Authors: Carmen Faye
Tags: #dpgroup.org, #[email protected]
"Jesus Christ," Jim said and looked over at Cole, "She does this pompoir for you?"
Cole nodded and then glanced at Nicole.
"Tell him," she encouraged keeping her face emotionless.
"Fucking wildest thing I've ever had done to me, Jim," Cole laughed.
"Holy shit," Jim mused, with a slow thoughtful voice. "The other call girls? Are they the same? With the training, and bubble popping?"
Nicole thought about this, "No, I don't think so. Not to the levels of mastery I set for myself, no. I mean, I never asked them about what they do or how, but Gabriel would make them come over and visit several times a month, so they could talk with me.
"Many of them confided after a few visits, after we became more friendly, that since they started doing some of the things I described, their tips increased a great deal."
"I bet they did," Jim mumbled and looked out into space, leaning back a little. "So, she's the star performer,"
For several long minutes, Jim simply sat, staring at nothing, while drumming his fingers together.
It could have been four minutes in real time, but it sure felt much longer to Nicole. Then Jim seemed to suck back into himself, like he had been out of the room all that time, taking a little stroll somewhere as he went through the problem.
She turned to Cole, but Cole didn't seem to notice this and when it was over, she wondered if she really saw it herself, or if stress was finally bringing her down.
"Well, my lad," Big Jim said to Cole, "I do believe we have truly stepped in it this time."
"I'm thinking I smell it too," Cole confessed. "Where do we start with the cleaning?"
Jim looked Cole over and then spared a glance toward Nicole, "I was right the first time, though it was just a joke then," he told her when their eyes met."
"You took his heart, or at least the heart from his call girl group.
are the precious thing you took and I don't believe anything else is going to satisfy him," Jim explained and then leaned all the way back until his head was against the wall behind him.
"He probably thought he had at least another five years before he had to consider your appeal dissolving. But that's not your fault or your concern. In five years, he would just be thinking the same thing -- another five years of this Halloween being better than the last."
Jim suddenly came forward and nailed Cole with his eyes, "Yep, a shit storm, lad. A real shit storm. The first thing we are going to do is clear you with the cops. You are going to ride down to your house with Jack, doing what I described with the weapons first. Nicole is going to be at the hotel or here, surrounded by members. The manager on at the hotel tonight is Mike, I believe. Good man."
"I know him and I agree. He is a good man and skilled." Cole nodded.
Jim picked up his desk phone, hit some numbers, and waited, then said into the phone, "Brian still out there?" After he received his answer he said, "Good. Tell Brian I've got questions and also some work for him." Then he cradled the phone again and refocused on Cole, "Brian will watch over your lady here until you are back. With him in the room and five men close by and us right across the street, I think she'll be safe for a few hours while you clean up your back trail."
Cole nodded, "Agreed." Then he glanced at Nicole, "You all right with that?"
She nodded, "Sure. Won't the cops want to talk with me, as well?"
"Seeing as you just left town, for parts unknown, they can
all they would like," Jim told her. "We're taking you off the grid for a while. Might be a couple of weeks before this settles. I can't see Gabriel taking cash to settle this, at least not the kind of cash the club has available and I'm not paying him anything for Antonio or Davis.
He sighed. "That leaves only the possibility of war between us. He's too bloodied already to back down and I'm too stupid, but I can't see paying him for sending two enforcers to my man's door and then saying sorry that they weren't good enough to kill Cole. Fuck that."
Nicole suddenly felt very concerned about being the reason a war was going to happen and Jim seemed to pick up on it right away, shaking his head in a slow, reassuring way, "The shit between us and Gabe has been brewing for years. Been brewing between us since before my time.
"Sure, you kicked the hornet's nest, but it was going to blow sooner than later anyway. He's pulled some serious stuff with us this year, but I'm not going to air that dirty laundry right now. Suffice it to say, you could be still with him and within a few months, we'd be at each other anyway. The timetable has changed, but the actions are all going to be the same."
Nicole attempted to allow this news to make her feel better and failed, but she nodded, "Thanks."
Jim nodded his head in return. "Good and settled. Cole? I'm probably going to need you back here at noon tomorrow for a powwow with the core. I'm sure I'll hear from Gabe before then and get an ear full of his whining." Jim turned his focus inside again and said, "I should catch him off guard and call him now. He may still be thinking his men have you."
Jim smiled the wickedest grin Nicole had ever seen and picked up his cellphone, thumbed through some numbers, and then pressed the dial button. He shot a look of pure mischief at Cole who leaned forward listening intently.
"Gabe? Jim here. I got questions. Well Gabe, I'm sitting here asking myself why I'm on the phone with you when what I really should be doing is kicking your ass. But first, I would like to know why you sent three men to one of my member's house with guns and violence in mind. He's one of my best men, in fact, as your men found out."
Jim listened for a bit, "No, no, he's fine. It's your men who are dead. But that makes no difference to me. That shit doesn't fly and you've been throwing shit around for so long, a good ass-whooping might do you some good. Get you back on track. Knock your head out of your ass."
Jim listened again, smiling from ear to ear. He winked at Nicole, letting her know he was having far too much fun with this. "Yep, that's how it looks from here. Both Antonio and that brainless twit Davis. Yes," Jim then said with the slow and patient voice of a man who was heavily annoyed, "they are dead, Gabe. Well and truly dead. My man put them down on his doorstep, but like I said, that doesn't matter. You are the one sending people at mine and I'm not having it.
"What? No, not a word, but that don't matter to me either. If she left you, good, and I wish her well in her new life. In fact, if I happen to come across her, I may give her some cash to help her on her way." Then his voice took on seriously angry tones, "Especially, if a call girl is your reason for sending enforcers to my man's door. That's the lamest thing I've ever heard and you'd better have something more reasonable than that to say or we won't even bother with negotiations.
"Fine," Jim said, after a long time listening, "That was my feelings on the matter anyway. Consider your ass-whooping on the way."
Jim clicked his cellphone off, and then waited for a small span again to speak while he collected his thoughts. After this pause, he dialed another number and waited for it to answer, "George? Yep, Jim here. I want you on the phone as fast as you can, calling all the men working for that asshole Gabriel and pulling them out.
"Tell them to show up at the club and I'll have some things to say in about two hours. After that, go through the roster and head off anyone working in the morning or near future." Jim drummed his fingers, "Oh and you don't need to bother with Brian, he already knows," he added and then, after listening to George for a moment, answered, "Yes, it has been coming for some time. Should have cleaned this slate with him near the beginning of the year. Shit just keeps piling up." He drummed his fingers once more, "Good. See you in a few then."
Jim hung up the cellphone and looked at Nicole with glitter in his eyes, "Yep, he was still under the impression you were on your way. Now he's all fucked up and that should give us some time to figure out something more solid than actually going over there and performing a full scale ass-whooping. If I play this right, I may be able to shame him into leaving you alone, as well as getting some good concessions out of him for my trouble."
There was a knock at the door again and Jim bellowed for the visitor to enter. Brian came in the door and softly closed it behind him. Nicole looked him over. To hear Jim talk about him, the man was more dangerous than any five Antonios, but she couldn't see it on him. He stood straight, presenting all of his 5'll'' height.
He had a good build, though nothing as impressive as Cole's. The suit he wore fit him perfectly, but had a humble cut to it, which told the world around him that he was just a working man, though that suit probably cost him a couple grand. It was definitely made to order. His dark red hair was like a low burning flame on his head, one that was soon to be coals. Brian's inviting, and friendly eyes, were soft green. No, he didn't look like a killer at all, but she had no reason to doubt Jim's honesty and even less to doubt the man's appraisal abilities.
I would never see this man coming
, she thought to herself.
Brian stepped farther into the room, nodding to Cole and then said, "Good to see you again, Nicole. Hope you have been able to calm down from that business at your house."
"Thank you, I'm fine. And thank you for your help with that," she told him.
"I didn't do much," he grinned a little shyly, "And I'm glad it was your man here that I was up against or I would likely be laying in a blood spatter area instead of here. Not many people keep their heads like that when the shit hits the fan."
"You seem to like her and that's a good thing," Jim said to Brain.
"Sir?" Brian asked.
"I would like you to watch over her tonight, keeping her around here or over at the hotel. Either one is fine, but nowhere else. I don't want unfriendly eyes crossing her path. Cole has some cleaning to do with the police and that business earlier. We are taking your name completely out of the story -- sorry about that if you're one of those types who likes to find his name in the morning paper."
"Not at all. I could live my life without my fifteen minutes and consider it a blessing," Brian told him.
"Good. Also, take over the room next to the one you get for her and settle in when Cole returns. I'll want you over here at noon tomorrow for war council. This shit has been coming for a while, but now it’s here and asses will be kicked."
Brian nodded, more seriously this time, the friendly gleam in his eyes flickered and died, "Well, at least I won't have to worry about being fired tomorrow."
"No, that's a worry you no longer have," Jim agreed.
"Good, I hate being fired for not dying. It sucks," Brian said, as if this had been a problem for him in the past.
Another knock requested entry and Jim bellowed his permission.
A man, nearly as tall as Cole, but built like a rail with shoulders, came in wearing a gray power-suit, tailor made, and carrying the confidence she only expected from men like her clients.
Jim introduced the lawyer, Jack Thorn, around the room, and then filled him in on the events of the evening.
"They were armed, I take it?" Jack inquired.
"Yes," Cole answered.
"Then this shouldn't be a problem. They'll tell you things like not to leave the city and all that, but that's all bullshit anyway. Will Nicole be joining us?"
"No, she's left the city already, which is a shame," Jim told him. "I kinda liked that girl."
"Ah, yes, me too," Jack confided. "Seemed like a woman with her head on her shoulders. I'm confident she'll land on her feet, though." Then Jack gave her a conspiratorial wink, which was so surprising friendly and boyish, she nearly laughed.
Then Jack looked back to Jim, "Well, we should probably take care of this sooner than later. We'll go by his house first, but if they have already closed up shop there, we'll hit the station," he said to Jim and then back at Nicole he said, "Don't worry, I'll have him back to you in a few short hours."
"Thanks, because getting a replacement for him would be very difficult and I'm rather attached to the one I have," Nicole replied, as she reached over and took Cole's hand.
Cole gave hers a squeeze, "I guess we are off Jim. Thanks for standing behind me on this one."
"I owe you and the club owes you several. Never should have crossed your mind that this would go down any differently," Jim told him, rising from his chair and, for a brief moment, to Nicole, it didn't seem like he was ever going to stop rising.
Goddamn that man is big,
" she shuddered to herself.
Back out in the bar, she gave Cole a hug and then a kiss, "See you soon and don't worry; it looks like I'm going to be well taken care of. I think I'll hang out here for a few hours anyway and then around midnight hit the hotel for some sleep if you aren't back by then."
Cole looked at Brian, "What are your plans if it goes sour with the cops?"
Brian answered as if he had already thought this out, "We'll stay at the hotel, at least for a few days. If I am forced to move her, I'll safehouse her at my place. I have a spare room with a comfortable bed and a pinball machine. We'll be fine. Not to worry, and both Jim and George have my address. It's only about a mile from here," Brian told him. "In any case, I'll keep both Jim and George updated on my movements if something presses us beyond that. But she will be safe and well looked after until you are back. I guarantee you that much."