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The Bargain.. part two of Hell and Golf Cleats


League Member
Feb 19, 2004
North Shore, MA
“So what can I do for this special sort of man?”

Aidan allowed himself to finish the glass of wine. He knew Carlo bought this vintage on the day of his accident. He may as well have been drinking his own blood. Their eyes locked. This was to be the opening move in a chess match that would define both of their lives. Neither would ever be the same.. He temporarily had the advantage. White always moved first. With a flip of his hand, a thick envelope dropped on the table before them.

Neither man acknowledged the package, it was well-known not to show up unannounced without an expression of respect. Campbell simply brought more people with him than expected and dead presidents were always welcome at the Castinetti home.

“I would appreciate it if you would reconsider your position regarding Vivian Ryconik.” The words were deceptively smooth off of the lips of Campbell. He had practiced them many times before. Thirteen words, each costing 10 grand. It was exactly the value of his earliest NFW contract and hopefully it would be enough.

Castinetti moved to grasp the envelope and took a moment to feel its weight. A second glance briefly noted the potential value and again it found itself on the table. Castinetti leaned in and taking a moment to fold his hands looked Campbell straight in the eye.

“Do you expect me to take a payoff in exchange for the honor of my family and daughter? Do I look hard up to you?”

Campbell ignored the question. It was one he had expected but at least he had his attention. Castinetti watched him for any sign of vice or misrepresentation. Carlo had 40 years of working the streets of Jersey under his belt. If he didn’t say exactly the right thing, he’d be swimming in mortar by morning. What came next surprised both of them.

“I want in.”

Castinetti smiled for a moment, and chuckled to himself in an agitated way. He leaned back into his chair as Campbell continued.

“I’ve been watching your financial dealings over the last 45 days. Over 3 million dollars have gone into the holding company of New Frontier Wrestling or other sports-entertainment related properties. As a result they’ve been ramping up the product by signing new talent. If you keep spending at this rate by September 1st you’ll have acquired enough property and influence to start playing in water that I swim in daily.”

“If this is where the family’s going, I want in.” Aidan relaxed a bit and let the wind slowly caress the envelope. It didn’t take long for Carlo to chime in

“Ryconik is non-negotiable. You are the reason for my daughter’s condition and she is the whore that knew full well what she was doing when she was doing it. You lived through what God put you through for disrespecting Krista. I have to respect that”

A finger is pointed at Campbell as the ultimatum falls. “I will tell you this.. Vivian will enjoy your company at her own risk. That is the moral obligation you are now faced with.”

Castinetti raised the envelope one more time. He took a moment to review it. Campbell seemed lost in thought. He was indeed under a great deal of moral and ethical stress. It was very clear to him that he was in no position to barter for Vivian’s life. If he pursued her, she would die. He couldn’t count on her being as lucky as he was. Most importantly, he was certain now that Vivian could never know exactly why he never called her. It would be better to just let things go. Could he let her go? In the background, Castinetti called out. Apparently impressed by the return on his investment he granted Campbell a choice.

“Are you in?”

Aidan had already stood and walked away from the table, his mind was again in other places. He contemplated a career being close to her and yet very far away. He continued to walk to the archways defining the outer edge of the veranda. Again, Castinetti called out. Aidan reached to the back of his jacket and cupped the hilt of the VP70 handgun. It was as warm as he remembered it.

“Are you in!”

Seconds passed and Aidan stopped cold at the last archway leading out of the veranda. A choice had to be made. It was a cold choice and one of necessity. Carlo had all the cards and he was one of them.

“I’m in.”

This match went to Carlo Castinetti. There would be others.

“You always were about the bottom line.” Carlo was more relaxed than ever, and as a smile that could only be classified as evil came across his face Campbell released his grip on the gun. There would be another time and place. He was certain of it. Now, it was no longer about Carlo it was about Vivian.

Could he just let her go? The answer was no.


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