JC picked his way across the room to the bathroom and relieved himself in the white porcelain toilet pan. He ran his fingers through his hair, grimacing at its greasiness. JC cast a quick look over his shoulder and cocked his head listening for sounds of life. Hearing nothing he dropped his sheet and stepped in to the shower. Water cascaded over his face and he let out a soft contented sigh that changed into a pained yelp as the hot water started to run down his back, stinging the newly done tattoo. JC gasped, breathing in little pants as he bit his lip and waited for the smarting to stop. Looking around he found a small bottle of body and hair gel and proceeded to cleanse himself. As he vacated the bathroom, his towel wrapped around his narrow hips, it was evident that he was still the only person awake. He dressed quickly and made a final check that Justin was still sleeping before he rifled through the older mans wallet, lifting a $10 note. Silently he slipped out of the apartment and made his way down the stairs and through the empty club into the street.
It was a busy area of the city and an area that JC knew very well. He wove his way through the throng of people that were busy buying their morning groceries, heading for the delicatessen that he knew was on the far side of the square unaware that he was being watched.
The tall man stood in the doorway, the shadow of his hat obscuring his features. He put a cigarette into his mouth and struck a match. The flame briefly illuminated his face and his green eyes flashed in concern that he may have given himself away. When his quarry showed no signs of noticing him he moved confidently out into the open and started to trail him. The kid obviously wasn’t Justin but he had come out of the club during closing hours, so it stood to reason that the boy was family of some kind.
Richardson checked around, the teenager didn’t have a bodyguard. Foolish Fatone, very foolish. Each step brought him closer and closer to his oblivious prey. The hit man reached into his pocket and drew out his flick knife; the sun glinted off the blade. Just a few steps and he’d be close enough to cut the boys throat, just grab his hair pull back his head and slice. Of course he wouldn’t be able to hang around and watch the brunette drown in his own blood as he would like to, but he could do that when he got hold of Justin.
The brunette turned around and his eyes met Richardson’s. They filled with fear as his gaze dropped down to the 7 inch blade that was grasped in the strangers hand. Paralysed, he couldn’t speak, couldn’t scream all he could do was watch as the tall dark haired man smiled at him and tipped his hat. The blade flashed out, cutting through his right cheek breaking the spell he had been held under. JC staggered back against the wall, bringing up his hands to try to protect himself from more attacks but there were none, the attacker had gone in the blink of an eye. Terrified and crying, blood streaming down his face and neck JC staggered back towards the coffee shop. He pounded on the door and leaned heavily on the bell push. After what seemed an eternity to JC the door opened and he fell forward into Chris’ arms.
“For Jesus, what the fuck happened to ya “ Chris pulled JC into the building and sat him in a chair. “Justin, Joey, get down here now! What the fuck were you doing outside?”
“I . . . I wanted to surprise you with breakfast. I wanted to show you that I could be trusted.”
Justin, Joey and Lance burst into the coffee shop, guns drawn. The curly haired blond whimpered and dropped his pistol dashing to JC’s side.
Chris had stemmed the worse of the bleeding with a cloth and was glaring angrily at his boss’s younger brother. “And where the fuck were you?” he demanded. “ Why was your little pet not chained up for the night like he should have been?”
“He gave me his word that he wouldn’t run away, I trusted him.” Anger blazed across Justin’s face. “You fucking lied to me.”
JC sobbed, “No, no I didn’t. I wasn’t running away. I was just going to the delicatessen. I wanted to make breakfast for you. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Justin’s heart softened. He hugged JC to him and kissed his forehead. “Let me see,” he said as he pulled the cloth away. “Oh baby!”
JC whimpered sorrowfully, he hadn’t seen the knife wound but he could tell by Justin’s face that it was bad.
“It’s gonna need stitching, ya know that don’t you Justin?” Chris said already scrubbing his hands, readying himself to perform the operation.
“Yeah I know.” Justin took JC’s hands in his. “JC, Paddy is going to have to stitch your face back together baby. It’s gonna hurt. I wish I could say that it won’t but it will. Before he does who did this to you baby?”
JC lifted tear filled eyes. “ A man,” he whispered. “A tall man with dark hair and green eyes.”
Justin closed his eyes and controlled his breathing, not wanting to show JC the fear that he was feeling. He breathed out and opened his eyes again. He smiled reassuringly at his lover. “Paddy is going to stitch your face now baby.” He moved aside and let the short Irishman move into position. Justin cringed for JC and had to look away, blocking his ears from the tiny pained cries that JC made as Chris pushed the needle into his cheek.
Joey came up behind him and whispered in his ear. “I think we can safely say that Richardson is back in town. I’ll get the boys to do a sweep and until Mississippi is back in action I’ll leave you Paddy and I’ll have a couple of the boys in the building across the way.”
“He could have killed him.”
Joey sighed, “He wanted you to know it was him. Justin when are you going to tell me what this is all about?”
“I will Joe, really I will. But not now.” he looked over to where JC was being helped to his feet. He rushed to help support him. “Come on baby, let’s get you upstairs.”
Lance hovered around waiting till Justin and JC were back in the apartment. “Kevin’s out to get Justin and he don’t care who he hurts to get to him.”
Joey thought for a minute. “Mississippi you come with me. Paddy stay with Justin, if Richardson gets to him you had better be already dead.”
“If Richardson gets to Jay it will be over my dead body I promise you that.” Chris picked up Justin’s pistol, and tucked it in his belt along with his own.
Joey grunted. “Me and Mississippi are going to pack the families away. We’ll be about three hours. Justin doesn’t go out of this building till I get back. We’ll decide what to do then.”
Chris walked the two mafia-men to the door and let them out after scanning the street first. “Keep your eyes open boss.”
“You too Paddy. You too.”