Chapter︱Twenty Four : Part 3
“Welcome back. It’s finally complete now that you’ve decided to join our little reconciliation, Gabriella, or should I courteously say,”
“As per accord of the laws in our world, I left your brother and his friends alone, but he’s become involved,” Anthony spoke, as I stepped towards my group. “It could’ve stayed that way if it weren’t for the attitude of that brat called Troy.” I shot the “brat” a glare.
“What the fuck?” Troy frowned as he glared at Anthony. “This asshole provoked me and tormented my sister. What was I supposed to do? Let him take her?”
“We could’ve avoided it if you would’ve just played fair,” Anthony riposted. I swear I saw a nerve almost ready to burst somewhere along Troy’s jaw as he clenched his fists tightly.
“All in all, he was initiating an expected fight for me to strike; unfortunately, you had to come in the way,” he spoke in a bored tone turned sardonic. “I wouldn’t mind hearing bones pop here and there till I get what’s...mine.”
And for the first time that night, we all heard Vera’s soft voice. “Shit, you seriously are a masochist.”
“I didn’t want you to see me like this, love. But I didn’t have any choice. Now that she’s here,” he gloated, glancing briefly at me. “I can negotiate much easier.” I cringed.
“Or not,” I thought. The girl was scared to the bones.
Vera might have landed in a different state compared to mine. It was a mishap and a fight for power. Being brought to them against our will was our similarity.
However, she was more like a possession than a partner to him, which I doubt she would accept now that she saw the concrete evidence of his madness.
My height now stood between Jace and Ivan and pushed them both back, motioning for them to move. “In the car now,” I commanded when I saw their hesitations. Fuck no - if they think they’ll stay out here in this heated air, then they’ve got that wrong. They’ve had enough for tonight.
My gut tells me that this meeting’s topic wasn’t just going to be entirely about Vera as laughter boomed throughout the site, everyone - but the Boss.
Angelique made her appearance from the dark and terrified the shit out of them as she pulled both the boys, Antoinette and Esperanza.
The Stygian’s didn’t even bother addressing her. The mood for a happy reconciliation was probably over.
Troy, Evander, Vera, and I formed a tighter crowd.
I could tackle them easily without worrying about the others. I grabbed Vera by her arm without warning and pulled her next to me.
She had clutched onto her brother and nearly pulled him with her. I could see how she turned completely pale at the spectacle of the man she dreaded.
Troy immediately was by Vera’s side while Evander was to mine.
“Don’t talk, Vera. If they ask anything. I’ll be the one to decide for you.” I instructed.
“I don’t mind...it’s not like I would get to talk anyways,” Vera muttered in a low tone, thinking I hadn’t heard it. I was beginning to suspect something a lot deeper than what the ear hears.
“I can’t believe you planned to approach the enemy head front and even left us to fend for ourselves!” Troy hissed at me and I chose to ignore him.
“So, Gabriella’s here, what’s the variation?” Evander’s strong voice asked, liking the way it caused shivers to cascade down my spine. Even the way he rolled my name around his tongue. It brought some solace through me.
“Oh, you don’t know?” Dutch ribbed. Evander shook his head, and he pouted in mockery. An ugly pout. “We heard so much about you. By the looks of it, you guys are closer enough than I considered, from what I happened to have heard from Vera.” Dutch secretly glanced at me and shared a knowing expression. My scowl made him aware that I’ve read the messages about Cyrus.
I glanced down at Vera with an arched brow, and her eyes widened,” I-I didn’t! But I might’ve mentioned the time you went to hospital althou-”
“Hush,” Troy cut off harshly as he softly elbowed her. Vera’s eyes swept down in utter embarrassment after noticing my bleak expression.
“See, this is why she needs to keep her mouth locked. She doesn’t get to talk unless asked, got that girl?” Anthony mused wickedly.
Then it clicked. He wanted to dominate her.
“What’s your deal, man?” The blonde beside me asked in annoyance, but nobody answered. He peered at me, but I didn’t return it.
“Are you deaf?” he snapped at Anthony, who returned blankly. His eyes analyzed Evander’s face, which was dark as his surname.
He continued staring, searching for something. “There’s a huge difference, boy,” Anthony dragged, referring to his much earlier question as he jumped from the hood of the Jeep he had been sitting on and paced around. “Mareritt, would you do the honor of telling them, or should I?”
I shrugged, not caring anymore.
Troy drilled in. “Why are you calling her Mareritt?”
“Do you want answers, or do you want to be taped down?” Dutch snickered, clearly annoyed with all the questions spouted. “We know who you are, tacky kids, and we aren’t intimidated.”
Evander growled and clenched his fist. “This is a cruel game you are playing at, Black.”
“Enough!” ordered Anthony. “I’m getting straight down to business, and I don’t want to suspend it even longer,”
“I need your answer, Mareritt, as I valued your wishes of having a regular living after you left the Mafia.”
Vera gasped beside me as did Troy and took his distance, which bothered me. The only one who hadn’t flinched was Evander, which made me quite giddy, though I didn’t show it.
I looked coldly at their leader,” I am aware of that, and I thank you for doing it, even though you felt like it was against your nature,” I scoffed, not expecting his thoughtful words. “These are old wounds you are trying to re-open, and, unfortunately, I don’t want to be part of it. So tonight’s deal won’t be easier said than done.”
“It’s against the law to be lusting at a 15-year-old. But, since the Mafia world doesn’t give a shit about it, so I have to play along, now that I’m already involved. Should I go on?”
He knew I was testing his patience but contemplated it. I wasn’t ending it without torturing him.
“I’m listening.” His eyes were stone-hard as he sucked in my next words.
“I also didn’t expect you to have lewd thoughts on a girl nearly eleven years your junior,” I taunted, leisurely taking in his reaction since he couldn’t do anything to me. We were equal in his organization.
His body showed the opposite like he wanted to call bloody murder; a warning.
“Tell me, do you still remember the main rules that we stand by?” The Fox asked in amusement.
I answered like I had just learned it yesterday.
“You’re still up to the game, Mareritt,” a new voice spoke up. We turned our heads to him.
A Caporigeme, and I suspect he still was. He hasn’t changed much in the last few years either; his dark blonde waves seemed to have gotten longer. I squinted more and saw that he had new piercings on one ear. The Wolf was also the most muscly of all of them and the quietest. He dealt with his job with speed and agility.
I never did acknowledge his real identity.
“I was never part of your community, Wolf. I had to memorize your code to stay out of unnecessary attention when I practiced,” I reminded. Why did everyone think I was with them?
Oh, thanks to Cyrus. The guy was like a leech.
“And that’s where we answer the boys’ lingering questions,” Anthony craned his neck to us. “The girl next to you is dangerous. She not only beat a gang but two.”
“In. One. Duel.” The Wolf declared. Nods passed around as they confirmed it.
I watched them give a confused face,” What do you mean?”
“She crossed our territory, you see. We deal with people, reluctant to them knowing or not. So, we threatened her obviously, and soon she was stuck with us and was stubborn as a fucking bull.”
“The woman wouldn’t go down without a fight since she didn’t want her family to be in her mess, nor did she want to hand over those tasty peanut butter brownies she claimed was for 'someone special' or something,” Fox air quoted. I puffed and noticed Evander’s attention got pricked at the mention of the food.
Not to brag, but I was proud of those.
“Anyways,” Anthony said. “My gang wasn’t the only one she crossed paths. The Mafia organization is all over the globe, and we are the top dogs.”
I snorted, knowing this would lead from Vera to another story.
“Both gangs were against her and the tiny band of friends. She didn’t want to resolve it in a gruesome way as she stated and instead wanted to make an offer with us, which I found hilarious back then,” Anthony chuckled at the memory. I clenched my teeth at it. The sharp wind sifted through my body as I listened to them talking about the adolescent version of me.
“Soon enough, we concluded it. We would possess her fortune that she’ll inherit and expected to work under the Boss, even if she doesn’t want to. In other words, it would mean wiping her clean and kidnapping against her wishes if we’re dealing with the laws. But, if she wins the given challenges, she’d be a free debtor,”
“That’s funny since I didn’t owe anything to your sore asses that time,” I spat out. “You idiots were just lazy fuckers.”
“Huh, still feisty as ever,” Dutch chuckled. “No wonder Cyrus was heads over heels.”
“Who’s Cyrus?” a rasped voice asked. I inwardly groaned because it was Evander’s. His jaded eyes, now covered by the blanket of the night, narrowed. Sharp jaws tightened and lips thin. His outfit was enough for me to begin gawking as I outlined his figure.
“Dutch, tell em,”
My heart raced as memories flooded in. I couldn’t have won that wretched day if it weren’t for his help.
And Cyrus was the one who secretly trained me to handle a gun.
“He and Ms. Mareritt here was in a relationship-”
“There wasn’t anything! It was just him,” I interjected. Weren’t we going to discuss why we were here?
“-and he’s our present Under Boss. He isn’t here since he’s volunteered to be on patrol. He used to be a Fighter before he got double promoted,” Dutch eyed me. “He finally killed the person who murdered his only family.”
I gasped. “Mutiny?”
They nodded grimly. Even Anthony had a softened expression.
This so-called reunion was beginning to piss me off.
They were trying to distract me by talking about my past. Why else would Anthony bother to waste time explaining bullshit to a bunch of angsty teenagers?
“I can’t give her to you.”