Cold wind blew down the street I was walking, my hair dancing across my face while my hands dug deep into the jacket pocket. I don’t like being cold any day of the week, but seeing as I was sunbathing on a Mexican beach drinking a nice Mojito yesterday; this cold is the worst thing to have ever happened.
Seeing a sign over the head of a door of a Highlander cow, I smiled knowing that I was about to leave this fucking coldness.
Walking up to the building, I bang on the locked door that didn’t have an outside handle, instead there was a slit for an eye hole. I only had to wait a moment till the steel door’s peep hole slid open to show a man’s brown eye.
“Amsterdam.” I answered the unasked question, ready to be out of the cold Chicago weather.
God, I hate this city, to dam cold. The only reason I came was due to being recruited for some job. Usually, I am not being brought in person, most of the time I am sent postcards. However, since I am in the guild, the buyer for this upcoming job wanted to meet with everyone and give the information in person.
Dam guild. Being a part of the assassins’ guild is good because you always have jobs coming your way, but sometimes anonymity with others was good. Though the guild doesn’t really know who I am; just that if you need someone dead, I am the one to call.
I know I shouldn’t have come; it was a bad idea. But I was bored and thought what the hell.
The man behind the door took a moment to look at me and then the eye slot slammed shut. A moment later the large door opened, and I stepped into the building passing the bouncer and was greeted by warmth.
The entrance hall was small, with a hostess booth and a staircase behind her that goes to a form of speakeasy for tourists.
But that’s not why I am here.
Taking off my leather gloves, I walked up to the counter where the hostess gave me a greeting. Then she walked to a bookshelf and opened the door for the speakeasy I am here for. I gave her a smile and stepped into the deep, dark corridor, heading to the end.
Nothing like the underground world being hidden right in plain sight.
It wasn’t often I came to places like this, I often didn’t need to and a nice rooftop bar on the water was my place to be. What can I say, when you are deprived of everything for years, you tend to desire the finer things in life when given the chance. But when you get into a new town due to a recruitment call and you don’t need to keep your attendance a secret; it’s nice to see if there are any old ‘friends’ around.
Finally coming to the end of the corridor, I stepped through the door and came to the underground speakeasy. It was dark down here with chandeliers in the celling and deep red velvet curtains that came around different booths. The bar was on the far side in black marble and high red bar stools.
Seeing a bright red head, I felt my lips twitch and instead of heading to the bar I changed to the high top in the back corner.
“Well, well.” I said coming up to the woman, her eyes rolling when she saw me. “Word is that you got out and yet here you are deep in the underworld. Welcome back, Siren.”
The red head puckered her lips as I sat down in front of her. “I am not back.”
Taking off my coat, I drape it over the chair and gave her a look saying that I didn’t believe her. I glanced over to the bartender and motioned for another round on the table with whatever Siren is drinking. She nodded and I went back to Siren.
Leaning back into my chair, I crossed my thigh high boots over my knee. “Sure… now are you here for a crew, casing a joint or have you already stolen your item.”
“I am not back.” Siren said a bit more strongly the moment a new round of drinks was placed on the table.
Humming I lifted my drink and took a slow sip.
After a moment the famous Siren, one of the best grifters and thieves I have ever worked with swore so badly anyone would blush. “What is wrong with me?”
“Is that a rhetorical question?” I chuckled taking another sip.
“I have an amazing husband and son; I should be home going to a school PTA meeting. Instead, I am in Chicago.” She took a large gulp of her drink.
I chuckled again. “Art or jewelry?”
Siren shook her head. “It doesn’t matter because I am no longer a thief, well I am but I am not a big thief or grifter anymore. The MC I now belong to has a security agency and I help break into safes and stuff.”
“You break into safes? Home safes?” I asked slowly thinking I misheard.
The red head nodded. “Yep, to get personal ID documents and money; stuff like that.”
Well, that makes sense why she is here. You go from stealing the most gorgeous jewels and grifting your way into the most notorious crime centers to basic safes? Absolutely not, of course she is bored.
I stared at her, tracing my finger around the top of my glass. “You cannot just walk away from this life and quit cold turkey on our crimes. It’s a drug what we do, it’s a part of us. You went from stealing and being a part of cons and now you mention PTA? Like seriously what even is that?”
She waved her hand and took another gulp of her drink. “What about you, what brings you to Chicago?”
I didn’t say anything, just took another sip.
Siren rolled her eyes. “Assassins. Always mysterious.”
I shook my head. I have been an Assassins for around five years now; though I have been killing for over a decade.
I wasn’t supposed to be the Assassin I am now. Hell, I was born to a medium level family who served a Sorrentino mafia base in Italia. My parents wanted me to marry one particular Sorrentino man, a soldier, who gave promise that he would be a high captain. He was a good kid, a friend of mine but I don’t know if I would have married him. But it didn’t matter because things went the way they did and here I am.
Siren looked over my shoulder and her expression changed; her eyes went back to mine while she put her jacket on. “Don’t be stupid Il Castigo, you know better than to work with them.”
Il Castigo... Retribution.
I rolled my eyes hearing the name I was given by the underground.
With that she got up, tossed forty dollars on the table and left.
Hearing the door open and close I watched many people in the bar get up and leave. I knew the people I was here to meet, even though this wasn’t the agreed location, were here.
I should stay and sit, but I don’t like public meetings. It brings attention and I don’t like attention. Taking a sip of my drink, I stood from the table, grabbed my jacket and began to walk towards the newcomers.
“Bravata.” I said walking up to mafia men. Russians are always dramatic. “What can I do for you Comrades?”
By now I was the only one left in the bar beside the Bravatas, a mafia originally from Russia who has now moved into Chicago and word has spread that they want to expand into western coast ports.
“You are part of the guild.” One of the men in front of me said in a strong Russian accent.
The Bravatas looked me up and down while I put on my jacket, buttoning up the wool P coat. Taking out my gloves I slowly place the leather over my hands. “I am. But I do not conduct business in public.”
The Russian to the left cracked his neck. “We are not conducting business only passing on information to all members of the guild. A job posting if it makes you feel better. What you decide about conducting it, is your own.”
They passed me a picture, I took it and left them in the room. I don’t need to meet with them, just accept the job and move on since they decided to basically scream about hiring me.
Or men, constantly need to take their dick out with a measuring stick.
I don’t look at the photo till after I left the bar, got a cab to my hotel and was in my room. Slipping the photo out of my jacket I look at the picture of a women with long dark hair. Flipping the paper over I see the name and location.
Anastasia Bravata. San Diego.
Further instructions will come.
Walking over to my bed I take a seat and begin to take off my shoes while staring at the photo of the young woman. Being a part of the underground and this world means I need to know everything about everyone if I want to live. Before I was an assassin I created enemies, now I just make my list longer with each and every kill.
Anastasia Bravata is the daughter of the current Mob Boss of the Bravata family. Word on the street is that now she lives with the Sorrentino Mafia in San Diego California.
I kept staring at the photo. This hit would set me up for a very long time. This hit would also put me in the middle of mafia war; the Sorrentinos count her as one of their own.
The Sorrentinos. That family was one I wanted to avoid at all cost.
I was going to toss the photo onto the bed and burn it. Than I would go to a different city to find a different job. The Bravatas were not a family I was particularly fond of but no matter how much they would pay me for this job; it would never be enough.
Before I tossed the photo, I saw something. In the upper corner of the photo I could see a man and something in this man’s face made my brows furrow in question of who he was. And once his name hit my tongue, I found myself putting my shoes back on and heading to San Diego to kill.