“Bobby,” Kitty said. “What happened? I’m pretty sure I heard–”
Another gunshot, much louder than the first. Two women in a nearby booth screeched.
Bobby pulled a gun out from behind his back and jumped to his feet. “Kitty, get outta here.”
“What the hell is going on?” Kitty gasped.
“Get the fuck outta here. I’m sorry but you shouldn’t be here.” He grabbed a wad of cash from his pocket and shoved it in her palm before darting off.
Deuces was in pandemonium; people were screaming and scrambling for the door. Some had even dove to the floor for cover. Kitty pushed her way through the crowd and stumbled outside.
“Kitty, over here!” yelled a paparazzo standing curbside. He snapped her picture again. “What’s goin’ on in there? Someone said a gun went off!”
“Kitty, you look hot!” shouted another. “So are you and Bobby Vitolli an item? I saw you guys come in together.”
Sirens blazed in the distance. The NYPD was not far off.
Shit! I have to get out of here ASAP. “You guys are crazy, always looking for a story,” Kitty told the paparazzi and tried to give an easy smile. Her knees felt gummy. She attempted to remain steady in her stilettos as she walked away.
“Kitty, come back! We won’t bite!” Snap!
Kitty jumped in a nearby taxi and drove to her sister’s brownstone.
“Honey, what’s wrong?” Celeste said when she saw a pale-as-a-sheet Kitty standing at her door. “Come in, you’re shaking.”
“Celeste, this has been one jacked up night.” Kitty recounted her tale while sipping a cup of hot tea Celeste had prepared.
“Your life is never dull,” Celeste said with a shake of her blonde head. “Obviously, you need to stay away from this Bobby character.”
“He’s exciting, though, Celeste,” Kitty breathed. “So mysterious and handsome. I know I haven’t spent much time with him yet, but, I don’t know…He’s a man man and we have this connection…Honestly, I feel safe when I’m with him.”
Celeste sat up straight on her chintz sofa. “Kitty, are you nuts? The guy’s packing for a night on the town and takes you to a place where a gun goes off! Oh, wait–let me rephrase that. The guy packs for an evening at his sister’s then takes you to a club where a gun goes off. Twice.”
“Maybe he had good reason to carry a gun, did you ever think of that, Celeste?” Kitty said with arms crossed.
Celeste guffawed. “You really need to get out of modeling, Kitty, it’s stripping your common sense. There’s nothing normal about what happened tonight. Bobby Vitolli is a known mobster.”
“So the story goes,” Kitty said sharply. She hated it when her sister talked down to her as though she were a child. “It’s just a rumor, Celeste. The guy has no criminal record.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I looked him up,” Kitty spat. “I read in a magazine the other day that I only eat celery for dinner. I mean, really? Do you always believe everything you hear?”
“You can still be a mobster without a criminal record, Kitty, come on. What kind of person runs around Manhattan with a gun? Think about it.” Celeste poured more tea but Kitty put her hand over her cup.
“No more for me, otherwise I’ll never be able to sleep,” Kitty said with a yawn.
“Why don’t you stay in the guest room tonight, sis. The kids may be a little loud in the morning, but you’re more than welcome to stay. I really don’t want you to be alone.” Celeste frowned. “I’m worried about you.”
Kitty patted her sister’s knee. “Don’t be. I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself and have been since I was eighteen. But I am a little sleepy, so I think I will crash here.”
Kitty was sound asleep a half hour later.
The next morning, she woke to an empty house. Frederick must have left for work and Celeste was probably dropping Lilly and Luca off at day care, Kitty thought. She walked in the living room and turned on the news. What was being broadcast jolted Kitty wide awake.
“Last night, around 11 PM,” began the reporter…..