Boss of bosses refers to Tory Cross' unerring, insane ambition to unite all of the mafia families in the country of Atlantis under his banner so he can kill his old mentor Howard Crim. The chapter itself is a hefty one, moving swiftly from one month to another and packing in a lot of information. I did this mainly to play catch up. I hadn't addressed any of the mafia's actions since the fifth chapter and that left a lot of room for the reader to ask what's going on and feel dissatisfied. Hopefully this punch in the gut will satisfy some of them.
Along with this tidbit of info, I figured I should post an excerpt of the book as well. It's from the eleventh and final chapter of the book. The scene is Briok heading to a field trip at a museum in Atlantis' capital, Atlantia. He's sitting next to a girl named Desiree. I tried my best to depict the awkward first blossoming of a young man trying to get some action.
So, there it is. As always, comment, critique, suggest. Until next time then.
For the rest of the trip to Atlantia’s Museum of Natural History, the May time sunshine bore down upon the students in both waves of heat and joy. To be sure, the brilliant day made many of them exuberant. But the sweltering heat was turning the bus into an oven. Taking off his shirt, Briok laid it behind his head.
“Hey, you like the Smiths?” Desiree had taken out her headphones and turned to Briok in pure astonishment.
“Yeah, a little bit. They were the first band I had on my Muze.” Briok fumbled to turn off Desiree’s music player. “Why do you ask? You found them on there?”
“I’ve been in love with them since I was a little kid!” Desiree shouted, ecstatically. She was beaming. Smiling just as broadly, Briok turned towards her, falling headlong into a discussion of the ancient band. “My dad is totally into pre-World War III music, like stuff from as far back as the 1900’s! He’s a real fogey sometimes, but the music he plays, that’s the stuff I grew up with.”
“Really? I just found it on some website, and I thought it was great.” Sheepish at his terribly underwhelming story, Briok tried turning the conversation back towards Desiree, “Do you have everything they’ve done?”
“Well, I mean, you can’t have everything they’ve ever done. They’re ancient. But my dad has a lot of stuff from them, more than a lot of other people I think. But it’s still amazing that you have them!” She smiled at Briok, then continued to browse through his music. “To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die…” she muttered.
Bemused, Briok turned back around, facing the front. In front of him, he could see Lara Heken’s head flitting back towards her boyfriend, a Nymph boy whose pierced ears and blue eyes threw many girls into a swoon. A devilish smirk flew across Briok’s face, one filled with greed. But Desiree’s pure voice called him back, “Why is she staring at you so much?”
Turning frantically, Briok stared wide-eyed at her, “Well, um…you know, I’m uh… not exactly sure.”
“It’s weird. I thought that whole thing between you two was over.”
At this, Briok cringed. His shoulders sank, and his entire breath was drawn out of him. “You know about that?”
“Everyone does. She talks a lot you know, and I’m kind of her friend.”
Briok turned in his seat, a flicker of anger flashing in his eyes, “Wait a second,” a faint hint of menace was filling his voice, “Is that why you’re sitting next to me?”
“Why did you think I was sitting next to you? And no, that’s not the reason why.” She moved away from Briok, her distrustful eyes glaring back at him.
Still restrained, Briok folded his arms, “I’m not sure exactly. I mean, you asked really suddenly,” he looked at her, his eyes pleading for her to finish the sentence. But she remained silent. “Fine,” sitting up straight, Briok pressed his lips together, “I thought you were interested in me.”
Desiree’s reaction forced a shocked expression onto Briok’s face, “Well no shit.” She took her previous position next to Briok, practically snuggling next to him. “Of course I’m interested. But I’m not so sure anymore, with that ugly temper.”