I saw Adele in her white dress and pearls with a fancy clasp that she was wearing in front where it sparkled against her skin.
I knew I shouldn't be admiring anything about Adele. But it was hard to keep my eyes off that heart-shaped face, those bright eyes, that full mouth.
"New necklace?" I asked.
We were dancing, being careful to keep some distance between us, playing it as though dancing with her was part of my job.
"They're real genuine came-out-of-an-oyster pearls," she said. "The diamonds in the clasp are real, too. He's starting to push me."
My stomach did a clutch. Maybe Adele wasn't my girl, but I was working on it. And I didn't have any good ideas how to change the situation.
Those pearls had cost plenty. Hammer always wanted everyone to know he was a big spender. That's all Adele meant to him, a showcase for his cash. He had a wife somewhere but she was as old as he was, not that that mattered. What mattered to the mob was to keep their families well separated from their business. The Capone crowd weren't friends. They were gangsters tied to Capone and they spent their evenings hanging out at the club where I worked. It was their second home.
They talked too loudly. They kidded and insulted. They brought their current girlfriends and let their cronies see what success could buy them.
On Sundays they did the same thing for the neighbors, marched the family to church, showed off the kids in their fancy clothes and the wife in her big fur coat and her diamond rings.
I could understand their pride of ownership of the family.
Somehow I missed the pride of girlfriend part. I assumed it was easy come, easy go.
Eleanore had warned me.
"Kid, dance with the girlfriends and give 'em a treat, but never dance more than one dance with the same girl."
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