“I’ve missed our little get togethers,” she said.
She blew gently across the surface of the spoon, chilling the soup to just the temperature she liked it. Cain rested his chin on the steeple of his hands and smiled. She smiled back.
“Oh nothing. I just forgot how nice it is to watch you eat.”
The waiter approached nervously, a bottle of 1865 Yquem nestled in the crook of his arm and a small pistol digging into his back. He gulped as his escort brought him to a stop beside the table for two.
“More wine madam?”
“Go on Karen,” Cain said, lifting his own glass. “I promise I won’t tell the commissioner.”
She looked at the nervous man, his usually impeccable manners shot like his nerves, and nodded slowly. He seemed relieved, pouring the wine at a pace tempered by decorum but fuelled by fear.
“One moment,” Cain said, grabbing the arm of the waiter as he turned to scurry away. “John, please help him.”
A bulldozer of a man delicately placed a hand on the shoulder of the waiter, the shockwave driving the mans knees into the polished marble floor. The waiter began to whimper.
“This isn’t necessary Cain,” Karen said. “Let the boy go.”
“Do you remember Tommy Brigmore?” he said, sliding out his napkin and folding it delicately across his lap. “What a brute. Football and blonde hair. He always had a girl hanging on his arm.”
“I remember,” Karen said, not taking her eyes off of the kneeling man.
“And like all jocks, he lusted after that which he could not have. You. Because you were with me. You were mine, and he hated that. Hated me. But you were worth it. You were worth every beating or locker prank he threw at me.”
“If I recall correctly, you weren’t very diplomatic about it either.”
“Yes, well,” he said, waving his glass in the air, “hubris was always my one shortcoming.
“Anyway. Tommy decided, quite rightly so in his own mind I’m sure, that he was to be your date to the final ball. Current company to be excluded.”
“I know this story Cain,” Karen said, rolling her eyes.
“No you don’t!” he said, fist slamming into his perfectly arranged napkin. “You don’t. Not all of it. Tommy and his crew jumped me, on the…”
“The last day of school, yes I know.”
He took out his handgun and rested it gently on top of the napkin.
“I love you Karen, but for your sake, and his,” Cain said, nodding towards the waiter, “do not interrupt me again.”
“I suppose I’ll skip the preamble, as you’re so eager to run along. Tommy was going to stick a knife into my gut and figured that would be that. Instead he ended up in hospital and didn’t return the next year.”
Karen opened her mouth, heard the whimper of her server that night, and shut it.
“What you do not know, is that that was the night I became… me,” he said with dramatic flair, spreading his arms wide. “I cut off Tommy’s balls with his knife.”
Cain sipped deeply from his glass while Karen let the information fully soak in. It explained a lot. Cain’s arrogance upon his return, and Tommy’s notable absence were just the two biggest signs in a much longer list of changes.
“Well, one thing lead to another and you rose through the ranks of this city’s finest. And I similarly rose through the ranks. I heard what you did to Dominguez; fine way to end a mans career.”
“He was dirty.”
“He was in your way.”
“And what about Kier? We never did find his body.”
“Oh I’m sure he’ll turn up.” Cain smiled from atop his glass. “Here and there.”
“Spit it out Cain. Why the dramatics. Why all this?”
They were alone in the restaurant. Save for the dozen henchmen in finally tailored suits and one kneeling waiter. The gold gilding and polished marble lent an echo to the room in the absence of its normal Wednesday night bustle. Karen didn’t know if Cain owned it or emptied it. Either way, this was his dinner and she was just his guest.
“I have a proposition for you. One you may not like at first, but you’ll see my reasoning. You’ll see sense.”
“Let him go, and I’ll listen.”
Cain nodded and the waiter was on his feet before his minder had even reached for him. When the kitchen doors slipped closed, Cain stood.
“You have a problem. A big problem. I can help.”
“Forget it,” Karen said.
“Please, let me finish. You have the guns and the gear. But if recent news reports are to be believed and, heh, my own mens activities, you are severely lacking in manpower.”
“We can manage.”
“How? The national guard have ringed off the city. And this… infection, whatever it is, is not slowing down. Let me help.”
“Let me arm you and your men, you mean,” Karen said. “Never.”
“The Mayor has already agreed to it,” Cain said. “We had a little chat. I’ve had his hear for a few years now. Ever since Cassidy.”
“You have twenty square blocks under quarantine. Twice that on mandatory evacuation and the rest of the city hasn’t been allowed out past curfew for weeks. What point is there in fighting on two fronts?”
“It will never happen,” she said angrily.
“Well, as of… twelve minutes ago, it did.”
Karen tried to stand, but a hand kept her in place.
“We got everything we need to fight this war. And we can make the choices your loyal officers can’t.”
“Cain, don’t do this.”
“It’s already done.”
Prompt originally posted by Unknown on reddit and received 6 upvotes.