Under the Boardwalk


Charlie had settled in to married life with surprising ease, he liked the thought of having someone to call his forever, he was struggling with the thought of going straight,crime was all he had ever known, he had a good balance for the time being making sure he was off of the clock at five sharp, heading home for dinner and a glass of wine with Alessandra, he enjoyed spending cosy evenings in front of the fire, huddled close together on the sofa with a hand on her growing stomach feeling the tiny life moving inside, it had softened him considerably and he had become complacent with his new domestic lifestyle.

Al stood from the bed snatching his trousers from the chair and slipping back in to them, he buttoned his shirt, throwing a couple of hundred bills on the dresser, refusing to even acknowledge the whore on the bed behind him, he straightened himself out and left the room quickly without saying a word, he tugged his coat on heading home, he had not accepted the news well, the thought of a Luciano child being carried by his sister made his skin crawl, she was stuck for life with that fuck even if they separated they always had a tie, Luciano was always going to be involved with the Capone family.

Al had chosen to delegate the majority of the work to his brothers letting himself be consumed by vices, sex, cocaine and drinking, most days he could barely think straight, waking up sad and achey, finding putting clothes on and having a wash almost too much, he would rather spend his mornings draining whatever liquor he could get his hands on and snorting a few lines, he spent the most of his time hauled up in his office or at cat houses, Ralph and Frank continued with their weekly calls to Ally brimming with excitement about the thought of a niece or nephew. Al couldn't wrap his head around it, still labelling her as a traitor.

Ralph had become concerned for his brothers fragile mental state worrying he was going to lose grip on everything they had worked for, the idea of their empire crumbling was becoming a grim reality, He and Frank had spent many a quiet evening discussing the best course of action to take and had so far come up short.

Meyer smiled to himself watching his best friend and wife dance together one evening the room filled with laughter as Benny cracked jokes about her protruding bump, they laughed along knowing it wasn't long before their new addition joined the family, she wiled away the evenings imagining what the baby would look like, their fathers eyes and curly hair their mothers long eyelashes and small dimples either side of their grin, she looked longingly at the bassinet set up in their bedroom on Charlies side of the bed, Meyer was just as excited he liked the sound of uncle Meyer and he liked the new Charlie, he was more rational and just a little more cautious knowing he had more to lose should a plan go wrong.

Benny had stated he looked forward to meeting his new “sidekick” as he called the baby gushing about how he would teach him everything he knew from shooting to how to cheat at craps and get away with it, Charlie rolled his eyes,

“The baby will never be like me, he's gonna get a good job and focus, keep his nose clean stay out of trouble”

Benny laughed at the thought he liked the idea of someone to carry on their legacy, someone on the bloodline to take over running things but Charlie was insistent that that wouldn't be the case.

Al lay in bed staring at the ceiling, he hadn't moved for hours and began to feel stiff, he didn't care, he was drained, sick of torturing himself with the thoughts of Luciano and Alessandra, he wanted to rest but it seemed a distant thought all the while he was being betrayed all the while that cunt still had grip of his sisters delicate heart, he pushed himself upright slowly, his head spinning and back aching he groaned with pain taking a few seconds to rub his temples and try and straighten his thoughts, he reached out in the dark, his hand connecting with the cold glass bottle next to his bed he lifted it to his lips taking long deep mouthfuls of the liquor, he had entirely cut out drinking out of a glass weeks before, finding it more convenient to swig from the bottle, he took a deep breath and swung his legs over the bed, taking slow shaky steps over to the window peering out in to the darkness, there wasn't a soul to be seen or a sound to be heard, he moved around the room silently almost gliding, half heartedly tugging on his favourite suit he tied his shoes and slipped down the stairs grabbing his coat and hat, he left venturing out in to the silent crisp night,

Charlie sat taking a deep inhale from the cigarette in between his slender fingers a smile crept across his lips as he watched Ally dance with Benny, he was sure keeping her on her toes, he had never heard laughter like it as he watched the two of them soin and trip over themselves and each other,

“It's a great thing to see Charlie”

Meyer muttered from beside him,

“Whats that?”

“Well after all of the animosity and spite that has happened before this moment it's nice to see everything so settled, I'm happy for you”

He glanced over at the taller Italian, with a genuine happiness in his brown eyes, Charlie smiled grew and his cheeks flushed, he nodded to himself unable to make eye contact with his friend without giggling like a child,

“Thanks Mey, means a lot”

The two clinked glasses and continued to watch their family dance.

Al stumbled around in the dark, almost snarling at people as they passed in the street, his head was a jumble of thoughts not many of them making sense, bitterness pulsed through him as he buried his hands deep in his coat pockets, he wanted more than anything to walk in to Alessandra's small office and see her behind the desk, her tongue poking out with concentration as she poured over binders books and papers, one hand tracing the line she was reading the other holding a pencil gently tapping it against her temple as her brain crunched numbers, the light floral scent washing over him, the sun bleeding in through the window behind her, illuminating her, a glass of water sitting next to a full pitcher untouched on the table top, his favourite feature a small photo of him her and their brothers. He sighed loudly a cloud of vapour dancing through the cold air in front of him, he wanted his sister back.

Alessandra lay sleeping soundly, her hand protectively on her large stomach, Charlie rinsed his razor off under the tap in the en suite, hearing movement he poked his head around the door, his eyes scanning the darkness, he looked lovingly at his wife as she shifted slightly pulling more of the comforter under her chin, he smiled to himself and went back to finishing his shave, pulling a towel from the rack and wiping his face.

It all happened so suddenly the room quickly filled with loud noise, a loud crash a low thud a sharp abrupt bang and a short sharp gasp followed by an almost silent gurgle, Charlie bolted in to the room, to see his wife holding her neck, her eyes wide crimson blood on her face chest and on the bedspread, he looked at the man standing over her.

Al turned to face Charlie, no anger no sadness just an overwhelming numbness took him over, all at once the room sprung to life, his brother in law lunged forward shoving the bigger man out of the way, he pulled her body on to his lap, sweeping her hair off of her face and cradling her close to him, hand on her stomach, he looked in to her eyes, almost vacant and glazing slightly she looked back at him, a shaking hand making its way up to his shoulder, she smiled, he felt her grow heavier in his arms, an undeniable tremble in his voice,

“Don't go” he whispered “You're everything, Ally I need you”

He shook her gently once more, the room blurred in to a haze, Charlie felt his mouth dry out as he sat holding her, vaguely aware of Al being taken out of the room and many other people piling in.

On shaking legs, Benny prised Charlie away leading him out of the room, sitting his friend on a chair at the downstairs table, he sat opposite remaining close but keeping his distance, he looked at Charlie, his usually tanned skin pasty and ashen, his eyes glazed and unmoving, usually such a handsome man, he looked as though he was about to collapse, after a few minutes silence, Charlies voice came, rusty with disuse and thick with emotion he muttered,

“It's not okay is it?”

Benny looked at him, rubbing his forehead and swallowing hard he shrugged,

“I don't know Charlie”

He felt his voice breaking and cleared his throat harshly, Charlie glanced over at him, his clammy skin still smattered in her blood, Benny was sat staring at the floor, thumb pressed against his jaw fingers covering his lips, the uncertainty screamed with out the younger boy saying a word, Charlie huffed, rubbing his eyes,

“Wheres Meyer?”

“He's helping the doctors”

“Theres doctors?”

“Yeah Charlie, theres doctors, they're gonna help”

Charlie nodded silently, his mind a loud violent rush of thoughts, where was Al? Why had he done it? Was she going to be okay?.

The stairs creaked loudly, goosebumps erupted over Charlie skin his head snapping in the direction of the noise, Benny placed a hand on his shoulder calming him as Meyer walked in to the room, his sleeves rolled to his elbow, shirt undone at the collar, tie missing and waistcoat unbuttoned, he too had deep red smears and specks on his arms and chest, he looked at Charlie sympathetically moving slowly across the room and pulling out a chair next to him,


Benny asked in a hushed tone, Meyer sighed,

“I don't know they asked me to leave”

Charlie looked at him, he faced screwing up as cracks began to show, Meyer stood quickly next to his friend, Charlie crumpled face first in to Meyer's chest, his hands knotted in to the fabric of his shirt, deep sobs causing his whole body to vibrate, Meyer stood helpless, placing a hand on his friends shoulder as his own eyes began to burn, Benny looked at him shaking his head slightly, every one of them feeling the pressure as the gravity of the situation weighed heavy on them, Benny put his head in his hands, how had it gone so wrong? He was sleeping in his own bed, Meyer working away in the office and Charlie and Ally in their own room, it was meant to be quiet and peaceful, they were meant to be resting while they could, before the baby arrived, they were meant to be safe, Benny usually a coiled spring felt guilty for not hearing the shooter come in, for not protecting Ally for not protecting the baby, now he could only sit and listen to his friend cry, he could almost feel Charlies heart breaking.

Al stumbled back through the darkness, the sound of rushing water in his ears and his vision blurry, he fell in to a dark side street, sitting against the wall, his breathing was laboured, he closed his eyes wishing he had stayed, wishing he had been there to see the outcome, was his baby okay? Had she survived? Guilt began to chew at him with shaking hands he pulled the small bag from his pocket pouring a neat line on the back of his hand and snorting it angrily, he pulled himself upright heading back to his brothers.

As he walked to the end of the street he could see lights still glowing dimly from behind the curtains, his stomach lurched how was he meant to explain to his brothers where he had been? That he had shot their little sister, the outfits angel, and left her for dead? He tried to slip in silently making his way to the bottom of the stairs a voice made him freeze,

“Al where ya been?”

He turned slowly to see Frank looking at him awaiting a response.