We arrived in Tuscany late in the day. It was summer and it was pretty warm. I got out of the car and looked at my father’s home. I didn’t grow up in it but we came here for vacations and the last time I saw him, it was here. Different emotions erupted inside me and my hands balled into fists by my sides. I needed to find that woman and fast. I walked inside the house and looked around. My feet moved on their own to the pictures on the walls and settled on the one picture I looked up to my whole life. He was in his sleek black suit. His face looked gloomy as always and he was staring at the only watch he wore. Mother got him that watch as an anniversary gift and after she died, he never wore any other.
“Sir”. I heard behind me. I felt my heart rate rise because I was about to learn everything about that woman. I turned around slowly.
“Jones.” I gave him a slight nod and went towards him.” You got what I want?” I walked in the lounge and sat on one of the couches. He sat across me and brought out an envelope identical to the one Winter showed me. Fuck, I hated envelopes. I took it anyway. I felt my adrenaline kick in. my hands shook a little bit as I opened it.
Photos of her and my father together. What the fuck?
I looked over at Jones, waiting for an explanation. He cleared his throat loudly then looked away.
“Sir, your father and Lucy James were seeing each other. Well not really seeing each other. He would meet her at one of his apartments in Florence. He never brought her here”.
She meant nothing to him if he never brought her here. It was some kind of a code for the men of this family. Never bring the quick fucks home. “Go on”. I gave him a cold stare to continue.
“Very well. Actually, Sir, they go way back.”
My heart stopped for a second, I swear. My father was anything but a cheater.
“When your mother was sick, he casually went out with her. And then he stopped after your mother’s health got worse. She was married to Luca James, your father’s rival in the arms dealership game, back then. They have a child, no trace of this one. Anyway, your father told Luca to walk away from the business or he would kill him and Luca caved. He went into the country side and started living the simplest life you can imagine. She left him. And then.”
“She came for my father and he fell for her stupid tricks.” It was a lot to take in. I stood up and went to the mini bar and took the whole bottle of vodka, drank from it. I held the bottle by the neck and motioned for Jones to go on.
“Yes, she came back for revenge. Your father took away all the nice things in life from her, their source of money and she kind of wanted to pay back. We found one of the guys that helped her kill your father. He’s in the basement. He told us about all her plans and he gave us her address, the safe house she’s staying in. she knew you guys would come after her. So you’ll tell us when you’re ready and we’ll hit it.”
I breathed out and looked at Jones. My body was on fire and I was finally getting my revenge. I was going to kill this Lucy James. I went back to the couch and sat down. “We wait for Winter”. I knew that if I went downstairs to the basement, I would kill this guy and winter would be angry that I went on without him. I needed to share all this new found information with him. Then I remembered that Winter hid the details from me. Was this the reason?
“Thank you, Jones”. I stretched my hand out to him and he took it. I was really grateful that he helped me find this bitch and I was going to put her in the ground like the bitch she was.
“You’re welcome, Sir”. He looked at me as he stood up. He looked at his watch like he needed to be somewhere. I, then, remembered that his wife was pregnant. I couldn’t express my gratitude more so I stood up and stretched my arms for a hug. He hugged me back.
“I owe you, Jones. Whatever you need, I’m here”. I moved back and stared at him. He gave me a slight nod with a tight smile and then he walked out of the house.
I stared at the picture on the wall with new eyes. I kind of hated him for what he did to my mother. She was fighting for her life every single day and he couldn’t keep his little guy in his hands. I remembered all the times he came home and acted like the sight of my mother, his wife broke his heart when he was fucking some random bitch he should have stayed away from. I took out my phone and ringed Winter.
“I know why she killed him” I said matter-of-factly. I breathed heavily and waited for him to say his part.
“I know, you know”. He sighed into the phone and I just held it against my ear. I took a deep breath and told him the news I wanted to say in the first place.
“I have the guy that helped her with everything. I’m waiting for you to get here”. I said it calmly.
“Good. You wait for me, Petrov. I want to make this little fucker pay”. He hanged up.
He fucking hanged up on me.
I let it slide and leaned back in my seat. Footsteps sounded behind me and I knew who it was.
He came and sat where Jones had been. He gave me a look of pity but there was a hint of resentment there. He laid his hands on his knees and looked at me.
“I’m sorry, Mr. De Luca. I was told not to tell you about the affair going on between Mr. De Luca and Miss-
“Don’t say her name”. I ordered and he kept his head down.
“I didn’t think she was a threat. I trusted Mr. De Luca’s judgment”. I saw the redness spread to his whole face and knew he was being sincere and honest.
“It’s not your fault, Ronaldo”. I dismissed him by walking out of the lounge and heading towards the stairs. He came after me. I stilled on the staircase and waited for him to speak.
“The partners at the bank in Florence are asking questions, Sir”
“I’ll take care of it tonight”. My father helped me run the Banks in Florence. If he was dead then that meant that I needed to move here and tie all of his loose ends. Florence was the place with the most dangerous men in the world and I needed to stay close to handle everything firsthand. Thanks, Father.
“Very well, Mr. De Luca”. He turned around and headed to the kitchen.
I took the stairs and went into one of the guest rooms on the second floor. I found my bags already on the bed. My clothes were unpacked and hanged in the closet. Man, Ronaldo was a good member of stuff. I looked into my closet and picked out the dark navy suit at the front of the closet. I dressed up and got bready to meet with the partners.
I LOOKED AT MY REFLECTION in the elevator and saw my father. I looked just like him. I mean, Winter looked a lot like him too but he had mother’s dirty blonde hair so that was one difference between us. The elevator dinged and I got out of the elevator and headed to the last door of the corridor. There was a man at the door, usual. He knew exactly who I was because when he saw me head towards him, he moved from the door and opened it before I got there.
“They’re expecting you”. He gave me a slight nod and I just walked past him. I didn’t want to be here. I felt like this was a total waste of my precious time.
I walked into the room to find all of them there. Two of them. They sat on their leather seats and drank wine. Piss. I invited myself in and sat down across from them. I hitched my leg on top of my knee and unbuttoned my jacket. I looked between them, waiting. I waited for them to ask me all the questions they had been asking. I wanted to know. I gave them the coldest glare. This was my city and I ran it my way. They needed to understand the fact that they were below me and not above me or at the same table with me.
I cleared my throat loudly. “I’m waiting for the questions, Boys”. I looked between them again. They exchanged stares and the oldest of them, Bennie cleared his throat and looked at the wall.
“We heard about your old man”.
“And? You keep the business going”. I said matter-of-factly. “Nothing is going to change. I’m back in charge. You report to me now. Now if that’s all you wanted to talk about, I’ll take my leave”. I stood up and headed for the door. I got out and headed for the elevator. My phone rang and looking at the caller ID, Winter.
“What?” I growled into the phone. I had had enough of bullshit for a day and I wasn’t going to get any from him too.
“WHOA! Calm down, Little Man”. He chuckled into the phone and I noticed the excitement in his voice. “While you were out doing business, the boys and I got the bitch from her safe house. I couldn’t help it.”
I smiled slightly. That was definitely more like Winter. “I’m on my way, Wint. Wait for me.” I got out of the elevator and into my armored truck.
“Did you just call me Wint?” he asked and I raised my eyebrows because I didn’t realize I’d said that.
“Don’t flatter yourself”. I hanged up and smiled as I sped out of Florence. I used to call him that when we were kids and it must’ve slipped out of my lips because of the excitement. I hoped this would be the event that got us back together and be the brothers we once were.
I walked into the basement to a shirtless Winter. He was ready to get this shitshow started and I couldn’t agree more. I walked towards the first cage at the far end of the room. Her. She was on her knees and was a shivering mess. Her body was convulsing over and over and that brought a feeling of victory to my veins. I looked down at her. I waited for her to look up at me. I wanted her to look me in the eye. She killed the most powerful man that I knew, she should look me in the fucking eyes.
She raised her head.
I knelt down to be eye-level with her. Her tiny body moved away from the bars and I chuckled. She was so tiny compared to me and my brother. Killing her was going to be the easiest thing we’d ever done. She wore a T-shirt that hung low on her neck and her collarbones were on show. Jesus. This woman was so tiny. She looked up at me and I saw her enormous blue eyes. They well covered in the moisture she didn’t want to let out. Didn’t want to look weak. I actually respected her for that because any other woman would have pissed herself after realizing that she was about to be butchered to death. She kept her eyes on me. I knew those eyes.
She was silently pleading with me and I stood up and left the side of the cell and headed to my brother. He was unpacking his tools. He didn’t look at me but I could sense that I was about to get the big brother talks. The don’t-screw-this-up kind of talks. I was used to them. Every time we did something together, I was always the one that saw a better way of doing things and that always pissed him off.
“I have a feeling you know what I’m about to say”. He brought a hammer and left it on the table. His green eyes stared at me with the intensity I knew very well. His well buffed up chest rose and fell slowly. I knew that if I tried to be against him, he’d kick me out of the basement and kill her anyway.
But that’s not how I felt. Not this this time. I wanted her dead as much as he wanted her dead. It was so mutual this time.
I took of my jacket and placed it on the table next to his equipment. My shirt came off next and I turned to look him in the eye when I unbuttoned my shirt slowly. “I want this as much as you want it, winter”. I stood in front of him and looked him straight in the eyes.
“Good.” He rounded the table and went to the Lucy’s cell. He opened the cell and took her by the neck. She didn’t try to scream or resist. She went with him willingly. Kind of bravery you don’t see every day for someone who is about to die.
“Let’s get this shit over with, boys.” She straightened her tiny body as she walked to the chair and sat down. Her blue eyes looked straight at me. She still gave me that look.
I looked away.
“Very well then, Luce. I just need to get you on that noose then stab you a couple of times. And then ill chop you piece by piece and then bury you in an oil drum somewhere here. Sound like a plan?” Winter said coolly. He moved to her side of the chair and picked her up by her hair.
“We all do what we think is right in this-
“Shut the fuck up!” Winter strangled her with both hands and she finally broke down. “I don’t give two shits about what you have to say. Let’s get this over this because you’re wasting my time!” Winter dragged her to the noose and she fought him every step of the way. She cried and screamed so loud I swear people on the first landing heard her.
“Please!” Her hands were moving in every direction trying to get winter to let her go but winter was too strong for her. She was no different. She broke just like anyone else.
Wanting to be helpful, I tied her hands behind her back and helped winter get her neck into the noose. She kept quiet. Must’ve realized it was over. There was nothing she could do to change our minds. This was my first time killing a woman and I enjoyed it in a way.
Must admit, I was a little shaken in the beginning but that faded once the adrenaline kicked in. winter and I took turns and by morning we had gotten the revenge we wanted.
Good fucking riddance.