Power, it felt so foreign. All my life I never felt powerful, always felt stomped on and even if I was feared or accomplished it always felt like someone took all the credit, someone superior. Yet, everything felt so foreign now, I was in a foreign place, foreign environment, and foreign people; everything is about to change.
I walked around my supposed bedroom, everything so neat and well put. Paintings of beautiful scenery scattered around the walls, wooden drawers, king-sized bed with drapes and a closet filled with expensive clothing. Everything made me feel uneasy, yet I didn’t feel the need to escape.
There was a knock on the door, interrupting my observation “Come in.”
Mrs. Moretti stands in front of me with a perfect posture as she wore her formal maid uniform. She was the first person I met here when I awoke all patched up in my bed. She said she was appointed by my father to take care of me until he came back from a business trip, but I told her I don’t have a father. “Alessandra, your father is here and wants to see you.”
I don’t move I just look at her straight in the eyes, because Alessandra isn’t my name and I don’t have a father “I’ve already told you, that’s not my name, and I don’t have a father”.
“He won’t take no for an answer, Alessandra” she looked at me pleading.
A week prior
NYPD – CRIME SCENE
I stared at his lifeless body on his bed, blood splattered on the wall behind him and the weapon right beside his limp hand. I stared at my mentor, the man that taught me everything I need to know about my career, as the forensics team covered him up and swiped away, as they took pictures of the bullet hole in his forehead.
“Detective Harris, what do we tell the press? They’re outside.” One of the rookies stared at me nervously.
“We tell them nothing, not yet” the rookie nodded and went off.
“It’s an obvious suicide Harris, the evidence is right in front of you,” Jackson, the head of the forensics team, said as he sighed sadly. “If it makes you feel better, we already assured a house search, in case of any motivational evidence.”
“He just never seemed like the person who would do such a thing.” I shook my head and sighed.
“It’s always the people you least expect Harris,” he put his hand on my shoulder and went back to taking photographs of the crime scene.
Before I could just sit down and breath, my partner, Detective Smith, approaches “Harris, you really need to see this” panic was evident in his eyes like he’s seen a ghost, I frowned and followed him to the basement. A few rookies were searching the place, yet what stood out to me was a box filled with file cases placed right on a table, with one of the forensics team members standing behind; he gives me a pair of gloves before I skim through it. “It’s normal to have case files in a retired detective’s house, Smith.” I sighed and shook my head, I don’t need anything wasting my head.
“It’s not any case files, this is the Williams case.”
“Yes, and it’s a cold case, what’s your point?” The Williams case, the murder of a husband and wife and the kidnapping of their daughter. It was a case everyone followed up with, their daughters’ body was found a few days after the crime took place at their family home; yet to this day, the murderer was never found deeming it a cold case after the lack of evidence.
“Well, I’ve never seen any of these additional reports before, because I’m pretty sure you and I were at some point appointed to help out when we were starting out, remember?” Smith and I were just starting out rookies on the crime investigators team under Detective Jones’s supervision. We were appointed to do most of the paperwork part of the case, so every paper in that file back in the archives went through us. I looked at the papers Smith handed me, the writings were new, the evidence was different as I remembered. Something was completely wrong. “We need to take this back to the station, I think we just found his motive of suicide.” I looked at Smith in disbelief.
As I followed Mrs. Moretti around the house, the sound of classical music became more evident. This is the first time in the two days of my stay, that I went out of my room. The house was big and needless to say, very expensive. She stops in front of a double wooden door and knocks, on the other side, I could hear the voices of two males going abruptly silent, the knock interrupting whatever conversation they were having. “Come in,” I heard the voice of an elder man say. Mrs. Moretti nods towards the door, a signal for me to open it.
I enter the room, a room to what seems to be a study. The smell of cigar and whiskey fill the air alongside classical music in the background. The door closed as soon as I was in the room. I was faced with two men, both in expensive suits. One that seemed oddly familiar, he’s young assuming he’s in his late twenties, and the other man is I’m guessing the man that claims to be my father. The older man stands up, the younger one just stares at me with a hint of a smile.
“I told you, padre spitting image of her.” I still stand, quiet.
The older man comes from behind his large desk and approaches me, his face is in shock. “You look just like your mother” is all he says as he studies my face. Tears were threatening to fall from his eyes as he kept on studying my bruises and the cut on my lip, all a result of an attack I don’t remember much of. “You must be mistaken, I’m not who you think I am.” The older man sighs, “I knew you were going to reject this whole idea, but I am not mistaken I have all the evidence to prove who you are, but for now call me padre, Alessandra. I have been waiting twenty-four years to meet you.” He sounded sincere and from looking into his eyes, a wave of comfort washed for me as I eased up a bit. “Come take a seat, would you like a drink?”
“Whiskey neat, please.” I went and sat in front of his desk, next to what I can figure out is my brother. My father hands me my drink and goes to sit behind his desk. “Making the capo get you your drink? You’re already his favorite child and he just met you,” my brother jokes and looks at me with amusement.
“Giovanni, not now.” There was a serious hint on his face, which quickly faded when he went back to look at me.
"Benvenuto in famiglia" Giovanni smiles at me slightly and sips on his drink. I stay quiet, gripping on my drink as I stare between the two. “It means welcome to the family, sister” he spoke again after he noticed I had no reaction to what he just said. I just nodded.
“Why did he call you Capo?” I looked at my father, a serious look on my face now. Those words were familiar to my vocabulary, due to the environment I was raised in. A slight look of panic was evident on his face, “you don’t have to sugar coat it, padre I’m familiar with the word.” I raised my eyebrow, giving him a questioning look as I sipped on my drink, the liquid burning my throat.
“Since you are, by blood, a part of this famiglia, you very well have the right to know,” he sighs looking at Giovanni mentally cursing him. He obviously didn’t want to hit me with heavy information from our first meeting, but I’m not an idiot, the demeanor of the whole situation gave it away. “My name is Paulo De Rossi, and I am the Godfather or Capo of the De Rossi mafia,” he sat back in his seat looking at my face for any sort of reaction.
“You’re really bad at hiding it, padre. Maybe you should try to do a better job.” I look my father straight in the eyes as I down my drink. I was expecting a reaction, one a typical mob boss would give when told an order, but all my father did was smile.
“I have my ways of hiding my real business. Now if you excuse me, I have a meeting to attend.” He says as he gets up and walks to the door. As he approaches the door he turns around and looks at me, ”Benvenuti a casa,” and then he leaves.
Giovanni clears his throat, which brings my attention back to him, “I know you recognized me when you first stepped in the room, I could see it on your face.” He lays back in his chair studying me, waiting for me to ask questions. “I know you don’t trust us yet, but I can answer one question that’s on your mind right now all you have to do is ask.”
“Where have I seen you before?” I finally give in.
“The night of the attack, our mafia’s men and I were given a tip on where you were and what was about to happen,” he grabs the bottle and pours another drink. “I was the one who killed the assassin that was pointing a gun to your head, and as soon as I shot him dead you fainted from all the blood you lost, so I had to carry you to one of our cars.” A few flashbacks from that night popped up in my head, yet all I could still feel was defeat and pain.
“So, I suppose I need to thank you for saving my life?” I look at Giovanni sincerely, my trust in him already growing.
“You’re my sister, and in our culture loyalty is important. It wasn’t a favor to save you, it was my duty.” He smiled sincerely.
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