Vinnie Cerra’s life was in the dumpster. Literally.
He had been shot four times, thrown into the trunk of his own car, driven from the bar in Red Bank in whose parking lot he had been ambushed, taken all the way to Perth Amboy and now he lay in a local dumpster behind a Seven Eleven just off the Garden State Parkway on a bed of stale, moldy doughnuts, coffee grounds, and a pile of used batteries. The used batteries were uncomfortable and leaking acid. Seven Eleven should know better than to mix batteries in with other trash; they should be disposed of on “electric disposal day” at the county dump. God only knows where his car was but that wasn’t the most pressing issue on Vinnie’s mind.
It all started with Ginny Amato, the prettiest girl he had ever seen. Ginny was a statuesque blonde. That was a word that Vinnie liked – statuesque. Ginny was statuesque and stacked. He had met her when he went to work at the two-bit scam operation that his uncle ran selling overblown, hyped insurance to widows and orphans. Vinnie didn’t care what he did, what he said or what lies he foisted on others as long as he could get some money in his pocket. Ginny was different. She actually cared about the people on the other end of the phone and it was quickly apparent, even to a hard case like Vinnie, that she would not be staying at this boiler-room pit long. She had gotten the job because Vinnie’s uncle knew her dad, one of the most-feared syndicate bosses in the Northeast.
Before she trotted out the door in her high heels on those thoroughbred legs, Vinnie got her number and asked her out on a date. He knew he was playing with fire but he couldn’t help himself; she was stunning. It turns out she already had a steady boyfriend – Wayne someboy, a college-bred, smart-ass dip-shit who might become a bank VP one day but couldn’t jump-start a car, throw a curve ball or rob an ATM to save his life.
It was a familiar story: girl has nice boyfriend; girl finds bad boyfriend; girl falls for bad boyfriend – hard. Pretty soon Vinnie was spending his days and nights with Ginny. His uncle warned him about Ginny’s dad and what a hot head he was. The old man didn’t like seeing his daughter spending her time with a no-account low-life. But Vinnie had met Ginny’s dad and he was convinced the old man liked him, liked his methods and would take care of Vinnie if and when the time came.
But there was just one other little wrinkle. Turns out the “nice” boyfriend had a father even meaner than Ginny’s. And that father didn’t like his model son being shown up by a bad boy character like Vinnie. All of this was amusing to Vinnie, but it wasn’t going to help him since he was now dead.