Hello! I finally have an update and I am so sorry! So, I have sent chapters 1 to 15 to the inboxes of all the supporters as well as updated them on PATREON [find under posts sections]. I hope you enjoy! You can of course receive the chapters too, all details in my latest post on profile.
“How much time does it take to make a painting?” Bell asked.
“If you stop moving, then I should be done in a month,” Ambrose muttered.
Bell was a chatty little thing, Ambrose discovered.
“But my Mom took me the artist at the mall, and he made my portrait in a day,”
“That is why he is working in a mall, kitten,”
“Now that is rude, not everyone has money like you. Some have to resort to such measures,”
“Now, I wouldn’t know that. I have never had to want for anything.”
“Really? That can’t be true! I mean there had to be something that you wanted and didn’t get,”
“C’ mon, think Ambrose!”
Ambrose stopped painting and stared at Bell. She was looking at him with eager eyes, and he found himself nodding. Those eyes could make him do anything. She was a vixen with absolute control over him.
“There is one thing that I want,” Ambrose said.
Bell sat up, bringing the covers to her chest.
“What is it?” Bell whispered.
“It is there in front of me, you know. I can see it, smell it and even feel it but I can never get it. it can never be mine even if I want,”
“Oh my god, you poor thing, you must feel so bad,” Bell sniffed. She climbed down the bed and walked to him, the covers rustling behind her.
“Yes, I feel terrible,”
Bell stood on her toes and placed a soft kiss on his cheek and gently patted his shoulder. Ambrose picked her up and put her on his lap. They stared into each other’s eyes.
“What is this thing that you desire?” Bell asked.
“Well, she is not a thing. She is a beautiful ballerina who refuses to be mine,”
Understanding dawned in Bell’s eyes, and she looked down.
“I am a committed woman, Ambrose. I cannot stray. Lex would be devastated.”
“That is Smoochy’s name?”
“Well, I can give him money. Will he then go away?”
“Lex is rich too. He doesn’t need your money plus he is a man of high morals.”
“Now that is just pure bullshit, Bell. No man has morals,”
“You like to share a lot of philosophies. I have noticed, but there is one thing… none of them is true. You thought Smoochy would be upset when I told him about us, but you saw how calm and understanding he was. You also think I shouldn’t do Ballet because you are archaic. Now, I don’t like these philosophies.”
“You have quite the mouth on you, Bell. All I can remember is the stuttering mess that you were in the car.”
Bell’s face turned red, and she glowered at him.
“I was in a vulnerable position, Ambrose. And you were trying to intimidate me.”
“Well, I sort of wanted to just let you know who the lion was in this jungle,”
“Lions are extinct just like men of your sorts. Both of you were in vast numbers in the nineteenth century, but since then there has been a steady decline,”
“Lions are endangered,” Ambrose corrected her, “and people will realise their importance for the sustenance of the ecosystem and in no time, with correct measures, we will see a growth in their population.”
“Last time I checked, I was here to be a muse and not a companion who participates in your very irritating conversations.” Bell walked to the bed in a haughty fashion, and Ambrose just looked at her adoringly.
“Get to painting. Chop chop.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Ambrose picked his brush and got back to the painting.
A phone call interrupted them. Ambrose read the caller ID and excused himself from the room.
“Malcolm,” Ambrose acknowledged the skilled assassin.
“Ambrose, I am here. I have also gained inside access.”
“What does that entail?”
“I am in, it will take a little while for me to start getting the inside information, but I have started to gauge the situation already,”
“And what is the situation?”
“There was an attack on one of the Valentine warehouses. Your family is alarmed by this. Apparently, this is the first shootout in the last sixteen years. An investigation is underway,”
“Do you have any idea who may be behind it?”
“I overheard someone saying that it was the Wagners,” Malcolm said, “but I do not have enough intel yet to confirm this.”
“Well, I did see Maximus Wagner here in Seattle, and they all know that it is my territory,”
“Also, as we are aware, Capo Tommaso has clearly forbidden anyone to fraternise with you. It is a bold step to risk the ire of your father.”
“I am astounded too, Malcolm. And I have never known Maximus to be so bold. Something is going on,”
“That is for sure. To attack the Valentines, that in itself is foolhardy but I think I need to look around more and get some more information. It is difficult, your brother has kept the organisation very tight-knit.”
A smile came upon Ambrose’s lips. It was good to know that Xander was being a good Capo. He couldn’t be prouder. All his life, Ambrose had tried to shield Alexander from this life. His brother was a creative individual and had a lot of promising things to look forward to. But circumstances never support you, and now Alexander was the Capo. His young baby brother was a Capo, murder and gore were now an integral part of his life.
“It is good that Alex is involved in this, Ambrose,” Malcolm said, “you cannot protect your brother from everything. At least now he can protect himself.”
“I will always protect my brother, Malcolm. Maybe not from the blood and gore but the impending doom that is upon us. I have a feeling, and when you have been a part of this for so long, intuition plays a much more important role than logic. And I know that there is a big hurricane headed towards us and she will threaten to ruin us,”
“How can you trust your feelings, Ambrose? They keep changing. Keep your head in the game.”
“I have felt this only once ever in my life, Malcolm. It was when Tsar destroyed us all, and this is only the second time, I am feeling this sensation of utter nervousness, hopelessness and sheer dread. It almost feels apocalyptic. Trust me on this, Malcolm. I come from experience. And in our field, experience matters,”
“Is that why a consigliere is always old?”
“You got it right, my boy,”
“I will keep this in my mind, Ambrose. Thank you.”
Ambrose slipped the phone in his pocket and turned to Bell’s room when an associate came running to him.
“Sir, we have a guest,”
“At this time? Who is it?”
The associate looked hesitant, trying to hide his eyes.
“I don’t have time for your coyness,” Ambrose snapped.
“Sir, it is Mr Maximus Wagner,”
Ambrose froze but nodded.
“Allow him in the estate but not before a complete security check,”
The associate nodded and sprinted from the spot. Ambrose sighed and walked to his room, he had to be in decent clothes in front of the Don of the Wagner Syndicate. He slipped into his linen trousers and a shirt, he combed his hair and then proceeded to the living area.
The German was already present when Ambrose ambled inside.
“Uncle,” Ambrose curtly nodded.
Maximus looked at him with his signature smug face. There were a taunting smile and a teasing glint. His Uncle had an ulterior motive. The man grinned and hugged Ambrose. Ambrose cringed at the smell of tobacco wafting strongly, he patted Maximus’s back and stepped back, keeping an arm’s length.
“We don’t nod, Ambrose. We hug. That what families do.”
Ambrose controlled the urge to roll his eyes.
“Why are you here, Uncle?” Maximus sat on the sofa and motioned for his uncle to do the same. He snapped his fingers at the butler, who quickly rolled a small trolley of drinks and snacks.
“Last time I checked, I don’t need a reason to meet my beloved nephew,”
“When you say it like that, I think you do have a reason,”
Maximus raised an eyebrow and made himself a drink.
“Why are you here, Uncle? And let us be real,”
“I don’t like reiterating myself, Maximus. I am here because I want to meet you.”
“C’ mon, Maximus,” Ambrose grinned, “your favourite nephew is Alexander. Speaking of whom, how is he?”
“Very good, Alex is doing a great job at handling the syndicate. He has outdone himself. To be honest, Alessio and I had our doubts. We even insisted, you know, maybe Riccardo should be given a chance. But Alex stepped up, it is nice,”
“Alex has been trained by the best. It was foolish of you and Uncle Alessio to even think otherwise.”
That shut Maximus right up, his Uncle glowered at him, but Ambrose didn’t flinch. Anyone who was ever trained by Tommaso Valentine couldn’t fail, not even in his dream. It was vigorous, yes, but it was vital.
“We didn’t have our doubts because his strength was not up to the mark. Our doubts were due to his inclinations… they are, to be polite, queer.”
“And why does that bother you? Don’t tell me, Uncle, I didn’t think of you as a homophobe. I mean back in the day you were all for LGBTQ rights or was it only because you wanted to open a gay club?”
“Of course n-not, Ambrose,” Maximus sputtered, “I don’t mix politics with business.”
“That makes you a terrible businessman, I guess. But let us put that aside. How is aunt?”
“Aunt is doing well as usual,”
“And what about Lucius? Did he learn to blow his nose? Can’t have a Don dripping snot all over his enemies,”
Maximus looked appalled; Ambrose was enjoying all of this so much. Maximus was a crafty man, with tricks up his sleeve. He was a strong leader but easily distracted.
“Next time think twice before coming to Seattle. This is my territory, Uncle. I will not tolerate you or anyone from New York over here.”
“New York is your family, Ambrose. And every man has to return home someday. Your time is here, you will see.”
Maximus got up, buttoned his coat and walked out of the bungalow. Ambrose stared at his retreating body.
“What was that all about?”
Ambrose turned around and saw Victor standing.
“I don’t know, I have never heard Uncle Maximus talk like this. He seemed like….” Ambrose tried to find the right word.
“like he was foreshadowing?”
“Yes, that’s the word. I don’t know. It is odd to come here, out of the blue, unannounced and just ask me to return home. Does he even know what he is talking about?”
“I know! I mean one foot into New York City and the entire mafia will rain down their bullets on you. You have pissed a lot of people.”
“I am not afraid of that, Victor. I can take them on, each one of them. I am afraid of Dad; I am afraid of seeing him upset and disappointed. I cannot see Alex all disappointed and angry. That’s what I care about.”
“Maybe you are just overthinking it, I was there a couple days ago…”
“And you said that something was wrong.” Ambrose’s mind started to connect the dots. “What if Maximus’ visit here is connected, maybe he knows what is to happen.”
Victor stared at Ambrose.
“We will have to wait for Malcolm’s reports,” Victor finally said.
“I need that boy to find me something.”
“I am sure he will, I just hope he penetrates the walls of the Valentine security systems,”
“If he does so then I will be disappointed in Xander,”
Victor grinned and patted his back.
“Don’t worry, Malcolm is going to have a hard time getting through those walls. Xander is a genius,”