It was those simple, peaceful moments away from it all that really mattered; even the sun betrayed the sky for its own preference of bitter solitude away from the silver grace of the moon. The transition between night and day always bought on the most solemn and thought provoking times; this, teamed with the crisp evening breeze and the sight of clouds cascading over scattered stars gave the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a cold glass of cider, a cigarette, and one's own thoughts.
This particular night was one of those nights. The taste of tobacco was soon replaced by the taste of cool, crisp cider; smoke gently pluming from the cigarette poised upon an ashtray merely sat upon a wall. It was the same wall that was supporting two elbows, the glass of cider and a loaded pistol. Mismatched eyes cast themselves over the scene that lay before the mansion's gardens, the lights of the city flooding the sense of serenity away from the dusk that was slowly taking over. The sun had lost its battle; the moon was taking the throne.
Gentle, acoustic music could be vaguely heard from within the mansion itself, radiating out of the open doors and windows to provide occupation to those merely looking out into the lingering night that was blanketing the city and its people, slowly, surely; like a viper it was silent in its approach but merciless once it arrived, gripping tightly. There was no wriggling away from its grip until it decided that it was done, only then were those around released from its plague. A plague to most; an attribute to few; a strength to even less.
Closed eyes saw nothing but a darkness that reflected what was inside; personified thoughts turned into physical holograms that seemed to wisp in and out of the created abyss. All faded when eyelids rose to the true sights that lay in the form of buildings, of clouds, of stars, of plants and of Dolfo shooting at pigeons. 'Pest control' apparently; though many presumed he was merely trying to show off his mediocre aim and firearm control.
Quite the character was Dolfo; forever trying to please those above his position, forever seeking approval in any sense of the word, in any way he could. He fed off simple compliments, took pride in whatever job he was given regardless of its stature. And when a bigger task came along? Oh, how he acted like he had been blessed by the gods on high with whatever it was he desired within his mind and life. He was forever striving to prove himself, but to those lower down the chain of command already accepted Dolfo as one of their own. He was a dab hand at explosives however, and had gotten the observing male out of a few sticky situations.
Night watch. The graveyard shift. Whatever you wanted to call it, was actually more exciting than most of the other members of the Estacado mob family first thought. Those lower down the primordial chain of survival were often left outside, in all weathers, guarding the exterior of the mansion. As of late, it had been drastically more interesting than it had been previously and now, the observing male found himself stood next to and conversing with Dolfo, regarding what the both of them had been hearing.
"It ain't right! It just ain't right! They're hidin' somethin' from us an' we ain't gonna find out what it is until it's stickin' a barrel up our asses an' pumpin' us full'a lead!" As ever, Dolfo was getting increasingly animated as his bundle of words progressed; speaking of rumours and supposed negligence towards him and those whom were on the night watch around the manor.
"So there has been word of another enemy. It's to be expected, all things considered." A mature, male voice spoke from under the black hood; his mismatched eyes remaining locked on the moon and the stars that were above rather than the panicked, ranting male beside him, whom was now taking his frustrations out on a series of lined up, yet empty, beer bottles that had been left along the wall. The glass splintered quickly once the bullets hit them, the male covering his eyes in order to shield them from the flying shards. It was as if this moment had been written to carry out perfectly, even the music coming from inside had picked up in a dramatic pace for the duration of Dolfo's escapade.
The sound of the pistol discharging rounds had drawn attention from those inside and soon, both the hooded fellow and Dolfo were approached by a figure in a tailored suit;
"If you two don' wanna be used for target practice then I suggest you untwist ye' knickers an' shut the hell up before you disturb the boss." Vinnie, ever being the fellow you didn't want to piss off. His presence was only brief and he was soon back inside the mansion alongside various other familiar faces, seemingly gathered around the bar with looks of contemplation across their faces. Perhaps Dolfo was right, maybe something was brewing deep within the wind.
"Ciro, d'you think they'll actually tell us whats goin' on? Or d'you think they'll just leave us dangling in the wind?" Dolfo spoke aloud, as if he was reciting from his internal monologue. He received nothing but silence, as the hooded male, Ciro, contemplated. It was sincerely a possibility that something more was happening beyond the missions, beyond the hit-list; that something more devious and unwanted was growing in strength just out of the range of a scope.
The rogue bullet that derailed his train of thought and broke the glass containing his chilled cider was entirely unexpected and had the majority of those outside scuffling to find the perpetrator. Both Ciro and Dolfo had their eyes trained on the direction the bullet had come from, others scanning the rooftops nearby for any sign of movement. But it seemed that none ever came. Perhaps a warning shot? Perhaps something else. Regardless, it left the entire team on edge for the remainder of the evening.
As the early hours of the morning crept on, yawns began to infiltrate the ranks and weaken those standing; sleep deprivation was setting in to a few of those lingering outside, few struggling to remain awake. Jackie had been seen returning to the mansion a few hours prior but nothing remained outside; it was eerily silent, oddly so, in fact.
Ciro stood, staring up at the stars with his mismatched eyes; the green and blue iris reflected the patterns up there as he stared aimlessly. It was a beautiful night, if not a little too cold for a mere shirt and no warming jacket over his shoulders. He contemplated popping inside the mansion to quench his thirst with a glass of water but his attention was soon captured by the sound of distant gunshots.
His head quipped around in a fast fashion, hand fluidly pulling the pistol from his side around the same time. It all came together in a timed motion, his eyes trained on the location of which had produced the noise. Sure enough, a gathering of unfamiliar, armed males came darting forth and opened their firearms on the mansion. It wasn't uncommon for Jackie to be the target of various mobsters, gangs and individuals, but it was somewhat uncommon for the attack to take place on the mansion grounds. It was a sign that whomever was behind this, had balls. Those balls were about to be castrated.
Those guarding the outside instantly hit back with a force not dissimilar to hitting water at terminal velocity; they were violent, merciless, and careful. Dolfo was putting his supposed firearms skills into action; picking the raiders off from the back while poised on a set of stairs while Ciro moved to atop a wall on the far side; his boots made scarcely a sound against the paved floor; only the illuminated glance of his eyes seen through the plants.
One may have found the symphony of various gunshots pleasant, but those whom were lying cold and face down on the hard concrete would have had a far different opinion. They would have to report what had happened to Jackie and the others in the morning, when they were awake… if they weren't so already. But for now, the remainder of their shift would be taken up by aiding Butcher in moving the bodies, and flushing them in pieces.
"A job's not worth doing unless you do it right." Each and every male sat within that room listened to every word that came out of the Don's mouth; their attention nowhere else. It seemed there was more behind the hit last night than most knew; it was only those that were close to Jackie that seemed to know anything and the glances that they kept exchanging seemed to confirm as such. "So you gotta step up, you gotta get out there, and you gotta hunt down those dumb fucks that hit here last night, you hear me?"
There was nothing worse than standing outside of a poker club, in the darkness of an alleyway, with a pistol in your hands and in the company of three men you scarcely knew. Besides Dolfo, Ciro knew nothing of the other two males; even their names had eluded him. But they were there in order to find a fellow named Skelton Catrone, a supposed informer for those who needed to snoop around the underground. If anyone was to know anything about plans to hit Jackie, he would.
Ciro glanced one last time up at the night sky that shrouded them in darkness and away from prying eyes. The alleyway was only lit by the silver from the sky and dim light from mobile phone screens; an ominous atmosphere. The three moved inside as if customers, took up a table with a few other fellows and partook in a few games of cards; eyes forever glancing around at their surroundings until something of interest caught anyone's attention.
"Alrigh' you bastards! Put your hands up or Dolfo is gonna cap ya' ass!" If you focused enough, you could physically see their plan gently hopping out of the nearest broken window and dissipating with the gentle rain. The male had lost his nerve, and threatened the nearest fellow to him with an armed pistol; now the entire joint had weapons drawn. Within minutes, there was gunfire and upturned tables for cover everywhere. As ever, every mind beyond Dolfo's was wondering why they had bought him along. He was a liability.
The task had now become less of a mission and more of a survival scape. The point of discovering information had long tottered off with any hopes of a peaceful evening. Ciro was crouched behind a table, reloading his pistol as he attempted to think of a way of getting out while just behind him was the whimpering mess of a man seemingly harmed and shaken. Brown hair, scarred arms, brown suit; it was Catrone, that was certain. The male peered around the side of the table and shot several rounds into the bar, breaking the alcohol bottles and allowing their contents to seep down over the shelving and onto the ground. Sparks were flying everywhere, it wouldn't take much just to~
Explosion. The heat was unbearable, the scorching to skin was uncomfortable, painful. Cries of those close to the blaze became muffled by the roaring of the flames. It wouldn't be much longer before the flames hit the barrel store below and the kegs of ales would go up like TNT. Now was the time to leave and with a helping hand from an unfamiliar college, Ciro was able to drag Catrone from the burning building and onto the backstreets where they were rewarded with the mass explosion of the poker club; the brightness lighting up the sky.
It had been far from subtle, Jackie was going to be pissed, but they had their man; if not a little worse for wear. But the least they could do, now, was press the wounded male for information and then dump him off somewhere for disposal just in case he was a squealer.
"D'you know who hit Estacado last night?" One of the fellows asked Catrone, who was propped up against a dumpster in a back alley not too far from the burning club. Authorities would be swarming the area soon and it would hardly look good if they were interrogating a man when they were found. It would have to be done quickly. "I said… do you know who hit Estacado last night?" The heel of the gun to the back of his head was used as a bit of gentle… persuasion.
"Swifty! It was Swifty!" The male drawled, hands poised onto the back of his head as his eyes stared down the barrel of the pointed pistol. "…Please, I know nothing more! He was offered some big payment from some fella for taking out Estacado… Honestly, I know nothing more!"
"We got what the boss wanted, now let's scram!" Dolfo insisted, listening to the ever nearing sirens that were narrating the atmosphere of the night with precision. Most agreed, pacing away slowly into the darkness of the alleyway, leaving Catrone to bleed out over the pavement, shouting obscenities and threats. It only took a single shot from Ciro's pistol to end the noise.
Now, to report back to the boss.