‘How much longer is he going to be? I’m freezing my fucking balls off.’
I ignore the complaints of Marcello and twirl my gun in my hands. I’m leant against the wall, bored and disinterested. I have a party to go to. I have better places to be than an abandoned warehouse downtown.
The headlights of a car swing by, momentarily illuminating the open door of the building.
‘Thank fuck for that,’ Marcello mutters.
The engine cuts out and doors slam. My consigliere, right hand man, Rocco, and Valerius drag the wriggling body of a man towards us.
They throw him down on the ground and he hurriedly scrambles to his knees. He’s beaten and bloody, but I’m just irritated he’s still alive.
‘Thought you’d want to do the honours, Boss,’ Rocco says with a shrug.
′Leccaculo,′ Marcello calls Rocco a kiss ass.
Rocco glares at him. ′Fottiti.′ (fuck you)
′Baciami il culo,′ Marcello retorts. (kiss my ass)
I groan and push off the wall. ′Puttana Madonna, you’re both fucking coglioni.′
(Fucking mother of God, testicles but means idiots).
They were supposed to come and collect me after disposing of this brutto figlio di puttana (ugly son of a bitch).
Marcello and I have been sorting out some business with a local dealer and these idiots were meant to have been here half an hour ago.
I dislike tardiness.
I cock my gun and shoot the bastard between the eyes before he can even beg for his life.
‘Dispose of him. I’m taking the car, you’re going to have to get another ride. I’ve got a party to get to and I’m late,’ I tell the boys and storm out of the building.
Marcello and Valerius stay to take care of the body, Rocco jogs ahead to get in the driver’s seat.
I get into the passenger seat and wipe down my gun. I check my suit, making sure it still looks immaculate.
‘Thanks, I needed it,’ I tell Rocco and roll out my neck.
Nothing like a quick execution before a celebration.
’Holy fucking shitballs, how much money does your family have?′ I blurt out at the sight of the huge, carved stone lions, lining the pathway.
Georgina rolls her eyes and sighs dramatically.
‘Stop gawking, you knew I was rich when you became friends with me,’ she protests and I scoff.
’Not this rich. Seriously, this is insane.′
I snap my mouth closed to stop it from hanging open. The party has already started in the nightclub owned by Georgina’s parents, we’re actually a little late.
I’ve never been into it before, mainly because the entrance fee costs more than what I spend on drinks for an entire night. My night would be over before it even started.
But her parents are hosting some sort of party for their business associates tonight. They wanted their only daughter there and Georgie had one condition, she got to bring me as her date.
We’ve been friends since secondary school, almost ten years. We’re both nineteen and still as close as we were in school.
In two weeks, she’s leaving for university and I’ll be on my lonesome. I’m trying not to focus on that too much, it’s gonna suck.
You might be wondering how me, a normal person, became friends with someone so bloody rich. I got a scholarship to go to a distinguished private school, turns out I’m pretty smart.
Anyway, it meant I grew up being the poorest kid in my school, surrounded by the rich and elite. It was a strange experience, but I had good friends. Not all of the rich are snobby and uptight.
Only times there are problems are at birthdays and Christmas, I can never match the presents Georgie gives me. I’ve told her many times, I don’t like her spending lots of money on me, but she doesn’t listen.
She’s actually the reason I have a suitable dress for tonight. She bought me this one for my eighteenth birthday last year. It’s some kind of designer (she would kill me if she found out I didn’t know or care which designer), and is very short and rather revealing.
It’s a party, in a nightclub, where I don’t know anyone, so I feel confident enough to wear it.
‘Okay, let’s go get some drinks,’ Georgina suggests and grabs my hand.
She leads us over to the long bar with neon under-lighting.
The bar staff notice the owner’s daughter and immediately come to us for our order.
God, what must this life be like permanently? To be so rich that people quite literally run over to serve you.
I only experience it a couple times a year and it blows my mind each time.
We cheers our cosmos and take a sip. I scan the crowd, looking for attractive men. It’s been almost a year since I last got into bed with a guy. A bad breakup had me swearing off men for a while.
This is the perfect place to find someone attractive for one night of no-strings-attached fun.
Georgina catches me looking and tuts at me.
‘Seriously Aria, remember what I said. These are father’s business associates, you know he has links with the mafia, these men are fucking psychos and they’re dangerous. Stay away from them and whatever you do, keep it to one night,’ she hisses in my ear.
I heed her warning, because I believe her. All of the men in this room have beautiful women on their arms that are much younger than them.
From movies, I can spot a gangster-mafia guy a mile off. Most of them look Italian. They’re all wearing suits that probably cost more than a month’s rent. They all look and smell rich.
More than that though, the majority have tattoos peeking over their collars, in their hair, on their hands.
It’s hard to explain, but there’s a weird sense of danger around them all as well. Something in their dark eyes promises trouble, and not the good kind. They have this look that if you make one wrong move or comment, they’ll snap your neck in a heartbeat without blinking.
It’s terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I feel relatively safe, knowing that they’ll have no interest in me. I’m not after their money or business, I am no threat to them.
‘So, only one night of fun, yeah?’ I confirm with Georgie and she nods.
She smiles at me and clinks our glasses together. ‘Let’s go dick-hunting, girl,’ she says.
Rocco brings over another drink and sets it down before me. I nod at him in thanks.
Valerius and Marcello arrive. They subtly nod at me, letting me know it’s done.
Good. One less thing to worry about.
I take a sip and scan the room over the rim of the glass. This so-called party is just another way for Lewis Stanton to ass-lick all of us. He wants to keep us happy and on his side.
I don’t mind it so much, but I’m bored. The same old girls are circling us like desperate sharks, they want nothing but my money and influence.
They want someone who will buy them designer clothes or get them cast into that new movie that’s being filmed. They all want something from me and it’s exhausting fighting them off and trying to find a real one.
My parents are hounding me to find someone to settle down with, they want me married now. I’m twenty-five and apparently that’s the right age for choosing a wife. Only it’s not that easy.
I’m not like my associates, I don’t enjoy sleeping with anything with a pulse. Don’t get me wrong, I love sex and it’s been fun.
But now, I just want someone to come home to. Someone who will listen to my problems and support me. I want someone to have actual conversations with, I’m bored and although I’d never admit it out loud, I’m lonely.
There’s only so much a man can take of these idiots I call my caporegimes.
My eyes are drawn to two women that have just entered the party. They’re younger than most people in here, but alarmingly, not the youngest. They must be legal to have entered, which means they’re over eighteen, thank fuck.
My eyes land on the regal looking blonde, she’s too much of a Daddy’s princess for me. I know her, she’s Lewis Stanton’s daughter and that’s a definite no. My eyes move on, to the brunette beauty next to her.
I recognise her immediately. We’ve met before, just once.
I was visiting Lewis one evening, when his daughter and a couple of her friends came teetering down the stairs in skimpy dresses and high heels.
The brunette, the same one that stands before me now, was wearing an 18th birthday sash. I was just as enamoured by her a year ago as I am now.
She looks nervous and out of place. Her eyes scan the crowd and she bites her bottom lip. Something tells me this isn’t her usual scene.
She’s wearing an expensive dress, it hugs every inch of her curvy figure and long, model legs. Her chestnut hair is long and straight, it reaches to her waist.
I can’t see the colour of her eyes with the coloured lighting in the club, but I remember them being an enchanting shade of blue. Her face is beautiful. I can’t tear my eyes away from her, she’s captivating.
She looks older than last year. Her cheeks have lost their youthful chubbiness, she has graceful features and high cheekbones now. She has lost her baby face and looks like a mature woman.
I shift in my seat and I feel my cheeks heat up slightly when I realise I’m hard. This girl has managed to embarrass me from ten metres away.
I wanted her a year ago, but I knew I couldn’t drag an innocent eighteen year old into my dark world.
Now, seeing her again, I’m not feeling quite as selfless.
I want her.
I know it’s not right and a better man would leave her alone. But I’m not a better man. I’m the fucking Don and I get what I want.
I wait a moment for my dick to go down, fucking embarrassing, and then I go over to Mr Stanton.
At the sight of my face, he hurriedly finishes his conversation and excuses himself. He steps towards me and smiles nervously. He fears me and I like it.
‘Who is that woman with your daughter?’ I ask, going straight to the point and skipping formalities.
His eyes travel to the direction I’m pointing and widen. ‘T-that’s my daughter’s friend, Illaria.’
My interest is piqued at the mention of her name. ‘That’s an unusual name,’ I comment casually.
Mr Stanton nods. ‘Her parents are artists I believe, rather eccentric people. They live in France.’
I nod in acknowledgement, my eyes never straying from the beauty. ‘Tell me more about her.’
‘U-um, they became friends at Birley Grammar, she’s Georgina’s age. I’m not entirely sure what her job is but I know she is not joining Georgina at university,’ he explains quickly, probably eager to be out of my presence. ‘She’s a nice girl, incredibly smart, very polite, she’s good to my daughter.’
‘Thank you, Lewis,’ I dismiss him.
‘Anytime, Mr Vilenzo,’ he utters and looks relieved I’m done with him.
I return to my table, where my men are waiting. I shall wait for the beauty to settle with her friend and then I will approach her.
I’m going to have this brunette.