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24 January 2013 @ 06:58 pm
Fic Post: It Happened One Summer, Part 2/?  
Title: It Happened One Summer
Author: Montiese
Category: AU/Drama/Family/Friendship/Romance/Tragedy
Characters: David Rossi, Erin Strauss, Aaron Hotchner, Derek Morgan, Emily Prentiss, Ian Doyle, Jason Gideon, Nora Bennett, Beth Clemmons, Sam Kassmeyer, OMC, OFC, Ensemble
Pairing: Rossi/Strauss, Emily/Ian, Jason/Nora, Hotch/Beth
Rating: TEEN
Warning: Ethnic and racial slurs will be used in this story. They are a product of the times.
Summary: “This is a bad idea. This is a Shakespearean tragedy bad idea.”
Author’s Note: I played fast and loose with some things like movies and music but only within a year or two. Also, some of the places in this New York are real and some just exist in my mind. I don’t want the story to be full of inaccuracies but at the same time sometimes what’s perfect in my mind is the way I have to write it. I don’t think it takes away from the story in any way.

(Part 1)


“The son of a bitch is as clean as a whistle at the moment.” Detective Andrews sighed and lit a Camel. “He even pays his taxes, getting right what so many before him got wrong. Luciano Rossi is one of the smartest men I've ever encountered. And I'm not just talking amongst mobsters either. He's not educated but he's a smart man.

“He has two legitimate businesses. One of them is a restaurant in Little Italy called D’Amico’s. Mostly Italians tend to eat there but its open to the public and it’s not a mob hangout. The other is Stella’s. It’s a swanky boutique off 5th Avenue.

“They sell knock offs of the designer things that women like. My sister-in-law shops there sometimes whether I like it or not, which I don’t. The whole damn world knows he's connected up to the eyeballs but he's untouchable. We've shaken down an underboss or two and of course we arrest street soldiers on the regular basis for everything from robbery to vandalism. But the foundation at the top of the Gianelli Family tree is solid.”

“How long has he been running the family?” Jason Gideon leafed through one of the many Rossi files.

“He rose to the top almost a decade ago when Al Gianelli got tapped. Those in the know don’t even think that Rossi had a thing to do with it. They call him the Reluctant Don around here. That doesn’t mean he won't get the job done.”

“And he has a 20 year old son, his name is David? Is he preparing to enter the family business?”

“My guys say no. Dave isn’t a boy scout by any stretch; he's had a few brushes with the law but doesn't have a record. He’s gotten in a few bar brawls and wrecked a few cars. The line of women he leaves in his wake is like bread crumbs. As far as I can see he doesn’t want to do much of anything. I'm sure that doesn’t thrill the old man. He came up with hard work, even if it’s the kind I don’t respect.”

“What about a gang? The younger ones tend to surround themselves with punks coming up in the organization. It’s for protection and the appearance of toughness.”

“Not really.” Andrews shook his head. “He and Aaron Hotchner are always together. They’re together so much that there was a concern about some Leopold and Loeb action going on there, know what I mean? Alexander Hotchner, Aaron’s father, is the Rossi family attorney. Aaron is a fuckin choir boy. Oh, and Derek Morgan is around a lot too. He’s a mulatto kid out of Harlem. That’s a long story, you'll find it in the files.”

“A Harlem kid mixed up with the Italians?” Gideon raised an eyebrow. “That’s all but unheard of.”

“The files are very interesting.”

“Why am I here if Rossi is a supposed businessman and Strauss a supposed philanthropist?”

“It wasn’t my idea to call in the Feds.” Andrews barely hid his disdain. “I think we can handle our own problems. But the truth is when it gets hot people get jumpy. For a lot of years there have been uneasy truces amongst the big and small families.

“Despite a few random bursts of violence, everyone has managed to keep their word. But with the Micks and the Blacks making fast plays for more territory I don't think it’s gonna stay that way. These guys aren’t gentlemen, they're animals, and they're taking women and children with them. Most are petrified of the Blacks but the Micks are fuckin nuts. Seriously.”

Gideon swallowed, fighting off the waves of nausea. He despised the sound of slurs but it was the world he lived in. Every group had one and they were spit out in heavy rotation. He had heard more than a few about himself in his time. There were Gentleman’s Agreements all over the country and the world.

Even in a city of 8 million, supposedly known for its cosmopolitan chic, things could be just as backwards as the boondocks. Jason Gideon made it all the way to the FBI but it surely wasn’t because there weren't plenty of people trying to stop him. Half the time he thought he might be there because they needed a token. Still, the law was all he wanted to be since he was a little boy pretending to shoot gangsters on the streets of Chicago. The rest he had to fight through just like the nausea.

“Who do I have the best chance of getting to?” he asked.

“Blacks and Jews manage to get along, except when they don’t.” Andrews replied. “You won't stick out like a sore thumb up there that’s for sure. The Micks will spit on you and then stab you. But there might be a way in. Her name is Emily Prentiss.

“If you can believe it her father is a Congressman. Word on the street is that she’s Doyle’s squeeze. To be honest, it’s the first time I've heard of a woman in his life. No doubt he dabbles in whores but business always comes first. Now I hear he's smitten with her. Better men have been brought down by dames than that bum.

“There's also a spot in Harlem called Bennett’s. Charlie Bennett used to own the place. He was good people and didn’t allow crap in his spot. When he passed, his daughter Nora took over the joint and the same rules apply. The bigwigs do go there to put their feet up though. I'm sure that no one there will have a damn thing to say to you but you can survey the land. Enough whites go there that you can blend in.”

Gideon nodded. He didn’t want to talk anymore, especially to Andrews. He needed to jump right in. Without the proper information though that wouldn’t be a good idea. He would go back to the room he rented and read. Andrews already told him he could take the four main files. He opened his briefcase and did just that.

“Thank you, Detective Andrews. Are you going to be my liaison while I'm in the city?”

“I'm gonna be too busy so…”

Don’t worry, Jason wanted to say but didn’t, I don’t plan to get my Jew germs all over you.

“I don’t mind pairing with someone else if you prefer but I need a communication link here. Your boss told mine that we were all working together.”

“I’ll see what Barton’s doing. He's a good guy and seems to get along with all kinds.”

“Have a good day. I’ll see myself out and speak with Detective Barton in a few days.”

Jason walked out of there before his temper got the better of him and he put Andrews on his ass. That was another misconception…Jews were thinkers and not fighters. Jason Gideon had been in his share of scraps over 40+ years. He had never been afraid to fight if he had to. That wasn’t what he was in New York for. He was on what was surely an impossible job to bring down the Mob.

And it looked as if he might be all alone. It also didn’t settle well in his stomach that the Italians and Germans were being allowed to continue unabated while the Irish and Black gangs were being hunted like dogs. Gideon wasn’t going to do anyone’s dirty work. But the FBI sent him there. He would conduct a proper investigation and see just how strong the current he was fighting against was.

***


“Excuse me, aren’t you Erin Strauss?”

“I'm sorry but you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”

They were outside of La Bella Cheveux on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. Erin walked with a security guard who was paid to look like anything but. Emily was well acquainted with the type. She knew security at 50 paces.

“No, I'm sure I don’t.” she said. “I danced in the same room with you for nearly a decade. You might not remember me…I'm Emily Prentiss.”

“I do remember you. Wow, you look quite different.”

“I hope that’s not a horrible thing.” Emily laughed some.

“No, you just look so grownup. I'm older than you are.”

Emily wore a lime green imitation Christian Dior sundress. Her raven black hair was long, with pinned curls falling over her eye like Veronica Lake. She wore green peep toed kitten heels. It was a sophisticated look and she nailed it. Though Erin was a year older, she suddenly didn’t feel it.

Her blonde hair had just been washed and curled so it looked good. But her outfit was a simple pair of black Capri pants with a white buttoned blouse and black ballet flats. A few men had turned their heads but Emily Prentiss stopped traffic. Erin wasn’t one to compare herself to others. Still, it was a surprise that someone she grew up with was so grownup.

“Well you look fabulous too.” Emily said. “I don’t have a lot of time but you should know that you’ve caught the eye of someone I know. He asked me to extend an invitation for you two to meet at the Pepper Lounge on Friday night. He’ll be there around eight.”

“Who is this person?” Erin’s tone was skeptical.

“His name is David and I think he's smitten. You don’t have to come, I would surely understand but I promised I would ask you.”

“Well I appreciate it but doubt I’ll be able to make it. It was very nice to see you again, Emily.”

“You too.”

She walked away and all the eyes on the street followed her. Erin wondered what the teenage girl had gotten herself into. While everyone knew that her family was rich and sophisticated, they weren't showy. Old money never was. Emily looked quite showy at the moment.

“If you can bear to tear your eyes away, I’d like my car door opened please.”

“I'm sorry, Miss Strauss.”

When he opened the door, Erin slipped into the backseat of the Jaguar. The door closed and security got in the front. Erin sighed, looking out the window as the car moved slowly through heavy traffic. She didn’t want to live like this all summer. For the past four years at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Erin was free.

While her father was doing it out of love, Erin had no interest in being a princess trapped in an Upper West Side ivory tower. Even her mother was preoccupied with her brothers and all the responsibility that came along with eight year old twins. She was feeling alone and lonely. Erin had no intention of letting some Lothario sweep her off her feet. That didn’t mean she couldn’t check out the Pepper Lounge. It was one of the most popular clubs in the city, and nearly immune to some of the territorial pissings that plagued other Manhattan hotspots.

How could she possibly convince her parents to let her go? It would probably be easier for them to accept that she was going to skip college and marry a street vendor. Lying was her only option. Friends went to the movies all the time on Friday nights. Erin only had one true friend in the city and doubted Ursula wanted to go to the club.

But she could at least try to convince her. This wasn’t about David, whoever the hell he was; this was about Erin. She needed to breathe. Whatever her father was into wasn’t her fault or her business. If some big bad wolf, real or imagined, was going to kill her than so be it. She’d rather be dead than trapped.

***


“Your mother and sisters are going to the house in Wildwood for a few weeks.” Luciano Rossi walked into his dining room. His son sat at the table eating a late dinner and listening to Maria Callas on record. “You should go with them. Nothing but trouble happens in this city when the temperature goes above 80. It’ll be good for you to get away.”

“I can't go to Wildwood.” Dave seemed mortified at the prospect.

“Do you want to tell me why?” Luciano crossed his arms.

“Well there are some things going on and I need to be here for them.”

“What's her name, David?”

“What?”

“I've been your father for 20 years and you were born with the raging hormones. What's her name?”

“It’s not like that Pop, I swear. Yes, it’s a girl but its not just any girl. This may be the girl. I can see her being the girl.”

“Does the girl have a name?” his father asked again.

“If you don’t mind terribly I just want to keep it to myself at the moment. We don’t know each other well…I don’t want to jinx it. I know that superstitious and silly but I feel that way.”

“You're not usually so secretive. David, I hope you understand that a certain kind of girl…”

“Pop, you know I hear you. Can we not have that conversation? Just know that I would never parade some tootsie in front of you and Mom. I know you would prefer Italian but I can't make that promise. All I can say is she's a lovely girl and I'm hopeful that we’ll get to know each other better. Now might be my only chance. She's going away to college in the fall.”

“What a coincidence since that’s the second thing I wanted to talk to you about.”

“What do you mean?” Dave asked.

“You need to do something productive with your life, David? Do you have any ideas?”

“Well um…” Dave pushed his plate forward and lit a cigarette. “I've thought of a few things and there are some prospects and…”

“You need an education.” Luciano said.

“I finished high school.”

“That’s great, and your mother and I are proud of you. There’s more out there.”

“There's so much more than school though.” Dave said.

“You need to do something. I'm not going to stand for the partying and cavorting with women all day and night anymore. You either need to get an education or a career. I've indulged you for too long and that’s my fault but it’s over. This will be the last summer you're allowed to be a boy.

“It’s time to become a man. When I was your age I held down two jobs and cared for my family. I married late because I had to take care of my mother until younger siblings could assume the responsibility. I have to get by in this world on a sixth grade education, which is more than what a lot of guys who came up with me have.”

“But you made it Pop. You made it all the way to the top.”

“The only place to go from there is down David. I sleep with one eye open and always sit with my back to the wall. I’d kill you with my own hands before I let you have that life. This is for other men’s sons, for my father’s son, but never for mine. Do you understand me?”

“Yes sir.” He nodded.

He never wanted to be in the Mafia, or whatever the hell they called themselves. Dave knew some of the things he had to do kept Luciano up at night. He knew his mother went to Mass and prayed more than any woman he’d ever met. You couldn’t stay on top of this game being a sweet pushover.

But knowing he didn’t want to be a gangster wasn’t the same as knowing what he wanted to be. For the past three weeks all Dave could think about was the girl he now knew to be Erin Strauss. He didn’t have excuse for what he was thinking the rest of the two years since he graduated high school. It was quite a shock that his father let it go for this long. The jig was up.

“You have until the leaves fall off the trees.” Luciano said.

“You’ve given me a lot to think about.”

“I want only good things for you, David. A lot of things out here aren’t good. Your mother says the point of parenthood is for the next generation to do better than ours did. You can be more than I ever was.”

“OK Pop.”

“And maybe if this girl is a good girl you can think about settling down. I know some kids are waiting until they’re older these days but a good woman can make your world a better place.”

“Believe me Pop I know just what you mean.”

***


It was raining but that didn’t stop people from coming out to have a good time. Bennett’s was crowded but not dangerously so. Gideon could still scan the crowd on the lower level and make out faces. He wasn’t going to stick out like a sore thumb; at least 40% of the room was white. As he moved through the crowd, more than a few women checked him out as he checked them out.

Gideon looked rather spiffy in his rented black suit and leather shoes. He needed to look good in order to sell his story. Every outfit he brought from DC made him look like a Fed. But at Kilpatrick’s on 56th Street he was able to get something to turn heads. At the bar, Jason put down a $5.

“Dewar’s, straight please.”

“Yes sir.” The bartender nodded and poured the drink.

Turning his back, Jason looked up at the stage. A woman sang the hell out of a song he never heard before. She was really good. He was a big jazz fan and planned to enjoy all the music tonight. The view wasn’t too bad either.

“Here’s your Dewar’s straight.”

“Thanks.” Taking a sip, Gideon watched the entrance.

He literally froze the moment he saw her. She walked in with a man but they didn’t look like a couple. Gideon didn’t pay him much mind except to notice he walked with a pronounced limp. She had smooth cocoa skin, which only looked more beautiful in a purple cocktail dress. Her hair was in a short bob. That was a hairdo more popular in the 20s than the 50s.

But she worked the room like only a modern woman could. There were kisses, hugs, and well wishes all around. Everyone wanted to be around her; she soaked up the attention. When Jason saw her smile he couldn’t help but do the same thing. It didn’t matter that the woman was halfway across a large, crowded room. Jason swore he could feel her presence all the way down to his bones, which was the craziest thought he’d ever had in a very rational life.

“Excuse me?” he got the bartender’s attention. “Who is that woman in the purple dress?”

“That’s Nora Bennett; she owns the place.”

“That’s Nora Bennett?”

“Yes sir.” He nodded.

“She was just the woman I was looking for. Tell me, how does one get an audience with her?”

“I'm sorry?”

“I want to talk to her.” Jason said. He actually thought kissing her might not be so bad either. Those kinds of thoughts hadn't filtered through his brain in over a decade. The FBI had become his entire life, even more so after it led to his broken engagement with Sarah.

“You don’t just talk to Nora Bennett.” The bartender said. “You talk to Bill Hightower…and then maybe you talk to Nora Bennett.”

“Thanks.”

“You're welcome.”

Jason could only assume that Hightower was the guy with the limp. He didn’t look so dangerous but that meant nothing. It was best to approach with caution. Andrews said violence and foolishness didn’t happen at Bennett’s but there was a first time for everything. Finishing off his scotch, which had suddenly become liquid courage, Jason put the empty glass tumbler on the bar.

“What does the lady drink?” he asked.

“She has only the best champagne.”

“Send her a glass with my compliments please.” He put more money down. “And I’ll have another Dewar’s as well.”

“Yes sir.” The bartender went about making the drinks.

Fifteen minutes went by when Jason got a visitor at the bar. He only had a few sips of his second scotch while listening to Someone to Watch Over Me.

“I keep going over and over it in my head.” She put the flute, still filled with champagne, down on the bar. “I never forget a name or a face but both of yours elude me.”

“That’s because you don’t know me…yet.”

“Ahh, now I see. So if we’re strangers then how do you know what I drink?”

“I knew what you deserved. How lucky for me that it seems to be what you enjoy.” Jason said.

“I'm Nora Bennett.” She held out her hand.

“Jason Gideon.” He kissed it.

“So Jason Gideon,” now she picked up the champagne and indulged. “You just bought a few minutes of my time. What can I do for you?”

“Would you believe me if I said I just wanted to look at you?” he asked.

“No.” she shook her head and put on a golden smile. “You look like an intellectual man…you like to talk.”

“Do you think that’s because I'm Jewish.”

“I think that because I see it in your eyes.”

“It’s dark and smoky in here. Are you sure you can see my eyes?”

Nora laughed. She reached into her purple satchel purse for a cigarette. She and Jason lit lighters at the same time. She leaned into the fire of his Zippo.

“So Mr. Gideon, what brings you to Bennett’s?”

“The best jazz in New York.” He replied.

“If you heard that then you heard true.” she took a deep inhale of the smoke.

“I also heard that to talk to Nora Bennett one had to go through Bill Hightower.”

Nora looked to her left, her right, and then back at him.

“I don’t see Bill around here, do you?”

“He's not your boyfriend is he? I don’t want to step on a man’s toes.”

“The only toes you need to worry about stepping on are mine.” Nora said. “Do you dance?”

“It won't make a scene?” Jason asked.

“You're not from around here are you?” she countered.

“I'm not.”

“Have you ever been in a bar fight?”

“Once or twice in my life though I surely don’t make a habit out of it.”

“I have a feeling that,” she slipped her hand in his. Nora took one last puff from her cigarette and put it out. “You can hold your own in all endeavors.”

Jason figured they were getting ready to find out. He had no idea why Nora sought him out; it might have nothing to do with the drink. Just because her father had been relatively clean didn’t mean that she was. He already saw Harrison Scott and his right hand Rick Ware in the club tonight. She schmoozed it up with them both earlier.

But Harlem was like a small town in the middle of a big city. People there knew each other; grew up together. Just because she talked to them didn’t mean she had anything to do with their business or their crimes. Jason could barely think as he slipped his arms around her and danced to Mona Lisa. He wasn’t exactly sure what was going on but if he made it out of there tonight much research would be done on Nora Bennett.

***


“I want to go to the Pepper Lounge tonight.” Emily said. “Can we go?”

“We’ll go wherever you want to go.” Ian replied. He was sitting on the couch of his Chelsea apartment cleaning his guns. A glass of whiskey sat close by.

Emily sat on the chair across from him. Her foot rested on the edge of the coffee table as she painted her toenails. Ian always gave her money to go out and be pampered but Emily didn’t want anyone else touching her feet. She liked to do this for herself. Since they were alone she only wore a tee shirt of his and a pair of panties. Ian liked it when she wore as little as possible. Today Emily was going to indulge him.

“I think I'm going to wear my new pink dress. I look really good in pink, which is shocking because I hated it as a little girl. I used to make my mother dress me in white for ballet class.”

“You look good out of it too.” Ian observed as he put his gun back together.

Taking apart guns and putting them back together soothed Ian. Not many things did that; he was a troubled man. He had nightmares, trauma, and a hair trigger temper most of the time. But with Emily he almost felt human. One day she was going to leave; this couldn’t last forever. Good things were mere moments while nightmares were something he could hardly wake from anymore.

“You, Ian Doyle, have a one-track mind.”

“Are your toes dry yet?” he asked. “I know you don’t like to be touched when they're wet.”

“I have to add a second coat.” Emily replied. “Do something to distract yourself.”

“I take off your clothes to distract myself.”

“Do something else then.”

Ian was going to reply but his phone rang. He put the gun on the coffee table, reaching over to pick it up.

“Yeah? Yeah. Yeah, I'm alone.” Ian looked over at Emily. She crossed her eyes and stuck out her tongue. Ian smirked. “When? OK, yeah, I’ll be there. No its not…I said I’d be there. Bye.” Ian hung up the phone.

“Men of many words are very sexy.” Emily said.

“I have to cancel tonight’s plans.” He said.

“Aww Ian, I…” she stopped, sucking it up before the pouting started. She wasn’t a little girl and didn’t plan on acting like one. Ian had business and sometimes that business interfered with her plans to have fun. Such was the life she led. “I’ll just go on my own. It’s alright.”

“I don’t want you going by yourself.”

“I won't be totally by myself. I’ll take Beth.”

“Emily…”

“Stop.” She got up, tiptoeing over to the couch and put her hand on his chest. “I'm not going to give you shit about standing me up tonight. I know you have work to do and that it needs to be done. Don’t give me shit about wanting to go out and have a good time.”

“You gonna talk to some other man? You gonna go home with him?”

“Why the hell should I dignify that question with a response?”

“I don’t want to lose you.” he barely whispered it. This girl made him weak; made him feel things. Some days Ian loved her and others he was filled with poisonous venom about the whole situation. It was a hard thing to balance.

“Ian, I'm going to the Pepper Lounge. I'm not running away with Montgomery Clift.” She kissed his forehead. “Don’t be paranoid.”

“Being paranoid has kept me alive all this time.”

“Your being paranoid drives me crazy.” she said.

“Are your toes dry now?” Ian asked.

“No!”

“I don’t care.” He shook his head.

“Ian!”

Emily squealed as he wrapped his arm tight around her waist and held her to him. He stood, lifting her up in his arms. Emily smiled and wrapped her arms and legs around him. Ian kissed her, walking toward the bedroom.

“You're mine.” He said. Laying her on the bed, Ian stripped her of the tee shirt and panties.

“I belong to me, Ian Doyle.” She said.

“Do you want me?”

“Yes.” Emily nodded.

“That’s good enough for right now.”

So much of Ian’s life was the moment. In this moment he was satisfying the girl he was crazy about. Later tonight he’d be meeting with his boss about street problems he would have to take care of. The territory they ran in the city was already small enough.

There were those who wished it to be even less. Ian’s job was to stop the barbarians at the gate. If he had to be one himself, so be it. He could be gentle with Emily. The rest of the world needed to realize who they were messing with.

***

 
 
Where am I?: the lair
Feelings: coldcold
Background Noise: silence
 
 
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