I hadn’t expected to see Kyle coming in, so this interview is being done without the benefit of preparations. It may slow me down a bit, like it was meant, I suspect, but maybe we can get some answers anyway. Let’s talk with the mobster.
Kyle held up his arm as he entered the tent, and set his watch.
Kyle nodded, settling back into the interview chair. “And it just started with that first question.”
Frowning, Cynthia thought for a few seconds, and then dug in.
“You are the highest Eagle in Adrian’s Army, his go-to guy. It seems like there isn’t anything he could ask you to do, that you wouldn’t be able to accomplish. Do you think that’s partly because of your previous profession?”
Hating it, the mobster did as he’d been instructed. He told the truth. “Yes. The life I led wasn’t good, but it toughened me up, gave me this second chance.”
Cynthia’s tone was thoughtful. “You haven’t wasted it so far.”
“No, and I won’t.”
“What was your job in the Genovesi Mob Family?”
“I did a lot of things.”
“Was killing for hire one of hem?”
“You’ve never killed for your family?”
“I’ve never been hired to kill.”
Not understanding the difference, Cynthia pushed harder
“Were you a convicted Felon before the War?”
“Yes. I was arrested for tax evasion, and resisting arrest.”
Frustrated at the lack of something she could use, the reporter lashed out. “Do you think you’ll burn in hell for all the killing you’ve done, or do you sleep well at night?”
Kyle didn’t flinch, despite that being a topic he’d been giving a lot of mental time to lately. “I hit the rack and drop right off, knowing I’m doing everything I can to help Adrian.”
Cynthia latched on to that. “How many people has he ordered you to kill?”
“Does a number really matter? Isn’t it enough to know those people are not here, harming others?”
“Frankly, no. It’s murder.”
“Its self defense, in a war that we haven’t won yet.”
“Do you really believe that?”
“Yes, and I don’t understand why you don’t.”
“I know that killing is wrong.”
Kyle saw the eye movement and wondered what the reporter had just lied about. That left look was a give-away, and it made the mobster give her a small glimpse of why his men followed him so willingly.
“Tell me there’s no one, before or now, that you wouldn’t cheer to see hanging from a rope.”
Cynthia wanted to keep going, but knew she couldn’t win that way. She hadn’t known this interview was coming, hadn’t expected it, and the ambush wasn’t solid. “Wanting it is one thing, Mr. Genovesi. Actually doing it, is another.”
“But why does that make you better than me? Because I have the courage to do what you dream of? How odd.”
Understanding he was well protected from that angle, the reporter switched topics, a bit off of her groove now. She hadn’t expected Kyle to be so… smart.
“If Jeremy requests a team transfer, will you sign off on it?”
“What do you think about the mess Neil is making of things with Jeremy and his team?”
“That’s not in my job description.”
“Worrying over Neil’s love life.”
It was sent with sarcasm, but Cynthia picked up that tiny undercurrent of annoyance. She hadn’t planned on getting into Kyle’s personal life at all. There was too much career ammunition to work with, but if it bothered him to talk about it...
“Do you have a woman in camp, a pair of quiet arms that you seek comfort in?”
Again, the bitterness, and she couldn’t resist needling him. “What are you looking for in a mate? Inquiring camp members want to know.”
“But if you were?”
Kyle grunted, understanding he needed to give some sort of an answer.
“Someone like the other Eagles, I guess. Strong, brave.”
“Good looking?” Cynthia pushed.
Kyle snorted. “Covered in mud or blood, that doesn’t matter much.”
She was watching for his flinch, any sign of feeling, but she saw only awe.
“…probably not. If she were an Eagle, too, we’d never get to see each other.”
And I like them a little less set in their ways, he thought. Understanding the meaning behind that thought, Kyle grimaced.
Cynthia picked up on it. Assuming it was related to the female member of his team, Cynthia tried again.
“Why didn’t you kill Kenn when the truth came out about his abusive nature toward Angie?”
Kyle’s watch beeped, their five minutes up.
He stood, looking down at her with hard eyes. “For the same reason you’re still here. I don’t do anything without his say so.”
Cynthia watched him head out, heart thumping painfully. His parting words sent the panic up another notch.
“But when he tells me, I don’t hesitate.”
Meaning that when Adrian gave the order to get rid of her, the mobster would do it.
Cynthia closed her notebook, file-like mind sorting through drawers and folders. She was faced with a sudden flash of guilt at Kyle’s loyalty. If more people had been so determined to be helpful before the war, things could have been so different.
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