Fedelta Book 2: Putting In An Order

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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 your 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 got 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 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, 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, yeah!” 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 him 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, they 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 hurrying as fast as I can,” he said doing his best to get them out of his store. Throwing the remote to the Kia on the counter, Desi expected a look of contentment however instead he got 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 he 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 in the end 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.

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 in parking lot amongst some other beat up looking 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.

Fedelta Book 2: Hustling

Fedelta Excerpt 3

 

*Warning Language*

Meanwhile, just a few blocks away in front of a laundromat, Cassandra was hunting for new clothes.  In most people’s eyes, she was loaded but in reality, she was asset rich and cash poor.  She couldn’t just walk into a store and pay with her jewelry, no matter how nice and expensive it was.  So in essence she was broke, so Casssandra did what she always did when she was broke, she stole.  First, she cased the joint for security guards but only found surveillance cameras on the outside of the building as well at the register.  The rest of the place was free of interference.  Relieved, she began looking for women who were about her size and observed their alertness.  The last thing she needed was someone putting up a fight.  However as she scanned the place, Cassandra noticed only one woman who fit the bill and she seemed to be a young woman with three small children.  It didn’t feel right, so Cassandra decided to make it right.  Sitting in one of the plastic neon orange chairs near her target, she began taking off her diamond earrings.  She figured they were worth around $10,000, way more than anything this woman owned and slipped them into the woman’s purse. With the flick of the wrist, Cassandra slid the goods into the woman’s bag and began her scheme.

Appearing to be busy on her phone, Cassandra patiently waited for the woman to be distracted and it didn’t take long when her kids began fighting.  Completely overwhelmed, the woman snatched one of the boys by the arm and began yelling.  As she did, the baby next to her started crying.  The woman sighed and commanded, “Come on!” as she headed off to the lady’s restroom.  It was the diaper change sent from the gods, and without arousing any suspicion, Cassandra went over to the dryer and plucked out a damp t-shirt with a pair of jeans from the load.  Then without saying a word, she left the laundromat before the woman could return.  When she got to her car, she began putting on the lavender peasant top and cropped blue jeans.  Now the look was complete, no one would ever think of looking for her driving a dirty SUV while dressed in Boxmart style clothes.  Even though she wasn’t dressed like her normal attire, it was still way better than the sweaty and dirty evening gown that she was nearly murdered in.  When Cassandra got to the nearest Mc Restaurant, she threw the gown in the dumpster.  Smelling the food inside her stomach growled.   It had been over 6 hours since she last ate and though it would kill her family to know that she was eating food cooked under a heat lamp, it was cheap and convenient.

None of that mattered because she still had no money, and the only thing Cassandra had left to give away was her engagement ring.  There was no way she would ever part with that.  So she had to find another way.  Looking through her purse, she desperately looked for anything but all she had was makeup, tissues and gum.  Then her phone vibrated.  Looking at the screen, Cassandra noticed the call had a local area code with an unfamiliar number.  She knew better than to answer.  In fact, she knew what to do next, she had to pawn the phone.  But before she did that, Cassandra deleted all the contact info as well as all the apps.  She had another phone in her suitcase, she wasn’t going to miss this one.  Before Cassandra left the restaurant, she looked around for a fencer.  Usually, they hustled on corners or in parking lots.  She knew there would be interest in her phone because it was brand new and had a brand named.  Scouring the block for her new buyer, she noticed a man in front of a gas station.  Checking him out, she noticed he was dressed in a newish football jersey and jeans so he wasn’t homeless.  Cautiously, she scanned the block to make sure he wasn’t a cop.  Cassandra couldn’t see any unusual cars parked on the street and decided to take the risk.  Casually, she walked over to him and smiled then, asked for the time.  Returning the smile he said, “Baby, I got all the time in the world.”  It was the corniest thing she had ever heard, and couldn’t help but roll her eyes.  Seeing the ice had been broken, she straight up asked him, “Hey, I’m looking to unload a phone, is there a pawn shop ‘round here?”

“Naw, baby girl, but lemme look.”

From a distance she held up the phone and his eyes bulged, “That’s the new Andromeda 10!”  Hearing the excitement in his voice, Cassandra asked, “Yeah, you interested?”  And before you knew it, she had closed the deal and scored an extra $40 in her pocket.  It wasn’t a lot but enough for food and little bit of gas for her ride.  With this Cassandra ordered her McSlop which she ate in the car because she was too embarrassed to eat inside.  As she inhaled her food, Cassandra wondered about her next move.  It was the first time in nearly 8 hours she had time to sit down and think.  She could flee the country but she had to do it quickly before she was named a suspect or a person of interest by law enforcement.  And since she stuck a gun in a cop’s face, they were more likely to just book her on that.  Then there was Stephano’s killers, she would have to deal with them sooner or later.  She needed to get her hands on Danny Marchesi, the man who ruined her life and took Stephano’s.  Angry, all Cassandra could do was fantasize about what she would do with him and his crew once she got a hold of them.  But for now, she was just some chick in a fast food parking lot and wasn’t riding with any crew.  In fact, she had to assume that everyone had turned on her.  It was the safest thing to do.

Feeling all alone, the tears streamed down her face but Cassandra decided to shut that part of her brain down in order to survive.  She needed to survive this attack on her life, Casssandra needed to survive the police and their bullshit, and more importantly, she needed to survive for Stephano.  She was the only one who could deliver justice for him now.  With her mind already made up, she threw what was left of her lunch out of the window and started the car.  It was reckoning time.

 

Thank you for following along with the Fedelta series, if you need to get caught up here are the first two posts:

When You’re The Killer: A Revelation On Writer’s Block

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In the past year I’ve been suffering from writers block when it came to my novel Miss Mary Mack and I couldn’t understand why?  I mean I could see the story clearly but I had trouble coming up with the right words.  Every scene was a struggle, which led to me abandoning the story several times.  Then one day I was having a discussion with a friend who was struggling with her teenage daughter while she came to the realization that their problems were rooted in the fact that they were both so similar.  If that isn’t the ultimate form of irony then I don’t know what is?  However as my writer’s block continued, I read several articles on why authors write themselves into their work and a shocking conclusion was reached: I was Miss Mary!!!

No, I don’t go around murdering people, (although those thoughts do pop up in my head from time to time) I took pieces of my life and sprinkled them throughout the story.  Miss Mary was in fact physically modeled after my first grade principal Miss Murray, who wore dark clothing that covered her body from head to toe.  She also was a disciplinarian which made her a terrifying figure in the first grade.  However she wasn’t evil, just tough.

I also had a fourth grade bus driver by the name of Miss Johnson who was sometimes called, Miss MaryShe didn’t really like driving a bus and insisted we all ride in silence.  Weird, huh?

Then there’s me, I’m not too fond of children, I mean don’t hate them, I just prefer not to be around them.  P.S. I come from a long line of women who were reluctant mothers.  So I was able to draw on that when it came time to summon the callousness required for a serial killer.  It was also then I realized that I was trying to make sense of my past.  And guess what?  Miss Mary is the perfect vehicle for that, I can run loose and do as much damage without really affecting anyone in the real world.  The big plus is that I can kill and not wind up in prison.  I guess this is what George R.R. Martin feels like every time he sits down at his computer.  LOL!

Okay, Get To The Point!

When your work hits too close to home, it can be difficult to navigate through the story.  If you have a real unresolved conflict in your own life, it may be near impossible to resolve the one in your story because you can’t imagine your characters finding peace.  You know, the apology that never came, the relationship that failed, or the never ending dysfunction of a family, can really damage your perception and almost make you blind to the obvious.  I know, I had this problem and the only way to get through it was to think my way logically.  I had to know what readers or in this case society expected from this book.  I had to be God and dole out punishment and correct injustices.  This doesn’t always happen in real life.  I also sometimes have to step back and let my characters go their own way.  For example, would a man care about an argument he had with his wife as he fought space aliens?  Probably not.  You have to let your characters be who they are and come to their own conclusions.  Once I did that, their world unfolded and things began making sense again.

A Final Thought

As with most things in life, writing isn’t about you.  Sure you can create worlds and characters but once you do so, they start to develop their own reality.  Try as you may, you are not of their world and vice versa.  Only a piece of you will live on in your work, but the rest of you gets to move on and make peace with the reality that is meant to be.

Bio: Rachel Rueben is author of YA, supernatural as well as romance books.  Her work can be found her on the Cereal Authors blog as well as Wattpad.  She is also a blogger at Writing By The Seat Of My Pants where she discusses self-publishing and rarely refers to herself in the third person.  😉