Back Into Darkness

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Chapter 22: Dealing with Alfonso Moretti

Lorenzo Calabria

"Why am I hearing that you and Belle have a problem?" I interrogate Ranger, narrowing my eyes as we sit in the car, heading to where we've kept that fucking shooter, Santo.

"I thought we went through this this morning," Ranger answers, huffing.

"And you didn't give me a straight answer," I snap back, raising my voice.

"I told you. Belle just doesn't like me. I think she's still angry about the test thing." Wouldn't she be angry with me then? But I trust Ranger, with my life. Maybe he's suffocating her a little, like I told him too. I told him to watch her intently, making sure she's safe in the house. Rafael can be tricky and always likes to rile me up. Gia gets jealous easily since when I chose her at my strip club. She spoke Italian and she was pretty. She's the only one of the girls I've chosen who works in my household, asides from Belle. I've had plenty of girls since Gia and she's ward them off. And before Belle, I didn't mind that, needing someone to scare them a little so they wouldn't be clingy and just go when I tell them to.

But Belle, she's different to all of them. To any girl I've ever met. She willingly gave me a head to relax me and then she had sex with me all day yesterday. She got sounds out of me even I've never heard. Fucking her blew my mind, it was the best sex I've ever had, and that's saying something. Now she's all I can think about, her body, her smile, her screams, so fucking sexy. But it's so much more than that. I care about her. Why do I care about her? And I feel these... emotions for her. I can't explain it.

"We're here, boss," the driver announces and I exit the car with Ranger following behind me.

As I enter the building, one of my bars, has a incredibly discreet and soundproof underground that I normally keep outside threats. I would use inside threats for the hall in my own home, where I put Belle when she came, where I put Dante and Gio, the suspected moles. I think they both are. They both have connections to the Morettis and it makes them both suspicious. I can't have either being suspicious, no matter who's the mole.

I make it down to the basement and the shooter is tied at his hands, each leg to chair legs, torso to the back. He already looks pretty beat, by Rafael I'm assuming as Rafael stands over Santo with an evil grin on his face.

"Is he talking?" I question.

"No, but I think with a little persuasion, he just might," Rafael replies before jamming a knife in his shoulder. Santo cries out as Rafael twists the knife, asking a question again. Still, no answer.

Ranger joins in with Rafael as I wait patiently for something interesting.

"Moretti heard that you were planning to declare war, attack first. So he sent me to shoot your brother as a message," Santo reveals after some intensive torture.

"Heard? Heard from who?" I interrogate.

"I don't know. They have a mole. I don't know who they are, I'm low level."

"So what can you tell me? I need useful if I'm going to spare you," I lie. I'm not sparing a man who shot my brother, almost killed him.

"Um... they have the locations of your next three drops, and if you change them, they'll probably find out again. They have very inside information, very close to you."

"Is that it?" I ask, sounding impatient and irked so that he would give me more.

"No! No, I have more. Whilst you're focused on the war with the Morettis, they have a split focus, well, Alfonso in particular. For the last three years, he's been searching for his niece. And that is splitting his resources as well." His niece? The girl I was supposed to marry? They don't know where she is for the last three years? He has a lot of power in this city, it would be hard to escape his control. Why is she missing? Why would she leave?

"Why is he looking for his niece?"

"I don't know. She left three years ago, after her father's death. No one has seen her since. I've never seen her either. They kept her under lock and key, probably why she left, to get a life." Well, it's a good thing he's looking for her. As long as he's doing that, he's less focused on us. But if he knows the locations of the next three drops, it means that it's neither Dante or Gio. They were already beaten and locked in rooms being interrogated by the time those drop points were revealed. Someone else is behind this. Fuck.

I fire my gun, a bullet piercing right in the space between his eyes and he drops dead, just like that.

"Did you know about his niece?" Rafael asks, raising an eyebrow at me.

"No, but it's good to know he has interests elsewhere," I comment, tucking my gun back in my pants.

"She might not even be alive, so he might be looking for a ghost," Ranger suggests and I nod in agreement. That is possible too.

We exit the bar and I contemplate my next moves. What would throw him off? Reconciling with him? Maybe. A weak move but it stops all out war. But, I have to be on top first. I'll call my inside guy. He's not technically inside, but he's the boyfriend of Moretti's right hand man. The boyfriend, my guy, will shoot him, almost killing him, and then we're an eye for an eye. Level ground. Of course, Moretti will organize a comeback, but I'll get my father to reach out. They go way back. I am of a younger generation to Alfonso, and he thinks me... inexperienced. But my father will get him to a party at my house. Moretti will keep things civil if it's a party for all the important gangs and crime families in the city. He'll know I won't be able to kill him there, with the security he'll bring, and he'll also show off that I can't touch him. Alfonso is very egotistical, he'll be there.

I'll need Belle there with me, to make sure I look like I'm not doing anything shifty. She'll make it seem like I have someone to lose, which I do, but he won't be alive to take it from me, to take her.

I'll have explosives planted in his car, set ten minutes after he leaves so he's away from the house. He wouldn't even think that would be my play, especially when I make him a deal about the power our families have in the city. And he wouldn't think I was that stupid, blowing up a car that he'll have guarded by his driver. But I know his driver, he comes to my strip club. And I know the stripper that he's interested in.

Everything will fall into place.

I disclose my plans with my brothers and Ranger once I make it to the strip club and talk to Candy and a few of the other girls, in case I need to distract more of his men and the other gang leaders and bosses. I call my father for the invitations for two days time. It's tight but if I leave it too long after I shoot his right hand man, which is tonight, he'll already have something else planned, another attack on me in this war he has started.

"Don't you have to get back to your girlfriend?" Luca asks with a smirk. Rafael gives me the same look but Ranger just scowls as he stares into the distance. "Fucking her all day yesterday and still anxious to get back." Both my brothers chuckle whilst Ranger's scowl gets even greater. I just lean back in the booth, ignoring the strippers in here and waiting for my father to call me back.

"I've known you your whole sexual life and I've never heard you make sounds like that," Luca teases, wiggling his brows at me. I take my gun out of my pocket, slam it down on the table and raise an eyebrow at him. "You'd never shoot your brother, Enzo. You love me."

"I might shoot Raf if he keeps annoying me by touching her," I growl over to Rafael and he holds his hands up in defense.

"Why do you keep such a tight leash on her? I think she actually likes you," Rafael suggests.

"Belle must be fucking mad. Liking this guy is like liking the devil," Luca jokes but he has a point. How can she like me? Care about me? She wanted to take care of me. She took me out of that room, when I was roaring at the doctor. She wasn't even frightened. How is she so fearless? How does she know how to melt my heart? Why does she care about me? I'm the devil after all.

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