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Chapter 27 - Taylor

When I wake up with Greg spooned to my side, is the best feeling in the world. My fingertips trace softly over his face, making him huff under his breath and turn his face away from me. He peeks at me from under his lashes as I chuckle lightly. Groaning he turns over to his other side, burrowing his face into the pillow. I give him a gentle push, knowing his lower back and ass must be killing him. “Wake up sleepy head, I will go and get you some breakfast.” He glares at me as I jump out of bed; grab a pair of boxers and a pair of shorts.

I smile at his grumble as I leave my room. Humming under my breath I make my way into the kitchen and stall once I take in the grave faces that surround the kitchen table. Gordo and Meredith are there, joined by an angry looking Zach and an indifferent looking Tiago. “Good morning?” I hesitantly say, unsure whether I should turn and leave or face this thing head on.

“Where is he?!” Zach angrily demands, looking ready to explode. Not even Tiago’s touch could sooth him as he places a hand on his twitching arm. “If I find out you hurt him pretty boy,” Zach comes threateningly close, not that I can’t hold my own in a fight but I rather not fight with Zach. “There will be Hell to pay and nobody will find your body.” I blink owlishly, feeling slightly unnerved.

“Upstairs in bed... cause my matrass is criminally soft?” I manage to utter after swallowing several times. Zach narrows his eyes before he bounds up the stairs. I am left standing there with my mouth gaping, watching Zach’s disappearing form.

“Don’t worry too much Tay, Nance told us that Greg was sleeping over and she might have said a few things that she shouldn’t.” I come back to the situation at hand by Tiago’s lilting voice. Is everybody now going to call me Tay? I wonder as I take a seat across from Tiago. I don’t mind Greg calling me that but if everybody starts calling me that, I have to object! “My guess is that you a making Greg breakfast in bed?” I blush as Tiago raises a brow no doubt at my hickey and nail marked naked chest. “I will help you.”

That is how I find myself standing shoulder to shoulder with Tiago in our kitchen in front of the stove. And to be honest, I am quite surprised by how well it is going. Just like my nanna in Italy, Tiago adds a bit of this a pinch of that to his Mexican omelettes. Apparently they are Greg’s favourite breakfast food, note to self, ask Tiago for the recipe. He smirks at me as he glances at me out of the corner of his eye. As if he knows what I am thinking he hands me a folded yellow note as he puts the latest omelette on the plate. “Off you go.” He places the steaming tray in my hands before I can even open the note or put it in my pocket. He motions with his hand to the stairs, and I carefully make my way upstairs.

I hesitantly open my bedroom door, not only because of the tray in my hands but also for the anger of Zach. So I was astonished to find both Zach and Greg fast asleep on and in bed. Cringing as the floor creaks as I step forward, I notice Zach look at me from under his lashes. “Peace offering?” I manage to tiptoe around my bed and put the tray on the nightstand.

“Yeah, something like that.” I whisper looking fondly at Greg sleeping soundly.

“Don’t bother him queirdo; let’s go home now you have seen that Greg is fine.” Tiago put his hands on his hips, glaring lightly at Zach. “We have more things to do than laze around on the boy’s bed.” Zach actually looks a little guilty as he sits up, stretching before getting up.

“Your bed is criminally soft.” Zach admits as he joins Tiago on my room’s threshold. “But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. I will keep a close eye on you.” He and Tiago both turn and leave. I shake my head slightly, letting out a deep breath.

“They really did that didn’t they?” My head snaps to the side as I hear Greg’s rough sleep filled voice. He was still curled up beneath the sheets, having a case of bad hair do. I feel a smile curl the corners of my mouth as I flop down next to him.

“They care about you Il mio cuore.” And I am lucky to see Greg blush to the tips of his ears as he hides his face into the pillow he was hugging. “You should eat your breakfast before it goes cold.” I state as I roll over and sit up, pulling the tray onto my lap.

I feel pretty good as I leave Greg’s house with all my limbs attached. Though I feel pretty bad leaving Greg alone to face his parent’s cross examination about what happened last night, but Gordo texted me saying mom was back with someone I least expected. The current Don of the family. Smiling at Greg’s pouting figure behind the double glazed glass, his mom forbade him to have any kind of contact with me until he got to the bottom of what happened last night, I get in my trusty Fiat 500 and start the short journey home.

There is a grave silence as I enter the house, no sound was heard. I cautiously make my way to the kitchen, only to find it empty. My next bet is the living room, which is just as empty as the kitchen. That only leaves Gordo’s study, the place where he usually sat as he was forced to deal with Family problems.

I take a deep breath; hold it for several seconds before releasing it and opening the door. Light spills into the small hallway where I am standing and four familiar faces turn and look at me. Mom, Gordo, Meredith and the current Family’s head; Mickey. The only person I don’t recognise is the man in the black suit, sitting next to mom.

I close the door behind me softly, not really understanding why I feel the need to. It might have to do with the tense atmosphere in the room. Taking my seat on a small wooden stool besides Meredith, I wait for Mickey to state his business. He doesn’t make small talk, he cuts straight to the chase, the guy who thought it was funny to try and shoot me; Julian is now a permanent resident of the best psychiatric ward this country has to offer. Why? Because according to Mickey this way his behaviour is controlled, monitored.

He looks at me as he finishes his little talk with wariness. Then again the man always looks wary so I don’t take it personal. “Good.” I say and fold my arms across my chest, glad that a dangerous lunatic like him is off the streets. “Do you know why he did what he did?” Sadly Mickey shakes his head, indicating he has no idea why Julian would harm my father and grandfather, the people and family take took him and took care of him.

At the door he turns and looks at me, stares me straight in the eyes. “You might wanna visit him, maybe he will tell you.” My stomach knots itself at the mere thought of having to visit him, be around him. With a slight nod of his head Mickey and the guy in the black suit and mom leave us.

“Why was mom here?” I ask Meredith as she is stirring a pot of delicious smelling ravioli. My head quickly moves from side to side to make sure Syl is nowhere within hearing distance. We all know how hysterical he sometimes can react to her presence. Last time she came here unannounced, Syl screamed and shouted until she eventually left in a haste.

Meredith stopped her stirring and looked at me. “She only came by to drop off some papers. And then Mickey came and he just as she was leaving and he offered her a ride back to her hotel if she could wait a few more minutes.” A pot sizzled and Meredith pushed me aside to attend to it.

“What kind of papers did she drop off?” I question her back as I rake my brain for any kind of paper my mother could possess that would be of use to either Gordo or Meredith. The pan stopped the ominous sounds and Meredith turned back to face me.

“The kind of papers we need to prove to court that your mother consents to us raising you and Syl as our own children. The kind of form we have been asking her to sign for months now.” Meredith continues to bustle around the kitchen like a busy little bee.

“Wait...” I frown as I watch Meredith, folding my arms in front of my chest, tilting my head to the side in question. “I thought you guy already had that whole business sorted?” I step aside as Meredith makes a motion for me to get out of her way.

“We did,” She grunts as she is heaving up the pan with the ravioli to drain them, I quickly take over the pan and carefully pour the boiling water into a strainer sitting in the sink. “but we still needed Anna’s signature to say she fully agrees to us having full custody over you two. And I think that scared her, I think it scares and pleases her that she will no longer be the main provider for you two now your father is gone.” She crosses herself as she speaks about papa.” She must have seen some type of emotion in my face as she hastily tackles on “I am not saying she doesn’t love you or Sylvester.” She cups my cheeks and brushes away the tears streaming down my cheeks. “Because she does Carino, so much that she realises that we can make you happier than she can, and she is willing to let you go.”

Dinner was a quiet affair, which is odd; we are a family of noisy people. But not today. Not after hearing what I have feared in my heart of hearts, that momma really is going to leave us. For some weird reason, I feel like a little boy again, a little boy that has been witness to a torture by one of the Family’s tortures and the endless nightmares that followed. Mom also abandoned me back then, so I should be used to it by now right? That I should have known mom would bail out on us at the first opportunity.

“Fratello?” I look up from my maths homework and see Syl stand there in his onesie, looking quite sad. I need to buy him a new one; this one is hanging by a thread.

“Yes fratellino? What is it?” Syl climbs on bed with me, cuddling Ginko the elephant to his chest. Ginko is a present from Meredith and Gordo when they went to the circus when the Fair was in tow. He looks as if he is ready to start crying any minute now.

“Can I sleep with you fratello? The monster in my closet is still there.” I push away my half-finished homework and pull a sniffling Syl into my arms.

“Of course you can,” I kiss the top of his head, rubbing soothing circles on his back. “you can always come to me when you are scared. I will protect you.” I smile softly as little snores leave Syl’s mouth and carefully untangle myself from him and sit at my desk to get the rest of my homework done. When Meredith peeks around the door, I lift my finger to my lips and she smiles before retreating.

Looking down on Syl, as I get ready for bed, I wonder why now of all time is hedeveloping fear for imaginary monsters in his closet or under his bed. Or maybe it’s because mom resurfaced and then leaving us again?

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