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Keep your eyes peeled for Mobster’s Fate, Book 2 of the Chicago Mob Series! Add to your Goodreads TBR list
Haven’t started the series yet? Get caught up with Book 1, Mobster’s Gamble
Snatching up the empty bottles of chemicals, I finish my work, erasing all traces in the area. My thoughts stray back to the kid catching a beating and my conscience gets the best of me. A small voice in my head that sounds like Erin makes me think for just a second I should help that kid. He definitely needed backup and I can’t help but wonder what his story is. Normally, I wouldn’t care, so why is it that today I do?
My car is parked a short way down another back alley and I walk to it, going back and forth wrestling with the situation, my shoulder stinging.
I crush up the bottles using my uninjured arm and my thigh and cram them into the storm drain. I hear them splash into the dirty water. I stand and put my hand against my wound, giving it some pressure. It hurts like a motherfucker. The mob doc will fix me up though, he always does. I slip into my car and speed away, the image of that kid nagging me like a bitch.
I spin my car into my parking spot in front of my apartment building. I have been gone for hours so I am not surprised to find Erin curled up on the couch with a blanket, her red hair tousled and flopped over her face. I try not to wake her but she rouses.
“Hey,” she says with a groggy voice, pushing her hair back. Her eyes adjust and she sees my shoulder. “Oh my God, what happened?”
I grunt, not answering. Her lips purse into an angry “O.” She wants to say more but she is forcing herself to keep her mouth shut. I go to the kitchen and reach for a beer out of the refrigerator. To open it, I have to set it on the counter to hold it steady and pop the top.
Erin takes in a breath to speak but she cuts herself off. I know what she is going to say. It is six-thirty in the morning, a bit early to have a drink. I roll my piercing shoulder.
“You should get that taken care of,” Erin comments. “It must hurt.”
I nod and swig down the entire beer. Erin’s face softens and she comes to me. Her tiny form approaches and my body awakens as it always does when she is near. I stand over a foot taller than her but she is the only person in this world who makes all the evil melt away. She is the calm in the storm that is the Mafia.
I don’t know why I do it but I track down the kid from yesterday morning. It is easy because finding people is part of my job. The confusing part is why. Who gives a shit about some young kid living on the streets getting the shit kicked out of him? It builds character.
I pass a rundown abandoned department store and that is where I see the sneaker prints in the grime that has settled by the entrance. Someone has been going in and out for about a week or two. I take the steps two at a time and reach for the metal door handle. It has some give as I push but an object is blocking it from totally opening. I force it with my good shoulder and as I do I hear footsteps. I dance back and head around the corner to watch. Just as I suspected, the kid from yesterday. He is carrying a metal pipe. At first, I think he is ready for action against whoever was pulling on the door. But he jogs down the steps with another purpose. His strides are quick and determined. I decide to follow. He is hurting from yesterday’s beating. I can tell. My shoulder smarts where the bullet was removed but I refuse to wear it in a sling like the doc wanted me to. Sympathy for this kid’s pain is relatable. The pipe swings as he carries it and his pace picks up. I wonder what he is planning to do with it.
He takes a left and so do I. After a few minutes, I realize I am exactly back where I started the other night. We are right near the edge of the dock where I kicked the bodies into the water. Voices carry over the air. I sidle closer and see the three dudes that beat this kid hanging around laughing. They must get their biggest kicks early in the morning. The face of the kid I followed shows, outlined against the worn, cracked siding of the building. He is tracking these other kids. His face is swollen and red with a black eye and fat lip. He dances in place, psyching himself up. He reminds me of me.
Then he bolts, he just flashes out of his spot. He lifts the pipe over his head and smashes it into the back of the legs of the kid closest to him. All of them are taken by surprise. He has the upper hand today. He evens out the score with the pipe and the element of surprise. He swings around, catching another kid in the shoulder. A howl roars through the morning light. He whips up the pipe and swings it like a baseball bat at the third kid, getting him square in the chest. These guys don’t know what hit them. Sneakers slap on the wood dock as he takes off running, never letting go of the pipe.
Revenge. Well planned, executed, and fearless. I snicker at his boldness. This kid definitely reminds me of myself. I walk over to the moaning victims. The tables are turned—yesterday that kid was the victim, now it’s these losers. The fight was unfair and cowardly… three against one. The one sought revenge and I can taste the sweetness even though I only observed. He is rolling it around in his mouth, savoring it. I raise my boot and kick one of these cowards and he flips over, groaning.
I hope you enjoyed part two and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to reach out to me.