“Seriously the subways in this city suck!” Sal ran his mouth off, “You know it took me an hour and a half to get home last night? I had to make four subway transfers to get there. And they expect me to pay an extra fifteen fuckin’ dollars for a metro card? Fuck that!”
“How could it have taken you an hour and a half?” Charlie raised his hands in confusion, one with a cigarette in it, “You only live ten blocks away!”
“That’s exactly what I’m talking about! That L train goes down, you’re fucked!” He began to count with his fingers in aggravation, “You gotta take the G train, to the M train, to the F train, to the A train, back to the G train, to the-“
“Why didn’t you just take a cab?” Charlie interrupted him.
“Then what’s the point of paying over a hundred fuckin’ dollars for a metro-card?”
“Sal, you make five times that much money a day, tax free!”
Angelo sat in the chair of his office of the greeting card store on Wall Street watching TV. His feet were on the desk, his eyes looked out to the lobby where his two underlings were arguing again about God knows what. He was hopping through the channels hoping to hear something about his family. Obviously, the media always portrayed the Giovanni family in a negative light, much to Angelo’s satisfaction. He admired his father’s work more so than his two sisters. Marlon would constantly remind Angelo that someday he would be the one to take over the family business. He turned his attention away from the outside lobby just as an unexpected visitor came in.
There were a few people in the store, it wasn’t a big place, with only one sales clerk at the counter. It was bright, because today the sun was shining on this surprisingly warm early-spring morning. A girl walked in wearing a thin leather jacket with jeans and sneakers. She was familiar to both the Capos.
“Hey Rachel,” Sal immediately grabbed her attention, “You can back me up here. Don’t you think the subways are shit?”
Rachel didn’t enjoy Sal’s moronic conversation, but she humored her father’s oldest friend, “Yeah they’re shit.” She tried to walk by the two loudmouths, but now Charlie had to get his comment in:
“So,” the grey-haired man asked, “Do you take cabs then?”
“I walk,” Rachel said as she made her way towards a row of relationship cards.
“From Brooklyn?” Charlie asked surprisingly.
“No wonder she’s so thin,” Sal thought aloud.
“Yeah,” Charlie looked at his friend, “Maybe you should start walking you fatass!”
“Are you kidding me?” Sal started patting the man’s belly, “Have you taken a look in the mirror lately? By the way, my kid appreciates the toys you brought down the chimney last Christmas!”
Rachel completely tuned out the two mafiosos as she browsed through a wall of relationship cards. She was not accustomed to giving people cards. Anytime she received one, they usually ended up in the trash, unless it contained a check. The last time Rachel received a card was from her father last Christmas. She seemed more interested in the check than she did the actual card. However, today was one situation she felt compelled to write a card. It was for Julia. It had been over a week since she heard from her date. Julia didn’t answer her phonecalls, didn’t respond to her texts, Rachel couldn’t find Julia Columbo on any social network; it was almost as if she had disappeared. There were several theories, but Rachel now had one last resort for contacting her: mailing an old fashioned card. But which to choose? Would something too romantic make the situation worse? Should it be casual and friendly? That might be a better idea just in case Frank Columbo or one of his men inspected every letter Julia received. For that matter, could Rachel Giovanni even use her real name on the return address? Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea.
“Looking for a love card, Vampira?” A familiar voice echoed in Rachel’s ears.
“Leave me alone Angelo,” Rachel didn’t even look at him. She continued to look at different cards.
“Hey this is my store,” Angelo teased her, “I can do whatever I want.”
Rachel finally looked behind to see her brother smiling at her abrasively. The sister’s irritated eyes trailed off. She wasn’t in the mood to argue, so Rachel was candid with her brother:
“I want to give a card to someone,” she hesitated, “Someone special.”
“Awww,” Angelo mocked. He pinched her cheeks much to the raven-hair’s annoyance, “My little sister has a boyfriend.”
‘How wrong you are,’ Rachel thought to herself. She remained silent, not about to tell her brother she was ‘Amore Ragazze’. Angelo was picking up his sister’s irritation and let go of her face. Although he didn’t get along with her, Angelo still treated Rachel as another customer.
“All right, all right,” He was more helpful taking a look at the wall with her, “So what’s this guy like?”
Rachel equivocated hearing the word ‘guy’. “Shy,” she answered, “Painfully shy.”
He looked at his sister curiously. All the times Angelo tried to set his sister up on a date had failed. The dominant Rachel was not attracted to strength or confidence. She was always attracted to the more submissive type, but what guy would possibly so ‘painfully shy’? Unfortunately, this brief display of brotherly affection was interrupted.
“Oh shit!” Charlie yelled.
The siblings turned to see Charlie and Sal running out the door. A man was lying on the ground bleeding from the stomach. Both of them ran to see what was happening, as did the sales clerk. The bleeding man was screaming obscenities.
“Jimmy,” Charlie yelped kneeling beside him, “What happened?”
This was not the first time Rachel had seen a wounded man. She was reminded again what kind of business her family was in. Even so, she wasn’t about to let this man bleed to death. She ran back into the store, into the bathroom, where a first aid kit hung on the wall. She grabbed it without stopping and ran back outside. She slid down kneeling before the man. A quick pull of the box revealed a few bandages, which she immediately pressed against the man’s blood stained stomach.
“Fuckin’ Snakes,” Jimmy struggled to catch his breath, “Ratted me out and knifed me.”
“Snakes?” Angelo stood over his wounded soldier. Jimmy was ordered by Charlie to spy on Columbo’s Wall Street hangout. Snakes, Columbo’s Consigliere, obviously knew about it. This was a message for the Giovanni family, ‘Stay out of our business.’ Angelo’s eyes widened, his mouth tense with fury. As angry as he was over this act of violence, this was his chance to prove his worth. He walked back into the store, into his office.
Meanwhile Rachel was using what little medical experience she had to help Jimmy, “Take it easy Jimmy, you’ll be okay.”
“I’m fucking dying!” Jimmy screamed.
Sal and Charlie were both on their phones.
“I’m gonna get Vinnie Montana over here,” Sal said texting, “He should be around-“
“Amy,” Charlie spoke on the phone, “We got a man down over here.”
The female sales clerk simply stood there like a deer in the headlights.
“Guys,” Rachel looked up to them, “We gotta get him to a hospital, Now!”
“I know,” Sal put his phone away. Charlie was still talking, “There’s a guy we know in NYDH, we gotta get him over there without-“
Sal stopped in mid-sentence as Angelo kicked open the door with a bat in his hand and vengeance in his eye. Angelo could stride, without running, faster than anyone else they knew.
“Angelo?” Rachel watched her older brother walk away. He didn’t look back. This was not going to end well. If only Amy was there, she could cool her brother down before he did something insane. By now he was almost a block away from them.
“Angelo,” Charlie ran after him.
“Shit,” Sal ran after Charlie.
“Sal!” Rachel screamed realizing she was now alone with Jimmy. He was still screaming, his chest bleeding badly. It was up to her now. Rachel did her best to pick the man up. He screamed in pain, “C’mon Jimmy, we gotta get you to a hospital!” She now looked to the sales clerk who was standing there shaking, “For God sakes Gillian, would you give me a hand?” Gillian very slowly, walked towards Rachel and held one arm as Rachel did the other. It was going to be a long walk to the hospital.
Snakes, his sleeves rolled up, was actually standing outside the office building Columbo worked out of. He was on the phone, smoking a cigarette:
“Don’t worry,” he said, “I took care of it.”
Columbo spoke on the other end of the line.
“No he’s still around, but we won’t be seeing him no more.” Snakes turned around to see Angelo walking towards him. The son of Giovanni had the bat hidden behind his back. Snakes wasn’t really expecting much, although he did flick his cigarette away, “I’ll call you back; Junior’s here.” He put his cell phone down and watched the young Giovanni advance on him. He had shark eyes, wide open, ready to strike. Two other men were behind him.
“Angelo,” Charlie said, “Take it easy.”
Snakes walked towards Angelo. His knife was in his jacket just in case. “What the fuck do you want?”
Within seconds of his statement, Angelo swung the bat at Snakes head. The Consigliere’s nose was instantly broken and bleeding. No time to grab his knife, Snakes instantly fell to the floor and yelled. People gathered around the area began to take notice or run away in fear.
“Angelo!” Charlie screamed. He and Sal stood back watching their Underboss beat Snakes repeatedly on the floor. Angelo screamed obscenities. His bat smashed his rival’s body hard, as if his own life depended on it.
Within ten seconds, several other members of the Columbo mob ran outside to aid their Consigliere. The sound of guns emerging from Charlie and Sal’s belts stopped the soldiers in their tracks. They watched the Giovanni crew’s firearms cautiously. Sal and Charlie didn’t want to have their guns out, but they had to protect their Underboss at all costs. Another man, a giant, conveniently stood next to Sal and Charlie with a shotgun in his hand. Not even Columbo’s most loyal followers would dare try to assult the infamous Vinnie Montana, especially armed. Rumor had it, Vinnie had been shot twenty times. He was indestructible. The Columbo soldiers could only stand from a safe distance and watch their superior be beaten mercilessly by this angry insane 25-year old. Angelo concentrated solely on hitting Snakes with his bat. Nothing else mattered to him.
“Are you out of your fucking mind?”
Jackie slapped her son again across the face. It was forceful, leaving a red handmark. The two of them stood in the center of the Greeting Card store’s office, where Angelo had been sitting a few hours earlier. Sitting on a couch nearby were sisters Rachel and Amy. Charlie stood near the door of the office. Outside, Sal, Vinnie Montana and another soldier stood guard by the front of the building. The sales clerk was no where to be seen. None of the members of the Giovanni family could remember the last time Jackie was this angry. She had always been the calm diplomatic soul behind Marlon’s tough persona, but her eyes burned with rage. Amy took the position of calm diplomat, but she wasn’t about to question Don Giovanni’s actions. Rachel sat on the couch emotionless.
“C’mon Mom,” Angelo argued, “They wounded our guy first-“
“You beat up a made man!” She yelled, “You could have killed him! Jimmy’s not a made man, but Snakes is.”
“So what should I have done?” Angelo yelled back raising his arms, “Just sat in the office and jacked off?”
“That’s what you do all day anyway,” Rachel interrupted.
“Stay out of this Rach,” Angelo spat back at her.
“You should have talked to me first,” Jackie’s voice calmed down, but her index finger was pointing right at her son, “You should have let me handle it. I’m the boss of this family, not you.”
Angelo stayed silent. He looked at his mother like he wanted to punch her, but dared not. Jackie looked back at him in unspeakable anger. If Angelo was boss of the family, he wouldn’t be having this problem.
“Angelo,” Amy spoke up, removing her glasses. Her voice was as calm and eloquent as always, “What happened to Jimmy was deplorable, but we could have easily attained sympathy from Gotti and the rest of the other families over this incident. Not to sound like an opportunist, but we could have gained more from this act of violence by being composed and peaceful.”
“She’s absolutely right,” Don Giovanni pointed to her Consigliere.
The young man rolled his eyes. Amy would always second-guess her brother’s actions, but if he was boss, she would just have to shut up and obey him. To his way of thinking, Angelo had done right by his family. Why were they all now gaining up on him?
“A golden opportunity for good will, God bless Jimmy, I hope he’s okay, has just been destroyed by your ego.” Angelo didn’t know what his mother was getting at. He stayed silent. Jackie tried to be reasonable with him, “You know the rules Angelo, you don’t hit a made man. You need to have a sitdown with the rest of the family, with all the other families, before you move on him. You know how manipulative Columbo is. Gotti’s practically going to hand over the tip of Manhattan to him!”
“Dad never worried about stuff like that,” Angelo corrected his mother.
“Yes he did!” Jackie snapped at him, “Look, your father beat up a lot of people in his life, but he wasn’t impulsive about it. He thought it out first: Is this good for the family? Is this good for business?”
“Well that’s what I thought,” Angelo started.
“You,” Jackie interrupted pointing her finger at him again, tilting her head to the side, her eyes still fixated on her son, “Are not Marlon! I’m starting to consider letting Amy succeed me as Boss of this family.”
Amy looked a little uncomfortable. She had no desire to be the boss. Angelo’s eyes became more agitated as his mother went on talking.
“I mean Hell,” Jackie looked back to her daughters, “Maybe even Rachel would be better than you!”
“Okay,” Angelo interrupted, “You don’t need to insult me okay?”
“No I’m joking around Angelo,” Jackie shook her head, “Your sister carried that wounded man on her shoulder to the hospital. That’s something that your father would have done!”
Rachel pretended not to care about anything that was being said in that room. However, some small part of her couldn’t help but feeling flattered that her mother considered her to be the boss of the family. Jackie never complimented her like that. For a minute, Rachel began to fantasize what it would be like to be boss of the Giovanni family. Would she sit in the big chair like her father used to and conduct business with grace and intelligence? Wait, no! I don’t ever want to be a part of this organization of crime. Today’s horrific events were more than Rachel wanted to handle for the next few years.
“Don Giovanni,” Sal came into the room, “Frank Columbo is outside.”
Many times over the years, Sal had infuriated Marlon; Jackie was beginning to see why. Even if Sal was just doing his job, it was not something the Godmother wanted to hear right now. Her jaw dropped as she looked up to the ceiling.
“God damn it,” she whispered loud enough for everyone to hear. She pulled herself together and shook her head. She looked to Amy, who put her glasses back on. Rachel wasn’t quite sure what to do. “Okay send him in, Sal.”
“Yes Godmother,” Sal bowed his head and walked out of the office.
“Listen to me,” Jackie pointed her finger to Angelo, “You just sit in the corner and don’t say a god damned word unless I tell you to. You got it?” Angelo stared at his mother for a second, but eventually he shook his head in the affirmative. “Good.”
Angelo walked to the far corner of the office and sat in the small chair. Jackie took her place behind the desk, Charlie stood behind her. Rachel thought about leaving, but the door opened to reveal Sal, Frank Columbo, and Bobby, Columbo's henchman. Columbo and Giovanni stared at each other, like two generals meeting for a cease-fire. Columbo’s eyes looked angrily at Angelo, who very subtlety gave him the middle finger by scratching his face. The rival mob boss ignored this. He quickly glanced at Charlie, Amy and Rachel. Columbo didn’t really recognize Rachel; although he suspected she was the forgotten daughter of the family. Rachel was not afraid of this man, but she realized how intimidating he was. No wonder Julia was the way she was.
“Care to explain yourself?” Columbo asked Jackie. His voice was calm, yet assertive.
Jackie sat at her desk, not intimidated, “Surprised to see you here, wanting to talk Frank. I always figured you for a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ kind of man.”
“You know Gotti would have a shit-fit if that happened here in Manhattan. Of course, we could settle this in Brooklyn if you want?”
Angelo just couldn’t help himself.
“You got some nerve you know that!” He spat at him, in full voice, “You whacked our guy first-“
“Angelo!” Jackie tried to calm her son down.
“Oh you were so innocent,” Columbo spat back to the boy in full voice, “Bringing a spy into our business?”
Jackie stood up and attempted to calm both of them down unsuccessfully.
“So what?” Angelo stood up and made his way towards Columbo, “You stab a guy for that?”
Columbo stood up and the two of them began to shout in each other’s faces.
“Welcome to the big leagues Junoir,” Columbo yelled, “Daddy’s not here to hold your hand anymore!”
“Fuck you!” Angelo grabbed the man’s jacket.
Bobby and Sal advanced on both of them hoping things wouldn’t get out of hand, but Jackie beat them to the punch, jumping clear over her desk to break them apart.
“Stop it! Stop it!” Jackie’s presence intercepted both of them. Everyone in the room calmed down. An angry stare at Angelo forced the son to sit back in his chair. She now looked to Columbo, “Frank, have a seat-“
“You outta keep that kid on a leash,” Columbo said irritated. Angelo bit his tongue.
“Sit down, Frank!” Giovanni was now forceful. She went back behind the chair as the boss of the Columbo family reluctantly obeyed his rival. How could he let this woman tell him what to do?
“So what are you gonna do about this Giovanni?” Columbo snarled, “Send my Consigliere flowers? In the hospital?”
Jackie knew this was going to be a long meeting. She looked around, just realizing that Rachel was still in the room. The raven-haired daughter look slightly intimidated.
“Rachel,” Jackie spoke up, “Would you wait outside please?”
Rachel didn’t say anything. She simply walked up and made her way out of the crowded office. Columbo stared at her slightly upon hearing her name called. The daughter didn’t think anything of it. By the time she was on the other side of the door, Columbo’s focus came back to Jackie. Sal closed the office door. Rachel had experienced some of these tense moments before, so she was not affected. She could still hear loud talking behind the closed door. Not actual yelling, but noticeable nonetheless. She stared at the door until a voice came behind her:
It was a feminine voice for sure. Rachel turned around to see the blonde Julia standing before her. She was the only one in the store, Vinnie Montana and another one of Columbo’s men stood outside with their backs to the door. Julia’s beauty was more noticeable than it had been the night of the movie. Her long blonde hair was not covered by a hat, her jacket was much slimmer. However, her white gloves were still on, as were her white boots. Rachel was really caught off guard by her appearance.
“Hey,” was all she could bring herself to say.
Julia walked up to Rachel and clasped her hands, “I’m so sorry, I haven’t been able to get in touch with you. My father’s locked me in my room. In fact the only way I could get out of the house was to follow him to work today.”
Rachel said nothing. She began to doubt whether seeing this girl was worth it or not. Frank Columbo and Jackie Giovanni were not on amiable terms to say the least. If word got out that the two of them were ‘Amore Raggaze,’ it might lead to more bloodshed. Amy’s words of caution began to haunt Rachel’s mind. It would be best if Rachel told her they shouldn’t see each other anymore. Hell, they hadn’t seen each other for a week! Unfortunately, Julia’s angelic face didn’t make that easy.
“Are you mad at me?” Insecurity was in Julia’s voice. Rachel couldn’t bring herself to break up with this girl.
“No,” Rachel said, her hands still holding Julia’s. The blonde looked back to make sure no one was looking. Suddenly, her lips quickly kissed Rachel’s. Even if it was a split-second, Rachel knew she couldn’t resist it.
“I’m so happy to see you,” Julia smiled.
A smile began to crack in the raven-hair’s face, “I’m happy to see you,” there was a long hesitation. Both of the girls wanted to kiss each other, but this was not the place to do so. In fact, it was probably best if they stopped holding hands. It was suspicious all right. “Actually,” Rachel said, “I came out here to find a card for you.”
“Awww,” Julia said, “You’re so sweet.”
Rachel and Julia spent the next fifteen minutes looking at the cards, talking about how bad most of them were. Occasionally, they could hear voices being raised in the office, but nothing too violent.
“Why don’t you stand up to your father?” Rachel asked the blonde, “I mean you’re a grown woman, for God’s sake.”
“I can’t do that,” Julia looked to the floor.
“Julia,” Rachel held onto her shoulder, “You need to stand up for yourself. You’re never going to have a life if you let him lock you up in that room.” Julia now raised her eyes, gazing into Rachel’s, “Let’s go out tonight. Let’s go shopping, go to a bar… go back to my place?” This caused Julia’s eyes to nearly pop out.
Before she could say anything, Amy emerged from the office, she almost stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Rachel with her hand on Julia’s shoulder. Rachel and Julia both looked at Amy, the taller one dropping her arm.
“Hi Amy,” Julia smiled at her.
Amy forced a smile, “Nice to see you again Julia,” and shook her hand. Behind the smile, Amy was not happy to see the two of them in the same building with Frank Columbo. This could be problematic.
“Is everything okay?” Julia asked her.
“Sort of,” Amy said, “It looks like we came to an agreement. It’s all about being professional and diplomatic-“
“You’re still an asshole, you know that?” Angelo shouted to Columbo as he walked out of the office. The young man saw his sisters with Columbo’s daughter. She was looking very cute today; Angelo couldn’t help but smile and go up to her.
“Ah Julia,” Angelo put his hand on her shoulder, “What brings you around these parts?”
“My father,” Julia responded in a mousey way.
Angelo responded with laughter. “Amazing,” he looked to Amy, “That guy in there is the father to such a beautiful sweet thing.”
Rachel began to feel resentment watching her brother hit on her girlfriend. Julia didn’t seem comfortable. It was even worse when Frank Columbo finally emerged from the office seeing his enemy’s hand on his daughter’s shoulder. He pushed the kid away violently:
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
“What the fuck is your problem Frank?” Angelo pushed back. Vinnie Montana and Frankie’s bodyguards gathered around them, not getting involved right away, “Is it against the law for me to be nice to your daughter?”
“Daddy,” Julia came next to him, “He wasn’t doing anything-“
“I wish Snakes had stabbed you right between the fucking eyes!” Columbo grabbed his shirt. It looked like a fight was going to break out before Vinnie Montana got in the way.
“Jesus Christ,” Jackie ran towards them, “Would you two cut it out?”
“I’m surprised at you Don Columbo,” A frail voice entered the room.
Everyone turned around to see old Don Gotti standing in the doorway with two bodyguards beside him. He was dressed in a white suit with a white fedora. His coat hung over his shoulders.
“Don Gotti,” Columbo showed his respect.
Jackie Giovanni did the same.
“I’d expect this kind of behavior from a 25-year old, but not from a experienced business-man like you.”
“I’d expect it from him,” Angelo said to the old man, “The guy’s an asshole! I mean look at his daughter for God’s sake, she’s terrified of him!”
Gotti notted how timid Julia looked, Rachel was the only one trying to console her. Columbo didn’t seem to take notice of this, only to Angelo.
“Listen to me Angelo,” Frank said to him calmly, “If you even touch my daughter-“
“I can’t shake her hand,” Angelo asked, “Be nice to her?”
“You know what I’m talking about,” he said.
“Don’t worry,” Angelo said as he began out of the shop, putting his sunglasses on, “Only an idiot would go out with her.”
Rachel resented that statement. Angelo nodded his head to Don Gotti, “Good to see you again.” Gotti returned the nod and watched the boy walk out of the office.
“Don Gotti,” Jackie spoke up, “We’ve come to some agreements over everything that happened this morning.”
“I still want permission to kill her retarded son,” Columbo snarled. Jackie bit her tongue in Gotti’s presence.
“That I can’t give you,” Gotti shook his head to Frank, “You know I can’t stand violence in my city, but I’ll look over it, this one time. As I always say, business must move forward.”
Amy stepped forward to her mother, who nodded in agreement.
“Right,” Columbo reluctantly agreed.
“I’ll tell you what,” Gotti raised a finger, “I’m planning on going out to Patsy’s for dinner, perhaps you two can join me? Your associates as well.”
“That sounds wonderful,” Jackie smiled.
“Thank you,” Amy agreed.
Columbo nodded his head and motioned for one of his bodyguards to accompany him.
“You don’t mind,” Jackie looked behind, “If Vinnie Montana joins me, do you? I don’t really trust Columbo.” She looked angrily at her rival.
“Not at all,” Don Gotti looked to Vinnie who followed them, “Maybe I can convince him to join my crew.”
“You want us to come?” Sal asked with Charlie behind him.
Jackie looked at him and took a deep breath, “No Sal, I need to go out to out to Montauk tonight.”
“Yes Don Giovanni!” Sal enthusiastically ran out of the door as fast as he could. Charlie shook his head at Sal’s credulousness.
Gotti looked at Jackie slightly confused, “What’s he gonna do in Montauk?”
“Hopefully jump in the Atlantic Ocean,” Jackie sarcastically replied.
Gotti’s eyes vacillated.
“Bobby,” Columbo turned to his other bodyguard, “Take Julia home, then meet me at the restaurant.”
The bodyguard complied. The three mob bosses and their associates began to walk out. Julia sighed, but Rachel nudged her. As Julia looked in the raven-hair’s eyes, she could almost hear the silent girl saying ‘Stand up to your dad and come with me.’ For once, Julia decided to do so.
“Um dad,” she spoke up. Everyone turned around. Columbo was intimidating as ever. After some hesitation, Julia stuttered, “I-I wanted to g-go out tonight… in Manhattan…”
“Go shopping?” Rachel helped her.
“Go shopping!” Julia spoke up.
“You can go shopping at home,” Columbo calmly scolded his daughter, “No way!”
“Of for God’s sake Frank,” Jackie opened her mouth, “Let her go out if she wants, she’s a grown woman.”
“She’s my daughter Giovanni,” Columbo snarled, “And I’m not taking advice from the mother of that whack-job you call a son!”
“Frank,” Gotti reprehended him. Columbo wouldn’t talk back to the man who controlled Manhattan.
“Daddy,” Julia spoke up, “I want to go out on my own, without chaperones. I’m not a little kid anymore, you need to let me go.”
Everyone, even Frank Columbo, was surprised to hear the shyest girl in the world stand up to her father. Rachel smiled watching her girlfriend assert herself. Amy noted Rachel’s enthusiasm. Julia stood tall, like a statue.
“Frank?” Gotti tapped his shoulder and gestured as if to say ‘C’mon let her go.’
Columbo didn’t want to give off the impression that he was a controlling father. He already had that reputation, “I just don’t like the idea of you walking around Manhattan alone,” he responded.
“Actually, Mr. Columbo,” Rachel stepped forward standing next to her, “I was planning on hanging out in Manhattan tonight, we can walk together.” Julia really began to feel uncomfortable seeing her girlfriend beside her in front of the heads of their respected families. Luckily no one would suspect they were ‘Amore Ragazze’.
The toupee-wearing Columbo shook his head, “I especially don’t like the idea of my daughter walking around Manhattan with someone from the Giovanni family.”
Jackie looked annoyed at the man. She almost spoke up, but Gotti did it for her.
“Frank,” he said, “Rachel’s a civilian. Marlon never included her in any family business, and I’m pretty sure Jackie doesn’t either.”
“Not at all,” Jackie spoke up.
Columbo looked to Jackie,
Then to Gotti,
Then to Rachel,
Then to his daughter.
With one long sigh, Columbo nodded his head, “Okay, just for tonight.” Julia couldn’t believe it, Rachel smiled and looked to the blonde, “But I expect you home tonight at a reasonable time!” He pointed his finger to her before he reluctantly walked out the door.
“See Frank,” Jackie followed him out, “There’s hope for you yet.” Vinnie, Charlie and Columbo’s bodyguards followed next.
Gotti took a minute to look at the two daughters of the rival bosses. They were standing together, like friends. He smiled and walked towards Rachel, “Here’s two-hundred bucks,” He handed her the money, “You two go out and have a good time.” He waved his hand and walked out of the building.
“Thank you Mr. Gotti,” Rachel said.
Julia was surprised at Rachel’s politeness and enthusiasm. She seemed different than the morose girl she had met over a week ago.
The last person standing in the shop was Amy. She seemed less enthusiastic seeing the two of them together. Rachel wachted her cousin slowly walk out of the shop. Rachel could tell something was bother her, but she didn’t care. Julia held onto Rachel’s hand and led her out the door.
“Wow,” she said enthusiastically. It was like new life had just exploded from her, “This is gonna be fun: you and me walking around Manhattan. I’ve never actually walked around Manhattan, this is gonna be great!”
Rachel and Julia walked outside, leaving the shop to be closed up by another worker.
Furthur down the street, Columbo turned around to watch his daughter and Giovanni’s daughter run down the street holding hands.
“Bobby,” he whispered to his bodyguard, “Keep an eye on her anyway.”