Giovanni De Rege

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Chapter 21

Giovanni tossed the wrapped-up package he received earlier that day onto the desk. He snatched a knife and ripped it open. Giovanni cursed in his head when he saw its contents. A white powder dusted the mahogany.

Leone used his little finger to taste some of it. ‘’Cocaine. A hundred percent sure.’’

’’Should you really taste it, Capo Leone? What if it has been tampered with?’’ Michele said.

‘’Lucky for you, I am still alive.’’

‘’It has the same packaging as the ones sent to the mansion yesterday.’’ Giovanni drew his brows together. ‘’It’s part of the stolen cargo from the other families.’’

‘’Why bother stealing it if he was going to send it back?’’ Leone inquired.

‘’It would have been great if they had sent it to the right address,’’ Giovanni grumbled. ‘’How do you think it will look if we suddenly have what belongs to the others families?’’

‘’It looks like we stole from them.’’ Michele gulped. ‘’Fuck. This is bad.’’

Giovanni crossed his arms as he leaned against the desk. There were no longer any doubts in him the one orchestrating this wanted to pit his family against the other three. A war would break out. The De Lima, Baldoni and Licciardi family would not take kindly to the news of Giovanni’s family being in the possession of their goods.

Giovanni would do everything in his power to prevent a war.

‘’Do you know if Dante got anywhere with this?’’ Giovanni asked Leone.

‘’Only dead ends. He doesn’t want to be found.’’ The words coming out of Leone’s mouth made Giovanni narrow his eyes at him. ‘’I’ll personally check the security footage of the hotel. Maybe we can get something out of the delivery boy.’’

An eery sense of calm radiated off Giovanni. The other men took note of it; both of them unsettled by it.

‘’Capo?’’ Michele said to get Giovanni’s attention.

Giovanni shook his head and faced his soldier. ‘’I want you to go and check the security footage with Leone. And Michele–‘’

‘’Sì, Capo.’’

‘’I need you to come to the port with me tomorrow. You can go now.’’

‘’Understood.’’ Michele gave a firm nod and left the room.

‘’I need you to come as well.’’ Giovanni’s gaze slid to Leone.

He clicked his tongue. ‘’Can’t go. There are some other things I need to do.’’

The buzzing against his leg made Giovanni grab the phone out of his pocket. The illuminated screen showed Isabella’s name on it.

‘’I’ll take that as my cue to leave as well,’’ Leone drawled.

‘’I see you’re not as dense as I thought.’’ The corner of his lip tipped up.

‘’Thanks.’’ Sarcasm dripped off Leone and showed Giovanni a close-mouthed smile.

‘’Can you take this to the mansion and put it with the other cargo.’’

’’Got it, Capo.’’ Leone took the package from him and left the apartment.

While Leone held the same position as Giovanni, he would still call him his capo from time to time out of habit. Before Leone became a capo himself, he worked as a soldier under Giovanni. There was still a sense of a superior-subordinate relationship between them.

He swiped his thumb over the screen and answered Isabella’s call.

‘’How are you healing up?’’ she asked.

Isabella’s mention of his wound reminded him he still had to clean it and replace the bandage with a new one. Soon enough, he stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom and let his shirt fall to the ground. He put Isabella on speaker and began taking off the old bandage, blood staining it.

‘’It will leave a scar but that’s fine.’’

‘’Do you have more scars on you?’’

‘’You can come and take a look for yourself if you want.’’ A smile played on Giovanni’s lips as he imagined Isabella’s reaction.

‘’How can you be so-‘’ She stopped and sighed. ‘’I can’t believe you said that.’’

‘’I mean it and I’m definitely not stopping you if you want to touch.’’

Isabella’s cheeks were cherry red as she listened to him. She pressed her lips together, trying to stop smiling. Given the opportunity, she would take him up on his offer. His encouraging words made her want to be more daring.

‘’Definitely not stopping me? Ever?’’

‘’Ever.’’

‘’And what if it’s untimely?’’ She lifted her eyebrows.

A low chuckle slipped past his lips. ‘’Trust me, Isa. I’ll make time for it.’’

Once Giovanni finished cleaning the bullet wound, he dressed it with the white bandage and used his teeth to secure a tight knot.

‘’What if it was during…a funeral?’’

‘’That can still work.’’

Isabella burst out in laughter. ‘’I can’t believe you.’’

They continued speaking for a while, time passing by without either of them noticing it. The more Giovanni heard of her captivating voice and melodic laughs, the more he got the strong urge to hold her in his arms. His Isabella.

‘’Oh! Someone is at the door. I’ll be right back.’’

The other side went silent after he caught some of her light shuffling. Giovanni went to the kitchen and made a cup of coffee as he waited for Isabella to return. The tapping of his shoe against the floor echoed throughout the room.

‘’Giovanni?’’ her trembling voice whispered.

Every muscle in his body tensed as soon as she spoke. She sounded as if she was on the verge of breaking down.

‘’Isabella, what happened?’’

Her only response was a choked sob.

‘’Where are you now?’’ Giovanni quickly grabbed his car keys and headed out.

‘’Home. I- I don’t know what to do.’’

‘’Stay there. I’m coming’’

‘’No! I’m not supposed to tell anyone. He might find out if you come here. I don’t want to put my family in danger.’’

A gloom fell over Giovanni’s expression. ‘’Isabella. Tell me what happened.’’

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