“How are you enjoying managing the new club?”

“It’s going to be one of the top earners.”

Grinning, I nod. “Make sure it is.”

Looking to Lilith, her face is inscrutable to me as she stares from Cherry to me and then back. “This is Lilith, be a good kitten and fetch us drinks, Cherry.”

Just as quick as she went into business mode, Cherry’s whole demeanor switches back to the sexual devil act. She nods as she brushes up against me, her cheek rubbing against my shoulder then she all but rubs herself against Lilith who just stands there, opened mouthed.

Poor girl has never met the likes of Cherry, I bet.

Walking us to the table where Marco sits, I smile to him as he tears his eyes from the pale girl on the main stage. The dancer on stage is swirling around the pole, her head tilted way back as her pink dreads fly behind her.

Nodding to the girl, I grin at Romano.

He stands up from the table and his retinue is quick to follow. “Lucifer! Man is it good to see you have taken this place over. I wish we could have snapped it up ourselves!”

I reach out to shake his hand. “It was one of those perfect timing things, Marco. It’s good seeing you again. Let me introduce Lilith.”

Looking from me, to where Lilith and I hold hands, he offers her a warm smile. “It’s good to meet you, Lilith.”

Bowing his head low to her for a moment, Marco looks up and introduces his two me. “This is Anthony and Gio.”

Shaking hands with everyone, we sit down as Simon comes up and grudgingly sits down with us.

Raising my glass, I say, “To new ventures!”

“New ventures!” Marco grins at me.

Yeah, the fucker knows I am looking to work with him.

Settling down in our chairs, Marco leans forward as he frowns at me. “Lucifer, let me first say before anything else is said, what happened in Ohio has my family very upset, but we don’t have ties to anything that happened to you or your money. We know this could hurt our relationship with you, but…”

He lifts his shoulders in a ‘what can I do’ gesture.

It figures they would feel that way, and truthfully, they have no dog in the fight. Nodding my head, I say, “I know Marco, but I had to make sure I had the story before I made any judgments.”

Nodding his head, he says, “It’s a clusterfuck up there right now. There is an interim head for now… But we will see what happens. The fucking Irish, though, are bringing in some fucking crazy bastard from Ireland in to make things settle down… it’s going to be interesting, to say the least.”

That’s news on both fronts of what’s happening in the Midwest region. I don’t know whether he is intentionally dropping information for me or it’s an accident but it’s giving me an inside look.

“Now that that’s been said, let me ask? How the fuck do I fall into such a good joint like this?”

Laughing, I smile at him. “Next time I find a club that looks like a good buy I’ll call you, let you have first dibs. Sound good?”

“Deal.”

Smiling, I say, “So let’s talk about you and the Yakuza.”

Frowning, he says, “The scum sucking bastards. They have been pushing further and further into our streets. Each day we see their little fucking wrappers they have their heroin wrapped in littering the fucking streets, trash everywhere. Half the time their shit isn’t cut right and it’s killing people off.”

I can feel his annoyance. I haven’t seen much but I have seen enough of them to know they are starting to feel like they can sell on other people’s turf.

“How much of the docks have they tried to take over so far?” I ask.

Lifting his eyebrows at me in surprise, he frowns at me. “I didn’t know that was common news yet.”

“It’s not, Marco. Don’t worry about that. I am just very well informed when it comes to Garden City.”

“They haven’t got much but they are trying pretty damn hard to buy out all the contracts there.”

“Do you guys need help with that? I know a few men down there.”

He pulls back from me as he looks at my face, trying to gauge my intent. I have just put my side next to his without asking for anything. Right now, I bet he is wondering why.

“Well… Lucifer, I have to be honest. That would go a long way with my people and yours forming a good partnership.”

He’s right, it would help them. The only reason I have yet to claim the docks is because of the headache it would be taking something that’s so near the Russians. The Italians would be best for both factions if they took it.

But it could just as easily be the Yakuza.

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