Maybe I can just refresh your memory a bit. Rudy has many associates and so far we've seen an unflappable madame, a weasely informer, a bull of a heavy, a slick bartender, and a coniving dancer. Who else could be working for Rudy? Stay tuned, there's more fun next week!
(It is probably very telling that most of my cat's personalities lend themselves too well to being baddies. Where did I go wrong in raising them?) :D
Part Eight: Heels in the Marketplace
The good thing about having a reputation like Rudy’s is that he didn’t actually have to do anything. People, things, and events just fell into place around him; if something didn’t fall exactly where he wanted it to, all he had to do was snap his fingers and his associates would make sure the offending person or object never stepped out of line again. It was the perk Rudy enjoyed the most.
Now he stood at the front door of his most profitable enterprise and surveyed the writhing crowd of brawlers and the extensive damage they were causing. Rudy waited patiently, knowing what would happen next. One of his heavies, the least brutish of the three, caught sight of him and froze in mid-punch. The effect spread through the frenzy and slowly every eye turned to the door and to Rudy.
Rudy had a presence, and his presence commanded silence. Rudy stepped forward like an emperor, despite the limp in his left leg, and the battered, bruised, and bloodied men parted in front of him. He used to allow himself a congratulatory smirk for the effect his reputation had, but so much rested on the outcome of this evening that Rudy couldn’t spare a moment for pride.
He stopped in the middle of the broken dance floor and beckoned to his heavies. They lumbered towards him like sulking, overgrown children.
“Well? Where is he?” Rudy found out long ago that using a soft tone was far more threatening than shouting. “Where is the man who has my brother’s shoes? If the state of my bar was any indication, I would have expected to see him lying in a broken heap on the floor.”
“These clowns got in the way, started interfering. We got caught in the fight.” Davy, one of the Twins, chimed in while his brother Percy shook his head in agreement. “We lost sight of him, boss.”
“Lost sight of him? All I asked you to do was get one man. One man. And you lost sight of him?” Rudy said nothing more and made no move to chastise them. Rudy’s disappointment in them was worse than any form of corporal punishment.
Rudy surveyed the crowd and, noticing that his bartender was nowhere to be seen, sighed and moved back toward the door. “He’s in the tunnels, and I bet that sleazy barman is with him.”
“We’ll get him, boss.” The heavies started toward the hidden passage but stopped short. Rudy held up his hand and shook his head.
“This job is too delicate for you dummies. I’m sending Mimi.” The doors closed behind Rudy with a soft click that echoed in the deathly quiet bar. Everyone knew about Mimi, and no one was going to stick around to see her in action.