Russian Roulette

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Several hours later,
Closing time at Alveare

"... So, let me get this straight..." Charlie said, massaging her head in an attempt to relieve the tension headache she was starting to get from all the built-up stress she had experienced that day. "You're telling me that not only was some guy crazy enough to try to pull a gun out in this place, but he claims that Dino hired him to kill me because he was that pissed at me for leading him on about the family fortune...?" she asked, chagrined.

Just how spiteful and petty could a person get? Wasn't leaving her in the lurch with two mafia families enough for him?

After interrogating the failure of a hitman, Ronnie had returned and kindly informed Charlie that her life had been in danger. He wouldn't go into details about what the man's fate had been once he had finished with him, but then again, the other members of the Martillo Family didn't really seem to care. If Ronnie said he 'took care of it', then they knew not even the police would ever find the body.

"You've gotta be kidding me—like he has any right to be upset after all the crap he's put you through!" Firo scoffed, shaking his head in disbelief.

"You want us to take a little trip down to New Orleans for a game of 'Pop goes the Weasel'?" Randy suggested.

"Yeah, if this goes on, you won't be able to get any peace until you're wearing a wooden overcoat," Pecho added.

Charlie smiled wryly. She was touched they were so concerned, but she really didn't want to put the final nail in Dino's coffin... at least, not until Mrs. Aggie had passed on peacefully, while remaining blissfully unaware of what a bastard her son really was...

"Thanks, y'all, but until Mrs. Aggie's time with him is up... how about you just teach me how to use one of those instead?" Charlie suggested, pointing to Randy's gun. Regardless of whether or not Dino tried to have her killed again, hanging around with gangsters could be dangerous, so she might as well learn how to defend herself in the future, right?

"You know, something tells me you're going to fit right in around here, Miss Charlie," Maiza said with a smile, while Ronnie lit another cigarette.


One year later,
November 1930
New York

The lapis-lazuli sky could be described as crystal-clear. The bright morning sun shone down on the entire city.

The red and yellow brick buildings were like colors painted onto the streets. However, they never imparted a feeling of confinement to those walking on the streets.

On the other hand, the cars, which were growing in popularity in recent years, added to pedestrians' sense of claustrophobia.

It was the era of the Prohibition. Although every period developed its own fashions and trends, this country had to choose an "alcohol-free society".

But the end result was to raise the allure of alcohol, and even people who had never drank alcohol started to enter the black market for it... That is to say, the introduction of the new law had the ironic effect of increasing the number of 'criminals'.

Grape juice would be put before the door of general stores, and a sign would be placed in front of the barrel of grape juice. On the sign, the following warning would be written:

"This will ferment into wine if left out for too long. Please use before it goes bad." This "grape juice" sold like hotcakes. In short, this was the kind of era it was.

The golden era of the Jazz Age was past, and only last year America was struck by the Great Depression. Even the streets packed with red-roofed houses seemed to have lost their vivid color.

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