Mafia Captive

By: Kitty Thomas
Mafia Captive

Kitty Thomas



Prologue

Leo Raspallo regarded St. Stephen’s from across the road, overwhelmed by the grandiosity of the architecture and all its history. It was a building one could believe the creator of heaven and earth might actually deign to live in.

He pulled out his cell and pressed Angelo on speed dial. He’d spoken rashly to his brother. Whatever must be done, Leo mustn’t play a role in it. He cursed when the call went to voice mail. Angelo never checked his voice mail. He didn’t want to be reached, and there was no telling when he’d turn it back on.

After the first human life on his conscience, Leo vowed never again. His face was scarred forever by that night. He knew people must whisper. How did he get that scar? He deserved it, no doubt.

Leo had hoped the reminder of his sin would keep him on the straight and narrow, but there were too many roads that wound around him, all leading into Hell.

This time, it was a woman on his conscience, and there was no physical scar to carry. He’d used her and broken her, and in the end, he was responsible for her death.

But they say confession is good for the soul.





Chapter One


Seven months earlier…

Faith huddled in a dumpster surrounded by garbage, her breath coming in quiet, desperate gasps. Heavy boots thudded nearby. Please keep moving. Please please keep moving. Her face was wet from silent tears gliding down her cheeks.

I should never have gone this way. She’d almost stayed home, snuggled in bed with her cat, a sappy movie, and a bowl of popcorn. But it was too pathetic for a Friday night—especially so close to Christmas when she was all alone. The general holiday malaise and depression had already started to set in, and it was only the first week of December. Grudgingly she’d gotten dressed and met some girlfriends at a club. But the others had wanted to party later than she had.

It was just a few blocks to a subway station. She’d comforted herself with knowledge of the pepper spray tucked away in her purse—the pepper spray her pursuer now had possession of.

Faith closed her eyes, trying to shut out the sound of the shot, the image of the body falling, her stupid gasp that had turned sharp eyes on her.

She hadn’t had the presence of mind to retrieve the mace before he’d grabbed her purse. But with the way the wind was blowing tonight, it would have just as likely blown into her eyes as his. And then where would she be? Another corpse.

The footsteps stopped. His breath sounded as if it were blowing right in her ear. His cologne put him in the cramped, dark space with her, drowning out the scent of rotting food and alcohol. He was a professional, not some random street tough. Poor, desperate people didn’t bother with cologne. And if they did, it wouldn’t have been such an expensive brand.

She bit back a scream until it rattled around and echoed so loud in her mind she feared he’d hear it. There was a snick of a lighter and then cigarette smoke filled the air.

It was as if he were trying to smoke her out, as if he knew she couldn’t stand the stench. He took drag after drag as she watched the faint light through the cracks of her metal cage. He was toying with her.

She heard the pull of a zipper, and for one sick moment thought it was his pants, but the sound that followed was the snap of a wallet being opened. Her wallet.

“Faith Jacobson. 580 Flatbush Avenue. Brooklyn.” His voice was relaxed, casual, because murder was casual to him.

She didn’t want to stereotype, but a nicely dressed Italian man in Brooklyn standing over a dead body required no leaps of logic. This guy had mob written all over him. Letting go of the purse had been necessary to save herself, but now he knew who she was and where she lived. For a moment she continued to pretend he didn’t know she was in the dumpster. She tried to think about where she could go, how she could stay safe from someone who would no doubt relentlessly pursue the only witness to his crime.

“Pretty. Brunette, though. Too bad.” He must be looking at her driver’s license photo. She’d dyed her hair right before that was taken. Now it was back to her natural red. She didn’t know what he meant about her hair color, why it should matter one way or the other.

He let out a heavy sigh. “All right, come on out. If you make me come get you, I might have to play with you first.”

That was it. She’d held it together as long as she could, been quiet as long as she could manage. “Please, let me go.”

“Sorry, I can’t do that. You’ve got too much information in that pretty head.”

“I don’t know anything. I don’t know who you are. I don’t care. I won’t get involved. I swear to God. Walk away. Please. Whatever happened back there, it’s not my business. I don’t care about it.” All Faith wanted was to be safe in her bed at home with her cat.

The silence stretched on like he was considering it.

“Sorry. Your number’s up tonight, baby.”

Although he’d made vague reference to torturing her first if she inconvenienced him, she couldn’t make any part of her body move. Everything had shut down. How could a person step outside their hiding place, knowing a bullet was waiting on the other side?

She was frozen between a rotting burger and a bag of empty beer bottles. Faith squeezed her eyes shut and willed herself to be in her cozy apartment.

The lid of the dumpster flew back, and she screamed for a savior she knew wasn’t coming.

The Italian aimed the gun at her. “Shut up, bitch. You want to be responsible for someone else’s death, too? I can shoot witnesses all night.”

No one would reach her before he pulled the trigger. “Please don’t hurt me. I swear I don’t care what happened back there. I just want to go home.”

“Fuck it. I shoot you in the dumpster, and I don’t have clean up. Works for me.” He took a step to the side, lining up his shot as light from the opposite wall hit her in the face. Instead of pulling the trigger, he just stared. “If you want to live, get out here right now.”

“I thought you said …”

“What I said was to get your pretty ass out of the dumpster before I change my mind.”

He might torture her. Might rape her. There was no way this could end well. Wouldn’t it be better to stay where she was and die quickly? The logic of the situation didn’t matter. She couldn’t help holding onto the thin hope that she might survive the night if she complied with his demands. In spite of the warnings shouting through her brain, she hoisted herself over the piles of trash and clumsily climbed out of the dumpster.

She had to grip the brick wall to hold herself upright.

“Stand over there in the light.”

Faith wasn’t sure how she’d managed to run in three-inch heels, because now she could barely walk in them, wobbling as she did, a few feet to the left to obey his order.

“Please…”

“If you say please once more I’m clipping you.”

She shut her mouth.

“Tell me, baby… does the rug match the drapes?”

Out of the million horrible things he could have said, “does the rug match the drapes” wasn’t in the top thousand. “I’m sorry, w-what?”

“Are you deaf, honey? It’s a simple enough question. Are you a natural redhead?”

“Y-yes.”

“Show me.”

She turned to run again, but he was too fast. He pressed her against the wall and pulled her panties down while he shoved her skirt up and awkwardly aimed her body into the light. She thrashed and fought him. She expected he’d throw her down and violate her, but after he found proof of what she’d said, he covered her back up.

“You may be the luckiest dumb slut in the world.” His arm went around her throat, pressing, pushing her consciousness down a dark well until the world shrank to a tiny pinpoint of light, then blinked out of existence.

***

Faith didn’t expect to wake up. She especially didn’t expect to wake up unclothed in a bathtub of water, with her pursuer, now captor, sitting on the closed toilet lid, staring down at her. She struggled to cover herself.

“You don’t gotta worry about me. You’re not my type.” He motioned to some soap in a dish on the rim of the tub. “Clean yourself up. If you smell like a sewer, even Leo won’t have mercy on you.” He flipped open a cheap prepaid cell phone. “Pray this goes in your favor.”