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 hawk in flight. Ash recognized it as the tattoo of the Street Hawks, which meant that the woman sitting at his table, wolfing down her huge sandwich was the leader of the gang. Immediately, Ash's scowl returned. Sure, the Sopranos hadn't had any wars with the Street Hawks, but he hated them nonetheless. They were like every other street gang, out to get money and power at any cost, even if it was human life.
Except him of course, his reasons for being a gang leader were less sinister, although no one outside his gang was privy to that piece of information.
He looked at the table again and wondered if her two friends knew what she was. Yes, he thought, the signs were there; in the way she dressed.
He walked up to the women and sought out the gang leader, “You're in my place. Please leave.” He said coldly.
Their jaws hung open for a second, before the gangster recovered herself and said, “Make me.”
Ash was hit by a bolt of shock. Not because of her response, because he expected nothing less, but because she was actually very beautiful up close. Sure, she cut her hair really short and didn't have any makeup on, but those did not detract the beauty that lay in her obsidian eyes, clear skin and her luscious lips.
Hell, he even found the intricate designs of the tattoos on her arms sexy as hell. He wondered how they'd taste if he licked them.
Wait! What? Where had that thought come from? Remember what she is, a soulless gangster, he told his brain.
“Jacob! You let these women take my table?!” Ash hollered at Jacob who suddenly remembered something was burning and left quickly.
“You will not blame him! I came here, saw an empty table and sat! And I didn't see your name or 'the Quartet' written on it!” She said defiantly.
Ash felt like laughing but held it back. She probably wouldn't appreciate it if he told her she looked cute as hell when she was angry. Then, her insult hit his brain.
“Now, wait! My gang is called the Sopranos, not the Quartet. Get that right!” He said with clenched teeth.
“What do you guys do? Sing people to death? Y'all, let's get out of here before he decides to do just that.” She said, and her friends stood up.
This time, Ash retained his laughter with more restraint. The quip wasn't a new one, but coming from her, it sound really funny.
“No, no, no. You three can stay. I would never sit at a table that has been tainted by the Street Rats.” Ash sneered, “In fact, I just remembered, I have somewhere else to be.”
“Like on a date with the hot Miss Thumb and her four sisters?” She replied before flipping him off.
This time, a chuckle escaped Ash before he could stop it. Truth of the matter was that he'd probably do as she'd taunted. But she didn't have to know that. He smiled at her friends, “Make better choices when it comes to friends.”
Then, he sauntered away like he had no care in the world.
* * *
Jo growled at the man's retreating figure, ogling his ass. She admitted to herself that he had a very nice ass, muscular and sculpted, but that didn't prevent him from being an asshole.
She'd seen him as he walked in, a lock of brown hair falling over his face. He was lean and less muscular than how she usually liked men, but he made up for that with his piercing green eyes that were noticeable from a mile away.
He'd then walked over in a saunter that exuded confidence and sensuality.
“A hot man is coming here. Don't look.” She'd whispered to her friends, who'd immediately turned and asked, “Where?”
Then, he'd approached them only to accuse her of stealing his spot. It had taken a while for his rude words to sink in, because she was taken in by the devastating combo that was his green eyes and criminally full lips.
That was until she'd seen the purple bandana sticking out of his pants pocket. That shade of bandana that belonged to the Sopranos.
Knowing he was a gangster had launched her into attack mode. She'd been angry at him, but more angry at herself for being attracted to what she hated the most in the world; a gangster.
“What was that?” Andrea asked Jo, snapping her out of her thoughts.
Jo frowned, “What was what?”
Sia fanned herself with her hand as she replied, “You two were sending out some pretty strong vibes. If he'd remained here a minute more, you two would have burned the clothes off each other.”
“That's nonsense.” Jo said.
“No, it's not. You like him, but that's okay. I mean did you see his hair? His face? His eyes? What's there not to like?” Andrea asked, feigning a swoon.
“The fact that he's a gangster.” Jo replied instantly, “Moreover, I didn't notice he was handsome.”
“Liar, liar.” Andrea said.
“Pants on fire.” Sia finished in a sing-song voice.
Jo flipped them off and returned to eating her burger, thinking that she wouldn't mind eating something else, preferably a tall, brown haired, green eyed—
She shook her head to dispel the stupid thought and took a drink of her beer.
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
Jo looked on with barely suppressed anger as the teenage boy and his family thanked Ash profusely. It wasn't that Jo was jealous over the attention and thanks he was getting, but why had he shown up? She'd had everything under control.Ash had showed up at the last minute and cajoled the officers who'd been super friendly to him, to let her and the boy go. Surprisingly, the two grouches had given in after Ash had sworn on his life that they didn't know anything.Jo admitted to herself that Ash's way was better for the boy. Now, he'd be saved the trauma of having to visit an interrogation room.Some minutes later, Ash stopped the family from groveling and walked up to Jo.Jo regarded him with a withering glance, “What do you want? A vote of thanks?”Ash shook his head. Why did her belligerence look hot to him?“No, I only came to ask if you're okay,” he replied with genuine concern.Jo saw the concern in his eye