“Pull yer pants down.”
Over the course of the last thirty years, Henry DeMarco had given a lot of orders – a lot of strange and tough orders. For thirty years, nobody - ever - questioned their boss’ demands…until he walked into his warehouse and said those four bewildering words.
“What?” Scrawny little Pete Marino stopped his game of solitaire, the cards frozen in his hand.
Bobby Russo looked up from his Kubrick biography, but didn’t move. Gino Bendetti just looked confused. Bobby translated. “Lui vuole che caliamo i nostri pantaloni.”
“I said, pull yer pants down!”
Bobby just shook his head, never taking his eyes off of his boss. Without another word, he stood and unbuckled his belt. Taking their cue off of Bobby, the other two followed suit.
He stands behind her at the bottom of her bed. She is face down, naked. Even in the dim light, every outline, every aspect of her body is in sharp contrast. The curves of her hips arch under the contours of her ass, the skin as smooth as dunes of white sand. The handcuffs cinching her wrists rattle on the metal bedposts. Her ankles are also chained to opposite posts at the foot of the large bed. She moans through the gag. She’s completely helpless.
“Underwear too.” DeMarco cinched his baby-blue bathrobe tight. In the past couple of months, the old boss hadn’t bothered to dress himself properly, walking around the neighborhood in his worn robe and slippers. Questions arose about the quality of the man’s sanity. The conversation they were currently having did nothing to assuage the doubts his own crew were having of late.
The three men stood side by side. Bobby in his boxers, Pete in his decades-old looking tighty whities. Unfortunately for them all, Gino still wore his Italian man-thong, his fashion sense apparently acclimating itself to Americana about as fast as his language skills.
Gino looked confused, but not as embarrassed as the other two. He looked to Bobby for another translation.
“Biancheria intima, pure.” Bobby’s expression was still blank.
Gino’s face blanched. His Italian rattled of his tongue too fast for Bobby to translate. “E' uno sherzo? Per quale motivo? In nome di Dio, che succede qui?”
DeMarco’s face reddened in rage. He couldn’t understand Gino even when he wasn’t going a mile a minute. What he did understand was his tone. “Bobby, you tell that fucking greenhorn to shut his yap and just do what I say. Lose the banana hammock.”
Bobby nodded. “Calmati, fai. Quello che dice, dopo vediamo.”
“Madre de dio,” Gino muttered.
Pete looked like he wanted to cry. “Henry, please…”
“Pete, I swear to God...”
Bobby recognized the edge in his boss’ voice. Whatever the fuck was bouncing around inside Henry DeMarco’s head at that moment was deadly serious. At least to DeMarco. “Just do it, Pete,” he said in a calm voice he normally reserved for pit bulls that have stopped wagging their tails. Bobby hooked his fingers into the elastic waistband of his drawers and dropped trou.
Just like his boss demanded.
He’s watching her writhe in the cuffs. Her long red hair flows between her straining shoulders like a waterfall of blood. She knows what’s going to happen next.
He pulls his t-shirt over his head, tossing it to the floor. Then he slowly unbuttons his pants. He’s ready. In a minute, she will be, too.
He can’t believe it’s come to this, what he has to do on this night. He can’t believe it, but he knows he has to.
A bead of sweat rolls down the side of her leg.
Henry chuckled at chicken-legged Pete, his bony ankles shaking in his Fruit of the Looms. “What the fuck is that, Petey? You smuggling pecans?”
“C’mon, Henry. It’s cold in here,” Pete whined.
“Pull your pants back up, Needledick Bugfucker.”
Pete scrambled to pull his underwear and chinos back over what was left of his dignity. “That ain’t right, Henry. Why you gotta make fun?”
DeMarco moved down to Gino and shook his head in disbelief. “Whaaat the fuck???? How old is this guy?”
Che cosa sta chiedendo? Gino asked.
Vuole sapere la vostra eta'.
Gino smiled, finally able to answer a question in English all on his own. “I’m-a tirty-a-two.” He grinned ear to ear, proud of himself despite the fact that he was standing with his tackle in the wind.
“Then why the fuck don’t he have no pubes?”
“Mai mente.” Bobby nearly cracked a smile despite himself. Bobby didn’t know if was a European thing or not, but Gino apparently walked with his own code of international grooming, as well.
“Jesus fuck,” said DeMarco. “Tell Bald Eagle to beat it.”
“Potete andare,” Bobby said.
“Non dovete dirmelo due volte.” With that, Gino quickly hustled his own pants back up to a respectable level and high-tailed out the door right behind Pete.
Bobby would have to thank them both later for leaving him alone with his nutbag boss and his nutbag out.
DeMarco stared at Bobby’s crotch in silence for a long uncomfortable moment. Well, long and uncomfortable for Bobby, at least.
DeMarco then clapped his hands and laughed heartily, as if his grandkids had just run into the room on Christmas morning. “Hey, hey, Bob-BEE. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.”
He kneels on the bed behind her and smells her hair - Chanel. Nice. She tenses when he places his hands on her hips. A quick mewl escapes from the gag. His heart thuds in excitement. He takes himself in his hand, positioning…
Bobby Russo knew he had a big dick from when he was thirteen and compared himself to the dudes on his Pop’s porno videos. He didn’t know exactly how much bigger until he started playing sports and had to shower with the other boys.
Then he realized he was fucking huge.
When John Holmes died, the other guys used to joke that Bobby was in first place now. For all he knew, he was.
On field trips, Bobby would open his pants and place his dick on the lap of whatever girl was sitting next to him and not paying attention. The guys thought that it was a riot, considering that most of them couldn’t reach their own laps with their dicks. Yes, his dick had served him well over the years, not just sexually.
But he never realized that it could be used as a weapon.
“He wants you to do what?” Pete’s mouth hung open. Three bourbons later and his hands still shook from the ordeal. But Bobby’s reveal had shocked him into a marble-like stillness.
“He told me to fuck Angela.”
“Angela.” I translated the situation for Gino.
Gino’s mouth also fell open in synch with Pete’s. “Angela?”
“Yes. Ange-fucking-la. Will you two clean out the earwax?”
Pete slammed his bourbon and waved at the bartender for a refill. “But…why?”
“He wants me to teach her a lesson.” Angela DeMarco was Henry’s third ex-wife. They’d married eight years ago…when she was twenty. Their divorce was uglier than Pete’s pockmarked ass – a metaphor that Bobby wished he didn’t have in his head. Her lawyers couldn’t touch Henry’s money, since to the legit world, it didn’t exist.
Angela knew it did. She’d been making threats.
“What if she don’t wanna be taught a lesson?”
Bobby threw back his fifth shot of Jack. “I kinda think that’s the point, Pete.”
Angela DeMarco’s groans are muffled through the red rubber ball-gag as Bobby fucks her. The handcuffs on her feet and hands click on the frame rhythmically with every thrust. Bobby looks out the window and sees the Empire State Building gleaming over the river, like Manhattans very own monstrous dick. It’s beautiful.
Angela screams. At least she tries to.
“You ain’t gonna do it, are ya?” Pete asked as he rolled the hand truck into the back if the van.
“What choice do I have?” Bobby slid the jukebox off the cart and secured it in the van. One of those new Internet jukeboxes that all the bars in Manhattan had been switching to. In with the old, out with the new. Gone were the days when Bobby and the crew had to wrangle a half-ton of quarters into Brooklyn every week. These new babies took in mostly bills. Hell, they even took credit cards nowadays. In the last year, the new machines had tripled the cash money flowing into DeMarco Amusements.
Pete looked queasy. “We got enough shit to worry about right now, as is. Why the hell is Henry even worries about Angela? Christ, we got the Stella crew taking over the Meatpacking district, Chinatown’s cut off, those crazy-ass Russians have all of Queens locked down now. I don’t even want to talk about Koreatown. We’re gonna have nothing left soon, and Henry’s wasting our time with his marital problems?”
“That’s Henry’s choice, Pete.” The real question that none of them asked was, why the hell did Henry DeMarco do anything anymore? Why had he taken to wandering the neighborhood in his bedclothes? With all the money coming in, why hadn’t he shored up his crew with more men than the current rotation of Bobby, Pete and Gino?
Their territory had been whittled down to Greenwich Village east of Seventh Ave. and was getting smaller every month. If the Stella boys decided to take the rest of their territory away suddenly rather than chip away at it..? If they wound up in a sudden war? Well, Bobby knew that the pathetic DeMarco crew would be left, well, with their dicks hanging out.
“I don’t want to sound paranoid, but…” Pete had been starting a lot of his sentences that way lately. The problem was, he didn’t sound paranoid at all.
“When I went to clear out the machine down on Houston and Sullivan? I’m pretty sure I saw Chaz Stella’s Caddy parked down the block.”
Bobby stayed silent.
The two of them finished loading up the truck. Pete shuffled his feet as he unstrapped his back brace and tossed it into the cab. Bobby knew he had something on his mind when he did his little two-step, like a kid who had to pee.
Pete clapped his hands and rubbed them together. “Okay then. You doing the collections today or Gino?”
“When are you going to do…it?” He wasn’t asking about the collections any more.
“Jeez.” Pete looked like he might puke. With out another word, Pete clapped his hand onto Bobby’s shoulder and grasped it tight.
They’d been through a lot together, done a lot of crazy, sick, mostly illegal tasks for Henry DeMarco - but what Bobby was ordered to do? That was something else. It was going to be a different world for them both by the time the sun rose.
Pete drove out he bay doors and went left on Metropolitan, heading for the bridge.
Bobby walked around the receiving desk, where Gino waved him over. Gino looked around the area, a little red-faced. He palmed something into Bobby’s hand.
A foil wrapped condom.
“Per il tuo cazzo.”
When he finishes, Angela is slumped on the bed, her arms and legs dangling up like a marionette waiting for the show to begin. He dresses slowly in bathroom, the bedroom silent but for Angela’s strained breaths.
Bobby turns on the water and rubs his hands under the scalding stream. He slicks his hair back, not looking at himself in the mirror.
When he walks back into the bedroom, he gently uncuffs one of Angela’s wrists, rubs the angry dark furrows where the metal dug into her skin and puts the key in her palm.
There’s a chill in the night breeze and Bobby wishes he had a jacket. He climbs into his old Chevy and pulls onto the BQE and drives the two short exits to Henry’s house.
The lights are on in the old duplex that Henry has lived in all his life. Bobby checks his watch – almost midnight. He presses the doorbell.
Henry opens the door in, what else, his bathrobe. The front of his dirty tee-shirt is covered in orange Cheez Doodle residue. He’s unshaven and looks at Bobby expectantly.
Bobby remembers the man he used to be. The dapper neighborhood wiseguy whose presence alone kept the whole block safe. The guy who always picked up the tab for his crew, be it at Burger King or Peter Luger’s. The generous boss. The father figure.
But that guy isn’t standing in front of Bobby any more. Not this batshit old psycho covered in Cheez Doodle powder who orders the rape of his ex-wife.
A flicker of a smile plays under Henry DeMarco’s watery eyes. “It done?”
“Almost.” Bobby fires the gun into the old man’s heart three times. He’s dead before gravity catches hold of his lifeless body and drops him towards the floor.
Bobby catches him and lowers him slowly onto the worn hallway rug. Bobby kisses the old man on the forehead. “I’m sorry, Henry.”
He gets back into his car and takes the long way back into Park Slope. Through some New York Miracle, he gets the same space he just vacated in front of Angela DeMarco’s apartment. Two short honks and Angela comes running out the door, lugging her suitcase. “Pop the trunk.”
Bobby shakes his head. “Trunk’s full. Just throw it in the back seat.” The trunk is filled with Bobby’s luggage, ten grand in singles and a hundred pounds of quarters from the jukeboxes. On top lies the valise given to him from Chaz Stella with a hundred grand in it.
Angela opens the passenger side door and slides in. “Thanks for leaving me gagged and handcuffed, asshole.”
Bobby shrugs. “Didn’t want to hear you bitch about cuddling after sex again. You pack the handcuffs?”
“Nice. Real nice. Some gentleman you are. Good thing you got a big dick.”
Yeah, Bobby thinks. And if Henry knew that I’ve been sharing it with you for the last six months, it’d be me lying dead in a hallway somewhere.
“Is it done?” She asks.
“Yeah.” Bobby puts the car into drive and heads back to the highway. As Bobby drives by the Manhattan skyline for the last time, he looks over at the Empire State Building.