They're All Charlies
The booths and tables were overflowing with happy-go-lucky patrons of the Golden Harp. The Gang spread throughout the speakeasy, covering all entrances and enjoying the night's festivities. This was the night that Isaac announced his engagement to Grace, and everyone that had a connection to the two lovebirds were there to celebrate.
Ace stood near the bar so that he could torment poor Shaker when opportunity presented itself. "Hey Shaker, how is it that you shake when you are just talking but when you're pouring a drink you don't spill a single drop."
"I-- I'm good at--at what I do." The bartender smiled.
"Leave him alone, Acey," That sultry voice called out from the top of the stairs. "Shaker, I'll take my usual."
"Come on, Gracie, you want to ask the same question," Ace defended himself.
"Of course, but you have this strange NEED to see Shaker spill a drop." Ace laughed, he knew it was true.
"You--you look great, Gr--Gracie," Shaker stuttered.
She smiled and turned around so they could admire all of her. She wore a red silk floor length dress with a slit that came to about knee high on her left leg. Her hair was down and displayed the simple waves of her cinnamon colored locks; her bangs were pulled to the left and fastened back with diamond barrette. Even though her day was painful she wouldn't let it rule her night, tonight was just about her and Isaac.
A wolf whistle came from one of the drunks at the bar. His hand slipped out and pinched her butt. She squeaked in horror and the room halted. All of Davenport's men were on their feet ready to attack. Grace held them off, looked the drunk straight in eye and said, "Don't ever do that again, Charlie." With a nod of her head Ace had him apprehended and escorted the drunk out of there.
Isaac came to her side, "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, just someone trying to mess with what's rightfully yours," She smiled up at him as he pulled her close.
"Let's do our rounds," Isaac suggested. He leaned down to whisper, "Keep your eyes open, some of Milliron's goons are here. I think something might go down, make sure you have your gun on you."
"I always do," She kissed his cheek. The two made their way around the room greeting old and new patrons alike.
Finally Isaac made his way to the stage to make the big announcement. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to thank you all for being here tonight to make this all the more special for my Grace and I. We want you all to know that we have decided to spend the rest of our lives together. So for all of you I want to bring up the love of my life and have her sing you all a song."
Grace walked onto that stage and with her smile bright, she grabbed Isaac hand and squeezed. Turning to the piano man she smile, "Play me a song, Fingers." Fingers started into "It Had To Be You" and Grace sang right to her man. Ace and Shaker were standing in awe of the beautiful scene, Lou and Bo were smiling with pride and Harry shook his head as if to say it was about time. The entire place sat enamored with the love scene in front of them that they didn't noticed the rival mob had started drawing their guns.
Ace finally remembered his job and notice a swift movement to the stairs. Something was going down and he didn't like the looks of it. "Shaker," Ace whispered, "get your gun." Lou, Bo and Harry caught Ace's signal to Shaker and noticed the change in tension.
"Well... well... well..." A booming voice interrupted Grace's song. "That was beautiful." The speaker was Milliron's right hand man.
"You're barkin' up the wrong tree, Charlie," Isaac spoke low.
"It's not, Charlie," The thug growled. "But it doesn't matter because you're not going to live long enough to remember it."
"I guess it just the way you play the cards," Grace smiled. Ace and Shaker got their cue. Shaker's Tommy gun started riddling holes in the ceiling. The tactic worked to confuse the party-crashers. Ace finally got the fight he's been looking for all day as he took on the thug's bodyguards.
Chaos broke out and women's cries of horror filled the room along with the loud exchange of lead. Isaac was covering Grace when she caught sight of a scene that just fueled her anger. One of the goons in front of her took out Shaker. As if in slow motion she watched as Shaker took the bullet and disappeared behind the bar.
"Shakey...Shaker!" Grace and Isaac screamed. No holding back now and they took out each of those dumb thugs systematically. Silence finally fell on the room as Bo and Lou rounded up the casualties, and Grace ran to Shaker's side.
"Shaker... Shaker!" She was frantic to get his eyes open. "Don't die on me!"
A soft chuckle erupted from the bartender's exhausted body, "And give Ace the chance to walk--walk you down the aisle... No--no way." Grace kissed his cheek in relief. Harry sat by his side to stop the bleeding and Ace got the mob's personal doctor on the phone. Isaac picked Grace off the floor and held her close, her breathing was unsteady but at least she relaxed knowing Shaker's alive.
"Hey Boss," Lou called. "What do we do with these dead weights?"
Isaac walked Grace over to the pile of corpses and examined them, He smiled at Lou, "Drop 'em off outside Milliron's place and leave a note pinned to this Charlie here." He pointed to the main man. He pulled out his card and a pen to write the note. Lou read the note and smiled, "Better luck next time."
Isaac watched Grace go over to the thug that shot Shaker; she kicked him in the face with her heel and shot him once more for good measure. Isaac pulled her to his side.
"Hey," he lifted her face to look at him, "you okay?"
"Yeah," She gave a weak smile, "They're all Charlies at the end of the day."
He laughed for he knew the saying was one that she learned from her father before he died. He kissed her hair, "Let's go home. I need a drink."
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