Taken by the Italian Mafia(4)

By: Sadie Black

Rocco lifted the glass, sipped, and allowed the flavor to wash over his tongue. Coffee and the sting of alcohol blended as one, his first swallow smoothly coated his tongue. Good drink. Maybe it was time to rethink his opinion on the club.

"You make a good drink," he remarked aloud, unsure if the bartender heard, but not really caring one way or the other. Praise where praise was due. For the price he'd paid, the drink was decent quality. The bartender was more than decent quality. For just a moment, Rocco let himself break from the job to appreciate her. Big, stylish hair. A heart shaped face with a kind of spunky sweetness to it that drew his eye and kept his attention. Heavy breasts. A tiny waist. Although he couldn't see much more beyond the counter that separated them, he she had a stellar pair of legs to close the deal with. Unlike the other girls who worked here, she didn't look like she might be underage. Rocco usually thought Liam's taste in women was piss poor, but the dark skinned bartender in front of him was a rare vintage. He hadn't imagined he'd find a classic beauty like her in a dingy, pop-trash place like this.

Rocco slid a twenty from his pocket across the table and left. A fine drink paired with an attractive bartender was worth the tip. He imagined it was the kind of attention she usually got, and she'd forget his face before long as the swarm of party goers overwhelmed her. The less people who remembered his face, the better.

In an ocean of short skirts, buttoned down shirts, and dark jeans, Rocco was overdressed. The suit coat he wore made him too stiff, too 'uncool', and his tie was overkill. If everything went right, a couple of party goers remembering his face wouldn't mean anything. Everything would be fine.

Drink in hand, music drowning out his sense of hearing, Rocco wandered to get a feel for the place. Most people in attendance were in their mid twenties, he guessed. They were at an age where budding professionalism hadn't yet sucked the youth out of young adults, if they were even done with their studies by that point. Young bodies, boundless energy, and no sense of responsibility. What a thrill it would be to be young and unbound by duty.

Another tilt of the black Russian to his lips saw more than half of the drink disappear. Good quality, but not much quantity. A pity. Rocco wove through the crowd and pressed the rest of the drink into the hands of a young woman who was already too drunk to do much more than bounce on the spot. She looked after him with a dazed expression, then looked down at the drink in confusion. Rocco didn't look back to see what she did with it. There was only one person he needed to keep tabs on, and he needed to find him.

Tyrone Hinsley was a big man, built like an ox. Broad shoulders, big muscles, a core twice as big as Rocco's, and thighs that could crush a coconut. Rocco had never met him, had never spoken to him on the phone, but he'd seen pictures. Dark skin and a low brow met a large nose with flared nostrils. A shaved head. Big ears. It wasn't easy to misplace a man who commanded as much presence as Tyrone did, yet Rocco had failed to spot him. Their informant said Tyrone was here to celebrate his birthday. If Rocco received faulty info, there would be strong words had with the little rat who'd squeaked so confidently.

But the night was still young, and he still had a lot of ground to cover in the club. It would make sense if Tyrone showed here, in the heart of enemy territory. The informant had sold him coke, and drugs were strictly forbidden within Tyrone's little group. No one would catch him blowing up his birthday if he partied on turf none of his peers were brave enough to set foot onto.

Rocco pushed onward when a girl caught him by the arm. Heart racing, eyes narrowed, he snapped his head to look at her out of instinct. Small tits, wavy brown hair, and big blue eyes. She wore a black lace dress that left very little to the imagination. At not much older than twenty-one, what she revealed was perky, and youthful. What a shame she wasn't after him when he wasn't on the job. The huge smile on her face dimmed with uncertainty when he looked at her, faltering beneath the intensity of his stare.

"Dance with me," she cried over the throbbing beats. "You're hot."

Rocco scowled, pulling his arm back.


The rejection was cold and absolute. The girl's smile faded in its entirety, and a frown dragged at her lips instead. It looked as though she might cry. A sweet young body like hers likely wasn't used to rejection, but Rocco had no time for games. He didn't care for sugar coating. A woman was just as capable as a man at facing the facts. While he didn't enjoy dragging them into business, he saw no reason to treat a woman, average or attractive, any different. All brains were human, after all. Whether they were processing information or being spilled across the pavement, they all worked the same way.

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