When it is cold in New York, its fucking freezing. It literally jumps from one extreme to the other here, blistering summers leading straight into icy winters. I shivered as I made my way into the damp basement, my eyes slowly accustoming to the dark. I heard a whimper from the far corner of the room, followed by the sound of a steel boot cracking into bone. I winced as I walked in, my fingers running along the wall as I searched for the light switch I knew was there. I felt the smooth plastic under my fingers as I flipped the switch, the room suddenly illuminated by a harsh light.
‘Johnny.’ I said slowly, as I took in the man hunched on the floor in the corner, his knees drawn up to his chest as he sobbed silently. ‘Hey Johnny, look at me.’
It was a difficult thing to ask of him, considering both of his eyes were swollen so much he couldn’t open them, let alone see. I smiled as I leaned down next to him, my rage burning through my veins.
‘I just wanted to have a conversation with you. Why have you been so hard to find?’ My voice hid my anger well as I spoke softly, almost soothingly.
‘Leo, I’m sorry-’
‘Sorry? For what?’ I asked curiously, as I leaned closer to him, my ear close to his mouth.
‘For taking her. I was just following orders.’
I nodded as I stroked his hair, matted with blood and sweat.
’You broke into my house. You took my girl to a fucking mob pit and you have the audacity to think an apology will cut it?′
There was silence as he sobbed, knowing his fate was sealed. I met the eyes of Eugene, his captor, as he watched me patiently. Eugene was a wiry man, with the strength you wouldn’t assign to him or his frame- but he was an absolute psychopath. I knew that Johnny had suffered already, despite the orders being to leave that to me. I nodded at Eugene who grinned sadistically as he pulled the silencer out of his pocket.
‘Eugene here, he is just following orders too. Good speaking to you.’
I looked at him with disgust as I stood, commanding Eugene to make it quick, and as clean as possible. The last thing I needed was blood all over the fucking walls again.
I climbed the stairs, realising I was tense with anger. Johnny had to pay for taking her, nothing was forgivable. I understood that Lucia had suffered, but this was nothing to do with Gretchen. I left the house, whistling as I skipped down the steps. The wind bit into me, icy fingers curling around my body as I jogged back to midtown. I checked my watch and was pleased to see I hadn’t wasted too much time with him, I would make my appointment in plenty of time.