Ch.5| Personal Growth
If a stranger were to look at our relationship right now, they’d definitely call me weak. They’d also probably ask me how I could even think about going back to Lincoln? I know this because, for a split second, I asked myself that very question. After all, we’ve both hurt each other physically, mentally, and emotionally. Still, in my eyes, all that hurt was triggered by the situation and the people around us—my father, Santiago, my brother, Santiago, The Board. In fact; when I thought about our relationship with just the two of us, it was good. We laughed, we loved, we thrived on the strength we gave each other. Does that make me sound crazy? Well, to answer that question, aren’t we all a little?
By the time Lincoln and I were done talking, we still had twenty minutes to kill before the meeting began, so we did what any other normal couple in love would do—we signed the divorce paperwork that the Board would need, and just as we were finishing up, Lincoln’s phone vibrated.
“Mio Amore, get ready because the Board has arrived.” Lincoln huffed, shaking his head as he put his phone back in his jacket pocket.
“Is your dad coming too?” I asked.
“No, I told him to sit this one out. We both know what we want, and he’d just be another obstacle.” Lincoln placed his hand on my thigh and took a deep breath as I gathered up all of the legal paperwork.
“And what happens if they don’t accept our decision?” I whispered.
“Then, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it... and we’ll do it together.” Lincoln leaned in an placed a kiss on my lips, just as the office door opened.
“Well, my, my, my; It seems we have us a happy couple here. I hope this is a good prediction!” The lead Capo attempted to joke as he held a Cheshire Cat smile.
“We’ll see,” Lincon mimicked; his smile just as vindictive.
After the board settled in, the meeting was finally called to order, and let’s just say, Castiel Villetti was less than pleased by our decision.
“We gather here today to finalize the plan going forward. With that, can I assume there won’t be anymore... ‘emotional interruptions,’ that hinder the finalization today?” He directed that comment to me through a raised brow, and a stupid crooked smiled—sexist asshole.
“Well, you know what they say, ’never assume, or you just make an ass out of u-and-me,” I whispered under my breath, just loud enough to cause Lincoln to chuckle.
“Is there something funny that you two would like to share?” Lead Capo challenged.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I slyly muttered.
“Well then, let’s begin.” Villetti once again called the meeting to order.
“So, have you both come to terms with the new contract?” Villetti asked; Directly to Lincoln, of course.
“We have,” I spoke up before Lincoln could.
“Young lady, I suggest you learn your place and do it quickly. When I need input from you, I will speak directly to you. Till then, zip it!” Villetti scowled.
“I don’t care what your position is. You will not speak to my wife like that again! Do I make myself clear?!” Lincoln gritted, banging his fists on the table.
“Enough!” Vincenzo, the Board Leader of California, shouted, causing us all to quiet down.
“Lincoln, what is the decision you both have come to?” Vincenzo asked with a look that stated he was less than happy to be here.
“Alaiyah and I have decided that it is in our best interest to decline the demands of the new contract. Not only does it violate the beliefs of this Mafia’s creed, but it also puts people in harm’s way.” Lincoln’s eyes narrowed at Villetti as he spoke the last part.
“Great, I came prepared for that option. I have a new bride waiting just outside for you, Lincoln!” Villetti maliciously cheered.
“That’s not all; let me finish!” I could feel the cold starting to appear in Lincoln’s tone.
“As I was saying, Alaiyah and I have decided to terminate our marriage under the previous contract. Once we are legally unbound from each other, I WILL wed her—no contract.” As soon as the words left Lincoln’s mouth, the room fell silent as the Board looked at us in shock.
“That is the best joke I’ve heard in years!” Villetti roared out through a big-belly laugh.
“Well, you’re the only one laughing so...” Lincoln’s eyes rolled at Villetti’s ignorance.
“This is preposterous! Every leader that has come before you has always entered a binding contract, and I’ll be damned if I let a naive child break that tradition!” Villetti was now pounding the table with white fists as he shot up from his chair.
“Well, WE don’t agree with that ass-backward tradition!” Lincoln and Villetti were now both standing face-to-face.
“You listen here, boy! If both of you don’t sign this contract, I can assure you the consequences will be deadly, so help me god!” Villetti’s voice got colder with each word he spoke.
“Are you threatening me?” Lincoln asked in an all too calm voice.
“No. I promise you,” Villetti snared.
“If you and that whore go through with this plan, and bring shame to this Mafia’s name, I promise you; you will not like the outcome. I promise you; you will be stripped of the Mafioso title that you CLEARLY take as a joke, Costello!” I knew this meeting was gonna be bad, but I didn’t think it would be THIS bad.
“The only joke here is you!” Lincoln spit.
“You and your eighteen-hundreds way of thinking. We all see it, and I am tired of no one putting you in your place. You may oversee the workings of Italy, but you have ZERO clues as to what goes on in the states... and your head is so far up YOUR actual whore’s ass to see that the times are changing. So do us all a favor and go back to whatever hole you crawled out of, cause the last time WE ALL CHECKED, it was YOUR chapter that was about to claim bankruptcy... or did you not want me to tell THAT to the Board?” Once again, the room became silent as Lincoln dropped another bomb.
“What is he talking about, Villetti?” Benedetto, Capo of the Connecticut chapter, snipped out.
Still, Nothing but the silence was heard in the room.
“Nothing. This is just another way for Costello to prove that he is unfit for the job. Gian-Carlo should have given the task to the airheaded son!” Villetti seethed.
“Now you will sign the contract before we leave or so help me god, I will come for you Lincoln.” Gasps could be heard for miles as Villetti went against our creed, and basically decleared war on the family.
“Well, we’ll see who is waiting,” were the last words said in that meeting before Lincoln grabbed my hand and led me out the door, not speaking a single word.
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