Friday 8 AM
Mickey picked Archer up at the Base HQ in Willow Creek, and together they headed for Newcrest. Archer wanted to keep a closer watch and needed a place to set up operations in Newcrest.
Mickey suggested the “teen house” where Mickey’s kids and their friends used to hang out and play music.
“Thanks for letting me set up at your kids little clubhouse.” Archer said.
“Don’t thank me yet.” Mickey said. “I need to clear it with Nicky. She owns the property in Newcrest.”
“How is the view of the rest of the town?” Archer asked.
“Decent.” Mickey said. “You should see Reagan’s place from it’s location. It’s not the best view in the world, but you will see who is coming and going.”
“Good enough. Plus I got the cameras all over town.” Archer said. “I mainly just want to be close by in case of trouble. I have a feeling they will make their move soon.”
“If there is a move to make, then I hope so.” Mickey said. “The waiting is always the toughest part.”
Mickey walked up and rang the doorbell. A chorus of musical chimes rang out, before Mickey heard the voice of his ex-wife.
“Just a minute!”
Nicky opened the door. To this day Mickey was awe struck by her unique beauty. She wasn’t a supermodel type, but she had a sort of “girl next door” look that never seemed to fade, no matter her age.
“Oh Mickey! I was just about to call you!” Nicky said. “Hi Archer.”
“Hello Miss Nicky.” Archer said.
“You boys come on in.” Nicky said. “We have a special surprise guest.”
“Oh?” Mickey asked. “Anyone I know?”
“See for yourself.” Nicky said.
Mickey looked up and saw someone standing by the lounge chair. It took Mickey a couple of minutes to realize who was under all the shaggy hair.
It was Mickey’s son Jason.
“Hello Dad.” Jason said. “It’s been awhile.”
“Is that little Jason?” Archer asked. “The young squirt who used to give me the evil eye every time he saw me?”
“Archer Kendall?” Jason asked. “Reagan Murdock’s squeeze?”
“Oh that’s right.” Mickey said. “You two knew each other in High School, but haven’t met, at least not officially as family. Jason this is your third cousin, Archer. He is the head of the security and Investigation Division over at WC. Which brings us to why we are here. Nicky you mind if Archer sets up a control center in the kid’s old clubhouse?”
“I suppose not.” Nicky said. “What’s going on?”
“We are keeping an eye on Avery Murdock.” Archer said. “We suspect she and her new friend might be starting trouble.”
“Oh no.” Olivia said. “She lives with Reagan. You don’t think she is in any danger do you?”
“We aren’t sure, Princess.” Mickey said. “We are just taking precautions.”
“You guys need a hand?’ Jason asked.
“We got things covered for now.” Archer said. “Not much to do until Avery or her buddy make a move.”
“How long you going to be in town, Son?” Mickey asked.
“Actually that’s what I wanted to talk to you and mom about.” Jason said. “I have a potential business opportunity for you guys.”
“I’m listening.” Mickey said.
“I joined a new band about a year ago. Most of my old band disbanded after graduation. This new crew needed some vocals, so…anyway. It’s a Celtic Band. We play everything from Celtic Rock, Alternative, even some folk. We plan to tour but I would like to build a new Nightclub in Windenburg as a sort of headquarters.”
“Don’t we already have a Dreamers in Windeburg?” Mickey asked.
“Wrong Windenburg, Dad.” Jason said. “I’m not talking Windenburg, Colorado. I’m talking Windenburg, Germany. They had a huge migration of Irish looking for jobs. My band and I made a stop there last summer, and there isn’t an Irish club in the entire city. Not even an Irish pub. So….I figured it might be a good place for a Celtic-themed nightclub. I also would like ‘Liva, to help me manage it.” Jason said. “As a full partner.”
“Are you serious?” Olivia asked. “You and me running our own nightclub in Germany? That sounds AWESOME!!”
“It sounds like an interesting enterprise.” Nicky said. “I am sure your father and I will be happy to support you anyway we can.”
“Hold on.” Mickey said. “I need more information. First how much? Second. What is wrong with just starting a Dreamers Nightclub? Finally, are your band mates going to be partners? If so then I need to meet them.”
“We need only a half of the start up. About two fifty k” Jason said. “It will actually be just me and Livia, who own the club. I have no issue with Dreamers, but I want this to be mine and Livia’s thing. Dreamers is Momma’s. I got a couple of locations and a basic plan on what I want to do. I also have half the money, a portion of my trust and about seventy-five thousand I have saved for the last few years, from various gigs.”
Mickey allowed a hint of a smile on his face.
“What?” Jason asked.
“Typical Blake.” Mickey said proudly. “You already sound like you have at least a plan. So here is what I am willing to do. You and Olivia talk, work out business proposal, present it to me Tuesday. We’ll go from there.”
“Sounds fair.” Jason said.
“Good.” Mickey said. “For the record, it does sound like a good idea.”
“Thanks Dad.” Jason said.
“Come on Archer.” Mickey said. “Let’s get the surveillance set up and get your team settled.”
“Right.” Archer said. “Good luck, Cuz.”
“Uh…yeah thanks.” Jason said. “I think I will tag along. Been awhile since I seen the old clubhouse.”
“Suit yourself.” Mickey said. “Come on.”
Mickey, Archer and Jason went to the old teen clubhouse back behind the house. Mickey had built the place primarily so he and Nicky could park their cars in the garage. It was also a place for the kids to hang out, where they had the illusion of privacy but the parents could still keep an eye on them.
“Place hasn’t changed a bit.” Jason said. “I had a lot of good times here. Reagan and I hung out here a lot, Senior year.”
“You and Reagan?” Archer asked. “You hooked up with Reagan Murdock?”
“Relax, Romeo.” Jason said. “We were just close friends. Not as much anymore, though. We kept in touch the first couple of years after high school, then…well life.”
“Will this be sufficient, Archer?” Mickey asked.
“More than efficient.” Archer said.
“You can see the old Murdock House from the kitchen window.” Jason said. “That’s where Reagan is living now isn’t?”
“Yes.” Archer said, getting slightly annoyed.
“Archer, you and your team do what you need to make it work for you.” Mickey said. “Just move all the stuff that’s in your way out to the shed out back. I need to go speak with Tony.”
“I am coming with you.” Jason said.
“Son, I appreciate it but are you sure you want to involve yourself in this mess?” Mickey asked.
“Reagan and Ryan are some of my oldest friends. They are almost like family.” Jason said. “What was it you and grandpa always told me about family?”
“Got ya.” Mickey said. “You might as well come with me then, otherwise you will be here pestering Archer.”
Willow Creek. 10:00 AM
Mickey drove the Fox Ranch in Willow Creek. After the dust had settled in the Outfit Civil War, Mari and her father started their own security company, Leon Security, with Mickey’s blessings. Unlike BASE however, the Corleonsi kept one foot in the underworld. Acting as sort of liaison’s between Mickey’s legit organization and the Giordano’s and Salvatore’s. In the underworld, Leon Security had become jokingly known as Capo Inc.
The two Blake men got out of the truck. Mickey gave his son a quizzical look.
“What?” Jason asked.
“I’m just trying to figure something out.” Mickey said. “I understand the Murdock’s are your friends, but I can’t help but wonder if that is the only reason you are involving yourself in this situation.”
“Dad I have spent the better part of the last four years hating your guts. The whole deal with your double life and the fact that it broke up our family. Not to mention all the lying. So I guess I am just trying to understand it.” Jason said. “So I can move on.”
“I get it.” Mickey said. “After we are done here, you and I will go somewhere and have a long talk. It should have been something we did a long time ago.”
Mickey and Jason walked up to the house.
“Just a heads up.” Mickey said. “Your Aunt Mari and her father, still have a foot in the underworld. They trust me, so they will likely speak pretty freely. So whatever is said here, doesn’t leave here. Got it?”
“I got it.” Jason said.
Mickey rang the door bell and within seconds, Mari had answered it.
“Mickey, Jason!” Mari said enthusiastically. “Man, you have grown to be such a handsome young man. A little shaggy though.”
“Hi Aunt Mari.” Jason said.
“Is your father in, Mari?” Mickey asked.
“Yes he is waiting for you.” Mari said. “Come on in.”
“Capo Mickey!” Tony greeted warmly. “It is good to see you. Nice to see the piccolo capo, in better circumstances as well.”
“What the hell did he just call me?” Jason whispered.
“Piccolo Capo.” Mickey whispered back. “It means “little boss”. Tony calls everyone by an nickname, usually saying it in Italian. Just go with it.”
“Come let’s talk in the den.” Tony said.
Once everyone was seated, Mari spoke first.
“We checked with the Marazano’s.” Mari said. “They admit to knowing Vivian Giordano. She was the girlfriend of Paulie Cicero. It was a brief affair, that ended with her taking off with a bunch of jewelry he had given her. He requested said jewelry be sent back to him after we kill her.”
“Charming. Anthony gave the okay to burn her.” Mickey said. “I don’t think Vivian has many friends. She seems to spend a lot of time screwing people over.”
“From what Cicero told me, she was looked at as a bit of joke within her family.” Mari said. “Anthony got his father’s toughness, leadership abilities, and Emilia had her mother’s brains. Vivian was pretty much what was left over. Just a spoiled rich girl, who got no respect.”
“That’s pretty cold.” Jason said. “No wonder she became a fuck up, and hooked up with the likes of Avery Murdock.”
“She made her choices.” Mickey said. “If Vivian had earned the respect she thinks she deserves, I can promise you her brother and sister would have seen to it she was taken care of. Did Cicero or Marazano have any idea what Vivian might be doing palling around with Avery Murdock?”
“They met in prison. They were actually cellmates” Tony said. “According to an old friend of mine, Kellogg, he is a lifer, he heard through the guards, Vivian had most of the personnel in the women’s block, in her pocket. I guess they didn’t realize she was a black sheep within the Giordano Family. She took Avery under her wing. According to what Kellogg heard, over time Avery became the boss and Vivian was simply the pawn.”
“That would make sense.” Mickey said. “Avery is not the following type. Vivian found a friend in the brainy Avery, and latched onto her. That and the fact that both were used and abused by Spencer Granville.”
“Of course that testa di cazzo, abused women. He was such micio. He practically was crying and begging for his life when I showed up on his doorstep.” Tony said. “A true man would never sink as low as he did.”
“Well at least we now know, whatever they are up to, it is unlikely anyone else, at least the usual suspects, are involved.” Mickey said. “Thank you for checking things out for me. Come on, son, let’s go have that talk.”
Willow Creek. 11:30 AM
After leaving the Fox Ranch, Mickey drove the fifteen minute drive across town, to the old headquarters of the Outfit, The Red Velvet Lounge. The place had been closed down since the death of Duncan Fox. After Mickey took over, he bought the building, with intentions of tearing it down, and building new offices for Blake Industries.
For some reason though, he could never bring himself to do it. So the place just sat there, like some sort of memorial to a past Mickey couldn’t bring himself to forget.
“What are we doing here?” Jason asked.
“You said you wanted to know and understand the Outfit.” Mickey said. “This was it’s main HQ. At least in Willow Creek. It was originally the first BASE offices, your grandfather had built shortly after he started the company. Come on, I’ll show you the rest.”
Jason silently followed his father of the long flight of steps to the upstairs.
When they got into the big office, Jason couldn’t help but be impressed. It was huge. Had fancy chairs and carpets, oak walls, it was almost like something out of a movie.
“If you think this is cool, wait until you see the real HQ.” Mickey said.
“This isn’t it?” Jason asked.
“OH no.” Mickey said. “This is just clever camouflage.”
Jason watched as his father hit a spot on the wall and the small book case swung back, revealing a hidden room.
Jason followed his father up the flight of stairs into what looked like a bare room.
Mickey led Jason around the corner into an adjoining room. Jason, was suddenly stunned at what he was seeing. Since he learned about the Outfit, five years ago, he had imagined a number of scenarios how his father or grandfather met with there “people”. In his wildest imagination, he never imagined something like this.
It was almost like something you would see in a comic or some sci-fi movie. The room was filled with all kinds of state of the art tech, even beyond what Jason had seen as a kid at the BASE offices.
“This was the nerve center of the Outfit. Soon after your grandfather took over.” Mickey said. “Your grandfather and his lieutenants met in here to discuss the Outfit’s operations. Right here in this room your grandfather and uncle Randy even coordinated the Outfit/Antonio War.”
“I thought Uncle Randy had been a cop.” Jason said.
“He was when your grandfather first met him.” Mickey said. “Barely out of the academy. Randy became a police officer shortly after your grandfather took over The Outfit from Paw Paw Jim. I don’t think he had plans to use him at first, but things happened and Randy sort of got roped in. Then soon after he died. Or at least that’s what everyone thought. In reality he went deep undercover. I won’t bore you with every detail, but more than once he saved the lives of myself, your mother and grandma Helen.”
“I got involved years later.” Mickey continued. “I was about ten when I found out. We were living in Windenburg. Your grandfather and your aunt Mari’s mother, Amira were shaking down a low life who was selling drugs to kids. Your aunt Mari and Uncle Duncan were there too. After that night, our ten year old minds came up with the idea they were some sort of superheroes like Batman or Robin Hood. We decided we wanted to be their sidekicks.”
“Your fucking kidding me.” Jason said.
“Nope.” Mickey said. “That is exactly how it went down. A few years later we tried to prove ourselves, by shaking down a bookie. Turned out that bookie worked for your grandfather. We still wanted in, so your grandfather set us up with a crew, a clubhouse and mentors, to teach us what we would need to know.”
“We were a pretty good crew too.” Mickey continued. “But shit happened, so we split. Half stayed in Windenburg, the rest of us went to Brindelton Bay. I left early to come to Willow Creek, get a few recruits from the Outfit here. That’s when your mother and I reconnected.”
“Did she know?” Jason asked.
“Not at first.” Mickey said. “She thought I was going to college to get my degree in business, so I could take over BASE. In reality, me and the Brindelton Bay crew were preparing to open a legal casino. Unfortunately we had a problem. Chiara Salvatore. She owned the Dreamers Nightclubs. Her brother is the Don of the Salvatore Family. Chiara wanted revenge. She kidnapped your mother. The team went in, and I got myself intentionally captured. During that long night, me and your mother had a talk. She would stay if we moved back to Willow Creek, and I left the Outfit. I did both. Your grandfather barely escaped with his life and decided to retire as well. That’s when the Outfit was handed to your uncle Duncan.”
“For a few years everything was good.” Mickey said. “Then your grandfather and uncle Randy decided to stage a coup. I still to this don’t understand what that was about, except it was basically your grandfather’s version of a midlife crisis. He orchestrated a series of events to get control of The Outfit, while your uncle Randy orchestrated some events to get the light on the Outfit, and get it exposed. Nobody knew it even existed. It wouldn’t have been an issue but it got five people killed, and almost got an innocent woman killed.”
Jason could feel his stomach tighten. So many things were starting to make sense.
“IS that when you stepped in?” Jason asked.
“Yes.” Mickey said. “That was when your mother and I separated too. At first it was just supposed to be temporary. I did it to protect you guys. That was when shit hit the fan. You were kidnapped, your bat shit crazy grandmother reappeared and well you know most of that mess. What you don’t know….is what happened to your grandfather and Uncle Randy.”
“You killed them.” Jason said.
“I ordered the hit yes.” Mickey said. “The gentleman we saw earlier, is the one who was supposed to have carried out.”
“So Tony is the one who killed…Wait.” Jason said. “He was supposed to kill Grandpa Garret and Uncle Randy. So did he? Or didn’t he?”