All of the old hat detectives delighted in reviving their alter egos from yesteryear, “Hey you mutha fuckas ready to roll?” Jimmy yelled from the end of the hall. “Aihhh, keep your toupee on!” Amato yelled at Jimmy. As the others at the bar laughed at the exchange, Cassie kept checking her phone. She got a call from her ex Stephano, over an hour ago, but couldn’t answer it without looking suspicious. She already knew that Amato would figure things out eventually but how long that took would all depend on her ability to play it cool. She had to make good on this one deal with Stephano because it could change her life. As Cassie watched the boys chum it up, she was desperately waiting for them to just leave. Finally her prayers were answered when the guys started filing out of the room, and as the door slammed behind them, she fumbled around in her purse until she found her phone. Looking at the screen, Cassie saw that Stephano left a text that read, “Location, location, location.” With that text was a pic of an empty parking lot and an unguarded gas station. Her heart leapt for joy, it was starting to look like she had a business partner. Getting up from her chair, she texted her location and invited him to the VFW.
There was no way Amato and Jimmy’s crew of grumpy old men were going to be able to pull this off without a little help. Okay, a lot of help. She hoped it wouldn’t come to this but it looked like her worst fears were about to come to fruition. She would have to watch Amato get killed, or be killed herself. Looking at their stupid corkboard, Cassie ran her hands over the pictures and chuckled. She knew it would never be enough, because once you learned how the play the game was played, the rules would change. And she could sense change in the air, it was a sudden decision but she had to seize the moment. Cassie would return, back into the fold and take what had always eluded her father and brother—kingship. She knew Stephano could get her that, and she had to try for everybody’s sake.
From behind the bar, she took out two Champaign flutes and borrowed a very expensive bottle of Dom Périgon Rosé. She would pay Jimmy back later, today, she had a lot to celebrate, her rebirth and the Cosimo’s funeral. She convinced herself this was the best for everyone, Amato would get what he wanted, and she would get off the hook, so it was win-win. Putting the Champaign on ice, she smiled as she grabbed the glasses and put them on the counter of the bar. This felt right, no longer would she be at the behest of Amato or the FBI and now she would have a new family, the Alunnis. Once the money started pouring in, Stephano would make his move and she would help him rule over the entire family. This was her chance to reclaim her family’s honor and to lead the next generation into a new era. First however, Amato and Jimmy had to play their parts.
As Cassie planned her next move, Amato and his crew were parked down the street from Clark’s gas station waiting on Caruso to come back with the intel. Info had trickled in via social media in the form of pictures and videos which he was sure to encode with hashtags and phrases like, #CarusosDayOut #OpReCon to be sure that the threads were vague and understood only by those it was meant for.
Things were going great and when Caruso returned to the surveillance van, Amato was relieved that the first part of their operation was done. “I can’t believe how little security there was!” exclaimed Jimmy as he went through photo after photo of empty rooms accessed by Caruso. “They’re getting very sloppy.” Amato answered back, “This would’ve never happened on Frank Fenetti’s watch.” Surprised, Jimmy responded, “It sounds like you admire the rat bastard.”
“No, but I do admire a tightly run ship.” Amato replied.
“Well, we got what we came for maybe we should go back to base an…”
Amato cut him off and said, “No, we need to move now before they have time to redeploy.”
Thrilled by the response, Jimmy said, “Okay, we can throw down today but we need backup.”
“Let’s roll.” Amato said as he exited the shabby, white van.
Walking up the street to his car, an elderly woman approached him on the sidewalk and said, “Hey I know you, you’re the guy from T.V..” she said.
Confused and taken aback, Amato said, “I think you have me mistaken for someone else.”
“No, you were the cop. The double-crosser!”
Laughing nervously, he replied, “Ma’am you got the wrong guy.”
That’s when another older woman who was sitting on a porch next door threw a glass jar at him and yelled, “Rat!”
Dodging out of the way, the glass jar shattered all over the sidewalk but Amato kept his cool and remained silent even though his cover had been blown. Getting on his cell he called Jimmy and said, “Get the hell outta here, we’ve been made.” As he heard the van start, he made it safely to his car, when a black SUV pulled up blocking the road ahead, trapping them all. Bewildered, Amato stared in disbelief as four heavily armed men popped out of the SUV and proceeded to enter the gas station. “Son of a bitch!” he muttered to himself.
“What the hell is goin’ on?” yelled Jimmy still on the speakerphone.
“I don’t know.” Amato answered. However deep down he had a feeling Cassie had something to do with it but how, he didn’t know. Scrambling to get inside the car, he started the ignition, and put the car in reverse, then Amato ordered, “Back to base boys.”
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.