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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times


Absent Character

“So, any new orders from Jericho?” Mel asked, taking a slow drag of the cigarette that rested lazily between his two fingers. His eyes slid over to Gabbie, who took a small sip from the flask that she carried, but she gave a click of her tongue at Mel’s question.

“Aye, say that name sparingly ⎯ you never know when he’s listening.” She advised, pointing the flask at the other accusingly. She was a nagger, but Mel’s grown to know her as his “work-bestie” for now. “Stick to calling ‘em ‘Boss.’”

The idea that their boss could be listening almost seemed absurd in the moment, especially over simpl using his known alias. “Listening?” Mel echoed in question, the confusion clear on his face. “I dunno if that whiskey on the job is getting to yer’ head but he’s been in Korea for a week. How’s he gonna hear us from here?”

A snort left her. She leaned back against the crate and shrugged. “Hell if I know, but he has his ways. You remember the ah⎯ the one bloke from Poland we had for a bit? How no one saw him again after his first month?” Mel nodded slowly, his brows furrowed. “Boss found out he was a mole.”

The revelation wasn’t really shocking, but it definitely wasn’t expected. Before Mel could comment, Gabbie spoke up again. “I was there too, when he issued the order to get him. We were in ‘consin while the Poland guy was supposed to be in Florida issuing out the shipments. It was trippin’ me how he found that out; Boss didn’t have anyone spying on him. I asked him how he knew and he just gave me that smug ass grin, y’know the one, and laughed as if I was a goddamn comedian.”

Mel knew the grin clearly, it’s what their boss was known for after all. He’s a nut case if anyone’s ever seen one.

“I’ve been in this mob work since the old leader was in his prime, but when Jericho came in? Everyone was scared shitless. It was a flip to not only our branch but the whole damn market and inner world. ‘Cause, what time in history has there been some fresh, off-the-boat twenty-year-old climbing the ranks overnight? Killed the big guy all brutal too ⎯ nothing like we do. Giggled like a little kid as he showed us his marred body.” She shuddered, grimacing slightly.

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