“I get it now.” Connor all but barked, “But why da hell’d we need ‘er?” He asked gesturing to me.
“I thought you were the smart one.” Smecker said blowing the smoke of his cigaret at him, “Perhaps it’s because she’s been behind the imprisonment of just about every thug, drug dealer, gangster, rapist, murderer, organized crime member, human trafficker, arms dealer, pedophile and street scum that Manhattan has seen she was 16. But then again, Connor, what do I know? I’m only a rogue F.B.I. agent who has worked hand in hand with her for about 5 years before she admitted to the flaws in our government’s justice system and took it into her own hands on a much larger, more advanced and professional level than you two ever could have.”
Connor looked at me for a second and sat back down, crossing his arms like an upset toddler.
“Why’d ya snap, like ya did?” Murphy asked me before staring down at the table.
I threw down the other half of my chocolate chip cookie onto my plate and swallowed what was in my mouth, “I don’t think I have to tell you guys what’s wrong with our justice system.”
“Yeah, guys who work for gangs and stuff get out the same day, what about the others?” Romeo asked.
“Gangs are part of it.” I started and took a sip of coconut milk before continuing, “Presently prisons are over crowded and under staffed. Meaning that sometimes, in the case of, let’s say, a junkie who attacks an unsuspecting person in order to get money so that they can get their fix and almost kills them. Either, they’ll be let off with the requirement they meet with a parole officer because the crime was not attempt to commit murder, but petty theft. Or, they’ll go to prison, and instead of having something like a minimum of 7 years for the assault, burglary and possession of drugs, they get off with something like 2 years or 9 months if they’re lucky. And then they’re back on the streets rinsing and repeating. The government is way too focused on the guys who aren’t part of gangs and are like serial killers, people who will spread unrest throughout the country and will, without a doubt, commit the same heinous crimes again. Even then, because of an over look in the system or because of good behaviour, criminals like pedophiles, serial rapists, drug dealers. All of them can get out of a life sentence or an extended stay because of it. Because they don’t want to keep them in there, because they have higher security prisoners that need to be kept in.” I paused a moment and took a deep breath to compose myself so I didn’t end up putting a hole in the wall, “Yet a lot of the time, it’s those criminals who are let back out onto the streets that do far more damage than those who are currently being kept inside. And it’s disgusting.”
I growled out the last of it, feeling my stomach turn remembering some of the scum I had encountered. They were not people, not with what they could do and sleep with. Not with what I’ve seen them do.
“You were a P.I. at 16, how fuckin’ old are ya now?” Connor asked dumbfounded.
“28.” I replied shortly pushing my plate of cookies away from me. I wasn’t hungry anymore.
“And you’ve been in jail, how long?” Murphy asked slowly.
“6 years.” I sighed.
Connor leaned over to Murphy and Romeo and whispered in Spanish, “I think this girl is a lot more bad ass than we gave her credit for.”
Romeo nodded, “We need to watch ourselves around her.”
“I am, and you should.” I replied in Spanish also.
They all looked at me dumbfounded.
“How do you think she learned that?” Murphy asked Connor in Italian.
“I pick up things.” I told them in Italian.
“Is there a language ya don’t know!?” Connor snapped.
I smirked, “I’ve had trouble with mandarin just because of the pitches used in it, and I unfortunately don’t know a word of Welsh.”
“Show off.” Romeo hissed.
I rolled my eyes before turning to the door.
“Long time no see, Eunice, how’ve you been?” I asked the woman entering the room. Her hair was now short and black, rather than long and blonde like it had been before. She was still walking around in a tight little pencil skirt and frilly blouse like I remembered though.
She stood in the door way in shock, “I never thought I would see you here.” She said slowly in her southern drawl.
“Who were you expecting then?” I teased, “Santa Clause?”
She frowned deeply at me as she strutted forward, “When Smecker told me he had the best on this job, I did not expect you is all.”
“You think I got out of shape on the inside?” I smirked.
“I didn’t think you would ever take the offer.” She said looking away, “I know it’s always your way or no way. So, I think I have every right to be surprised.”
“I almost didn’t take the offer.” I told her, gesturing to the brothers and Romeo, “But I have a list I need to finish off. And the scum never stops coming.”
All she did was smile, before turning her attention to the boys next to me.
“Long time no see, huh?” She said.
“Ya look different.” Murphy blurted out.
“After getting the information on the Roman out of the F.B.I. data base I was America’s most wanted number 1. I had to change and get out.” She told them.
“What is all this?” Romeo asked looking back and forth between Smecker and Eunice and me.
“To put it simply,” Smecker started lighting another cigaret, “Consisting of you, the MacManus brothers, and The Fallen Angel of Manhattan, we have a an almost supercharged team fit, capable and crazy enough to take on the bad guys of the world, eliminating crime entirely.”
I stared at the man like he had just grown a second head, “And you think sending me in with a team of untrained morons like them, that the four of us can take on, let me think, 100,000,000 maybe more scum?! Smecker have you lost your mind along the way!?”
He stood up and stared me down, “Over the course of 1 year, I have seen you take down over 400 criminals!” He all but shouted, “Consisting of organized crime members, pedophiles, murderers, arsonists, thieves, corrupt politicians, drug dealers, arms dealers, human trafficking rings! And a whole God damn Gang family! The fact you say you can’t with help, is what amazes me-”
“I don’t know what these morons are capable of!” I shouted over him and stood up too, “I don’t know where their skills lay, I don’t know if they just got lucky, I don’t know if they’ll slow me down, or expose me, or get me killed. And the only reason why I got that many, Smecker, is because I knew exactly who and what I was dealing with! I did my homework, I did my research, I devolved into a stalker into to get the information I needed to make the hits as clean and smooth as I could. And it would have ended up paying off if you hadn’t stopped me when you did!”
“How many more would you have killed!?” He screamed.
“1516!” I screamed back. Smecked took a half a step back, processing what I had just said.
I huffed having let out that much anger, “2,000 criminals were on my hit list, Smecker.” I said calming down, “That 484, that was just the beginning. Every single person who had committed a crime worthy of extended jail time was on my list, with the highest reoffence rate taking my priority. If you hadn’t come in, no one would have known it was me. You could have lied, you could have shifted the blame onto some nobody scum. But instead you come in, to my house, and you couldn’t even look me in the eye as you read me my rights. So tell me, why should I go with this suicide plan of yours when all I have to do is kill all of you to take my freedom?”
Smecker was sitting at this point, “Because it’s not your style.” He said looking me in the eye for the first time, in a long, long time. “I know, I was an over confident ass, a moron and I certainly was not a friend to you then, like I wanted to be for you. At the time I didn’t see what you did, and I was stupid because of it. I let what you taught me blind me from your search for justice, actual justice. And I know it doesn’t mean shit to you now, but I want you to know I see it. I see it now, I see the shit, I see the truth, I see that you were right all along. And I’m sorry. I know it doesn’t mean much, but I am truly and honestly sorry for not talking to you about it first and taking away the one thing you had.”
I crossed my arms over my chest staring down at him. He meant every word he said, and now he was serious about taking this on. He was asking me for my help in taking it on. He was the closest thing I ever had to someone in my corner, let a lone a friend.
I let out a silent sigh as I closed my eyes. He was willing to go as far as needed to get this done. I knew the boys were too. The question, was I willing to let them go with me?
“I’m allowed to pick my targets right?” I asked opening my eyes and staring into Smecker’s blue eyes.
He nodded, not breaking eye contact.
I took a deep breath before turning my attention to the boys beside me.
“Now or never.” I told them popping out a hip and placing my hand on it, “All in or get out, we’re working together.”
“Were all in from da start.” Connor smirked at me.
“We’re kinda like Seven eleven,” Murphy added, “We’re not always doin’ business, but we’re always open.”
My gaze then turned to Romeo. He glared up at me.
“Much as I don’t want to,” He started, “I was with these guys of my own accord, and I’ll be with them until the end. Whether you’re part of the deal or not, I’m outta jail and I’m not gonna stop.”
I nodded, “Then we’re all in til the end.” I turned to Smecker, “Sergio Vendetti.”
Smecker stubbed out his cigaret quickly and grabbed a pen and paper.
“Rolando Bellucci. Benito Trevisan. And Vicencio Marcello.” I said, “Find out everything you can about these men. I want to know when they eat, when they sleep, when they take a piss. What food gets stuck in their teeth, and what gets them off. Skip no detail.”
Smecker nodded, “Eunice, would you please be a dear and bring this to the data bank, see what they can dig up.”
She nodded before taking the paper and leaving.
“Who are those guys?” Romeo asked me as I sat back down and picked up my half eaten cookie.
“Drug smugglers, child pornography distributors, firearms smugglers, and a hitman.” I said shortly before taking another bite.
“They on yer list?” Murphy asked.
“I was gonna hit ’em all the same day this bastard came and arrested me.” I said through crumbs, motioning to the blonde across the table at me.
“Oh.” I said after swallowing as I reached for my milk again, “And I want a copy of the newest world’s most wanted. Along as one from every country. I want death certificates from all the major gang families too, I want to know who’s kicked the bucket and who I-we have to worry about now. And any new illegal imports companies that have popped up too.”
Smecker nodded, “I’ll get on that. What are you guys going to do in the mean time?”
“After that prison riot we staged,” I started looking the three of them over for a second, “I’ll let these guys rest for a bit. Then we’ll start seeing what they’re made of.”
“A shit ton of balls.” Romeo sneered.
“Makes it all the more painful when I hit you then, doesn’t it.” I growled back.
“If the flirting is done.” Smecker said, standing up from his chair, “I’ll show you guys to your hut. I hope you don’t mind sharing. But you’re a team after all.”
“Only if she makes breakfast again.” Murphy said pointing at me.
“Ask nicely.” I chuckled before chugging down my milk and standing up too, “You guys need to rest.” I assured them, “It’s safe to do so now.”
“And you aren’t going to kill us?” Romeo asked just to make sure.
I nodded, “You guys are my team, not my target.”
I felt relief wash over the three of them as I said that.
“Let’s go then.” Smecker said leading the way out of the room and out into the bright moonlit night.