The man before me had already looked badly beaten, bruises covered his face and blood splattered on his clothing. He was limp and weak which only made me more eager to end his life, not quickly but slow and with a painful notion. He would feel everything, and if he were to pass out from the agony I would wait until he woke once again to begin the torture again.
My men had clearly listened when I told them to beat this man to a pulp, to make him suffer and to have him waiting for me - and he was.
With his arms locked into metal retraints that hung from the concrete wall of the basement, he seemed to be barely breathing after his seemingly brutal beating.
The man slowly lifted his head to look at me and even with the little energy he had, fear was evident in his eyes as it should be, “Mr. Acerbi--”
I grabbed him by the throat and shoved his head against the wall, causing a grunting sound to escape his lips, “Do not speak. You have no right... Simply nod. Are we clear?”
He nodded his head.
“I assume you know why you’re here?”
A maniacal smirk formed on my lips as I extended my hand towards where Gustavo was standing, “Knife.”
“N-No... Sir, I’m sorry. I’m very--”
As Gustavo passed me the knife, I roughly pressed it against the man’s throat, only enough to scrape the skin but enough to scare him, “Didn’t I just tell you not to talk?”
I glanced at Gustavo and shook my head in disappointment. He was a great best friend to have, since we were kids it had always been he and I. He was practically a brother to me. We trained for the mafia together and when his family got murdered he moved in with my family. At the time he was only nine and until then he was a pretty mellow guy, but the death of his loved ones sent him down an extremely dark path. It made him all the more like me.
I looked back at the man chained to the wall, lowering my voice, “You were very rude to my wife last night and that really pisses me off.”
It irritated me to know that a bartender at my own club would treat Elaina the way this man did, I wasn’t having it. This man wouldn’t leave here alive. Any of my employees would never get away with treating an Acerbi with such disrespect.
“It really fucking makes me angry!” I raised my voice, steadying the knife and moving it down to his stomach in one quick motion, stabbing it into his skin with ease and hearing his cry in pain.
It was music to my ears, though when I began to twist the knife I could feel the blood oozing onto my hand while he screamed but could care less.
“Let’s play a game, shall we?” I suggested and the man didn’t seem the slightest bit interested. I looked at Gustavo and chuckled, “He doesn’t want to play a game with me.”
“He’d be fucking stupid not to,” Gustavo chimed in.
“It’s true,” I added, “If you win the game, I’ll let you go... But if you lose, I’m afraid it’s the end of the road.”
The man’s heavy breathing continued and he stared at me as though he were waiting for me to continue.
Gustavo and I had played this game multiple times, since we were teenagers. It’s something we did to make our killings more fun, so as he approached me with a pair of shears in hand, we both had the same idea in mind.
“This is what’s going to happen... I’m going to cut off your finger, any finger I choose. If you don’t make a single sound, you’re free to go,” I told him as though it were the simplest task in the world but from our experience, no one had ever won.
Tears covered the man’s face and Gustavo swapped tools with me, sometimes we took turns but I wanted to have the joy in torturing this one. He did me wrong.
“Now, while I take off that finger of yours, Gustavo here will have the knife held to your throat ready to slice it open in case you make even so much as a whimper,” I made the rules clear, taking the man’s reluctant hand.
He was strong for the average man, but I was a Capo in training. I had years and years of training, so with ease and little struggle I held his hand up and chose his middle finger with great significance.
[Translation: Fuck you.]
I gripped onto the shears tightly and the man screamed louder than he had when I previously stabbed him. Without hesitation, Gustavo slit his throat and blood splattered over me as his finger fell to the floor.
I looked at Gustavo and he returned my menacing smirk. We were a good team.
“Diego! Raffaele!” I called out, they had been standing behind as they were told. As they approached me, I nodding towards the now dead body that had blood pouring from his throat, I looked at both men, “Deal with the body. Remove all teeth. You know the rules.”
They nodded their head. We did what we had to do to remove all evidence and accessibility to DNA. Teeth were one of the main things cops and FBI looks for in a dead body, without teeth it made their jobs a hell of a lot harder.
“Gustavo,” I motioned towards the steps for him to follow me and when I made my way upstairs, I instantly when to the kitchen where Anita was, “You can take a break.”
She knew that was my way of telling her to leave and she did simply that so I could wash my hands off in the large kitchen sink. I scrubbed at the blood, using the dish liquid near the sink and I looked over towards where Gustavo was standing.
It was clear that he had something on his mind that he wasn’t saying, because on most occasions he knew better than to speak up to me. He knew that eventually I would be his boss and that speaking up to me would be completely stupid.
“Spit it out,” I urged him, not giving a fuck what he had to say. If my friend of this many years couldn’t speak to me, then who really could? I was in a decent mood after how well that kill went anyway, so he was given a free pass to speak his mind.
Gustavo casually shrugged his shoulders, “Nothing. I’m just wondering what that man possibly did to Elaina that made you angry enough to kill him.”
“We kill our enemies,” I stated simply.
“Enemies, yes. Not just because someone makes us angry. We always be safe about our kills, Val, never reckless.”
“This was not reckless,” I snapped at him, “He had it coming to him, Gustavo. You of all people know--”
“That you have a temper?” He smirked at me, tauntingly.
I’d come a long way with my temper, there had been a time when I raised a gun to Gustavo simply because he had punched me in the face during training.
Rule 1: Never turn on family.
“It’s important to let people know that we are not to be messed with,” I told him, turning the water off in the sink and turning to him, “End of discussion.”
Gustavo raised his hands defensively, taking my words seriously. He was quiet for quite some time for he had trouble nerve to speak again, “How did things go with Elaina at the Underground?”
The memory of the previous night made me both roll my eyes and smirk at the same time. That girl was a handful, more than I knew or expected her to be. She was completely out of control last night and far from the calm girl I assumed I had married.
“She caused quite the scene,” I told him, the thought of Elaina grinding on me in front of Catherine wasn’t a problem, licking my cheek to prove a point was slightly unnecessary, however running around like a toddler who had escaped their lease was far too much.
“Maybe she’s retaliating because you don’t take her out enough,” He suggested jokingly.
I narrowed my eyes, I had already decided that after last night taking Elaina out wasn’t happening for a while. She obviously wasn’t adult enough to handle a private club.
“She lost any chance of that happening,” I responded, not caring to elaborate any further, it was until I continued talking that I realized I had more to say, “I get it that she was happy and in a good mood but she doesn’t realize how fucking dangerous it is to run around like a teenager.”
“Well, if we’re being technical, she is a teenager,” Gustavo pointed out, being a smart ass.
If I hadn’t known him as long as I had I would have raised a gun at him again, but instead I was forced to cuss him out, “Fuck off.”
He sent me that cocky smirk, the same he always had since we were teenage boys. Whenever he happened to be right about something and my father praised him and told me that I needed to watch Gustavo’s methods, he knew it infuriated me. I no longer felt angered by his talent, but proud. He was a great ali and someone I knew I would be able to trust with my life because he knew how to defend himself just as well as I could.
I glanced towards the clock on the wall, it read 6:24am. I had gotten up early this morning while Elaina slept soundly and surely she would be recovering from a hangover this morning.
“I’m going to change,” I motioned towards the blood spattered clothes I was currently wearing, “Make sure Diego and Raffaele aren’t fucking things up.”
It was my way of getting rid of Gustavo. Diego and Raffaele were both good at what they did, they didn’t need a supervisor but I also didn’t need Gustavo breathing down my neck either.
I went upstairs to my bedroom with Elaina and she was sleeping soundly, her head buried into my pillow as it was when I left an hour and a half ago. The blanket was pushed down to her hips and it exposed her bra, which made me silent curse myself for not fucking her like she had asked me so desperately last night.
I wanted to, but I didn’t. She was highly intoxicated and it wouldn’t be the first time I fucked an intoxicated woman, but Elaina wasn’t throwing herself at me like the other women I’ve been with. It wasn’t about lust and desperation of just wanting a good night of sex, she was giggly and smiling like a school girl the entire time.
Her compliments became strange to me. Yes, I turned down a good fuck because a woman - my wife - complimented me. She called me sexy which didn’t phase me in the least, it wasn’t the first time.
Her giggles echoed in the large room as I kissed the sweet spot of her neck. Even after forcing myself on her as many times as I did, I learned where all of her weak spots were and any time I kissed the low spot on her neck, just above her collar bone, she would always moan.
She didn’t let me down this time either, “Val... Stop teasing already.”
I pulled my face away to smirk at her and I nibbled on her lower lip gently, ”What’s sex without the foreplay, amore?”
“You should always be this way,” She said suddenly which caused me to furrow my eyebrows, her voice was slurring less than it was earlier but she was still clearly drunk, “I like it when you’re nice.”
“We’re not nice people, Elaina. Ever.” I warned her, making sure she was aware that the world she was in was never going to be a friendly place like she was used to.
She shook her head and smiled a goofy smile, “Nuh-uh. I believe there’s good in you... somewhere. You’re just hiding it.”
"There’s not,” I assured her. I was raised to not be good, I couldn’t wear my heart on my sleeve or have actual feelings because of how dangerous it was. Being nice or caring wasn’t an option.
But Elaina just never understood that. The girl was not only an energetic drunk but she was far more optimistic when she had alcohol in her system, “You can’t deny the facts... You’ve been so nice to me tonight. I’ve been such a brat and you haven’t even hit me.”
Normally, I would have. The moment she would start misbehaving or had run off into the crowd after I told her not to, I should have slapped her across the face - but I didn’t. I hadn’t laid a hand on her.
When I was younger, aside from learning the way of the family business, my father said the rule to a relationship is to never let the woman walk over you. Show her where her place is and if she disobeys the rules she must face the consequences. But tonight I had let her disobey me multiple times and here I was about to punish her but having sex?
That was far from a punishment, that was more of a praise than anything.
I had stopped after that. Even with her drunk, Elaina could drive me insane. I knew patience and I was good with it, but there was something about her that completely drove me up the wall.