Mafia Queen

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Chapter 3, New Graves And Broken Families

How cliche.

The sky is a mess of dark gray clouds, not a speck of blue in the sky. It’s raining, the cold drops of water hitting me head-on. I should feel cold, or annoyed, or something, but I don’t. I feel numb.

My face is an emotionless mask, even though I’m at a funeral. Even at a funeral, being in the mafia, we don’t show emotion. We can’t. Emotions make us weak, something we avoid being at all costs. And since we are the Crimsons, it’s an even bigger no-no to be anything but stoic and cold.

My mind in turmoil, I glance around at the few people standing around me to find a distraction. The few who were allowed to come to the funeral are only the closest of mafia partners.

Jaxon, a couple of my father’s closest allies, and my father’s brother, Fuego. From my father’s allies, there are only two other women here, other than me. It’s not easy to be high-ranking in the mafia as a woman.

Everyone seems to be carved from stone, unmoving, unfeeling. Emotionless, like me.

My eyes narrow on Fuego, my mind taking on a new train of thought. My father and Fuego were really close. This makes me wonder what Fuego will do when I become Mafia Queen and take my father’s place. Will he challenge me for my place? Or support me? I truly don’t know.

My hand bunches the black fabric of my dress as my mind swirls with what the death of my father means. The chain reaction his death has already set off.

We need to prepare because once our many enemies find out about my father’s death, they’ll try to take advantage of the disorder we are in. And I’m not dumb enough to think that they aren’t enemies in our own midst.

Taking a deep breath, I force my endless worries to the back of my head. My hand relaxes, letting go of my black dress with the slash of crimson across the front of it. Everyone else is dressed the same. Their formal clothes black with a slash of crimson. Our mourning colors.

To be honest, I never thought I’d attend my father’s funeral any time soon. I thought my father was invincible, with his cruel smile and genius mind.

Yet here I am. Standing at his grave. Dark red roses are spread around his grave, looking almost liquid as they are drenched in the rain. The roses almost look like spilled wine. Or blood.

I shiver, blaming it on the cold rain instead of my own unease.

My focus stays on my father’s grave, the freshly turned dirt covering the coffin six feet underground. I don’t focus on anything else for what seems like an eternity.

A faint buzzing sound begins, but I don’t give it much thought. But then it gets louder and louder until it shakes me out of my daze.

“Selena! Selena! Hello?” The buzzing is a voice.

A hand is waved in front of my face, and my eyes find the face of Jaxon. I blink and he’s still there, concern written all over his face.

“Let’s go.” I murmur, turning away from my father’s grave. I don’t look back to see if Jaxon follows and start the walk to Crimson Base. Once inside, I’ll go to my secret Quiet Place. Then I’ll be able to let my emotions flow.

Crimson Base isn’t far. The cemetery where my father was just buried is owned by the Crimson Base. Fallen Crimsons and mafia partners are buried in our cemetery, instead of a public one. It keeps the mafia secret, well, a secret. Even in death.

“Selena, wait up!” Jaxon calls from behind me.

Without responding, I slow down, and soon we’re walking side by side. I stare straight ahead, cold droplets of water clinging to my eyelashes. The wet grass soaks my black boots, but I don’t mind. The chill of the water is invigorating. Especially since the rest of my body is numb to the cold already.

Jaxon walks silently beside me, which I appreciate more than he knows. He doesn’t ask me any stupid questions like, “Are you okay?“. It’s obvious that I’m not okay, that everything is not okay.

Instead, Jaxon gives me a small understanding smile. His mother was killed during a business trade-off gone wrong, leaving Jaxon with his emotionless father.

He understands, probably more than anyone, what it’s like to lose a parent due to mafia business.

I have one parent still alive, at least. My mother. But I’ve never met her. She left my father and me as soon as I was born. My father was in the mafia even before I was born, but my mother never knew.

Maybe it was for the best that she left so that she didn’t have to endure the danger of being part of the mafia.

And now I’m on my own. Though a quick glance to my left makes me realize that I’m wrong. I’m not completely on my own. I have Jaxon. That’s enough for me. More than enough.

“You going where I think you’re going?” Jaxon asks, and though I’m not looking at him, I can tell he’s smiling.

“You know it,” I reply, smiling myself. He knows me so well.


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