Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 85

They sit facing each other on the couch, the television on in the background but muted. Rick leans over to pick up the wine bottle and tops their glasses up.

"So, you going to fill me on what you've discovered today?"

"You think that's wise? They're calling you in on Monday … if I tell you what I've found out and you go and spill something?"

"Are you backpedalling on me Rick? I thought you said I could trust you?" and she's staring up at him out of large, hurt eyes.

Rick places his glass on the coffee table, eases hers from her hands and sets it down next to the first. Taking both her hands in his he looks at her and says, "And I'll tell you everything you want to know, I was just thinking that the less you know on Monday, the more your answers would fit into what they would expect from you. But you're right, you've a right to know what I found out and I'm sorry for stalling you."

It's a moment or two before he feels her hands relax, then she sighs and leans forward to drop a kiss on his lips, "Sorry, I guess I still have issues, and yes I know you won't hold out on me …. I also think I can cope with knowing more than I'm supposed to"

Pulling her round until she's settled back against him he tells her about McIntyre's report on the Heights.

"So they think Simmons was a front-man for someone?"

"Remember what you told me about Westland Enterprises?" and feeling her nod against his chest, he continues, "The Mob isn't involved just in organized crime, over half the Mob's activity is built round construction … if you'll pardon the pun, and by early ninety-eight they started having a spate of accidents in the area, machinery being burnt out or vandalised, permits being revoked and inspections coming back negative. Apparently one of the undercover cops told his bosses that when the Cambreas contacted whoever was on their payroll in the Department of Buildings, it appeared that papers were being mislaid or filed in the wrong drawer …. accidents" he says making quote marks with his fingers.

Kate nods, takes a sip of wine and settles back against him, "You're thinking that Westland would have the money and the knowhow to organise all that?"

"It's a possibility, given that he seems to be the one who made a profit from it. The bit that has me puzzled is where and how he could get the men who wiped out the Mob soldiers … I mean you don't just place an ad asking for volunteers to kill the Mafia, and you're garden variety, home-grown hardnut is hardly an option … I mean he might do for one or two, but he's bound to make a mistake somewhere along the line and the Mob would be on him in no time … and a gang of hardnuts … even more chance of someone blowing their mouth and screwing up!"

"How many men did the Cambreas lose?"

"McIntyre didn't know, but he guessed it was into the double figures, apparently the Cambreas sent in a couple of vanloads of goons to put things right … OC were in two minds about stopping them or letting them get on with it, a turf war was the last thing they wanted, but at least they knew who the Mob players were and how to keep track of them. The new guys were a mystery and they weren't getting any leads, so they were thinking better the devil they knew than the one they didn't …. only, three days later, the goons were history; some of their bodies were found in dark alleys and run-down buildings, others simply disappeared."

"So it's possible whoever killed my Mom also killed others at the time?"

"It's possible, the detectives have asked for all the autopsy reports to be sent over, but McIntyre doubts they'll find much."

"So what happened then?"

"The killings caught the attention of the other Families and the Bonanno's sent Salvatore Vinale, their top hit man along with some 'help' to join the Cambreas. Again, no one knows exactly what happened, but four corpses were found in a burnt out car the next day and forensics were able to identify Vinale through dental records as one of the remains. The following day, Vincent "Ciggy" Galante, the Cambrea underboss was found dead in his home … along with wife, two kids and three live-in 'soldiers'."

"That seemed to be the last straw for the Mob, and by the summer, the Cambreas had pulled back south to the bridge area and Simmons was running the show up at the north of the Heights."

"And the cops couldn't find out anything?" the surprise in her voice no less than his own earlier in the day.

"Only rumours, hearsay and dodgy informants' reports. In a number of cases CSU found blood which didn't match the vic's, but no bodies or other traces of who left it, nor did they get any hits from CODIS, but then it had only been running for a few years, so the boys are hoping to re-run the tests. Organized Crime tried infiltrating Simmon's organization but lost two men in a couple of weeks and decided not to risk any more. Most of the info was coming from their informants within the Mob, but as they didn't seem to know what was going on, most of it led no-where. The only real fact was that as the Cambreas lost more and more influence in the area so Vulcan Simmons seemed to gain more and more."

Kate turns within his arms and nestles her head into the crook of his neck, "Do you think this will lead anywhere? I mean if the cops couldn't find out …" the doubt in her voice surprises him at first, then as he realises she's coping with the enormity of the situation, he tightens his arms around her.

"I think we will, keep in mind we're looking at this from a wider perspective that the police were ten years ago. We have a pretty good idea of what's happened since and that should allow us to see who the major players are … who profited and who didn't, we know Vulcan Simmons is still a player, we think Westland's involved, we know the Mob isn't … but I bet they'd like to be …"

"What do you mean?"

"I've got contacts, maybe when the time is right, we can use them" his mind's racing as he runs scenarios through his mind, "…. If you were Westland and had a load of secrets; accounts, lists of contacts, transactions …. where would you keep them?"

Kate pushes up off his chest and sit up, turning to face him, curiosity and intrigue replacing earlier doubts. She has a think about his posed question.

"I'd want them somewhere safe, somewhere I can get at easily if I need them, but where they can't be found by anyone else … they'd be no good at home …. I wouldn't want to have to leave the office if I needed something from them …. and I'm more likely to need them during the day than at night …. home's also more likely to get targeted by a burglar than an office …. a safe in the office would be my first bet".

"What do we know about his office? Other than it's being in the Westland Tower?"

Kate shrugs and Rick gets up and heads over to his office. A few minutes later he's back and they start trawling the web for information on Charles Westland's offices. Apart from finding out that he directs his empire from the thirty-second floor of the Westland Towers, and finding some pictures of the tower block itself, they come across nothing about his office as such.

"Forbes!"

"Forbes?" is Castle's startled reply.

"A couple of years ago they did an article on him … I remember reading it, and it showed him sitting at his desk …" she trails off, not sure if her suggestion is of any use or not.


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