Sharp Reins

“What do you mean, no?” Antonio, the current head of the Russo crime family, narrowed his eyes at the man sitting across from him. He wore a crisp white suit with a bright red tie; the man nodded at Antonio.

“It’s not a difficult concept, Mr. Russo. No. As in, if you pursue this action, Sharp Development will pull all our funding out of your organization.

“What’s the big deal? What’s so special about a crappy Chinese restaurant? Ms. Sharp was happy to help us wipe out everyone else in the area, why not Chang’s place? They just opened yesterday, we gotta move fast so they don’t get comfortable.”

“First,” the white-suited man said. “Let me remind you that Sharp Development is not obligated to clarify its reasoning to you. The contract was simple: follow orders, get rewarded.” Antonio clenched his fists in frustration; the only thing he could do was listen. Sure, he could have the man in front of him killed. But that was only a temporary solution, he wasn’t the problem. No matter who he killed, Ms. Sharp would just send another one. Despite the money flowing in and success of his empire, it bothered Antonio that it wasn’t his success. Someone else, a woman at that, was calling the shots. And she was good at it. This wasn’t the first time Antonio swallowed his pride; but, he felt it was getting close to the last time.

“Second…,” the man in white visibly relaxed. He tilted his head at Antonio and smiled. “…it’s for your safety.”

“What do you mean?” Antonio asked. “My boys can handle-,” he was interrupted by the man shaking his head. 

“You said the place opened yesterday, right?” he asked. Antonio nodded. “Think back. The day before yesterday, or even last week. What was there before the restaurant?”

“It’s -,” Antonio started to say that it’s been there. But in actually thinking about it, he realized he passed by the empty lot every day for years. “It was empty,” he said, surprised. The man nodded. 

“Consider the fact that a three-story building magically appeared from nowhere, and everyone just accepts it. And, believe me when I tell you, Donna Chang is out of your league. She can single-handedly kill every single one of your men without breaking a sweat. She might look 100 years old, but don’t underestimate her; she’s actually much older.”

“Ms. Sharp is invested in your family,” he added. “She would rather not lose that investment on account of someone else’s stupidity. Donna Chang’s is not to be threatened in any way, is that clear?” he asked.

Antonio nodded, “Yes boss.”

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