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Authors: C. Clark Criscuolo

Wiseguys In Love

BOOK: Wiseguys In Love
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Contents

Title Page

Copyright Notice

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Epilogue

Copyright

 

For Gregory,

and to the memories of Johnny and Mary Bush

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

My agent, Janet Spencer King, for her tireless support and belief in the words. Vince Patrick, who can teach more about writing in a twenty-minute conversation than most people do in years of workshops. Neil Criscuolo and his pals in East Harlem. And finally, my editor, Hope Dellon, and her assistant, Margaret Longbrake, of St. Martin's Press for their input and energy, and for taking a chance on an unpublished writer.

ONE

“We have the time.… And sex is not an activity, okay? Mowing the lawn is an activity. Bowling is an activity. Sex is an
event,
Andrew,” she called in to him.

His deep laugh echoed off the bathroom tiles and he appeared at the bathroom door and waved a finger at her. She watched his toned naked body in the doorway. Andrew was five ten, muscular, with a flat washboard stomach and perfectly shaped thighs and hips. He was just … hard all over and at the same time his skin felt baby-soft.

“You're such a wiseguy, Lisa! I love your sense of humor. Well, whatever sex is, you know me, I'd rather be making money. Now, come on, we don't have the time right now; we're going to be late for work. Tonight, honey.” His face disappeared again, almost like the Cheshire cat, leaving only the image of a big smile, and Lisa stretched her arms up over her head and then felt another frown cross her face as she heard the gush of the shower as it was turned on.

“Andrew,” she began, “is everything all right?”

“How?” His voice echoed.

“Between us.”

In a moment, he had walked back out, leaving the water running in the shower, and was sitting beside her on the bed, the way he did every time they had this discussion. He was staring seriously, and he was silent.

“What are we talking about here?” His voice was low.

“Is everything all right?” she repeated.

“Do you want to leave me, is that it?”

She sat straight up and put her arms around him.

“No. I'm not talking about
that.

“Look, Lisa, I know it's been hard the last couple of years.…”

“Well, yes. I mean they have you working days, nights, weekends; you couldn't even come home to visit my folks last Christmas.” Her voice had a testy edge to it.

“You know how many traders they've let go? You know how bad the economy is? Christ, I'm lucky I have a job on Wall Street.” He took a breath. “I know it's been hard and it's going to end, I promise.”

“In February,” she recited.

“In February. Exactly. Seven months. We will have paid off the loan on this co-op, and you can get out of that terrible job and I can look for something with easier hours.”

“But we just have to hold on until we pay off the co-op.”

“Right.”

“Maybe we should just move back to Michigan. I'm sick of being alone.” Her voice rose.

“I know. It's difficult for me, too, but you have to know I love you.”

“Yes.” She answered the way she did every time.

“Don't I bring you flowers every week?”

“Yes.”

“Don't I call you at exactly one-thirty every day from work?”

“Yes.”

“Does that sound like someone who doesn't care?”

“No.”

“Now come on, or we'll be late.” He patted her thigh, and she again got to watch his exquisite body walk naked into the bathroom.

She felt her smile vanish and she slid down onto the bed.

Sex. Was that a rarity these days. It was not only that she couldn't really remember the last time they'd had sex but Lisa couldn't remember the last time they'd had an evening out, or a weekend together.

She sat back up against the pillows and looked at her hands in her lap. She looked at the clock. She was going to be late if she didn't start moving.

Her job. Not wanting to go in. Maybe she
was
just using Andrew's hours as an excuse. Maybe what really was bothering her was that she hated her boss, Henry Foster Morgan, and she hated
Smug Magazine,
and she just couldn't stand to get out of bed in the morning.

She felt that dull depression that was always there these days. Even when she laughed, there was this flatness deep inside her.

Andrew's stupid boss, Jerry. She hated him, almost as much as she hated Henry. Jeez, she was crabby all the time.

God, Lisa couldn't wait until February. Then they could both quit their jobs and she could get away from her boss and Andrew would get to stop working these insane hours. All they had to do was tough it out. And having Andrew there—
living with Andrew,
she dryly corrected in her head—at least gave her the strength to put up with Henry.

After all, she knew women who didn't have anybody and still had to go to terrible jobs—at least she had someone. She tried to concentrate on something positive.

She thought hard.

This weekend. Lisa swung her legs over the side of the bed and walked into the bathroom. She stood still for a moment and watched him soaping himself in the shower.

She exhaled loudly and then turned and looked at herself in the mirror. Her shoulder-length blond hair was all tousled on top. It emphasized her high cheekbones, which made a rectangle of the upper part of her face and then gently sloped down to a pointed chin. Her squarish nose was dotted with freckles and her generous lips were wet—oddly, it made her eyes seem more green than blue. She looked back at Andrew.

“So what time do you want me to pick you up?”

“Pick me up?”

“Yeah.” She grabbed a brush and began brushing her hair.

“For what?”

“We're supposed to go to Connecticut this weekend. Ted and Laurie's engagement party?”

“Oh right! That's
this
weekend?”

Lisa stopped brushing her hair and put her hands on her hips.

“Andrew—”

“All right, all right. I'll tell Jerry I'll take the paperwork with me.” He flashed one of his brilliant smiles and leaned over and gave her a wet kiss.

“I want to do something this weekend. Something—I don't know, unusual, exciting. I want to meet new people.” She looked at him.

“There, that's what I like to see. Smiles and no worries.”

*   *   *

Tony pulled a pack of Marlboro's out of his jacket pocket, put one in his mouth, and put the pack away. He leaned his arms on the steering wheel and lighted the cigarette, cupping it in his large hands as if there was a wind in the car.

He inhaled deeply, then draped his hand over the steering wheel and exhaled.

He just wanted to see it. Just with his own eyes.

He'd been sitting in the car for hours, parked across the street from the Oceanside Deluxe Apartments out near Coney Island. He'd watched the sun come up over the building, which was an arc of windows rising twenty-five stories, with a big canopy and traffic island with some kind of damn hedge or something. And then, in the center of that was this fountain they lighted up orange at night, like on some wedding cakes at fancy weddings. When he'd first seen it, he thought it was classy, but now he could see it for what it was.

It was a weird-looking building.

He took another deep drag of his cigarette. He'd been staring so hard at the big glass front doors that his eyes hurt.

His chest tightened as the black Porsche drove around and into the traffic circle. His eyes bounced down to his watch.

Eight-thirty in the morning, she was getting home!

His eyes raised immediately to look back across the street. Doesn't even drive a decent car, he noted. Drives one of them cheap, squishy little foreign jobs.

He sat, staring at the car so hard, he could have set it on fire.

His back arched as he saw the passenger door open, and Angela's long legs stretched into view as she stepped outside.

She went out last night dressed like that?

Her hair was done up high and big on her head and looked like a frosted blond lion's mane. Her eyes were hidden by sunglasses. Her white T-shirt fell off one shoulder and floated down over her breasts, only to be cut off high above her waist. Her tight white leather skirt barely made it down to midthigh; her legs were covered in lace stockings. Her high white heels made her totter, so her hips swung from side to side and made the skirt work its way up even higher on her thighs as she walked around the car to the driver's side.

Tony could feel the breath get sucked out of him, and his torso was now smashed so far into the steering wheel, it felt like it was going to be permanently embedded in his chest.

The door on the driver's side opened and he watched Joe Didero step out onto the curb and reach his hand out to her. She waved him back inside the car and bent way down, and kissed him on the lips quickly. Tony felt his teeth grind together as it looked like her breasts were going to fall down below the shirt. She closed the door and walked around the back of the car on the way to the door of the building.

She darted a look at Tony's car, took another step, then looked back again, and he knew under the dark glasses she blinked. She suddenly stopped and gave her skirt a tug, first one thigh, then the other, so it accentuated how tight it was and at the same time showed off the big diamond ring Tony'd given her five months before. Then she looked back at him, gave him a fuck-you smile and the finger and slowly, exaggerating the swing of her hips, walked around to the driver's side again.

The door was pushed open and she made a big deal out of bending way over so her ass wiggled, and she gave Joey D. a big kiss, then straightened up. The car door closed and Tony silently watched the car pull out and away.

Angela turned and did the slowest, swingiest walk he'd ever seen, up to the front doors, and she disappeared inside.

Only then did he exhale, and he did it hard, through his nose, like a bull ready to charge.

Didn't Ralphie know about this shit? He stared down at the dashboard. He couldn't believe it. Who would let his daughter hang around that lowlife?

Angela had a fuckin' reputation to look after.

He started the engine and sat, pressing his foot down on the accelerator, just to hear the motor groan. So Louie was right. It was Joey D.

Fuckin' scumbag Joey D.

And look at the way she was dressing now. Like a whore. Like one of Solly's whores. Okay, he wasn't going out with her anymore, and he'd heard she'd gotten pretty crazy—but this?

She was making an idiot of herself. And in Tony's mind, it reflected on him, what she was doing, because he'd gone out with her.

Somebody had to straighten her out.

He'd find someone to straighten her out.

Maybe Mikey would do it.

He had to start dating again. Two could play at this game.

Maybe his cousin Mikey could help out here.…

And this was
the
day for Mikey, he thought proudly.

The tires screeched as he peeled out of the space. He got to the corner and turned right. He had to pick up Mikey and get over to the union office for Solly's payment. After all, he couldn't leave Giuseppe Geddone hanging there all morning.

BOOK: Wiseguys In Love
3.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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