Two can play that game. The attending piece to my artwork earlier. I present- The Lollipop Lady
The speaker on the desk gave a dry buzz.
“Mr. Ricci, she’s here.” An arm pierced the gloom and stabbed at a glowing button on the console.
“Excellent. Send her in, Trinka.” his hand left the speaker and rested lightly on the desk. He glanced around the office and noticed a few ‘questionable’ files scattered on a table. He pulled himself to his feet and sauntered over to stash them before she got there. He never hurried. Just as he was settling himself into his leather desk chair, the door opened and she walked in. “Phoebe, baby.” he said, kicking his heels up on the desk. Phoebe reached up to remove her dark sunglasses, and then held up a hand to silence him.
“Don’t give me that run-around, Gino. What is this about?” she threw a folded newspaper onto his feet. He sat up, placing his feet back on the ground, and examined the headline. A couple of his mooks had gotten arrested the previous night, and their hijinks were plastered across the front page. He sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. When he looked up, Phoebe was still glowering at him. Gino leaned forward, jabbed the button again, and spoke.
“Trinka- When Danny and Carlo get out; they’re to be considered ‘off payroll’. Got it?” He didn’t wait for an answer. “Look, doll, I don’t know what those two numbskulls were up to last night. I didn’t have anything to do with it.” Phoebe continued to glare for a moment more, then finally gave up.
“Fine. “ she reached down and snatched up the nameplate on the front of his desk, polishing it furiously on the tail of her suit coat. Finally, when the engraved Giovanni Ricci glittered even in the dull light of the office, she placed it back on his desk. “Lord, Gino, why is it so dark in here?” She stepped over to the door and flipped a few switches. Instantly, huge shades began to uncover floor-to-ceiling windows. Phoebe smiled as the sunlight hit her face. She glanced out the window from Gino’s top-floor office and saw her sleek black car idling outside.
“Hmm?” she turned, glancing back at Gino. Ever since that night in the woods, he had been like a drug to her- horrible, but addicting. She had helped him rise out of his petty criminal circles and become a successful entrepreneur, but sometimes she wondered if he was really happy giving it all up. “Oh yes.” she pulled a small notepad out of her briefcase. “Here is your schedule. I’ve booked you a flight on Friday, first class, window seat. You land at 10:34 and there will be a car waiting.” Gino smiled and rose from his chair.
“Thanks doll. I don’t know what I’d do without you. You practically run this place.” He kissed her gently on the cheek.
With a strange mixture of disdain and disappointment, Phoebe left. As she walked down the hall towards the private elevator, she passed two hulking men. One turned to look at her as she walked past.
“Hey” he whispered to the other. “Was that her?” The second one nodded.
“Yeah. Only girl the Boss ever went after. That’s the Lollipop Lady.”
“Wow. She must really be somethin'”
Suddenly, Gino poked his head out the door.
“Hey bozos, stop oogling my girl and get your sorry hides in here! We got business to attend to.” As his henchmen made their plodding, slow way down the hall, Gino ducked back inside. He punched the switch to lower the shades and pulled those files back out. Phoebe might be the face of his industry, but he had other fish to fry.
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