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Tony Bertot

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The Heart of an Assassin
By Tony Bertot
Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Last edited: Thursday, August 09, 2012
This short story is rated "PG13" by the Author.
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· The Birth of an Assassin
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Follow the rise of a crime family and an assassin hired to kill a crime boss. An assassin who has never missed. An assassin they mistakenly begin to investigate.

The Call

July 2, 1964 (San Francisco)
It was a warm July morning as Shannon Murphy spread out the blanket on the beach running alongside San Francisco Bay. The soft gray sand
streached north to the Golden Gate Bridge and to the south for several miles. Being a weekday, there were few people on the beach, and only the soft sounds of birds in the air and the water hitting the beach filed the air.
Shannon had just put her two-and-a-half-year-old
Daughter Jamie down so she could spread out the blanket and set up her lounge chair.
Unbeknowest to Shannon, Jamie had wandered off and was now next to the bay water. As Shannon laid the blanket down, she looked up. Not seeing Jamie, she turned around, looking up as panic started to set in. She screamed, “Jamie, where are you?”
She scanned the beach and then toward the water.
There was Jamie, alongside the crest of the water some eighty-five feet away.
“NO!” she screamed and began to run toward her as she saw her fall forward into the water.
Within a second after Jamie fell in, a stranger, who happened to be jogging by, grabbed the little one and carried her toward Shannon. It all
happened so fast that her mind had not caught up with her beating heart until he placed Jamie in her arms. The stranger simply smiled and continued on his way. Jamie was crying, but was all right.
Shannon looked after the stranger, wanting to say something, but it was too late; he was gone. How strange that smile on his face. No warmth and disquieting in a way. Warmth or no warmth, God bless him.
The six-foot, lean jogger continued on his trek.  
His five mile run took him from the west side of San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge, to Lincoln Boulevard where he parked his car. He then drove back to his house on Oceanside Drive in Daly City, where he had a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. Here he was known to his neighbors and in the San Francisco area as Jack
Ferrari, a successful real estate broker. However, to everyone else he was known as Nick Costello.
Upon entering the two-story house, you had a clear view of the ocean through two windows, which spanned almost the entire back wall. The room was furnished with a comfortable-looking sofa and a
leather recliner, and against the wall was a brick fire place. To the right was an open kitchen with a galvanized marble island and to the left was
the master bedroom. Behind the kitchen was the stairway leading up to other bedrooms, one was used as an office. The entire house was kept in a very neat and orderly manner.
Some might call it the ideal bachelor pad. However, the stranger has never had a visitor, and it was the solitude and openness he enjoyed
the most.
After showering, he made his daily scheduled calls to three of six different numbers in the United States. The first one was Chicago number, the second was a local one, and the last was in
New York City. There was no response to the first two numbers.
However, the New York City number had been disconnected. This served as a message to him to call his contact in New York City for
a job.
Within fifteen minutes Jack was out the door on his way to Cupertino, some thirty miles away.
He checked into the Cypress Hotel under the name of Nick Costello out of Chicago. When he got to the front door of his room, he looked around to ensure no one was watching, put on some gloves, and entered the room. He walked over to the phone and made his phone call, which lasted only two and half minutes, and then left without touching anything
else or disturbing anything in the room.
Ten minutes later he was on his way back to Daly City where he packed his bags and made a cursory check of the entire house, ensuring he
left nothing to chance just in case he never returns. As was his custom, he called his lawyer and accountant, David Spencer, to advise him he
would be leaving town for a couple of weeks and to take care of things while he was away. Before leaving for the airport, Jack went into his bedroom closet and closed the door behind him. Switching on the light, he moved the clothes hanging on the right to the left, exposing a safe. Opening the safe, he extracted $3,000 from a sum of $65,000.
Next, he reached into his back pocket and took out his wallet, removing his drivers license, social security card, as well as two credit cards. Next, he reached down and picked up a shoe lying on the floor of the closet and extracted a key, hidden in its heal. Removing the shelf from the safe, he exposed a lock in the back panel of the safe.
Using the key, he opened it and exposed six small stacks. Each stack contained a drivers license, a social security card, two credit cards, and
a couple of passports. He placed the items he removed from his wallet on the third stack and extracted an identical number of items from the
fourth stack. 
He had entered the closet as Jack Ferrari and exited it as Tim Goldman.
An Assassin’s
Atorney and Accountant
David Spencer had known Jack Ferrari for over four years. Jack hired David to take care of his finances and to be his advisor on legal matters.
Unknown to David, Jack had performed an extensive background check on him for almost two months before he approached him. He simply asked him to be both his attorney and accountant. Jack felt that the attorney-client confidentiality automatically extended to his accounting practices with him. Though not necessarily true , Jack felt it would be an issue that would need to be clearly challenged in the courts should the need arise. Not to mention the fact that he is not Jack Ferrari, another issue for deliberation. A simple ploy to cause confusion in order to buy
time, with the hope that an opportunity to make an escape would present itself in the event of his capture.
Though David felt his client wasn’t being truthful to him about his real name, it was not for him to question. His money proved to be very
good, and he had no indication that Jack was into anything illegal. At least that is how he felt until one day last year when they met to have a
couple of drinks at a local bar. 
They were sitting at a table when a couple of rough-looking drunks walked into the bar and started giving everyone a hard time. Jack
decided he didn’t want anymore to drink, and so they finished up their drinks and started for the door. As David passed one of the drunks, he
accidentally bumped into him. The drunk turned and swung at David but missed him and instead almost hit Jack. Jack managed to step aside and let the man trip over his own feet, causing him to end up face down on the floor. Jack pushed David along toward the door. The second man seeing what had happened grabbed a bottle and swung it at Jack. Jack ducked and hit him with an upper cut that sent the man reeling upward, landing him on his back. The first drunk was on his feet and charged at Jack. Jack turned and, using the weight of the charge, redirected the man toward a nearby wall.
You could hear the thump outside as the drunks head put a dent in the hardwood. Jack bent down next to the other fallen drunk, looked him in
the eye, and said something that till this day chilled David to the bone.
Something about cutting his fingers one by one and stuffing them down his throat. It wasn’t what he said, but rather, how he said it.
Without skipping a beat, Jack got up and continued to push David toward the door. Within a few seconds they were outside, leaving a cheering crowd of onlookers behind them.
“Man, you are pretty fast on your feet,” David remaked.
“Got to be, if you want to sell real estate in this country,” he responded.
David stared at his client and bursted out laughing.  “What the hell kinda real estate do you sell, anyway? Never mind, it ain’t none of my business,” David said.
David decided it would be best he didn’t know and went on home.
“Goodnight, David, get home safe,” Jack said.
The Giordano Family
June 23, 1964 (New York)
Approximately a week earlier, Felicia Giordano advised her father, Fazio Giordano, that if they wanted to survive this war they were in, they
would have to take out Bolnaldo, the head of the Costellino family.
The Giordanos have been at war with the Costellino family for over three months for control of the various racketeering enterprises they shared.
“Are you out of your mind, Feli?” he barked at her.
Along with Fazio and Felicia were his son, Fabio, and his top lieutenants—Leo Russo, John De Luca, and Erin Romano. 
“Pop, Feli [a pet name Felicia was given by Fabio when they were kids] is right. We got to hit them hard. They outnumber us three to one. We need to show them we mean business,” added Fabio.
The Giordano family were into prostitution,drugs, extortion, and liquor. Fabio handled the organization’s political contacts by either bribery
or extortion of city officials. They originally started in Queens and, over a short period, expanded into Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Long
Island. Though much smaller than the Costellino family, they operate a lot more efficiently and have ties to one of the biggest crime families out
of San Francisco. Unlike the Costellino family, they could bring in estraneos (outsiders) to deal with uncomfortable situations. Much like Felicia was suggesting.
After some thought, Fazio realized that they were right, that it was time to send the Costellino family a strong message. Turning to Felicia, he
ordered she bring in an outsider to deal with the situation. Felicia nodded and left for Long Island.
Felicia, a twenty-seven-year-old and a very attractive redhead, stood five foot six, and would give a model a run for her money. She was a
Harvard graduate who majored in criminology. Her ability to defuse a situation when warranted and to act without any conscience made her dangerous.
Her reputation was quickly established among the family when she had the son of a politician kidnapped and then returned unharmed. She had no remorse, was calculating, and quite good as an advisor to her father. She was responsbile for placing two of her most loyal soldiers in the
Costellino family. A risky feat that took almost a year to fulfill. Rumor was that she would take the reins when her father stepped aside.
Felicia had never met Nick Costello, but his reputation for completing his assignments were what legends were made of. Some called him a ghost or phantom; some said he could take out a man in a crowded room without anyone realizing what had happened until it was too late. Others said he had been a commando or Green Beret in Vietnam.
In any case, she had heard he had never failed in any of his assignments, and that was what she needed, an outsider who could not be traced back to them.
The instructions for contacting him were quite simple. Have the NYC number provided to them disconnected, and he would call their vacation
home in the Hamptons within twenty-four hours.  If they did not receive a call within that time period, it would mean that Nick was currently
Felicia, using her contacts in the Costellino family, needed to know the whereabouts of Bolnaldo over the next few days, information she would
provide to Nick. A few days later, she made the call and waited.
When Nick called he advised her to look in the book titled Mississippi River located in the library in the Hampton home. There she would find
instructions on where to leave the information. Felicia was taken aback.
"When did he put the instructions in the book?" she thought to herself. How cunning. Who is this man?
The instructions left were detailed in that they covered everything from making sure she wore gloves when handling any of the papers to using
copiers that were in public places (which did not contain any cameras), rather than in private.
In anticipation that the information might fall into the wrong hands, Nick requested that the data consist of only his name, written backward,
leaving out the first letter of each name, the locations he frequented, and nothing more. Specific instructions noted that no time or dates were to
be provided. Cancellation of the orders would require the disconnection of the second NYC number within ten days of the initial contact and would cost them 25 percent of the original cost of $100,000. Payment would be made upon completion of the job and instructions of where to make the payment would be forthcoming. Any failure to meet
their obligation would be deemed as disrespectful, resulting in their and/or any associates becoming his next mark.
The instructions went on to direct her to make six copies of the information she was providing and to leave them in five different locations, leaving one in the Hampton home. After ten days,
she was to return to these locations and remove any remaining copies and destroy them.
With no reservation, Felicia put into motion the steps that would eliminate Bolnaldo Costellino as she had been instructed to.
She put on gloves and took a piece of paper and, using her left hand instead of her right, wrote Mr. Odlanlo Onilletso on it. She also wrote
the first three letters of three restaurants on Mulberry Street in New York City.  She then placed the paper in an envelope and tucked it in. She repeated this process five times.  Then calling in one of her trusted soldiers, she gave him two of the locations he was to drop
off the envelope. Half an hour later, she called another soldier to drop off the other two. Lastly, she placed the final envelope in the book from
which she extracted the instructions.
Felicia was now concerned about herself and her father’s welfare.
This man could come in at any time and take them out. Was he for the highest bidder, or would he be loyal to her and her family. These thoughts began to run through her head.  After thinking things through, she started to make plans of her own to eliminate Nick as a
future threat.
The Costellino Family
June 22, 1964 (New York)
Bolnaldo Costellino was head of the Costellino family. He pointed his finger at his son Tony. His face red with anger.
“You, you can’t let outsiders come in and simply
walk all over us,” he sputtered.
Bolnaldo was referring to an incident where some soldiers of the Giordano family showed up at one of their bars and started a fight. Tony was caught in the middle of it and suffered a black eye. The intuders walked away, laughing out loud and mocking some of the members of the Costellino family.
“Dad, they aren’t. Their just trying to provoke us. They haven’t tried to cross over to any of our locations. I am only saying that we need to
be vigilant. That, that we need to send them a message by hitting some of the locations closer to them. In their own backyard,” Tony finished.
“No no,” interjected Clemente Marino, one of Balnaldo’s advisors. “I say we call in some guns from Chicago before they do.” Clemente added.
“Hey, Junior, what do you think?” asked the senior Bolnaldo to his son.
Junior, the youngest of Bolnaldo’s sons who stood about five foot seven and weighed about 175 pounds, was known for being fair-minded and
“I think we should go after their top lieutenants and stop wasting time hitting their joints. Hit Leo Russo, Erin Romano, or Fabian Giordano. That is what we should do.”
“Hey, Tony, what about Fazio’s daughter, Felicia. Everybody knows old man Fazio ain’t got nothing upstairs, and he don’t shit without
checking with her. She’s the one we should go after,” Junior added.
“You’re right. Felicia is the real issue,” Tony responded.
“Let’s go after her,” Malco Lombardi interjected.
Malco, who has known Bolnaldo since they were kids growing in the streets of New York City, was sometimes referred to as shorty because he stood five foot four and weighed about 150 pounds.
“You guys gone nuts? You go after her and you might as well sign your own death certificate.
Unless we take out her old man and Fabio first, we don’t have a chance in hell of getting away with it. In fact, the entire top tier of their 
organization would have to be eliminated before we can breathe easier,” remarked Bolnaldo.
Like the Giordino family, they were into prostitution, drugs, and the numbers rackets. They operated solely in Manhattan and the Bronx and
were looking to expand into Giordano territory.
They numbered over two hundred, but were not as efficiently managed as the the Giordino family. 
They sat there quietly for a good five minutes, contemplating what they were planning.
“What about their ties to the San Francisco family?” asked Clemente.
“Don’t think they would be a problem as long as we do a thorough job,” responded Clemente.
After a few minutes, Bolnaldo slammed his open hand on the desk, getting all of their attention.
“This needs to be done. I want Tony and Clemente to come up with a plan on how to wipe out the whole fuckin’ family. Just like in one of those
old-time movies when you take out the bad guys while their pissing in the john. Malco, you and Junior find out exactly where in Long Island they
live, get the plans to their home. Lastly, this cannot go out of this room. No one needs to know what we are planning. Understood?” Bolnaldo asked, staring at each one of them.
“Tony, call Chicago and tell them we need some muscle, about five good men.
They all nodded. They all understood.

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