have to go,” he states, “I'm only packing one bag. We'll
head over to your house after that and grab your shit. You hear me.
One bag. Don't be a fuckin' diva with this shit either. Grab what
I look over at Carmine.
He's scared to death. Since I met Carmine I never saw him this scared. Carmine is damn near shaking at this moment. He has this deep look on his face.
“What going on?” I state, “Your dad just killed Big Paulie...not the other way around.”
keep forgetting you don't know shit.”
“Is there something I should know?”
Carmine shakes his head, “Let's just go...”
Carmine is packing up his bag at that moment. He's getting his shit together.
I look over at him.
not going anywhere Carmine.”
“Are you fucking joking? Do you not see my face right now?” he asks, “We need to get the fuck out of town. You hear me?”
I slap the dog shit out of Carmine. It's the only thing I can think to do. Carmine finally calms down a little bit. I just watched a man get himself laced with bullets. I'm a little frightened and scared too but Carmine should be a gangster. Something has him shook up and I don't know if it's just about the fact that he watched an old gangster die.
Carmine sits on the couch in his room. He stops packing. I go and sit next to him.
“Did you just smack me?” Carmine asks.
Carmine thinks about it for a while. I don't think anyone ever smacked him before. He seems pissed about it at first but at least it calms him down a little bit. He leans up against his bar. He takes out a cigar and he puffs it a couple of times hard.
Carmine shakes his head, “Listen. My dad has finally lost it. There are some people...you don't kill.”
“Do we think Joe Bananas and his guys are going to come after you guys?”
“I don't give a shit about Joe Bananas,” Carmine says, “Joe Bananas is coward without Big Paulie. Fuck Joe Bananas.”
“Then why are you so worried?”
“Cause my father is crazy. You don't just kill anyone. There are rules. There is a reason this shit is called organized crime. You don't just...KILL a boss. No one does. That's a rule.”
No wonder Big Paulie always seemed to walk around with that calm exterior. He always thought he was so untouchable. The reason he thought he was untouchable is because he should have been. In all senses of the word Big Paulie should never have been killed. That makes it even more interesting that Carmine has finally come to the conclusion that his father really was crazy after all.
I'm scared to ask.
happens if a boss is killed?”
“Have you ever heard of the Commission?”
Commission is the ruling representative body serving as the national
legislature and supreme court of the Mafia network. Commission
members are the leaders of the more powerful Mafia families. You
don't kill a boss. Period. They're going to come into town and lets
just say they won't hold any punches. That means going after the
Fontanas and that may mean going after you.”
“So...where will we go?” I ask, “We have no money.”
“I can do a job...tomorrow,” he explains, “A big job.”
I shake my head, “What kind of job?”
Carmine shakes his head, “I'm not going to tell you. I don't want to get you involved. More than you already are.”
“I'm not involved.”
“Yes...you are. People have been...gossiping about us.”
I roll my eyes, “Are you joking? Gossip?”
“I'm serious. The two of us haven't really been all that secretive if you haven't noticed,” Carmine explains, “People are starting to think me and you have something going on.”
“Well they're kind of right.”
Carmine grabs me and pulls me close, “Damn right. None of them have the balls to do anything about it but people definitely know how I feel about you...”
“How is that you feel about me?” I ask.
He takes a deep breath, “You are my weak spot. And if people see you as my weak spot...they are going to go after you. So I have to get this money. I have to get you to safety.”
Carmine talking about this money made my stomach turn. I was scared of what he would do to get it. I should have kept digging. I had to trust him though. I had to trust he knew what he was doing.
man that doesn't sound right.”
“It's fine. Listen. Go home, go to work. Tomorrow night I'll come by. I'll have enough money to relocate us out of Staten Island.
nerves are getting to me at the restaurant the next day. Carmine
doesn't show up at the restaurant but when Crazy Fontana walks in my
heart almost drops.
Leo Crazy Fontana walks into the Sicilian like he is Barack Obama after his election. All of a sudden all eyes are on him. I mean the guy walks in with a fur coat. For someone so upset about his dead wife, he moves on relatively quickly. He has a beautiful woman at his side who could be his youngest son's age.
you hear?” Danny asks, “Big Paulie's body was found this
morning by Staten Island Sanitation in the garbage dumps...”
I look over at Danny. He's not the only one in the kitchen who is talking about it. The entire staff is talking about it actually.
“Let's focus on work,” I ask.
didn't show up for work either,” Danny says, “Rumor has
it she booked it out of town with Joe Bananas. Looks like there is a
new king pin in town. Leo Fontana has already said that he's taking
over as boss of the Moretti family.”
“Danny enough,” I state.
you ok? You seem shaken up.”
“I just want us to get through the work day,” I tell Danny, “Danny have you heard of the Commission.”
“Yeah. Mafia enforcement,” Danny tells me, “Why?”
“Listen. They may be coming into town and Carmine thinks they may be clearing out the Fontanas. I was there Danny. I was there when Fontana killed Big Paulie.”
“Wait. Say that one more time.”
Danny is shocked. He takes a step forward.
“Fontana killed Big Paulie.”
“Are you sure about that?”
Danny swallows hard, “The Commission is going to wipe out the Fontanas. Holy shit. Everyone knows you need permission to kill a boss. What the fuck is Leo Fontana thinking?”
“That's the problem. I don't think he's thinking. That's why Carmine wants me to get out of town. He thinks that it's best for me to leave.”
“What about the Sicilian?”
“I'm going to leave it to Patricia,” I state, “I'm not going to tell her that I'm leaving. The less she knows the better. When Carmine comes to get me tonight I just want you to tell Patricia the Sicilian is hers. Ok? I want you to tell her that I'm OK.”
Danny hesitates for a minute.
“You really love this guy huh?” Danny asks me.
I haven't thought about it yet to be honest. Love. It was probably too soon to say that but right now I know where I wanted to be. I wanted to be where ever Carmine was. If Carmine felt like it was best that we leave town then I was going to leave town.
“I don't know,” I tell Danny, “I do know that the Commission is going after the Fontanas and to get to Carmine they'll use me.”
nods, “Maybe you should leave for the day...”
“It'll look suspicious. I'm always here during work hours...”
Danny takes a deep breath, “I don't like this. Man. You've honestly helped the Sicilian stay afloat. I consider you a friend. I just don't want anything to happen to you.”
“You don't know that,” Danny responds but shakes his head, “Either way. I'll tell Patricia what you need me to tell her. I'll look out for her and the Sicilian.”
Danny pats me on the back. He's uneasy but he gives me a hard smile. For the first time I feel like maybe I do belong somewhere. I'm going to miss Danny and the laps of info he has on this crazy, dangerous world but I was thinking that maybe this was the best time to leave this world for good. I may not get another chance.
I'm worried about Carmine as the day goes on. Leo Fontana was doing this victory lap around the Sicilian. The bravado was sick and his son Nuts was right by his side. I can't help but to feel sick to my stomach with Leo Fontana.
How can you kill a guest in your own home? How sick is that? How fucking crazy is that? Carmine didn't want to have anything to do with his father anymore and I didn't blame him. His father had gone over the edge. His father had lost it.
The day passes and it's closing time. All of a sudden I start feeling better about all of this. Nothing crazy has happened. All I have to do is wait for Carmine.
All I have to go is go to my room and wait for him.
“Mr. Fontana would like to see you,” she says.
Patricia nods. She is breathing heavy. She's scared.
I walk out into the dining area. The whole room is pretty much empty except for one table that remains after closing. If the Fontanas wanted to stay they were going to stay. Who the hell was going to tell them to get out even after closing.
Fontana is there. Two other wise guys are next to him on either side. Then there is Nuts Fontana. He has on this look on his face that I don't really understand.
I'm nervous as fuck.
“Sit,” Crazy Fontana tells me.
of the wise guys comes over and pulls out a chair. The staff
disappears in the back abandoning me out here with the Fontana table.
I sit in the chair. The wise guy pushes me into the table. Across
from me is Crazy Fontana and Nuts Fontana. They are staring me down
with this pure intent that I just don't understand.
“I am hoping your dinner went well sir,” I state.
I am trying to act as though I am in control. With Big Paulie dead I completely owned the Sicilian. I received that notice from my Kairo early this morning. However I was worried. I didn't feel in control. I felt like I was...losing it.
“Have you heard from my son, Carmine?” Leo asks.
since last night sir.”
“He's lying,” Nuts Fontana states.
Nuts stares hard at me as though trying to figure me out. I'm not letting him in. I just stare blankly at the table. His father gives me an even harder look.
“You lying to me?” he states.
“Nuts...” Leo Fontana says to his son.
I'm not sure what Leo Fontana wants his son to do until I see Nuts Fontana come across the table at me. Nuts Fontana punches me dead in my face. I hit the floor hard falling onto the ground. The guys pick me up off the ground.
“What the fuck?” I ask.
The guys hold me. My face is bleeding. Leo Fontana walks up to me.
think you're lying, young man.”
“The last time I spoke with Carmine was last night,” I explain.
“I don't know.”
Nuts Fontana punches me hard in my stomach. I cough up at that moment. No one comes to help me. No one comes to intervene. These fucking bullies are beating me up in my own fucking restaurant and I'm helpless. There is nothing that I can do. Nuts is enjoying it. The smile that spreads across his face at that moment almost makes me think he's eating it up.
wipes his bloody fists, “Ew. Nigger blood...”
The other two guys with the Fontanas laugh at Nuts.
Carmine is missing,” Leo Fontana says, “Some of my money
is missing as well.”
Did Carmine steal from his father in an attempt to get us away?”
“I don't know anything about that,” I say.
I can hardly speak. I'm not about to sell out Carmine no matter what. I was almost off. Carmine was supposed to meet me. Things were supposed to be easy.
“I believe you,” Leo Fontana says.
“You do?” Nuts Fontana asks his father.
Leo laughs. That crazy laugh. I was on my way out with Carmine. We were going to escape this place. All I needed to do was leave. I can feel my jaw in pain at that moment. I hate the feeling that I have. It feels like I'm not going to be able to get out of New York. Carmine and I weren't going to make it alive out of here. That is what scared the fuck out of me.
care for my son,” Leo tells me, “See. I just want to
help my son. I think my son has been mislead. I think he's working
with Joe Bananas. He wants to come for my position.”
I raise my eyebrow. Leo was paranoid. There wasn't anything worse than someone who was, paranoid, crazy and wrong.
“You think Carmine stole your money because he wants to be Boss?” I ask.
other reason would he steal it?”
Leo seems to have made up his mind about this. Nothing I say could change it. He doesn't even assume that Carmine stole money from him to get away from his crazy ass. All hell was about to break loose and Carmine wanted nothing to do with it.
don't think Carmine stole anything.”
“What is the relationship between you and my son?” Leo asks.
I look at Leo. I remember him seeing Carmine holding my hand back at the mansion. Carmine wasn't hiding it. It was only a matter of time before Leo connected the dots. It was only a matter of time before this question came up.
“Seems a little bit more than friends,” Nuts Fontana adds.
does. Doesn't it. You lying to me, young man?”
“He's lying pops,” Nuts Fontana says.
think so too. You know what I do to liars Cornbread?” Leo
Fontana asks me, “I take them out back and I let my firing
squad go crazy. You saw what I did to Big Paulie didn't you?”
I remembered Big Paulie's body. My heart is racing. I'm scared to death but I have to stay strong. I have to stay strong for Carmine.
“So I'm going to ask you one last time. What is your relationship with my son?” Leo Fontana asks me again, “And if you lie to me...you know what will happen.”
I'm not going to sell out Carmine. I can't reveal it. It was reveal my relationship with Carmine or die. I wasn't going to rat Carmine out. I couldn't. I swallow my spit. I can feel my stomach curl up in my chest. Maybe I did have some crazy strong feelings for Carmine because at this point I am thinking that I'd rather the firing squad than Carmine thinking I betrayed him again.
“Take him out back. Kill him,” Leo states.
I hear the voice come out from the kitchen. It is Danny and Patricia. They both have their hands up. Fuck. What the hell were they doing out here? Didn't they know that I was dealing with a fucking mad man?
“Go back into the kitchen. That's an order.”
Danny and Patricia don't listen to me. They keep their hands up.
Patricia who looks over at me, “Just tell him, Cornbread.
He'll kill you...”
“Tell me what?” Leo Fontana asks.
I shake my head.
“Go back in the kitchen. I'm fine.”
“They are lovers...” Danny says.
My head drops. Fuck. Whatever fear or credibility Carmine had just went out the window with one quick sentence. I don't think Leo Fontana was too surprised by it.
Fontana seems to be excited if anything, “I knew it. See. I
knew it. G'dam it my big brother is a faggot. I fucking knew
“My own son. A fag.”
“He's not trying to be the boss,” I state, “I promise you that he's not trying to take over.”
“Why would I believe you?” Leo Fontana asks, “Why steal the money?”
I stop talking.
This was hard. I wanted to defend Carmine but I didn't want to snitch on him. This was going downhill quickly. I wish I had a way to warn him. He should just take the money and leave. Just take the money and leave. Don't come back for me.
“If I tell you why he wanted the money, will you let Regis go?” Danny asks.
“I don't bargain, Arab. You want to walk out of here with your life you'll tell me what I want to know,” Leo Fontana says.
“What's to stop you from killing us anyway?” Danny asks, “I want your word. You don't touch Regis and I'll tell you what Cornbread wanted.”
“Danny, what the FUCK!” I say.
“I'm doing this to protect you,” Danny says.
“It's a deal,” Leo Fontana tells Danny.
crosses his arms, “Carmine is worried about the Commission. He
stole the money and he's going to come get Regis at his apartment
tonight. He's going to take him away. He wants to leave La Cosa
Leo takes a deep breath. He is thinking. I don't think he was expecting this. Nuts Fontana seems a little surprised as well.
“Well at least he wasn't trying to take over,” Nuts Fontana says.
“That's not good enough,” Leo replies.
If he wants to leave then let him leave,” Nuts explains, “I
can take over in his place. Make a made man. Let Carmine go be a
faggot if he wants to be.”
“You want to be a made man Nuts?” Leo asks.
“Well go with Regis to his apartment and wait on Carmine,” Leo explains.
“I want you to prove yourself to La Cosa Nostra. Show your brother there is only one way out of La Cosa Nostra. In a body bag.”
Patricia, Danny and I are sitting at my living room table. I'm sweating profusely. Nuts Fontana is in my kitchen. He is pacing back and forth. He has a pistol in his hand. I can tell that he's nervous. I can tell that he doesn't want to do this.
We're waiting on Carmine to arrive.
“I'm sorry...” Danny says.
“Shut the hell up,” I explain.
was just trying to protect you Cornbread,” Patricia explains,
“You were way over your head.”
Danny adds in, “These people they respect a deal. All you have to do is shut up, let Nuts take care of Carmine and everything will be back to normal.”
“Fuck both of you,” I state, “I'm not leaving Carmine out to dry.”
Danny and Patricia look nervous. Just at that moment I look over at Nuts Fontana. He's sweating profusely. He is more than nervous. It's at that moment that I can see his age. He tries to play tough in the restaurant around the other wise guys but Nuts is showing his true self right now and for some reason I don't think this is the seasoned killer that he lets everyone think he is.
Our eyes connect across the table.
“What you looking at you fucking faggot baboon?” he asks me.
His eyes are twitching as he speaks.
don't want to do this.”
“Shut up Cornbread,” Patricia warns me.
ignore Patricia and turn to Nuts again, “You don't want to
fucking do this Nuts.”
“You don't know shit, bitch boy.”
I shake my head, “I know that you don't want to kill your brother Carmine. Carmine loves you. You know he does.”
Nuts is thinking. He waves the gun in his hand at that moment. He cuffs his ears. He's still pacing back and forth. He looks beyond nervous. He looks beyond scared at this moment.
turned his back on us.”
“He just wants to leave. That's all. Let him go,” I say.
“There's only one way to leave La Cosa Nostra,” Nuts Fontana explains to me.
It's almost like he's been brainwashed by his father. Patricia kicks my chair in an attempt to get me to stop talking at that moment.
get up off the chair and I touch Fontana, “You don't have to do
this. What kind of man orders his son to kill his other son? You
think Leo Fontana cares about you or Carmine. You think this
lifestyle is worth killing your own brother.”
“GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!” Nuts says.
He points the gun at me.
His hand is shaking.
“Fuck you...” Nuts Fontana says, “You fucking faggot. What---did my brother fuck you in the ass? You fucking dirty faggot? I hate you fucking people. I hate you fucking fags...”
“Really? Because you seemed pretty close to Vincent...” I state.
I can see this panic in his eyes at that moment.
“What did you just say to me?” Nuts asks, “Are you insinuating something?”
Just I understand how two men can share a bond. Just when I spoke
to Vincent he seemed really hurt that you set him up.”
“Fuck you talking about set him up?” Nuts asks, “I never would set up Vincent. Yeah. Me and Vincent were close. That didn't matter. Big Paulie paid Vincent killed my fucking mother.”
“You can cut the shit,” I state, “Everyone in this room knows that you killed Isabella Fontana and Regis Sr.”
“What?” Nuts asks.
Nuts seems confused.
when there is a knock on the door. Carmine.
Nuts seems desperate at that moment.
“Go get the door Regis,” Nuts tells me.
you didn't kill your mother?”
Nuts seems confused, “I would never kill her. Go get the door...”
“You didn't set up Vincent either? You loved Vincent...didn't you?” I ask Nuts.
Nuts Fontana points at the door, “Get the fucking door. Don't get any wise ideas. You hear me. Don't get any fucking wise ideas when you open that door. You walk back in here. You walk straight into the kitchen with Carmine. You don't say a word. You hear me? You warn Carmine and I'll fucking kill you.”
I look at the others. There is no way that Nuts Fontana would have set up Vincent. I didn't know much about the Mafia. I didn't know all the things that Danny knew. I knew about love though. I knew about the feeling of wanting to be with someone and I knew for sure that there was no way in hell that Nuts Fontana would have set him up.
I walk to the front. I look back. Nuts is hiding behind the wall. He probably has his gun pointed right at Patricia and Danny.
I open the door.
“What the hell are you doing here?” I ask.
need to tell you something,” Vincent says, “Something I
found when I was digging in Isabella's purse that day.”
“Wait. Now isn't a good time. You need to leave...”
“It has to be now...”
He walks into the kitchen at that moment, brushing past me before I get the chance to stop him. I hear him quickly walking into the kitchen and then I hear the gun shot.
Just as I hear the gunshot I turn around and I see someone else coming up behind me as Vincent falls to the ground.
“What the fuck!” Carmine says.
dad tried to set you up. He wanted your brother to hide out in my
apartment and kill you. But instead...”
Instead someone else got shot.
I walk into the living room at that moment. Vincent is on the floor bleeding. Nuts Fontana is over him. Nuts is crying his eyes out. Patricia and Danny are standing there looking over Vincent.
Nuts has shot Vincent thinking that it was really Carmine.
Carmine grabs his own gun out of his pants. He points it at the back of his brother's head. Nuts doesn't even seem to care.
“Do it...do it, I deserve it,” Nuts is saying.
Vincent is bleeding out and Nuts is crying harder than I'd ever seen a grown man cry before. The look on his face is clear. He has regretted it almost the moment he did it. I wonder if Nuts would have regretted this moment the same if he has shot Carmine. I'm thinking Carmine is thinking the same thing. His brother was ready to kill him.
Maybe that's why Carmine presses his gun against his brother's head. Maybe that's why Carmine is ready to pull the trigger.
“Don't...” I tell Carmine.
“This motherfucker was going to kill me,” Carmine says, “He shot Vincent.”
Vincent has stopped moving. Vincent is...dead. The blood covered floor speaks to it all. Why had Vincent stormed into this room. What did Vincent want to tell us? There was something in Isabella's purse that Vincent had found. There was something that he wanted to share with me.
Nuts turns at that moment. He leans up against the wall. He's drags Vincent's body with him. He's protecting Vincent's body. He mutters something over and over. I'm not sure what it is. He is muttering that he's sorry.
“I know...” I state, “Don't kill him though.”
“He killed our parents.”
“No he didn't,” I state.
went through Isabella's purse before she died. He said the reason he
did it was because someone else had gone in her purse before.
looks over at me confused, “You told me he killed my
“He was looking in your mother's purse,” I state, “What if the bomb was never in the purse before the explosion? Nicky. Was there another reason you were looking in the purse?”
Whatever Nicky had found had made Vincent so concerned that his lover was upset that he decided to go in the purse himself. Vincent never admitted to finding a bomb. He just said that if there was a bomb in there he hadn't put it in. Vincent also never sold out Nicky to anyone but me about what he saw. What had made Nicky so upset when he went in that purse?
“I...” Nuts says.
He's upset. He's so upset that he can barely even speak. Carmine lowers his gun. It has to be tough to see someone whose given up like that. Nuts is beating himself up over killing Vincent more than any of us could. If there was any doubt in my mind that they were lovers at one point that doubt was completely gone.
what were you looking for?”
“She told me to look in her purse,” he said, “She said that my father had written me a letter. And I didn't to believe it. I decided...to go for the purse. There wasn't any bomb in that purse. Nothing like that. No. It was just a letter in that purse. I don't know how the car exploded but it had nothing to do with the purse. That letter was dangerous though. It was dangerous...for me. I knew it would change my life forever. A letter that from my father, she said. I went to the purse. I got the letter out...”
“Why would Leo Fontana write you a letter?” Carmine asks.
shakes his head, “My father isn't Leo Fontana.”
Carmine and I look at one another. There was only one other person that made sense.
“You're my brother aren't you?” I ask Nuts, “Regis Sr. was your father...”
Nuts nods, “Yes.”
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