Song: Nothing Else Matters
Cello and Piano Version
By: Brooklyn Duo
“Okay Miss Hale, let’s go through this one more time. Start from the beginning.” The detective looked at Jack expectantly, again.
“She already fucking told you, Adams. Over and over, what are you not getting?” Frankie lashed out.
“It’s okay Frankie.” Jack reached out and squeezed his hand. She looked pointedly at Detective Adams and cleared her throat. “I’ll go through this one more time and then I want to leave.” She turned and looked at Frankie with tired eyes, “If my attorney agrees.”
Frankie searched Jack’s face, taking his time to decide. She has had enough. Sitting here in her clothes with Lucan’s blood, cracks on her shoes from where it had long dried and started flaking off. These bastards had her sitting like this for hours.
“One more time and we’re fucking leaving. Tell the fucking Feds standing behind the glass to fuck off. What she hears is what they get.” Frankie gestured towards the mirror on the wall. Detective Adams shifted in his chair, visibly uncomfortable. “You hear that Sarah” Frankie sneered.
Agent Kennedy stood silently with her arms crossed. An eyebrow raised as she watched Frankie gesture to the wall. “Interesting. He’s really protective of her. Word is he wasn’t happy about her and Marchetti.” She mused out loud to no one in particular. “We have no problem letting her walk out of here, she’s been consistent.”
Detective Bryant sipped his cold coffee and glanced at her. “You going to stick around Agent Kennedy?”
Sarah turned and looked at the detective with narrowed eyes. “Yes. We believe you boys are going to need our help soon. You have no fucking idea what’s rolling into town, especially if he dies.”
Detective Bryant sighed. “We figure as much. How bad was it after the hit on Marchetti Senior?”
The agent turned and looked at the detective. “It’s been ten years and we’re still missing pieces, not to mention bodies too. Let’s listen to this last go around.” She turned her attention back to the glass, observing the woman named Jack who was so very out of her element.
Detective Bryant turned his attention back to his partner and listened intently as the questioning began yet again.
“Okay, Miss Hale. Start at the beginning, please.” Detective Adams gestured to Jack to start.
With a heavy sigh and red-rimmed eyes, Jack straightened up and rolled her shoulders. She was folding and unfolding a tissue over and over, pink from the blood on her hands, evidence of her anxiety that she was so desperately trying to keep in check. She could smell Lucan’s blood on her. She could feel the roughness of her jeans, her socks dried and stuck to her feet inside her ruined shoes. She tried so hard not to look at herself and not breathe through her nose. She felt herself start to gag and brought her hand up to cover her mouth.
“Fuck!” Frankie jumped up, grabbed the trashcan, and held Jack’s hair as she got sick. Jack flushed from embarrassment, a sheen of sweat covering her brow.
“I’m sorry. I can smell...I can smell his blood” she rushed out before another gag hit her and forced her to throw up again.
“We’re done. You have any more questions for my client, you contact me.” Frankie stood up, ignoring the blood that had dried on his own shoes. One hand holding the trashcan, the other on Jack’s neck, his thumb rubbing the nape of her neck.
Agent Kennedy noted the intimate move and found it really interesting. It was her understanding he had been confined to his floor in the hotel for mouthing off to Marchetti’s love interest. “She’s done. If you want my opinion, I’d cut her loose, give her a couple of days, and come back hard on her. Get her away from Balducci. I’d be happy to help.”
Detective Bryant nodded thanks. “I don’t mind asking for help, but” he nodded towards his partner on the other side of the glass, “don’t want to step on any toes. This is his last case, he’s set to retire in a couple of weeks.”
Sarah nodded. She understood the locals could get their boxers in a wad if they felt pushed out. “Understood. Let me just say this. These guys are from the original five. I’m not just talking the Bonanno, Colombo original five, I’m talking the Maranzano, Luciano, the original Sicily crew. Maranzano and Marchetti’s great-grandfather were thick as thieves back in the thirties. These ties run fucking deep and so does the blood that has been shed.” Agent Kennedy watched as the detective’s eyes grew wide.
“With all due respect Agent Kennedy, you know your shit.” He couldn’t help but admire her.
“I take that as a compliment. I’m here if you need me. I’m heading back to my room. I need to send in some notes.” Sarah grabbed her stuff, watching as Detective Bryant texted his partner. No doubt telling him to let Miss Hale and Mister Balducci go.
Detective Bryant watched as his partner grabbed his phone out of his pocket. He glanced at the mirror and then at Frankie and Jack. “Were done. I’ll follow up in a couple of days. Miss Hale, thank you, I’m sorry to have kept you here this long.”
Jack stood up, Frankie’s hand still on her neck. She nodded quietly, looking at Frankie. “I can’t breathe.”
Frankie’s eyes snapped to Detective Adams “Open the door, now.” Adams moved to the door, holding it open for Jack. He eyeballed Frankie as he passed by. “I want no trouble with you Balducci. I retire in a few weeks, I’d like to do it in peace.”
“I suggest you find him before we do,” Frankie said with a clipped tone.
“Maybe you can answer one question, off the record.” The detective squared up to him. “Do you know the whereabouts of Nicolas Abruzzi?”
Frankie took his time looking at the detective before answering him. “Yes.”
Detective Adams took a long deep breath and looked at Frankie waiting for him to finish.
“In a hotel, just off the strip. With a couple of strippers, celebrating his engagement.” Frankie said with a smirk.
Detective blew his breath out looking at Frankie in shock. “Alive?”
As he said this, Frankie felt Jack stiffen slightly under his hold. “Yes, as of six this morning.” Jack relaxed, letting the cool air of the hallway circle around her.
“Thanks, Balducci, I owe you one.” The detective nodded and motioned for them to follow him, going underground where Frankie had a car waiting.
“I’ll be in touch, Miss Hale.”
Jack just stared at him. Her mind spent, her stomach emptied. Her only focus was getting to the hospital as fast as the car could go. Frankie opened the door, guiding her in. He slid in beside her, slamming the door shut.
Pinching the bridge of his nose, he sank back into the leather of the car, the tinted windows, shielding them from the media as they sped past them. The flashes of lights causing Jack to slide down into her seat and put her head between her knees. She felt Frankie’s hand on her back, rubbing slow circles.
“Can we go to the hospital, please?” Jack sat back up, her eyes pleading with Frankie.
“You need to get cleaned up first. You can’t go in looking like that. I know you have questions. I know you heard a lot. This is your one chance to ask me anything, nothing is off the table.”
“Thank you, Frankie, but its Lucan’s story to tell.” Jack’s heart ached when she said his name.