“We have to get FBI on this, Ambrose,” Victor said, “maybe the threat of the authorities will put some fear into Tsar, and he will try to back down.”
“I don’t think he wants to back down this time. I think he wants to win, his mind is made up.”
“And you need to make up your mind. There is a lot at stake,
Ambrose. Many can get hurt, including Bell and her family.”
“No one knows about Bell, I have made sure that no one knows about her,” I explain Victor.
“That is not true,” Alex whispered, “people know you have a girlfriend or at least a woman in your life. If Derek Alfonsi knows you have a woman,then I am sure others can know too,”
“Alfonsi? That dumb little kid?” Victor asked.
“I had the same reaction as you, I too thought him to be a dubious little guy, but he is proving to be smarter and stronger. Anyhow, Derek Alfonsi has a guy here in Seattle who reports to the syndicate every week. The entire report is basically about you.”
“I am going to kick that boy’s ass upon reaching New York. I am telling you. How dare he spy on me? And why the fuck is he spying on me?”
“Apparently he learnt that from you. Keeping tabs on everyone is
something that Ambrose Valentine did.”
“If I did keep a tab on everyone, I would’ve have found out about Tsar, but apparently I have become relaxed and rusty over the years while my enemy makes intricate and detailed plans about murdering my family,”
I was stepping into the role of a Mafia Lord after so many years. Although I had stayed adept with the underworld in the past so many years, there was still a lot of things
that I lacked. I had become too soft and warm; I had become that Dad, who had a nice wife and kids. The Dad who ate warm bread and watched football. How would I go from being a Dad to a Godfather that everyone thought me to be? When I was twenty-two, my peers called me Big Daddy, but that was not the case now. I didn’t possess the same energy and network as I did before.
“We will get the authorities in,” I declare, “I will call up Agent Damien.”
“Agent Damien was the one who investigated our case last time,” Victor explained to Alexander.
“Is he still serving?” Malcolm asked.
“Yes, in fact, he is touted to be the next director of the FBI. I am pretty sure he would want to take on this case. It is high profile and just the chance he needs to solidify his
promotion. Damien will be an idiot to not take up this case,” I informed.
“Should I set up a meeting with him for tomorrow?” Malcolm asked.
“No need, the man is coming here as we speak,” Victor said.
“Do we have Riccardo’s videos and other proofs?” I asked Alexander.
“I have them ready. The Wagner Warehouse was literally oozing with evidence.”
“Something is not right,” Victor said.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“Someone as intelligent as Tsar won’t just leave obvious proofs. There has to be an ulterior motive here,”
“What motive could it be?” Alexander asked.
“He is provoking Ambrose. Tsar wants Ambrose to be back in the city, and he will do anything possible to make it happen,” Malcolm said, “you remember what he said to Alexander. Don’t you? Trying to kill Alex was
nothing but an invitation for you to come back to the city.”
“Tsar knows that I cannot enter the city. He knows that I will have to fight or perhaps kill my own family to do that. He wants chaos. He tried to do that before, that man created rifts in my family, and I will never forgive him for it. If I am not with Mother and Father, it is because of him,” I spat, “the mere thought of Tsar fills me up with a rage so strong. I fucking hate that idiot. And I hate myself for
even considering him as my best friend at one point in life.”
“Channel that rage, Ambrose. You need a lot of it for this war that is coming our way. That man needs to go down. You cannot be scared. I don’t care if father considers you as the Capo or not, but you are the true Capo Valentine, and you need to act like it.”
I nodded at Alexander’s words. A sigh escaped my lips.
“May I come in,”
I turned to the sweet and melodious voice of my Bell. A smile appeared on my lips, she stood by the door, looking like cotton candy.
“You don’t have to ask, Kitten,” I whispered and beckoned her inside.
I just had two more days to be with her.
“I wanted to ask you something,” Bell said.
“What is it?”
“My Uncle is in town, he loves me very much and wants to meet with me,” Bell whispered.
“Bell, I would never stop you, but you know our situation. Don’t you?”
“No one knows about me....”
“Turns out there are people who are keeping tabs on me. They know about you, Bell. I just want you to keep a low profile.”
“But what about my Uncle? I am like his daughter, Ambrose. He would be
furious if I cancelled and suspicious too.”
“We can call him here. I have no problems with that.”
“If I call my Uncle and then he will get to know about you. He will then tell my family about it,”
“And what’s wrong with that?”
“I don’t want our family knowing about our relationship,” Bell whispered.
“Because you are so old,”
My jaw dropped, and a low whistle escaped Alexander’s lips.
“I need to sit down for this,” Victor said and sat down.
“I cannot believe you just said that,” I whispered.
“This is not something against you, Ambrose. But I have to break this news to my family in a very well- thought-out manner. I cannot be hasty,”
“This is a relationship, Bell. I don’t understand what the huge deal is,”
“My mother is only ten years older than you. You are closer to her in age than you are to me.”
“What is the age difference between the two of you?” Alex enquired.
“Sixteen,” Bell informed.
“Fifteen and a half,” I protested.
I was given a side-eye. I huffed and folded my hands across my chest. I know it was a very childish thing to do, but this was upsetting.
“I wouldn’t be happy if my daughter dated an older man,” Victor said.
“You don’t have to worry about a daughter,” I said.
“Because you won’t be able to have any after I am done kicking you in the balls,” I snarled.
Victor shut his mouth and sat back.
“I am sorry, Bell. Your Uncle will have to come here,”
Bell pouted and stomped her foot and ran away from the room. I turned back to the task in hand.
“I cannot believe she said that,” I whispered, “I can easily pass off as a thirty-year-old. I stay fit and eat fit.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Malcolm said.
“Like I didn’t have enough to worry about! Now my girlfriend is ashamed of me,”
“Bell isn’t ashamed of you,” Alexander said, “she just needs to be sensitive of her family’s situation.
They are already dealing with Winnie’s health, breaking the news of an older boyfriend who is basically the king of the underworld will not be taken well. Give them some time, Ambrose. This isn’t about you.”
“He is right,” Victor said, “and you have much more important things to worry about.”
“Absolutely,” Malcolm agreed as well.
An associate knocked on our door. “What is it?”
“Capo, the team from FBI has arrived,”
“Let them in,”
I sit up straight. My housekeeper quickly enters the conference room with bottles of water, the maids carry various selections of doughnuts after her. Victor snickers, and so does Alexander. I have no time for jokes, but I let this one pass. I need to keep those agents on their toes. This was a pivotal moment, but I couldn’t let them take me for granted
Damien entered the room with his agents. He was in a decent suit and regarded me with relaxed eyes.
“Why have you called me here, Ambrose?” Damien asked me.
I regarded him coolly and then nodded towards Alexander, he passed me an envelope containing pictures of Tsar at the warehouse. I slid the envelope across the table towards Damien who caught it expertly.
“What is this? Damien asked.
“Why don’t you open it? Meanwhile, your associates can help themselves with the doughnuts,”
“Not funny, Ambrose.” Damien opened the envelope and pulled out the pictures, I saw him furrows his brows and look at the picture with confusion.
“What are these?” Damien asked.
The pictures were not clear. They were grainy and of poor quality.
“Tell me you don’t recognise the man, Damien,”
“I have no idea why you are wasting my time, Ambrose.”
“Switch on the television, Victor. This guy needs something more concrete,” I commanded.
Victor did as told, and soon Damien and his associates were looking at the screen. Damien’s eyes narrowed as he saw Tsar conduct meetings with different people at the warehouse, some of the clippings were old and some new. Lucius Wagner too was
present in a couple of videos along with his father.
“Shit,” one of the associates hissed. “What is it?” Damien asked.
“You seriously don’t see it, do you?” I snapped.
Damien looked at me with questions swimming in his eyes.
“It’s Tsar, two months ago at the Wagner warehouse!” I snapped.
Damien’s face turned grave. He picked up the remote and zoomed
upon Tsar’s figure. Damien then examined the photographs.
“This is impossible,” Damien whispered.
“It is not impossible. Alexander has seen Tsar, in person at the Wagner Warehouse. It is not impossible at all?”
“He shot me,” Alexander admitted.
“I cannot believe this,” Damien said.
“What I cannot believe is how come you aren’t aware of his escape? Why weren’t we informed about it?” I
snapped, “Tsar isn’t some petty thief. He is a criminal, a terrorist, and we have no idea what he has planned this time.”
“The Russian government didn’t even inform us, I have to make some calls, excuse me.”
Damien walked out of the room. I turned to Victor.
“Handing over Tsar to the Russian government was the biggest mistake!” I snapped.
“We did that because it was safer for us! Our prisons aren’t secure enough to contain a man like him, Tsar had great networking with prisoners in our facilities. Sooner or later he would’ve escaped. At least with a Russian facility, he stayed there forsixteen years. He doesn’t know the language and has sparse connections in the country,”
“I don’t believe this, I see him this time, and my bullet is going straight
into his head,” I growled, “and I don’t care for the consequences.”
The agent didn’t say anything. Damien walked inside.
“I have spoken to the authorities. This case is going to be heavy, Ambrose. Looks like we will beteaming up again,”
“Unfortunately,” I drawled, “I hope you give this your all. You know you have a crucial promotion at stake if things go awry.”
“Don’t use that tone with me,” Damien snapped, “putting Tsar six feet under is my mission, and I will not stop or take any promotion before that.”
“Well, I don’t have anything else. So you can leave if you want to,” I said.
“Not so soon. I think there is something else that we need to talk about,”
“And what would that be?”
“My niece. What is she doing in your house and why isn’t she allowed to meet me?”