Chapter 1 - The Real Reason
Alexa couldn’t believe her luck. She was on her way for an all-expenses paid trip to Italy; a place she had always wanted to go!
Not only that, but she would be spending the entire trip with her best friend Willow and with the man of her dreams by her side…
Putting aside the fact that he was an extremely handsome billionaire and CEO to his family’s multi-billion-dollar company, the man behind all the glitz and glamour meant everything to Alexa.
And just as importantly, he absolutely adored her in return.
After all, the two were in love.
But her dream hunk had a much darker side, one that she was slowly becoming accustomed to as time went on and their relationship continued to blossom.
Alexa had learnt that Dante Romano had strong ties with the Mafia.
More precisely, he was the face of the Mafia in New York City. A viciously merciless Mafia Boss known as The Reaper who had connections and loyal followers across the entire world.
And of course, as a Mafia Don, Dante had many enemies to watch out for.
Unfortunately, bringing Alexa into his incredibly dangerous lifestyle had only put a massive target on her back, much to his disdain.
His main rival was the Greco Family Mafia, another New York based syndicate vying for Dante’s turf and trading routes.
The Greco’s were led by a man named Don Raphael Greco, along with his only son, Alonzo Greco and were a continuous problem for Dante and his crew.
Which was one of the reasons that Dante had flown the entire group over in his private jet to his home country of Italy.
That and of course, the impending issue with his estranged father, Don Diego Romano.
It had been over four hours since the jet had departed from Dante’s private airstrip back in New York, and they were due to land at their destination within the next five hours or so, depending on weather.
They were headed for The Karol Wojtyla Airport located in Bari, Puglia. The Romano family had their own private airfield located there.
If there was one thing the Romano brothers knew, it was how famous they were back home. If word of their visit leaked to the press there would no doubt be crowds of people waiting for them when they arrived.
That was why their father, Don Diego had insisted they keep their visit a secret from anyone outside of their trusted group on board the jet.
As for the real reason they were headed to Italy, Dante had yet to advise his brothers and the others working for him of it.
He had even kept it from Alexa.
The less she knew, the better off she would be, he had convinced himself. Dante would tell them all about his father’s concerns, but only when it was absolutely necessary.
No point spoiling their vacation so soon.
The group were scheduled to arrive at around 4pm New York standard time, so that would make it around 10pm over in Italy. Quite a big loss of time, but none of them seemed to mind.
This was after all, a fully paid vacation!
Everyone onboard the jet seemed to find themselves something to do. Some took the time to socialise and chat amongst themselves, having been off the clock for the time being.
Others enjoyed the peace and comfort and chose to rest or sleep throughout the flight.
Nicola sat in a quiet area of the jet, calmly reading the latest book by one of his favourite authors.
The massive man seemed to have a calmer, gentler side to him, which often surprised others when they eventually got to know him better.
Luca sat with a group of people playing a game of poker.
So far, he had convinced Matteo, Cecilio, Lanzo and Bruno to join in and it appeared that luck seemed to be smiling upon him as he won yet another hand.
Willow and Roberto spent their time casually chatting and making out with one another in the front section of the jet, which had a curtained off area.
The two were enjoying their chance at privacy for the first time in a while as they got to know one another a little more.
And of course, Dante had Alexa all to himself down in the back room of the jet.
The pair had been in there the entire trip, having locked themselves away from the others to spend some much-needed bonding time with one another.
They had been through so much in their short time together and it appeared to have only strengthened their relationship.
At that very moment, Dante was redressing himself as quietly as he could, hoping not to wake Alexa as she slept soundly on the bed after their most recent round of intimacy.
He’d lost count of how many times they’d fucked in the past four hours. It appeared that the two of them were unable to keep their hands off one other even for a moment.
And Alexa… the woman was bloody insatiable!
She currently lay diagonally across the mattress, stark naked and on her side with one arm resting right up in front of her angelic face.
No doubt the strenuous sex had taken a toll on her, especially after having done it non-stop for four hours!
Dante was surprised he could even stand up right now!
Sneaking back across to sit down on the edge of the bed, the handsome Don sat admiring his beautiful woman one last time before he left, as she slumbered peacefully beneath him.
Reaching across to grab the fluffy white quilt that had been carelessly strewn to the foot of the bed, Dante pulled it up over her body, all the way up to her shoulders before he tucked her into it lovingly.
He ran his fingers through her long blonde hair, revelling in her innocence with a proud smile.
This woman… this gorgeous, spirited woman… she was his.
Then, after rising up to his feet, Dante headed for the door leading out of the back room.
He would allow Alexa to sleep for as long as she needed while he went and checked in on the others.
Nicola was the first one that Dante came to pass on his walk through and as he approached, Nicola noticed movement, lowering his book and lifting his eyes to meet with those of his boss.
“Enjoying the flight?” Nicola teased with a playful smirk.
Dante replied with a smirk of his own as he sat down opposite his second-in-command and crossed a leg over the other.
Nicola gave a sudden chuckle.
“Not as much as you are, I’m afraid boss…” he joked, lifting his book up for Dante to get a better look at what he was reading.
“Just getting some light reading done while I’ve got the chance. You know how it is, I barely ever get the time to just sit down and read like this. Especially not lately.”
“Yes, things have been rather crazy, haven’t they?” Dante agreed, letting out a long sigh as he sat back into his chair.
His expression alone showed Nicola that something was on his mind. Being the loyal and concerned subordinate, he decided to speak up.
“What aren’t you telling me?”
Dante looked stunned as he lifted his emerald eyes up to meet Nicola’s. Suddenly the powerful Mafia Don appeared nervous, uncertain even.
“What do you mean?” Dante queried, feigning ignorance.
Nicola tilted his head to the side, lifting his left brow up intentionally.
“You’re hiding something from me. You forget I know you… I know your tells.”
Closing his eyes and lowering his head in defeat, Dante decided it would probably be best to at least allow Nicola in on what was going on.
After all, he was Dante’s most faithful and trusted friend and had been for many years now.
“Last night, I received a phone call… from my father.” Dante began to explain with a solemn expression plastered upon his face.
After hearing Dante mention his father, Nicola immediately sat up as his curiosity spiked.
Dante nodded his head.
“But capo… you told me your father was dead.”
“He is… he’s dead to me anyway.” Dante admitted.
“I’m sure my brothers feel the same after what he did to us…”
Nicola seemed stunned by this revelation as he leaned back into his chair again.
He could see that Dante was clearly not in the mood for a lengthy discussion about a man he obviously detested.
Having so many questions about his estranged father though, Nicola decided to only ask one of them for now, out of respect for his capo and friend.
“So… what did he want?”
“Said he’s in some trouble. He won’t tell me the details of any of it just yet. All he said over the phone was that he needed us to come right away.”
“That’s why we’re all headed to Italy right now, isn’t it?” Nicola asked, putting two and two together.
“Yeah.” Dante admitted.
“The boys are gonna be so disappointed when they find out that we’re still on the clock, boss.” Nicola reminded him.
“Let’s keep this just between you and me for now, yeah?” Dante commanded.
Nicola nodded his head.
“I’ll tell the others when the time is right. It would be nice to allow them to enjoy at least some of their trip before things get chaotic again...” Dante suggested.
“I agree. I won’t say a word.” Nicola announced.
“What about Alexa?”
Once again, Dante met his underling’s gaze as Nicola continued to question him.
“Have you told her yet?”
“No…” Dante replied, moving to stand back up from his seat.
“Like the others, I’ll tell her when the time is right. As far as any of them are concerned, we are all going to Italy for a vacation.”
“Got it.” Nicola agreed with a nod before lowering his gaze down towards the book he was now reopening.
“My lips are sealed.”
As Dante went to walk past Nicola, he gave his large friend a thankful pat on the shoulder with his hand.
The gesture was simple, but the meaning hidden behind it went much deeper.
Dante trusted Nicola with his very life. He had no concerns that his friend could keep their secret from the others, no matter what.
Dante's father, Don Diego Romano, was not a man to frighten easily.
Having been raised practically from birth in the desolate world of the seedy underground, he had seen his fair share of death since he was but a very young child.
The man had made his first kill when he was only six years old.
Even as powerful and fearless as he was, something clearly had him on edge right now. Someone or something had him feeling utterly terrified…
As Diego sat in one of his lounge areas sipping at a fresh glass of scotch, he heard the dreaded sound of his phone ringing from the desk nearby and turned to face it with a pale-white look of concern on his face.
These calls now had him afraid to answer his own phone.
And that was only the beginning of his troubles.
Reaching out to Dante was a last resort, something he had always promised himself that he would never have to do.
But with no one else to turn to and feeling like he couldn’t trust anyone around him, Diego had very little choice in the matter.
Now he could only hope that his sons would arrive in time to help save his life...