I pushed the cufflink in the hole of my sleeve and tied the shirt together just like my useless father had taught me to do years ago. It had been the only thing he’d done for me. Thinking about the day’s events, I felt a little smirk coming on. Today was going to be glorious. I had to fight to keep the smile from appearing, knowing I needed to keep it together today—at least until I got to the funeral. When I put a bullet through the head of my rival’s father—and the head of the gang I’d been trying to eradicate—I never expected it to have such an impact on my business. An impact I was relishing. Pulling my suit jacket on, I straightened my collar and looked at my profile in the mirror. I wasn’t a vain man by any stretch of the word, but I did like to look my best. Confidence was key in my business, especially since I rarely looked good when I was forced to take care of business.
One of my men, Franco, walked into my bedroom with a grim look on his face. I noticed how underdressed he was for the funeral which made me frown.
“What are you wearing?”
“Boss… don’t do this. You don’t want to start a war with the family again.”
The family he was talking about was, of course, the Torelli family. The one and only family left over since the outing of the mafia to the law several years ago. No one could work in this town unless they owed something to Luca or Giordy Torelli. In a recession, the mafia took nothing—their threats falling on empty ears. That’s where I came in. I learned the ropes and started my own business rivaling the very people who taught me everything I needed to know. I was a ruthless bastard with no soul. They called me Jett Black due to my lack of soul, and I liked it—I had even renamed myself because it suited me just fine.
“Get your suit on.”
I didn’t like to repeat myself. Insubordinance never was acceptable in my ‘gang.’ Honestly, I didn’t understand why they labeled us. I certainly wasn’t like any other gangster I’d met nor did I want to be. I was a one of a kind, always would be. No, I wasn’t the head of a gang. I had an organization—a businessman with a goal in mind. Gangsters did what they were told until one day they were taken out or they headed up the gang—maybe.
“Boss… come on! We can’t have another war.”
And there it was. Honestly, I don’t even know why Franco was so concerned with another war since he wasn’t around for the first one. I sighed, reaching into my holster and holding the gun against his forehead. He whimpered slightly, his bottom lip trembling.
I pulled the trigger, sending half of his brain matter across the room and onto the nearby wall.
Ugh—I’ll have my man, York, deal with that when I get back.
York was my godsend with any job I didn’t want to do myself—like clean up my mess. I looked down at the bloodied body at my feet and sighed. Damn it! That was the third guy to piss me off and challenge my authority in as many weeks. York was becoming incredibly busy.
Pulling my collar up and folding it over my jacket, I stepped over his body trying to remember what his name was before giving up and moving down the hall and into the daylight. It was a sunny day, which just made it all the more perfect for me to relish in the fact I’d made this happen. Luca had thought he’d be untouchable, had let his guard down with me. Didn’t they know me by now? Didn’t they know I would get to them one way or another? They taught me well, that was for damn sure.
I was fearless because I had no one to care about. It made working for me damn hard too—nothing could be used against me. Everyone wanted to work for me because I was fair with payment for services, and if you didn’t get in my way, I would generously set you and your family up. But the work was damn hard, and more likely than not, you’d be making your loved one a widow by the end of the month.
Apparently, it was worth the risk.
As it stands, the guy who had been with me the longest was York. He currently sat in my Lincoln reading the paper. I found him on the street of all places, but he had served me damn well and never spoke back to me. He acted without judgment and in my best interest, making him my most trusted employee.
York wasn’t his real name. I had no idea what it was, and frankly, if that’s what he wants to be called, then so be it. He’d been homeless after losing everything when he returned from Iraq. I had liked his story. Usually, they don’t get past the first sentence with me, but there was something about him that I liked. He was also my confidante. I bounced ideas off him, yet he didn’t want to be identified as any more than my driver.
“You know where to go,” I told him as I slid in the back. He nodded his head, put the paper down on the passenger seat, and sped off into the throng of the city. I checked my cell for any news on my latest conquest—a little restaurant owned by Luca’s son, Giordano or Giordy as he liked to be called by his closest friends. I wasn’t one of those people, but I still called him Giordy. If ruffling Giordy’s feathers was an Olympic sport, I’d have claimed that gold medal by now.
I wanted that damn restaurant under my belt. Why? Who knows, maybe because it was where I learned the trade or maybe because he was my arch nemesis. How comical did that sound in the cold light of day? Arch nemesis, like we’re some goddamn villains in a comic book. But in this case, it was true. The only difference between our life and the comic books was no one could magically revive him in the next book. Giordy would die a cold and long death, and I was waiting with bated breath to be the one to pull the trigger.
We’d been brothers growing up. He had helped me get out from under my abusive father’s wing and taught me everything I needed to know. When I killed my father, things changed. Apparently, that was a no-no in the Torelli’s family. It took precisely two minutes for me to walk out of that restaurant and form my organization, which was every bit the rival to Giordy’s father’s organization.
I’d never trusted another soul since, unless you wanted to count York. I trusted that man with my life every day, every time I got in my car.
“You need a clean-up crew?” York asked. He knew absolutely everything there was to know about me, and he didn’t give a shit. That was why I kept him around. He didn’t get in the way, and he was always helpful.
He never spoke about his wife or his kids even though I knew he had them. Instead, he kept focused on his job, driving me around town. Don’t get me wrong, I knew how to drive, but I just didn’t have the patience for it. And, to be honest, I had too much shit to deal with to drive at the same time.
York pulled up in front of the gardens where the Torelli’s tended to hold their funerals. I could see the family had gathered around the pastor, black glasses to stop everyone from guessing who wasn’t sad about his passing. Luca had been an asshole. Two of his former wives were standing by their kids, and then there were his mistresses, young and old, on the opposite side. Nothing like a death to bring everyone together. I chuckled to myself as I made my way to the spot.
To be completely honest, I could have spared Luca. He wasn’t who I wanted to hurt, but this would destroy Giordy, and I knew that would be in my favor. Giordy was head of the family now, his stubbornness and will to want, want, want would mean I could easily take him out. He was cocky and reckless just like I used to be, and it would be the reason he died.