COOL JOE Chapter 37

COOL JOE Chapter 37

A Story by Betty Hermelee




Chapter 37




I’m really upset about Vivian. She doesn’t deserve this. She is an innocent pawn in a family mess. The Boss should have taken one of us, but he has a plan, I guess. We know nothing about it though. I know that Pete has spoken to Lopez. I told Pete that I would fund a knock off if that’s what he wants. But I also agree with the idea of negotiation, as does Ted. We have a good alibi and we should use it first before we get violent. It looks like there are only four of us left, the other family members like Tommy, are out. I think we should try to get some information from Eddie first, although he’ll probably play dumb. I’ve had two cups of coffee and I’m on my third; this is pretty usual for me.


I met a woman the other night. Seems pretty smart, good looking, she is sitting at the bar I frequent, appears pretty lonely, no smile on her face, lips sort of turned down, although I really shouldn’t say that. She could have a million guys after her. I quietly sneak over to her and introduce myself. We start up a conversation and it’s quite pleasant. So, as the night wears on, I buy her more drinks and before you know it’s midnight. We exchanged telephone numbers and oh, by the way her name is Lois, Lois Borzofsky, maybe a Russian. I put her in a cab, and thought to myself she’s a catch. More another time.


Pete’s calling me.

“Hi there buddy, what’s up?”

Well, I just want you to know, and I’ll tell Frankie and Ted what I told my kids last night.

“Yea, what is that, Pete?”

“Well, there were several options. I sort of mixed them together. I think the best one is the idea that Viv is very stressed out at the moment and can’t take proper care of the kids. So, she wants to go to her aunt in Colorado and stay for a few weeks, look at the mountains, get some fresh air, take some hikes and so forth. I think I told them the best lie I could, that they would believe.  I don’t’ want them to freak out and say she’s in a mental hospital, so this is calmer and more understandable for them.”

“But Pete, what about speaking with her and all that stuff?”

“I think the only way they can communicate at the moment is by letter. But the Boss may ease up a bit and hopefully he’ll allow them to speak with her. Next time I speak with her, I will alert her to this plan. Look, Viv’s going to be upset about everything so this works as well as any other idea.”

“Are the kids very upset now?

“They think she’s away for a week or so, looking for new furniture. They’re okay, getting a lot of family attention; probably getting away with murder, (oops I shouldn’t say that.)”

“Hey Pete, do you think one of us should call Eddie, or is it a waste of time?”

“Danny, talking to Eddie is like talking to a wall. He only knows one sentence and that is where’s the money; so, I think we’re wasting our time doing that.”

“Okay, then let’s leave him out, unless we decide on plan B, knocking off those closest to the Boss.”

“I think that’s best Danny. However, we should have a meeting of the four of us to discuss our strategy because I’m going down there again tomorrow, hoping to actually see Vivian.”

“If you want company, just let me know kiddo. What time do you want to meet tomorrow? “How about you all come to my place; I’ll order some food and pick it up and I always have booze, you know that. How about 6:00PM; we should all be out of work by then.”

“Sounds great Danny.”

“I’ll even call Frankie and Ted for you and let them know what going on; I’m pretty sure they can make it; after all, this is heavy stuff, and our goal at this moment is to get Viv out of that rathole.”

“Yes, that’s it, Danny; so, I’ll see you tomorrow at 6 at your place. Good enough.”

“Hey Pete, get some rest, you really need it. I’ll take care of the others.”

“After I see my kids, I’m going to crash, if I can. Bye now.”


Pete is looking paler each day. He probably is losing a pound a day. He’s drinking, but not eating according to him. I wish I could wave a magic wand and this whole mess would be over once and for all. It seems to be dragging on. If we could actually kill the Boss, I think the Bellini family will die out; but, that’s almost an impossibility; we’d never get close enough because he has guards with guns 24/7. I’m not sure that Lopez could even get him, but maybe.


“Hey Frankie, it’s Danny, you at work? your voice sounds funny. “

“Yea, but I can talk for a minute, what’s up?”

“Pete wants to call a meeting for tomorrow at 6:00PM at my place; we’ll have booze and food. Sound inviting? We’ll talk about our alibi concerning Vivian and releasing her.”

“Wait, let me check my calendar to see if I have the kids. No, I’m free, so I’ll be there.”

Great Frankie, it’s really important for Pete. He’s not looking well these days and we really need to support him.”

“Oh, no problem Danny, I know exactly what you mean and I agree, so I’ll see you tomorrow.  


“Goodbye Frankie.”


“Hey Ted, it’s Danny, calling to invite you to my place tomorrow at 6 for a meeting to plan our alibi with the Boss regarding Viv’s release; can you come? Are you at the pawn shop now?”

Yes, I am, and we’re pretty busy; I even have Margaret here to help me. I believe I’m free tomorrow, so I’ll see you soon. Gotta go back to work.”

“Okay Ted, see you tomorrow at my place. Bye.”


Well, I think that does it, so I’ll finish my work at home and then maybe I’ll call Lois to see if we can meet for a drink. I’ve actually been thinking about her since we met last night; sounds stupid but you never know what will happen. I haven’t felt this way about other women I’ve met at bars or other places.

The phone is ringing and ringing; damn all I get is a voicemail. I’ll leave a very low-key message so as not to come on too strong.

“Hi Lois, this is Danny, I met you last night at Rico’s Bar. I think it might be nice to take you out to dinner sometime soon. Please return my call. Goodbye.”

Whew, I did it; I’m acting like a God damn teenager. I need to settle down. I hope she calls back tonight. In the meantime, I’ll have a brandy to ease my nerves; too much going on with Viv and all. I’m also wondering how this extra work for Lopez is going to turn out. He’s probably only giving us night protection, because we all work days and we probably don’t need protection 24/7. I know Tommy is out, and thinking about it now, I don’t really need the work, but I’ll make that decision later. I’m really feeling for Pete and Viv, their kids too. This has got to stop. I’m going to call the Boss and insist that Pete be allowed to see Viv, not just talk to her on the phone. He has his money from the loans by God.


“Hello, this is Danny, Pete’s brother calling. I need to speak with the Boss; it’s urgent.”

“Let me see if the Boss is still in his office.”

He has me holding for 10 minutes.

“Just a minute, I’ll connect you.”

“Hello, who is this at this hour of the night?”

“I’m sorry Boss, but I’m calling for Pete and it’s important.”

“How important could it be?”

“Well, Pete is supposed to come to speak with his wife tomorrow at your office. I am asking and begging you to let him see her as well please.”

“Do I have your loan money?”

“Yes, you do, all of it.”

“Well then, I guess I could grant a 10-minute visit with her, but that’s it. What time is he coming tomorrow?”

“I think about 3:00PM, and I will escort him, but not see his wife. Thank you, Boss, for doing this. I’m sure Pete will be greatly relieved.”

“Only 10 minutes, that’s it for tomorrow. Now, I must rest.”

And, he hangs up.


Boy, Pete is going to be so over-joyed at this news. Sometimes the Boss can even be reasonable, not much, but this time yes. I can’t wait to call Pete, he’ll be up.

“Hello Pete, guess what?”

“I can’t imagine Danny; you won the lottery.”

“I wish. No Pete, good news. I called the Boss just now and surprisingly he was civil, though tired. “I asked him if you could see Viv tomorrow and he actually said YES, but only for 10 minutes.”

“WOW”! That’s amazing Danny, what time?”

“3:00PM at his office, isn’t that great?”

“Yes, it is, and I’m very excited and of course, curious to see how she looks.”

“I’m going to be your escort, but not to see Viv, that’s only you. I’ll pick you up in a cab at 2:30PM.”

“I’m speechless Danny, what a terrific brother. I owe you”




© 2021 Betty Hermelee

Author's Note

Betty Hermelee
A Family Saga continues.....

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Added on October 2, 2021
Last Updated on October 2, 2021


Betty Hermelee
Betty Hermelee

Black Mountain, NC

My love of poetry results from my love of art. As a painter I am able to express myself on a canvas. As a poet my words come from my heart, my moods, sometimes sad, mostly upbeat. I like to use vivid .. more..