Chapter 16 - The one who is against [Republished]
My office desk looks like something exploded on it.
Files and papers scattered all over as I am trying since morning to find the faults of this damn contract which is more draining money than adding.
I haven’t left the office since morning and my head is spinning already.
I can’t concentrate anymore.
I stand up fixing myself another glass of brandy, walking in front of the glass wall of my office, sipping from my glass.
My mind keeps going back to Becks.
It was so damn hard to leave her apartment last night and maybe it was stupid as well, but I didn’t want to rush things with her.
She was vulnerable and as much as I wanted to be the knight in shining armor coming to save her broken heart, it felt wrong to take advantage in her present state.
But it was hard to stay away as well.
I don’t know how that happened, but she captured all my thoughts the first moment she bumped into me in that shop.
And the fact that she was running away like that told me there was a danger around her divorce thing.
Not all women run away when they divorce. They just divorce.
I hear the door opening and Salvatore shows in, stopping the train of my thoughts.
"Perche sei ancora qui?” he asks walking in and shoving his hands in the pants’ pockets. (Why are you still here?)
“Work. Why are you here?” I ask him back.
It is not usual for him to pass by so late. Normally he would be dating or knocking into some whore at this hour.
“Papa wants us for dinner at the mansion tonight. Something he needs to talk about.”
I sigh and walk back to my desk.
Not the right evening. The only plan I had for tonight was to grab some take-away dinner and crash at Becks’.
Fuck her vulnerability. I need to be with her. Distance was already making me anxious.
“Talk about what?” I try to find out, but I know papa.
Always secretive about businesses until we are locked in his mansion office.
And almost always it was linked to me or with whatever he would like from me. He wanted a lot from me, a lot that I didn’t want to give.
I never went deep in papa’s businesses or the family deals all together.
I was lucky enough to be the youngest, so no expectations were in place except for being part of their life.
Family was everything for us. And I was part of it, visiting regularly, taking part of family events but never involving my business with theirs.
Salvatore was the one to take over soon and I was thrilled about it.
“I am quite sure it’s about you finally getting involved with our business. Vincenzo, dad is serious about it.” Salvatore warns me.
“Yeah, I know. He has been serious about it for years now. I just don’t see myself fit, Salvatore.”
“You are as fit as any of us. And I could use some help, you know?”
I chuckle at his words and glare at him. He seems serious.
“I know you just want to please papa, Salvatore. You don’t need me.”
“Listen, just be there tonight. He won’t take no for an answer.”
I take a moment to think about skipping the dinner. I don’t know what for. There is no way I can miss this dinner, it seems.
Papa would never allow it. He never hesitated to send his men for me when I tried to keep myself away.
“Sure, I will be there,” I reply in a bitter voice. “I still have some things to deal with in here. I will meet you at the mansion,” I set the plan and tried to ignore him, making sure he understood our conversation was over.
I loved my brother, but he was such a pussy when it came to papa and the family and the family businesses.
I didn’t fucking ask to be born in this family, to be the son of a mob head, to live my life always looking over my shoulder, always watching my back.
As a young boy I was trained for it but now I am well off and exceptionally good on my own.
I was still carrying a gun with me though. For protection, papa said.
Enemies would target any family member, involved in businesses or not.
Revenge was always just a step behind us. I grew up with it, it seemed so normal for us, it was a lifestyle, our life style.
“Enzo, how did you meet Rebecca?” he asks all of the sudden.
I raise my eyes to him surprised by his question and feel my brain boiling.
We have had a deal; we never take each other’s girls and I saw the way he was looking at her when they met.
I tilt my head on one side, glaring at him wondering what exactly was behind his interest.
“In a shop on the island. Why?”
“Come on, brother. Spero che tu non stia pensando che la voglio,” he says in Italian trying to sound funny, but I can tell he’s lying. (I hope you don’t think I want her)
“Then why do you ask?” I say, making sure he feels I doubt him.
I can’t believe I am already acting jealous.
“Just wondering, nothing big. Sorry I’ve asked. She seems a really decent woman. Something you don’t meet every day.”
He stands up and walks towards the door, ignoring completely my cold look, piercing his eyes.
I am really fucking annoyed of interest in her and if he stayed longer we would have had a fight for sure.
He knew me well and he also knew that the best thing to do right at that moment was to make his visit short.
"Ci vediamo stasera a cena, fratello,” he says with a nod and exists my office. (I will see you this evening at the dinner, brother)
I sit still for a few minutes more, staring at the door closed long ago behind him and I pull all the strings of my patience to keep myself calm.
I need to hear Becks’ voice, so I pull out my phone and dial the landline of my apartment where she is leaving now but I get no answer.
It is late and her days were not her best for sure.
I could see that from the way she looked.
I only need to hear her voice tonight. The least that I can do to put off this desire of being with her that starts to torment me already.
But then again, I am sure she needs time for herself. She needs time to clear things and before I come into her life, I would like her to be opened to me, willingly.
And if she doesn’t... well, that’s another story. I will make my way into her life, with or without her will.
All I know at this point is that I want her and no matter what, she will be mine.
I smirk bitter at my own thoughts. Besides jealous I become possessive now.
Fuck, she is driving me insane and I am sliding into that without even realizing it.
I throw the phone away and hover back over the documents on my desk trying to give them attention for a little longer before I make my way to papa’s mansion, but no matter how much I try not to, my thoughts go only to her.
I grab my phone back and call my personal assistant.
“Mr. Enzo, good evening. What can I do for you?” she asks with cheerful but professional voice.
We did have once sort of a date, there was just too much sexual tension between us when she got hired first, but nothing happened.
I guess it was more of a “CEO fucking his PA romance novel” than actual attraction.
We both realized we did not share that and so she continued working for me, being the best PA I had.
“Good evening, Emma. I hope I am not bothering you too late.”
“Not at all. Tell me, sir.”
“I want you to send a bouquet of roses to Rebecca Downhill at my apartment on the East side with a note. Needs to be first thing in the morning before she comes to the office. She is supposed to start tomorrow. I will send you the text.”
“Of course, sir. Do you want me to take it to her personally?” she asks.
I told you, she is the best PA, I chuckle.
“Actually, that is even a better idea. It wouldn’t be bad to connect with her. She is new and she needs a friend here.”
“No problem, Mr. Enzo. Just send me the text. I will take care of it.”
“Thanks Emma. Good night.”
“Good night, sir,” she says, and the line disconnects.
I switch for messages and type the text for the card.
I wish I can see your pretty face when you get this, but I know you need time right now.
Don’t come to the office just yet. Take a few days.
And let me know if I can take to dinner tonight.
I drop the phone on the desk and rub frantically my palms on my face as if I need to wake up.
The day was a chaos and I feel exhausted.
I stand up grabbing my suit jacket and my phone and leave the office. It is time to head to papa’s mansion.
It wasn’t going to be all bad this dinner.
I haven’t seen mamma for a while, and she has always known how to cheer me up. I can always talk to her things that involve heart matters and I know I am going to love talking to her about Becks.
I just hope I will have some time before papa locks us in his office.
Before I know it I am already pulling my car in front of the mansion and getting down I am greeted by Carlos, one of papa’s men.
“Good evening, Carlos,” I tell him handing him the keys to park my car. “How have you been doing? How is your daughter?”
He has a four-year-old daughter, and she is absolutely gorgeous.
“Good, thank you, sir. And about that little brat, she is growing and I’m becoming more worried about the day she will bring a motherfucker at my door. I am going to have many legs to break,” he chuckles but I know he is serious.
“Just don’t overload hospital, Carlos. Decent people need medical care as well,” I laugh back at him, patting his shoulder.
He laughs loudly and with a nod he gets in the car and drives it to the parking lot.
I look at the mansion’s door for a few long moments and with a sigh I walk in.
Mamma welcomes me with a warm hug, and I hold her tiny frame as well.
“Enzo, figlio mio,” she says, and I kiss gently her forehead. (Enzo, my son).
I plant a kiss on the back of her hand and we both walk into the living room sitting both on the sofa while she hands me a glass of brandy already prepared.
"Come stai, mamma?” I ask, glaring at her angelic face. (How are you, mom?)
"Bene, figlio, bene. E tu? Sembri stanco, Enzo. Che c’e?” she looks at me worried. (Good, son, good. And you? You look tired. What is it?)
"Niente, mamma.” I answer with a sweet voice. “It’s good to see you.” (Nothing, mom)
"Allora sei arrabbiato, si?” she tries again because, of course, she is my mother. She can see right through me. (You are upset then, right?)
"No, mamma. Te l’avevo detto. Non e niente." (No, mom. I told you. It’s nothing)
"Enzo, non mentirmi. E una donna, no?" (Enzo, don’t lie to me. It is a woman, isn’t it?)
I chuckle looking guilty and take her hands in mine, kissing them one by one.
"Te diro tutto di lei se hai il mio dessert preferito,” I said. I know she will love Becks. They are almost the same, soft, sensitive and quiet when it is necessary. (I will tell you everything about her if you have my favorite desert)
"Ovviamente ho il tuo dessert preferito. Non devi ricattarmi per questo.” she replies. (Of course, I have your favorite desert. You don’t have to blackmail me for it).
I hear papa’s voice coming from the entrance door and I stand up to welcome him.
"Portala un giorno,” she whispers me quickly and disappears to the kitchen, most probably to ask the ladies to set the table. (Bring her one day)
“Papa, good to see you,” I tell him pulling him in a strong hug, patting each other’s backs.
“Me too, son. I understand your business goes well. You don’t come here much,” he scolds me as we walk towards the dining room.
“It works good. Sorry for not coming, papa. I have been to the island for a few days as well,” I try to reason my absence, but papa knows better.
He gave me one of his looks, even though smiling, he looks sadder than usual but I can’t tell if it’s because of me staying apart from family business or there is another reason of his sadness.
The dinner goes well, as always, talking about Salvatore being expected to be the new Don soon and of course, his marriage.
He needs to get married before becoming officially the head. And this is the moment I understand his question about Becks. He knew this subject will raise and he wanted to have something prepared.
I lift my glass of wine, sitting at the table across the table and stare at him as if he’s grown two heads all of the sudden.
“Mamma, why don’t you find a girl for Salvatore to marry? It’s obviously he can’t find a decent woman by himself,” I say challenging him, never breaking eye contact.
I know this is pissing him off like fuck and I want this. I want him to know I won’t take his bullshit and I need him to back off Becks.
“This was exactly what I was talking to you father the other day,” mamma says and I feel Salvatore tense, throwing daggers from his eyes.
“Boys, shall we?” papa says standing from the table and we both know dinner is finished and we follow him to his office.
Before we enter, all three of us drop our phones in a glass bowl which lays on the table next to the office door. A thing papa would never forgive if it doesn’t happen.
Somehow he is right. Phones these days can be anything but safe.
We enter his office and take our seats on the chairs in front of his desk.
“We have a new issue. Well, new for you, Enzo,” papa starts, implying for the millionth time I am not part of the family business.
Well put, papa, well put, I think but I ignore it. I can’t have the same discussion all over again. At least, not tonight.
“What is it, papa?” Salvatore asks.
“Robert Downhill,” papa answers and I see his jaws clenching.
And then it hits me. I grab the arms of the chair I am sitting on till my knuckles become white.
Downhill. What are the chances of a coincidence?
The wheels in my head start moving and I connect the dots.
She was anxious and running when I met her.
I feel my chest heavy and my mind takes me right back to her.
I realize I was stupid enough not to let any of my men to watch her.
And remembering she didn’t answer the call earlier this evening makes me anxious, feeling sweat forming at my temples.
“He was there when we met the Russians and before we know it he turned his guns against us. He swears he didn’t, but we know better now, don’t we?” papa continues.
“What Lucas Tate says? He is his son-in-law after all,” Salvatore asks.
“What?” I hiss snapping my eyes to my brother.
“I know Tate. He had no idea. He can’t be much of a liar. And he is not much into Downhill. For all I know, he would love Downhill without a head on his shoulders. And my feelings are mutual,” papa continues.
I stare at Salvatore who doesn’t look surprised at all.
Of course, he is not. He is papa’s right hand.
What I don’t understand is when the hell he turned against me, not telling me why he was actually asking about how I met Becks.
I can’t sit put anymore. I know papa. Nothing and nobody escapes him.
And turning against him means you and whatever is linked to you is going to be doomed.
“Fuck!” I hiss and standing up from the chair I take my leave in a hurry ignoring papa calling my name in a thunderous voice.
“Enzo, get the fuck back in here!”
I open the door with a strong pull and grabbing my phone from the glass bowl I run to the exit dialing the landline of my apartment.
As expected there was no answer.
I motion to Carlos to bring me my car and dialing repeatedly the land line of Becca’s apartment, I jump into the driver’s seat and in wheel screeches I drive out of the mansion yard, speeding like a lunatic towards my apartment.
I reach my destination in no time, leaving my car in front and running towards the apartment.
I use my spare access card and swamping inside I start searching for Becks hoping by God to find her here.
But my fears seem right. She is nowhere to find.
I take my phone from my pocket and dial Salvatore’s number.
"Si," he answers after just one ring as if he knows I will call. (Yes)
"Dov’èlei, Salvatore?" I hiss between my teeth, my hands sweating for some necks to break. (Where is she, Salvatore?)
"Yesterday is heavy. Out it down."