The Little Girl From The Big Easy

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Prologue
One Year ago

Click-clack, click-clack.

Heels clicked on pavement as the girl walked the streets of an unfamiliar city.

Anxiously.

Anxiously, they clicked—echoing throughout the night as she hurried to her destination.


Someplace in New York
November, 1929

"W-Wait a minute, Mr. Luck—can't we talk about this?" a skinny, dark-haired young man said nervously.

"That's why I'm here, Mr. Dino. To discuss why you have yet to pay off your debt to us," Luck Gandor said coolly as he narrowed his liquid golden eyes at the slightly older man.

It'd been a while since Luck had personally come to collect on a debt like this, but the man cowering before him, Dino Azzurra, was actually the son of an old friend of their father. So out of respect for their father's old friendship, Keith had asked Luck to pay him a visit and give Dino one last chance to pay up and hear Dino's reason for missing the deadline, but... after seeing this place, Luck couldn't help but feel a little... irritated...

Mr. Dino Azzurra's grand two-story home had been decorated in an Art Nouveau style that might have been considered classy and elegant, if not for how garish the color scheme was and how excessively large all the décor was. For instance, the couch that Mr. Dino Azzurra was currently cowering on was upholstered in an odd orange and maroon harlequin pattern.

If Dino Azzurra could afford to buy such a uselessly large and gaudy house, then there was really no excuse for the man not to be able to pay them back.

"Well, I'll cut to the chase. You need to pay us back," Luck stated flatly.

The cold look in his sharp eyes made it obvious to the nervous Dino that the gangster was all out of sympathy and understanding. Luck was not leaving without the money he owed them, and if there was no money...

Dino shuddered at the thought, realizing he was doomed.

"Ah, well... Err! B-b-but, give me break will ya! You're makin' me so nervous, I can't even think straight!" Dino stuttered nervously. He was so unnerved that his southern accent was starting to show. Fat beads of sweat rolled down his face as he groveled.

Dino had moved to New York as soon as he convinced his father to give him his inheritance early, and had tried to give himself a new image of a slick, city man (or at least what he thought counted as one). He had been living life in the fast lane, just like almost every other American during the 'roaring twenties'—but unlike most Americans, Dino had decided to take a loan from the mafia when he started running low on funds... and then he had lost all of that money gambling himself even deeper into debt.

So, here he was, doing the thing he hated most—groveling—and before a man that wasn't that much older than his bitch of a little sister, but far more dangerous than any of the crooks he'd run into back home.

Dino knew he was shit out of luck now.

Luck paid Dino's subservient smile no mind and continued the conversation, his voice as calm as before.

"It baffles me as to how you can't pay back just two thousand, thirty-five dollars and fifty-five cents. It's been thirty days, four hours, fifteen minutes, and sixteen seconds since you said you would, come to think of it. Assuming, of course, that the clock on your wall is correct," Luck said, fixing Dino with his sharp gaze after glancing briefly at the clock.

Tick-tock.

Dino clenched his fist and gritted his teeth as sweat rolled down his face.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

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