Authors: Jenika Snow
Evernight Publishing ®
Copyright© 2014 Jenika Snow
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
Editor: Karyn White
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Thank you to the readers for all of your support, and thank you Evernight for making a home for my stories!
Here are to bad boys.
A BAD MAN: JOEY
The Bacelli Crime Family, 1
Copyright © 2014
Joey Bacelli stepped into the abandoned warehouse and dropped his cigarette on the ground. He snubbed it out with his black polished shoes, and blew out the remaining smoke he had held in his lungs. He fucking hated smoking, but it was an evil habit he just couldn’t kick, especially when he was stressed the hell out.
“This way, Capo,” Niklo, his younger brother, said and led him forward.
The warehouse smelled of decay and mold, and the windows above them were broken out. The sound of their footsteps hitting the cracked and dirt laden floor beneath their feet bounced off the debilitated walls. This place was a shithole, and probably not even the wood that held it together was worth anything. But they used it for things that were less than legal, especially if shit needed to be taken care of. Normally Joey would have a lesser ranking man in the family do this, but this was personal.
Niklo pushed open the door that led to one of the storage rooms, and moved aside. In the center of the room hung a single, cloudy light bulb, and sitting right under that was the man that was going to die by Joey’s hands tonight. Joey stopped in front of Michael Leno Kostano, one of the members of the smaller Italian crime families that were trying to make a name for themselves in New York. Joey didn’t mind competition, kind of liked it to a certain degree even, but this little fucker had been running his mouth about the Bacelli family since moving into the city, and that shit had to stop.
Joey grabbed another cigarette out of the inside of his suit jacket and placed it between his lips. He patted his pockets for a lighter, and cursed. “Fuck, can you believe I forgot the damn lighter in the car?” he said to no one in particular and kept his attention on Michael. “You have a light, Mike?” Joey asked and cocked an eyebrow.
Michael started struggling against his bounds. Little Johnny, one of Joey’s guys who stood behind Michael, grabbed Michael’s hair and yanked his head back violently. Michael squeezed his eyes shut and started mumbling something from behind the gag, but no one responded.
“No?” Joey asked again, and Michael shook his head. Niklo stepped up beside Joey and held out a lighted match.
“You should quit that shit,” Niklo said and then moved back behind Joey once the cigarette was lit.
“I should do a lot of things, little brother,” Joey said and inhaled the cigarette. He stared at Michael, and then gestured for Little Johnny to move away. Holding his cig between his lips, he removed his wool black duster, handed it to Niklo, and then took off his suit jacket. Once Niklo had that as well, Joey started rolling the sleeves of his shirt up his forearms. Michael started struggling, but Joey
. “Calm the fuck down, Mikey,” Joey said from around his cigarette, and then took one more drag off of it before flicking it away. “You knew what the fuck would happen if you kept running your mouth about us, didn’t you?” Although Joey stated it as a question, it was rhetorical.
Michael started saying something again, and Joey gestured for Little Johnny to remove the gag. “Joey, man, you have this all wrong,” Michael said, although it fell on deaf ears.
“I have it all wrong?” Joey asked, and reached behind him to grab his Glock, which was tucked at the small of his back.
“Yeah, man, all wrong. Ain’t no one talking shit about a Bacelli.”
Joey stared at the other man. Michael’s face was swollen, black and blue, courtesy of Little Johnny and Niklo. Blood dripped out of Michael’s busted up nose, down his mouth and chin from his split lips, and covered his chest, which had knife wounds etched into the flesh. Joey cracked his knuckles and grinned. “See, I heard from a very reliable source that you’ve been saying all sorts of shit about me and my crew out in the open. Even mentioning a deal that is going down with my family. You know shit that you shouldn’t, which means I have a rat in my crew, and believe me I’ll find that shit out.”
Michael started shaking his head. “Who told you that?” he stuttered out. “Because I haven’t said shit, and I haven’t heard anything from anyone.”
“And I’m supposed to take your word over one of my most trusted men?” Joey asked, and tilted his head to the side. He stared at Michael for several seconds, and then looked at his gun. He checked the chamber, took out all but one bullet, and then spun the chamber. Michael’s eyes widened, because he knew what was going down. “See, you and the Gondalo crew are new to my territory, and you stupidly thought you could come in here and take me and my crew down?” Joey asked with a calm voice. He didn’t get rage-filled and psycho like some guys did. He didn’t necessarily enjoying seeing blood cover his clothes, hands, and face after whacking a guy. But this was his life, his family, and it was who he was. With his father being the Boss of the Bacelli family, that made Joey the capo, and he had obligations that needed to be upheld. He couldn’t let some punk ass kid in a crew that was trying to move into his territory run his mouth. “Now, how about you tell me who has been feeding you information, and why.”
“Please, Joey. I’ll leave. I swear I won’t come back,” Michael said frantically, his badass street persona totally vanishing as the sight of death faced him.
Joey lifted the gun toward Michael and took a step closer. The guy was bound good and tight, but he still tried to squirm away. “Act like a man, Michael, and not a fucking pussy.” Joey pointed the gun at his mouth. “Open.”
“Okay, okay, all I know is that my guy heard something from Anthony. But I swear on my fucking grandmother’s life that I wasn’t the one ratting out anyone. I would never tell what’s going on with anyone to another crew, or to the fucking cops.”
Joey shook his head. “You said the shit, and you know you did. But swearing on your granny’s life?” Joey looked at Niklo and Little Johnny, and his guys shook their head. “That’s low shit to do, man.” Joey pressed the barrel of the gun to his mouth again and said, “Now, open up.”
Michael started crying harder, but hesitantly did as Joey said. “See, letting you leave isn’t an option. You are a liability, and the fact you could rat us out to the Feds and get in WitSec means I have to cut the ties right now.”
Michael tried to turn his head, but Joey pulled the trigger. The click of the chamber emptying once sounded ominous in the small room, and Joey’s blood pumped hard and fast.
“I have five empty chambers, and one bullet in here with your name on it,” Joey said, and watched as the sweat beaded along the other man’s brow. Joey could have just outright killed Michael and been done with it. All they were doing was sending a message that a rat was as good as dead. But Joey liked toying with Michael, liked seeing the fear of knowing he was about to die flash across his face. Call him a sick bastard, a mind fuck of an asshole, but Joey got the job done in the end.
He pulled the gun free from Michael’s mouth, and the guy gasped for air. Joey held his free hand out, and Niklo put a hunting knife in his palm. Joey smiled at Michael, and the other man started struggling harder. He opened his mouth to scream, but promptly shut it. Little Johnny had a hand on Michael’s forehead, and one on his chin, and held Michael’s head back.
“Mikey, now, you need to hold still so this can be done and over with.” Joey smiled again, and tapped the end of the blade against Michael’s lips. “Now, open up for me again.”
Michael shook his head violently, and the tears mixed with the blood that covered his face. Little Johnny pried Michael’s mouth open when it was clear the rat wasn’t going to do as he was asked and act like a man. Joey held the gun out to Niklo for a second, and before Michael could struggle further Joey reached in, grabbed his tongue, and brought the blade across Michael’s tongue. The blade went through the muscle like a hot knife through a stick of butter. Blood poured out of Michael’s mouth, and Joey grabbed the rag Niklo handed him. “We have to make a point, Michael, but since you want to act like you are tough shit on the street, you should know how this works.” Joey tossed the tongue aside, placed the gun back in Michael’s mouth, and stared right in his eyes. “See how little we had to get the information we wanted out of you? That shows me that with a little bit of pressure from outside influence you’d crack like a fucking egg.”
Joey straightened, rubbed his thumb along the gun, and then pulled the trigger again. He did that repeatedly, and the sweat just kept beading and sliding down Michael’s face. Joey leaned down so he was right in Michael’s face. The other man was panting now, his fear tangible. “A rat never makes it, Michael.” He pulled the trigger, and it just happened to be the round with the bullet. The shot rang loud, and the back of Michael’s head blasted across Little Johnny’s shirt.
“Fuck, man,” Little Johnny said and held his arms out.
“I want him placed where his crew would find him easily and get the ‘through the mouth’ message,” Joey said to both of his men, and stared at the corpse. “Also, have the tongue visibly on his mouth so there isn’t any mistake as to what the fuck happened. Anyone who fucks with a Bacelli will find out the hard way.” He turned and left Niklo and Little Johnny to finish the job, headed out to his car, and knew he needed to get this energy out of him. The only thing that would solve that was a stiff drink and a hot pussy. He pulled out of the parking lot and headed to his bar, because right now he needed to get good and liquored up, and find an easy woman to fuck. After killing a man that was running his mouth about the Bacelli crew, there wasn’t anything more satisfying.
One week later
Marra grabbed the two croissants, placed them on her tray, and made two cappuccinos. She took her tray to one of the small tables on the patio, and then cleaned off one of the empty tables. The sun was pretty potent today even though it was the end of September. The small café she worked at was on the corner of two old streets, Franneli and Gretatta. They were streets that were prominently homes to Italian descendants, and because of that everyone pretty much knew everyone. They were close, stuck together, and ran in the same circles.
“Marra, can you watch these while I take a call in the back?” Henrietta, the wife of the owner of this small café, called out through the small window.
Marra asked her table if they needed anything else, and then headed inside. Francesco, the owner of Vincenzo’s Bakery and Café, was a man in his seventies and worked harder than any person she had ever met. She may have only moved to the small and almost intimate Italian town of Bourbon a year ago but thanks to him she had a job, made decent money, and could support herself and her dream of one day going back to college. Marra wasn’t Italian, and although to some in this small community that might have been frowned upon, Francesco treated her as if she were family. But her grandmother had lived here years ago, and Marra had visited Bourbon back in the day. It wasn’t until her mother remarried and moved overseas and forgot all about Marra that she decided to come back to the only place that had ever held any meaningful memories. She couldn’t even use the excuse that she had a broken childhood and that was why she never felt like she belonged anywhere, because that wasn’t the truth. Her mom was just not the mothering type, and certainly shouldn’t have had the unprotected one night stand that ended in Marra being conceived. She had been a mistake, and her mom made sure to let her know that on more than one occasion.
Marra set her tray down, pushed her memories of a neglectful past away, and waved to Henrietta right before she slipped behind the back door. Vincenzo’s was known in the neighborhood for their homemade baked goods and imported Italian coffee. Henrietta and Francesco were Sicilian, coming over here when they were in their teens with their parents, and meeting right in this very neighborhood.
She took out the Biscotti Regina and set them aside. The sound of the bell above the door opening alerted her to a customer. “Welcome to Vincenzo’s,” she said and then turned around. The customers that walked in had her heart immediately dropping to her stomach. The four men that entered the small café came in here several times a week, and although she had been seeing them for the last year regularly, she would never get used to “seeing them”.
Niklo, the man in front, tipped his chin in acknowledgment to her greeting, but other than that they stayed silent. She stood still as she watched them walk over to the small table they always sat in when they came to the café. The four of them all wore suits, and when they removed their jackets and sat down she finally breathed in. Marra stayed still for a second and stared at Joey, the ruthless, dangerous, and violent boss of the Bacelli crime family. Living in this small Italian community meant she heard a lot about who ran things, and because most of it was spoken inside of these four walls, it was not something she could escape.
She exhaled deeply, not sure why she felt this attraction to a man that was so wrong for her on every level. And she wasn’t sure why he wanted her either. He could have any woman he wanted, thin and gorgeous, and the total opposite of her. She was thick and curvy, and a size sixteen to boot.
And then Joey lifted his gaze to her, and it was like everything else faded away. She turned from Joey and gathered the espressos and cannolis that the men always had when they came here. Although she knew they were part of organized crime—everyone who even uttered or heard their names knew, in fact—no one talked about it. It was just known, and that was that. She brought the items to them, but didn’t make eye contact. These men were dangerous, and she did feel a slight sliver of fear at being around them. They may protect everyone in this town, watch over how things ran, and made sure no one screwed with anyone in their protection, but that didn’t mean that their reputation wasn’t something that nightmares were made of.