Ruthless People

By: J.J. McAvoy



ONE



“There are four kinds of homicide:

felonious, excusable, justifiable,

and praiseworthy.”



~ Ambrose Bierce





LIAM

So, today was the day. I drank straight from the brandy bottle. Fuck the glass. I was too tired to move.

“You plan on sharing?” Natasha asked as she rubbed her body against mine.

Handing her the bottle, I leaned back, watching her pour the liquor down her throat. God, I was going to miss that throat but that was about it.

“This is such a sad day.” She frowned when I took the bottle back. If only she would leave after our “meetings.” But there was no point kicking her out right this second. Our meetings were officially over, or my mother would demand my balls and my father would hand them up to her.

“What’s this girl’s name again?” Natasha asked, rolling on top of me.

Brushing her blond hair back from her face, I thought of all the things I’d rather be doing instead of talking but had to restrain myself.

“Melody Nicci Giovanni,” I said, taking another swig.

She pouted, and it was ugly. Most of her facial expressions were ugly, but I didn’t keep her around for her face, or her brain for that matter.

“Arranged marriages are so circa the eighteen hundreds. How can you get married to a girl you’ve never met before? You don’t even know what she looks like. What if she’s ugly, or fat?” she asked. It would have been a good point if it didn’t matter who my family was and what we did for a living.

“I’ve explained this Natasha. The Giovannis are one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful family in Italy and most of the west coast. My father wants an end to the rivalry between the Irish and the Italians. So, even if she is ugly, or fat, or covered in bloody warts, I will do my duty and marry her.” Pushing her off me, I rose to my feet.

Sedric, my father, had spoken of this marriage for the past twelve years. I was only fifteen and wanted to prove myself, so I was willing do anything that needed to be done to make the family proud, like a bloody idiot. I should have just let Declan marry her, but he had already hacked into his first major Swiss bank account, robbing the Russians blind. Neal was too damn old and had already found himself the perfect arm candy. Like all sons, we wanted to impress our fathers. I thought I had no other option, but like I said, I was a bloody idiot.

“You could just marry me. I am one-quarter Italian.” Natasha laughed and rolled around in my bed. I was going to have to burn those sheets or maybe get a new bed.

“Not even if hell froze over and my mother was six feet deep,” I replied, grabbing a towel.

“And why not?” she yelled, holding the sheet to her chest as if she had any modesty to protect.

I looked her dead in the eyes. “Because you are a floozy, a manky, a whore, a woman of no importance or brains with nothing to note but a good ass and a deep throat.”

Walking over to her, I kissed the side of her cheek before holding on to her sweet throat. “But don’t be sad. We all have our roles to play, and you have played yours. Your services will no longer be needed.”

Letting go of her, I grabbed a few bills from my wallet before throwing them in her direction.

“I am not a prostitute.” She held back a sob.

I hated criers. I smirked at that.

“Yet, you’re going to take the money anyway.”

I headed to the bathroom, and when she didn’t reply, I turned back to her one last time.

“Leg it babe, and if you think of taking anything other than the money I just gave you, I will not hesitate to kill you, sweet throat or not.” And I meant it. I was a Callahan. Our word was law in Chicago and on most of the east coast. The police didn’t even bother with us anymore.

Hearing the bedroom door open and shut, I smiled to myself before jumping in the shower. It would be the last one until I met my future wife.

Did she like showers or baths? I didn’t care, but it just proved that I didn’t know anything significant about her other than her birthday, February 13, 1990, and a few small facts. Everything else, her father kept buried. There were no pictures of her anywhere—no social media accounts or driver license. Nothing—not even a fucking receipt with her name on it. She was a ghost. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought she didn’t exist.

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