Francis had a love-hate relationship with his job. It paid well and he never needed to deal with the crowds, but the made men who came to his door at the Red Circle were also not to be fucked with no matter how belligerent or demanding they were. For some years, this had not been a problem, until Iosef and his hangers-on had come of age. The boss’ brat had grown up into an entitled little shit. No fucking manners. The girls at the club hated him, hiding their disgust behind smiles and dim lighting, and he’d been such a pain in the ass.
No one at the Red Circle had mourned his passing. Viggo? He’d been a good boss and yet... well. Mr. Wick had been part of the family, so to speak, for a long time. The Boss must have fucked up something awful for shit to go down the way it had. There were rumours, always were. That it was likely Iosef who had caused the whole mess seemed pretty fucking plausible. Mostly, the rumours were bullshit though and Francis shrugged them off.
The night that the club had gotten shot up, Francis had expected to get flogged for leaving his post. It was a risk he’d been willing to take. Mr. Wick had never failed to show courtesy and respect to the staff. Didn’t even take advantage of what the girls had to offer and boy did they offer, the ones who weren’t terrified of him anyway. In a fit of nerves, Anastasia had once dropped a full glass of wine in his lap and Mr. Wick had only sighed. Calm, classy, and dangerous as fuck, the guy hadn’t even stiffed her on the tip, though he had stuck around long enough to execute some poor bastard in the bathroom before he left.
So Francis had taken Mr. Wick’s offer for what it was because, while he would never have intentionally targeted the staff, he would definitely have put Francis down if the doorman had deliberately interfered. There was no one in the bar that had been worth it, as far as Francis had been concerned.
When he’d faced Mr. Tarasov, Viggo had looked almost haggard. Whatever the fuck had been going on had been taking its toll. He’d waved Francis off with a half-hearted warning, possibly because Mr. Wick had viciously blown through Iosef’s personal security and Francis would have posed no challenge, whatsoever. It had been the last time Francis had seen the Boss. Abram Tarasov had picked up his brother’s half of the business and kept things running smoothly after Mr. Wick had apparently raised hell before calling a truce.
That sort of shit wouldn’t happen again. Because if it did? If this was some new normal, full-on gun battles on the fucking dance floor? It would come down on Abram too and no one would trust that the Tarasov family could protect their own. The staff would be gone, along with the legitimate cash the club brought in (and laundered), and no way could they afford that. Not after the church had gone up in flames.
No, right now stability was the goal and it left Francis shockingly at ease. It was a new feeling. He liked it and, despite the chaos of that handful of days, Francis was glad for the outcome. Most of the club was. They’d quietly toasted the Boogeyman after closing one night, and if Mr. Wick ever showed up again off the clock there was a glass with his name on it behind the bar.
Francis didn’t think he would, however. He’d probably vanish again like he had some five odd years ago. It was for the best. The guy deserved some peace after being fucked over for no goddamned reason.
He stood by his door, smoking a cigarette and looking out into the night. Someone was creeping through the shadows the next doorway down, wearing a hoodie no less. Amateur. Francis stubbed out his cigarette and sighed before pulling out his glock.
Nobody had any class anymore.