It was all being set up, Jimmy and his crew were preparing to play supporting roles to Amato’s takeover of Clark’s gas station on 105th. They surveillanced the station for the entire day coming back with photos of both the outside and inside of the building. Jimmy pinned them to a corkboard next to the bar and as he finished, another group of his boys came in with the names and addresses of the men employed by the gas station. Jimmy’s right hand man, began running these name through the PNC (Police National Computer) and even the NNCP (National Name Check Program) to see who they were. As expect, most of them were petty criminals while a few were internationally known for drug dealing. So they knew what they were dealing with now, a drug depository for the city.
Amato and the guys hypothesized that the drugs were imported from Sicily and flown into New York where some airport employee, would lose the cargo. The drugs would most likely be taken by truck to the gas station and the dope would be dropped off at the local distributor. Then the associates (drug dealers), would come by in droves all day long in vans, trucks and SUVs under the guise of filling their tanks. “They gotta be making millions, easy!” Jimmy said astonished. Amato looked at one of Jimmy’s men, a shady looking character wearing a black leather coat and aviator sunglasses. He looked like a hood and Amato was going to us it to their advantage. “Hey you, Sticks!” he said, referring to the man’s spiky hair. “What’s your name?”
“Caruso, Enzo Caruso,” he answered standing up from his chair.
“I want you to visit our friendly little gas station and see if you find anything unusual.”
Caruso looked at Jimmy and he gave Caruso a nod in approval. The loyalty these guys showed towards Jimmy surprised Amato. In his unit, loyalty only came if it didn’t conflict with one’s own ambition. He remembered what Cassie said about, being the best and it angered him. He had spent his whole career going above and beyond and for what, to have his colleagues stab him in the back? Yes, he had burned her, and he did it intentionally because he believed it was for the greater good. He hoped she would see that one day but it was unlikely. Recalling all that Fedelta crap she talked about, Cassie was most likely going to the grave with a chip on her shoulder. Besides, vendettas were more fun than forgiveness, and for some people it even gave their lives a purpose.
Looking over at Caruso as he was being wired, Amato saw the cold stare in the young man’s eyes and it always frightened him to see it on someone’s face. It meant they were mentally checking out. As an undercover, you had to take all of your normal thoughts and compartmentalize them. Caruso would no longer be needing them when he went into Super Cop mode. Thinking as both prey and predator, Caruso would have to walk a fine line all the while looking natural.
“Brings back memories doesn’t it?” Jimmy asked seeing the longing in Amato’s eyes. “Yeah, don’t envy the fucker though.”
“Sure you do,” Jimmy said cracking a smile. “And if you could, you would do it yourself.”
“Guilty,” Amato confessed.
“A good agent never leaves anything to chance, not unless he wants to end up iced in a dumpster.”
“Why are you here Jimmy?”
“The same reason you are,” Jimmy answered.
“Nah, that’s not what I mean, it seems like you want something more and I’m not sure this operation is going to give that to you.”
“I want to clear my name and clean up the department but you seem to need absolution. Trust me, there’s no forgiveness in our game.”
Insulted by his psycho analysis, Jimmy coldly replied, “You got it all wrong brotha. I don’t do this because I got sumthin’ to prove, I do it because it’s all I got! I’ve been spat on, stabbed, punched and kicked…”
“We’ve all been!” Amato interrupted. “And at the end of the day, sometimes it don’t mean shit.”
The room went silent, and all eyes were on Amato. Jimmy got in his face and said, “Maybe it don’t mean nuttin’ to you, but it always means something to me. This job is my life! It’s my God damn’ religion!” Tossing his drink at the wall, he yelled “If you ain’t got the balls anymore, maybe you should hide under that fuckin’ bridge with you mentor and powder your pussies!”
Not intimidated, Amato calmly asked again, “Answer the question Jimmy, what are you getting out of this?”
“I’m here because I hate every last single one of ‘em and I want to watch ‘em rot in hell for everything they put me and my boys through! I want to watch them eat shit and die! What does it matter to you anyhow?”
“Fedelta.” Amato answered.
“What the fuck does that mean?”
“Loyalty, Cassie, was telling me about it…. It’s the one advantage the Cosimos have over us. Speaking of that, where is she?”
“She took off for a smoke and hasn’t been back.” said one of Jimmy’s men. “Want me to go look for her?” the guy asked.
“Nah, it’s good.” Amato said rather nonchalantly. However, it wasn’t all good, he knew she was up to something but he had to play it cool. Meanwhile Jimmy was still holding his head as he tried to calm down so Amato decided to back off lest Mt. Jimmy erupt again.
Looking over at Caruso, Jimmy yelled, “Caruso, get the fuck outta here already!”
However before Agent Caruso left, Jimmy’s crew hooked him up with a body cam and gave him a smart phone to collect intel. As Caruso was leaving, Cassie was entering the building. Amato looked at her really hard as she made her way confidently across the room, when she smiled at him, he knew something had changed. Disappointed, he smiled right back at her then said, “Hey, welcome back!” When she came within range he hugged her tight and said, “It’s just like old times,” and he meant that in more ways than one.
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.