Double Blind

By: Vanessa Waltz

“Yeah, ‘cause you’re dying left and right.”

“Hey,” he snaps, looking angry for the first time tonight. “I could have gone to friends of ours in the old country, but I didn’t. I’m trying to make things work between our families before we kill each other. This conflict is destructive to both of our businesses, whether or not you’d like to admit it.”

The New Jersey boss sets down his fork and shoves aside his plate. One of his soldiers takes it away immediately as he takes a small sip of wine, stirring the glass and sniffing as if tasting Jack’s proposal. “I’m willing to discuss terms with you, but I have two missing men, Jack.”

“Yeah, and you killed several of mine, not to mention two of Vince’s cousins.”

That fat asshole looks up from the table, looking at me. A smile stretches over his grotesque face like a jack-o-lantern.

My hands shake at my side.

“Adriana Baldino,” he says suddenly.

“What’s she got to do with anything?” I ask defensively.

Jack gives me another enraged look.

“Her family owes us a lot of debts, not to mention her father almost fucked us over when he agreed to testify.”

The captain who told me to settle down shifts suddenly, I see his arms cross out of the corner of my eye.

I don’t like where this is going.

“I’ll pay whatever debts she owes.”

That can’t be all.

His eyes roll towards me. “No.”

The breath catches in my throat and my heart plummets. “No? What do you mean, no?”

“She’s going to earn it herself, by working in one of my casinos. I hear that she’s a good dealer, and I want her.”


Jack stands up, his face furious as he grabs my arms and yanks me down into a chair. “Sit the fuck down,” he growls in my ear.

“She has nothing to do with this!”

The boss is unaffected by my rage. He calmly grabs a cigar from inside his jacket and lights it laboriously. Sparks fly and smoke surrounds him, making him look like a cartoon villain. He waves the cloud of smoke away.

“I don’t give a fuck. This is payback for your fuckin’ attitude. In addition, you’re going to give me twenty percent of your action.”

Desperation crushes my lungs and I lean over the table, staring at him. “Tony, since when do we bring women in this?”

Ignoring me, he turns to Jack. “She’ll be working closely with one of my captains.”


He gestures towards the man in the back, who told me off for yelling at his boss. He steps forward, wearing a fitted suit. Dark blue. Light brown hair and deep blue eyes. He looks a few years older than me. I haven’t really heard anything about him.

“Carmine Lucchesi.”

The look he gives me is one I recognize. That dead-eyed, vacant look I see in so many of my soldiers. He hides his brutality well under his charming smile, which he gives to Jack.

With the faintest note of a sneer, he talks to me, “Your girl is quite popular. Stories about her reached all the way to Jersey. I’m excited to meet her.”

Something snaps. I lunge across the table, intent on punching every part of his body. The chair knocks to the floor and Carmine laughs as I grab his jacket. Someone slams me in the solar plexus and all the air is knocked out of my lungs. They wrap an arm around my throat and yank me back. Stars burst in my vision as my air is cut off. The arm disappears and I gulp down air.

“Go fuck yourself!”

Carmine sneers at my rage, adjusting his suit as his soldiers pull my arms back so far that I feel like they’re going to pop out of my sockets.

“Get him the fuck out of here!”

Tony looks bored as he waves off the men. “Leave him be. Carmine, don’t provoke him.”

They let me go and I’m overcome with an urge to reach into my jacket and blow that piece of shit to pieces, but they already frisked me. What the fuck is his problem?

Jack tries to cover for me, apologizing for me as if I’m a fucking five year old.

“I’m sorry, Tony. He’s a bit of a hothead.”

“Yeah. Aren’t we all?”

“I think that’s it then.”

They shake hands and I swallow my disgust. I stalk towards the exit, my shoulders shaking as I take the weapons back from the guard. I’m hoping that the asshole will follow me outside, but he doesn’t. Instead, Jack joins me, gripping my arm painfully.

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