s sacked more than one guy in his day and it looks like he’s got his sights set on you.”

“Thanks for the warning Jimmy, but I’m a big boy and can handle myself.”

Putting his hands up Jimmy said, “I’m just the messenger, Nicholson wanted me to warn you.”

Just as he said that, the crowd on television erupted in cheers as the Mets shut down the Blue Jays.  The ending was anticlimactic but Jimmy seemed to be thrilled that the game ended in a win.  Getting up he announced, “I’ll see myself out, just remember to watch your back from now on.”

“It’s the only way I know how to roll.” Amato reassured him.

When Jimmy left, Amato was alone to contemplate whether or not he would bother participating in this case.  After all, Cassandra Fenetti wasn’t necessarily in need of his help.  She was probably on the other side of the planet, if she were smart.  However something told him, that this wasn’t the case.  Feeling it in his gut, he knew she was nearby and if Cohen approached her, she might blow his head off.  So all in all, if he kept his hands off the wheel, Cassandra would take care of his Cohen problem.  Smiling, the idea did appeal to him.  Nonetheless, there was piece of him that needed to see her again.  Amato wasn’t sure if it schadenfreude, or if he actually had feelings for her.  No matter the case, it was stupid of him to come running when she was in trouble, not after she two-timed him.  So what was he going to do when he saw her again, say I told you so?  Having dragged his feet for nearly half the day, he rose to his feet and declared, “Okay Amato, it’s time to get that damsel.”  Slipping his feet into a pair of rubber soled Oxfords, he grabbed his badge and gun then went out the front door.  Standing outside in the hall was none other than Jimmy, “Jesus Christ, Amato, you take foreva to do right,” he complained.

“Sorry, I forgot we were in this together.”

“Damn straight,” Jimmy said popping his collar.

Seeing him getting psyched up, Amato chuckled and asked, “Whose car are we taking General?” referring to his old street name.

Without batting an eyelash, Jimmy answered, “Whatcha working with?”

“I got a 2017 Chevy Camaro,”

“When they bring that back?”

“Oh about 2010, you probably didn’t notice since you were busy gerneraling and all.” Amato said in jest.

“Yeesh!  It’s like the 80’s all over again.”

Pushing the button for the elevator, Amato said, “Before my time, brotha,” as the door opened, they both stepped inside.  Jimmy pushed the button to the ground floor and like that, they were on their way to their next adventure, just like old times.

books, Crime, Rachel Rueben, Romance

Fedelta 2: Making The Next Move

Fedelta Book 2 Making The Next Move

As Amato and Jimmy made their plans, Cassandra was making hers.  Desperate for cash, she knew she had to start liquidating her assets if she wanted to escape.  Doing her best to stay one step ahead of the cops, she grabbed her spare phone, and started looking up the number to her local bank branch manager.  With her fingers crossed, she called and explained that she needed to withdraw all of her money.  “In cash?” the manager asked rather surprised.

“No, in puka shells,” she retorted, “Of course in cash!”

“Well Ms. Fenetti, we’ll need at least 24 hours.”

“Why?”

“We’re low in cash,” the manager explained.

“You’re a bank, how is that even possible?”

“Just bear with us Ms. Fenetti. We’ll have all of the funds tomorrow.”

“Urgh!  Okay, I’ll be there at opening.”

“Alright, see you then.” He said in a sickening sweet tone.

Hanging up the phone the manager place a call to his supervisor, the Vice president of the branch, “Steve, it’s Marty, sorry to bother you but Fenetti called.  She’s coming by tomorrow morning at opening.”

“Thanks Marty, I handle this one myself.” He said.

He wasn’t quite sure why the President of the bank would want to personally handle the closing of an account, but Marty, simply agreed to have his admin send the files to his boss’s computer.  That was one less account he had to deal with, and since it was the end of the day, he grabbed his jacket along with his brief case and left for home.

In the meantime, Cassandra had to figure out where she was going once she had the cash.  Placing a call to her favorite airline, she chartered a plane to the Cayman Islands.  Once she got off the phone with them, she booked a hotel room at the Hilton.  Nonetheless she still wasn’t done, Cassandra had to make sure no one would be able to track her, not the cops, and certainly not the killers.  She already knew that the cops were checking phone records and looking at security footage.  As if that weren’t enough, Cassandra would have to change her appearance as well as get a new identity.  Placing a few calls to some of the best forgers in New York, she put in an order for a new driver’s license as well as a passport.  The ones she had were old, and looked outdated.  Sending him a recent photo of herself, she got the okay from the forger and they worked out a deal.  She regretted not staying on top of these things, she knew better, being the daughter of a mobster and the fiancé of another.  This life was unpredictable and deadly, Inpatient she mumbled to herself, “When will you ever learn?”.

This was only phase one of her plan, she still had to keep herself alive and evade police for the next 16 hours.  Cassandra had to lay low, if she was going to survive the night.  Starting the engine, she made a journey to her old hideout, a safe house of sorts.  Making her way through Little Italy, she made it to an old pizzeria.  Parking down the street, she took out a key and went to the back and climbed a set of rickety stairs to a tiny apartment.  Cassandra figured she would be safe here since she and Stephano rented it under the table.  There was no paper trail and they were careful to not tell anyone about it.  Despite all that, she was still paranoid and took out her glock.  Quietly she went from room to room to be absolutely sure she was alone.  When she was able to let her guard down, Cassandra put the gun away and went straight to the closet to find the clothes she had purchased for a time like this.  There was an array of outfits, some of them were shabby chic, while the others were high end luxury brands.  There was no way she could dress as she always had.  Too many people knew her style, and if her instincts were right, the cops were already creating a profile of her, if they hadn’t already.  It was a hot day and she still wasn’t feeling well, so Cassandra decided to take a shower and call it a day.

Collapsing on the bed, she made herself comfortable and clutched a pillow.  Fighting the urge to cry, she refused to think about what happened and focused instead on what needed to be done.  Going over the plan in her head, she went over  every possible scenario again and again like a mantra of sorts.  After all, Cassandra needed something to believe in and her plan was that thing.  She would succeed, she would pull herself out of this mess.  Confident, she slowly drifted to sleep, safe for now.