Chapter Twenty-Five: A Normal Work Day


In the morning that followed, I felt groggy and my joints were sore. Particularly the ones that anchored my legs to my bottom half where I had ridden Oswald to oblivion and back. Turning on my side, I saw Oswald sleeping on his side, facing me. The covers had been tangled during the night so half of it covered him and me, while the other half was slowly trying to make its way to the floor. I had crawled out of bed, muttering obscenities when I felt my body screaming.

After a hot shower, I felt a lot better. I pulled aside the curtain and stepped out of the tub and I gasped when I saw Oswald standing in the bathroom, fully dressed.

"Oh my god, how long have you been standing there?" I exclaimed, placing my hand over where my heart used to be (I nearly had a heart attack when I saw him there).

"Longer than you'd like," Oswald admitted with a sheepish grin.

"You move quiet," I commented and I thanked him when he handed me a soft, warm towel which I wrapped around my body.

He acknowledged my observation with a curt bow of his head, obviously flattered, and then was onto business.

"I thought you would be interested in knowing where I will be this afternoon."

"Liza's place?"

Oswald nodded. I smiled kindly, but I felt the familiar urge to hurt a bitch. He stepped forward, and placed both arms around my waist; I lifted mine around his neck almost instinctively.

"You have nothing to worry about, honey."

"I know, I know."

"Given your confession last night, I just wanted to reiterate the point," He said, referring to my admission of jealousy.

"Do I have to apologize again?"

He kissed my lips and I nearly lost my balance. God, the things he did to me with just a simple peck. That was his way of saying I didn't have to say I was sorry for being jealous…. because he was the same way. He was about to withdraw, but I caught his jacket and pulled him closer to me. His low chuckle vibrated in my mouth.

The kiss ended naturally and I beamed at him.

"What if this Liza girl isn't Mooney's spy? What if I'm wrong?"

"Don't be so quick to doubt yourself: Natalia is gone," Oswald reasoned. "And Liza looks like a spitting image of his mother. Mooney and Falcone talked frequently about his mother. I have a hard time believing this is all coincidental. So, it's plausible."

"Who the hell is Natalia?"

"She was his last lady friend."

"I'm sure her disappearance was a 'coincidence'." I said sarcastically.

"Just as I am sure that Liza didn't just 'happen' to become Falcone's new love interest," Oswald replied with same dripping sarcasm.

"Fish using Falcone's mother against him…. would that be to say that if I looked like a younger version of your mother, you'd fancy me as well?"

Oswald gave me a look.

"What?" I responded innocently. "I'm not saying you'd fuck your mom, Oz. I'm throwing out a hypothetical."

"Can we not—I'd rather not talk about this. Not even hypothetically."

I shrugged, turned around, unwrapped the towel from my body, flipped my hair over and began drying my hair with the sole intention of not getting Oswald wet.

As I did, I felt him move closer to me, the texture of his suit brushing briefly against me.

I heard him sigh, and felt his hands on my shoulders, tracing down my naked back. They moved even further down, cupping my equally bare ass.

"You're in a frisky mood."

"Mmmm."

I swirled my hips so my ass pressed further into his hands. His snicker from behind me came from a place of amusement.

"Still thinking about last night?"

"It'll be a night I won't forget."

"Same here…I think we should do it again."

"I doubt I'll be able to say 'no' if we do."

"Meaning?"

"You have an indomitable will," Oswald said lightly as I straightened, turning around to look at him.

"You seemed to enjoy it enough."

"It was a different kind of torture."

I winked and walked past him. He looked after me as I moved to the bedroom and watched me dress into jeans and a T-shirt.

"What are your plans for this evening?" He asked, minding my graceful movements.

"I'm going back to the restaurant; I have to put in a few orders for repair," I listed off. "The staff are a bunch of whining babies, but some of them actually made legitimate complaints. I intend to handle it to the best of my ability without it going to a higher level."

"You mean my level."

"Yes. Your level," I confirmed, bending down at the waist to lace up my boots. "And I have to hire someone to take Mike's place."

"Sounds tedious."

"Oh, it is, believe me. But it's the least of my complaints though—the guy was an ass."

"I remember. Any chance you'll be hearing from James Gordon?"

"No. Should I be expecting a call?"

He cracked a grin: "He tends to show up at the most interesting moments."

"Only when he needs information from me."

"Does that bother you?"

"Even if it did, I can't help it. That's always been Jim's way."

Oswald nodded, but didn't say anything to the fact.

"He's been working on the bomber case," I said conversationally as I stood to my feet once my boots were completely laced. "Told me his name, but I have never heard of him."

"What's his name?"

"Ian Hargrove: Black Gate prisoner. Simple name enough, but I don't know bombers."

"Why would you?"

"Jim thinks I might. Like I know every criminal in town—told him that myself. But I digress."

I moved to leave the bedroom, and Oswald stepped out of my way.

"Do you ever worry about him?" He questioned, watching me gather my keys and phone, placing both items in the back of my jeans.

"Jim? No." I shook my head. "He's always been able to take care of himself, pretty well-to-do guy. If I ever worry about him, it's because he can't handle his own."

"He worries about you," Oswald cared to note.

"He does, but he shouldn't have to."

"And why is that?"

"I have you." I kissed him and he reciprocated it. "And you're all I will ever really need, sweetheart. I'm going to the restaurant before the first shift leaves for the day. One more meeting should whip your staff back into shape."

"Is that right?"

"Mm-hmm."

"Mmm."

He kissed me again, and I reluctantly pulled away. He grinned when I did.

"I love you."

"I love you too," He said and then I was out the door.


"You can't just call me out of the blue and expect me to fix things in a day," said Moe, the repairman. He stood across from me in the restaurant, wearing a white shirt and blue overalls and a pair of black goulashes. He had a lot of facial hair, even for a plumber.

"It's a buffing machine," I said patiently. "It just needs its cord replaced."

"You dames think everything can be solved like 'that'," He said hoarsely, snapping his fingers, "but it ain't. I need to order the cord, have it shipped—"

"Then do it. Don't give me excuses."

"I'm not giving you an excuse—I'm telling you why it's not going to be fixed by the end of the day."

"I never said I wanted it fixed by the end of the day. You just assumed I did."

Moe stared at me, blinking a few times before he held out his hands.

"Look. The cord itself is gonna be like a hundred bucks, at least."

"What's your point?"

"It'll take a little longer than a couple days to get it in. Then I'll be borrowing the machine a few more days after that."

"Then borrow the machine," I insisted, throwing my hands up in the air. "Just take the damn thing. We can't use it anyway—it's broken."

"Do you have the manager's permission?"

I gave him a look.

"I'm just askin'," Moe said cautiously, stepping back a pace. "People say they got the manager's permission but then when the deed is done, they're saying they never even talked to the manager, and I am not about go through that again."

"I have his permission and I am proceeding under his good graces," I reassured smartly. "Now can you fix the contraption or not? If you can't, you need to let me know so I can find someone who can."

"I can, I can. It'll be easy enough. But the sinks are not my problem. That's a plumber's issue."

"You are a plumber."

"I'm a repairman."

"You fix sinks, don't you?"

"Yeah but—"

"Plumber," I emphasized.

"That sink ain't my territory, lady," Moe snapped. "It has a different manual, and different company. This company I work for don't do anything for sinks or plumbing, just the equipment. Like the buffer or the dishwashers."

I let out an exasperated sigh. Moe sensed my irritation (the whole restaurant could). I rubbed my face and looked at him pointedly.

"If you can't fix the sink, who can? I need a name."

"I have a reference but—"

"What's the name?"

"Bob."

I blinked again.

"'Bob'?" I repeated skeptically. "Bob. Moe—what camping ground do you guys burrow under so I can rid the city of your pathetic existence?"

"Whoa, now. I've not insulted you. No need to get all genocidey."

"Of course not, you're right. You're only irritating the fucking crackers out of me. What's Bob's last name—and I swear to god, if you say 'the builder', I will fucking pop you."

"Robert Farnsworth," Moe answered immediately. "He has a shop down a few streets between 4th and Main. It's like a little pawn shop, but it ain't. It's got a few trees behind it—hard to miss, but I swear it's there."

I stared at Moe, who looked back at me with trembling lips.

And then I realized it.

Moe was afraid of me.

Damn, I thought. That feels kinda nice.

"Phone number?"

"Here." He had one of the waiters scratch off a piece of notepad paper and he borrowed their pen, scribbling a number quickly, and he gave it to me.

I looked at it.

"Is that a seven or a one?" I asked, pointing.

"Seven."

"Looks like a one."

"It's supposed to be a seven."

"Fine." I said, pocketing the scribble. "So, you're fine with fixing the buffing machine?"

"Yeah, like I said. Just a few days, and I've got it taken care of."

"Good. Can you pick it up today?"

"I can get a truck. It won't fit in mine, but I can make it work."

"Fine," I said, nodding my head in approval. "Give me the total cost, the bill, and we'll go from there."

"Yes, ma'am," Moe said hurriedly.

He nearly stumbled over his feet as he made his way to the door. I heard a low, deep chuckle echo from behind me and I turned to see Maroni watching me, standing behind him were Gabe and Tomas. I looked at him curiously before resuming my natural happy candor, holding out my hand as I approached him.

"Don Maroni," I greeted as he shook it, "I didn't think you were going to be here this afternoon."

"Eh, I thought I would check up on my favorite gal—and I'm not the least bit disappointed," Maroni laughed, smirking at me. "You had that guy sweating like a turkey during Thanksgiving."

"Can turkeys sweat?"

Maroni looked at me, thought for a second, and said humorously, "You know, I don't really know, but you get my point."

"Sure."

"Where's your other half?" He asked, looking about the restaurant. "I've not seen him around."

"I'm taking care of business on his behalf," I answered honestly. "So, he can take the day off."

"An employee who looks after her boss—so you must be his far better half," chuckled Maroni, crossing his arms lazily over his chest.

"He considers myself to be."

Maroni nodded, smiling widely. His eyes followed the two men who had accompanied Moe as they made a great effort of taking the buffing machine out of the kitchen and bringing it through the front door. The restaurant itself was crowded and they were making a scene about how they might get it through the front door.

"Guys. Guys…. GUYS!" I shouted.

Moe and his co-workers looked at me, including everyone else in the restaurant.

"Take it through the back," I ordered. "You can't get it through the front."

"That's what she said," chuckled Moe's co-worker.

"Shut the hell up," Moe snapped.

I grinned broadly as they made their way back through the kitchen and out the double doors in the back room. I rubbed the bridge of my nose, doing my best to suppress a headache.

"I see you have your hands full," Maroni commented, looking at me sympathetically. "Anything I can help with?"

"If you have the number to a competent repairman in Gotham, I would be most grateful."

"Sorry, babes," He apologized modestly, holding out his hands apologetically. "That's not my specialty—repairmen. Now if you need someone taken out..." (He mimed a gunshot.) "You know where to find me, huh?"

"Yes, sir."

He patted me on the back and I watched him leave with Tomas and Gabe, who gave me a respectful, curt nod in return before following him out.

Moe came back to the center, looking at me reprovingly.

"So, we might have a problem."

"What?"

"My boys just…." He trailed off when the lights suddenly went out and the customers were tossed into darkness, aside from the compassionate sun light peeking through the large bay windows around the diner.

I glared at Moe.

"Well, never mind, you already know," muttered Moe nervously. "They blew a fuse."

"No shit, sherlock," I said apathetically, shaking my head.

I pulled a chair out just as some of the customers were getting riled and I stood on it: "Don't worry, people! It's just a blown fuse! It's being taken care of. While you wait, please, alcoholic beverages are on the house."

Multiple cheers, all around.

I hopped off the chair, ignoring Moe as I said to the bartender, "Be generous with the ice, would you? If I'm giving away free drinks, I'm going to make it half-ice."

The bartender nodded dutifully.

I turned to Moe.

"Why are you still standing here? Get working—and fix the fucking fuse, please?"

"Yes, ma'am!" Moe called as he headed back into the backroom.

Fucking idiots.


I was in the hiring process, having interviews in the open with a few who had spurred my interest. There was Maria, who had experience waitressing in a few towns outside of Gotham. She was an older woman in her 60's, and had a few degrees in the culinary arts. Her goal wasn't to make money, but to offer rich service to customers alike.

The second was a young man, aged 19, who never had a job. He was handsome, the stereotypical pretty boy one would guess to be a part of varsity football team. He didn't have any extracurricular activities and his mom drove him from home to school and vice versa. When asked if he would be able to get to work, he said he takes his bike and would be able to accomplish transportation in that way most of the time. He had high marks, mostly straight A's.

My last candidate was Mike.

He came to the restaurant, asking for his job back.

"I didn't fire you," I emphasized for the tenth time during this conversation. "My boss fired you. So even if I wanted to, I couldn't give your job back to you regardless of the fact."

Mike went down on his knees in front of me.

Oh, for the love of….

"Please?" Mike begged, palms together in prayer. "D'you have any idea how hard it is to get a job in Gotham? One that actually is worth having, I mean?"

I frowned.

"Would you get off your knees?" I asked.

"I'm begging you, Sylvia…. Miss Gordon, ma'am, please…. Look, I'm sorry for the comment I made earlier. You know? I was just tired and irritated and—you can understand what it's like working here, right? It's a hard job—you worked here—you still work here…."

"Get up, Michael."

He quickly did as he was told, standing to his feet.

"I'll tell you as I've already said. I can't hire you back. You're on a blacklist, first off, and second, I, personally, won't go behind my supervisor's back and hire you when he's the one that kicked you out initially. Now, I'm sorry for your predicament, truly, I am." (And I was). "But you're beating a dead horse."

Mike frowned.

"I have two boys. They're five and six. How am I going to explain to them why we had don't have any electricity?"

"You can tell them you blew a fuse."

He didn't get the inside joke on that one—I forgot he wasn't here for that bit of calamity.

"Our bills are piling," Mike said, even quieter. "And I'm the only one that can pay 'em."

I stood: "Like I said: I'm deeply sorry, but my hands are tied."

"This was the last option. No one will hire me."

"Of course, no one will hire you. You have two young children, and you're a single parent. You make inappropriate comments to people about their sex life—namely mine—and you've been at odds with Mr. Cobblepot ever since you were hired here."

Mike's frown deepened.

"Now, I'm sorry you're in this predicament—I've said it countless times. But there's nothing that I can do. Okay? So…. if I were you, I would try going anywhere else but here. McDonald's is always hiring, you know."

"That's it?"

"That's all I can do, Michael," I emphasized, shaking my hands.

"You can talk to—"

"Let it go. I'm not talking to anyone—not Maroni, not Mr. Cobblepot—no one. You've been told several times that this is a no-go. Please, leave."

He stepped towards me.

"You're going to let two children live without a working father—how merciless are you?"

"Okay…." I sighed irritably. "First off—I can't believe you're dragging this out. Second: step the hell back."

When he didn't, I started to move past him, done with the conversation. But lo and behold, he apparently felt differently. He grabbed my forearms.

"GIVE ME MY JOB BACK!"

I stared at him, feeling my stomach turn unpleasantly. I clenched my jaw, and my hands. I only looked at him coolly, hoping I wouldn't have to fight him in front of all these families. Hearing the commotion, several of the staff members strode out quickly from the kitchen and back room to see their shift leader held in a vice-like grip.

"You need to let me go," I told him calmly. "You need to let me go and walk away."

Mike's eyes—they were cold like ice. His upper lip trembled in fury. His gaze darted all around the room, taking in the fifty plus people in the dining area, knowing that one wrong move would not end well for him. Despite my overall fervent personality, I appeared well-liked by mostly everyone as several of the families slowly stood, including fathers, husbands, and sons. They looked angrily on.

"Leave, Michael." I said sternly.

"Security's been called," said Chef Billy, who had come out of the kitchen, having heard the shouting. "They're on the way."

Triggered.

Mike roughly spun me around, wrapped his entire python-like arm over my chest and from the inner pocket of his jacket, he whipped out a pistol.

Great, and now I am hostage. Fucking peachy.

"Mike…." Billy began cautiously, stepping forward.

"DON'T FUCKING MOVE!" Mike screamed. Taking me with him, he started moving into the kitchen, waving his gun around: "EVERYONE OUT OF THE KITCHEN! GET THE FUCK OUT!"

Billy frowned, lowering his hands.

"Do as he says!" I hissed. "Go!"

With the dangerous guy moodily pacing about (with me in his grip), the many customers ran out of the building, some crying and some waving their arms like the balloon streamers at car shows. He pushed me down on the tile and I sat in soapy water, grimacing when I felt it soak through my jeans and my underwear.

I began to stand, but Mike cocked the gun. And I decided that sitting in the water was probably for the best.

"I told you! This was my last option."

Technically, taking me was your last option. Not necessarily a good idea, but….

Mike closed the door. With an impressive feat, he pulled the working refrigerator from the wall and shoved it in front of the freely swinging door. Before I could think, he was at the exit, doing the same thing except with a stove.

He's barricading us.

"You know," I said slowly. "There's really only one option left if you do things this way."

"What?"

"You're going to get yourself killed."

"I'll be taking you with me," growled Mike, eyes blazing.

I held up my hands in surrender, opting to say nothing to that in fear of what he might suggest to come.

He paced, careful not to slip on the soapy dish fluid that spilled when he'd ripped the stove from the sink. His anger pulsed through his veins; they were protruding through his neck. He was well-built, a strength-training hobbyist so it should not have surprised me that he could lift the appliances. The fact he did it so aggressively was what made me feel like a small little girl inside.

I didn't scare easily. But now…. well, I was honestly scared.

"You would let two children die before you went against your boss," Mike grumbled, glaring at me.

"In my defense—"

He punched the wall, denting it.

"Nevermind," I said quickly.

"You don't know what it's like to feel desperate," Mike uttered helplessly, leaning against the refrigerator, gun being waved around freely as he gesticulated in conversation. "You think one moment you have everything planned out, you think everything's going to play out the way you want, but shit like your boss happens. He just fires you—no warning at all—and when you try to come back, you're told 'oh we can't do anything, my hands are tied'. Fuck that. Fuck this place. Fuck him."

"Michael…."

He glared at me.

"Michael, listen to me. I know you're angry. I can understand—I mean, truly understand" (He let out a hateful sigh.) "where you're coming from, believe me. I know what it's like to feel desperate and helpless. But this isn't the way to do things."

"You're trying to psyche me out," said Mike resentfully. "To get the upper hand…."

"I'm not. I swear I am not."

Mike and I glanced towards the stove-blocked exit door, hearing the many police sirens going off. My heart quickened when Mike's eyes widened and then he looked at me with such resentment, I was certain he would shoot me right then and there.

"You didn't want to hire me. You said it's because of your boss—your fucking boyfriend. So, let's talk about that, huh? Let's talk about him. While they try to come in and save you, and shoot me."

"I'd rather not—"

"Not your choice."

"Fine. Let's talk."

I sat back down on the floor, cradling my knees into my chest. He stared at me for the longest time, rolling his gun between his hands like a bar of soap. How his eyes hurt when they glared down at me.

"Where'd you meet?" Mike asked coldly.

"Fish Mooney's." I answered truthfully.

"That bitch's club?"

"Yes, that bitch's club."

"How was the first date?"

"It was nice," I answered vaguely.

He held up the gun, and then shot the ceiling. I flinched. He then aimed the gun at me.

"Not good enough. Give me details."

"Why do you even care?"

"Because you looked at him…. but you never looked at me."

"Is that what this is about?" I questioned skeptically. "You have a crush on me?"

"Part of it is because of you won't give me my fucking job back," said Mike vehemently. "The other half is—well, sure. Why not. I like you—well, like is a little understated, I suppose. I really loved you. Truly."

"Oh god…." I muttered, rubbing my face. "You don't know me. You can't love someone you don't know."

"I know you. I know the real you."

Are we really doing this?

"You don't know anything about me, Mike. You think that by screaming at me and telling me sob stories about your children would make me re-hire you after the illicit comment you made towards me about my love life. That doesn't sound like someone who knows me, that sounds like someone who doesn't know what love really is and you're—"

He held the gun up to the ceiling and I flinched, even though he never shot it.

He smiled.

"So, tell me about you now…. lord knows we have the time." Mike chuckled darkly, gesturing to the enclosed kitchen.

I tried to breathe evenly, but I was starting to feel a little claustrophobic.

"When did you lose you virginity?" He asked, grinning broadly at me.

I looked at him, incredulous.

"I'm not going to answer—"

He aimed the gun at me and cocked it.

"You said I don't know shit about you. I'm resolving the issue. Now tell me who you first fucked and when—and hell, even where."

"Tell me or I will shoot you, Sylvia. If you think I'm bluffing, try it."

My voice shook when I spoke: "David Beals."

"You call him 'Dave'?"

"He went by 'Alex'."

"Middle-Name-Guy, huh. How old were you?"

"I was 21."

"Where did you fuck?"

"We made love in the ocean."

"Where's the fucker now?" asked Mike, rolling his eyes.

"Probably jail. I don't know. I lost track of him when we broke up a month later."

Mike grinned maliciously.

"Jailbird, huh? Well, I shouldn't be surprised. You like those birds, don't you? Jailbirds and penguins…. What happened, little Vee? Let me guess. Did he get what he wanted and dump you?"

There was more to the story, but I wouldn't give him the satisfaction to ask more questions.

I said harshly, "Yes! That's what happened!"

Mike stood and walked over to me. I flinched away. He grabbed my arm, pulling me towards him.

"Did you fuck him or did he fuck you?"

"He fucked me." I answered, my voice sounding unlike my own—detached.

Mike threw my arm and I let it fall like a rag doll along my side.

He listened, ears perking up when the sirens dulled. I couldn't hear anything except the sirens. And the blood rushing to my head. There was a glass wall between the wash room and the dining area. We were nowhere close to it, huddled in the opaque corners of the kitchen and the dark walls of the back room. If I made a run for it, I might clear it and break through the glass wall. But that was a long shot.

"Where did you and flappy bird go for your first date?" Mike questioned. For better measure, he held the gun in my face.

"We went to the carnival."

"Carnival? Shmancy guy like that should be taking you to the art gallery."

"I've already seen the art gallery—my sister-in-law owns one. Besides…." (I thought of Oz as we spoke.) "He knew I hated galleries. I like carnivals." I glared at Mike. "Something you wouldn't know…. you horse's ass."

He grinned toothily: "Did you kiss him good night? Did he walk you to the door, or did you invite him inside to your apartment?"

I raised my head proudly.

"I invited him in. But he politely declined, like a fucking gentleman—again, something you don't know anything about."

"I bet you're a real animal in the sack," Mike pondered aloud with a weird expression on his face, looking me up and down. "Those big blue eyes, so innocent…. but that red hair…. I always wondered if the carpet matched the drapes."

"You're insane," I scoffed.

"Maybe…. But you pushed me to this point, didn't you? You could have saved yourself the trouble of this whole thing if you just—for once—thought about me and gave me my job back. We wouldn't be in this mess. I wouldn't be here, holding this gun, and you wouldn't be on the fucking floor."

"No, Mike." I sighed, looking tiredly at him. "How I see it, you would be exactly where you are right now—regardless if I hired you. You brought that gun with you to work, not knowing what I would say. This was premeditated from the start, wasn't it? You might not have wanted it to get this far, but you thought about it. And clearly…." I nervously laughed. "Clearly, you put enough thought into to actually go through with it because here we are."

From the outside, an altered high, booming voice. Jim's voice.

"MICHAEL TRAVINSKY!"

I glanced at the blocked door.

"Michael! My name is Detective James Gordon of the GCPD!" Jim shouted through a megaphone (Although it came out like a normal voice inside the room.). "I don't know what's going on—" (Ain't that the truth.) "—But I am sure this whole thing is just a huge misunderstanding."

Mike glared at me: "Your brother just goes where the bell tolls, don't he?"

"Like clockwork," I answered gravely.

He grabbed the neck of my T-shirt, hoisting me up forcefully.

"Easy, easy," I whispered, and it came out like a plea and I hated myself for it.

"Get the fuck up, bitch…. if I am going out there, you are too."

"Going out where?"

Mike moved me in front of him, his hand now wrapped around the nape of my neck. Mine quickly shot up to keep the pressure off; those fingers were digging into my breathing room! He used me as a human shield, the gun set right against my carotid artery as he and I staggered forward.

Then he realized the door was still blocked.

"Don't you fucking move," He growled. "I gotta move the stove. If you move, I'll shoot you—and you won't have to worry about anything else."

"Fine." I managed.

He moved the stove and then the moment it became free, he grabbed my neck again, shoving me in front of him once more. I gritted my teeth as he broke down the door, and I was facing about twenty police officers, excluding Capt. Essen, Harvey, and my own dear brother, Jim. The more surprising feat was that standing adjacent to them was Don Maroni and his twenty-something goons, pistols aimed in my direction. Maroni was leaned against one of the cop cars, having an odd conversation with a younger police officer and when the door was broken down, he told his men to stay calm, and don't do anything drastic.

And standing next to him, looking absolutely piss-worried was Oswald. Seeing me in my position, held as a hostage, Oswald had two clear emotions written on his face: rage and fear. Jim glanced at him then at me, and he lowered his gun when he saw me.

Shoot him, Jim. Shoot the fucker, don't worry about me….

"Michael—that's your name, right," Jim said quickly, holding his other hand up cautiously.

"You know it is!" I snapped.

Mike tugged me closer to him and the gun dug into my hip and he shouted in unregistered volumes, "Shut the fuck up!"

"Sylvia, don't talk," Jim said calmly.

"Just fucking shoot him!" I started to step away.

"You're not going anywhere, you fucking cunt!"

"If you don't let me go, asshole, you're going to get gunned down!" My voice broke out of fear and desperation to get out of this awful mess. "And I'm not about to be the victim here!"

"You're in the same shithole just as much as I am!"

"The hell I am," I said coldly, looking at him. "You have the fucking cops surrounding this place because you took a hostage—me—who, by the way, has a fucking cop for a brother" (I gesticulated pointedly to Jim) "so he has every fucking available personnel out there—as you can fucking see. They have a code, and they may not kill you, but there's no negotiating your way out because if they don't kill you Maroni fucking will because you have his 'favorite girl' strapped to your fucking hip!"

Mike stared at me incredulously, the gun held loosely in his hand—yet still buried in my hip—as he realized just how big the shithole was in perspective to where he was standing.

"Now who's the stupid cunt?" I questioned, smirking at him.

Mike glared furiously at me.

"I may be dying because of you." He breathed. "But you're the one who's really fucked."

"Why is that?"

"Because I'm not the one with a hole in my neck."

Before I registered his meaning, he forced me to turn, he aimed the gun at me. There was a unanimous 'DON'T DO IT!' from the cops.

Then he pulled the trigger.

I saw Jim shouting and everyone with their guns aimed and let loose the fire power. My vision became blurred as I looked up. Oswald was at my side, screaming, but I couldn't hear what he was saying—voices were garbled like I was swimming under the ocean. Pain had struck my neck, searing, and just as quickly, I was numbing, feeling nothing. Jim knelt down beside me, looking more than worried.

His hand on my neck, pressing down to slow the bleeding.

I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. But all I could do was say only one single word.

"Ozzie…."


Author's Note: Sequel is up; it's called 'He Calls Me Pigeon'.