2010-06-19: Associations



Date: June 19, 2010


Natsumi and Vincent form an Association. Vincent has others…


Central Park

It's a cool spring evening in New York City and Natsumi Takahashi finds herself in the middle of Central Park even though it's dark. Normally she would send a colleague to do something like this, today she's opted to sit in the park, in the dark, alone. But not alone. Not really. Her people line its edges and several stay only feet away from the bench where she's seated. Her black pencil skirt, black blazer, and ridiculously tall trademark heels reflect the business she'd been working on only hours earlier. Legitimate business. Her black locks are tied tightly into a small bun a the back of her head, and her ankles are crosses and tucked underneath the bench. Hand remain at her sides; it's an open posture with little to hide.

Her lips quirk into a kind of wicked-yet-exceedingly-polite omnipresent smile. The business tonight is far more sinister than her daytime fare. But such is the life of an organized crime leader. A knowing glance is sent to her personal guard who lingers just south of her before

Miss Takahashi does not have to wait very long. If there were anything about Vincenzo Salvatore, it's that the man has always believed in being on time. He has an image to keep up.

He strolls lazily down the park path, hat tip backed juuuust slightly to give him a better view of the area. His suit jacket is also removed from his body, folded in half and laid out over his arm, which he keeps close to his torso. It is New York City after dark, and he isn't going to let some petty criminal come along and try snatch what belongs to him. It's not an unusual occurence, even in the park.

After all, it's his business to know crime.

It isn't long before he'll come into view of Natsumi, as he's making no attempts to sneak up on her. It's clear as day who he is to those in the know, but to everyone else he's just a simple person strolling through the park at night, breathing in the fresh air. Within a few minutes, he's near to Natsumi, and he calmly and quietly sets himself down onto the bench beside her. When he speaks, his voice is low, soft, but it carries a force behind it nonetheless. "I trust you know who I am."

A small nod is given to the question. "As I trust you know who I am, Mister Salvatore," Natsumi issues him a tight-lipped smile before folding her hands in her lap. Her gaze moves down the path again before she's straightening. Things appear to be relatively quiet, for now, anyways.

She turns at an angle to actually face him now; fodder for onlookers in a way, but then Vincent appears to be a business man, "I am pleased to see you out. Not everyone is released so… quickly." Her eyes narrow slightly as she considers her next phrasing and decorum. Straightening a little more she adds, "It is a happy fortune for you, I am sure."

"Indeed," is the simply reply from Vincent as he pulls his jacket from his arm and lays it across his lap. His hat is plucked from the top of his head and laid across the coat, and he too angles himself just slightly so he can better face Natsumi. "It is quite a fortune, as a matter of fact," he says, tipping his head slightly. "It was my pleasure to have… associates close to me who were willing to take the majority of the blame. Unfortunately, as you already know, I was unable to escape all of it."

He pauses for a moment to take a look around the immediate area, before finally tearing his eyes from the park and focusing them back on Miss Takahashi. "However, the experience has taught me things, opened my eyes to things I didn't necessarily realize before…" He trails off, almost reminiscing for a moment, before snapping back to the present. "Forgive me. I've had a rather long day. I had to 'deal' with an 'issue' earlier, and it is still fresh on my mind. Sometimes, despite all of this and all I have, I really do despise some of the finer parts of my job."

"Well, you certainly do a good job of enjoying other parts," Natsumi quips back with that same tight-lipped smile while returning her gaze to the park itself. "And it is key to have a rather large circle of blame, isn't it?" The Japanese woman has never been charged with anything; police couldn't charge her, try as they might. Her lips twitch a little in bemusement before she tilts her head, "I was hoping to see you once you were released."

Her fingers steeple together as she glances at each of her men located around the park in turn. "I have had… troubles with one Roberto Harlin." Her eyes narrow a little, "Are you familiar?" She pauses before running her tongue across her lips, "My sources tell me your former second-in-command has joined his ranks." Her gaze sideglances Vincent, fully expecting some kind of reaction.

"I have my luxuries in life," Vincent says, a small smirk touching his features. However, what she says next earns a dark look from him, his eyes closing and his lips pursing for the smallest of moments. It's so quick it's almost as if it didn't happen— but then, his former second-in-command can have that effect on him.

"Interesting," he says, folding his hands over his lap and considering the paved walkway in front of them. "It's unfortunate I no longer have any control over him," he continues, finally returning his gaze to Natsumi, "the man can be quite a burden when he's no longer on your side." He says nothing more on that particular subject, one he isn't even sure himself that Natsumi may be privy too. "However, if he has joined the ranks of another… then I'm afraid there really is only one course of action."

The dark expression is noted and is met with a dark expression of her own. Natsumi is intrigued to say the least. "Really?" She arches a single eyebrow rather skeptically. Her fingers lace together carefully as she sets her hands on her lap. Her lips press together rather involuntarily and her eyes narrow into very small slits.

"And what is that course of action, Mister Salvatore?"

"Miss Takahashi," Vincent says, turning his head slightly so he can frown at her. "Surely you are not so naive. You already know what the course of action is." He pauses for effect, taking a moment to pull a stray hair that's someone found its way onto his shirt. The joys of being in public, he supposes.

"The course of action is simple. Kill them all."

A grim and deliciously wicked smile spreads across her features extending from her lips to her cheeks and into her eyes. "Mister Salvatore, I thought I'd like you." Natsumi's eyes close gently before she casts her gaze downward and chuckles politely. "I appreciate your candour." Her lips twitch into a more contented smile, a plan settling into her mind.

"And what are your plans, sir? Could I coax you into joining our rather industrious cause?"

"I m a business man. I have to take care of my business. If others are to get in my way… even if they are former associates, I'll have to deal with them." Vincent rearranges the suit jacket on his lap, still keeping the hat placed on top of it, his hands no longer clasped together, but kept on either side of the hat. "I believe we may be able to help each other," he says in response to her question, "a… mutual arrangement of sorts."

With a small tilt of her head, Natsumi hmms. "I would be apt to help you if you are willing to help me." Shifting her ankles in front of her— rather than under the bench— she's comfortably repositioned. "My colleagues and I are more interested in money and staying out of the eye of those federal types. And I understand that you have a number of…" she smiles politely, "associates who might be of interest to me."

"And I, in turn, would be willing to give you access to some of my resources. I am certain that you must be aware that our sources are very extensive, both here and off-continent." Her eyes sparkle as she discusses her first love: business.

"Money," Vincent says, tilting his head slightly as he gazes out at the park. "One of the truly most powerful things in our world… unfortunately, you can never really have enough of it these days, it seems." He turns his gaze back on Natsumi, watching her for a few moments, gauging her. "Staying out of the eyes of those who disagree with business is always something I strive for. They may have got me one time, but I have no intention of ever going back." The man makes a fist, concealed by the darkness, but it relaxes before too long as he moves to place his hat on his head.

"I believe our new arrangement will serve the both of us well, Miss Takahashi. My resources shall be at your disposal as well."

"Excellent. Should you require assistance, I will assign some of my charges to you. And fear not, Mister Salvatore, they are aware of consequences for disloyalty," Natsumi's smile remains polite, but something dark crosses her eyes. Not a shock, really, considering she's somewhat notorious for beheading disloyal followers.

She uncrosses her ankles and then pushes on her thighs to rise to her feet. "Feel free to contact me any time." A glance is given to several of her thugs who rise up to walk her out of the park.

It's at this moment that Vincent's phone rings. "I best be off, and it seems you have other business to attend to, Mister Salvatore…"

"I look forward to doing business with each other," the man responds, standing from the bench as well. With the night air settling around them, he decides to put his jacket on. It takes him a few moments to get both arms through, but once he does, he offers the woman a small bow. "I appreciate the assistance. Should you need anything, you know how to reach me."

Silencing the rings that cut through the night air, Vincent raises his phone to his ear, speaking into it. "Yes."

"As do I," Sumi chimes as she disappears, thugs-in-tow from the park and issues Vincent the smallest of waves. Soon enough, she's absorbed by the light.


The caller doesn't take any shots, they've scrambled their voice, making it unrecognizable, even though Vincent should know who is calling, "Cut out the greetings now, have we boss?" The inflection borders on annoyed, but despite the voice's apparent insolence it proceeds, "I've been working hard at making good on your request— "

"You'll forgive me, it's been a long day," Vincent responds, speaking into the phone. He does indeed know who it is, and he hopes the caller has good news. He takes a glance around the immediate area, and begins heading down the pathway towards the other side of the park opposite Natsumi. "Were you able to make good?" he says, pausing in his walk. "If you need more time— I know what you're doing is dangerous, and you will be well rewarded. There is no need to take any overt risks, however."

"Oh, I've got what you want. Easier than I thought," The caller replies easily enough. "I expect to be well paid for this though." The voice is confident. "And, for the record, you owe me more than just for this. You ought to know that." There's a cough into the phone before the caller states, "I'll leave the drop in the usual spot. Make sure you don't show up there for a couple of days." Beat. "I know for a fact the security cameras there have been disconnected, assuming no one can place us together, I'm able to make good on the rest of our plans— "

"My friend, you shall be well rewarded, you can believe that." There's a definite hint of happiness in Vincent's voice. It's unmistakable. Whatever it was this caller got for him, it is clearly a win in Vincent's book. "I daresay you may well be rewarded more than you're expecting, as a matter of fact." He listens to the rest of what the caller has to inform him of, and he nods, even if the other person can't see it. "I agree. I'll wait a few days, and then I will have it retrieved. They shouldn't be able to piece us together, either. I've paid a lot of money to have both our tracks covered in this."

"I better be," the caller states again. "And we're both up against a wall, likely literally, if they connect us." There's a very audible sigh even with the voice distortion software. "I'll get it there tonight. And boss? I'll get started on phase two. I have that pretty blonde in my sights— " There's a short pause, "I'll be in touch soon."

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