3: there was a plan
“Lemme get this straight,” Dom settled into the chair in front of me, crossing his legs. “You want me to pull a Magic Mike and go build something at this store so you can get some pussy?”
“This is not a Mona,” I replied sharply. “It is different.”
Dom nodded. “Ah okay. So you’re not trying to fuck her?”
I circled the ring on my finger, hanging my head. “That is not priority.”
“Wow...don’t go soft on us yet Emilio,” Dom joked, shaking his head.
I sighed and closed my eyes, swinging my neck side to side. Placing my hands down on the table, I straightened up, cracking my knuckles.
“Is that yes or no?” I asked.
Dom tapped his fingers rhythmically on the armrest of his chair. “Yeah I’ll do it. But only because of that other woman in the picture. Molto deliziosa, no?”
I chuckled. ”Sei interessato?”
"Sí. Hai vista? Those thighs...all mine.” Dom gave a boyish smile, his eyes shimmering with mischief.
“You think you are her type?” I inquired, staring at the computer monitor with a small smirk.
“I’m everyone’s type Emilio,” Dom scoffed, offended by my question.
I lifted my shoulders, my eyes flitting to the door seeing a shadow stand on the outside before knocking.
"Chi è?” I bellowed, running a hand through my hair.
Antonio came through, poking his head in then allowing the rest of his body to walk into the room.
“Afternoon Boss,” Antonio greeted, his hands behind his back. He turned to Dom and said, “Dom.”
Dom grunted as he lifted himself from the chair and nodded his head in acknowledgment.
"Piccolo,” he cooed in a high-pitched voice, patting Antonio’s shoulder.
“I told you to stop calling me that,” Antonio retorted, his brows furrowing in annoyance.
Dom waved off his comment. ”Cosa sta andando fare? Tell mama?”
“I might just if you keep doing that,” Antonio hissed, slapping Dom’s hand when he tried to pinch his cheeks.
“Oh sure.” Dom nodded sarcastically as he started walking towards the door. “See you at dinner little brother.”
“Whatever,” Antonio grimaced, the tips of his ears bright red.
I lowered my gaze, aggravation making its way into my system for no reason.
Over the family I don’t have?
Or the family I could’ve had?
“Are you done?” My voice was clipped.
Antonio straightened up and nodded. “Yes Boss. Sorry.”
“What it is you came for?” was my question, my patting the floor lightly.
“Um. We got the card out to her building,” he informed me, reaching into his back pocket and pulling out a phone, putting it on my desk quietly. “The phone number is connected to this phone.”
I rose and eyebrow, leaning over to clutch the phone in my hands, twisting it over to study.
“Why did you not just put my number?”
“Just wanted to keep your private life and business separate boss,” he answered cautiously, his expression anxious.
I nodded, stuffing the phone in my pocket.
“What else?” I continued.
“What should I do with the picture we took on Monday? Of Xenia?” Antonio chattered, fumbling with his fingers anxiously. “Marco took it on my phone so I was just wondering...if you want me to send it to you or something?”
I sighed, staring blankly at the wall behind Antonio.
I had convinced myself that if I had saved that picture of her I could focus on nothing else during the day but that one photo.
Was I hearing myself right?
Not even one word was spoken to this woman and I was ready to tear down a wall just to hear her speak. Didn’t even have to be to me.
Why? So you can not only have her unforgettable face float through your head, but also have her voice humming through your mind?
“No. Keep it,” I murmured, focusing my gaze back on Antonio’s confused face.
“Are you sure? It’s kinda weird–”
“Yes I am sure. You fucking heard me, yes?” I snapped lowly. ”Non faccia che io mi ripeta.”
Antonio gulped, his face reddening. “Yes Boss.”
“Get the fuck out.”
Antonio nodded once, his gaze lowered as he scrambled out, closing the door shut behind him.
I sat in the dimly lit room alone, bringing my eyes back to the wall in front of me.
Almost immediately, I pictured those brown lips and high cheekbones. Such a soft gentle look on her face.
There was such a contrast between her and I, wasn’t there?
I was corrupt, scarred in every way known. Emotionally unavailable. Completely wrecked.
It was evident she wore her heart on her sleeve, every emotion easy to read. She was pure. An angel.
Heaven and Hell don’t mix. What good could come out of it?
I could mess it up.
I could fuck her up if I wasn’t careful.
Then maybe you should leave her alone.
It’s what you’re used to. You’re not fucking built for love.
You’re not built to love.
I grunted as my fist connected with the punching bag, hitting different points of the sand-filled sack hanging from a beam.
The gym was completely empty. Of course I was alone. That was my forte. It was my comfort.
So why do you want her if you want to be alone?
Damn it! You really can’t go one fucking second without her crossing your mind.
And have you realized how much more you’ve gotten into your feelings ever since she came across your path?
What are you? A pre-pubescent teenager?
Maybe this was a bad idea. Going after her.
It was making me weak and as a man in my position, that was something that couldn’t happen.
“You’re about the beat the sand out of that poor bag,” Dom’s voice laughed out of nowhere. He walked up beside me and slapped a hand down on my damp shoulder. “Care to share what’s on your mind?”
I huffed, continuing punching until I noticed the bloody marks being left on the punching bag, finally.
“Are you therapist now?” I grumbled, as I unwrapped my hands, discarding the black wrap into my bag. Opening a cold water bottle, I spilled its contents over my knuckles, barely flinching at the freezing contact.
Dom shrugged, downturning his lips. “I could be. You know it’s not good to keep things bottled up. That’s what mama told me.”
"È così?” I licked over my teeth and popped a piece of gum into my mouth. “That is good of her to say.”
Dom tilted his head, looking at me. “I know all this revolves around the woman so let’s start there.”
My eyes snapped to him. “There is nothing to talk about.” I picked up my duffle bag and started walking towards the door.
Dom hummed and followed me towards the exit, keeping quiet.
“I know you’re scared.”
I stopped my movements immediately and turned around, narrowing my eyes.
“Scared?” I scoffed. ”Fossi spaventata?”
“Yeah,” Dom started, “you’re scared of a lot of things but you just don’t show it normally.” He pointed to the punching bag. “You try to hit it out of your system and it doesn’t work. That’s why–”
“What,” I fumed, gritting my teeth.
Dom gestured to be with an obvious look on his face. “That’s why you’re the way you are,” he let out a breath. “I’ll help you out here and not only for the other woman. Maybe she’ll do you some good.”
I looked down and relaxed my shoulders, unclenching my hands from the tight fists.
Dom took out a container from his duffel bag. “Mama made your favorite. She put extra beef because, ′you are growing boy’,” he mimicked her voice and hand movements, handing me the food.
I reached out and took it, studying the contents. ”Grazie.”
"Non c’è,” Dom replied, setting down his duffle back on a bench. “Anyways get some rest. Lei sembra una gargoyle.”
I backed away chuckling. “Me? You are troglodita.” I turned around and opened the large door, stepping into the cold night.
“Take that back!” Dom’s muffled voice came from inside the warehouse.
I jogged to the truck and unlocked it, climbing in with tired muscles. After a deep breath and a cracking my neck, I started up the car and made my way home.
I sped through the streets uncaringly, tapping my fingers against the dark leather steering wheel.
Parking the truck in a closed off area, I stepped out, grabbing my things.
The moment I crossed the threshold, I dropped my duffle bag and lock the door, slipping off my shoes at the entrance then stripping off the layers of clothing on my body one by one, leaving a trail from the front door to the bathroom.
I turned on the water and as it was heating up, looked in the mirror grazing my hand over my growing beard.
Shave it. Maybe she likes it shaved.
Or don’t shave it. She could like it that way too.
I stared at myself in the mirror contemplating the decision for over five minutes, the mirror starting to get foggy.
I really couldn’t get through one hour without her affecting me.
So how would it go when you actually meet her, my mind taunted. At this rate you might bow down immediately and offer her your undying loyalty.
I dropped my hand from my face and pulled my gaze away from the mirror, stepping into the shower. Stretching my sore muscles, I layered the soap onto my skin while simultaneously digging out the knots in my shoulders and ridding my thighs of the uncomfortable tightness.
I craned my neck back, the water hitting my face directly, streaming down my body. Raking a hand through my hair, I quickly washed through it with shampoo the. hopped out the shower, tying a towel around my waist and drying my hair with a smaller one.
I blew out a breath, rubbing my eyes tiredly as I walked over to my duffle, pulling out the pasta Dom had given to me. I set it on the dining table and pulled out a fork from the drawer, dropping it into the clear container.
I could cook. Only if I really needed to. Scrambled eggs? No problem. Soup? ...sure. Everything else was questionable.
Usually, my nights were spent ordering food to my room, not having enough of a social battery to leave the comfort of my home. Rarely did I even eat.
Sometimes the thoughts in my head would get to the point where I was nauseous, throwing up an empty stomach into the toilet.
I stabbed at the pasta and munched on it hungrily, getting up from my seat silently and grabbing the remote to click the tv on, the silence surrounding me getting on my nerves.
My eyes were on the screen blankly, stuffing the food into my mouth. This was one of the only tasteful things in my life.
She could be another, my head spoke again, making me groan, setting my head in my hands.
This needed to stop. All these taunts had to go immediately.
Here was the plan: I would meet her, see she wasn’t everything I made her out to be, and drop the borderline obsession right there.
The next day in my office, Dom and I were waiting for Antonio to give us the clothing for the upcoming job.
I reached my arm out, exposing my wrist from the sleeve to check the time on my watch.
"È in ritardo,” I grumbled, standing from my desk, irritated. “I hate it when people are late.”
The next second, Antonio burst through the door, holding a pile of clothes in his arms, struggling to walk with the heavy material. He was muttering small apologies as he walked in, glaring at Dom.
Antonio let out a heavy breath dropping the rest of the clothes into the chair along with work boots. He pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket, dabbing at his sweaty face.
“You could’ve helped,” Antonio directed his question at Dom who smiled brightly, picking up the dirties jeans from the pile.
“Yeah but...no,” Dom replied, putting the jeans up to his waist. “When I said I had stripper fantasies, this wasn’t what I meant.”
I ignored him and picked up the tank top, glancing at the boots on the floor.
“Is this okay?” Antonio asked timidly, his expression face worried.
I looked over everything and nodded, hearing his relieved exhale from beside me.
“Okay you should go then,” Antonio said, gesturing to the door.
“Go where,” I responded, furrowing my brows.
“I have a feeling,” he continued, still not giving enough context.
I pinched the skin between my eyes and closed them, rolling my shoulders back.
"Idiota. What are you talking about,” Dom interjected, sensing my exasperation.
“The grocery store. You should go, Boss.” Antonio gave a small smile and dug into his pocket, giving me the keys to a car.
"Cos’è questo,” I mumbled, lost.
“You’re not rolling up anywhere in an SUV. Play the part fully.” Antonio tipped back and forth on his feet. I rented a truck and had it filled with construction stuff. Boss the Builder.” Antonio chuckled at his own joke, met my straight face, turning his laugh into a cough.
I stayed still, contemplating his word nonetheless.
Why contemplate? You know you are desperate enough to see her somehow so do it.
Without a word, I grabbed the clothing and walked outside the warehouse, beeping open the truck and hopping in.
questions, comments, concerns?
i have one: this chapter is so trash. but it’s the last dry piece of crap before spiciness