Double Blind

By: Vanessa Waltz

“Hey guys, take a seat.”

Tony, the fat fuck, sits behind one of the round tables. He doesn’t even get out of his chair as we approach.

Disrespectful fuck.

His captains, who are seated around him, glower at me. George, the consigliere, sits at Tony’s right. There’s a bottle of wine on the table with no label, a couple of glasses and white plates. Big heaps of ziti sit on the plate in front of Tony. He digs into it with his fork, his hand almost swallowing the silverware. It’s so quiet, that the only sounds I hear are the clatter of Tony’s fork against the plate and his chewing.

To my relief, I spot John seated at the table with his protection flanking him. Johnny French, they call him, or “Frenchie” to his back. He isn’t really French, but like most Italians who grow up in Montreal, he speaks it fluently.

My feathers settle down somewhat. Good. I feel a little less naked.

Johnny stands up and embraces Jack. “How are you?”

“Not bad, not bad. This is Vince.”

“Ah, the hothead. I’ve heard about you.”

John winks at me, trying to get me to relax, but I can’t.

“Relax, Vince.”

I can’t relax, not when I’m staring at the man who almost had me and Adriana killed. Not to mention my mother, for fuck’s sake. I’m regretting the suggestion for this sit-down already.

Jack grunts as he sits down in the chair. He’s still in pain from the surgery, but he keeps his back straight. From the outside looking in, he looks just fine. It wouldn’t do to show any of these assholes weakness. I take my place behind him. One of the captains, a guy my age, sneers at me from across the room.

Fuck you, too.

“Let’s get down to business, shall we?” Johnny suggests.

“Thanks for coming down, John.”

The two bosses stare at each other from across the table.

“Okay,” Jack relents. “I’ll start. You came into our restaurant while we were surrounded by family members and you tried to end us. Well, we’re still fucking here and we want an end to all of this violence. It’s bad for business and it makes us look like savages to those in the old country.”

Tony barely looks up from his plate as Jack talks. He shrugs. “And?”

I’m already bristling from his fucking attitude.

“And what?”

“What, you’re going to act like nothing’s wrong while that piece of shit stands behind you? First, he beats the shit out of my made guy. Now his brother and another one of my guys are missing. I hear you, Jack, but we have a fucking problem as far as he’s concerned.”

I tense behind Jack as Tony’s small eyes flash malevolently towards me.

“He disrespected our family at one of our games. He was violent towards one of the dealers. I was there and saw all of it. Vincent’s response may have been a little overboard, but he tried to make it right.”

Tony sneers at me. “Look at you, hiding behind your fuckin’ boss like a coward.”

I move around Jack and lunge towards Tony, but Jack grabs my arm.

“I can fucking speak for myself, Jack!” I turn back towards Tony as hatred boils through my veins. “Yeah, I beat the piece of shit to a pulp, and I’d do it again. He was way out of line. Then when I try to make it right, you assholes threaten to rape my fiancée.”

He has an irritating little smirk. I’d like to reach across the table and rip his fat fucking head off.

“I had to retaliate. I could have killed him. I didn’t.”

I did him a fucking favor.

Tony blinks. “You broke half the teeth in his mouth. How am I supposed to respond when you keep attacking my guys? Two of them are missing.” He gives me a pointed glare.

“Well, I don’t know anything about that!” I snarl into Tony’s face.

Like fuck, I don’t. I put several rounds in his chest and head. I’d do it again, and again, and again. As for the asshole who threatened Adriana, he had it fucking coming. Fuck them all.

One of the captains leaning against the wall, the one who eye-fucked me earlier, straightens. “Watch your fucking tone, asshole.”

Jack gives me a quelling look before he turns his attention back to Tony. “Tony, we’re not here to argue with you. We’re here to put everything behind us and work towards a solution.”

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