Suddenly, there was loud crash as the door was smashed in. Three well‑dressed men stood directly in front of a quickly sobered‑up and wide‑eyed Jerry. The spokesman said calmly,
"You should have opened the door Jerry. My boss won't be too pleased to hear that we had to break down it down just to speak to you." He then smiled and said,
"We had hoped this would be a pleasant visit."
"Who are you and what do you want?" snapped Jerry. The man smiled again, calmly inhaled his cigarette and said,
"My name isn't important. My boss is Mr. Luciano, a name with which you are evidently not familiar. You should be; you owe him a great deal of money. We hear through the grapevine that you are in a hole."
The man forced an insincere smile through his yellowing teeth, reached up and picked a photo off the shelf, took his burning cigarette and stubbed it into the face of Elizabeth, Jeremiah’s beloved daughter. His smile disappeared as he said,
"My boss doesn't like to hear that people who owe him money can't pay up. It would be sad if something happened to your kid. You have one week to settle things with Mr. Luciano. I understand your accountant knows how to contact him."
At that, the three men left, leaving Jerry stunned. He quickly picked up the phone, called Vance and said,
"Who the blazes is this guy Luciano!?" Vance was quiet for a moment, then he said,
"I didn't know until this afternoon. I'm sorry Jerry. When I got you that corporation loan, I thought they were legit. He’s a cousin of 'Lucky' Luciano, who, back in 1936 was sent to prison for twenty-five years for running a $12 million‑a‑year prostitution ring in New York City. I had no idea that this guy in Florida was a big wig in the Mafia."
To be continued...