“Keep it movin’ bucko,” The grunt came from behind, followed by the smallest nudge from the barrel of a .38. “I don’t wanna lose any more card time cause a’ you.” The young man turned and shot a quick glance backwards at the thug on the other side of the weapon and sighed, unimpressed. He was smaller than the thug, and unarmed since they took his weapons at the door, but that wasn’t where is advantage was. He smirked and shoved a hand in his pocket, maintaining the same leisurely pace. It had to seem casual.
He was in control.
They approached a pair of armed guards outside a door, and one stepped forward. “Whaddaya want?” he said, looking over the boy. He was younger, maybe mid-twenties. He was of average height and build, with red-brown hair and blue eyes. He dressed in simple clothing, a white undershirt and jeans. The man was nothing formal but at least he was clean.
“I am lookin’ for the Lion.” The man said, in a poorly hidden Irish accent. The guard’s eyes narrowed as he sized up the boy, then smirked and let him past. They walked through the door and into an office, or what seemed like an office. Empty, concrete walls, one window straight ahead, and a desk planted in the middle of the room. The desk was littered with assorted papers and documents, along with a few knick-knacks; A hula girl, a snow globe, and a tiny bust of Charlie Chaplin.
Behind that desk sat a man, who seemed much immersed with the paperwork in front of him, scribbling on one, looking at another, and scribbling some more. In fact he seemed so immersed in his paperwork, that he didn’t look up from it, merely held out his hand indicating the chair opposite him for a moment, then going back to scribbling. The red-haired man sat down, glancing around for a few seconds in silence. “I-“ The man’s hand shot up and he raised his head to look upon the person in front of him for the first time. For a moment, he just stared, and the man stared back. For a few uncomfortably silent seconds, nothing was said, before the man opened his mouth to speak again. “I-“
“Hello how’re ya doing?” the Lion interjected suddenly, with only a slight Italian accent, continuing before the shocked young man could react. “I’m the Lion, pleasure to be of service. What brings you down to my neck of the woods, ye olde potato lubber?” The man’s face shifted slightly from one of more surprise to a slowly escalating irritated one and he began to assess the situation. This “Lion” thought he was clever, trying to get him all worked up. As the man glared across the table for a moment, trying to recuperate himself, the Lion leaned forwards, grabbing the snow globe and shaking it vigorously, before setting it back down, flicking the hula girl into a swaying dance and leaning back in his chair.
The man stared, mouth slightly open as this man, this Lion, sprawled out, kicking his feet up and folding his hands. He tried to form a question, but the Lion saw he was tripping over words so he shrugged. “Takes away the tension.” He said softly, motioning for the man to continue.
The man thought hard for a second, then shook the perplexed look off his face and settled into a serious nature. “My name is Conor Eoin, and I’m here to deliver a message from my boss.” The Lion looked unimpressed, so the boy increased his volume slightly. “Two hours ago we hit your shipment of ‘goods’ on its way here from the harbor.” A slight twitch of the eyebrow, he was getting somewhere. “Yeah, but don’t worry, were willing to give it all back, for a little bit of… ‘handling compensation.’” The corner of his mouth turned downwards slightly, just one more push…
“Oh, and don’t worry about your boy,” Conor said, leaning forwards slightly. “He didn’t suffer no long-term pain.” Suddenly, the Lion took his feet from the desk and leaned forward slightly, looking hard at Conor, who just sat there with an unknowing smirk.
“Now, I know you probably think you’re smart,” He began, running a hand through his hair and glancing around the room quickly. “You know they don’t call me the Lion for shooting the messenger that bears bad news. Nah, I’m better than that.” He shrugged slightly, eyes fixing on Conor. “But you, who the hell are you? Probably some rag-tag group of wanna-be gangster boosters thinkin’ they can make a quick buck rippin’ off some crew, right?” Conor averted his gaze.
The Lion jumped up from his chair suddenly and, before Conor could react, slid across the edge of the desk and landed next to him, getting within a few inches of the side of the Irish man’s face. “Wrong. That’s my crew, and nobody fucks with my crew, Seamus McDoogle or whatever the fuck your name is.” His voice slowly boiled into a crescendo, and his Italian accent began to get more and more prominent.
He reared back suddenly, and Conor turned his head slightly to look at him, only to be met with a crack of some very hard knuckles smashing into his nose. He cried out and covered his nose with his hands as blood instantly began to flow down his face, eyes shut tightly as a reflex to the pain. When he opened his eyes all he saw was a leg come flying over the desk and barely had enough time to cover his face with his forearms and brace himself before the leg smashed into him, sending the chair tipping backwards and spilling the Irishman onto the floor.
Almost instantly the Lion had his knee pressed down on Conor’s chest, pinning him to the ground as he moaned and tried valiantly to squirm away from his attacker. “Now you go back and tell your scum-suckin’ buddies that they can either return my shipment in pristine condition,” he said, pressing his fist down hard on the man’s throat. “Or I can track every one of your friends down personally, and I can cut out the hearts and feed them to you, and then I can put two shells in your chest and dump you in the river.” With that, he finished his sentence with three shattering punches to Conor’s already-broken nose before standing.
Leonardo LaRocca shook his throbbing hand off to the side for a few seconds before looking up at one of his guards. “Get this piece of shit,” he added a bit of emphasis onto the word “shit” with a vicious stomp to the man’s rib, emitting a couple crackles and pops and causing the man to gasp in air and crumple into a ball. “Out of my warehouse.” The guard grabbed the man by the collar and began dragging him away, and Leo looked at the trickle of blood that left a trail out with a scowl. “And get somebody to clean this mess up.”
Then, he proceeded to sit down behind his desk, grabbing his important paperwork and leaning back in his chair. “Hmm, five letter word for ‘Mickey’…” he tapped his pencil to his lips a couple seconds in thought, before a confident grin took over his face and he began scribbling. “Mickey Mouse, that’s a good one.”