Forty Elephants

I wanted to drop the baby weight. I sipped my darjeeling and passed the small pound cakes to Mags. She reached out a delicate porcelain hand.

“Pass it around you skinny bitch,” I said.

Mags suck out her tongue. “It’s not my fault you’re a breeder.” Cramming a whole cake in her mouth, Mags batted one of the balloons leftover from Abigail’s birthday party.

“Mags how’s your brother doing? I saw him over at Tiffany’s in Chestnut Hill,” Wren said. She passed the cakes to her left. “Has he been working out or something?”

Wren twirled her curly blonde hair absently. I noticed her throat was flushed pink.

“He’s going Paleo to get field ready for his next half inch,” Mags said around another madeleine.

“You’ve been birddogging that cat since we were all boosting bubblegum the corner stores. Quit it already,” her twin sister Robin said with a snort. The sisters play-slapped at each other nearly upsetting the china teapot.

Trudy the strong silent type rolled her eyes in disgust. She bit into a madeleine and gave a small moan of ecstasy. We all chuckled.

“I love love. Think how cute your babies would be,” Lill said clapping in excitement. “Adorable little safecrackers.”

Sparks beamed at her wife and patted Lill’s freckled knee. I stretched in the sunshine of my backyard. Bert had taken the baby to the park and the afternoon luxuriate before me. Casting my eye around my table of good friends, trusted associates, I was proud of what Mags and I had put together. The Forty Elephants had matured from a handful of pickpockets fleecing tourists in Times Square into a well oiled thieving syndicate. We rotated crews of shoplifters and cat burglars up and down the Northeast. Yes, I was proud of what we had built and I was willing to do what it took to protect what’s ours.

“Status of little Moscow crew,” I said to Sparks.

Her lovely plump cheeked face grew stormy. “Not good Diamond. Reports that their crews are encroaching into Paramus and Princeton.”

The table went still. Mags and I talked with a glance. Next I looked at Trudy and tossed her a blood red handkerchief. With a curt nod, Trudy retrieved the fabric and tossed Mags the last petite pound cake. Lightning fast, I snatched it out the air. Mags pouted. Smiling I took a greedy bite.

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