Jo marched into one of the most reputable diners in Ganghaven, Jacob's. The place was near empty, with only a few couples at various tables.
The proprietor, Jacob came forward to greet her.
“Jo, you're welcome! You need a table?” The burly man asked, wiping his greasy hands on his stained apron and offering Jo a handshake.
“Yes. I need a table for three. My friends will be here soon.” Jo replied, declining to shake hands.
“Well, you can sit at any table of your choice.” Jacob said.
Jo thanked him and plopped herself down at the farthest table in the diner.
“Except that one.” Jacob murmured.
“Did you say something?” Jo asked.
He shook his head, deciding not to tell her about his regular customer who always came at the same time each day, and sat on that chair. He prayed his customer wouldn't come that day. Instead, he changed the topic “What would you like?”
“A BLT, with lotsa extra cheese, a huge pack of fries, and a bottle of bud light.” Jo said joyously. Jacob's burgers were greasy and chock filled with cholesterol, but they were the best in Ganghaven, which was why the gangs never bothered him. What if he decided to leave for Gulden?
“Ok. That's coming right up.” Jacob smiled.
“How's Junior?” Jo asked.
“He's doing well. He's studying to be a mechanic, and is planning to open his own workshop, right here in Odton.” Jacob replied with paternal pride.
Junior, his only child had been a gangster before. During a fight, he'd been stabbed in the stomach, and Jo had gotten her doctor friend to tend to him. After that, she'd had a chat with him, telling him to do better with the second chance he'd been given.
Junior then cut all ties with his gang and decided to become a mechanic.
“That's great.” Jo beamed.
“It is. Once again, thank you, Jo.” Jacob said as he left to prepare her order.
Jo waited for her friends impatiently. She loved hanging out with her girlfriends, as infrequent as it happened. It was the only time she let her guard down. With them, she didn't have to be a tough-as-nails gang leader with about twenty testosterone filled humans to keep in check, with them, she could be the fun-loving young woman who liked to horse around and gossip about the latest happenings.
Some minutes later, two beautiful women rushed into the diner, smiling when they saw Jo. She returned their smiles and waved them over.
The two women were Sia Stone and Andrea Levi, her two BFFs in the world.
Sia was petite, about five feet two inches, with lustrous brown hair that reached the middle of her back, and a highly voluptuous figure. She was an ER surgeon, who ran a charity clinic in Ganghaven which was perpetually swamped with patients who couldn't afford exorbitant hospital bills.
Sia wasn't from Ganghaven, but she'd seen how the people of the block lived from hand to mouth and had decided to help.
Jo's other friend was Andrea Levi, a rookie in the police force. Andrea had black hair which she always kept in a braid, and had good facial features. She was considered pretty when she smiled, which she didn't do often, except when she was with her friends.
Like Jo, Andrea had lost her father to gangsters, but unlike Jo, she'd decided to join the police to stop that from happening to some innocent child out there.
Andrea was a blonde tonight, with blue eyes. Her disguise was necessary to avoid people discovering who she was. If it was ever found out that she was a cop, it would be disastrous for her. There were many gangs out there who would like to have their pound of flesh from the cops in any way they could.
Jo trusted these two women with her life. They were the only people in the world, apart from her mother who knew her secret; that she was a gang leader whose objective was to rid the block from other gangsters.
Jo didn't think there was a group of people she hated more than the other gang leaders. According to her, they were heartless and soulless creatures who destroyed many lives, both young and old, just in a bid to make money.
At first, Jo hadn't wanted to start her own gang, but people from Ganghaven were weary of most charity organizations and social workers because they had been fooled one too many times by people who had professed their willingness to help, only to find out that they were exploiters.
As a last resort, she'd started the Street Hawks, and had recruited like-minded men as members. The Street Hawks served as a charity organization, giving money, food and clothing to people who needed it, and sending those who needed immediate medical attention to Sia. They also gave the police, through Andrea, confidential information on many illegal activities taking place, not that the police ever did much about it. But sometimes, they raided the block and carted away the suspects.
“So, what's up with you two?” Jo asked.
“Nothing much. I'm just stressed out. Some woman was brought to the clinic. A victim of domestic abuse. She was pregnant and her husband hit her, forcing her to go into labour. Had to perform a C-section.” Sia said, before hollering to Jacob to give her whatever Jo was having.
Jo and Andrea winced, “I hope it was successful.” Andrea said, before giving Jacob the same order as Sia.
“Thankfully, yes. But the problem is, she wants to go back to him. She keeps saying it was a one time thing, but the fading bruises on the various parts of her body speak otherwise.” Sia sighed, massaging her temple.
“That's sad. Sia, you must be really tired. It was selfish of me to call you out here, without considering the shit you have to go through.” Jo said.
“Nonsense. I need this. This is my fix of happiness in my otherwise bleak existence.” Sia said.
Jo and Andrea rolled their eyes. Sia was known for her melodrama. “So what 'bout you?” Jo asked Andrea.
“My day was frustrating too. I couldn't get the lieutenant to sanction a raid on the arms dealers.” Andrea replied angrily, “I wonder if he's waiting for people to die first.”
At that moment, Jacob arrived with two trays of food. His smile widened when he saw Sia. He placed the trays on their table, left and returned with a third one.
“The food is on the house.” He said.
“Jacob, stop. We'll pay.” Sia said.
“No. You three have been a huge source of help to the block in various ways. It's the least I could do.” He said in a voice that booked no argument.
The women thanked him profusely and dug in, laughing as Jo told them in full detail what she'd done to Lenny's massage parlor.
Ash was actually very angry as he entered the diner. His friend and contact in the police force had been posted to patrol the streets of Gulden, not Ganghaven. Ash didn't understand why the cops left a place that was in dire need of their presence, and went to a place that was already full of 'em. It was grossly unfair, if you asked him.Ash shook his head and sighed. That was the problem, nobody cared enough for Ganghaven, he thought. He wondered if it was a crime to be born into a low-income earning family.His scowl intensified when he saw that his usual table at the diner was taken. Upon further examination, he found that the three women who'd taken up his space were actually beautiful. That wiped the scowl off his face. Maybe he could join them; flirting with beautiful women always put him in a good mood.As he walked up to them, he saw that one of them had a tattoo sleeve. But that wasn't his problem. His problem was one of the tattoos. It was one of a haw
Andrea Levi sent up a silent prayer as she entered Lieutenant Baines' office, hoping that he'd listen to what she had to say.When she entered, she saw him walking on the treadmill in his office, sweating and counting under his breath. His office was furnished with state-of-the-art furniture, giving it the look of that of a senator or governor. Baines' office was his pride and joy, so he rarely left it.“Levi.” He said in acknowledgement, stopping the treadmill and taking a nearby towel to his face.“Sir.” She replied sharply.Baines took a bottle of water, twisted off the cap and put it to his mouth, almost finishing the bottle's contents in one one gulp.After that, he gave a loud burp before he sat in his chair, not bothering to excuse himself.“What do you want?” He asked impatiently.“Sir, I've come to call a certain illegal operation to your knowledge.” Andrea said as she slid a fi
“Mum, there's a huge drug deal going down in Ganghaven during the weekend.” Jo said as she sat down and grabbed a fork, waiting for her mother to dish her share.“Have you informed the cops?” Ruth asked as she divided the pie into two unequal shares, leaving the smaller part for herself and sliding the larger part over to Jo.Jo dug into her pie, taking some huge spoonfuls before she replied, “Yes. But they don't seem to be interested in whatever happens here,” with her mouth full.Ruth looked terrified, “Jo, you might be the leader of one of the most feared gangs in Ganghaven, but you're still my daughter and you'll act like it! Don't talk with your mouth full.”“Sorry, Mum.” Jo said, before she caught herself and covered her mouth. After she'd swallowed the sweet pie, she spoke, “The police aren't interested.”“That's sad. We're always treated differently down her
Finally, Saturday had approached, Ash thought. Throughout the rest of the week, Ash had devoted his time to studying the layout of the building where the deal was going to happen, and training his men on stealth, something most gangsters wouldn't know if it hit them in the face.Before they left for the bust, he gave them a serious talk, “We've been doing all we can to clean up the streets of Ganghaven without letting people know, and today will be no different. On this op, there'll be no bandanas, no slang, nothing that can lead people to identify us as the Sopranos. If that happens, we'll have the dealers on our backs, and believe me you do not want that.Also, you know that rule I gave you guys, the one that says 'do not instigate or escalate violence without being attacked first'?”His men nodded.Ash continued, “Good. Today, just for today, I want you to fuck that rule.”His men murmured and laughed.“I'm s
“You were saying?” Jo asked smoothly.This time, it was Ash who got incensed, “Look, as much as I'd like to stay and play turf war with you? My men and I have something important to do here!”“And I don't?” Jo replied, not giving an inch.“I know you're here to steal the drugs and the cash for yourself, but that's not happening.” Ash said.Jo wondered why he thought the worst of her motives, “You're an idiot,” She replied, “And we're going nowhere.”“Well, it seems there's going to be a shootout.” Ash said, his mouth drawn into a hard line.Capo stared at him and Ash grimaced. He wasn't actually planning to shoot at the Street Hawks, he was just trying to scare them into leaving.“You won't shoot at us. It'll blow your cover. When they arrive here and see the damage you'll do, they'll up and leave immediately.” Jo said, unworried.As
When the two gangs crawled away to a safe place, an argument ensued between both leaders.“This is all your fault!” Jo accused Ash, shooting him a furious glare.“And how is that?” Ash replied coldly.“If you and your men had kept away from the deal, there would have been zero glitches.” Jo said.“I could say the same thing. If you and your greedy merry gang of men hadn't come to the building to steal the drugs and green for yourselves, we wouldn't be in this mess.” Ash accused.One of Jo's men, a man whose biceps looked like tree trunks stepped in front of her and glowered down at Ash, “That's enough,” which brought Capo to Ash's side. Although the other man was huger than Capo, he wasn't intimidated.Jo sighed and said to the man, “It's okay, Rex.”Rex nodded and stepped to her side.To Ash, she said, “It's very ridiculous of you to jump to such stu
At the precinct, Lieutenant Ted Baines called everybody around into the tiny briefing room.Everyone knew he was going to talk about their dead colleague. It was common knowledge that Baines took the death of any of his subordinates hard.“Yes, I called you all here to make the news official; Detective Matteo Salvador is dead.”He waited for the murmurs of sympathy that arose, and when they died down he continued,“He was one of our best men to work in the narcotics department. He was a beloved colleague, a husband and father to three young girls. He died in the most heroic way possible; in service to this city.Those turds down at Ganghaven have no respect for the law and its officers. This is not the first time this is happening, but I swear on God and everything I hold dear that the person who did this must pay! The person who did this must be brought to justice! The person who murdered Salvador in cold blood will forever regre
The next morning, Jo awakened to a text message from Andrea that read; Call me ASAP.Jo did as the message said and called Andrea as she went to brush her teeth.Andrea answered, all hyped up, “Good morning Jo.”Jo, who wasn't a morning person groaned at Andrea's perkiness. How could someone be cheerful at such an ungodly hour, she thought, “You asked me to call you.”“That I did. Yesterday, after you told me about Ash being at the bust too, I looked him up in our records, and I must say he looks good both in pictures and in real life.”Jo put the phone on speaker and squirted some toothpaste on her toothbrush, “Is that what you called to tell me?” She feigned disinterest outwardly but she was actually eager to hear about Ash.“No. Funny thing about Ash is that he's not from Ganghaven,” Andrea said.Jo, who had been brushing her teeth vigorously stopped as Andrea's words perm