high heels

The bell screams its way to the office. Mike walks to the door, Tony rushes inside. Both move to the living room. Glass-round disco-ball lights, ox bookcases seven feet tall, a Victorian table, Persian rugs and a TV wall. Mike takes a seat at the table, so does Tony. Mike snorts two of white and offers the tip to Tony.

-For your own good, really.

-Thank you sir, but not today.

-Gotta play it tough kid. Easy women never get husbands.

Mike blows angeldust out of his nose. Tony shrugs nonchalantly.

-So, tell me a story. Vicente brings over hos from Madrid. Then.

-Sir, I really am a very responsible person.

-Shut up Joan. Go.

Tony starts shaking.

-Mr. Calderon plans on employing foreign girls to work the corner below the bridge. He puts Eliza’s name on the ship and place, thinking we won’t find out but our guy snitches the whole thing. We are gonna hit them once they’re off the ship and driving to town. Not so much for the girls but mostly because it’s an under the table agreement which shows disrespect and might-

-Smartass last wheel ain’t a smart wheel. Stick to the story.

Tony’s gaze no longer meets Mike’s.

-Just kidding with you Helen. Get it over with.

-Right, so around oh-six-hundred three vans come out of St. Vickeri, assumingly in order: First one, John Arteaja on the wheel, Alfredo Francia riding shotgun. They both run brothels for Calderon. Three guys with AKs in the back. Middle van the girls, possibly Romanian, maybe Bulgarian, with the driver. Last in line, also unknown driver, Miguel Herrera on the lookout with muscle at the back, partly for the escort, also for protection upon arrival.

-Good. What we get from this?

-That’s two middle-level guys at best, then disposables. Apparently Calderon, knowing the risks, doesn’t want to openly associate with the transaction. He can claim some guys went rogue on him wanting to cut themselves a slice behind his back. Still, he offers considerable protection knowing it’s right time for him to prepare the ground for expansion, waiting on the weakened families to rot further into the crisis.

Mike hits Tony flat across the face. Tony stares at the table. His face doesn’t give out the slightest trace of surprise.

-I don’t even have to look out for you motherfucker and you ain’t learning shit. Now go on with the god damn story.

-We got guys where the road turns narrow by the port, taking advantage of the route they choose to follow since it’s gotta stay as secret as possible. They’re disguised as police so we get the guns and muscle on the lookout once they stop them for the cop check but just for that. We hide in cars half a mile from the spot. Me, Romano and La Fabro drive. You and the McLaren guys ride with us holding rifles. Then we crash on them, speeding, hoping we’ll throw them vans with muscle and weapons off the road at least, hopefully into the sea. You clear off those who still fight back and the drivers, then we take the middle van home. Noone ever talks about it, to anyone, much more before the next family gathering.

-Guess why?

-No sir.

-Good.

Tony and Mike remain silent. Mike and Tony take a look at the time. Mike finishes off what’s left of the cocaine.

-Sir?

-Speak.

-Mr. Andretti does not wish to openly associate with the operation in case something goes wrong, right?

-No, the boss don’t wanna do that.

-Sir, what if some of them run away and on our backs?

-They won’t live to tell the story unless they leave town. Either us or Calderon.

-What if the girls take fire?

-There will be other girls.

-Dad, what if you get shot?

-Son, from what I heard, life’s a motherfucker.

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