Do give my book Roses and Fangs a chance!
Alexander looked at Lucius, his sickly cousin. His skin was pale, and his eyes dilated. Lucius’ hair was matted to his face, and Alexander wanted to do nothing but smack the man silly. They were in a conference room, conference room of the club. Riccardo, Derek and Dylan were present as well. It was time for their meeting.
Alexander knew he had to advance on the target before anyone else. The warehouse shootout, his uncle’s murder and the increased involvement of Ambrose in the New York mafia politics was all bothering him. He had to be two steps ahead, Alex couldn’t afford another blunder on his hand. Uncle Alessio was literally breathing down on his neck.
“Hello, Lucius,” Lucius groaned.
“How are you doing, my man?” Alexander asked.
Lucius had always been a weakling. This life was not cut out for him. But with his father gone, the man had to buck up; otherwise, there were many to pull him down. Lucius couldn’t afford to be lying at the back of an alley with a needle sticking out of his arm. He was lucky to be found by Alexander’s men otherwise he too would’ve been dead meat.
“Good,” Lucius drawled.
“What were you doing at the back of an alley?” Alexander enunciated his words.
The Valentine scion just wanted to get through the man.
“I was with my friends. I miss Daddy,” Lucius whined.
“He is so out of it,” Riccardo said.
“But it is a good thing,” Dylan Kelly said, “ask him any question, and he will sing like a canary.”
“Absolutely,” Derek said, “maybe he knows a few things.”
Alexander nodded. This was a great opportunity, all though it did feel as if he was taking advantage of the poor guy. But there were many important things on the priority list.
“Lucius, do you know anything about the warehouse shootouts?”
Lucius squinted his eyes, as if in deep thought.
“Yes, the shootout on the Valentine Warehouse?”
“It belongs to you... Alexander,” Lucius giggled.
“Yes, it belongs to me. Do you know anything about it?”
“Yes, I do,” Lucius whispered, “I know everything about it.”
“Can you tell me?” Alexander whispered, “Who is behind it?”
“That man. He is the d-devil,” Lucius slurred, “he wants back in the city. He wants to return. That man wants to be the king again.”
“How did you come in contact with this man?”
Lucius whined again. He looked like he wanted to go to sleep, and Alexander couldn’t let that happen.He wanted every goddamn detail out of his lips.
“We w-were blackmailed. He wanted our money and our resources.”
“Why did he blackmail you? What did you do?”
“Our shipment didn’t get busted; it was all fake. We just wanted you to
give us the reparation cost, we were short on some cash,” Lucius sobbed, “I am sorry, Alex. This wasn’t my idea. Daddy was the one behind thisplan.”
Alex gritted his teeth. Tommaso had made him shell out fifteen million dollars for the reparations.
“That fucker,” Riccardo hissed. “Why did you need the money?”
“Our business had not been doing well, our clubs and casinos are under
debt. I am sorry, those fifteen million were our only way out.”
“Who was this man blackmailing you?” Alex asked.
“I cannot tell you his name,” Lucius sobbed, “I am scared, Alex.”
“I cannot believe he just said that,” Dylan said, “a made man is never scared.”
Dylan Kelly was famed for his passion and bravado. The boy could jump into fire if he had too and without dropping a single tear. He gently
tapped Lucius’ face to keep him awake.
“It is okay, Lucius,” Derek said, “but can you tell us where he maybe?”
Derek was the opposite of Dylan, but maybe his approach would work. Alex took a step back and motioned for Derek to take over the interrogation. Derek perched himself on the table.
“Where is this man, Lucius?” Derek asked in a soothing voice.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Dylan muttered under his breath.
“He is using our warehouses and resources to carry out his plans and operations.”
“And what are his operations, Lucius?”
“He wants to take over the city, just like he had in the past but I think this time he is here for something more. Something personal, and I don’tknow what that is, but I think he is earnest about his intentions. He
wants to bring down every mafia family down to their knees and revive his old legacy,” Lucius slurred.
“Which warehouse is he in?”
“He should be in our warehouse on Staten Island, he has some massive and explosive plans up his sleeves. He is pulling the guns, making deals with governments of all sorts of notorious countries. He has cash, and lots and lots of sponsors,” Lucius whispered, “and also the passport of three different countries. And you wouldn’t
be able to catch him, he is like a phantom.”
“Is he the reason why your father died?”
“Yes, my Dad realised his mistakes. He really wanted to come clean about it, and he tried to warn a few people about it as well but to no avail. In theend he had to pay with his life... God, I feel so worthless,” Lucius cried.
Derek turned to Alex.
“Staten Island, that’s where your target is,” Derek said.
“I wonder who it could be,” Alex said.
There was a knock on the door, and an associate entered the room with a file in his hand, Riccardo attended to him.
“Lucius is talking about a man who is probably already familiar with this city, in fact, was at one point the king of this city. Lucius is talking about a man who has left a legacy behind him. Who could it be?” Dylan mulled.
“The warehouse shooting, Maximus Wagner’s death and now the
appearance of this mysterious man. It all points to Ambrose,” Alexander whispered.
“What are you saying, Man?” Derek whispered, “it cannot be Ambrose. Why would he kill his own Uncle?”
“Like Lucius said, initially Uncle Maximus was in cahoots with Ambrose. Probably, upon realising his destructive plans, Maximus wanted to come clear, but Ambrose decided to kill him!” Alex announced.
“That is one possibility that I do not want to agree with,” Derek said.
“C’ mon! Ambrose was once the king of the City. Every person shook in their boots, no one wanted to be on the wrong side of Ambrose Valentine. And when Ambrose was exiled to Seattle, he left behind a legacy!”
“It cannot be him,” Derek said, “I refuse to believe this!”
“Why are you saying that, Derek? Your own associate saw Maximus
meeting up with Ambrose!” Dylan said.
“I know! But just think about it. Do you really think Ambrose to be capable of such heinous crimes? Do you really think he could do this?”
“Derek, my brother threatened the lives of many of my family members when he went to the FBI and opened our entire family history in front of them. My Dad could’ve been on a death row! What does that tell you about Ambrose, Derek?”
“It is so hard to believe all that you are saying. That man has been my idol. I am what I am because of him,” Derek whispered, “I would hang on to every word said by Ambrose, I soaked up as much knowledge from his as I could. And I saw a hero and a king in him.”
“Well, that King wants to enter my kingdom now,” Alex snarled, “and I am not letting that happen.”
“What are you going to do about it?” Dylan asked.
“I am going to Staten Island, I will pull Ambrose out of the hole he has been hiding in,” Alex snarled.
“I still don’t believe it is Ambrose,” Derek mumbled.
“I think it is Ambrose.” Riccardo was staring at the dossier in his hand.
Riccardo placed the file on the table and pulled out a few photographs from it and laid them out on the table.
“What are these?”
“These are the photographs of our cousin and Ambrose’s right-hand guy. He is the former Capo of the Vasilakis syndicate, Victor Vasilakis. And he was here in the city a few weeks ago,” Riccardo informed.
“See!” Alexander announced, “what will you say about that?”
Derek didn’t say anything.
“I cannot believe this is happening,” Dylan lamented, “I cannot believe your brother is doing this. For once it is okay to want to enter this city, but
it is another thing to murder your own uncle. That is against our code!”
“Riccardo, I want you to increase the security at all of our warehouses and especially at our parents’ place. I want them to be unscathed by the time I am done with Ambrose. I also want you to prepare thirty of our best associates. We are leaving for Staten Island tonight.”
“What?” Derek Alfonsi’s eyes were wide, “are you seriously going ahead with this? We don’t even know how
dangerous Ambrose could be. What if he has more men than us?”
“Let us ask Lucius,” Dylan said.
They turned to Lucius only to find him snoring.
“Bloody loser,” Alex snapped, “just take the key card off his body. We will need to enter the warehouse.”
“We will actually be needing Lucius himself,” Riccardo pointed out.
“Don’t tell me it is a fingerprint scanner they want,” Alex bit out.
“Fine, I am taking this loser along with me.”
“Me? I thought it was we,” Riccardo said.
“No, I and the thirty associates and Lucius. I want you to be here, in my place, leading our organisation. Should anything happen.”
“I am sorry, Alex. But I am not letting that happen. I am your underboss, I should be the one to go,”
“This is my fight, and you know that.”
“What if something happens to you?” Riccardo whispered.
“If I do not call anyone of you or Boris by seven in the morning then I want this news to be out in the open. Every person should be informed of my brother’s arrival. I want every syndicate to be armed to hilt, prepared for Ambrose and his legionof murderers.”
“Shit! Don’t say that,” Derek cried, “I am sending my entire force with you!”
“This operation needs to be inconspicuous, Derek. I need only a small team.”
With that, Alex walked out of the conference room. He made way to the bar, he needed a drink before going on this mission. The club was literally bursting with people, Nicholas was busy making drinks for everyone, and Alex’s heart sighed.
This could very well be the last time Alex was staring at Nicholas. What if he was unable to call any of his
friends by seven in the morning? What about his parents?
Nicholas’ eyes met his, and Alex beckoned him to a corner. Nicholas walked to him, and they moved to a secluded and quiet area. Alex cupped his cheeks.
“I just wanted to say that I have really enjoyed every moment I spent with you. I will always cherish those.”
“Is everything alright?” Nicholas asked.
“No, I was right about my brother. He is the one responsible for the chaos in this city. And I have to put a stop to it. He is hiding at my cousin’swarehouse in Staten Island, and I am going to go and either kill him or make him my prisoner. Ambrose cannot do this, this is my city, and I am going to bring some order to it.”
“I don’t think you....”
“Don’t try to stop me. My decision is final, and I am sticking to it. It is either Ambrose or Alex, just one of us tonight.”