Hands folded in his lap, Matt sits in the driver’s seat of a luxury sports vehicle, his phone left in the cupholder just beside his right arm. One foot eagerly tapping against the floor, Matt stares at a large home standing on its lonesome, not another building to be found other than one that belongs to the property for miles. Seething, Matt just looks at the home with disgust, his lip curled just at the sight, wishing his stare alone could start a fire that would result in its destruction.
His breaths slow and well-paced, Matt keeps his growing anger from breaching the surface point, keeping a relatively well-maintained composure as another vehicle passes his own. Pulling onto the side of the road, the vehicle parks itself at the end of the cul-de-sac and sits in its spot for a moment, time passing slowly enough for the lights going out and engine powering down to seem like a big deal.
From the driver’s seat, Stucky emerges with blood staining his shirt, a gun held by his side as he anxious approaches the front step, the sight of which triggers a deep-rooted aggravation in Matt’s very core. Without hesitation, Matt pulls his hand out of his lap and reaches for the glove compartment, removing a pistol from within as he continues to watch Stucky’s every step.
The seven stairs of the staircase being ascended, Stucky reaches the doorbell, which he rings four times. After a minute, the footsteps from the other side become more audible, approaching the source on the other end with great anticipation. The door swinging open, the large male figure on the other side of the door stands looking down onto Stucky, only one word leaving his lips in that moment.
“Delivered?” the man asks, Stucky pushing the gun, with one fewer bullet in the magazine than when he originally left the home, against the man’s chest. “Yeah, Michael… Message delivered” Stucky replies, walking past the older man without another word, dissatisfied with the reaction he’d received upon his arrival. Head hung, Michael nods to himself before slowly attempting to shut the door, thinking to himself as he does so.
Gun in hand, Matt reaches for the handle as his phone begins to ring, the sight of him in his vehicle impossible to makeout from behind his tinted windows. “Matthew Tory” the man responds, hearing Danny’s voice on the other side of the phone upon his greeting. “Stucky just visited me in my hanger, gave me a proposition I thought you’d wanna be clued into” Danny replies, immediately lifting the concern to allow Matt to return his weapon to the glove compartment.
“Let me hear it” Matt replies, slowly clipping shut the glove compartment door, attention being given to Danny on the other end of the line whilst his eyes remain glued to the home. “He said he was sent out to kill one of our crew and deliver a meeting time” Danny continues, his words still finding the sweet spot in Matt’s ears as the man’s eyes capture the sight of an older man stepping out onto the porch.
Expression changing from one of repressed anger to a more somber, empathetic stare, Matt allows Danny to speak further, the offer being raised one coming with intrigue. “Stucky thinks I should be the one that takes responsibility for the entire enterprise… Keep you in the shadows” Danny explains, admitting the possible reason being to keep the anonymity over Matt’s head, “one way or another, it allows us to cover the bases we need to keep you out of sight.”
Walking down the seven stairs, the older man walks through the front gate and out onto the sidewalk, his head turning from Stucky’s car to the vehicle unfamiliar to him. With a change in his expression, the man’s face goes from one of disappointment to one of investment, more hope than anything else, a peculiar sight. “It sounds like a good deal” Matt replies, watching the father begin to slowly approach his vehicle as the keys turn in the ignition, “you should take it.”
Lowering the phone from his ear, Matt hangs up the call and pulls his vehicle around, quickly driving off down the street as the older man runs after him, halting his efforts when they become unavoidably futile. Kicking up dirt, Matt’s tires take him away from the home, leaving the gentleman in the dust, a somber look on his face as his head hangs in disappointment, whatever strange hope he had been carrying being left to rot.
= Kings of Cambridge is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series belong to Zachary Serra and his entity of Pacer1 from the start of Season 1 onwards =
“Brook, come on in” Darlene says, putting on her most convincing smile despite the confused glance from the younger girl upon her beckoning. “Is Matt out today?” Brook asks, the first question being raised before she can even step through the front door, her backpack being hurled over her shoulder as Darlene fails to answer the question clearly. “We have some grounds to cover first” Darlene explains, only those seven words leaving her lips as they approach Matt’s old office.
Upon entering, the room appears vacant, not a singular person occupying the desk at the end of the room, the decor within changed, brightened from the empty room Matt once occupied. “Did Matt get new furniture?” Brook asks, Darlene figuring out her following answers on the fly, her expectation being that Perry would have already been present.
“Your old therapist, Perry, decided to return to his old job” Darlene explains, watching the confusion arise upon Brook’s face, “unfortunately, I was therefor legally required to relieve Matt of his duties.” Posture changing, Brook attempts to combat the statements made by the woman, only for Perry’s return to stifle any immediate reply. “Brook! It’s good to see you again!” Perry calls out, lifting his hand into the air for a high five that never comes.
“Look, Perry’s good at his job and everything… But I liked Matt” Brook replies, Perry’s hand falling to his side in disappointment, her words disregarding him as they are voiced towards Darlene. “That’s something you can thank Perry for” Darlene says with a smile, throwing the man under the bus the moment such course of action is offered.
“We got along perfectly fine, though!” Perry exclaims with feigned joy, trying to save face as he looks on the positives, a perspective Brook refuses to take. “It might not have been very long, but Matt understood me a lot more in the little time he was here than anyone, including Perry, ever has” Brook explains, unaware of the joy Darlene takes in the girl’s glowing report, “I’m not having any session today unless it’s with Matt.”
With a sigh, Perry tucks his hands behind his back, looking around the room whilst suggesting Brook take a seat. “Matt can’t come in today, Brook… Let’s just talk about things and figure out where to go from there” Perry explains, a silent girl turning back to Darlene for reassurance, not receiving much as Perry takes his own seat. “If you want to see something change, let me know” Perry explains, continuing to smile through the ordeal, “we’ll work everything out the way you want it.”
Squinting her eyes at him, Brook crosses her arms, playing the role of a bratty teenager refusing to give up her ground. “You want to work things out the way that I want it?” Brook asks, her intentions residing fully on the side of challenging the man’s statement, “go back to your other job and get Matt back here.” With another sigh, Perry hangs his head, frustration beginning to grow within him as he reminds Brook that such a thing is not possible.
“Yeah, it is” Brook replies, calling the man out on his bluff, ultimately making the correct call as time would show, “you left the job and chose to come back here… Rescind your refusal and go away.” Biting his lip, Perry takes his attention away from Brook, placing his eyes upon Darlene in full view of Brook. “It’s your job to convince her to take part in therapy, Perry” Darlene explains, refusing to pull the man out of the hole he’s dug himself into, “you’re failing to do your job right now.”
Pulling hiss eyes back onto Brook, Perry asks the girl to take a seat where she’s meant to, a gesture which Brook acts in defiance against. Tossing her bag to the ground, Brook asks Darlene to step to the side as she approaches her seat, taking it by the armrests and tossing it across the room. “That was highly inappropriate and uncalled for, Brook” Perry exclaims, his declaration not phasing the girl, who picks her bag up once more and leaves the room.
“It looks like some guy off the street did your job better than you did” Darlene explains, watching Perry snarl at her as he shakes his head, refusing to go after the girl, knowing his efforts to be futile. Earning the last laugh, Darlene leaves the room, telling him to cancel this session and prepare for the next one, a gesture which only helps to further add to the tension between the two.
Entering the hidden rear-entry, Matt walks through the club before stumbling upon Danny, who sits in the makeup chair fixing his hair, a sight that puts a smile on Matt’s face. “Ladies, can my friend and I have the room?” Danny calls out, each dancer leaving the space and closing the door behind them. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?” Matt asks, the smirk on Danny’s face assuring him of his friend’s confidence.
“Do you think he’ll recognize me?” Danny asks, Matt walking behind him and looking into the reflection of the mirror just ahead, his face appearing atop Danny’s shoulder. “He’s known you since we were little… Let’s just hope he keeps that between the two of you” Matt replies, walking off into a corner of the room as Danny looks back at him, raising the difficult question on his mind.
“Does it sting?” Danny asks, Matt’s back turned towards him, his figure still able to be made out in the dim red lighting the room bathes in. “The fact that he replaced me with a slut and her piped-up son?” Matt asks, fixing the cuff on his jacket before looking over his shoulder, making sure to look in Danny’s eyes as he answers, “not often.”
Head hung, Danny leaves his seat and walks up to Matt, the man’s eyes staring into the mirror ahead of him, pulling his hair into the perfect place despite not going anywhere where such appearance is warranted. “You’re not your father, Matt” Danny says, understanding the gravity of their conversation whilst noticing the lack of reluctance Matt has to it, a calm response even being given to his prior statement from the man’s own lips.
“And my father’s not me, Danny” Matt replies, a casual nod of agreement coming from Danny’s head, “he’s a much colder man than I am, and he’s not going to take well to finding out that you’re the guy in charge of his rival faction.” With a chuckle, Danny relieves the slight worry in the man’s statement by cracking a joke, one that manages to put a smile on Matt’s face.
“I think he’d rather it be me than his own son” Danny quips, allowing laughter to come over both men just as Tyrell peaks his head through the door. “It’s showtime, gentlemen” Tyrell calls out, watching Matt give Danny a hug, telling him to come back safely. “I wouldn’t plan to do anything but, Matt” Danny replies, approaching Tyrell and departing the room, leaving Matt stood in the middle of the floor, alone as far as he’s aware.
“One would think discovering you to be the leader of the table would’ve been the biggest shock I’d see this week” Candy says from afar, revealing her presence to the man, which he refuses to even acknowledge directly, “but finding out that you’re a Gilcrest definitely takes the cake.” Clearing his throat, Matt adjusts his sleeve once more, hearing the soft heel-shoed footsteps approach his person, correcting her.
“I’m not a Gilcrest, I’m whatever the hell my father was before he married that tramp” Matt replies, slowly looking towards the woman, a fake smile dressed over his chin. “It seems like I’ve made a discovery of my own this week, as well…” Matt continues, watching the woman’s head seductively tilt as she waits patiently for him to voice his findings, “I’ve found the rat.”
Throwing one leg in front of the other with each step she takes, Candy lifts her hands by her side as if to suggest that she had no other choice. “I like a fun time and Chris has his hands on whatever makes that possible” Candy explains, a smile tearing through her maroon-colored lips, “but don’t get it twisted… I didn’t know you were in charge until I saw your ring at the bar.”
Lowering his eyebrows, Matt promises the woman that he doesn’t believe her, a response that only brings on more curiosity. “That’s fine, but you’ll still be leaving your rat to wander the halls completely unrestricted” Candy replies, her carelessness to defend her stance suggesting to Matt that she’s telling the truth in these regards. “If you’re not the rat, what do you want?” Matt replies, watching the woman’s face scrunch in amusement.
“Must you really talk business all the time? Can’t you have a little fun?” Candy asks, her hands running down the man’s chest as she slowly pulls one button after another. Not one for the affection, Matt takes both of her hands into his own and removes them from his person, assuring her that he’s not interested in her advances. “How much does Stucky know about me?” Matt asks, still concerned for his cover.
“He doesn’t know you’re still alive… At least… Not yet” Candy replies, watching Matt’s head lift, implying suspicion, “his mom doesn’t remember you ever existed and your father still visits your grave every day.” With a nod, Matt already expects the demands that come next, skipping directly to what Candy wants in return for her silence. “Silence” the woman replies, taking a seat as Matt looks at her with confusion, “you stay quiet about me… I’ll stay quiet about you.”
With a laugh, Matt tucks his hands into his pockets, scoffing at the woman’s suggestion. “I’m involved in one big mess, and you want me to just let it continue?” Matt asks, the math not precisely adding up in his eyes, “why would I continue to let you screw your way through my enterprise knowing that you bat for the opposite team?”
“Because I don’t belong to the opposite team” Candy replies, throwing one leg over another, “I belong to the guys that come after.” Turning his head, Matt asks the woman to continue, fearing the vagueness behind her words. “Your pops and Stucky’s mom want to keep the Gilcrest name in the northeast… But he knows someone else is right around the corner waiting to take over this place” Candy explains, “they’re waiting for you two to go to war so they can clean up the scraps and set up shop.”
“What are you talking about?” Matt replies, watching the woman emerge from her seat, slowly approaching the man, who begins to take worries over her warnings. “East Harlem is on the rise… and they’re expanding” the woman explains, throwing on her well-hidden New York accent, “the work you and the Gilcrest’s have done make this spot a nice set up to have… So they’ll either pick up the scraps after or take it for themselves.”
Her fake persona dropped, Candy appears to Matt as a different person to what she had seemed like before, essentially presenting herself as the mouth of Matt’s next great opposition. “You stay hushed about me, and I’ll go back to Harlem with nothing but good things to say about you” Candy explains, watching Matt’s expression sour with unrivaled disgust, “I’ll make sure that, when we roll up, you don’t gotta lose anyone… And you can leave with everything you’ve got.”
His lips puckered, Matt looks away from the woman, fearing that any longer of a look will prompt him to kill her in the place they stand in. “Do what you’ve gotta do, Matthew” Candy says, watching the anger-filled eyes of Matt dart back towards her, his name triggering an instinct that presents danger to anyone responsible for speaking it, “just keep my name out of your mouth.”
Teeth clenched, hands balled into fists, Matt walks away from the woman, pulling the door open to leave, Candy left behind to think to herself.
“What do you want?” Perry asks, entering Darlene’s offices without knocking, a gesture that brings great annoyance over her. “For a start, knocking would be greatly appreciated” Darlene replies, watching Perry take a seat in front of her desk, waving his hands forward as if to suggest he has little care for what she has to say. “For a second thing, I feel it extremely necessary to remind you that I am your boss” Darlene replies, another reminder which Perry has no care for.
“You work for me as far as I’m concerned, Darlene” Perry explains, watching the woman’s face sour at such a notion, “the moment you think otherwise, I’ll take your wrongdoings to the board and have you stripped of all titles.” Grating her teeth together, Darlene begins to press herself, trying to judge whether or not such demeanor is something she’s willing to put up with.
Attempting to speak, Darlene is quieted once more, Perry cutting her off to tell her that she’s had this coming since the moment she brushed him off like nothing. “For you to sit there and think some random guy from the street can do what I can is insane” Perry continues, “your inability to present a quality working environment shows in the decisions you make as a leader.”
Continuously cut off at every turn, Darlene stays seated, remaining silent as Perry continues to go off on her, his efforts only ended when a harsh knocking at the door presents itself. “Come in!” Darlene shouts quickly, both parties quickly surprised to find Brook entering the room, still dressed the way they last saw her. “Brook? What are you still doing here?” Darlene asks, the young girl explaining that she never left in the first place.
“I’ve been hiding in one of the closets for the last few hours” Brook explains, expressing the lines she was willing to cross to speak with Darlene alone. “I didn’t know Perry would be here” Brook explains, both adults in the room putting on smiles, uncertain as how to address the situation. “I’m not coming back here until Matt does” Brook explains, watching Perry’s eyes roll as Darlene walks over to her, “I’m done switching therapists… It’s Matt or no one.”
Having heard enough, Perry removes himself from his chair, pointing out Darlene’s inability to recognize the work environment she has been overseeing, citing Brook’s presence as a massive security issue. “You failed to take initiative earlier and you’re failing to accept responsibility now, Darlene!” Perry shouts, both the woman and Brook turning towards the man, waiting for him to continue, “for god’s sake, take initiative!”
The demand given, Perry awaits Darlene’s decision, putting himself in a position of control he’s unwilling to release himself from. Her eyes expressing anger, Darlene looks towards Brook, who returns the stare back, willing to take whatever punishment she has coming her way. “Come on, Darlene!” Perry voices again, watching the woman squeeze her eyes shut, frustration boiling too far for there to be room for its relief, “take some goddamn initiative.”
Opening her eyes, Darlene comes to her decision, head lowered towards Brook, ready to respond. “Perry Armanti” Darlene calls out, her face leaving the girl and returning to the man, each following word she says being meant exclusively for his ears, “you’re fired.” Crossed arms falling to his side, Perry’s gleeful expression falls, every ounce of frustration that had boiled within Darlene now being fully given to Perry, who practically froths at the mouth in anger.
“What the fuck are you doing, Darlene?” Perry asks, watching the woman’s face shine with joy, the sight of his anger coming off like music to her ears. “Please leave the premises or I will be forced to call authorities” Darlene requests, each sound the man makes prompting her to take one step closer to the phone, ripping his power away from him in full.
In a moment, Perry slams his fist against the wall and walks past Brook, who looks at the situation with a grin. “So does Matt come back now?” Brook asks, completely disregarding Perry, the answer to her question now the farthest thing from Darlene’s mind. “I don’t know yet… I don’t really know anything yet” Darlene replies, her eyes having drifted away, eventually finding Brook once more, the hoped-for reassurance from earlier now appearing in a pleased smile.
“Remember my orders” Danny calls back, slamming the driver’s door shut immediately thereafter, his feet carrying him through shrubbery, the given coordinates taking him to a cold forest. After a few hundred feet, Danny finds himself staring down a lone figure, stood in the middle of nowhere with his hands tucked in his pockets. “I’m looking for a drug kingpin to meet with in the middle of nowhere!” Danny calls out, walking a short distance further, “do you know where I can find one?”
In shock, the patriarch of the Gilcrest family finds his jaw dropping, the sight of a familiar face bringing awe over him. “I suppose you weren’t expecting to see me” Danny calls out, Michael’s legs almost giving out beneath the weight of the sight, “it’s been a long time, old dog.” The surprise too great to speak coherently at first, Michael’s thoughts come around, muttering the name of the man before him beneath his breath.
“Daniel?” Michael quips, the propped-up leader of the Table now standing a few short feet away from his greatest rival, staring down the cause for a thousand still-fresh wounds. “It’s been you… the whole time?” Michael asks, watching Danny shrug his shoulders at the gesture, admitting that time has flown too quickly for him to keep track. “I- I don’t know what to say” Michael replies, his mind instinctively carrying him forward, a gesture which prompts Danny to back away.
Quickly removing his hands from his pockets, Michael lifts his arms into the air to present a lack of weaponry, a show of good faith being given to Danny. Letting whatever is bound to happen unfold, Danny stands in his place with his hands kept in his pockets, allowing Michael to slowly walk forward, his intentions still unclear. After a few seconds, Michael gets within an arm’s reach of Danny, cautiously standing in front of him, unaware of the hidden blade in Danny’s sleeve.
Emotions running high, Michael unexpectedly wraps his arms around the man, giving Danny a hug, prompting the puppet leader to look at his friend’s father in confusion. “It’s been so long” Michael mutters, further confusing Matt’s friend, the interaction not something you’d expect from two people destined to be the greatest enemies of each other.
As time passes, Danny realizes where these emotions come from, his presence not being that of the Tables leader in that moment, but as a remnant of Matt, a memory that Michael had lost long ago, a memory that serves greater than any turf war.
Throwing his jacket onto a hook and slamming his front door shut, Matt flicks on the lights to his home and chucks his car keys into a bowl beside the main walkway. “Cool fish” a voice calls out from the living room, prompting Matt’s stroll to stop instantly, his eyes finding a drug-induced man standing in the glow of his fish tank, a gun pointed directly at him.
“Put your shit down and join me, won’t ya?” Stucky says, a sadistic smile on his face greeting the man. Having stopped fearing death long ago, Matt nonchalantly throws his briefcase onto the floor and strolls into the living room, leaping into his recliner whilst staring at Stucky, kicking his feet up in the process. “Ballsy… I like it” Stucky exclaims, a feigned smile coming over Matt’s face as a ‘thank you’.
“Danny’s meeting with my parents right now, so I hope you’re not expecting a call from him” Stucky explains, one eye squinting as he stares down Matt, the barrel aimed right at his head. “How’s the whole ‘killing my parents thing’ working out for you?” Stucky asks, watching Matt shrug his shoulders. “We’ve taken our first crack at it to no success” Matt replies, pausing for a moment as he considers his next steps on the fly, “we’re recalibrating for the next one.”
“So the plan’s still on?” Stucky replies, taking his answer from Matt’s grin, “that’s really good to hear… I thought you’d have gotten cold feet after the first shot.” His expression changing, Matt begins to read Stucky like a book, the addict holding him at gunpoint inquiring over the look. “It was you” Matt replies, his footrest lowering as he slowly stands from his chair, “you blew the whistle on the hit.”
With a laugh, Stucky backs away from Matt, each step he takes prompting Stucky to take one step backwards, a game of cat and mouse ensuing. “I wanted to make sure you guys weren’t cared of a little trouble” Stucky replies, watching Matt remove a fire poker from his fireplace, wielding it as a weapon. “You got my men killed” Matt says in a harrowing tone, voice lowering to an almost demonic-growl, “what else have you known about, huh?”
Not wanting to blow his chance yet, Matt holds his strike back, wanting to get as much information out of Stucky as he can before making his move. “I guess you’ll have to decide whether or not you want me dead more than you want your answers” Stucky replies, continuing to aim the gun confidently at the man, a lightbulb going on in his head. “I can get my answers from anywhere” Matt replies, one eye squinting as he stops advancing, “I want you dead more.”
“Bold strategy, Cotton… Let’s see if it-” Stucky begins to mock, his words stopping when Matt’s phone begins to buzz, the sound emanating from the briefcase, prompting the deranged Stucky to break out into a fit of laughter. “I think you outta get that” Stucky exclaims, backing away more as Matt becomes torn, the call one of importance to him whilst the other getting away with each second.
On shortened time, Matt drops the fire poker and reaches for the briefcase, pulling his phone out at the last second and greeting the voice on the other line. Looking towards his front door, Matt finds the spot Stucky had previously inhabited to be vacant, the man currently running away from the scene as the voice on the other end replies. “Brutus?” Matt calls into the receiver, waiting for his muscle’s response.
“I get you’re not a fan of living to fight another day” Candy’s voice replies, immediately prompting a disappointed look to come over Matt’s face. “Goddamnit… Candy, don’t-” Matt mutters, cut off by the sound of a gunshot, Candy’s voice responding immediately thereafter. “Sorry, but you don’t get to make an attempt on my life and live to tell the tale” Candy replies, her words being offered as a warning to Matt, “you’re no good for your word… You’ll hear from us soon.”
With that, the call is disconnected from the other line, the man taking the phone away from his ears as he looks towards the kitchen, refusing to hurl his phone across the room. Approaching his door, Matt watches Stucky’s car zip past his road, driving away from the scene as Matt walks into the road, watching Stucky drive off without a scratch.
== Kings of Cambridge ==