46 | the dear husband
I knew Gianna was watching from behind, but Amalia decided to come with me. She told me to back down many times but I had already, very bravely I must say, told them that I was going to go. Backing down now would be cowardly. I had let Gianna get to me. There was no room for mistakes in the Mafia and I quickly understood that right now. This was somewhat a major lesson for me: never fall into obvious traps, even if they are small. But this was good in some way. She'd think I was stupid or dumb and get overconfident which would mean she'd do something stupider than I did.
If she told me jump of the cliff, would I? No. But this wasn't exactly jumping off the cliff, I would also argue.
Despite my excuse being Gianna manipulated me to do this, I knew the truth deep down. I did it because I wanted to see him, but letting them believe that they forced me to do so was better. It gave me the upper hand. It gave the illusions that they had the power to manipulate me without me knowing. Gianna was very wrong about that.
The door was opened by Alessandro, Amalia's husband, who gave us a once over before opening the door wider and stepping aside. He looked back at Antonio who had a cigarette in between his fingers and his feet propped up on the table. He had changed out of his previous suit and sported a three piece. His white blazer hung on his chair and he sat in all his glory with a black shirt underneath his white waistcoat. I licked my lips.
He titled his head to the side before beckoning me forward with his fingers.
I looked back at Amalia who Alessandro harshly whispered to wait for him in their room before he shut the door close behind me.
I was fairly intimidated by the atmosphere. The window blinds were closed, bringing minimal sunlight into the room, and the place was filled with smoke. It was like a den of criminals. I would've been scared out of my wits if Antonio weren't here. I didn't understand how, but his presence itself gave me solace.
I glanced around for a moment as Alessandro went and sat beside Pietro again on a three-seat couch in the corner. Pietro had a nasty smirk on his face and I mentally cringed. I didn't like the look in his eyes however I tried to ignore it as much as I could.
Antonio leaned back and dropped his legs from the table. A black gun was on his table that he was twirling around. I gulped as I rounded the desk and walked toward him. He turned the rolling chair toward me, eyes trailing down my face and past my neck slowly.
There was an intense silence as his eyes roamed over my body before coming back to my face. I felt a deep flush form on my cheeks and a tiny smile made its way to my lips just by seeing him better than he was before. Antonio had slept for an hour or so in the flight.
Feeling slightly bold from before and with the sudden urge to not disappoint him was at its height, I stepped forward and placed my hand on his shoulder softly. I thought he would tell me to leave, but as usual he did something entirely different. He pulled me onto his lap.
My heart thudded at a fast pace and I felt like I was going to faint. I could feel the heat sweeping through his body from my back. It brought a blush on my cheeks.
I always felt like he was always initiating everything—every moment. Even the sex, it was always Antonio. I've never done anything. I've never shown him that I wanted something from him as well. I've never shown him that I cared.
For a second, I was scared that he would push me off and tell me it was all a joke and that he was still mad at me or just done playing civil. I almost jumped when I felt his hand wrap around my stomach. His breath fanned the side of my head as I shifted to be more comfortable. His thumb rubbed circles over the cloth, relaxing me somehow.
It felt like home. He felt like home. Goosebumps appeared on my skin by his touch.
"You okay, Doll?" he asked out of a sudden but I had a feeling he already knew why I was here.
I nodded in answer.
Antonio leaned back bringing me with him. "When is the old man coming?" he suddenly yelled as he titled his head back.
I hid my flinch as Alessandro and Pietro jumped into action. It sort of reminded me of pinballs bouncing once they were hit by the trapdoors. I stifled in a chuckle.
"Fucker probably overslept," Pietro growled out.
Alessandro shrugged. "We did give him an unusual time. I mean, two in the morning? Seriously guys?"
"He should be grateful that the Don has even thought of sparing few of his minutes for his shitty ass life. Fucker's just wasting our time," Pietro snapped.
I didn't speak. I focused on Antonio. I placed my hand on his. I didn't want him to stay mad at me. I felt odd and it kept bugging me. His thoughts mattered to me for some reason. His silence didn't bring me solace. As selfish as I may sound, I wanted his attention on me and not on the important business he had.
There was a moment of silence before Pietro's phone rang. He looked down at his phone. "The fucker's here. I think you should make him wait, Don."
I leaned my head in between the crook of my husband's neck and shoulder. My hand fell on his chest and I sat there comfortable. He was just so warm. I could still smell his musky cologne of shaving cream from morning.
"Call him in," the Don said instead.
Alessandro shrugged before he pressed some button on the table in front of him. A beep sounded before a voice answered. "Si, signore?" (Yes, sir?)
"Chiama Luigi dentro." (Call Luigi in)
"Si." And the line cut off.
"Bambola." I glanced up as he whispered the endearment. He lips gazed against my hair discreetly.
I was surprised and it was evident on my face. What was wrong with him? Why was he making a display of everything being fine in front of his friends? Why was he making a public display in the first place? It was too risky. I knew Pietro didn't notice. His attention was on his phone the whole time but Alessandro did. However, the man just looked away. I respected him for that.
"Yes?" I asked as I glanced up at him.
His hand crept up and moved my hair away from my face. He stroked my hair softly as he titled his head to look down at me. "Make me a drink."
I nodded as I slid off him. I was confused but I didn't let it show on my face. The drinks were on a tray at the side. I walked toward it. I knew Pietro's eyes were following my every move now and I didn't like it. It felt disrespectful.
"Pietro," my husband snapped out of the blue. "Go get the photos of the Bianchi."
"Yes, Don." I heard the door open and slam shut, indicating that he left.
I felt relief cloud me. I reached the table a foot away from the couch and picked out a glass. I didn't know really know what he liked but from what I remembered he always had a less strong drink. Antonio wasn't much of drinker. He could sustain his alcohol well, I knew that because every mafiosi was supposed to learn from a young age, but he just didn't like alcohol. Sometimes, it seemed like he was forcing himself to drink it.
"I don't get why you're doing this, Toni. The Bianchi's cannot he trusted," Alessandro hissed out once the underboss left.
"We have no proof, Sandro," my husband replied.
I didn't glance back to see my husband's reaction but from the tone of his voice I figured that he didn't take offence. They were closer than I thought.
I picked up the newly made drink and walked back to my husband just as a knock sounded on the door. Antonio was fiddling with his gun. He started twirling it around on his table again. I felt guilty all of sudden for not telling him about the note. He had trusted me and was still trusting me enough to talk about his business in front of me. He was trusting me enough not to poison his drink or meddle with it. I felt guilty for not reciprocating even though I knew deep down I wasn't at fault.
I handed him his drink and waited for him to tell me to leave or at least tell me to do something else. However, he placed the drink on the wooden desk and pulled me back on his lap, quickly pecking my neck as Alessandro went and opened the door for the said 'Luigi.'
Luigi was an old man with a small, trimmed moustache. He was short and had a small beer belly. The man was dressed in a suit. He was dressed rich but I knew he wasn't. The brand of the suit gave it away and also how unused it looked. He dressed up just to talk to my husband. It made sense actually. It was honestly a surprise how much people crave his praises even thought he was a criminal mastermind. I was a hypocrite because I craved it as well.
"Buongiorno!" the man greeted. (Good morning)
No one replied and he stood awkwardly with a hat in his hand. Alessandro walked back to the couch and sat down but he had a hard frown on his face. I had a feeling he didn't like this man.
"You're late," Alessandro grounded out.
The man's eyes widened. "I-I apologize, Don."
Or maybe he was just annoyed. I didn't really care.
"Stronzo," Alessandro muttered as he rolled his eyes and pulled out a cigarette from his pocket. (Asshole)
"Sit down," Antonio ordered, ignoring his consigliere comments and irritation.
Luigi immediately complied. He sat opposite us and toward the end in fright as if my husband was going to jump over the table and slam his head down to kill him. Over dramatic much? I was very sure if Antonio wanted to kill him, he would've done that long ago. The man's hands were even noticeably trembling. He was a fool for messing up his composure. He made himself more vulnerable, hence, more easier to manipulate.
"Thank you for meeting me, Don Giordano."
"You have done a favour for Rosemary once. Now speak, Luigi. You have wasted my time enough," my husband said. His hand fell around my waist possessively.
Rosemary—his nanny and someone he thought of as a mother. What was the favour he had done Rosemary?
"That was my job, Don Giordano, not a favour. Helping her clear her identity was what I was ordered to do and she was a great woman. Today I come here for big purpose. My daughter was admitted to the hospital recently. The doctor...h-he u-uh rape her. Brutally." The man sniffled.
I felt as I was slapped in the face. A doctor raping someone he was to save. What a pathetic individual. He should be tortured to death.
"What do you want me to do?" my husband's voice was controlled and as if he didn't give a crap about what had happened. It wasn't really his problem either and mafia members didn't do emotion. They rather got the job done.
"I want justice! He son of big guy here. Very difficult to catch."
"Did you go to the police?" Antonio asked. He grabbed my hand and played with my fingers casually. I looked down at our intertwined hands.
"I uh..." I looked up when he trailed off with tears in his eyes. "Yes," he finally whispered. "But they didn't take the case. They said she was already injured from the first rape and the doctor messed case up. I want him dead! I need to see him tortured and murdered just like how he did to my little princess."
"She dead?" Alessandro asked from the side. I winced at his cool tone.
The man shook his head. "No."
"We're not murderers, Luigi," Antonio said. "An eye for an eye."
"Please." He folded his hands in a begging motion. "You are my only hope, Don Giordano. I will die if my daughter do not recieve justice."
"Leave the details here and get out," my husband ordered, throwing him a notepad. "If I find out you're lying, you'll lose a daughter rather than gaining a son."
The man nodded shakingly. He held a pen and started writing. The room filled with silence again. After he was done, he got up and left.
Pietro came in a minute later with an envelope in his hands. "Here," he said, handing my husband the envelope. His eyes fell on my chest before he immediately looked away.
Antonio ripped the cover open. Three pictures fell from it. One of a young boy who looked to be around sixteen and had black hair and a palish skin tone. Another was of an auburn haired girl who looked around thirteen-fourteen. She had brown eyes just like her brother. The last one was of an older woman. She looked to be very young for her age. Her hair was tied up in a bun and she had black hair and brown eyes. They were all beautiful, especially the young girl. Her innocence made me instantly feel bad for her.
I glanced away when Pietro spoke. "That's Carmello Bianchi's girlfriend Bria Regio and his bastard children Valerio and Valentina. Bianchi is looking for them."
"Can they be under our territory?" Alessandro asked with this brows furrowed.
"It's possible," Pietro answered, clasping his hands together.
My husband was quiet. I wanted to look at him but it would've been awkward and weird for me to turn around on his lap.
Antonio picked up his drink and took a sip before speaking. "Send scouts to look for them in America. We need them in our hands before the Bianchi or Lambardi find them. If the girlfriend's smart, she'll come right into our den."
"Why?" My eyes widened when I realized I said that. I sat up straighter when all eyes fell on me. I suddenly felt stupid.
My husband stiffened under me. I didn't think he would answer. "The Bianchi's would never come onto our land. It would start a war, especially if they're caught. Carmello wouldn't send them at first. He's patient but Vincent's not, but there is a high chance Carmello would stop him and negotiate with us first. We catch her, we have the upper hand here, bambola."
My brows furrowed at the new name. "Vincent?" I asked, getting more comfortable.
"Carmello Bianchi's oldest and legimate son. The new don of the Bianchi Family," Alessandro answered.
"So now what?" I asked, feeling braver than before.
My husband tapped my leg silently telling me to get up. I did. He stood up soon after. In one gulp, he finished his drink before he answered, placing the cup down. "Now what? We catch them."