T W E N T Y - T W O
Revenge is sweet, but power even sweeter. And together, it tastes like an elixir for the Devil.
Right now, as I stood by the window of the hideout apartment, feeling the cold and wet gusts of wind of Chicago, I could sniff the essence of revenge and power lingering in the air.
The only thing missing was the stench of blood and dead bodies.
I waited twenty-five years for this—to feel Chicago’s soil underneath my feet, to walk the streets like I had owned it once upon a time, and to throttle my enemies with bare hands, watching the bloodbath as it would unfold.
Twenty-five years ago, Alessandro Romano began to play God and Satan to this city, controlling and gaining wealth like it was his fucking birthright. Drugs, guns, gold, and diamonds—every illicit trade was either his or under his subjugation.
They called him the Scorpion.
The name had nothing to do with stupid astrology and everything to do with his predatory motives and venomous dealings. The things he had done to extend his hold over the city and expanse of his businesses could not be said out loud without a sliver of fear.
Men, in the underworld, either dreaded him or respected him—out of fear.
Some say that Alessandro Romano even changed the face of Mafia in Chicago.
Gone were the days when law enforcement or FBI worked day and night to build a case against a mafia boss or a cartel leader to bring down an empire. Alessandro Romano, independently, snuffed out his competitors, one by one. He singled out everyone who could be a possible threat and eliminated them.
I, Dante Moretti, was one of them.
I was one of the few who managed to gather influential families to rebel against the great Scorpion and challenge his monopoly of drugs and arms coming into the city, but he had already established power with the politicians.
Alessandro put on the mask of a suede, respectable-my-ass businessman and began to enjoy the spotlight of the mass and media. The philanthropic endeavors made him look like a God. And he carried on the illegal ventures in the dark, and no one bothered to bat an eyelid.
Now I would have still accepted his power and made my revenue through human trafficking until he wounded my fucking pride—my damn possession—my wife.
Alessandro Romano could have stopped his best friend and his right-hand-man, Ralph Alessi, to back off from my wife. He could have averted the inevitable, but he didn’t.
Not only Alessandro came for my business, but he let his pitbull, Ralph, to have my wife.
Sophia was mine—she was mine in every conceivable way, and no bloody person was allowed to have her.
A wounded tiger is a dangerous beast. Perhaps, Alessandro Romano forgot that, and would gladly remind him of it.
I would remind him in the most diabolical way possible that his flesh and blood would pay for the sins he had committed, and he would have no choice but to kill Ralph Alessi.
Something that he should have done more than two decades ago. Instead, he chose his loyal friendship over a smart choice.
Lucky for me, his son, Viktor, didn’t share the same luck as his father. Venomous snakes lay behind the bushes in his empire, waiting for an opportunity to strike him down. Loyalty was bought and sold like common goods.
“You failed,” I told the man who shuffled into the room as the door creaked mildly. I didn’t need to turn around to see him by myself for only a few people knew of my location.
“It was bad luck,” he stated intoned. “I didn’t know that Marco’s bitch was going to arrive at the right moment.”
Turning around, I let loose my anger and frustration. “Seriously, Lorenzo? That’s all you have to say—bad luck?” I spat at him, charging in his direction. “You were supposed to make sure that they were taken down. How the fuck both Mia and Lilliana escaped?”
“Maybe you forgot to inform me about something, Dante.” My brows creased at his accusation. “You didn’t tell me that your daughter carries a gun. She blocked the fire long enough for Mia to be saved.”
Fucking Lilliana! “Your men should have taken her out before.”
Lorenzo appeared as calm and stoic he could be. His years with the Romano family twisted his mind and body into a spiral rope of manipulated bundle.
Whatever I planned for Alessandro and his sons was enhanced ten times when Lorenzo reached out to me through the cartel. He wanted Viktor and Dominic gone as much as I resented Alessandro and Ralph.
And, understandably, the union worked—the enemy of your enemy.
“The back-up plan worked though,” he informed, lighting his cigarette and watched the smoke billow into the air. “Viktor thought it was Matteo, and he killed him. Of course, the pieces of evidence I had planted helped a lot.”
He didn’t smile or smirked in his glory as I tried to look into his eyes to catch a glimpse of something. But it was void. It was the eyes of a man without a heart.
It made me wonder how he had managed to fool Samantha Romano into believing that he had a heart or feelings for her.
“The plan was not fool-proof, Lorenzo,” I reminded as his attention snapped to mine. “Viktor did kill Matteo but went on to strike a deal with the cartel. So, instead of waging war, he is suing for peace.”
The shock blooming on his face told me what I needed to know. The peace accord was everything Viktor Romano was not.
“Impossible!” he dismissed. “Viktor would never let a man breathe who had come for his wife. He loves her too much to set the whole country on fire if it meant to keep her safe.”
Lorenzo spent long enough with Viktor and Dominic to gauge their modus operandi, but this time, he was wrong.
The Romano brothers offered a deal to the cartel—the promise of more territories and uninterrupted drug dealings. A lucrative proposition any smart leader would lap up in a jiffy.
“How long do you think it would take the cartel boss to spit out my name?” I asked him restlessly. “You would save your ass when the time comes, and I would have to take the bullet.”
Absently, Lorenzo simply rubbed the slope of his jaw with his thumb. But the need for vengeance and violence swelled so powerfully within me that I was too impatient for his introspection.
“So, you see how this could be a massive problem for us—for me?” I pressed, snapping him out of his reverie.
His demeanor was calm, projected by the vague and impassive smile he displayed. “I told you when you were busy making your little plans and schemes that if we are to take down Viktor and Dominic we would need to have more than one backup plan?” His tone was slightly condescending, sparking my Italian blood.
True, he said that. On my part, the mistake was to count on the predictability of the Romano brothers. If the cartel boss would take up the offer, we were royally screwed.
So I quickly came up with a desperate solution. “Before the cartel boss, Juan, sides with Viktor and Dominic, we have to finish off Mia Romano. If not that, kill Lilliana and deliver her body to Dominic. Maybe, that would do the trick,” I offered.
I was done with Lilliana and the silly, little games she was playing with Dominic. She proved to be utterly useless when she refused to kill Dominic point-blank. Her allegiance has already shifted beyond determination, and hence, her death was the only use of her for me.
However, Lorenzo didn’t see to acquiesce the idea.
He sat back in his chair, conspiratorially smiling as if he conceived a better plan. “Do you think Viktor and Dominic would ever make peace again with the cartel boss if he double-crosses them?”
He cut me off, explaining. “Viktor would be nuts when he realizes that his sister is kidnapped and defiled by Juan’s men. And then he’d have to resort to extreme measures for his family.” The sinister edge glazed dangerously in his eyes. “Samantha Romano is Plan B,” Lorenzo said with his voice like dry ice and without a drop of regret.
A lot can be said for a man who could fake a love effortlessly. I was glad to know that Lorenzo didn’t share the same weakness as of Viktor or Dominic when it came to women.
Our eyes locked with the combined need for retribution.
“And you are confident that you could easily kidnap her and make her a pawn in the game without blowing your cover?” I asked to be sure. It was not an easy task, but Lorenzo has been enjoying the confidence of the family for a long time.
It was likely that they would doubt him. Besides, it was always fundamental to have an insider.
“I have waited long enough,” Lorenzo said in a low snarl as the anger was erupting through the fissures of his glacial expression. “But her brothers would never trust a man, let alone a man under their employment, to be with their one and only precious sister. I want to see the look on Viktor and Dominic when they would see their beloved sister—raped and broken. I wouldn’t kill Sam,” he roared as he vowed. “I want her brothers to see her begging for mercy. I want to see Viktor and Dominic’s fucking pride in the dust when they’d realize that they have lost, and only then I’d reveal myself and end it all.”
“And you will get what you want, my friend,” I promised darkly, “and I shall have the vengeance I was promised twenty-five years ago.”
Hey guys! I hope you all are enjoying the story.
Sometimes ago, when I decided to switch to writing TMN only and put TMP on hold, it was because of these twists and turns. TMP is more passionate, while TMN involves both a love story and mafia dealings.
I sincerely hope to make the updates quicker now that I am only concentrating on the story. For my TMP only readers, I apologize for the abrupt break and promise not to make you guys wait longer.
Thank you so much for your love, appreciation, and support because without those I wouldn’t have been writing here in the first place.
Please vote for the story as it would really mean a lot to me and leave me your feedback and thoughts for this Chapter.