Vincenzo ran up the stairs, out of breath already. No answer from Tassa couldn’t mean anything good. Would motherfucking Acerbi betray them? Tassa had said that Acerbi was loyal as a dog, and Vincenzo went out of his way to treat the bastard like family. Even got him a lap dance, for fuck’s sake. If that wasn’t camaraderie, he didn’t know what was.
Emilio, one of his most trusted men, was already there, his ear pressed tight against the door to Acerbi’s apartment. He moved back at Vincenzo’s approach and shook his head.
“Nothing,” he said and reached into his pocket to pull out the tools for picklocking, but Vincenzo had a hunch and just pressed the handle, pushing the door open.
He squeezed his fingers on his gun, but noises from the apartment next door made him stall.
A shot. And then another.
“We’ll deal with this mess later,” he hissed, looking around the blood stains on the floor leading toward the bathroom.
He squeezed his hands on the grip of his Glock and stepped inside, carefully watching for signs of someone’s presence. Shots fired nearby didn’t mean shit. It might have been an accident that someone else decided to deal with their business with a firearm. Acerbi could still be here, and so could that dumb buffalo Seth, although he couldn’t possibly be a threat to Vincenzo and Emilio.
“Come out, and we’ll talk,” he said, ready to fire at anything that moved.
His heart rushed quicker than he’d want to admit. If Acerbi did go against his orders and waited for them here, there could be trouble.
Emilio pushed the bathroom door with his foot, the deep frown on his face making him look even uglier than usual. Vincenzo liked to keep the guy around so chicks would see it was him who was more handsome.
“Fuck,” Emilio hissed. “Two dead.”
“Tassa. Where the fuck is Tassa?” hissed Vincenzo, and dialed the old man’s number.
As soon as he heard the faint sound of Tassa’s phone ringing in the apartment next door, his feet carried him to the corridor, straight for the door opposite Domenico’s.
Pressure was rising in his head, ready to make it burst when he noticed the door had been unlocked all along as well.
“Those motherfuckers don’t know who they’re dealing with yet,” Vincenzo said, walking inside to the cool wind blowing through the wide open windows. He didn’t know if he should be looking at Tassa’s brain scattered all over the floor, the man’s smashed-in head, or at the thick metal ring in the floor to which a carabiner was still attached with a rope.
Vincenzo ran to the window in disbelief, almost tripping on the thick blood. “They’re running away! Fucking rats!”
Emilio ran past him and looked out the window. “Can’t see them,” he said, then swallowed a curse when the siren of a police car resonated nearby, approaching with every passing second. He started pulling up the rope while Vincenzo signaled the other men by the building.
He leaned out of the window and could see his brother making a run for it down the alleyway. He aimed, but his anger was making the gun in his hand tremble, the uncomfortable way he was leaning out made every single shot miss.
“Get them,” he barked at Emilio. “Get all of our contacts alarmed. I will fucking flay that motherfucker if it’s the last thing I do!”