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Syndicate – Season 1 Episode 3

Lia was scrubbing the floor of the large foyer. She thought about her home situation, and dreamed of how to get away. Not that home wasthatterrible. Her parents just seemed… incapable ofnotreproducing. They were sixty. That meant Lia’s mother gave birth to her when she was forty years of age. She had seven older siblings, and three younger siblings. Their house was a d–n circus. Half her older siblings still lived at home. She already had a few nieces and nephews for God’s sake.
Her poor father worked in management of a construction company. He was always at home, a drink in hand, eyes glued to the television by the time she got home. Most of the time small children would be running around her legs, the noise would be unbearable. But her father managed to keep his cool. He was a soft man, who had never yelled at Lia. Her mother was the obnoxious one- always criticizing Lia, ordering her around, yelling at her. Liawas fonder of her father than her mother.
But at least she got to work here. When Lia was younger, she didn’t work that much, but she was here a lot. Sometimes she would just go into deep corridors of the house and pretend she was a princess. It was a silly game, she now reflected. But she still did dream.
Lia noticed she had been scrubbing the same spot for the last minute, and crawled to a different section. The foyer always got soiled the easiest. It had beautiful granite flooring, but was an area of high traffic.
The doorbell rang. She moved aside to let someone else answer it. A man named Henry walked by. Henry was a little younger than she was, and very handsome. He was an immigrant from South America, but was very intelligent. Henry led three men into the foyer, and told them to wait while he got Mr. Kieran. Lia surveyed them. They were not the typical- well dressed, middle-aged, dangerous looking men that frequented the house. They looked like hillbillies to her. They were all wearing dirty jeans and plaid shirts. One of them had oil stains all up his arms. Another was chewing a piece of straw. Lia had a special talent for blending in with the house. However, these men were immune to her invisibility.
“Well, well, you’re beauty, ain’t ya?” one of the men asked her. She looked down, at a loss for words.
“She ain’t gonna answer you, Carl. You ugly as sin,” another said. Lia smiled politely.
“I bet a pretty thang like that would like to be taken out to dinner,” Carl said. Lia didn’t make eye contact. She was rapidly growing uncomfortable. “Wouldn’t ya, sweetheart?” Carl prodded, getting closer. Lia tried to shrink away, but her grabbed her arm. Lia was now afraid, her heartbeat pounding like a metronome in her chest.
“ Touchmy employees again, Mr. Swindler, and I can guarantee you won’t like the consequences.” The voice was harsh and slightly raised. Carl immediately dropped her arm. They all looked over at Kieran and Will. Carl said nothing. Will lit a cigarette and inhaled the smoke. After a few moments of silence, Kieran spoke again.
“Shall we, then?”
The men followed Kieran and Will down the hall. Lia sank to her knees, and began scrubbing the scuff marks off the floor.
* * *
Will wondered how long they would have to listen to these insufferable hillbillies. They requested that a neighbor’s dog was to be shot, to send him a warning. Carl Swindler and his cronies helped supply the blue collar folks with the drugs the O’Meara family received. Most people feel more comfortable buying goods from friends. Swindler was a good rep. So, Swindler was no stranger to Kieran.
“I’m pretty darn sure he rigged that dog race,” Swindler said, spitting brown colored saliva into a bottle, the result of chewing tobacco.
Episode 7
Will looked up as Kieran’s cousin Murphy, one of thebetterrelatives, came in to the sitting room. He resembled Kieran with dark hair, but had a different facial structure. The look on Murphy’s face concerned Will. He smothered his cigarette. Kieran put a hand up to silence Swindler. Murphy whispered something to Kieran. Kieran pulled back and looked at Murphy for a minute.
“You’re sure?” he said to his cousin. Murphy nodded. “Okay, take a seat.” Kieran turned to the three guests. “It seems as if Warehouse seven has been commandeered by the cops.”
At first, Will was confused. This was not new information to them. They had found out early this morning. And then it dawned on him. It was staged. Kieran wanted to get information out of Swindler. The guests shifted uncomfortably in their chairs.
“Is… is that so?” Swindler said, maintaining eye contact with Kieran. Kieran nodded grimly.
“Who do you think it was that ratted?” Swindler’s minion, Gordon Macy, said.
“I was hoping you guys could inform me.”
The three looked at each other, with fake surprise on their faces.
“Why us?” Swindler asked.
“Don’t play stupid,” Will snarled at them. “I don’t have the time or patience for your dumbass games.”
“We don’ know nothin,” the third one, Liam Bryant said innocently. Will rolled his eyes. Kieran nodded at two soldiers for the family, who stepped in front of the door to block the exit, and entrance. Will looked over at Kieran, who was staring at Swindler.
“I think you do… especially you, Carl,” Kieran said. Carl looked around wildly to try and assert his innocence.
“I know nothin’, fellas.”
Kieran was silent for a moment, and then looked at Will.
“Break his fingers,” Kieran ordered.
At the command, the three men flew into a panic. They looked around the room for any escape. Murphy got up and stood behind Carl to hold him down. The other two eyed the men guarding the door. Will had relieved the three men of their weapons before entering the room. As Will got closer, Carl grew paler.
“I don’ know nothin’! Promise!” Carl cried hysterically. Will wrestled with Carl for his right hand. Carl tried to pull away and kick and shove. But Will was stronger, and overpowered him. Will grabbed his index finger and broke it sideways with a snap. Carl screamed loudly. All kinds of obscenities flew out of his mouth. Will grabbed his middle finger, and broke that one too. Once again, Carl screamed in pain. Will stopped and looked back at Kieran. Kieran had his hands folded in his lap, and was watching the event with a calm, objective interest. Kieran made eye contact with Will, and nodded. When Will reached for his ring finger, Carl cracked.
“Wait! Wait!” he yelled desperately. “I might have heard something. I might have overheard something about an informant…”
“Might have?” Will asked. “Not good enough.” Will reached for Carl’s finger again.
“Wait! Hold on!” Carl exhaled slowly. “I heard Martha Flannery talking about a rat in the dealer department.”
Will frowned and stepped backwards. A woman with information would complicate things. Will went back to Kieran.
“Think he’s telling the truth?” Will asked quietly. Kieran was a notorious lie detector. Carl was whimpering and cradling his hurt hand. Kieran said nothing, but cracked his knuckles and pushed his chair forward until he was knee to knee with Swindler.
“If you’re lying to me Carl, I will destroy everything you have- everything I have given you. Especially if you’re unnecessarily involving a woman. If you try to run, I’ll kill you, personally,” Kieran paused for a moment. “That’s a promise.” He half smiled at Carl. “Now… are you lying?”
Episode 8
Carl gathered up all the resolve he had left and looked Kieran in the eye.
“No.”
“Fine. Jackie will reset your fingers. Then get out.”
* * *
After the man named Carl was escorted out of the building, cradling a bandaged hand, Lia was told to bring the men coffee. Since there were only three of them, she brought coffee, tea and a small plate of biscotti. She poured coffee for the other two, and tea for Kieran. Lia sighed. It was going to be another late night. She had heard about the warehouse fiasco, so she knew more late nights were to be expected. She also knew Carl’s screams weren’t going to be the only ones echoing around the house. Lia turned to go.
“Lia.” It was Kieran’s voice that beckoned her. She spun around.
“Sir?”
“Could you stretch my legs for me? They’re probably cramped.”
“That’s because you skipped physical therapy today, you rascal.” Lia jumped at the scruffy voice behind her. It was Alice. She was old and plump, and had been serving the family since Kieran’s father Bill O’Meara was a young mobster. She shuffled in the room and handed Kieran medication.
“Oh be quiet you old hag,” he joked. Alice winked at Lia and shuffled out again. Lia was always shocked at the fondness Kieran had for Alice.
Lia had seen other employees help Kieran stretch, but had never done it herself. Kieran looked back at her again. She nodded.
“I think so, Sir.”
She knelt in front of Kieran. His wheelchair was custom. It was all black, made for people with permanent handicaps, made to fit him personally, with bigger cushions and a strap around his waist. He usually had physical therapy every day, except for busy days like this one. Lia took one of his legs and stretched it in front of him.
“I’m not going to hurt Martha Flannery,” Will said to Kieran. Kieran shook his head in agreement.
“I wouldn’t want you to.”
“We don’t know that she’ll refuse to talk though,” Murphy said, considering the best outcome.
“And what happens if she does?” Will looked at Kieran.
“We’ve done this before,” Kieran said slowly. They looked at each other. Lia took Kieran’s other leg. She knew why they hesitated. Martha Flannery was a big gossip, but also a big sweetheart. Most people they dealt with were not as nice. Even most of the women had it coming. Martha just happened to know the wrong piece of information.
“We’ll have to threaten the people she loves,” Will finished Kieran’s thought.
Lia always thought Will was absolutely, unfairly handsome. To her, Will looked like he belonged in some fairytale, as the noble prince who rescues his true love from peril. Lia stared at the way the firelight reflected in his sand-colored hair and his dark blue eyes. He had scruff on his jaw line, and red tints in his hair that only accented his Irish descent. He had been with Kieran ever since Lia could remember, and only grew handsomer with age.
Lia put Kieran’s other leg back on the footrest and stood, bowing her head slightly to Kieran. She then began to clean the dishes they had finished.
“Lia, would you send Alice in? Then you should go home,” Kieran said. Lia nodded again at him.
“Sir,” she answered, and excused herself from the room.
* * *
Carol drank her coffee in two huge gulps. She had never imagined her life would turn out likethis.She tapped a pen on her desk, and stared at the clock. Nine to five. Regular job. Nine to five. She let her head slowly drop to the desk. She was, after all, not a regular person. Carol was a thrill seeker, an adrenaline junkie. She spent most her time at work searching for places to bungee jump, or new features for her four-wheeler. And here she was, drinking coffee at two in the afternoon, waiting for the regular work day to end so she and the rest of the worker bees could drone out of the office and onto the highway for rush hour. She had to stop herself from grabbing a pen and plunging it into her eye. At least kick boxing practice was tonight.

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