Azure Blade headshot

Loose Ends – A Story of the Azure Blade

Sophia Rothman looked up at the production assistant. “I’m trying to get this pyro working, Jen. The shoot starts in half an hour, and if this doesn’t go off, friggin’ ponytail-boy’s going to have his ass in a major bind.”

“I know, I know, but this guy says he knows you from a long time ago. And, uh, he’s kinda sounds like he’s part of a Family, yanno?” Jen was born-and-bred New Yorker, and if she said that? There was one guy it could be, and she tried not to let the fact her heart felt like it had turned to ice in her chest show on her face.

“Fine, fine, I’ll go talk to him.” Sophia got up, brushed her hands on her jeans, and walked towards the production trailer. San Diego was a great place to live, but sometimes it did get a little warm. As she opened the door, she smelled the cheap cologne and even cheaper cigarettes. He turned around, the half-smirk on his face widening. He gestured with the deformed right hand – the index and middle fingers fused together – that gave him his nickname.

“Sophe, babe,” Tony ‘Three-Thumbs’ Salducci said, gesturing. “You come up in da world. Who’da thunk one of my old girls woulda gotten here?” He opened his arms. “Come to ya daddy, gimme a hug.”

Sophia pulled the door closed. “What do you want, Tony? Last time I saw you, you beat me up and pushed me out of a car in the Hollywood Hills, so I’d die from the bad junk you put in me.”

“Water under da bridge.” He made a dismissive gesture. “Well, youse know, I’m tryin’ ta move up in the world. So’s I was thinkin’, I could maybe get a donation to my ‘Help Tony Move Up In The World’ fund, and none of your friends get to know what you used ta do for me.” His smirk twisted a bit more. “After all it might hurt your career if they knew you used to be a… yanno, a workin’ girl. And the kinda work you did, too… might be a problem if they knew about it. So I was thinkin’…” The smirk turned into a dark, unpleasant smile.

“We can start with fifteen grand. Maybe six months, another ten or so, and then we see what kinda money you got.”

Sophia’s eyes narrowed. “I have a better idea.” She lashed out with one hand, her psychic blade appearing in it, and she brought it down on his left wrist. He screamed, grabbing at it, and seemed surprised to find out he still HAD a hand.

“The fuck you doin’? Now I’m gonna havta get rough witchu.” He took a step towards her, bring his right hand back for a tremendous backhand, and then stopped as the sword just touched his forehead.

“You gonna kill me, ‘zat it? you think all these people gonna help you cover it up?”

“Lots of people have pasts they want covered up. But don’t worry, Tony, I’m not going to kill you.” The sword shoved into his forehead, and he shudders, then collapsed to the floor, drooling.

“Hey, Sophia,” she heard Jen’s voice say. “You and your friend have a good reunion?”

As she finished tightening a wire, Sophia replied, “Yeah, it was a real meeting of the minds.”

Tony woke up in a bed, in a cheap motel in Vegas, smelling like booze and vomit, with a half bottle of Thunderbird on the nighttable and two empty ones next to the bed. His head ached like he had a major hangover, and it only got worse as he sat up.

“Da fuck…,” he said, bringing his hands to his forehead, before realizing one of them looked funny. As his eyes focused, his right one – the one with the fused fingers, came to read:

“Talk to me again, and you won’t wake up.”

Tony seethed, but he realized that what she had done was leave him some of his dignity. But she’d pay, yeah. Someday, she’d pay.

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