Ambrose's Muse

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AMBROSE VASILAKIS [FIRST PERSON]

I never knew this day would come. Bell in my arms without any inhibitions. How I craved this moment, the moment when my eyes fell on my beautiful Bell. I have never fallen so hard. I cupped her cheeks and placed a chaste kiss on her lips. Bell giggled, a beautiful blush on her full cheeks.

“Bell, you have made me the happiest man on this planet,”

Bell tugged the sheet over her chest and gave me her beautiful smile. Her blue eyes glistened with happiness, and I couldn’t help but sigh.

“You need to let me go,” Bell pouted when I didn’t release her from my grip across her waist.

“But I don’t want to,” I whined. I have become addicted to her. Every moment away from my Bell is torture. If things were my way, then she would be in my arms, all the

time.

“Ambrose, you have started to behave like a puppy. And it’s not cute,” Bell complained, “where is the stern and brooding man that I fell in love with?”

I narrowed my eyes at her. So, she didn’t like my cuteness? I flipped her on her stomach, and a small yelp escaped her lips. I held both her hands behind her back in a tight grip and smacked her adorable bottom. A mewl escaped her lips.

“Am I stern enough, my Kitten?” “Yes,” Bell cried.Bell looked up at me, her face flaming furiously.“I didn’t like that,” Bell admitted, “I don’t want you to do that ever again.”

“I don’t like being teased, baby,”
“I wasn’t teasing you. I was speaking the truth,” Bell huffed.I shake my head, there is no winning with Bell. She could bring peace to the world with how adorable she was.“Anyway, I have to go,” Bell whispered, “the girls must be waiting for me.”
“I will miss Charlotte,”
“Charlotte is not even interested in dancing. The only reason she looks

forward to the classes is that she gets to meet you,”
“Maybe I will drop by, meet her for a few seconds and leave,”

“That will work. But it only proves my point,”
“What point?”
“You are no longer the brooding and burly man. You are now a little puppy, loved adored by toddlers.” Bell laughed and jumped from the bed, quickly wrapping the sheet

around her body and running out of the room.
I sat there, gobsmacked, had she again just accused me of being a puppy? Was I genuinely getting soft? Though, I was never the kind of person loved or adored by kids. Most of them were scared of me. Maybe Charlotte was just different.

I got off the bed, wearing my clothes and walked out of my bedroom. The past week had been beautiful, but I couldn’t help feel that this was all

transient. Maybe this was God’s one last blessing for me. Something didn’t feel right, like an impending doom looming over my head. Life had turned out to be something else altogether. Here I had thought of spending my entire life in Seattle, but New York beckoned me towards it. Some business had to be finished.

I walked out of the door and towards my brother’s room. I had enough of his attitude. He was acting like the fucking prince of England, and I don’t

have time for that. Things are not right between the two of us, Alex harboured some unexplained feelings towards me. To move forward with my plans, I had to get to the bottom of those feelings.

I knocked on his dear, a faint ‘come in’ reached my ears. I pushed the door open.
Alex is working on the laptop I gave to him. I don’t know what to make of him. I love him very much, it is a fact and a statement. I have missed him

over the last sixteen years, and every breath of mine was spent on fretting about him. The only thing that made me happy was to realise how the mafia families had mellowed down. No longer were there any fights, encounters and gang wars. Although it was embarrassing, I was still happy. There wouldn’t be bloodshed, which meant that my brother would live a longer life.

“Alex,” I whisper.

Alex looks up at me. He looks so much like Mom.“We need to talk,” I say.
“You want me to tell you,”

“I do, I want you to tell me about what happened in the warehouse.” “Why should I tell you?”
“Don’t you get it? Who so ever hurt you and killed Uncle Wagner needs to be caught! What if his next target happens to be Mom and Dad?”

“Why are you worried about Mom and Dad? Why are you worried about

our family? You left us at the mercy of the Feds, why should I trust you? Why should I love you? Why should I not fear another betrayal at yourhands?” Alex shot questions after questions. I looked at him. He was seething. The nerve on his forehead was prominent.

I didn’t know my brother at all. He was never hot-headed. Always cool as a breeze and calm. He was the creative one, still letting his volatile feelings have a creative and positive

outlet. But the mafia life was taking its toll on him, I could see the dark circles under his eyes. My brother was dying a slow death, and I couldn’t take it anymore.

It was time to become Ambrose Valentine again. And I didn’t care about anyone’s opinions and or their suggestions.

“I don’t care what you think, Alex. Every action of mine has been for the safety and betterment of my family, of the Cosa Nostra. And if you are

foolish enough to think that I can betray then maybe you are not as good a Don as I thought you to be. You are coward. You have been here a couple of days, you are hardly concerned about the aftermath of your actions. Mother must be thinking that you are dead. Uncle Alessio probably would’ve instated Riccardo as the Don. What are you doing? You have no plans. You should be making allies.”

“No one will be my ally once they get to know what I saw there. They will scurry back into their little burrows. I know it,” Alex cried.

“I will be your ally. I promise. I will be your ally, even if I have to die. I am your brother,”
“You will not believe me,” Alex sobbed, “and I am a fucking coward!” “Do not say that about yourself,”
“But it’s true. I am not meant for this life. My soul cannot take it anymore. I am fucking Gay and the Cosa Nostra

doesn’t have a place for people like me, I am no less than a ‘little bitch’ for them, someone they can kick around. My identity, my most authentic character, is a good enough reason for them to put a bullet in my head. Take a look at this.” Alex pulledout a little black book from his pocket. “Read this.”

I took the little black book from his hand and flipped through the pages. Lists of names and some

ruminations. There was even a detailed log of certain mafia operations that Alex had undertaken. I looked up at him.

“What is this?”
“That book contains the name of every man I have killed and every illegal operation that I have undertaken. I need to get it all out of my mind and onto that book. Otherwise, I will fucking die. I know it. I am too weak. Every night, in my dream, I see the faces of the men I

have killed, of the women I have widowed and children I have orphaned.”
I stand stunned. I don’t know what to think of this. I hold the cause of Alex’s suffering in my hand. It is the source of his misery or is it? Despite putting it all out, he still carries every detail of his crimes in the valves of his heart. He is the prisoner of his actions, and I stand helpless in front of him.

“Was there ever a moment when these episodes didn’t haunt you?” I whispered.“When I was in love with Nicholas. But even that bastard betrayed me.” I winced.

“I am sorry, I didn’t know of Malcolm’s plans. I would’ve stopped him if I knew.”
“Yes, I am not mad at him. Something tells me that the man is still in love with me. He can hide it all

he wants, but I will get those feelings out in the open.”I grinned.“That’s going to be difficult than any mafia operation that you have undertaken.”

Alex laughed along with me.“You know, Alex. I think I have killed more than you, fucked up more than you and maybe we are not the same person, but you cannot measure yourself from the same scale as a normal citizen does. We were born in

a different setting, and I know life should’ve gone differently for you. But it hasn’t. I will do everything in my power to make things easier foryou. Trust me.”

Alex looked me in the eyes, his own glistening with tears. I don’t know what to say or do, but I am overcome with emotion too. I hug him tightly, I let a tear trickle down my cheek. It is gut-wrenching to see someone you love to be so broken and sad.

“You were meant to be a world- renowned interior designer. I am so sorry for taking that away from you. But I had to choose. And it was the most difficult choice ever.”

“You keep talking about not betraying,” Alex whispered, “is something going on?”
“I will tell you if you tell me what you saw in the warehouse.”

Alex looks at me before nodding. He sits down on the bed.

“You can call Victor and Malcolm. I don’t think I will be repeating it for every individual,” Alex whispered. ***

We sat in the conference room. Even Bell had returned from her classes. There was unease on her face, the tension was palpable in the room. Victor looks at Alex with anticipation, and the usually cool Malcolm too looks tense.

“We were all shaken up after Uncle Max’s death. And I couldn’t let it

slide. None of us could let it slide, a vital member of our family was dead. He was one of the best in the German Mafia, there had to be a reason behind his demise.” Alex cleared his throat and looked at us. “Fortunately for us, Lucius knew everything. He knew who was behind his father’s death but unfortunately, because of his highly drugged state, he was unable to give us a name. I along with Derek and Dylan and Riccardo, we were all convinced that it was

Ambrose. Everything pointed towards him.”
“But I guess it was not Ambrose,” Victor drawled.

“No, but someone who is eerily similar to Ambrose in everything but appearances. Both leaders,” Alex said, “and at first, I couldn’t believe my eyes. But he has some severe plans up his sleeve, and one of them includes bringing Ambrose back to New York City.”

“When he shot the gun at me, it was because he knew that my death would bring Ambrose to the city,” Alex continued, “I was so sure of my plan.And we had succeeded to a certain extent, but it was as if this man had an entire army in the basement of the Wagner Warehouse. I think he intends on destroying not just our family but reviving his legacy. And I think he has some massive plans, plans that could potentially threatenthe lives of the innocents as well.”

“Alex, I think you really need to get to the point,” Victor urged.
“Who is this man, Alex?” I asked. Alex looked me in the eye. I saw something shift. They became hard and cold.

“Tsar.”

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