Richard Cassano straightened his tie and stepped into the limousine with the two bodyguards. Immediately, the car started to move down the street.
"We had some great times," said Cassano to the two bodyguards.
"Vinnie, remember the time the De Carlo brothers shot up the bowling alley?"
Vinnie smiled, his lips being the only muscle in his body that didn't appear to have any additional bulk caused from numerous hours in the gym. "We almost lost it on that one."
Cassano turned to the other man. "Antonio, you should have been there. Vinnie came to my house while I was watching Archie Bunker, and he said we had to take care of business. Just like that. He told me we had to go back down to the bowling alley and take care of business."
"So," said Antonio with a smile of his own. "What happened?"
"Well," said Cassano, "Vinnie here just bought a brand new gun, first machine gun he ever owned if I remember correctly."
"There weren't many on the streets back then," added Vinnie.
"Yeah, right," said Cassano. "Anyway, good ole' Vinnie here takes his machine gun with us to the bowling alley and has me bring a gun of my own. He says we're going to rough them up a bit and then show them who is boss."
Antonio knew Vinnie's temper well enough already to know the story didn't end there.
"So," said Cassano, "we get to this place and everyone starts going for pool cues and balls from the tables. It looks like there's going to be a riot if we don't do something first. Almost as if on cue, Vinnie pulls the machine gun and fires at the guy who started the fight in the first place. Right then, everything went crazy."
Vinnie jumped in this time. "After the guy dropped, everyone went crazy and went for guns. Ricardo and I fired into everyone we could see. I think twenty people died that night." He turned to Cassano. "It was twenty, wasn't it?"
"More like thirty," said Cassano. He laughed. "The other customers in the place were so scared of what happened that they never told the police what really happened. The police thought it was a robbery that went bad, and no one ever knew any better."
"Damn," said Antonio. "It looks like I missed all of the good times back then."
"Not really," said Cassano. "There was the time when the boss told us to hit De Carlo and his boys. Remember that?"
Antonio smiled this time. "Yeah, we thought we were going to be killed."
He turned to Vinnie and spoke. "De Carlo just hit the bar with a couple of his boys, and it looked like there was going to be a war. The boss told Ricardo and me to hit De Carlo and hit him hard."
Cassano spoke again. "As it was, De Carlo was seeing a young woman named Teresa from downtown. She was a cocktail waitress at one of the big hotels, and he used to take her everywhere and buy her expensive gifts. Our plan was to grab her and slit her throat. We figured that would show De Carlo who was really in charge of the streets."
"So, what happened?" said Vinnie.
"As always, the plan backfired even before it started. Antonio was supposed to watch the door, and I was going to go into the hotel to grab the girl. How was I to know De Carlo was about to enter the place at that time."
"Right," said Antonio. "I saw De Carlo enter the hotel lobby with two of his guys, and I knew I had to warn Ricardo before it was too late. So I followed the three guys until we made it to the bar where the girl was serving drinks. To make matters worse, Ricardo was already moving in for the kill."
Vinnie's eyes opened wide. "Well?"
Cassano finished. "Well, as I was about to hit the girl, the two guys with De Carlo came running at me while going for their guns. I turned around to see them coming and then watched both of them fall to the floor dead. Antonio shot both of them before they could reach me. When I turned to see who the third person was, you couldn't believe my surprise when I realized I was facing down De Carlo himself. De Carlo saw what I was about to do, and he went for his own gun. Killing him that night was the greatest thrill in my life. The boss never forgot that. We were only supposed to warn his greatest adversary, but we killed him instead."
"The boss has been good to all of us," said Vinnie. "We're fortunate to have been with him for so long."
The limousines stopped and Vinnie opened the door. The three men stepped out of the car and walked out onto the dirt path together.
Cassano smiled at the two bodyguards. "If it wasn't for the boss, I would never have done half the things I did in my life. I owe him a great deal."
The two bodyguards stopped walking and let Cassano walk out ahead of them. After a couple of seconds, he turned back to see Vinnie and Antonio holding silenced revolvers in their hands. The guns were aimed at him.
Cassano smiled. "We've had some great times together. I only wish it didn't have to end like this."
Vinnie spoke from behind the weapon. "In years to come, Antonio and I will remember this day with great fondness. It will be one of the stories we can tell together, like the ones we've told together over the years."
"Make the shot clean," said Cassano as he lifted his chin into the air to give the two marksmen a good shot. "Do it for old time's sake."
The two men nodded and aimed. For the sake of old times, Cassano died clean.