It’s been five days.
No word from the kidnappers. No breakthroughs in locating Giovanni and that bitch of his. No attacks on my Mafia, I guess word of Valconi’s demise spreads fast.
Ana is stable, Diana is missing and Aunt Christina and Uncle Johnattan are now in Italy.
They escaped the attack with scratches and flesh wounds. Aunt Christina narrowly missing a bullet to the chest. Uncle Johnattan pushing her to the ground causing it to graze her arm instead.
They were both treated and placed in the mansion; their room a few doors down from me.
Aunt Christina has been stuck to Ana’s bedside since her arrival, caring for her bedridden daughter. She doesn’t allow the nurses to clean her, taking up the task herself. The most they can do is see to her medically and inject the nutrients into her blood stream. The last time I visited, she was crying, praying that her Indie would come back to her. Uncle Johnattan standing her by her side, watching the scene tears streaming down his cheeks.
Uncle Johnattan has been more concerned with me and what progress I’m making in finding his granddaughter and her kidnappers.
My team has dug up dirt on Giovanni but it wasn’t much. Nothing that would help in pinpointing his location. We know he’s not in the states. My Atlanta team raided his compound and it was empty.
The fucker is hiding and I will find him if it’s the last thing I do. When I get my hands on him, he’ll be praying to meet his maker.
“Have you tried tracking his most recent movements?” Johnattan asks, leaning towards me from the other side of my desk.
I look up at him taking in his white T-shirt and Jeans, tousled hair and vivid blue eyes. I am similarly dressed in a black muscle shirt and sweat, my outfit for the last two days.
I haven’t left my office, digging up anything and everything my father had on the Ferrez’s. Joshua Ferrez and Genève Di’ Rio, Giovanni’s parents were deceased. There was no mention of relatives.
Since Giovanni’s Atlanta Police files hit a dead end, I focused my efforts towards his parents, there must be something there to pinpoint where Giovanni may be hiding.
His father’s file was extensive. It detailed his involvement in the gang rings and even gave up some of his most frequented areas. He owned the Atlanta compound and a couple warehouse around the city. All were empty. He also conducted business in Tennessee, the spots there all turned up empty and based on the world on the streets, it’s like The Atlanta Cobras, Ferrez’s gang had relocated.
Next was his mother. She was an illegal immigrant from Spain with no known parentage. I’ve sent out a team to Valencia, Spain to scout out Benidorm, her hometown. So far, there has been no report on that mission since they departed early this morning.
“Yes,” I reply, tapping at my laptop. “His phone signal was last picked up in Tennessee… My team followed it and found the item in a dumpster. He’s off the grid.”
“Fuck!” Ana’s father bellows, running through his hair. “He has us on a fucking goose chase!”
“One he won’t win,” I half-heartedly reply, tapping away at the keyboards. My eyes run over the numbers on the screen, punching numbers trying to get through the firewall.
The Atlanta records barely brush the surface of Giovanni’s dealing, therefore I am trying to get in a more powerful U.S. organization, the Federal Bureau.
“How can you sit here doing nothing?!” he asks, slamming his fist on the desk.
“I am working on it,” I reply through gritted teeth, tapping away. I’m almost in and Johnattan hovering over my shoulder is starting to piss me off.
“By doing nothing? Why aren’t you out there looking for her?!”
I choose to ignore him as the last series of codes pop up and I enter the override code. As my finger hovers over the enter button, the laptop is pulled away. It crashes against the wall, breaking to pieces. Johnattan narrows his wild eyes at me and I stand to my feet, anger rattling my body.
“How can you just fucking sit there? Your daughter is out there and you’re –”
“Don’t you think I fucking know that?!” I bellow, narrowing my eyes at him. “I am working day and night to find her! You breathing down my fucking neck is not helping!”
I was a few seconds away from hacking into the fucking Federal Bureau… They had to have something on the fucker, something we’ve overlooked.
“…and how has that been going?! You should be out there looking for my granddaughter!” the demons in my mind perk up not liking the way he emphasizes the possessive noun ‘my’.
“She is my daughter, as well!” I grit out, sharply. “My daughter is out there and believe me when I say I am doing all I can to find her!”
By now, the veins in my neck are pulsing, my feeling heightening. I do not like his tone. I don’t care if he is Ana’s father, I understand his pain but I will not allow him to disrespect me, in my own fucking house.
“I warned you, boy! I told you not to get them mixed up in your sit and look where we are!”
I walk around the desk towards him, holding back the urge to act on impulse. His words are the fuel to my anger and it takes everything in me to hold back the need to release my anger.
“My daughter is in a fucking coma and my granddaughter is missing, because of you!”
His eyes shift and I step back, grabbing his hand as he swings at my face.
Wrong fucking move.
He pushes his elbow upward aiming at my nose and I kick out his feet. He pulls me down with him and we shuffle around the on the ground, throwing and blocking punches. My ribs and jaw hurt but that is nothing compared to the bruising covering his face and the pain surging through his head, after being smashed against the floor.
We shuffle kicking at a table, causing its contents to smash against the floor.
“This is your fucking fault! First, you knock up my daughter! Now, this?! Do us a favour and stay the fuck out of our lives!”
Sometimes keeping your mouth shut could be the difference between a broken nose and an unbroken one.
“Fuck!” Johnattan bellows as my fist connects to his nose, a crunch resonating.
He decks me in the face before kicking me off him and I roll off him, spitting out blood, my gum busted. I rebound, the demons in me egging me on, telling me to fuck up that pretty face of his.
The door chooses that moment to fly open, however, and I look up as Aunt Christina’s eyes widen.
“What the fuck is going on here?!” she yells out, running to her husband and I see Adonis and Jasper making their way over to me.
I push away their hands with a huff, making my way to my feet before looking over at Johnattan who is sitting against the wall, nursing his nose.
“Somebody tell me why this happened, now!” my aunt demands pinning me with her eyes before looking at Johnattan, who’s white shirt is covered in blood.
“Your husband was just telling me how I should stay out of your lives,” I spit out, my cold eyes locked on them before smiling. “…but he can choke on his fucking opinions for all I care because I won’t leave! I will find my daughter, Ana will be okay and I will fuck up everyone that caused them pain or standing in our way!”
My chest rises and falls rapidly, my body trying to calm the rage within me. “You are Ana’s father and I respect you. I know what you are going through but if you ever try to keep me from my family… I will not hesitate.”
With that said, I walk out the room slamming the door in my wake.
I sit at the corner of the room, my head swimming with multiple thoughts.
The monsters in my head jump around, singing songs, whispering into my ear.
Kill them all… Burn them to ash… Gut them like a fucking fish… Make them bleed…
I tremble memories of my training filtering into my head. A young boy, not mentally prepared for what the devil had in store for him.
“P-Please f-father!” I cry my body trembling, the water swallowing my skinny form.
My eyes flicker around the room watching as the Valconis stand beside my father, here to witness his training strategies.
I shuffle around, trying to break free from the ropes that rub my skin raw. The cold air nips at my naked form that spasms in the ice-cold water.
It hurts… My body numbed, frozen rattled with chills.
Charles Silvestre looks down at me in disgust, shaking his head. He nods at his men and the water starts to cover my torso causing me to trash, tears pouring from my eyes.
“Is this your heir Charles?” Giorgio chuckles lighting a cigar, his oldest son Francesco trying his hardest not to react to the torture he’s watching.
My father pinned me with his eyes, disappointment and rage making my chest seize with pain. At eighteen years, I am not what Charles Silvestre wants in a son. I am weak, A pussy.
First, it was days in the cells, learning how to survive days on days without food, only getting a cup of water once a day. By the tenth day I had shrunken, my body a shell of what it used to be. I was near death when they released me but I remember it vividly.
My father stood over me, a look of disgust on his face. “Weak…”
As we progressed, I never lived up to his expectations. I was always weak. A pussy. A sissy.
Now as I plead and shake my chest tightening as the water reaches my throat. He looks down at me and one word plays in my head, weak.
“Father please!” I plead locking eyes with him.
“La settima volta è il fascino.,” he states, his cold eyes penetrating mine. The seventh time’s the charm.
“Mollalo!” he yells to the men and my throat closes up, my heart breaking. Drop him!
They rise me swiftly pulling me from the water, the stake I am attached to hovering feet from the body of water. Illuminated by the blue lights, made of steel with the temperature dropping to the negatives, this warehouse doubles as a big ass freezer.
Those cruel eyes lock with mine and he smirks. “Prova a trattenere il respiro, è meno probabile che anneghi in questo modo.” Try holding your breath, you’re less likely to drown that way.
Then the lever is released and I am dropped into the thirty feet deep tank.
I jump, gripping the hand as it touches my shoulder.
“Dylan let go!” I hear a feminine voice scream in pain.
Looking up my eyes lock on Aunt Christina, her face scrunched in discomfort. She’s in a V-neck T-shirt and Khaki capris, her hair wild and unkempt.
I release my grip on her hand and she pulls it back cradling to her chest. I want to apologize but she should know better than sneaking up on anyone in this house.
“Why are you here?” I ask hugging my knees, my eyes trained on her.
“Is that no way to speak to me, young man?” she asks with a raised brow, giving a harsh glare.
“Why are you here Auntie?” I say with a sickly sweet voice and she sighs with a roll of her eyes coming to sit beside me.
“Well, Dylan, my soon to be son-in-law who needs to stop calling me Auntie… I came to check up on you. You’ve been in here all night,” she says flashing me a teasing smile but it falters once she notices my face. “I also came to apologize for Johnattan’s stupid behaviour. He was just-”
“Hurt, afraid?” I ask raising a brow. “I know. That is why he is still breathing, that and he’s Ana’s father, Diana’s grandfather and a man I once admired.”
She sits staring at me with wide eyes and I smile condescendingly. Resting my chin on my knee, I ignore her, willing her to leave me alone to sink into the pit I’ve dug.
“You know...” she starts and I groan in annoyance. “I used to love those moments when you’d crawl into my lap and beg me to read you a story as a child. Those adorable, innocent eyes staring up at me and the cutest smile.”
I look over at her, a soft, affectionate smile on her lips.
“What’s the point of this story?” I ask wanting to get to the point.
She gazes at me with a tilt of her lips. “I used to watch as you and Indiana interacted. You were so protective of her… I remember once you pushed Christan to the floor because he was teasing Ana. That day my baby boy lost a tooth and my baby girl gained a protector.”
My lips tilt as I vaguely remember that moment, it’s a bit hazy but I do remember it. I’ve always had that need to protect Ana. She was special to me, even though at that age I had no idea what those feelings would grow into.
“You’ve always protected Indie, Dylan. Life may throw you hardballs but you never cease to protect her whether through prevention or cure,” Christina places her hand on my arm, affectionately. “I believe in you. You will save your daughter and Ana will awaken and just like the protector you are you will keep them both safe…”
…and I believed her.
My throat starts to close up and I find myself pushed into a fit of tears, my body’s way of saying let it go. Christina doesn’t waste a second, pulling me into her arms and I break down.
With my life falling apart, all it takes is one person believing me…Someone who is not obligated, someone who has every reason to blame me but doesn’t…to make the hurt I hide resurface.
I cry for Ana, for our baby and all the moments in the past, I was forced to hide my pain. She holds me, that motherly warmth surrounding me and for the next five minutes, the demons go away. I’m free, released from my pain, temporarily.
When my tears stop, I pull back my body trembling from the emotions that rattled through it. Christina smiles, caressing my cheek before placing a kiss on my forehead.
“You will always be my little D…no matter how much you change. My love for you will never change…”
Before I can reply, feet stomp down the hall noisily before the door is thrown open
“Capo, we’ve gotten a breakthrough!”