~ Chapter 1 ~
Donatello Constantini stared down the barrel of the gun that was pointing at his head, taking his eye off for a second to look down at the gun that was pointing to the heart of his enemy, Rafael De Luca. This war between the two families had been brutal and long standing and honestly, Donatello was tired of it. They both had buried enough men, enough friends and enough family; personally, he would be glad to call a truce. His problem, he didn’t trust the man standing across from him; but mafia men didn’t trust easily either. Truth be told, no mafia trusted a rival family; that just wouldn’t happen.
Donatello let out a breath and then dropped his gun, much to the surprise of Rafael, who tilted his head to the side as he looked at the man and finally lowered his own gun. Rafael had never shot a man point blank who wasn’t armed and he wasn’t going to start now, no matter the reason behind it.
“Would you have a seat with me, De Luca?” Rafael pulled out a chair, his eyes still focused on Donatello Constantini; this was very unusual. “I see the questions in your eyes.”
“I walked in here ready to kill you, not sit and talk, Constantini.”
“Trust me, Rafael De Luca, I thought the same thing. But as I stood there, with our guns pointing at each other, I thought about all the pain we have caused, how the blood is flowing like a river when it never should have been.”
Rafael sat his own gun on the table and looked at the man he had been fighting for, for years. Like Donatello, he would admit he was just tired of all of this as well. But, what could they do? It was obvious he had something working in his mind. “What are you thinking Donatello?”
“A truce; an alliance.”
“Us? Who would you be willing to put on the table to make sure I wouldn’t betray you?”
“Your son? Against who?”
“Valentina. A marriage between the two families.” Rafael leaned back in his chair, his arms crossed as he thought that over. The idea was sound and neither side would dare hurt the other, not with a chance of their kids being in the crossfire. The only problem that stood in the way was simple; both kids hated each other. So a marriage would be horrible, but oh so much fun to watch, which had his lips curling up.
“You are aware they hate each other?”
“Of course. But hate is just as strong of a feeling as love. Besides, it’s time to put both of these youths to work.” Rafael smiled at the devious nesses of the plan and nodded his head in agreement. Let this start the new era of their families.
Valentina flicked her long raven locks over her shoulder as she walked down the sidewalk with her friends, her bright green eyes taking in the people around her. But the moment she spotted him, she stopped walking and stared; the king of playboy’s and the princes of assholes, one Giovanni, known as Vinny to his friends.
He spotted her among her friends, not hard to do as she stood out, her beauty out shinning those around her. What made her horrible was that she knew she was gorgeous, so on top of that snotty, snobby attitude; there was that of a mafia princess. God, how he longed to see her fall. He often had fantasies of being the one to knock her down, but their fights hadn’t come to that, yet!
“Val,” he said her name with a sneer.
“Vinny.” She gave him the same tone. By rights, they shouldn’t even be talking, in fact, guns should be drawn, but not here, not with many innocent lives around, enough had already been lost.
“You know princess, your no good father should be meeting his demise at my own father’s hand.” Val rolled her eyes, the same song always being sung by this asshole.
“You are sadly mistaken. Your father will be the one to lose his life today; everyone knows that De Luca has the fastest hand and will have the bullet out before your father could even blink.” Vinny gritted his back teeth as he stared the woman down, their trash talking a common thing among them. They were roughly the same age, went to the same school and throughout all of that, they fought; keeping the war alive that dated back to at least their grandfathers.
“Does your dad ever tell you, Val, how disappointed he is that he had to have a daughter, rather than a son? How you are such a horrible stain on the mafia name?” Valentina glared at the man, her friends quickly grabbing her arms to stop her from attacking him. That was a low blow, even for him.
“Figlio di puttana, sarò lieto di portarti con il mio proiettile!” (You son of a bitch, I will gladly take you with my own bullet!)
“Val, stop, you need to let it go,” one of her friends said, her own eyes shooting daggers at Vinny. Yes, Val was the beloved princess and yes, it was a bitter pill to swallow that she wouldn’t be running the family but to say her dad was hurt, that was uncalled for. Besides, everyone knew that her cousin would be running the show.
“Save it Giovanni, you meant what you said, no use retracting it.” She turned to her friends and muttered, “let’s go.” They all nodded and followed her as she walked away. Giovanni watched them and for one split second, was sorry he uttered those words; even he knew that was wrong.
“Andiamo Vinny, andiamo a cercare delle femmine.” (Come on Vinny, let’s go find some females.) Vinny heard his friends and turned to follow them. He knew he would see her again. In their world, you always saw the same faces.