A FEW CASUALTIES SO WHAT

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Chapter 19

Reflexes, muscle tone, endurance, and hand and eye coordination was why every boxer

loved the speed bag. Pone was no boxer, but his fighting style was based on that of a boxer,

thanks to Wisdom. Pone wanted badly to make amends with his mentor because he was the

closes thing to a father. Shelia never told him who his parents were and he didn’t bother to

ask since she and Wisdom treated he, Birdie, and Jade better than their maternal parents

ever could. That was why Pone needed to speak to Wisdom. Bringing up Shelia at the

dinner was like a boxer hitting below the belt.

He still couldn’t figure out why Wisdom used a long awaited dinner invite and try to

convince he and Birdie to change their lifestyles. Birdie could make the transition a lot

easier than he could, but then again how would her clientele take it if she didn’t have Nadine for

them to unwind after a hard day of blowing up, shooting, stabbing, and making illegal deals

what not after making people lives miserable. She also maybe in danger because her clientele

may fear she knows too much, but she could still make an easier transition then him. Pone

left the speed bag and put the hits on the heavy bag. Where the speed bag was for speed, the

heavy bag was for power. Pone wasn’t working out because he was angry though now that

he was on the heavy bag, anger did come out thinking about Wisdom suggesting he change

his lifestyle. He was no longer a hit man or assassin for hire. His job now was to try to keep

the peace which was a hell of a lot different than before when J. Paul use to order him to off

somebody who did or did not deserve it.

Pone hit the bag harder and harder, he had beads of sweat running down his forehead and

his work out clothes were drenched and weighed heavy on him. He loved every minute of

working out on the heavy and speed bags. He wasn’t about to ask Red to make him a parking

enforcer. Talk about an unappreciative job; no respect from patrons or at times the city

itself. Besides he had a college degree, but he was no pencil pusher. Pone cringed thinking

about getting up every morning going to a office or worse a cubicle. Either way he’d be

in closed quarters and to him that would be like being in a trash compactor. The

idea of wearing a tie also bothered him. Pone had no problem playing dress up, but a

noose around his neck on a daily bases was something that was not for him. He’d be the

first to admit that his degree was about to be wasted, but he was too entrenched into the

life of being a troubleshooter. The freedom he had was like a leaf in the wind, but with more

control. Red was the tree and once she gave him an assignment, how he handled that assignment

was completely up to him as long as he got the job done. He couldn’t have asked for a better

boss, the woman was putting herself out on the limb for him against her own family.

He couldn’t explain their connection, but he knew some people just had a magical chemistry

with one another. Pone would make sure to do his best to keep things between them professional. His

arms began to ache and tire, knuckles sore, but his mind was more than alert so he decided that both

the speed and heavy bag had had enough pounding for one day. Pone took off his gloves and

grabbed a bottled water from his basement mini fridge and sat on his seldom used weight

bench.

Sweat plopped on the smooth cracked burnt orange concrete floor. Pone thought about

his conversation with Brown and Ella. He knew he was right not to tell Brown that White

and his Prohibition partner blew up the kids. A gambler never puts all his cards on the table,

he thought. Pone would have to keep a poker face when dealing with the lieutenants of both

gangs. The enemy of his enemy was not his friend and that was for both parties. Brown was not his

friend and the reason he spoke more with Brown than Rudenbaugh was because the hits on his life

were from Brown neck of the woods. White was a former Hip-Hopper and he was a fool for convincing

his relatives to try to take him out.

Ella was right about her cousin being a piece of shit especially sending his relatives to a

guaranteed death going up against him. He was glad Brown didn’t tell Ella he took out her

cousin Wanda. Pone didn’t know if Wanda was close with Ella, but they were family just the

same and even though Ella wanted nothing to do with Roland, he could tell she was proud

that he had enlisted in the Army, but disappointed he got out and by the way she looked at Brown

she must have known about their association. Pone then wondered why she seemed comfortable

around Brown. She did all that lord Jesus crossing her heart and clutching her crucifix, but

yet paraded around with well maybe not the devil, but Brown was at least a demon. Maybe they

had some kind of connection between them that had something to do with the restaurant. After all

there’s a reason they call it organized crime and then again she may have been dumb when it

came to her son, but smart enough to keep her mouth shut about Brown. She had to know what

he was about, but the best way to stay alive around a gangster was to have a tight lip even when

she got wind of her son trying to get an entry level job with the Hip-Hoppers.

Pone thought, maybe Ella was the type of mother who struggled all her life and no

matter how much she prayed, and try to do right, she still got the short end of the stick and was

willing to look the other way if her son was to live a successful gangster life, she would take

the blood money just to get a taste of how the other half lived. She was only human and would

have probably accept the gangster life taking away her son’s innocence which it eventually

did being in involved in taking an eight-year-old boy’s life and also put him in an early

grave.

The thought of Ella’s son made Pone focus on Macone’s and G.’s children. They were

definitely innocent, but suffered because of their fathers sins. Pone knew it was his job to

find out who would be cruel enough to snuff out two kids with bright futures. At least he

knew who planted the bomb; Roland White and James Krasko, but who was the man behind

them calling the shots. Pone’s gut feeling took over and the man that came to mind was none

other than ex District Attorney Harvey Crowe. He put a lot of criminals away basically giving

him a card catalog of names to manipulate and he chose White and Krasko, bomb makers. The

hits on his life both came before and after meetings with Crowe and it was the only time

the hits happened.

What puzzled Pone the most was why would he target two kids of powerful fathers and not the

fathers themselves? The other thing Pone was sure of was that Crowe wanted to stop him from

solving the case and he wanted a war between the Prohibitions and Hip-Hoppers and he took

the lives of two innocent kids to get the wheels turning.

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