Under the Boardwalk


Meyer watched from his chair as Benny paced up and down the room, he looked more undone than usual, with just his shirt trousers and shoes on he reminded Meyer of an expectant father wandering through a hospital, he took a long pull from his cigarette before stubbing it in the ashtray,

“We can't go back without him”

“I know Charlie, he'll turn up”

“What if he's gone after that skirt? The Capone broad?”

“Then we deal with that when he arrives until then we wait and hope he hasn't been so fucking stupid!”

As if on cue the door swung open, Charlie staggered in shirt still spotted with blood, the bruising and swelling on his face more apparent, Meyer stood from his chair as Benny marched towards him, shaking him by his shoulders,

“Where the fuck were you? What the fuck happened?”

“Easy Benny”

Meyer interrupted

“I don't wanna talk about it”

The Italian said running his hand over his sore face, he was numb, feeling a mixture of sadness and confusion, he couldn't understand how he could feel so torn about a girl he barely even knew, he flopped down on to the bed with his hands over his eyes, Benny stood with his hands on his hips glaring at the Him, Meyer sat gently on the bed next to him, trying to sum up the extent of his wounds without touching him,

“So what happened?” Benny demanded “And I don't care if you don't wanna talk about it youre telling us everything!”

“Just some bad skirt!” Charlie muttered from behind his hands “Real bad!”

Meyer looked up at Benny,

“The Capone girl?”

He asked him gently, Charlie nodded making both of the other men sigh,

“Obviously went well for you!” Benny scoffed “Didn't we warn you jerk off? She's probably the single most protected woman in the country and you still had to bed her!”

“It didn't go that far”

“How far'd it go then?”

“Not very her brother, the short one came in, laid in to me”

“It's a small blessing Charlie” Meyer stated “You don't want to take her virginity or we'd have a funeral to plan!”

Charlie peaked out from behind his hands,

“What? How'd you know that?”

Even Benny looked at him confused, he knew his friend was intellegent but didn't know he was up to date on scandal,

“I have ways Charlie just believe me okay? You wanna chase her fine, just please be careful!”

“And don't go bringin' trouble to the door ya hear?”

Charlie nodded not sure if it was worth the chase anymore.

Al marched around the room jaw and fists clenched, still seething with red hot anger, Ralph sat quietly irritated chewing his cheek and thinking hard, Frank stood still arms folded across his broad chest watching his brother move erratically,

“So what are we gonna do?”

Ralph asked,

“Can't keep her under lock and key, she's an adult she can do what she wants”

Frank muttered in response,

“She can do what she wants but not who she fuckin wants!” Al spat “Fuckin' New York! Not even the ring leader a jew's fuckin' cronie!”

He sighed trying to regulate his breathing, feeling his heart thunder inside of his chest he kept pacing around almost stomping, just thinking of his hands on her pure skin made his temper raise,

“We can't lock her in” Frank mused “But we can keep her from straying!”


“Keep an eye on her! Set curfews, she doesn't go anywhere without us! Or at least one of us!”

“Thats a bit extreme aint it?”

Ralph asked, Al turned and smiled at him,

“I got it!” the other two looked at him waiting “We marry her off! We find the guy she falls in love they get married and the jerk is a memory!”

“But who?”

Frank asked,

“I dunno the Thomspon boy! Willie! He's at Princeton he's a good kid”

They looked at each other happy with the plan, Frank turned on the spot making his way over to the phone,

“I'll phone Thompson you can tell Ally”

She sat in her room, cross legged on the bed falling in to the silence, her body aching from the moments with Charlie and Frank grabbing hold of her, her hair still dripped slightly from her bath, she examined herself for bruising, her legs her back and her abdomen were now speckled with angry dark patches, a quiet knock on her door made her jump and yet her heart ached at the same time it could be him, she cleared her throat quietly,

“Come in”

Al poked his head round the door and walked in to the room, she couldn't even bring herself to look at him, she knew he was violent but had never seen it, she saw him in a new light, he wasn't her gentle protector any more, he was her handler,

“What were you thinking?”

He asked standing above her, waiting with his hands on his hips for an answer “You wanna put mom in an early grave? Is that what you're trying to do?” she continued to ignore him “Alessandra! Answer me! You don't know what you're getting in to, you don't know what these guys are like you lose your innocence to him you may as well go work in the short ones cat house!”

a heat built behind her eyes as tears gathered threatening to fall, she refused to acknowledge him, Frank and Ralph joined them shortly after,

“You told her?”

“Not yet it's like I aint even fuckin here!”

Frank snapped his fingers in front of her face, she rolled her eyes to look at him,

“Now listen to me! You're not to see that boy again and to make sure you don't we got you a fella”


tears began to spill from her eyes, should could see their mouths moving but nothing was coming out, her head span with confusion and longing, how had she fallen so hard? She could only put it down to Charlie being so passionate and gentle at the same time and the way her brothers didn't want it to happen, one by one her brothers left the room leaving her to her own devices Al's last words echoed in her head,

“You meet him tomorrow, look pretty be respectable!”

She lay down staring out of the window, pulling the comforter around herself tightly.

Charlie lay alone staring at the ceiling, his body still ached slightly his muscles still tender, he rolled over laying on his side constantly checking the time 2:47am, Benny and Meyer had gone to a game and still weren't back, he moved slowly from the bed and in to the lounge area of the hotel room, settling in to a large armchair, he lit a cigarette rolling it between his fingers and watching the smoke between puffs, his mind wouldn't let him rest.

As the morning broke Ally tried to shake of the sense of dread that had nestled in the pit of her stomach, she sat at the dressing table her eyes heavy and dry, her brothers flitting in and out of the room giving her frequent updates on the time and how pretty she was, she didn't feel pretty, she felt like a caged animal, she hadn't realised how restricting her brothers had been, sure she was one of the only women she knew who could shoot and fight, she could drink like her father and cook like her mother and mostly because of her brothers, but how long were they going to keep her caged for? She was beginning to feel claustrophobic. Ralph knocked quietly and took a few steps in,

“He's here are you ready?”

She sighed

“It's a case of having to be”

She stood up and walked to her brother,

“You look beautiful I'm sorry it came to this but Luciano? You can do better”

“Can it Ralph lets just get this over with”