Cautious (Disastrous 2) - Page 13

Lou leaned back in his chair, laying an elbow on the armrest, as his index finger and thumb framed his face. Crossing his legs, he let out a roguish laugh. “I call bullshit.” Each of us gave the others questioning glares and then turned our attention back on Lou. His smile widened. “I call bullshit because it’s come to my attention that someone in this very room has been lying to me.”

My breathing remained steady, but I felt a rush of heat course through my veins. Jimmie shifted uncomfortably beside me. As I quickly glanced over at him, I could see his forehead becoming damp. It was warm in the space we occupied, but I knew my brother. He was fucking nervous. No one seemed to notice the change in his demeanor but me.

Come on, Jimmie, don’t fuck this up.

“For years, I truly thought my men were loyal.” Lou sucked his teeth three times as he slowly shook his head. “Tsk, tsk, tsk. Shame on me for believing there were still devoted men in this world.” After one hard look at each of us, he uncrossed his legs and leaned into the desk. His elbows were placed on top of the wooden surface. He pointed an index finger and brought it toward his lips as his thumb rested beneath his chin. He sat in deep thought for a short period of time.

“What to do?” Lou questioned in a low voice. Then, as if something lit up in his head, he spread his arms wide with a cocky grin. “Ah, that’s right. If I need something done, I must do it myself!” He stood from his chair, straightened his shoulders, and cracked his neck. Reaching for his revolver, he tightened his grip around the handle, twirling and examining the black metal piece in his hand. Everyone straightened, adjusting their positions.

Lou walked around the desk until he was in the center of us. He slowly walked back and forth with his left hand behind his back. He gestured with his right hand, tightly holding the gun, as he spoke, “See what I don’t understand is, while thinking back on it all, I truly thought I took very good care of my men.” Stopping to face me, he angled his head and asked, “Do you think I do, Marky? Take good care of my men, that is?” I gave a curt nod in response. With a crooked grin, he tapped the cold metal gun in his hand along the side of my face, turned, and made his way back to the center. All traces of humor washed away from his features as he stood tall and eyed every one of his men before him. “If I take good care of my men, then tell me why the FUCK am I having this fuckin’ conversation!” His arms spread wide as he glanced around the room like a lunatic.

“Tell me!” Lou’s face was slowly turning red as his anger built. It was dead silent. The drop of a pin could be heard a mile away. Landing his glare on Vinnie, he pointed his gun. “Vinnie, you got something to say?”

Vinnie shook his head. “No, boss.”

“Hmm.” Then Lou’s arm shifted over to Buddy. “Buddy, what about you?” Lou asked.

Buddy raised a brow. “I’m the most loyal to you, Lou.”

Amused by that statement, Lou smiled mockingly as he approached Buddy. “Is that so?”

Buddy stood his ground and nodded. “Yes, it is.” With both hands folded behind his back, Lou leaned into him, their faces mere inches away from one another as Lou drilled his eyes into Buddy’s for an awkwardly long time.

As if another idea just popped into his head, Lou swirled around and made his way back toward the center. Raising his gun, he aimed it at Buddy. “Eeny.” Lou smirked and then began pointing at each and every one of us, as he continued. “Meeny. Miny. Moe. Catch a Rat.” The gun landed on Jimmie. I stiffened. My body dampened with sweat as my heart thrashed against my chest. All sound went faint, except for my breathing, which grew hasty. Everything around me felt as if it was going in slow motion. I showed no sign of uneasiness as I exhaled when Lou took the aim off of Jimmie and began to go down the row of men again. “By his toe. If he squeals.” Mischievously, his smile grew lopsided. “Then let the fucker go.” Without a second thought, Lou pulled the trigger.

A loud ringing noise echoed in the room after the gun went off. My eyes traced from the blood splattered on Lou’s shirt to Al dead on the ground. He lay flat on his belly, his head landing on Lou’s leather shoes. Kicking the head aside, Lou spit on the lifeless body and then made his way behind the desk. The other men, including Jimmie and myself, looked at each other, confused.

“Uncle Lou, Al was the rat?” Gio asked in astonishment.

Lou grabbed a cloth from the inside of his jacket. Removing his shoe, he began wiping off the blood. “From the sound of it, Gio, it seems as if you don’t believe my source was accurate. Is that so?” He asked. After wiping off his shoes and putting them back on, he then unbuttoned his shirt, replacing it with a fresh one that was removed from the desk drawer.

“No, not at all, it’s just when you mentioned a rat, my first guess was Buddy. You know what I mean?”

“Fuck you!” Buddy coughed back and spit at Gio. The saliva fell on top of Gio’s shoes.

“Fuck you. You fuckin’ cocksucker!” Gio began making his way toward Buddy. The two of them had been going at it for days; it was some unfinished business from years ago before Gio had skipped town. If you asked me, it was really just a competition for Lou’s affection. They both were like sons to him.

“Enough!” Lou slammed his hand on the desk and began barking orders. “Vinnie and Buddy, take care of the body. Gio, go fetch the car and bring it out back. I’ll meet you down there in five minutes. Marky, you got my money?”

Gio walked out the door. On his way out, he and Buddy exchanged pissed-off glares. Buddy and Vinnie picked up the body from the floor and carried it down the stairs. Jimmie reached for the duffle bag that was beside him and handed it over to me. I placed the bag on top of Lou’s desk and unzipped it. “It’s all accounted for.”

Lou reached for his jacket, slipped his arms through the well-tailored dark blue sleeves, and smiled. “Good, how was the exchange?”

“Same as always with the Boyle’s: smooth. He placed another order for this time next month.”

Nodding, Lou reached in the bag, took two large stacks of money, and handed them to me. “You did good, Marky. Keep it up.” After grabbing the bag, he left the room.

Once the door was shut, I turned and looked at Jimmie, gesturing my head toward the door. Without a word, we both left Lou’s office and made our way toward my car. When we entered, I twisted in my seat to fully look at him. “What the fuck was that?”