Home > The Good Boss (Mafia Made #3)

The Good Boss (Mafia Made #3)
Author: Scott Hildreth

Chapter One


    Deciding when someone is telling the truth, especially when you don’t know what the truth is, isn’t an easy task. A combination of reading body language, paying attention to facial gestures, and asking the right combination of questions is instrumental in paving the way to finding the truth. Separating fact from fiction isn’t easy, regardless.

    In the end, it comes down to intuition.

    In the basement below meatball Pete’s kitchen, we were conducting an interview with Justin Carter—the fucktard who kidnapped and executed my dog, provided the federal authorities information regarding the family, and gave sworn testimony that led to the arrest and incarceration of my soon-to-be father-in-law.

    Sitting on the concrete floor with his torso, upper arms, and neck secured to the legs of an old prep table, the only resistance he could provide was verbal, and I had grown tired of him having that luxury.

    I wanted answers, not complaints.

    During my time in the military, and in my quest to become a street-smart gun runner, I learned not to stereotype people. He, however, looked like what most Americans would expect a drug dealer to look like.

    He was six feet tall, weighed one-twenty, and was covered in jailhouse tattoos. His greasy hair was now plastered to his sweat-covered face, and he looked like he hadn’t slept in a month. He alternated glances between Cap and me, trying to decide which one of us was more important, and stuttered in every effort he made to speak.

    I looked at the slobbering piece of human shit, and then at Cap. “Cut off his index finger.”

    “Wait!” Carter bellowed. “Wait. I swear, I’ll tell you...”

    My patience was worn paper thin. While he continued to beg Cap for mercy, I turned toward Sal and did my best to tune out the incessant blubbering and begging.

    “Shove something in his mouth,” I demanded. “Then, cut it off.”

    Sal peered over my shoulder and shook his head lightly. “How the fuck you know what’s the truth and what’s a lie?”

    “I don’t.”

    Carter’s screaming changed to muffled grunts. I didn’t have to turn around to know what was happening.

    “Goddamn. That finger came off pretty fuckin’ easy,” Sal said. “Now what?”

    I turned around. Standing beside Carter with a pair of pruning shears and a rag, Cap looked at me for direction. “Want to ask him something?”

    A puddle of blood pooled at Carter’s side, directly beneath his dangling hand. I crossed my arms and shook my head. “Same hand. Cut off his thumb,” I said as if I were giving an order to a military subordinate.

    Carter began to shake his head violently. A combination of snot and tears blew from his nose as he heaved to catch his breath.

    I’d seen much worse in my tenure with the Marines. I still had the ability to be a sympathetic man, but I reserved no compassion for people who stuck their respective noses where they didn’t belong, especially when they were driven solely by a desire to save themselves from a mess that they got into on their own. Add to that the fact that this man killed a helpless dog, and I couldn’t muster an ounce of sympathy for Justin Carter.

    Without expressed emotion, Cap leaned over, grabbed Carter’s wrist, and stretched his thumb to the side. One squeeze of the pruning shears later, and the thumb fell to the floor mere inches from the severed finger.

    I took a few steps toward him and cleared my throat. “I’m going to have him take that rag out of your mouth, and then I’ll ask you some questions. If you argue, scream, or do anything other than answer the specific question I ask, I’ll have him remove the other three fingers. Understood?”

    With wide eyes and a face covered in sweat, he managed a convincing nod.

    “One word of bullshit,” I warned. “The rag goes back in, and the fingers come off.”

    I looked at Cap. “Take out the rag.”

    Cap pulled the rag from his mouth, kicked the severed fingers to the side, and tossed the shears onto the end of the table.

    “How many people have you spoken to about the family’s operation?”

    “Two,” he blurted excitedly. “No, three. I mean...yeah. Three. Gino...and... Special Agent Whistler, and a guy...a guy named Black.”

    “Who’s Black?”

    He shook his hand, flinging blood across the floor. “He comes instead of Whistler...sometimes.”

    “He’s with the ATF?”

    He glanced at his hand, paused, and then looked at me. “Yeah.”

    I knew it wouldn’t be long and he’d go into shock. I was also aware that we had a small window to torture him effectively. After a certain amount of agony was endured, the tortured reached a pain threshold, leaving the torturer with few options to gain useful information.

    “Not one other person? None of your friends, family, business associates, people in jail, nobody?”

    He shook his head adamantly. “They told me if I talked to anyone else, the deal was off.”

    It made sense, and protected the ATF’s legal interest. A snitch that told one person one thing, and the ATF another, subjected himself to being discredited in court.

    “Who gave you the information that you fed to your contacts?”

    He stared at his hand.

    “I asked you a question. Answer it, or I’ll have him whack another finger off,” I snarled.

    He looked up. “I um. Who? Who told me...who talked to me?”

    “The names of all of the people that talked to you,” I said. “I want the names. Anyone who gave you any information.”

    “Gino,” he said. “That’s it.”

    “What did he tell you? I need to know everything,” I said dryly.

    “He looks confused,” Sal whispered. “I think he’s lying.”

    Carter looked at his hand, craned his neck and scanned the floor for his fingers. Upon seeing the bloody stubs, his eyes stayed fixed on them for a moment.

    I cleared my throat. “Cut off his pinkie.”

    His gaze shot to me. “No, wait! What? He um...what was the question?”

    I glared at him. “What did Gino tell you? Everything. Tell me everything he told you, whether you told the feds or not.”

    “He told...he told me about killing the two federal agents. One at the warehouse, and the other in his kitchen. Then, he told me that the boss was going to get their teeth. He wanted the boss to go down so he could get the job or whatever. He told me, and then I kinda forgot. I told them when they interviewed me the next time.”

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