Chapter 37 - The War Council
A few days had passed since Hayley had witnessed Lorenzo Borroni killing two innocent people right in front of her eyes. Life seemed to slip into normality as though nothing had happened.
She returned to work, she carried on with it. But she couldn’t forget and to be honest she wouldn’t forget, ever.
“Morning, beautiful.” Luca kissed her bare shoulder as she stirred, she rolled over to admire him as he looked over her.
“Morning.” She replied sleepily before he kissed her.
The past two days have been blissful. Luca hadn’t ever wanted to share his world with anyone, but he did with Hayley. He had spent the past two days walking with her, talking.
He had left his work with Nic and Frankie, as they knew they were just waiting for what was to happen next with Genovese and Borroni. He had spent his time with Hayley, and he hadn’t regretted a second.
His hands slowly followed the contours of her perfect body, her hands were in his hair as she pulled him closer to her body, as she lay under him. They were hungry for one another, and Luca had taken a new liking to morning sex.
“Shall we go for lunch before you go to work?” Luca asked after they had spent the early to late morning in his bed, and then in his shower.
Hayley was sitting in her underwear putting light curls in her hair, she looked at him through the dressing table mirror, as he buttoned up his shirt hiding his inked torso.
“That sounds great.” She beamed at him, he walked over and kissed her cheek, before he put on his jacket and left the room.
“Good afternoon boss.” Frankie watched his boss enter the office like he had done around this time over the past few days.
“I’m going out for lunch, what is the update?” He ignored Frankie’s comment and looked at Nic who was sitting looking through some paperwork.
“Tonight,” Nic replied simply, Luca sighed and nodded. “They are just working out a place to meet. It needs to be semi-private, but Genovese wants people to know. To try and coax out the detective.” Luca shook his head.
"Idiots, this plan is awful already,” Luca lit a cigarette and sat behind his desk, as Frankie sat on the sofa to the left and Nic sat on the chair opposite Luca. “Tell them we can meet in The Venetian.” Luca let out a puff of smoke as he spoke.
“Is that a good idea?” Frankie was sceptical as he picked up his mug of now cold black coffee and took a disgusted sip.
“I want this to happen where I am in control. Plus, the feather girls, booze can make it seem less like a war council and more of an informal chat.” Luca explained, Nic nodded.
“Luca?” Hayley’s voice made him stand up, she must be ready to go.
“I’ll get everything sorted for you,” Nic explained, as the trio walked to the door and there she was. Hayley smiled at Luca as she stood in her work clothes. She looked sophisticated and sexy as hell.
She adjusted her straight black skirt and her satin deep purple top. Frankie called out for Ric and Dom to escort the boss to lunch. Luca took Hayley’s hand as he led her down the stairs grabbing her coat helping her into it, as she reached for her bag. Luca nodded to Nic before leaving the house.
“Thanks for lunch.” Hayley kissed Luca as they pulled up outside The Dublin, she didn’t want to leave him, but she was the manager and had work to do.
“Don’t work too hard.” He gently cupped her face and kissed her again.
“I’ll try not to.” She replied as Ric opened her car door and helped her out. Luca watched as she safely passed the two guys he had on the doors, along with the two bouncers.
He nodded once at Tony who nodded back, he was happy in the knowledge his guys were watching for her. His phone vibrated as Dom pulled away, to head to the casino.
*The meeting will be at 7 pm, we have agreed no more than six men in the Venetian per family. Meeting room one will be used, only Capo’s and their seconds.* Luca deleted the message and looked at his watch; he had a couple of hours.
“What are you doing down here?” Ava hugged Hayley behind the bar of their old spot in The Venetian.
“Siobhan needed someone to cover Ben, and at short notice so here I am.” Hayley beamed as she adjusted her emerald green corset and her featherless black mask.
Siobhan had assured Hayley that Luca hadn’t been down since the night he was celebrating, the night he took her to the rooftop hotel. Plus, she was needed down here, and Siobhan was her boss.
“Well, it’s great to have you back. I best get ready for my slot.” Ava smiled before leaving the bar.
“Nice to see you,” Dimitri spoke, he had missed the little English girl, with the Russian tongue.
“Nice to see you too, Vodka?” She asked him, and he nodded before she turned to get his drink.
Hayley had just returned from her break, and she was greeted at her bar by an angry-looking Max.
“What the hell is going on?” Max asked in a low voice. Hayley sighed violently as she put her hand on her hips.
“What are you going on about?” She asked as she pulled out a cloth and cleaned the bar.
“What the hell are you doing with him? Just lying on your fucking back?” He hissed, if she wasn’t in a crowded bar she would have leapt over and sliced this bastard. However, she kept her cool as he spoke again.
“Luca is having some sort of council with Genovese and Borroni. How the hell did you not know?” Max was furious, but he knew the detective would be worse.
He watched as Hayley’s face fell and she dropped her strong position and looked up at the VIP balcony.
“Borroni?” She whispered as she thought of what he did, Max nodded slowly.
“You have no clue, do you?” Max said slowly.
It amazed him, this woman was in bed with the Don but hadn’t a clue about his work? Surely, Luca couldn’t hide everything.
Although, he had noticed Luca wasn’t about as usual. Perhaps, he had gotten Nic to arrange everything.
“But, I’m going to find out!” She said harshly, as he watched her march around the bar, he grabbed her arm and she pulled it from his grasp.
“Whoa, slow down. What the fuck are you going to do?” He quizzed her. She didn’t really know what she was going to do.
“Three of the biggest Mafia leaders are up there, one wrong move from anyone and that’s it, game over.” He explained.
Hayley wasn’t stupid, she knew who they were. “Calm down and don’t do anything reckless.” He instructed before leaving the club, he shouldn’t be here, he was instructed to wait outside.
Hayley took a deep breath, but she couldn’t calm herself.
“Letting the cops find out about our alliance, will shake them up,” Genovese spoke, as Luca sat opposite him, his back to the door. Borroni was sitting to Luca’s right, each second stood behind their boss.
“They won’t be able to handle all our strength,” Borroni huffed letting out a cloud of smoke from his mouth. “I have found one of my rats.” He gave Luca and Matteo Genovese a file, Luca read his.
“I think we should send a message, let the cops find him. Dead,” Borroni had a glint in his eyes. “Better yet, I’m happy for one of your family to do it, show them we do mean business.” Luca sighed and threw the file down.
“My family will do it,” Luca spoke up before he took a sip of his whiskey. “I like the idea of an alliance.” Luca lied. “But, it could cause them to pull back. When really we need to destroy this cop.”
“Coax him into a trap?” Genovese asked, Luca nodded.
Genovese raised his eyebrows and then brought his cigar to his mouth and nodded at Luca’s thoughts.
“Let’s get the cop to reveal himself, then we will know who we are working with better,” Luca explained it was a simple plan, but they needed to know who this cop was and what he was capable of.
Hayley was done waiting, she had to know what was going on. So bravely she walked across the floor to the staircase.
She was holding a tray with some whiskey and glasses, she was nervous as she walked through the men in the VIP lounge. Some she recognised as Marcello men, but some obviously were not.
She kept her head down, as she reached the ‘Staff Only’ door, Ric jumped in front of her, he recognised her as Hayley.
“Hayley, what are you up to?” He whispered, and she just held up the tray.
“Frankie called down.” She shrugged, he just sighed and let her past.
Beyond the door was Frankie standing and two other men, she wasn’t expecting this.
"Bella!” Frankie was careful not to mention her name, as she walked over to him as he stood in front of the door. “You shouldn’t be here.” He pointed out, she knew this already.
“I know.” She croaked, as she turned to one of the lads and gave him the tray as she smiled at him and she pretended to adjust her shoes.
She bent over knowing the other guy had a nice view of her ass. She placed her hand supportively on Frankie’s shoulder, he sighed but let her anyway.
She put her other hand on the other shoulder. Then in typical Hayley fashion, she kneed him, right in his manhood.
“For fuck sake Hayley!” He cried out in pain as he dropped to his knees clutching himself.
“Sorry,” Hayley called out as she quickly leapt over Frankie before the other guys grabbed her, one throwing down the tray causing it to smash.
Inside the room, they all heard the commotion and all the seconds were ready, but Luca had also stood up as he heard Frankie call out her name.
She threw open the door and she was horrified when her eyes went beyond Luca and Nic but to Lorenzo Borroni, who smiled at her.
“You fucking bastard!” She yelled out, she flew towards him.
However, she wouldn’t get far. Luca quickly grabbed her violently, he was furious as she struggled in his arms.
“You son of a bitch!” She called out, Borroni just smirked at her.
Luca carried her out of the meeting room to the corridor. Without hesitation, Luca opened the second meeting room and threw her inside.
She was angry, so angry she grabbed her knife from her pocket and launched herself at Luca, who had turned to close and lock the door. He quickly turned and grabbed her wrist that held the knife.
“You bastard!” She spoke, he could see her eyes filled with anger.
“Are you crazy?” He yelled as he threw her back, letting go of her wrist, her hand still clutched her knife. “You could have been fucking killed!” He shouted.
He wasn’t calm, his heart was pounding in his chest. “Jesus Hayley!” he hissed. “They could have killed you!”
“You said you cared! I thought you cared!” She shouted tears were begging to fall from her eyes. He just watched her as she leaned against the conference table, and he stood by the door.
“Hayley-” He began but she cut him off.
“No, you are sitting there with him, after what he did!” She shouted, she was a madwoman, but she had every right to be. “I actually believed you cared about those guys!” She yelled, she didn’t care who could hear her.
“Hayley, for once will you listen to me!” He demanded, he stepped closer, but she held out the knife.
“Back off Marcello.” She threatened, and he just exhaled angrily.
“I watched two innocent men get a bullet in their skulls, I watched helplessly as Borroni without a thought killed them. Yet, you are here with him having a goddamn drink!”
“Everything is not so fucking black and white, Hayley,” He hissed, but to her maybe it was. “Right now, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.” He groaned.
She just shook her head, her arm still outstretched with her little blade. With ease, he could have taken it from her hand, but he knew this was her security.
“Look I’m trying to protect my family.”
“Who was there to protect those innocent men Luca?” Hayley quizzed, he sighed she was right, he had no logical response.
“Hayley, you need to go home. Right now, I am busy.” He said shaking his own head.
“No, Luca,” She replied, he watched as a tear slipped down her face under her mask. “I need answers, what is going on?” She softened her approach, she placed the knife down beside her on the table.
Luca walked over to her slowly and grabbed her mask lightly and pushed it over her head, and he used his thumb to wipe away the fallen tear.
“I want to tell you but knowing could get you hurt.” His deep voice hummed as he held her beautiful face.
“Not knowing why you are sitting with that man, is already killing me. From the inside out.” She let out the words as more tears begged to fall from her eyes.
He cupped her face tighter as she spoke. In the next room, two of the biggest family leaders sat and he knew he had to get back in there.
“Go home, Hayley.” He was stern as he spoke, but she pulled her face from his hands.
“I need answers, Luca!” She demanded he took a step away from her.
“You need to do as you are told.” He spoke with authority.
She flinched at his words as if he had slapped her across the face. She hadn’t been spoken to like that in years, it seemed to stir something inside of her.
“Don’t tell me what to do.” She wanted the words to come out with more conviction than admittedly they did.
Luca looked at her with the dark look he gave one of his men, a one disobeying a direct order.
“Hayley.” He growled, his patience was wearing thin.
The men in the next room will think of him as being weak if he doesn’t sort this.
“I’m not-” She began, but he fiercely cut her off.
He violently grabbed the top of her arm, she tried in vain to free herself of his grip. He was furious with her. Furious she won’t listen to him, furious that she put herself in danger and furious with himself for allowing her too close to get in any danger.
He dragged a struggling Hayley to the door. Tears had begun to fall as she fought him.
“Luca!” She cried out, as he opened the door leading to the square hallway.
Luca was aware the door to the meeting room was still open and Nic was looking out as well as the eyes of the other leaders.
“Frankie!” His tone was sharp as he looked at his second. Frankie looked at his boss before looking at the bare face of Hayley, who was crying.
“Take her home, make sure she fucking stays there.” He was harsh as he practically threw Hayley’s arm for Frankie to take.
Hayley looked at the cold face, hard man that for a second she trusted. He never looked at her though, he couldn’t bear to look at her.
Hayley felt the slightly gentler hand of Frankie, who pulled him closer to him, his mouth to her ear.
“C’mon, Hayley. Please.” He begged softly in her ear, but she shook her head.
She watched as Luca turned away from her and walked towards the meeting room, to the enemy.
“You bastard.” She murmured.
He stopped for a heartbeat, he wanted to turn around and take her in his arms. He wanted to shake her, beat her, throw her on a bed. He had every flow of emotion coursing through him.
But, the bigger part of him wanted to apologize, kiss her and make her happy.
However, he wouldn’t lose face. He walked into the room and slammed the door shutting out the distressed beauty.
“Hayley, let’s go,” Frankie spoke firmly. He took both her shoulders and pulled her closer to him.
The two other men from the other families watched as Frankie dragged a weeping Hayley out the room.
“Ric,” He looked at Ric outside the hallway. “Take over my position. I’m to take her home.”
Hayley was put in a car unaware really of what was going on. She was angry with him, angry with how he treated her and angry at how he was treating the memory of the murdered innocents.
“She’s a tough one there Marcello.” Matteo Genovese spoke as he puffed on his cigar.
Lorenzo chuckled from his seat. Luca refused to look at him; he calmly sat down at his seat and took a drink from his glass.
“She doesn’t like me much.” Lorenzo looked at Matteo.
Matteo knew the problems between Lorenzo and Luca, it was a problem that dated back to their school years. Both guys couldn’t help themselves when it came to women.
Luca said nothing. He wanted to pull out his gun and blow Lorenzo’s brains out, but he knew that right now wouldn’t be beneficial.
“I think we need to lure this cop out sooner rather than later.” Luca’s voice was hoarse as he poured himself another glass.
“I thought you said we should wait, so they don’t back off?” Matteo quizzed.
Luca shook his head, he couldn’t wait. He didn’t want to have to work alongside Lorenzo or Matteo for that matter.
“Let him find out we are doing something together, a casino night?” Luca plotted, Nic listened to his cousin as he went into his leadership mode.
“We will invite some influential people, our high brow friends.” Luca continued.
“I’m on bail Marcello, I can’t get caught in an underground casino.” Lorenzo hissed.
“Leave all that to me, I have an idea. I will send out invites, next week gives me and Nic time to prepare and gives us time to send them your rat.” Luca explained.
They had agreed, and the other two families left, without anybody getting killed.
Luca sat at the booth with a scotch in one hand and a cigar in the other. His mind couldn’t get the anger and hate on Hayley’s face out of his mind.
“Hello, Mr Marcello.” The familiar voice beamed at him.
Arianna hadn’t seen Luca in so long. She actually had missed her favourite Mafia leader.
He sighed as his eyes met hers and he put out his cigar and invited her to his lap. She flashed him one of her brilliant and sexy smiles as she sat on his lap. Where she should be.
Luca drank and traced the lace on her thigh high stockings. He sat and listened to the banter of his men, trying so hard to forget about Hayley.
He knew she was out of line today, she should have listened to him, he is the boss. She shouldn’t have come into that meeting room, she should have stayed away. Why the hell was she even in the Venetian? Luca had made strict instructions that she was to stay in The Dublin.
“You’re a mafia leader Mr Marcello,” She purred into his ear. “You don’t need to settle with just one woman.” She teased, her hand going to his crotch.
Guilt washed over him. He grabbed her wrist and looked at her brown eyes. She gasped at his rough touch.
“Don’t.” was all he murmured, before sliding her off his lap and onto the space beside him.
He adjusted his jacket and chucked back the remaining drink, he had to talk to Hayley. He had to make things right.