The Underboss

Once Giovanni had put the bottle of Hoppe's 9 back in his drawer, he slid the magazine back into his .45. He carefully laid it back into the drawer on its left side, the grip facing him. He had to be ready to grab it at any moment. Being an Underboss in the Italian mafia was a dangerous business. Sure, it wasn't as dangerous as being the Don himself or especially the Front Boss, but it didn't hurt to be prepared. This meeting was going to be important. Inspector Moore of the NYPD had not been consistent with the agreement that had been made with the New York Chief of Police. Looking into the Ardizzone Family business was definitely not part of that agreement. Inspector Moore was new to his position, so the Don decided not to confront the Chief of Police himself, but instead decided that Giovanni should meet with the inspector personally.

As was custom for such meetings, Giovanni had two men on guard armed with Browning Automatic Rifles perched in the upper balconies of the house. Lorenzo and David were amazing marksmen, and Giovanni had trusted them with his life on many occasions. Both had been part of the family from a young age. As a result, both had learned their trade awfully well. No assassin would be able to escape their sights. They were going to defend Giovanni with their life.

As he shut the drawer, Giovanni heard a knock on the door. That would be Inspector Moore. Lorenzo and David had surely stripped him of any weapons he would be carrying, so he had no reason to try anything that would upset the family. The Ardizzone Family was definitely not the most powerful crime family in New York City, but they were on their way there. If Moore wanted to try anything here, he would not only upset the Ardizzone Family, but also their allies. The last thing that anyone in America wanted to do was upset the Corleone Family. Giovanni took a seat in his desk.

"Come in," he calmly said. He had learned from his predecessor to not open the door himself during these meetings. The man Giovanni replaced had made that mistake, and it earned him a .38 caliber slug in his chest. The door opened, and Inspector Moore entered the room. Behind him was Billy Macfarlane, an associate of the family who was being sponsored by the family's best Button Man, Aldo Vespucci. Rumor had it that Billy was pretty good with a pistol, and if Aldo was vouching for him, then he could be trusted. Billy was to accompany Giovanni during this meeting. That was something else that Giovanni had learned during his time in the Family; don't ever have a meeting alone.

"Pleased to meet you, Mr. Ardizzone," said Moore with a slight smile.

"Greetings, Inspector Moore. Do you have any idea why I asked you to be here today?"

"I think I have a good idea as to why I'm here, Mr. Ardizzone," Moore said with a sense of arrogance in his voice.

"Well then I'll cut right to the chase. Your investigations into our work need to stop, Inspector. In case you weren't aware, we currently have an agreement with the NYPD, and your actions are infringing on that agreement," said Giovanni. At this rate, these two men would come to an understanding and the meeting would be over soon.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Ardizzone, but I'm afraid I cannot comply with that agreement," said Moore. This surprised Giovanni. Nobody treated the family like this! This new inspector was very cocky.

"And exactly why is that, Inspector?" said Giovanni, trying to keep his cool.

"Well, I'm afraid that the investigations are not being run by the NYPD. Unfortunately, you've made some powerful enemies," said Moore. "And these enemies have reached a deal with the NYPD that is financially superior to yours. My apologies."

Just then, Moore began to stand up and reach into his jacket. In what seemed like slow motion, Billy tackled the Inspector to the ground as Giovanni quickly stepped backward out of his chair. Giovanni watched and stared as Billy and the Inspector fought in front of the open window for control of the pistol in Moore's hand. As Billy's hand pushed the hammerless pistol downward, Moore managed to wrap his finger around the trigger and pull it. The bullet struck Billy in the leg, causing him to scream in pain, but not before falling out the window with the Inspector's firearm in hand.

Giovanni speedily opened his drawer and pulled out the .45. Moore quickly intervened, smacking the pistol from Giovanni's hand. They exchanged punches, but the Inspectors training had taught him how to fistfight. Giovanni was thrown into the set of drawers that was behind his desk. He snapped back into reality as Moore was about to deliver the finishing blow. Giovanni moved out of the way just in time for Moore's fist to get crushed by the wooden cabinet. He rushed to grab the pistol from the floor. As he lunged, he heard gunfire outside. They sounded like Tommy Guns. David and Lorenzo weren't armed with Thompsons. As Moore began to plunge toward him, Giovanni racked a round in the .45 and unloaded at point blank range.

As dust and smoke mixed with the bloody mist that lingered in the air, the door at Giovanni's back busted down, followed by the sound of boots stomping on the ground. As he lay there, his pistol still pointed where the late Inspector once stood, Giovanni quickly became aware of the fact that several police officers had stormed into the office armed with Tommy Guns, shotguns, pistols, and everything in between. Still on the floor, he dropped the pistol, put his hands in the air, and stood up.

"Mr. Ardizzone, you are under arrest."