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.“Things have been getting sloppy out here lately.You read about that guy skimming the books, right? People are too comfortable.Like whoever the fuck arranged this bullshit thing with the New York crew in the first place.People get comfortable, they think they know what they’re doing.They get lucky, they get more stupid, they cause more problems.”“Benny Bensognio?”Lercasi slurped soup from his spoon.“Nickel-and-dimer,” he said.“A guy loyal for a long time, got comfortable, decided he could steal.It’s human nature.”“Pellecchia is scheduled to check out today,” Freni said.“If you’re serious about a drive-by.You’d have to do it in the fuckin’ airport unless he spends another day playin’ drums.”Lercasi shook his head.“Playin’ drums.People got nothin’ better to do.”“I’ll pick it up if you want.I already got paid.”“Some of these gangs, they’d do it in a church.Drive-by, walk-by, what’s the difference? I already got some people on it.From what I understand, they already made a pass but there was some broad in the way.”“Anything else?” Freni asked.Lercasi shook his head as he cut off the tail of a fried shrimp.He forked the shrimp into his mouth and used a napkin to wipe his lips.He used a pen to write two names on the napkin.“I got another Benny,” he said.“And somebody else.”Freni nodded.Lercasi pushed the napkin across the table.His thumb covered one of the names.Freni read the other name to himself.“The other one?” Freni asked.“This mameluke from New York,” Lercasi said as he removed his thumb.“The one causing all these problems bringing his personal shit out here.”“I met with him already,” Freni said.“He’s got a wired jaw, what it’s all about.”Lercasi scratched his head.“He’s a real jerk-off, I know.But he’s also your friend’s nephew.”Freni shook his head.“Not a problem.I live out here now.”“Good,” Lercasi said.“Because home-field advantage can make all the difference in the world.”Freni used a match to burn the napkin in an ashtray.He waited until the ashes were black before he emptied them onto the floor and scattered them with his right foot.“Okay,” Lercasi said.“It was good talking.”Chapter 25When Carol felt the knots in her stomach again, she was sure her husband was close.She studied the faces of every patron who walked through the door.She scanned the parking lot and as much of the street as she could see from the front door.When the manager yelled at her for leaving her station, Carol told him she was sick and needed to leave early.“Excuse me?” the manager said.“What the hell do you think this is, lady? Leave early and don’t bother coming back.”“Okay,” Carol said as she headed for the small locker room.“Okay what?” the manager asked.“I won’t come back,” Carol said.Abe Gold glanced at the organized crime report Albert Iandolli had prepared for him.Iandolli was on his knees, patting down fresh soil for a flowerbed alongside his driveway.His wife and two kids were in the backyard, having lunch.He motioned toward his yard.“If you’re hungry, Angie just cooked some franks,” he said.Gold looked away from the report.“No, thanks.I grabbed something on the way over.”Gold admired the house from the driveway.Iandolli had just finished painting a few weeks earlier.It was a light blue ranch on a quarter acre of neatly groomed land.The driveway was paved.A white wood fence surrounded the lot.It was a house Gold had always pictured himself living in.“The place looks good,” Gold said.Iandolli stood up from his knees.“Thanks,” he said.He slapped dirt off his pants.“I’m too old for this.”Gold scanned a fax copy of a New York organized crime attachment.It provided details and comments about Nicholas Cuccia’s criminal record.A list of bookmaking charges starting from when Cuccia was twenty-two years old made up the bulk of the sheet.There was a separate notation about a two-year jail sentence for loan-sharking when Cuccia was in his late twenties.He was arrested, but not convicted, a total of fourteen more times.The arrests included assaults and bookmaking exclusively.A special notation suggested the year it was believed Cuccia became a made member of the Vignieri crime family, 1992.The report also provided the following personal notation:Cuccia is married with no children.He has two known steady girlfriends.He frequents known prostitutes and uses escort services.Kinky sex? His hangouts include Scores and Pure Plantinum, two expensive strip clubs in New York.Confirmed cocaine and alcohol use.Gold wondered why the kinky sex notation was followed with a question mark.The rest of the report was commentary concerning Cuccia’s illegal businesses.He was alleged to operate a large bookmaking office in New York run by lower-level associates.His latest business ventures included Internet pornography and offshore gambling.“Lano and Francone are the two guys came in ahead of Cuccia,” Iandolli said.He washed his hands with a garden hose.“Two days ahead out of Newark.We can thank the DEA for their names.Otherwise we’d have fifteen names to pick from.”On the last page of the report, Gold saw a name circled [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]