Gangster With a Heartbeat. Chapter 1. The meeting
The building was airy and glowing with sunlight from the skylights forty feet up in the air. People in blue jackets bustled about in a determined buzz, each working on something experimental. Suddenly the sliding doors at the front of the building flew open to reveal a well dressed man, a smile on his face. He ran up to the steps and slid a card into a box, then ran to the top of the platform. Finding his way through the crowd with obvious expertise the man came up behind a woman standing over an examination table. Slowing down considerably the man took careful silent steps towards the woman. He was just about to wrap his arms around her waist when she startled him.
"Knock it off Booth." She had somehow known that he was there even without turning away from what she was looking at. The man let out a gracious laugh that resonated from deep within his chest. She too let out a chuckle, though it sounded restricted, when he let his arms slide cautiously around her waist. Resting his head on her shoulder he looked at what she had been doing.
Shock filled his system. Stumbling away from her and the examination table he tried to catch his breath. Laying there, right in front of him, was a pile of decomposing human body parts. He was appalled that the woman standing in front of him could look at that and still laugh with him. He watched her turn and look at him with curiosity and concern on her face. "Booth?" She said.
How did she know his name. He certainly had never told her, he had never even met her before this, so why would she know who he was? How did he even know her? Her total focus was now on him, never turning away. "Bo-" She started, but he never heard the end of it.
"Boss?" She said again. Why was she calling him 'boss' now? She had called him Booth a minute ago. He could feel the sweat start to drip down the back of his neck now. He was looking frantically for an escape, his eyes darting left and right but always seeming to be drawn back to her face. In a moment of unexpected clarity his eyes washed over her features and he saw beauty. Beauty beyond anything he could have imagined. Her auburn hair framed her ivory skinned face and set her turquoise blue eyes apart from the rest of her. Those eyes, he couldn't look away now. Those eyes had arrested his attention. Not being able to look away he closed his eyes, and kept them closed.
"Boss." Now that his eyes were closed he could hear the beauty of her voice. It flowed into his ears and the second he heard it he had instantly memorized the very pitch of it. He forced his eyes closed even more, hoping that they would never open again. But suddenly he felt strong hands on his shoulder, he knew almost immediately that they were to large and rough to be that woman's hands. Venturing a look he cracked one eye open just slightly...
"Boss!" A rough hand was shaking his shoulder, and an even rougher voice was calmly trying to rowse him from his slumber. Opening his eyes Seeley Booth looked up to see a familiar face staring at him. A sigh of relief swept through him, though he could still feel where the sweat was clinging to his shirt. He took a deep breath and tried to calm down.
"What is it Charlie?" The kid was fairly new to their operation, just joined a few months ago and Booth had taken him under his wing. No idea why he had done it, he figured it had something to do with the kid being exactly that- a kid. He couldn't have been more than a day over nineteen, just a kid trying to prove himself to the wrong crowd. Leaning his head back into the arm of the couch Booth covered his eyes with the crook of his arm. The light coming from the window was making his head pound.
"We got a problem Boss." Charlie said nervously.
That caught his attention. Raising his arm slightly so that he could see his underling he gave the kid a piercing stare. The kid swallowed before continuing.
"Last night somebody tried to pop off Capone... again. He thinks the order was from you."
Booth snapped up from where he was lounging. "What the hell?! What proves that he thinks I did it?"
Charlie wrung his hands together, not looking into his boss's eyes as he continued. "Well, uh- because boss, he uh, put a hit out on you." He let his voice trail off as he saw the anger start to bubble over in his boss.
Trying to control himself Booth took a deep breath and sent a penetrating stare to his companion. "Leave Charlie." Was all he had to say, the kid caught on immediately and was already on his way out the door. The soft click announced that he had left, allowing Booth the opportunity to let out a sigh. He flopped back onto the couch and let his eyes roam around the room.
His headquarters was state of the art in amenities. It had electricity, running water, was one of the biggest and most expensive places to live in D.C. It was beautiful, it was big, it was luxurious, and Booth hated everything about it. Thinking about places he hated brought his mind to the topic of places he liked.
The one place that he loved- the one place he felt safe in didn't even exist. And he had no idea where it was or what it looked like, mostly because that place was only in his dreams. Uhx. Stupid dream. He thought heatedly to himself. He hated that dream, he hated it because whenever he had it Booth could never remember what it was about. The only think he knew was that when he awoke from it he would feel safe and protected, but at the same time vulnerable and frightened. He would always wake up at around the same time with night sweats.
Charlie had caught him at a bad time; normally the kid knew not to wake him up when he was sleeping, though this time, Booth was thankful he did. But now he had another problem to deal with. That idiot Capone was just trying to eliminate nonexistent competition. Another wave of fury rose from within him. They didn't even live in the same state, let alone dealt with the same business.
Alphonse Gabriel Capone was the worst of the scum in the world of gangsters. He was a man who had horrible goals; the foremost was the idea that he could take over the states and rule them with an iron fist. The man was a walking time bomb, any idiot could see that. Even his friends hated him- not something that he should be doing... making his own friends hate him. Booth had seen it coming, all the way in Washington D.C, while Capone was in Chicago. "It's only a matter of time before someone tries to kill him." Booth remembered thinking to himself months ago.
Thinking back, Booth also remembered when he first met Capone. Being the scum of the Earth hadn't stopped the bastard from behaving like he had everyone in the world wrapped around his finger. It had taken all of his patience not to punch the small chunky Italian from Brooklyn. The only thing that stopped him was the fact that a gang war would have erupted had he followed through with his desires. There was no need for people to die just because he felt like punching someone in the face.
Sighing, Booth ran his hands over his face trying to stay focused. He had no idea what he was going to do about the his out on his life, or what he was going to do about Capone when he got his hands around his fat neck. He didn't even want to think about it.
Instead he closed his eyes and dozed. Claiming the moment as his own, before he knew everything else would tumble over the edge.
A bang somewhere on his building floor startled Booth awake. A man's yell followed a moment later. Shit! He swore to himself, it was a little early for Capone to follow through with his threat but it wasn't unheard of.
Dashing out of the formal sitting room he had been napping in, Booth ran down the hall to his front door and threw it open- completely not expecting what he found there.
Standing aways down the corridor was a woman and two men. They, the men, were trying hopelessly to fight back against the blows that she was dishing out to each one of them. She threw punches straight to their faces and each landed solidly, which satisfied Booth to no end when he saw who she was fighting.
Frankie Caustelo and his brother Bernie were the two people in his group that he didn't like. It was a mistake to let them join, mostly because it had come to Booth's attention that they were Capone's spies, but also because they used the 'I'm a gangster' excuse to do whatever the hell they felt like.
Charlie kept Booth informed about whatever the brothers did, so far the list had run long and descriptive. From things like arson and burglary, armed robbery and grand theft auto. But the most recent and most heinous that they had committed was the rape and murder of a young single mother two weeks ago.
The police had found no leads, so at the moment, the investigation was on hold. But even though there was no evidence pointing to anyone in particular Booth had known that it was the two of them after hearing how the woman was murdered. It was their favorite way of dishing out punishment, beating people within an inch of their life; though, they had only used it on other gangsters before, and they had certainly (to Booth's knowledge) never killed anyone before.
Suddenly the pieces fell into place and it sent his blood boiling. "Hey! What the hell are you doing?!"
All three turned to see him, but it was the Caustelo brothers that recovered first. Bernie wrapped his arms around her shoulders, immobilizing her, while Frankie looked on.
"What the hell are you doing Caustelo?" Booth asked again. His tone was sharp, mostly because of what they were doing, but also because he hated repeating himself.
Frankie shot a worried glance at his younger brother before turning back to Booth. He had a sheepish look on his face, like he was a kid that got caught eating one to many cannoli.
"Nothin' Boss. Just havin' a little fun, eh toots?" He smiled to show disgusting yellow crooked teeth, and swiveling around to face the woman he kissed her on the cheek. It sent her into a fit of struggles, but Bernie held strong.
"Get your hands off me you slime!" She shouted in his face. The smile on Frankie's face disappeared.
"Now listen here toots, you're gunna go along with us or else you won't like what we could do to you."
That was the final straw. Booth had had enough, he pulled his gun from the holster at his hip and fired with pristine accuracy. Right into Bernie's shoulder. Howling in pain, the younger Caustelo released his captive and sank to the floor. The woman ran, not away from the fighting like he had thought she would, but instead ran towards him.She dashed through the doorway and he moved in front of it protectively; just in case one of the idiots got the idea to charge at him.
Frankie shot him a glare, full of hatred and despise; though, Booth couldn't care less at the moment. Bernie was helped by his brother, after a few moments of pathetic whimpering and bleeding on the carpet he was on his feet and Booth had to take several deep breaths to make sure he wouldn't shoot either one of them.
Keeping his gun aimed straight at them he spoke. "I have a message for Capone that I want you to deliver for me. Tell him I don't give a rats ass about who's trying to kill him cause in my books he never existed in the first place. You tell him that and then I hope to god I never see your ugly mugs again or I might just blow your brains out. Got it?" The Caustelo brothers each nodded vigorously. "Good. Now get the fuck out of my sight." They were more than happy to oblige.
Closing the door behind him, Booth pinched the bridge of his nose with his thumb and finger. He could already feel the dull ache that had started. Shuffling down the hall he slowed down when he heard voices coming from his sitting room. Gracefully floating through the door he almost laughed at what he came upon.
Charlie was serving the woman tea, chatting at her nervously and stuttering as he went. She sat silently, watching him with cautious eyes. After letting the kid make a fool out of himself for a few entertaining moments Booth figured it was time to save him.
"Charlie, that's enough." He forced his voice to have a touch of soft kindness, as to make sure that neither of them were startled.
Charlie looked at him and the blush that was on his face before was now a flaming red. "Sure Boss." He mumbled quietly. Booth flashed him a reasuring smile as the kid made his way around him.
After he was gone there was nothing to break the tense air that had mysteriously appeared over their heads. The only sound was of their shallow breathing and the occasional clink of her tea cup.
For the first time he was actually allowed to get a good look at her. Her hair was a golden copper color currently tied in an up do. A feather protruding from her hair. From the looks of her outfit Booth could tell that she was one of 'those' girls. The 'new woman' who didn't need a man to live her life. She was a flapper as they had come to be called. The dress that she was wearing was a light sea green and hugged her curves perfectly. Allowing imaginations to fill in the rest while tassels taunted him to follow her every move. Everything was covered in tassels, or something sparkly. No wonder the Caustelo brothers couldn't keep their hands off her, she was a gorgeous in every right.
Wearing a dress that reveled her long smooth legs and to much cleavage and wearing insanely high heeled shoes. She was everything he would have liked in a woman, except her piercing blue eyes. They stared at him, stabbing through his soul, which ached to find the reason why she seemed so familiar. After several painfully quiet minutes he still couldn't find the answer.
Finally, he broke the silence. "Are you okay?" He asked. He watched her eyes disappear behind the tea cup once again, then reappear a second later.
She cleared her throat and set down her tea. "Yes. Yes, I believe I am."
Not the answer that he expected her to have. He had expected her to burst into tears, and beg to be held. Most women he knew would have done that in a heartbeat. She was obviously different.
He pushed himself away from the door frame that he had been leaning against. "What the hell is wrong with you? You should be frightened beyond belief right now! Those guys were trying to rape you!" He looked on as she sat there, on his couch, taking his words with a straight and solid expression on her face.
"I know what they were trying to do. And I was taking care of the situation quite nicely until you came along Mr.-"
"Booth." He filled in for her.
"Well Mr. Booth, I believe thanks are in order. Thank you for saving me- but I can take care of myself." She got up to leave.
"Wait." It came out of his mouth before he could stop himself and he scrambled for words after she shot him a glare that could have pierced his heart. "I mean, I sent them away but they're probably still out there. I'll send some of my guys out to tale them to make sure they hop town but for now I think it's best if you stay here."
She stood still for a moment, thinking over what he had said. Then after a few agonizing moments she turned and sat back down on the sofa, smoothing out her fashionable skirts as she went. "Fine, I'll stay. But only until it's safe to go home, not a moment more, understand?"
"Sure." He answered back. What have I gotten myself into... He thought to himself. Its going to be a long day. Looking over to the clock above the mantle he groaned inwardly.And it's only ten o'clock in the fuckin morning!
TBC! (only if you like it... I know its not the normal storyline but it came to me and I though at least some of you might like it.) Ideas are always welcome and reviews keep me alive (other than my meds that is XD) so please tell me if you like my work! please! - luv brennooth