10 | the awkward dinner
"How did it..." She looked around to make sure no one was eavesdropping—which I was sure no one was because they were all settled in another room. Then, she whispered, "...how was your first? I'm sure that you have trouble even walking. I've heard the Don is very ruthless. You hide the pain very well."
"Well," I started, thinking quick of what to say. "It was painful indeed."
I was glad when Gianna started speaking again. "My first was horrifying. I was sent to the hospital for days."
I discreetly gulped. I didn't want to land in the hospital. "Oh."
"I didn't land in the hospital but I was quite sore," Amalia countered in. I wasn't even sure how we got to this topic. At one moment we were gossiping about the new malls and the next second we were discussing this.
I was uncomfortable but I hid it well. At least, I thought I did because they didn't seem to be suspecting anything. They didn't seem to suspecting that I was still a virgin.
The bell rung saving me from any more talking. These girls were great but I wasn't too excited to discuss about my personal relations. I barely knew them.
Knowing that I was the host along with Antonio, I was the one that needed to open the doors. I was the wife. I quickly fixed my hair on my shoulders before sauntering over to the doors, only to pause at the sight of Sara greeting an old man. Even from far, I could see the man had a frown on his wrinkly face and his ice cold eyes were narrowed into a glare. Disappointment was practically oozing out of him.
"What are you wearing, nuora?" He growled at Sara. My eyes widened. He thought Sara was I. How could he not recognize me? (Daughter-in-law)
Sara seemed to be oblivious to his annoyance and anger because she started beaming. "I knew you'd accept me as your daughter-in-law."
Now was indeed the best time to interview. Sara was an idiot but I wasn't. She was going to get killed. "Nonno, welcome." I bowed my head in immediate respect as I stood beside Sara, pushing the door even wider as my light brown hair framed my face in an innocent matter. (Grandfather)
I could feel the man's cold stare on me. I didn't dare raise my head up. I was submitting to him. He was my superior.
He pushed past us slowly. The Godfather wasn't the one to play nice and cozy. And I knew that I was screwed the moment he walked into the living room. I could hear the men quieting down. It was silent until Roberto started speaking.
"Who's puttana is that, Antonio?" My hands trembled. Was he talking about me? Did he not like me? Wasn't he and Raffaello who picked me for the Don? (Whore)
"That is Father's woman, never mine," my husband's smooth yet calculating voice answered. A chill ran down my spine as I realized that they weren't talking about me. I wasn't in trouble. I also noticed the fact that the Don didn't use the vile language Nonno or the other men used which was quite odd. Antonio didn't swear a lot. (Grandfather)
I tried to silently make my way into the living room so I wouldn't bring much attention. I was to treat the Godfather personally. But I felt a grip on my arm, making me pause.
Sara's shivering fingers latched onto my arm as her eyes were filled with unshed tears. I felt bad for her at the moment. Father-in-law had not told her that Nonno had thoughts from the olden generation. The man would kill a woman if she was part of the Family and dressed like that.
"Please, help me," she begged, her voice as silent as a whisper. For the first time since I saw her, her resolve broke. "Whatever I did was for my family. Please. I didn't know."
My heart bled for her but I knew I had to keep strong and turn a blind eye. I couldn't mess my life up for someone else's when I clearly knew that my actions wouldn't change anything. It would just get me punished too. I didn't bother reassuring her because I didn't know myself what her punishment would be from the Godfather. I didn't want to be the lamb in this because honestly, it was just going to make things worse, not better. She was asking the wrong person for help.
Amalia and Gianna were already in the living room when I came in and stood beside them. Luckily, no one paid attention to me but I saw my husband's gaze flicker to mine. Was he mad?
With my back straight and my head titled a bit down just like the other two girls, I stood beside the white wall. I felt like the servants in the shadows in castles. There were so many men here. Previously, I was introduced to Dante, Costanzo and Omero, Antonio's younger brothers. They didn't seem to care about me much when we met. Dante, being the second oldest, had given me a suspicious look before he shrugged and left with Alessandro, Amalia's husband. Costanzo and Omero were not any different but I instantly figured that Costanzo was more care-free than the other three siblings, and at last I met Pietro, who I invited in with Gianna. The man couldn't seem to get his eyes off of me then.
Sara stood by the door with her head lower than ours. I feared her safety. Amalia's hand grazed mine before she gave it a comforting squeeze. She knew this was my first time encountering the Godfather and these men—encountering their punishments.
"Why am I not surprised?" Goosebumps appeared on my skin when Roberto spoke again. He was the most dangerous predator here and I was glad not to be his prey. Despite being a man older than all here, he was more vicious and experienced, making him even more powerful. Even my husband seemed to respect him and that was saying something. "You probably have hidden bastards running around without our knowledge. You kids have no morals now. There was a time when wives were more respected than the brothers. Now, you guys beat and rape them. No morals at all."
No men or women dared to look at Roberto in the eye, even my husband. Raffaello was no option. He wasn't the Don now and he wasn't the Godfather either. Raffaello had to give up his rule fairly quickly for some reason. It was no hidden fact that he couldn't keep it in his pants, even on the night his wife had took her last breath.
"Nonno, we should start dinner now," my husband suggested. I was surprised at how calm he was. There was no discomfort in his voice anymore. He respected the man a lot. (Grandfather)
"I want that puttana dead," he snarled before his eyes fell on me. I quickly glanced down again. "Now that is how a woman should be dressed like. Go get dinner ready. We will be all there shortly."
I knew he was speaking to me. I could feel the top of my fingers quivering in fear but I did as I was told. Like any daughter of the Godfather, I wanted to impress him too.
With my head down as an obedient puppy, I ordered Mya, who was in the kitchen, to set the dinner. I was glad to be away from the dominant men for now.
Sooner than I liked, the dinning hall was filled with men and the few women present. Including myself and Mya there were about five women to seven men. Mya couldn't even count so it was actually four women to seven strong murderers. I really didn't like the odds.
Utensils clanked as everyone ate silently either few occasional murmurs. With the Godfather sitting at the head, it was difficult to even move. No one wanted to be under his gaze. My husband was clearly the only one eating peacefully beside me.
"I heard you are pregnant, Amalia?" Roberto diverted his attention to Amalia. His hands were shaking as he filled his glass with more wine.
Raffaello immediately moved to help. "Here, padre." (Father)
Beside me, Amalia squirmed as all the attention was on her now. "Yes, Godfather. I am."
"I bless for it to be a boy, Alessandro." He picked up his napkin and wiped his mouth elegantly. I held the urge to cringe. Why does it matter if it is a boy or a girl? Either way, they'd both be in this political life of the mafia where abuse was as familiar as the dawn.
"Thank you, Godfather."
While Antonio was an intimidating man with black hair and eyes, Alessandro was a brunette with a tall height like my husband. From the moment I saw him and my husband greet each other, I knew they were more closer than Pietro even though Pietro was second in command.
Pietro, Gianna's husband, was not a loyal man to his wife but he seemed like a good mafioso. He was another man with black hair and a buff, fighter-like figure. No one was oblivious to his advances toward other women but he never went after another brother's wife. He'd check them out but he wouldn't make a move. Or so, I haft heard from Amalia when Gianna was away.
"Pietro, it would be better if you find yourself at home more. We need more heirs," Roberto continued with a taunt.
I instantly knew that the Godfather was not a careless man. He knew everything without even being here. I just hoped I wouldn't get on his bad side because my husband, for sure, would not have my back against him.