My lullaby sounds more like distant screams. I wake up sleep deprived after every dream.
I WALK IN the warehouse, my blood boiling, my monsters howling, my demons growling, my hands twitching.
"Dom!" He hurries to my aid, hearing my irritable tone.
"Who is this fucker?"
Dom shifts, an uncomfortable look gracing his face making him look constipated.
He only gets that look when it's about my Delphine.
"Who is he?"
The mangled man groans, hanging his head. He doesn't petition for water, food, mercy.
He just groans in pain.
"He claims he knew your wife,"
That set a new match to my blood, turning it from boiling to furnace.
I hold my hand out expectantly, saying one word.
When it's handed to me, I immediately turn it on. I smile at his fearful face.
"Now that's one way to get a hole drilled in your head. How do you know my wife?"
He shakes his head. "I didn't know her personally. I knew her little sister."
Curiously, I motion for a chair. I sit in front of him, putting my chin in my palm. "Go on,"
"I was assigned to watch the sister. They did some horrible things to her," the shudder that wracks through his body tells me he thinks he deserves this.
"Is she alive?"
The man shakes his head regretfully.
"They killed her, and Delphine tried to find her baby,"
"Baby?" I ask.
"Yes. The man who took her raped her, and got her pregnant. After she had the baby, he killed her."
My body shakes in fury, quivers in rage.
"Delphine knew this?"
"She watched it. All of it."
I close off my face. Caring about her was not part of the deal.
"What happened to my wife?"
"I don't know. I don't know what happened. The baby disappeared, and then... so did she."
I nod, getting up. I order Dom to lock him up and then I go home.
Go home to my wife with all these secrets.
As soon as I open the door, Apollo comes hurtling towards me.
"Daddy, you're home!" I ruffle his hair, pick him up.
I don't think I'll ever get used to it; the father thing. I just try to be a better one than mine.
"How was your day?" Apollo shrugs, not paying attention.
"Apollo, you still have mat—!" Delphine walks in from the back room, not knowing I was home.
She sees me, stumbling to a stop.
"Oh," She gives me a shaky smile, "You're home."
I nod, beckoning her to me with my eyes.
She obeys, standing in front of me. I put one hand on her hip and kiss her.
I don't know why I do this. I kiss her hello in the morning. I kiss her goodbye when I leave for work and when I come back.
Like a normal, real couple. I'm just glad she doesn't question it, because I have no answers.
"Daddy, save me from math," he clutches into my neck.
I chuckle, telling him I can't. "No can do, little one. Go with your Mamma, Daddy has some work to do in his office."
Begrudgingly, he nods, taking Delphine's hand.
I go in my office, shutting the door, taking off my suit jacket.
I loosen my tie before diving in. I have to learn about my wife, and unlike normal people I can't ask; I've got find out myself.
I remember her saying her maiden name was Durante, I know she's speaks Spanish and has connections with the a Cuban Cartel via Melanie, the Princess of Cuba's drug rings.
Durante is a Spanish name, and her features indicate a Hispanic origin, so that's where I start.
I assume she was born Cuba, but I don't know. My first call is Melanie Russo.
"Ciao, signora Russo, this is Salvatore Gambino, Delphine's husband. I have a few questions if you have the time."
She agrees, telling me she doesn't mind a bit.
"Do you know where Delphine was born?"
"That'll depend on your talking to."
I shake my head. "Scusi, you say where she was born, depends on I talk to?"
She takes my incredulity with a grain of salt.
"Some say she was born in Cuba, some in Spain, some say Italy and some say the States."
My head spins. "What is the truth?"
"I can't tell you that. I don't know. I don't know if she knows."
This got molto complicato.
"When did you meet her?"
"I met her in Cuba. I don't know where she came from, but she was a prisoner in our estate for a while."
"No one could figure out she got into the Estate to sleep under a tree. No one knew, so no one trusted her."
"How long have you known her?"
"About a decade. Here's the thing Mr. Genovese; Delphine is not the staying type. She's worse than Miranda. She will find a way to escape, "
"Every. Single. Time."
The line goes dead. Frustration is killing me. I start riffling through document after document, search after search.
Just then, my door opens, and timidly, my Wife brings in a plate.
"It's past dinner time. You've been here for hours,"
I can't summon enough strength to glare at her.
"Come here," She sets the plate down, standing meekly in front of me.
I pull her down on my lap.
"Where is our Son?" I bury my face in her neck, clutching her hips.
"In his room sleep."
I hum in approval, trailing a few wet kisses on her throat.
"Where were you born, mia moglie?"
I press my lips to her pulse, knowing her body won't show the depth of her reaction.
Sure enough, her heartbeat rises for a good three seconds before returning to normal.
Whatever she will say next, will be a lie.
"The States," Her pulse is calm as she lies, but those three seconds doesn't lie.
"Non sapevo di sposarmi un bugiardo," I murmur against her skin.
"Nothing," I pry my hands off her body, "Go to bed, Delphine," I grunt coldly.
She hangs her head, stealing her warmth when she rises off my body.
She leaves without a word.
I set my head in my hands when the door clicks shut.
I jump in front of her curled up body, raising my little hands to protect her, knowing it won't stop his fists.
"Papà! Non più! Lasciate solo la Mamma!"
My cry only makes him angrier, his face red with fury.
"Avrebbe fatto un battito per la tua puttana di una madre?" He laughs sadistically, raining hell on my head for daring to have a heart.
"Trova! Più siamo, meglio è!"
And I know he means it. Before my five year body can register the shock of pain inflicted by his fists and feet, he's already gotten the belt.
I don't mind. I tell my Mamma to go, that I can take it. That I'm a big boy, now.
She leaves, knowing that he will kill her, not me.
But we both know one day he will snap, and end us both.
With my Mamma out of sight, I stagger to my feet and stand tall, as if I were a match for the six three heartless giant in front of me.
He grins impishly, lighting a cigar. He smokes it gleefully as I anticipate the pain.
When he grounds the lit cigar against my flesh, I don't even give him the satisfaction of knowing I felt it.
Not a flinch. Not a wince. Not a cry. Not a whimper.
I take it like a solider, I let the drumming of my heart beat form the rhythm of an Indian chief. I won't retaliate, I won't show fear or pain.
That is what my Mamma calls noble.
And until I can kill him, I will be noble.
I only snap out of it when I realize he's drowning me. I let out a small scream, but only because it's underwater and he can't hear it.
I don't struggle.
Not even when...
Not even when.
I am noble, until I can kill him.
I have no other choice.
I gasp for air, my eyes flying open. I glance around desperately, wondering what the hell he's done to me that made me blackout this time.
Then I look down.
I see that I am grown. That I am in New York, not Italy. I trace the tribal tattoos on my body that mark where he has been.
Then I promptly close my eyes, letting the old rhythm of that drum calm me, before fleeing to my wife's room.
I need her tonight.
Dio mio, I need her tonight.