Shattered By The Mafia

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3 The Funeral

Chapter 3 The funeral.
Max pov almost two weeks later

“We have all gathered here today to say farewell to Gabriella Bianchi.”

Is all I hear as I sit there in the front row in the church. The urn on the table behind the large picture of her makes me feel numb. Looking at her picture, I try to understand why she of all people had to leave. Her beautiful brown eyes and the smile on her lips are shining with happiness, and the guilt makes it hard to breathe. She will never be happy again. She will never smile because I failed to protect her, my Gabi. My sweet amazing Gabriella. I feel a small trembling hand on my right arm, Kaylee’s.

She’s sitting as far away from me as she can, her left arm completely outstretched as she touches me. I am more than grateful towards her, thankful that she has helped me arrange all of this. She worked hard to make it as perfect as possible. It’s beautiful, and Gabi would have liked it. All her favorite flowers are lying all around the white urn on the table and the floor. Still, I can’t help but feel a little resilient towards the woman who saved my life. I don’t want to be here or anywhere else.

The church is full. My whole family is here to pay their respects to the woman I love. Behind us sits Luke, his wife, and his friends. They are still here even though I have told them to go home and take a group of my men with them to protect them. But my stubborn idiot of a brother refuses, claiming that he needs to be here to make sure I stay out of trouble. I’m more than happy that he is still here. Jaxson is sitting to my left, my best friend who has shown more than loyalty lately, and I have no idea how I will ever repay him for all he has done. His head is bowed as he stares down at the floor, his eyes are shining with tears, and I look away, not wanting to see it. I refuse to cry!

The only one who is missing is Isaac, who is still recovering at the hospital. Another thing to be grateful for, he survived and will be fully recovered. Any day now, he will be leaving the hospital to come and stay at my house until I have found him a place to live. I squeeze my eyes shut. I don’t want to cry. Gabi would have smacked me in the head or thrown stuff at me if I cry. Jaxson squeezes my left arm, making it even harder to keep the emotions locked inside. I picture Gabi rolling her eyes at me, calling me a damn pussy who needs to pick up my balls and stop whining. Smiling, I let out a long breath.

One after one, people stand up and slowly walk up to her urn, whispering words that I can’t hear before they turn to me and bow their heads. When everyone except for me has been up there, and the church is empty of people, I stand up. My body still aches from pain as I up walk up to her picture. There are so many things I want to say, but I don’t want to say them to a picture. I want her to be here, feel the warmth of her body as I hold her to my chest and whisper them in her ear.

“I’m sorry.” My eyes are now full of tears. No matter how hard I try to keep them from falling, a few of them flows down my cheeks. I dry them away with the back of my hand as a low chuckle leaves me.

“You were right. I’m a damn pussy.”

I let two of my fingers trace the picture, touching her cheek, but they are not warm and soft. The smooth cold surface of the glass is hard and sends shivers down my spine. She’s gone, and everything feels cold and dark. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to live without her. I just stand there, unable to move, unable to say goodbye. I don’t know how I will be able to turn my back and walk away. This is the only thing left of her, and I don’t want to let go. I want to go back in time. I desperately want to change it all. Change me, change all I have done.

“Max.” Kaylee’s soft voice pulls me out of the dark thoughts, and I straighten my spine, but I don’t turn around. I hear her step closer. The woman is a mystery to me. She’s still here even though I scare her. She’s not terrified of me but still scared.

“Max, it has been over two hours.” She whispers, then she stands by my side. I glance at her. Her blue eyes are on Gabi’s picture.

“She’s beautiful. She looks like a sweet woman.” I start laughing, and Kaylee looks at me, her expression confused and worried at the same time.

“Sure, Gabi had her sweet moments, but she had a bad temper. She always yelled at me, cursed me to hell, and threw stuff at me. No person in this world has shown me as much disrespect as Gabi has. I loved that about her. She kept me on my toes, gave me shit. I deserved it most of the time. She saved me from being a complete monster, she…”

I trail off, and Kaylee gives me a soft smile. I have only seen her smile one time before, at least that I can remember.

“It wasn’t your fault.” She tells me, and I turn to look at Gabi’s picture again.
“This would never have happened if it wasn’t for me.” In the corner of my eye, I see Kaylee step closer, her hand stroking my arm as she speaks.

“You are not a monster, and it wasn’t your fault. I might not know her, but I know enough to know that she wouldn’t blame you for this. No one does. You might do bad things, but you do good things too. You loved her, you love your family, and you do what you can to keep them safe and happy. You are just one man, and you can’t control everything. Try to see yourself through her eyes. I know you can.”

I turn to Kaylee, her small body tense up with the need to back away as I face her. I can see her struggle not to let her fear take over.

“Thank you for all of this, for making this perfect. I wouldn’t have been able to do it myself because I don’t know how to let her go.” I look down at the floor as the words leave me.

“Losing someone hurts, but they will always be there. Live for her. I know she wouldn’t have want you to give up on life.” I nod at her words and look at Gabriella’s picture again. My chest aches with more pain than any beating I have experienced when I look into her brown eyes.

“Walking out of here will be hard, but you still have things to live for. Many people are waiting for you outside, people who love you.” She whispers, and I look at her. She’s right, and those people out there aren’t safe as long as the Mexican boss is running loose. I need to find him and destroy him. Then I can decide what to do with the rest of my life. I turn my back to the picture, my heart hurting and my inside scream at me to stay. Swallowing hard, I take a step then I turn around again.

“Sweet Gabriella, I love you.” I whisper, and then I walk out of the church with Kaylee by my side. I have many unfinished things to do. My first priority is to make sure that those I love are safe, kill the Mexicans, and I have a wedding to go to.I did promise Luke to be there even though I was tempted to kill him when he said that he wanted a Chipmunk bridesmaid.

I told him it’s called a bridegroom, and he answered: “Yeah, I know, but only the tough guys get to be a groom. Chipmunks get to be maids.” Fucking asshole!

He has been acting like a damn sticky bandage, always there to nag me about something. Max, you need to eat. Max, you need to sleep. Max, you need to get up from the bed. No Max, don’t do that. Let me help you Max. He’s everywhere, literally following me like a damn shadow, and if I hear my own name again, I will explode.

He’s everywhere, literally following me like a damn shadow. He needs to go home, or I will shoot myself in the head. My men are damn irritated on him too. He walks around being rude and ordering them around all day long, calling them everything from Mr Pasta to limpdicks.

I told him to stop, and he just tells me to eat a nut and be quiet. So yesterday, I told Iza that she need to take Luke home. I don’t want to be rude, but damn I don’t want to be the one killing Luke. He’s worried I get it, but he’s too much, and someone needs to give Iza a damn medal for being able to deal with that guy.

As soon as we step out of the church, I see Jaxson, Luke, and his friends stand outside waiting. Maya look at me before handing over the baby to Alex, then she starts walking towards me. Kaylee steps away, creating a safe distance between her and Maya.

“If there’s something I can do, just say the word.” She tells me, wrapping her arms around me. I hug her back, looking over at Kaylee, who glances nervously from Maya to the others who have started walking towards us.

“I will.” Is all I can say. Then I receive a hug from all of them, even Luke.
“Thank you all for being here,” I say, looking at Luke, who nods.

Back at the house, I walk straight upstairs towards my room, leaving my friends with Jaxson. I hear Kaylee follow, and before I enter my room, I turn to her.

“Are you okay?” I ask, and she starts chewing on the inside of her cheek as she shakes her head.

“Do you regret killing Bella?” I ask, and her blue eyes turn dark, full of hate before she speaks.

“No, I wish I could do it again.”
“Hate is a dangerous thing. It can eat you alive. I know it’s hard, but for your own sake, you need to leave those feelings behind you.”

“Don’t you hate those who killed Gabi and hurt you?”

“I do, including those who hurt you, but you are not like me. You are a good person. You can have a good life again even though it will take some time to get there.”

“I don’t know what or who I am anymore.” She says, shaking her head.

“The love of family and friends combined with smiles are the best medicine to find yourself again.” She lets out something between a snort and a humorless laugh.

“My mother died a long time ago, and my adoptive father is dead too. The only friend I had moved to Peru a few months ago. I am not a people person.”
“What about your real father?” I ask, and she shakes her head.

“I have never met him. I doubt he knows about me. My mother met him during a vacation or something like that. She tried to contact him, but he had moved from the address he had given her. She made some small attempts to find him but gave up when she met my adoptive father. He couldn’t have kids of his own, so he adopted me. He was an amazing dad.”

“What do you know about your real father? He’s Scandinavian, right?” I ask, and she narrows her eyes like she’s trying to remember

“Yes, he’s Swedish. When mom met him, he lived in Sweden, not far away from the Norwegian border. Parts of the year, he worked on an oil rig somewhere in Norway and in the Swedish mountains during the summer. My mother wasn’t sure, but she thought that he was a park ranger in Abisko Nationalpark. His name is Karl Löwe.”

“Do you know how old he is?” I ask, and she shrugs.

“I’m turning twenty-six. My mom was nineteen when she had me. I have a picture of them together. He didn’t look like he could be much older than her, perhaps a few years. I guess that he’s around fifty now, if he is alive.”

“Do you want me to try to find him for you?” I ask, and her blue eyes turn guarded.
“Why?” She asks me, and I shrug.

“I thought you might want to meet him.”

She hisses and storms inside her room, slamming the door shut and locking it behind her. I blow out a long breath and look up at the ceiling. Kaylee needs someone in her life. Perhaps her father is a good guy? If he is, then introducing them to each other might change her life for the better, it might give her something to feel grateful for? Walking inside my room, I pick up my phone and Oliver.

“It’s me. I need you to find someone for me and fast. I will send you the little information I have about the man.”

“Sure thing, Boss. Do you want me to bring him to the last stop when I find him?” He asks me
“God no! It’s Kaylee’s father. I want all information you can get a hold of, and I need to know if he’s a good guy.”

“Oh, okay. I can do that. Send me the stuff.”

Hanging up, I text Oliver what Kaylee told me. I usually would ask Jaxson to do this, but Jaxson has been working his ass off lately, and I know how worried he is about Isaac so I don’t want to bother him with this

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