A World of Trouble

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November, 1929
Little Italy, New York

His sharp eyes took in the girl before him.

How curious.

"My, I never thought I'd meet you here... Ah,  no matter..." he said, smiling ever so slightly. He looked like the cat that ate the canary.

"Huh...?" Charlie said, furrowing her brow slightly in confusion.

Had she met this man before? He had been talking in a low voice, so Charlie wasn't sure if she had even heard him right.

"I said you look a little lost, Miss," the mysterious man said calmly, speaking more audibly this time.

"Oh, yes. That's probably because I am..." Charlie said, smiling wryly as she laughed a little nervously. "Could you tell me where the local market is? I'm from out of town, and I forgot to get directions for makin' groceries."

"Makin' groceries...?" the man asked, raising an eyebrow at her curiously.

"Ah, I meant 'buying groceries.' Sorry, it seems we have a funny way of saying certain phrases in New Orleans. That's where I'm originally from, but you probably got that already—ah, sorry, I tend to ramble when I'm nervous!" Charlie explained quickly. She tended to ramble sometimes when she was nervous. "I'm Charlene Azzurra, but everyone just calls me Charlie, and you...?"

"Ronnie Sukiart... You said your last name was Azzurra?" the man said, frowning slightly. "You couldn't possibly be..."

"Hey, Mr. Ronnie! We went to have a talk with that Dino punk like you told us to, but he wasn't nowhere." A tall, skinny man with curly, black hair called out as he and a plump brunette man crossed the street to them.

They were Randy and Pecho, Ronnie's fellow camorristas.

"Yeah! It looks like he ain't been home for days, and his lock's been picked!" Pecho added.

"Oh, that was me," Charlie said without thinking, causing the men to stare at her. "Ah! You guys aren't cops or detectives, are you?" Charlie asked a little belatedly.

Both of the newcomers laughed at that.

"Haha, good one, doll face!" Randy said, laughing heartily, as Pecho snorted a little. "Don't you know who's turf you're on?"

"Yeah, this area belongs to the Martillo Family!" Pecho declared proudly.

Charlie paled slightly. If the creeping new suspicion she had was correct, then...

She was in a whole new world of trouble.

"No, wait—Don't tell me that y'all are another mafia family that my incredibly stupid, idiot of a brother borrowed money from and/or pissed off somehow...!?" Charlie asked, her eyes full of incredulity at the very thought.

"We're not mafia, we're Camorra," Ronnie stated calmly as he extinguished his cigarette. He doubted he'd be able to enjoy it now that these two had showed up talking about work.

"That's right! And if you're Dino's sister, then why'd ya have to—Wait, you're his sister!?" Pecho yelled, shocked.

"You don't look anything like him, and you just admitted to breaking into his house—There's no way you're his sister!" Randy protested.

"That's because I'm adopted, and he wouldn't let me in," Charlie stated matter-of-factly. "Wait, y'all corrected the mafia part of my question, but not the rest... Please, don't tell me he really does owe you money...?" she pleaded.

"He does," they all said bluntly.

Charlie hung her head in shame and defeat.

"... How much? Go ahead and tell me, I can take it," she said, bracing herself for impact.

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