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Caleb Holmes
New Discoveries
Fri May 20, 2005 01:20
66.244.88.159

“Lucy, wait!” John called out, nearly running into the girl’s backside after she opened the door. What was just beyond the threshold was hardly very settling, and he could only eye the man that saw fit to question her.

“Signa Luciana Avellino?” God, he hadn’t heard a dialect like that since spending his summers at home! “Eccellente. Sono qui portarlo al vostro nonno. Vorrebbe venire a contatto di e parlare con voi. Venuto, Sig.na. Il signore de Medici non gradisce essere continuato a attendere.” Medici? Medici?! Her grandfather was a Medici?! Oh dear God in Heaven, he was not hearing this. No, no, no!

“Who are you?” John certainly didn’t have the balls to ask this, but Caleb just at his shoulder apparently did! He had already slipped into the role of protector, moving to stand slightly before Lucy.

“A… friend.” The accent was thick, not sounding anything like the Italian thugs that either of them had dealt with in the past. Oh no, this was the real deal here, kids. It scared the shit out of John, frankly. “I am here to escort Signa Avellino to her grandfather. And you are?”

“Her fiancée.” Wow, that was fierce. John opted to remain a bystander for now, watching the odd situation unfold before him. Something in the visitor’s demeanor screamed that he was not going to take no for an answer. “I’m coming with you.” Such a heroic and defiant statement! He could feel himself becoming jaded and cynical in his old age.

“That will not be possible, Mister Holmes.” Oh snap. That wasn’t any good. “I am afraid Lord de Medici is not fond of government officials.” Caleb’s eyes narrowed, and before he could think of what was coming out of his mouth, he spoke.

“I’ll go.” Pause, eyeing Lucy and Caleb for a long moment. “I’ll accompany Lucy.” The visitor seemed to take interest in him for speaking up, like the fool he was, and concessions had to be made. “If that is permissible, of course.” Of course!

“Most certainly. But we are behind schedule, so if you would both please…?” Only now did John see the Mercedes, looming at the curb like a poorly restrained rabid beast. Crap. This was serious, beyond the piddly little shit that he had dealt with all the other times. But apparently Caleb understood the enormity of the situation, while he did not, and there wasn’t any time for a quick run down of what he was missing.

“Bring her back to me unharmed, Slepchoski. You understand me?” He had never seen Caleb’s gaze so intense before, and had no desire to find out what would happen if he failed on this self-appointed quest.

“Yes’sir.” Understood perfectly clear, sir! Preferring to keep his balls attached to his body, John gave a quick nod, turning away as Caleb’s attention settled upon Lucy.

“You forgot this…” It had to be the engagement ring she had discarded. John felt shamed that he was hearing such an intimate conversation, but there was precious little he could do about it. “I’m sorry. We’ll talk when you come home. Be careful, okay? I love you, Lucifer.” That was a poor nickname if he had ever heard one! But then Caleb was clearing his throat, and they were heading down the steps.

Into the backseat of the Mercedes, no one else there but themselves. Okay, this just stank of trap. If he was giving him life for something, it better be good! But then John could only think of what the driver said concerning Lucy’s supposed grandfather. Even she looked a bit skeptical about that! A Medici? An honest to God, Medici? The members of that family had been feared and revered during his childhood. Growing up in Little Italy with a Polish name had been… interesting. It had afforded him the opportunity to hear many things, and see far more.

The route in which the driver took was round about, using back avenues and side streets at will. Though he sped, it was still a safe enough journey, but John eventually ended up clasping Lucy’s hand in his own. He wasn’t certain if it was to soothe his jangled nerves, or put hers at ease. Whatever the reason, he was thankful for it in the back of his mind. He really wasn’t cut out for shit like this! Not like Caleb, this was his job. John had never disillusioned himself, always having known that he was the grunt. Point at a person, and he’d kill them. Simple!

The Jersey turnpike. He didn’t like the looks of that, not at all. Not much further into the state, and they were getting off the expressway. Another few blocks, and the Mercedes pulled up in front of an unnamed restaurant, only declaring that it had the best pasta in all of New Jersey – in Italian. Great! Carefully exiting the car once able to, and keeping Lucy close to his injured side, they were led within the kitschy little restaurant. It looked like something pulled straight out of the eighties! But what else did you expect in Jersey? Ten years behind everyone else, on a good day.

The inside was sparse; it had taken an authoritative knock at the front door from their driver to gain entrance. Lucy they obviously knew, but John was a wild card; he hoped it was in the girl’s favor, for her sake. Through a small dining room that was quaint and completely stereotypical and down the side hall, past a pair of freshly painted restroom doors, and to a dead end. Yet another secret knock – and he was being reminded of the Sopranos now – before gaining admittance. Hey, it was the last Italian dinner! This was… freaky.

“Gentlemen, may I introduce Signa Luciana Avellino.” The introductions continued, though it was fairly short considering there were only five men at the table, a single man standing behind the seated one, remaining unnamed. Each gentleman nodded in turn as his name was spoke, most being in their late forties or older, though faces could be deceptive concerning age. Recindi, Bauccem, Scouloppi, Pucceno, and Avennar. The names were not lost on John, nor did they seem to be lost on Lucy. Right, no gaping, just do the thug thing and you’ll be fine.

This is Luciana Avellino?” Oh, that really wasn’t a good start to the meeting, honestly. “This little slip of a girl?” This wasn’t good. Holding a chair out for Lucy, John’s eyes frantically gestured to it repeatedly, hoping she would get the message. She had to know the game here, if her family name was Avellino! Please God in Heaven!

“Usi un tono rispettoso quando parlano, signore Recindi”* That was as good as a threat anywhere in New York, and when it was with one of the Family heads? It was like signing your death warrant. Did John really have any of those thoughts in mind when he spoke up, not acting like the good little lackey he had hoped to pose as today? Of course not! He was just that much of an idiot some days.

“What?” They looked at John blankly, and at first he had thought it was because he had the pure audacity to speak to these men. But when they didn’t become angry, he couldn’t believe it. Did they not understand the language of their ancestors? The ones they pretended to be devout to in their ways? More dangerous than he realized, because he knew in their ignorance they could become volatile.

But their saving grace walked through the doorway at that moment.




Caleb stared at the Mercedes as it pulled away, praying to God that he would see Lucy after this. He should have said no, not allowed it, pulled her back into the house. But when he heard the name ‘Medici’ in that jumble of nonsense, it was all he could hear. So help him, if she didn’t come back unharmed… Fuming, the ex-agent turned toward the doorway, knowing there was something else he had to deal with right now.

Devon.

That rat bastard! Slamming the door shut behind him, Caleb stalked into the house, going straight into the kitchen. But his brother wasn’t there. Ooh, that little fink! Refusing to be put off by this, he took the stairs up to the second floor. And sure as shit, Devon was putting the few things he had brought over into his duffel bag, moving as quick as he could.

“You fukking bastard!” He was not going to hold any quarter with this fool. So it wasn’t any great surprise when Caleb swung wildly at his brother, only managing to bloody a lip. But that certainly wasn’t going to slake his desire for violence, to see this little shit pummeled into an unidentifiable mess.

“She asked for it, Caleb!” Devon screamed. “Lucy wanted it!” That was the wrong thing to say, buddy boy! The backside of Caleb’s hand met his brother’s cheek with a resounding smack. “She did!”

“Liar! Get the hell out of my home. Get—the—fukk—out—of—my—home!” Emphasizing his point, Caleb threw just about everything of Devon’s that he could out the door, along with the man. Kicked the trash down the hallway, and down the stairs. The way a pair of crutches tangled with Devon’s legs was satisfying, because it could only bring the bastard more pain in the long run. “Run home to daddy, you god damned home wrecker! I swear on my own fukking grave that if you show your face here again, there will be one less police officer on the NYPD force. Got it?! GOT IT?!

Devon didn’t even say a damn thing. He grabbed the duffel bag and one of the crutches before limping out of the door. Oh, Caleb hoped that nose was re-broken. He really did. It was the least that bastard deserved. He hadn’t even tried denying anything happened! On that principle alone, it was a good reason for him to be gone. The shit with Lucy could be sorted out later, like civilized adults. He could do that. He hoped.

“Fukk… I need a drink.” Didn’t he have a pack of cigarettes left over from a party, too?




* Use a respectful tone when speaking, Signore Recindi

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