The New World > The Badlands

what's the price i've got to pay? — trespassers, open.


Teddy prophesied his imminent downfall. It broke him to contemplate that it had probably been caused by Giovanni, as well as Teddy’s reluctance to remove his rose-tinted glasses, but there would come a time where he’d confess to Micah and Juliette and, more importantly, himself that his older brother had been right all along.

He had been standing in the hotel lobby when he noticed the upheaval outside. Initially, Teddy gave the commotion an insouciant quirk of his brow as it disturbed the conversation he was invested in. It was likely a tête-à-tête between a couple of Made Men, probably putting on whatever belligerent bravado made them feel like the men they wanted to be. That was until Teddy distinctly heard a man raise his voice, ❝ Nah, we’re here to see the Knopes, and we’re not leaving until we’ve spoken to them! ❞ It was easier to remain composed right in the heart of his own empire, but a twisting sensation in the gut was inevitable following the tone of the man’s voice.

If they wanted to ❛ talk ❜, it weren’t for nothing nice.

Teddy silenced the person he had been speaking with by wordlessly raising his pointer finger towards them as his attention remained focused on the disturbance outside. ❝ Yeah, well our Boss wants us to let them know that our deal with the father is off. ❞ On the other side of the hotel’s glass doors, three unfamiliar men were becoming increasingly confrontational as several Badlanders blocked them from walking up the brick road to the front of the hotel. Whilst it was usually policy to bring hostile trespassers to The Administration, Teddy was rigid as he listened carefully to their words. These weren’t people that Teddy wanted to face.

Teddy clicked his tongue, releasing a short sigh of stress before looking over to the person he had initially silenced. ❝ Go tell ‘em that the Knopes are busy and make sure ya see ‘em outta our fucking city. Make sure nobody kills ‘em though. They need’a stay alive. ❞ Killing or harming them would only ignite the explosive vendetta against them even more, and Teddy knew better than to play with fire as wild as these people. These were the big fish in the world; whilst the Knopes were steadily rising, they still had opposition that could crush them if they played a reckless game. Teddy was smarter than to tempt their aggression, especially after the misguided stunt Giovanni had pulled way back when he and Teddy worked together in New Orleans. The stunt that had gotten them into this mess in the first place.

❝ What’s all da ruckus? ❞ Giovanni wandered into the lobby from the casino with a shit-eating grin on his lips. As if he would dare to laugh once Teddy enlightened him. Turning his head to stare over towards Papa, Teddy’s lips parted with disbelief before brows pinched together tightly. ❝ It’s you, Papa. Fuckin’ us over, time after time again, that’s what all da ruckus is! ❞ Teddy hissed viciously, nostrils flaring with a look which could kill Papa if he ever had the heart to truly stand up to him. Teddy would complain, he’d hiss and spit and snarl, but he’d never cut Papa out of his life in the way Micah had. They were family, and so they’d inevitably face the storm together. Teddy would always be there for Papa, because maybe one day Papa would learn to be there for Teddy in return.

Giovanni's face fell with vexation. He clearly wanted to snap back, his face turning red with anger towards Teddy’s insolence, but instead he eventually broke the glare he sent Teddy’s way so that he could listen into the conversation outside. As father and son stood rigidly beside each other, they watched as the three men were ushered away, armed Badlanders following them to ensure they left The Badlands. ❝ We need’a figure out what we gonna do with ‘em… No, you need’a figure out what we gonna do with ‘em. ❞ Teddy jabbed a finger Papa’s way before turning to walk into the casino, sliding down to sit at the bar.

With a sigh, he cradled his head in his hands before glancing towards whoever was closest to him. ❝ I need a drink. ❞ He pointed out bluntly with the expectation that they’d provide.


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