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Null sheen.
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Rosa Fiametta continued from The Man Your Man Could Smell Like))

Rosa was breathing hard as she dashed through the streets of the town. Fit she might have been, but this was an outright, maddened sprint. Jimmy had looked out for the count, but this wasn't the first beating he'd taken. There was no sense in her taking any chances with his durability. The ground pounded beneath her feet, the wind tugging her hair, sending it streaming behind her, doubtless baring rather more of her legs than was entirely appropriate. Even though she was struggling for breath, Rosa allowed herself a tiny glimmer of a smile. That could have been worse. Much worse. All things considered, she'd come off surprisingly well from that little partnership. Hadn't been the most dignified thing she'd ever done and sadly probably hadn't been rock bottom either.

Might have come close, though.

First thing was first. Rosa needed to find somewhere to bunker down for a while, just so that she could regain her bearings and rest a little. From there, well, it was right back to the search. It had been an entire week now, and Rosa hadn't had even the slightest inkling of either sibling... aside from Ilario's presence on the announcements, that was. She worried about him, what he was doing. Part of her wanted to slap him silly for even thinking about playing the game, the rest was more concerned about exactly what state of mind her brother had to have slipped into to be killing. It wasn't a pleasant thought.

Rosa... found this sense of responsibility difficult to grasp. She'd been skirting that particular part of life for some time, much to the displeasure of her father. But hell, Junior was full of it, given the only one of the triplets he ever gave a damn about was his namesake. Rosa didn't know why it was the case, whether it was some kind of patriarchal thing, whether Ilario had just been the brightest of the three of them. Fact was, it was real rich of Junior to expect Rosa to 'live up to the family name' when he'd up and ignored her for most of her childhood. But whatever, Junior was probably dying of shame right about now anyway, given some of the things she'd been up to.

Was it moral? No, but it was survival.

Panting, Rosa stopped running, looking this way and that, surveying the buildings on the street. One of them looked like the rear entrance of some kind of store, something which seemed like a safe bet. Her supplies were running a little low, anyway. As she headed for the building at a brisk trot, the PA system crackled into life, Rosa lending it half an ear.

Which was enough to hear the name.


It was half anguish, half disbelief.

She fell to her knees, numb to the grazes of the hard ground.

No no no fucking NO!

The tears hit, the floodgates opened, and Rosa started to sob hysterically.

"Sup Rosa? Give any head lately?"

"What's the difference between Rosa and the bus service? You don't get to ride the bus free."

"Hey, it's the walking STD."

"You're playing soccer, now? You realise that it ain't the same kind of balls, right?"

"I'd say 'fuck you' but I think I got beaten to the punch on that one."

A million and one hurtful little jokes. A chilled out smile on that stupid smug face, stoned out of her mind. That niggling resentment of critcism coming from a junkie. Always biting back saying why she acted how she acted, because Frankie would just mock it. 'Accidentally' spilling the beans on her flings to Junior just for the hell of it. Needling her at every opportunity.

But god-fucking-dammit Frankie was Rosa's sister and she fucking cared about that stupid stoner grin and offensive little barbs and now she was just... gone. Dead.

Rosa didn't even hear the gunshot from inside the grocery story.
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