Where the SUV was located was a little down the road from the warehouse that Val had entered. It was silent and I sat awkwardly with Dante in the front seat, keeping an eye on his phone for messages from anyone on the inside. I could tell that he wasn’t satisfied with having to watch me during the showdown but I also couldn’t control the decisions that Val made. I was aware that my decision to come here was a part of the reason Dante was stuck watching me, but I needed Val to hear me out. It was stupid for me to assume, but through everything I truly felt that maybe talking to Gianna could do some good.
Val constantly insisted that she was pure evil, but I had seen a side of her that he didn’t. I knew that she was acting a part, but there was something inside of her that cared about the friendship we shared.
It was pathetic of me to think but my biggest fault was always looking for the good in people, even when they didn’t deserve it. I was the same way towards Val, he didn’t deserve my forgiveness or kind gestures, but I have them to him anyway because even after everything a part of me believed there was good in him.
Dante looked from his phone, a curious look appearing on his face which made it clear to me that something was wrong. He never said a word so I asked for myself, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing, I’m going to check the area. Do not move, are we clear?” He said as he opened the door to the driver’s side door, it wasn’t like I had a choice. I made my move and now I suffered the consequences of sitting around, waiting.
I watched Dante step out of the SUV and without warning, his body fell back into the SUV with a bullet hole in the center of his forehead. My eyes widened and I covered my mouth while Dante’s lifeless body faced me, his eyes frozen open.
I hadn’t even heard a noise, there was no gun shot and I knew instantly that a silencer was used. Someone was outside and I was in danger. Val was right, I shouldn’t have come here because if I hadn’t Dante would have been inside and not here watching me.
My body shook with fear and I slid onto the floor of the back seat, attempting to hide myself and contain that horrified whimpers that threatened to escape. I was trapped and there was no way out.
I rested my back against a wall, breathless from running from the bullets that shot back and forth the warehouse. My men were fighting, Gianna’s men were fighting, and I was fighting myself internally.
The area was loud, unable to hear a single sound other than screaming and gun fire. I had not clue who was hit or who was still alive, but my mind constantly drifted back to my brother which turned out to be my biggest, most dangerous distraction. I needed a clear mind and now my mind was far from clear.
As soon as the fight broke out, I ordered Rafe to take my father out. He was far too weak from whatever Gianna and Stefano had done to him to fight in this battle. I already lost my brother in this, I would not lose my father, too.
I looked out from behind the wall just as a bullet hit the wall next to me. Lifting my arm, I aimed my gun at a red headed fuck that was across the room. I wasn’t even sure if I made the shot, but I could only hope. My eyes landed on Gustavo who was on the balcony, shooting with all of his glory, his eyes set on the floor below him.
Stepping out from behind the wall, I walked directly towards the enemies, shooting towards whoever was in my sight. I was carefully making my way to the steps that would lead to the balcony where Gustavo was, stepping over bodies - some of the enemies and some of my own men.
A sharp burning pain penetrated in my left arm and I was no stranger to the sensation. I had been shot and I was fortunate enough that it wasn’t a more severe part of my body, but it still hurt like hell.
“Fuck!” I groaned, as I reached the steps, keeping my gun aimed as I slowly climbed, taking my time due to the excessive amounts of people around me.
I was taken off guard by what Gianna had planned up. She had a large group of followers, including my brother. I wasn’t expecting her to be capable of creating such a large showing of people. It was obvious that she had been planning this for a long time. I had expected some of the Irish, giving that she was having an alliance with him, but the coward didn’t even show his face tonight which made the ruler of this scheme all the more clear.
Gianna had orchestrated this entire thing and was the mastermind behind this.
“You fucking brother?!” Gustavo yelled over the gunfire as I reached him, keeping our bodies down and out of sight.
I didn’t need the reminders, I was already reminding myself of this constantly, “That’s a discussion for another time. We need to get out of here.”
“Get out? We came here to get rid of these mother fuckers, now you want to leave because Stefano is here?” Gustavo chuckled darkly, shaking his head in objection, “I don’t think so, man. I’m killing that traitor and his bitch.”
“We will! But not now,” I insisted, “We only rushed into this situation because we came to save Stefano who clearly does not need saving. We are not prepared for this!”
I could see that Gustavo was frustrated by my orders, but he had no other choice but oblige. He was at a lower rank than I. He glanced over the ledge of my balcony before leaning up on his feet slightly, “We’re too far into this to bail, Val.”
He was right, our men were down there and I rushed us into this decision, it was my problem to fix.
“Don’t tell me you were planning on leaving so soon,” Gianna’s voice echoed through my ears and as I glanced behind my back, she stood with a gun pointed at me, “We’re just getting started. It isn’t a party unless the main attraction is here... That would be you Valentino.”
I chuckled lightly and turned my body to face her, “You are a piece of work.”
“Thank you, honey. I try to impress and I think it’s fair to say that I did a pretty damn good job this time around,” Her eyes glanced at my wounded arm and a menacing smile appeared on her lips, “Now that looks painful. I’m afraid that I’m going to need you to put your guns down, though.”
“You think we’re that stupid?” Gustavo muttered under his breath, “How do you expect us to kill you without our guns?”
“I’ve never really liked you, Stavo,“Someone commented, but it wasn’t Gianna, this time it was Stefano. He appeared to be coming out of nowhere and the gunfire had settled, “You’ve always been like a second Val, having one of those is bad enough.”
I couldn’t look at my brother without feeling sick and angry. I would have went to the ends of the Earth to protect him and he had no issue standing in front of me, ready to kill. This was far more drastic than anything my father could have ever prepared me for, this was family. We had always been trained to stick with your family through everything.
“What’s your plan, Stefano?” I asked, keeping my eyes on him and glaring harshly. “Kill me and our father to get the title of Capo? Jesus, man. You think anyone would trust your deceitful ass after that?”
“No one was supposed to know, but you showed up here with the entire fucking mafia,” He raised his voice, waving his gun in the air, “Gianna and I are made for this, can’t you see that? Elaina can’t even handle the sight of blood let alone be a capo’s wife. Father would always choose you, even if you refused the position. He wasn’t part of the plan, but he caught on so I needed to terminate him.”
“Which reminds me, where is your father?” Gianna’s eyes focused on mine, “Once we blow your brains out, we’ll just find him on our own. It can’t be difficult giving the injuries he has now.”
I only smirked at the confidence she held, I knew my men had fled along with hers, which was a part of the plan. If things got out of hand having to escape was necessary or we would all end up being casualties. My men would never leave completely, they were outside planning a rescue and I was certain of that.
“So, are you going to get this over with or not?” I asked, “I’m right here, so blow my brains out.”
“I think I’ve decided to go with the latter, sweetheart,” Gianna said to Stefano, leaving me stumped.
“You sure?” He asked her and when she responded with a nod, Stefano simply stepped back, “Plan B it is, then.”
I watched closely as my brother left my sight, curious as to what their plan B was. Gianna’s eyes didn’t leave ours for a single second. She was focused on keeping her eyes on us so we didn’t escape.
When Stefano returned, he held tank of gasoline in his hands and the realization hit both Gustavo and I at once. They had full intentions on burning this place down with us inside. Like hell I would sit around and allow this to happen.
“Stefano, love.” Gianna looked towards Stefano, using her free hand to take a pack of matches from her pocket and just as she did Gustavo took her moment of absence to lift his gun swiftly, directing it at her and pulling the trigger.
My mind was mush and my ear rang from being so close to the gun, but it felt like the sight of Gianna’s body falling onto the ground moved in slow motion. She collapsed and the sounds of gasping breath filled the air while her hands covered her now wounded chest that blood was excessively pouring out of.
“Gianna! No. Non sta succedendo. ”
[Translation: Non sta succedendo. - This isn’t happening.]
“Oh, it’s happening, brother,” I couldn’t hide the satisfaction that I felt seeing Gianna bleeding out on the floor in front of me. She had been trouble since the moment she entered our lives and seeing her die would be one of the most wonderful things I’ve experienced.
Stefano knelt at Gianna’s side, his hands on her face and moving her hair to the side, ”Ti amo.
Per favore sii forte per me, per il nostro bambino.”
[Translation: Per favore sii forte per me, per il nostro bambino. - Please stay strong for me. For our baby.]
Without having time to process what was happening in front of me, Gustavo stood quickly with his gun directed at Stefano but my little brother was ahead of his thought process, aiming his gun at Gustavo and both of them pulling the trigger at the same time.
I panicked to grab Gustavo as his body was pushed over the balcony on impact but even as fast as I moved, my hands just barley grazed Gustavo’s arms and I was unable to catch a hold of him. I fell limp, seeing his body hit the ground below which left him unconscious. The only brother I had left and I wasn’t able to help him.
My world was falling around me and never in my life had I felt so weak or not in control. My mind didn’t have enough time to process one thing before another happened and deep down I felt like I had no other choice but to give up. My men had disappeared to god knows where and my brother was ready to kill me.
“Finally, he shut up,” Stefano chuckled breathlessly.
Once I looked at him again, he had his hand on his side where the bullet Gustavo shot had hit him. He still managed to have his gun up and pointing at me, I could see in his eyes that he wasn’t experiencing the slightest bit of sympathy or regret for his actions. He was set on his decisions and his goal to get rid of me.
“You’ve succeeded, congrats.” Was all I managed to say.
“You think I wanted this?” Stefano raised his voice, taking a step towards me, “It was always you, Val. You were the one dad focused on when we trained, you were the one that was given my birth right of becoming capo. I get it that you’re the oldest, but it’s my birth right too and I deserve a chance to become the man who runs everything.”
I shrugged my shoulders nonchalantly, no longer caring about a word that he said. It was pathetic and he was turning this into a sympathy kill, “I could care less, Stef. Being capo isn’t my life goal but it’s been my responsibility. It’s all I have ever known or have ever been told.”
“Yeah, well change of plans, brother. It’s my responsibility now.” Stefano cocked the gun and aimed in the direction of his choice which seemed to me square in the center of my forehead. I knew he was a good shot, I had helped him become that way as we grew up together, “Any last words?”
I had nothing. No final words or attempts of sparing my life. It was over for me and I had easily come to terms with that, I knew there was a chance of dying when entering this situation but I had expected my deal to result in my brother’s rescue. It didn’t turn out the way I had wanted, but I had no choice but to cower down and let my little brother take my life.
There were no other moves from this point and I simply lowered my head, as a gun was fired.