Giovanni removed Kim from the trunk of the car and, removing the blanket, stuck the hapless ex-biker behind the wheel of the old Ford. His victim began waking up as he tied his hands to the steering wheel and began to struggle. The Italian Merely took out a drinking straw and a packet of cocaine, then forced Kim to snort as much as possible. Then he pointed at the bay. “See that blue parking lot?” Kim nodded in his haze. “You’re going to park this car in the middle of it. Are you ready?” Kim nodded again. “Go!”
Giovanni moved away from the car as Kim mashed his foot onto the accelerator. He could hear Kim’s maniacal laughter as he sped toward his own death without much thought. He remained in the shadows and watched as the car sank beneath the waters beyond the dock. He remained for a couple of hours to make sure the little imp hadn’t been lucky enough to get loose and float to the surface. When it was clear that Kim was indeed dead, the Italian left the docks.
Slipping into a warehouse, he found a phone and dialed a number. “Nico. It’s done. Needing pick up at Warehouse five. No. No one saw. If they did, they just think some crazy coke-head drove off the pier. No. There ain’t nothin’ to link anyone to this. NO, the car wasn’t licensed to our mutual friend. It was licensed by the company. But Matteo forged licenses in the vic’s name. Yeah. OK. will be waiting.”
He hung up. Now all he could do was wait. Even if it meant all night. Nico would send a ride.
*** Natalia awoke in a hospital bed to find Matt at her bedside. She smiled up at him. “Hi, honey. Sorry you have to see me this way.” Her voice was little more than a whisper.
The doctor entered the room. “You’re lucky Mrs. Goodacres. If your son hadn’t found you, you would probably be dead right now.”
She smiled feebly. “How long will I be here?”
The doctor looked at her sternly. “depends on how long it takes you to mend from the beating you took. At least three weeks, maybe longer. We’ll have to see.”
She nodded weakly. The doctor motioned for Matt to follow him. Once outside, he turned to Matt. “The bastard who did this should be put behind bars. I know you’re covering for something, but I also know that you weren’t the one who did this. Where is this jackass?”
Matt shrugged. “I don’t know. The last I saw him, he ran out the door to the penthouse my mother owns.”
The doctor looked at Matt’s hands, but could see no signs of a scuffle. He looked back up. “Alright. I’ll take your word. For now.” Matt watched him walk away.
He went back into his mother’s room. She looked up at him. “What was that about, Honey?”
Matt smiled. “Nothing. Just an update. Doc said you need to rest.”
She nodded and closed her eyes. “What sort of update?”
“He said you were lucky to come out without a massive concussion or shattered skull,” he lied, “Or worse.”
Susie stood watching as Tom pulled in with a different car. Something had happened and she knew she wouldn’t like it. Still, if Tom’d had to defend Matt, she wouldn’t mind so much. But a new car usually meant something bad.
Tom looked tired as he emerged from the car. she hadn’t seen him look this tired since Omaha. What had happened? She smiled as he approached. He shook his head, signifying that it was as she feared. Her smile faded.
He smiled sadly. “Natty is in the hospital. If Matt hadn’t shown up when he did, she would probably be dead. That bastard she was living with nearly beat her to death.”
Susie’s face went pale. Dear God! Don’t tell me he got away. Please don’t tell me–”
Tom shook his head. “He didn’t get away. Not even sure he was still alive when Matt got done with him. I–”
She understood now. “That is the reason for the new car. I should have known. You took care of a mess.”
Tom nodded. “Yes. For Matt. I don’t think he’ll make a habit of beating people to death. He has a career he loves and no one will ever know. No one needs to know.”
She nodded. “He must have went nuts when he found his mother.”
Tom nodded. “But I don’t think it would have been so bad if Kim had been smart and not gone after Matt with a baseball bat. If Kim had just fled or walked away, he would still be alive.”
She looked at him. “Who’d you turn him over to? Kim, I mean.”
Tom smiled. “Giovanni. He’s the only guy who’s crazy enough to do just about anything.If Kim wasn’t dead, he is now.”
Susie winced. “I didn’t really want to know that.”
Tom hugged her. “I know. Sorry.”
Giovanni entered his boss’s house to report. He knew that this had been granted by Dante Cavelerno and the Family, but they didn’t always approve of his ways of dealing with these assignments. He swallowed hard and hoped for the best. He turned the door knob and entered Dante’s study.
Dante didn’t look up. “It is done?”
Giovanni nodded. “Yes, Boss.”
Dante remained motionless. “How did you deal with it?”
He swallowed hard. “The target was still alive. I had to improvise.”
His boss remained still. “How?”
He knew he couldn’t get out of a full accounting on this. “Originally, I was just going to tie his hands to the steering wheel and then cinch the gas pedal down tight. But he woke up and I had to…use his favorite poison to make him pliable.”
Dante looked up from his paper. “I take it you had to dope him up with coke. Right?”
Giovanni nodded. “Yes.”
Dante chuckled. “Then what?”
Giovanni smiled. “Since the car was already started, I convinced the son-of-a-bitch to drive off the dock. And the idiot laughed all the way to the end of the pier. Crazy Fucker.”
Dante grinned. “For once, your punishment fit the person well. I like it. It was ingenious.”