The Leone Crime Family Box Set - B. B. Hamel Page 0,1

never, never fuck with the Volkov without talking to you first. You know that, right?” He squirmed from side to side again and I glared at him before shaking my head.

“Here’s the problem,” I said, keeping my voice low and steady. “You did fuck with them. That strip club is owned by motherfucking Vlas himself, and you ripped him off. Do you have any clue how much shit you’ve stirred up?”

“I know,” Roger groaned. “I know, boss. That’s why I’ve been laying low. But look, I’m here now. I want to make it right. I came with a gift, yeah? I brought you something.”

“There better be thirty thousand dollars cash in that car,” I growled at him. “Do you hear me, Roger?”

“Of course,” he said. “Fuck, yes, every single dollar is there and accounted for. We’ll return the money and make right with Vlas, right? Absolutely, boss, we’ll do it. That’s why I came here. I want to make right.”

“Good.” I turned to the car and gestured. The passenger side back door opened and Gino stepped out. He was short guy, muscular, always wore tight button-downs tucked into expensive jeans. He wore a raincoat tonight, and walked over with a little swagger, his dark eyes flashing between me and Roger.

“Where’s the money?” I asked Roger.

“Trunk of my car,” he said. “It’s open.”

I snapped at Gino, who nodded. I stared at Roger the whole time, never taking my eyes off the thief.

He was about as low level as they got. I always felt bad for the guy. He was in his fifties, never a made man, never even close to making soldier in any of the crews in the city. He’d been running small-time drugs, ripping off businesses, stealing from old ladies, that sort of shit for years and years. Most of that cash, he shot it right into his arm, and when he wasn’t on dope, he was drinking. The guy was a loser, the worst of the worst, but I kept him around because I felt sorry for him, and sometimes he came through with a decent score.

This would’ve been one of those decent scores. Ripping off a strip club for thirty grand was a decent run by anyone’s measure. But that dumb fucking bastard ripped off the wrong goddamned strip club, and now I had hell to pay.

Gino walked to the car and opened the trunk. I couldn’t see him in my peripheral vision for a moment, blocked by the open trunk, but then the sound of it slamming shut echoed. Roger shifted again, foot to foot, looking around like he was about to be ambushed.

“You got somewhere to be?” I asked him.

He blinked at me. “Shit, no, not at all. Sorry, boss. Just, just nervous is all. I got a good present for you though, you’re gonna love it, you’re gonna—”

“Boss,” Gino called out.

I held up a hand to Roger, silencing him, as my head turned to Gino. “Bring it over,” I said.

Gino hesitated next to the car, squinting in at something, then shook his head and carried over a black duffel bag. I could tell it was heavy as Gino slung it over his shoulder and opened it up right next to me.

It was full of cash. I reached in and picked up one of the stacks, flipped my finger through it, and dropped it back in. “If there’s anything missing, tell me now,” I grunted. “Don’t make me find out the hard way. I’m going to count it and I know how much is supposed to be there.”

“It’s all there,” Roger said.

“Good.” I nodded at Gino, but he didn’t move. “What’s up?”

“Boss, there’s, uh…” He trailed off, frowning. “There’s a fucking girl in the car, I think. In the back seat.”

My eyes turned to Roger and he was beaming at me. “What’s this?” I asked him.

“I told you, boss. I brought a gift.”

“I don’t need some junky whore,” I said, and nodded at Gino who walked back to the car. He tossed the duffel bag inside, but he didn’t follow it. Instead, he began to walk back out toward Roger.

The driver’s side door of the SUV opened, and Steven got out. He held his gun in both hands, his eyes narrowed. He was a good-looking guy and pulled down plenty of girls over the years. He was my height, with muscular arms and short hair. He was smart, and we’ve known each other since we were little kids. He wore a navy-blue sweatshirt and jeans,