Tony Gavel crouched down behind one of the wooden crates that were scattered about the warehouse. He popped the clip of Louise, his .38 special, and checked to see that it was fully loaded. Satisfied he put the clip back in. Tony peered around the crate and could just barely see inside the office. Romeo Cappetta could be seen talking to two men.

 Romeo Cappetta was a large man. He looked like one of those gangsters in the olden movies, wearing a black suit and sported a black fedora. He was heavily muscled and second in command of the Irish mob. Tony had been tracking him for some time now. Cappetta was wanted for the kidnapping and murder of Lisa Jackson, a reporter for the Daily Times. She wrote an in depth article on the Irish mob, specifically the boss Keith McCully and it was obvious that she knew of someone on the inside that was feeding her information. Lisa Jackson was taken when she left the office and her body was found a few days later dumped under the 107th street overpass, badly beating and shot in the back of the head execution style. Word on the street was Cappetta did the hit and hadn’t been seen since. Tony had been hired by Dwight O’Toole. Dwight’s a detective for Big City PD and Tony’s ex-partner. The police weren’t having any luck in finding Romeo Cappetta to bring him in. Tony specialized in missing persons and was the best on the force until the Festival Killings incident. The Mayor needed a scapegoat and used Tony. Tony quit the force and started his own private investigator firm afterward. Dwight knows Tony’s methods may be a bit unscrupulous, but they got results.

Tony was sitting in his house watching the hockey game. The Big City Blades were playing against the New York Islanders when a call came in from one of his informants. The informant told him that Romeo Cappetta was seen entering one of the shipping warehouses in the docks district. Tony wrote down the address and hopped on his Harley, Fatboy, and made it to the warehouse in 20 minutes. He wanted to check it out first before he called Dwight to make sure it was a valid tip.

Tony looked around from his vantage point and didn’t see anyone else walking around. He couldn’t hear what they were saying inside the office. After what seemed an eternity the two men left the office and Cappetta was all alone. Tony waited a few more minutes to make sure no one else was coming before he made his way to the office. Cappetta was sitting behind the desk looking over some papers when Tony entered the room. He had his gun pointed at Cappettas head.

“The police have been looking for you Romeo.” Tony said.

Romeo looked up and saw Tony with his gun aimed at him.

“What a surprise, Tony Gavel. What brings you here?” Romeo said with a smile.

“Cut the shit Cappetta, you know why I’m here. You’re wanted in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Lisa Jackson.”

“Who? Never heard of her.” Romeo said as he shrugged his shoulders.

“You remember her. The reporter for the Daily Times that wrote the article about your boss McCully. I bet he wasn’t happy with some of the stuff she printed. Did he tell you to kill her or did you do it all on your own?”

“Now I remember her. Pretty little thing. I read she was found brutally murdered under the 107th bridge. I had nothing to do with that. I’m a businessman, not a cold blooded killer Gavel.”

Tony laughed.

“You’re what ever your boss tells you to be. You’re his trained lap dog.”

Romeo’s face turned crimson and he began to reach under the desk.

“Don’t even think about it Cappetta. Keep your hands where I can see them.” Tony said as he waved his gun a little, reminding Romeo about it.

Romeo shrugged and placed his hands back on the desk.

“So what now? You going to just stand there and threaten me with that thing?” Romeo said as he watched Tony. “You’re not a cop anymore Gavel. You’re just a rent a cop, nothing more. Go away and leave me be before you get hurt.”

Romeo Cappetta was right, Tony wasn’t a cop anymore but that freed him from some of the constraints that cops had to deal with doing their jobs.

“Stand up and face the wall Romeo.” Tony said as he pointed towards the wall behind Romeo.

“Or what?” Romeo said with a smug look on his face.

Tony took a step towards Romeo and whipped him on the side of the head with Louise. It was a solid hit and knocked the hat right off Romeo’s head. Some blood began to trickle down where his gun cut Romeo’s scalp. Romeo pushed his chair back and lunged towards Tony over the desk. Tony jumped backwards and Romeo slid right over the desk onto the floor in front of Tony. Tony cocked back the hammer of Louise and pushed the gun right into Romeo’s head.

“Give me a reason Romeo. The cops won’t care about another low life piece of shit getting shot.”

“I’m going to kill you Gavel. You know that right.” Romeo said with his face pushed against the wood floor.

Tony rammed his knee into Romeo’s back and dragged his hands behind him. He pulled out two zip ties and restrained Romeo’s hands. Once Tony was done he patted down Romeo. He pulled a 9mm out of a shoulder holster and took Romeo’s phone and wallet out of his pocket. Tony slipped the phone into his jacket pocket and opened up the wallet. Inside was the usual stuff, money, credit cards, a debit card. Nothing out of the ordinary.

“Don’t move Romeo.” Tony said as he got up and went over to the desk.

Tony opened up one of the drawers and found Romeo’s keys. He slipped them into his pocket and continued looking through the drawers. Nothing out of the ordinary could be found. Warehouse invoices, an appointment calender, pens, papers.

“How do you plan on getting out of here?” Romeo asked smugly. “You know my boys are all over the place.”

Tony shrugged as he did a quick search in the computer. It all seemed legit. A typical warehouse inventory with clients names and what they were storing here, shipping schedules, pick up times.

“I’m not worried about it. They won’t take a shot with you standing next to me. I doubt any of your goons are expert marksmen.”

Tony was just about to close up the computer when he noticed Lisa Jackson’s name next to a shipping crate.

“What do we have here? You sure you want to stick with the story of not knowing Lisa Jackson? It seems she has something stored in the warehouse. Let’s go take a look.”

Romeo’s face turned a shade of red and his arms strained against the zip ties. Tony quickly moved back around to Romeo and smacked him in the back of the head again with his gun. Tony reached down and pulled Romeo up by his arms. Romeo resisted at first but decided against it and got up.

“That’s a good lap dog.” Tony said. “Let’s find what Mrs. Jackson was storing here shall we?”

Tony stuck his gun in Romeo’s back and lead him towards the area where Lisa Jackson had her storage crate.

The warehouse was dimly lit and the air smelled like rotten wood and sea water. This particular warehouse was deep in the docks district at the end of Shore Road, right against the water. It had a berth where ships could pull up and get loaded and unloaded as well as docking bays for the trucks that depart on a regular basis. Many of the warehouses that were in this area were owned by various criminal elements that lived in Big City. Cops tended to stay away from the Docks District unless they were called. Prostitution ran rampart through the docks as well as many of the various drug dealers that lived in the city. Someone high up in the police force must have been paid off to have this area ignored, but thats how it has always been since before Tony joined the force.

Tony lead Romeo through the warehouse at a quick pace trying to avoid as many people as possible. It wasn’t too hard considering it was well past midnight and there’s a skeleton crew working tonight. Sooner or later someone would notice the mess in the office and come looking for Romeo, but Tony was hoping they would be long gone by then. After a few minutes of searching Tony was able to find the crate that belonged to Lisa Jackson. Tony pushed Romeo down to the ground in a sitting position and held the gun close to his head.

“Stay still and don’t make a word and you might live through the night.”

Romeo laughed.

“It’s you that might not live through the night Gavel. You’re making a big mistake. Cut me loose and I might forget this happened.”

Tony backhanded Romeo across the face. Romeo spit some blood out of his mouth and glared at Tony.

“Shut up Romeo.”

Tony looked over the crate. It was small compared to some of the other crates around the warehouse. It was sealed tight and Tony had no way of opening the crate unless he found a crowbar somewhere. He didn’t want to chance walking around the warehouse anymore than he had to with Romeo in tow. Frustrated, Tony pulled out his cell phone to call Dwight.

“Shit.” Tony cursed as he looked down at his phone.

Romeo started laughing again. “What’s the matter Gavel, no cell reception? We have it blocked inside the warehouse.”

Tony put the phone in his pocket and looked at the crate again. It was a normal shipping crate, smallish in size. It had a shipping label addressed to herself at the newspaper, The Daily Times. Without a crowbar Tony had no chance of opening the crate. Frustrated he gave up and grabbed Romeo by the back of his shirt and tried to haul him to his feet. Romeo was stubborn at first and refused to budge.

Tony placed the gun to the back of Romeo’s head.

“Nows not the time Romeo.” Tony growled.

Romeo sighed and got to his feet. Tony pushed the gun into Romeos back and they began walking towards the exit. Tony kept careful watch, looking for any workers or some of Romeo’s goons that may be lurking about.

“So why is the Irish mob so interested in running this warehouse Romeo?” Tony asked.

Romeo looked over his shoulder at Tony and gave a shrug. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m a legitimate businessman. I don’t belong to the Irish mob.”

Tony rolled his eyes at Romeo’s statement. After a few minutes of walking Tony jabbed the gun into Romeo’s back.

“Stop” Tony whispered.

The exit to the warehouse was right around the corner. Tony and Romeo were standing in an aisle of shipping crates and roughly twenty feet away was the exit to the warehouse being guarded by two men. The door to the exit was padlocked shut. One of the guards looked to be no older than 18, holding a shotgun. His greased red hair was combed back and he had a cigarette hanging from his mouth. His companion looked much older. Closer to 40, with a shaved head and holding a shotgun as well. Both of them had on overalls with some company logo on the front. The older man had a walkie talkie in his hand and was talking into it.

“The exit is secure. Anyone have eyes on the boss yet?”

Static could be heard coming over the radio before a voice could be made out.

“Negative. We started a search of the warehouse. If he is still in here we will find him. Stay at the exit and keep your eyes open.”

“Roger that.” Baldy said as he scanned the area.

Baldy looked over at the red headed kid and nodded to the left.

“You keep your eyes peeled in that direction and I’ll watch over here. If you see the boss yell.”

The red headed kid began walking to the left scanning the nearby crates looking for anything out of the ordinary, shotgun pointing straight ahead. He walked slowly, dragging his feet along as he poked his head down each aisle. His hands were sweating and his fingers twitching near the trigger of the shotgun.

“Get a hold of yourself” the kid said as he took a deep breath and continued searching the nearby aisles.

Tony dropped back a few yards, with Romeo in tow, and cursed under his breath.