Lorenzo was still grinning crazily, even with the small black bullet-hole in the middle of his forehead and the liquid crayola-red puddle underneath him, blood spreading through the yellow carpet. Vinnie sat on the wrecked upheaval of the bed, looking at him through the doorway. The gun was warm and heavy in his hand. The room stank of sweat and sex and blood.
The ringing in his ears was starting to clear up. Gina had left the back door open. He heard a car going by along the street, some birds outside.
He picked up the phone and listened to the dial tone. After a while, the line went to fast beeping. He pushed down on the hook and dialed the lifeguard's number in one motion, but he put it down again after the first ring. He couldn't remember his ident code for the day.
They'd pull him off the case for this, probably kick him out of the bureau. Frank could put him up on charges instead of Sonny: excessive force, manslaughter, fucking up a major federal operation.
Another car going by. Gina was probably waiting out there, hurt and scared, wondering what had happened. She might need to go to the hospital, get checked out. Vinnie reached for the phone again.
Outside, the car had stopped; Vinnie heard doors slamming. He stood up, gun in one hand, phone in the other, just as Sonny walked into the room. Sonny looked past him, one quick glance through the doorway, and then looked back at him. Vinnie put down the phone.
"I saw Gina outside," Sonny said. "Rocco's going to take her to the doctor."
Clearing her out of the way. Made sense; Sonny still thought the guy was his nephew. Vinnie nodded. "Thanks." Oddly, he really meant it; all he felt was grateful. Everything else seemed kind of far away. He put the gun into his pocket.
Sonny walked past him and crouched down next to Lorenzo's body, staying out of the blood. He reached out and closed the eyes, rested his hand for a second on Lorenzo's chest. "Yabba dabba doo, kid," he said, softly, and then he got up and came back to Vinnie.
"Come on, we better clear out," he said. "I'll send some guys to clean this up."
Vinnie stared at him. "Sonny—"
"What?" Sonny said. Then he got it, and his mouth tightened to an angry line. "Don't be a moron. You think I'm going to blow you away for putting down a rabid dog because he used to come to Yankee games with me? You only saved me having to do it myself." He shook his head, and abruptly he reached out and cupped a hand around the back of Vinnie's neck. He said more quietly, "Sorry about your girl."
Sonny's hand was cool against his skin. Vinnie shuddered; it was like he was being held still so he could feel the earth turning under him, bringing him someplace new. "Yeah," he said.
= End =
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