Authors: J. B. Reed
“Vivian, I hate to bring this up, especially right now, but a source has informed me that Flannery is responsible. Now, I know the bad blood between the two of you and I don’t want you going off half cocked, so I’m asking you to work with me on this. Will you do that?”
“Tommy was the one who killed Michael? Are you sure, Joseph?”
“My source is never wrong, my dear. I hesitated to tell you because I didn’t want to upset you more than you already are.”
Vivie got up off the couch and walked over to the bar. She never wanted to harm Tommy because Rose may need him someday. But now, she had no choice. She could not allow him to murder Michael and get by with it.
“Joseph, this is a lot to process. If you don’t mind I think I’m going to rest for a while.”
“Not at all. If you need anything, give me a call. And remember, Vivian, don’t do anything foolish.”
“Don’t worry, Joseph, I won’t.”
Once Joseph had gone, Vivie dressed and left for Hell’s Kitchen. She had to find Tommy. She had left her car at Joseph’s office so she had no choice but to take the T-Bird. That was probably better anyway. If she wanted to flush out Tommy, what better way than to drive Michael’s car to the Kitchen.
Driving down the main street of the Kitchen she looked first at Molly’s, but did not see Tommy’s car. After about an hour of driving around, and with no luck of finding Tommy, she decided to go to Shane’s apartment. She located his apartment on the mail slot and knocked on the door. Shane opened the door; his mouth fell open, as he stared Vivie in the face.
“Vivian? Shit. What the fuck are you doing here?” Shane looked around Vivie, trying to see if Michael may be standing behind her.
“Where is Tommy, Shane?”
“I don’t know, Vivian. I haven’t seen Tommy since last night. Tommy has been laying low ever since someone killed Ryan. Tommy thinks your friend Michael killed him, Vivian. Did he?”
“No, Shane. I killed Ryan.”
Shane started to laugh.
“You? Yeah, right, Vivian. You killed Ryan.”
Vivie shoved Shane’s wheelchair back into the apartment and then closed the door and locked it. She then pulled out the Glock and held it near his cheek.
“I killed the mother fucker because he killed my father. Now, I want to know where Tommy is.”
“I swear I don’t know where he is, Vivian.”
“You said you saw him last night. What time last night?”
“We were together all night, down at Molly’s.”
“Yeah, all night. Tommy has been scared, Vivian, really scared. He thought Michael had killed Ryan and that he would be looking for him next. He hasn’t wanted to be by himself. I was with him till about 4:00 this morning.”
“You swear to me that you were with Tommy all night, Shane?”
“I swear to you, Vivian. What’s going on? Why are you looking for Tommy? What do you think he’s done?”
“Someone hit Michael last night down at the depot. They killed him Shane.”
“Fuck me. That was Michal that was hit? We heard about that. Vivian, the trigger man was not Irish. The trigger man was an Italian.”
“A what? How do you know this Shane?
“Word gets around in the Kitchen Vivie, you know that. A couple guys came into Molly’s last night and told Tommy that an Italian sharp shooter had hit some guy down at the depot. We didn’t know who was hit because by the time the cops got there, the body was gone.”
Things started to click in Vivie’s mind. Joseph was behind this. It
a set up, Joseph had set up Michael. Vivie put her gun back in her jacket and walked toward Shane’s door.
“Tell Tommy he can relax. No one will be looking for him anymore, Shane.”
Vivie left Shane’s apartment and Hell’s Kitchen. Driving back home, Shane’s words echoed through her mind. It was an Italian sharp shooter. Joseph said it had to be a sniper. Vivie now knew she had to pay a visit to Joseph.
CON TE PARTIRO (TIME TO SAY GOODBYE)
Vivie remembered Michael saying that Joseph would leave his office everyday at 12:00 sharp to go for lunch at Luna Del Mario‘s. She would need to find a way to get into the office while he was not there. She wanted to be waiting for him inside the office when he returned; otherwise, she would have to get past his bodyguard. It was 10:15 a.m. She would need to go home to get the equipment she would need and then drive down to his office to scope out the building and decide what would be the best way to get inside. Opening the closet door and viewing the arsenal inside, Vivie was unsure what would be the best weapon to use. The shotgun would cause the most damage and be a sure kill, but it would make too much noise. She could use the Glock with a silencer on it but she was still uncertain that Joseph’s bodyguard may not hear the shot at his post outside of the door. The crossbow. That wouldn’t make any noise; and Vivie was a dead shot with it. It was now 11:15 a.m.; time to go.
Vivie drove around the block of Joseph’s office building. His office was on the top floor of the seven story building. There was a fire escape on the side of the building in the alley. Vivie remembered a window in Joseph’s office that opened up onto the fire escape. That’s it; that would be her way in. Now all she had to do was wait until Joseph left for lunch. Vivie parked the car in an adjacent lot where she had a clear view the underground parking entrance. At exactly 12:02, Vivie saw Joseph’s car come out of the garage and drive away. Vivie got out of the T-Bird and made her way to the fire escape. She climbed the steps until she reached the seventh floor. Carefully, she peered into the window. Not a sign of anyone. She tried the window; it was unlocked. How careless for a man of Joseph’s position to leave a window unlocked like this. Vivie entered the office and looked around for what might be the best place to wait for Joseph. His office was actually a suite of rooms. He even had a bedroom there. Michael had mentioned that Joseph often slept at the office. Vivie opened the doors to a large walk-in closet. It was filled with three hundred dollar suites; eight pairs of shoes, dress shirts, ties, belts and suspenders. Joseph was definitely a snappy dresser. This looked like the perfect place to wait for Joseph’s return.
From the front window of the office, Vivie watched for Joseph’s car to arrive. 2:00 p.m. Obviously, Joseph enjoyed a long leisurely lunch. The fat bastard. Vivie began to think that perhaps Joseph had not planned to return to the office after lunch. He may have had business elsewhere. However long it would take, she would wait. At 2:45 p.m. Vivie saw Joseph’s car pull into the garage. She quickly moved into place in the closet. The door to the office opened and Vivie could hear Joseph talking to his bodyguard, telling him to wait out front; that he would let him know if he needed anything. Through a crack in the closet doors, Vivie could see Joseph enter the bathroom. Quietly she stepped out of the closet. Loading the crossbow, she stood silently, waiting for Joseph to emerge from the bathroom. Vivie heard the flush of the toilet, the door opened and Joseph stepped out into the bedroom.
Son of a bitch!
Vivian; what the fuck are you doing here and what the hell are you doing pointing that thing at me?”
“You set us up, Joseph. You set Michael up. You are the one responsible for his death.”
“Christ, what are you talking about? Why would I do that? You’ve lost your mind.”
“You lied to me, you said Tommy killed Michael. I know for a fact that Tommy was nowhere near the depot that night. You never forgave Michael for not killing me, for betraying you. You hired the hit on him and you wanted to make sure I was there to witness it. Now you’re going to pay for it.”
Joseph laughed in Vivie’s face.
“Who the fuck do you think you are? You think
are going to whack
? I’m an important man, little girl. You’ll never get out of here alive. I have guys all over this building and if you even
to pop me, you’ll be dead before you leave this room.”
“That’s a chance I’m willing to take. And I told you before; don’t call me
Joseph could see that Vivie meant everything she said. She was determined that he was going to die and she was going to be the one to take him out. Joseph recalled what Michael had said to him about Vivie’s feelings of family and her duty to avenge her family. Joseph looked over to the bed where his pistol was lying. It was only a foot away. Vivie knew what Joseph was thinking.
“Go ahead and try it. You’ll not make it, Joseph.”
“Listen, Vivian, let’s talk about this. You’re wrong. I would never do anything to harm Michael. I loved him like a son. And didn’t I accept you into the family? I had big plans for the both of you.”
Vivie stood silently; never taking her eyes off of Joseph or dropping her aim.
“This is bullshit.” Joseph started to walk toward Vivie.
Vivie fired the crossbow, shooting the arrow through Joseph’s neck. Joseph stumbled back, grabbing at the arrow. Vivie reloaded and shot him again; this time the arrow went straight through his heart. Joseph dropped to the floor. Vivie walked over to his body and knelt down beside him. Blood was coming from his nose and mouth. Vivie placed her hand under his chin, forcing his mouth closed. She watched as the life drained out of Joseph’s body. She removed the arrows from his neck and his chest, and after wiping the blood onto the bedspread, she replaced them in her shoulder harness. As she left the bedroom, she closed the door behind her. She exited the office through the window and walked down the fire escape.
“You can now rest in peace my beloved Michael.”
The next morning was the day of Michael’s funeral. Vivie walked into the kitchen and put coffee on. Opening the door, she picked up the morning paper. The headlines read, “ORGANIZED CRIME BOSS, DON JOSEPH DE LUCA FOUND MURDERED“. Vivie poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down to read the rest of the article.
News of Joseph’s death traveled quickly. Shane rolled himself into Molly’s with a copy of the newspaper. Tommy was sitting at his table, having breakfast.
“Tommy, have you heard? The big wop boss was murdered yesterday. Here, it’s in the paper this morning.” Shane handed the paper to Tommy.
“Jesus. Don De Luca was hit? Whoever got to him had to be close to him. You can be sure it wasn’t one of us.”
“I wouldn’t be too sure of that, Tommy.”
“What are you rambling about Shane?”
“I agree, I don’t think it was a Westie, but I think it was one of us, someone
“You think it was Michael?”
“No, it wasn’t Michael. I haven’t seen you to tell you this but I had a visitor yesterday. It was Vivian.”
Tommy dropped the newspaper and stared at Shane.
“It was Vivian that killed Ryan, not Michael. She was looking for you, Tommy. The other night, the guy that was hit down at the depot; it was Michael that was hit. She was given information that you were the trigger man. She was looking for you to settle the score.”
“Did you tell her it wasn’t me? Did you tell her you were with me all night that night?”
“Yeah, Tommy, I told her. I also told her what those guys that came into Molly’s that night said, you know, about the trigger man being an Italian. When I told her that, the look on her face changed. It was like she had seen a ghost or something. She turned around to leave but before she did, she gave me a message for you.”
“Well what the fuck was it?”
“She said, tell Tommy he can relax, no one will be looking for him no more.”
“Vivian killed Ryan? I can’t fucking believe it.”
“She told me she killed him because he killed her father, Tommy. Tommy, I think she’s the one who killed this mob boss.”
“Are you fucking crazy? How could she get that close to him?”
“If Michael was working for him, then wouldn’t it be reasonable to think that she may have been too? And if she thought that he was behind Michael getting it, I think she would have killed him.”
“I just can’t see Vivian as a killer, Shane. Sweet, little Vivie? There’s no way in hell she could be a killer. I think she was fooling you.”
“I don’t think so Tommy; you didn’t see her. She handled a Glock as good as you or me. She‘s not the same person we used to know. She had hatred in her eyes, Tommy.”
Tommy was unable to believe what he was hearing. He was incapable of seeing Vivie in this light. But for her to say that he could relax, that no one would be looking for him anymore….maybe there was something to what Shane was telling him.
The day after Michael’s funeral, Vivie started packing to go to West Virginia. She needed time with Rose and with her Mama. The doorbell rang and when Vivie answered the door there was a registered letter for her. She signed for the letter and closed the door. The letter was from an attorney. Michael had a will drawn up and the reading of the will would take place tomorrow afternoon at the attorney’s office. Michael never said anything about having a will. Vivie knew he had some money somewhere but he never mentioned where. He never really had time to tell her much of anything. Her presence was requested at the reading of the will due to the fact that, as his wife, she was his only survivor. The trip to Matewan would have to wait one more day.
Vivie took a cab to the attorney’s office. She opened the door and informed the receptionist who she was and that she was expected. A few moments later a tall, gentleman, with graying hair, opened the inner office door and introduced himself as Jason Silva. He invited Vivie into his office.
“Mrs. O’Bannon, I would like to offer my condolences for the loss of your husband.”
“There will be no others here today, so unless you have questions, we will get to the reading of the will.”
“That will be fine.”
Michael’s will was short and sweet. Everything he owned he left to Vivie. The apartment on 5
Avenue and all the contents; the paintings alone were worth a fortune. Vivie knew Michael had great taste in art but she had not realized the paintings were originals. His beloved T-Bird was also left to her as well as three bank accounts, stocks and bonds. The sum total of Vivie’s inheritance was 2.5 million dollars. Vivie felt as though she was about to pass out.
“Are you alright, Mrs. O’Bannon? Would you like a glass of water?”
“Yes, please. Did I hear you correctly? Did you say 2.5 million dollars?”
“Yes, Mrs. O’Bannon. You had no idea your husband was worth that much, did you?”
“No, sir, I did not.”
“Well, he was and now you are. I would like to suggest you hire an accountant to take care of your financial dealings. If you would like, I can refer someone.”
“Yes, I would appreciate that.”
“I can represent you in all legal matters if you wish.”
“I would also appreciate that, Mr. Silva. I have to admit, I was not expecting this. I feel a little overwhelmed.”
“Your husband made some very wise investments. His stocks and bonds; they have all done very well for him, and now for you.”
Vivie could not believe her ears. Michael had left her a very wealthy widow. Thinking about it, she would give it all away for just one more day with Michael.
“I’ll have everything transferred into your name today, Mrs. O’Bannon. I’ll send over all the paperwork by special carrier. If you have any questions or concerns, please, never hesitate to call on me.”
“Thank you Mr. Silva.”
Vivie’s trip to Matewan had to wait two more weeks. After all the paperwork was signed and her accounts were set up, Vivie then went back to Matewan to see her Mama and her darling baby Rose. Heartbroken over the loss of Michael, but a lot wealthier because of him; Vivie was now in a position to truly help her family as she had always wanted to do.