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Alexander woke up. He wiped the drool off his chin and sighed. It had been so long since he last slept so well. A lazy smile stretched on his face as he got up, his feet met the ground, and a yawn escaped his lips. Such a wonderful morning.
“That’s a beautiful ass,”
Alexander grinned and turned around. The reason for his excellent sleep was on the bed, the rippling muscles on his body and the tanned skin, now Alexander wanted to go back to bed and ravage this specimen.
“I will be missing your beautiful ass,” Alexander said, “I had a great night.”
“Will I see you again?”
“I am afraid not, Nicholas.” Alexander grinned and turned to Nicholas. He had met this beautiful specimen last night at his club. God, the man was so good looking, Alexander would definitely miss him. But duty called first. Nicholas was a good lay, that was all and Alexander thanked his lucky stars that he remembered the guy’s name. It was a rare occurrence.
Alexander walked to Nicholas and pecked on his lips.
“If it offers any solace, then you are the best I have had till date,” Alexander said, “But you got to go.”
And with that, Alexander walked into the bathroom. He stood under the shower, letting last night’s passion wash down the drain, he shut his eyes. He hated doing this. Hiding who he was, god, it was getting so exhausting every day to hide who he was.
He would become the laughing stock of the entire syndicate if they realised that he liked men. His father would be so embarrassed. And that was the last thing he wanted. Another son. Another disappointment.
Ambrose’s mistakes had left a massive burden on Alexander’s shoulders. He had to be the perfect Capo. The perfect Don. The perfect husband.
Her face flashed in his mind. Bell. The Ballerina.
Guilt surged through his veins. She was so sweet and so gullible. He didn’t deserve her.
Wrapping a towel around his waist, he walked out of the bathroom. The bedroom was empty just like his heart. The loneliness hurt him more than anything else. He was surrounded by his family, and yet he was alone.
“I wish you were here, brother,” Alexander said, “I cannot do any of this.”
Alexander opened his wardrobe and pulled his shirt out; he wore it along with his trousers and shoes not bothering with a jacket, it ended up on the couch anyway. Before he walked out of the room, he picked the little black book and opened it. It was a ritual he did every day. It was harrowing.
Alexander continued reading the list of over fifty people. His conscious grew heavy, and the tears from his eyes fell on the notebook. He didn’t have to even open this notebook; he remembered each and every name. It was etched into his mind and soul. He was the worst; he was a monster.
Alex threw the notebook inside and shut the door close. He walked out of his room.
He lived in a spacious bachelor pad in Manhattan, his property was the most luxurious and sought after in the entire Big Apple. He had carefully designed the whole place. Alex was creative with a degree in Architecture and a hobby for interior decoration. He also had a chain of restaurants all over the world. Apart from this, he, of course, owned an illegal billion-dollar business and ran a crime syndicate. Figures.
Alex’s driver and body-guard, Boris, stood by the door. Boris was in his late thirties and one of the most loyal men of the syndicate. Alex could trust the man with the worst of his secrets, and by worst, he meant everything. Alex also listened to Boris’ advice, the man had grown up under his brother’s tutelage, and while Ambrose wasn’t here, he still lived through Boris’ words.
“All going good, Boris?” Alex asked, conversationally.
“Absolutely, Don. Where to today?”
They got into the elevator.
“Don, Consigliere Alessio will be there as well,” Boris informed.
Alex’s already dark mood darkened further, and he nodded. Consigliere Alessio was his Uncle. Unfortunately, since Alex had taken over the syndicate, the man had made his personal goal to torment Alex with his taunts and jeers. Consigliere Alessio was not in favour of Alex taking over the crime syndicate, he wanted the position for his son and had made a compelling case against Alex.
One of the points under the case: Alex’s homosexuality.
Alex would’ve given away his position happily. He didn’t believe in this type of life. He hated the crime and the blood and the gore. He hated that he had to always look back over his shoulder, but Alex hated one thing above everything else: disappointing his father. Tommaso was devastated after Ambrose’s betrayal, and Alex didn’t want to do that. He was the younger child, a parent’s favourite. He wasn’t brought up with the same severity as Ambrose, but things changed when the big brother left. The responsibilities fell on his shoulder.
And one of the responsibilities was to marry a respectful and beautiful girl. Alex had killed many but what he was doing to Bell was the worst. She was under the illusion that he loved her a lot which he did. She was the sweetest girl, but most of Alex’s feelings were brotherly in nature. He was protective of her but like a big brother.
What would happen to Bell if she came to know his secret? Her innocent face flashed in front of his eyes. He shook his head. He would try his level best to keep her happy.
Alex stepped outside the elevator and walked to the Bentley and sat in the passenger seat. He took his phone out. There were over fifteen missed calls.
“Riccardo? Is everything alright?”
“Alright my foot, there has been a fucking shootout near our warehouse!”
“What?” Alex roared, “where are you right now?”
“At the scene! Come here as soon as possible,”
“I will be there in fifteen,”
Alex turned to Boris.
“Take me to the warehouse. There has been a shootout there.”
“Shit,” Boris snarled and pressed on the accelerator.
The car manoeuvred through the traffic. Alex’s patience was growing thin. There hadn’t been a shootout since the past so many years. The last one took place sixteen years ago when he was just a boy of ten. The crime families had been laying low since then, minding their own business. But clearly someone had decided to enter with all the guns roaring.
And Alex was ready to kill that bastard.
“I am telling you it is the Wagners,” Boris said.
“What makes you think it is the Wagners?” Alex asked.
“Lucius Wagner was acting strange a few months ago, and I also heard that they got busted for their last shipment coming from Venezuela, three months ago. Apparently one of the Valentines gave a tip to the police,”
“I thought I discussed this with them, why would they want to retaliate?”
“Again, this is just a possibility because we have good relations with the Irish and other German families.”
“I will discuss this with Lucius. In fact, let us organise a meeting tonight. Call the representatives from all the families, we have got to have a meeting. This is major,”
“Back during your brother’s time, this was a minuscule matter. Now, it has become a major thing. What happened to us?”
“Tsar,” Alex whispered.
“Don’t take his name!” Boris snapped.
Alex sighed. Tsar had destroyed everything. The crime families were still suffering from it.
“He took your brother away from us,” Boris snarled.
“What are you saying?” Alex said.
Boris stayed tight-lipped but the rage in his eyes was unmistakable. Alex wanted to question Boris, but before he could ask, they had reached the warehouse. They stepped out; Cousin Riccardo came waking to them.
“What is this shit?” Alex spat.
“I didn’t know, three of our associates are injured. It happened at four in the morning. They were guarding the shipments when some masked men came to them and started open firing.”
“Did we retaliate?”
“Yes, forcefully we had to. We injured one of theirs, bringing him into our fold. I reached here on time with back-up, they ran away before we could get any damage done,” Riccardo spat.
Riccardo was one of the few cousins who was closer to his age group. Most of his other family members were closer to forty. Closer to Ambrose in age. With much more expertise, calmer attitudes, experiences and sharper minds. But they had stepped back. They had taken much smaller roles except of course Consigliere Alessio who still hoped to see Riccardo as the Capo.
“Have you taken this man to our headquarters?” Alex asked and stepped forward.
“I have, he suffered some injuries, but we will have him for questioning later in the evening.”
“Unless your father puts his foot down for the meeting, he wants to hold with me,” Alex jeered.
Riccardo looked embarrassed.
“Sorry about that. The old man can’t seem to take a break,” Riccardo said, “I have told him to step down as the consigliere while he still can.”
“We will then have to find someone worthy of being a consigliere. Job description: old and wrinkly,” Alex snorted, “God, I will never take that position upon retiring.”
“You can make Ambrose the Consigliere,”
“Don’t, Riccardo. Do you even know the implications of that action? More than half of the syndicate is still upset with what my brother did. If I get Ambrose back, then they can revolt, and that’s the last thing I want.”
“I miss Ambrose,”
“I do, I miss Victor as well,”
“Oh, he was a notorious guy. Do you remember when I was sleeping over at your place? We had just watched a horror movie, and Victor decided to hide under your bed,”
“Still gives me the chills man. Ambrose whooped his ass.”
Alex patted Riccardo’s shoulder and walked ahead.
They entered the warehouse. Large wooden crates were placed over one another. It smelled disgusting. This was a fishing warehouse which they used for other side activities. Alex noticed the smatter of blood on ground. He crouched to the level and observed it before turning to Riccardo.
“How many guys roughly?”
“Ten of ours, fifteen of theirs.”
“We were outnumbered.”
“But we had better weapons and our soldiers were better trained,”
“Who do you think these men were?”
“I don’t know, they came wearing ski masks.”
“What could be the motive?”
“I think I have some ideas. These guys were here to pick a few boxes of our shipments. They had almost succeeded, but we reached with the extra back up.”
“What did the shipment contain?”
Alex stilled and turned to Riccardo.
“Do you think it could be the Wagners?”
“Boris is shit. Wagners could want revenge, but then why would they try to steal?”
“Are they running low on resources?”
“No, according to the report last week, they just received the payment for a shipment and lets just that it is in the nine figures,”
“Fucking hate the Wagners. Do you remember how Lucius came crying to us when the authorities busted upon his shipment?”
“I do, and the little shit then dared to blame us,”
“He should learn a thing or two from the Wolffs. Lucius is such a weakling,” Alex spat, “he can turn his back on anyone. Ally or not.”
“Oh, I would’ve advocated breaking off with them if Lucius wasn’t our cousin. Aunt Rosaria would be heartbroken.”
“Aunt Rosaria should’ve done a better job at raising her son, but she preferred hanging from Uncle Maximus’s arms at parties. Lucius was a shit kid. I remember his nose was always dripping when he was young, the fucking thing was always stuffed. The aunt was a shit parent, and so was Uncle Maximus.”
Riccardo shook his head in irritation and walked towards the car.
“Where are you going?” Alex asked.
“To the hospital. Have to see if that guy is okay for questioning or not.”
“Well, take me along with you. Anything to miss your father’s meeting.”
“How is Bell, man?” Riccardo asked as Boris started the car.
“She is cute as usual.”
“I love her so much!” Riccardo grinned, “when is her next ballet recital?”
“She is in Seattle for two months, working for an artist,”
Riccardo grew quiet, and Alex raised a brow.
“What is it?”
“Seattle always reminds me of Ambrose,”
Alex sighed and looked ahead.
Just come back, Ambrose.
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