In the Company of Killers

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Chapter: 009

Dylan

“What the hell was that!” Enzo roared slamming my bedroom door behind him.

He’d followed me in here after the guests had trickled out at the end of dinner. His glared at followed me the entire time. I snuck out early to avoid the blowout I was sure was coming after my stunt with Nino at the table but of course, Enzo’s fury has its own honing device.

I gave him a bland look. “I don’t understand what the big deal is. No one saw us.”

“It doesn’t matter. You are my girlfriend, not his--”

“Fake girlfriend,” I reminded him. “We had a deal.”

“You don’t have to remind me.” His jaw ticked and he folded his arms over his chest. His look could’ve lit me on fire. “You walked in on my arm. What would it take if some pervert had slipped a peak under the table and saw you two? How would that have made me look?”

I narrowed my eyes, “Is that a rhetorical question or am I suppose to answer?”

Maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing to say right now. Not when he looked about five seconds away from ripping my head off with his teeth and spitting it out. I didn’t have time to rethink it because in one breath he had me up against the wall, his strong arms blocking all exit.

I gulped at the anger glimmering in Enzo’s eyes as he fisted my ponytail, hard, yanking my head up his nose brushing mines and I could practically taste the wine of his breath. My heart rate accelerated in my chest and I knew I should’ve run when I had the chance. Instead, my body chose to betray me as heat pooled between my thighs.

“Don’t test me, mia cara. I have a bullet hole in my shoulder that I haven’t paid you back for.” His grip on my hair hardened for emphasis. “Vince thinks I’ve been very lenient with you and maybe he’s right. Maybe I should take a page out of his book; tie you up, spill a little blood. Maybe then you’ll learn when to close that pretty mouth of yours.” I didn’t move, I didn’t breathe. I just stared at him with as much defiance I could muster. He leaned down further. “You enjoy the little freedom I give you because I allow it, don’t ever think otherwise. Don’t ever pull a stunt like that again. Do we understand each other?”

I winced as he pulled even harder when I didn’t respond. “I said do we understand each other?”

“Yes,” I bit out.

I saw the smug smile in his eyes before he released my hair and took a step away from me. I wasn’t sure if I was turned on or humiliated but either way I wanted to punch him in the face with a flame thrower.

His hand was on the doorknob when he turned to face me again. He was donning the indifferent mask I was all too familiar with. The one he wears when he’s doing the dirtier side of his job. This is the Capo. “I’ve fulfilled my end of the bargain. You’ll be able to complete your courses online and I’ll be taking you to your sister’s wedding.”

“You?” I blurted out. “You’ll be taking me yourself?”

“Is there a problem?” He asked, tone dripping with disinterest.

“I wouldn’t want to put a dent in the King’s busy schedule,” I said tightly.

“You won’t. In fact--” His smile sent a shiver up my spine. “I intend to get well acquainted with your family... real soon.”

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Enzo

My mother is sitting in my office, in the chair opposite mine, when I walk in. I head straight for the alcohol ignoring her disapproving frown. I’m all wound up and the fact that it’s because of that infuriating woman pisses me the fuck off.

I want her.

I knew that already but the way my dick jerks up in attention when she merely breathes in my direction is just getting ridiculous now. I’ve carried a hard-on all night because of her. She looked irresistible tonight and every male within the vicinity got a peek at what was undoubtedly mine. I wanted to hurt every son of a bitch who dared look at her. I’ve never felt such an intense desire to possess a woman before and I hate it. I shouldn’t want her.

She belongs to the man who killed my father.

She’s the enemy but yet... I can’t stop thinking about her.

I down a second glass of scotch before I turn to my other who watch me with a steely look. A look brought on when I or Malachai do anything she deems distasteful. At the age of seven, I would’ve pissed myself if she’d looked at me like that but now, I’m the Capo of the New York Famiglia. I’ve witness things that could put a man in the psych ward for the rest of his life. Her disapproval slides off my skin like water now.

I take a seat behind my father’s desk, swirling the crystal glass filled with ice scotch in my hand. When I looked to her next, her eyes were dazed as her bottom lip trembled a little. “You look just like him...” she murmured. I knew she didn’t expect me to hear it so I don’t respond.

Shifting in my seat, I ask instead, “What do I owe the pleasure?”

Mother straightens, behaving as though her earlier slip-up never happened. “I don’t like her.”

I snort, “Do I need to ask who you’re talking about?”

“That Dylan girl,” she said, irritably. “And who the hell names they’re child Dylan anyway. It’s a boy’s name.”

I shrug, “I think it’s cute.”

Mother didn’t like that answer one bit. She narrowed her eyes at me, folding her bony arms over her chest. “Of course you do. You couldn’t take your eyes off of her all night.”

“And wasn’t that the point of your master plan,” I said. “To make her pose as my girlfriend so they wouldn’t be asking question about why she was truly here. Considering tonight was a success I think you should be thanking me. I played the dutiful boyfriend well. I even impressed myself.”

Mother tsk, “You can’t fool me, Enzo. I was there when you were booed off the stage in fifth grade for your terrible acting in Hazel Gretel.”

“That was Malachai,” I reminded her.

“It doesn’t matter. Neither of you could lie to me. You like her.” I didn’t respond and she took that as a verdict. Mother bristled. “I hope you know it would never work between you two. She is not Italian. The Famiglia would never approve of their Capo marrying an outsider... And besides, I already have someone that would make a great wife for you.”

The scotch felt like lead on my tongue. I put it down. “Let me guess... you’re talking about Jasmine?”

“And what’s wrong with her?”

“I’m not interested, that’s what’s wrong,” I say simply.

Mother’s face turns red as she sputters. “She is very beautiful, from a respectable Italian family and she has money. Did I mention she has money?”

“We have money.”

She stands and begins pacing, ignoring me. “You are twenty-eight and unmarried. Your father and I married when he was twenty-two and we had you that same year because that is what the Famiglia expects. You can’t expect to be young and pretty forever, Lorenzo. Sooner or later you’ll have to settle down.”

“And I will, when I feel like it,” I say and mother stops pacing to glare daggers at me.

Her anger does a three-sixty turning to suspicion as she appraises me. “Why is she here, really?”

I sigh, already bored with this conversation. Feels as if we were going in circles. “You know I can’t divulge that kind of information. You know better.” Mother is well accustomed to the rules. She was head of this house for twenty-two years. We never bring our women into Famiglia’s business. It was more for their protection than male pride. Mother never knew what went on during the days my father would be cooped up in his office with foreign men and she never asked because he’d never tell her. My father loved my mother and died protecting her from this part of his life. Too bad he couldn’t protect his sons.

I take another sip of my drink.

“Then are you sleeping with her?” The question caught me off guard.

“You are my mother and I Iove and respect you but you are out of line,” I say firmly, in a tone that said it had no room for argument.

Mother stopped pacing to give me a levelled look but I continued before she can open her mouth again. “You of all people know what running this Famiglia takes. We have enemies at every border waiting to strike at us and I have people depending on me to protect them and their investments. I am sorry if this is not the way you intended it to be, but my priority is this Famiglia. That is what my father always wanted.”

Mother shook her head, her voice strained. “No, mio gioia... that’s not what your father wanted at all...”

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Dylan

Enzo’s words were burned into my conscience. I kept hearing them over and over in my mind. I intend to get well acquainted with your family... real soon.

He wouldn’t hurt them, right?

No, of course not then he’ll have no leverage over me. Then why doesn’t that make me feel better?

I’ve been pacing my room for almost an hour after he left. I can’t sleep knowing that if I don’t cooperate I would be putting my family in harm’s way.

Fearing I’d go out of my mind I leave my bedroom and follow the wall to Emilia’s room.

Finally finding it, I rapped on her door. When I didn’t hear an answer I tried the knob. It opened so I went in. Emilia’s bedroom could fit my entire apartment. The bed was king-sized with pure white, Egyptian cotton sheets. Everything in marble and handcrafted tiles. It all screamed money, much like the rest of the mansion. I sat on her bed, waiting for her.

I needed to talk to somebody, Emilia wouldn’t be my first choice considering we haven’t said a word to eachother since I found her fucking one of Enzo’s men. She’d given me sly looks here and there but we never talked. I have a strange feeling she doesn’t like me very much, or in the least doesn’t trust me.

I don’t blame her, really.

I wouldn’t trust me either.

Just then her bedroom door opens a smidge. I could see Emilia’s dark flowy dress through the opening. Her back is to me and she’s speaking with someone on the other side. I can’t really see his face but his voice is low as shit.

“I don’t want to keep hiding this, il mio fiore. I love you.”

My jaw dropped.

I shouldn’t be listening to this.

Fuck it, I never admitted to being a good person anyway.

“And if you love me you wouldn’t tell anyone. Luca, please, they’ll kill you,” Emilia said.

“You don’t know that,” he countered.

“Yes, I do.”

There’s a pause and then he sighs resigned. “Fine, if that’s what you want, Emilia.”

There’s a long pause and it took me a while to realise they were making out. After a moment, whispered ‘I love you’ s’ were exchanged. The mystery man, who isn’t really a mystery man anymore, leaves.

She steps in, her back still to me. She closes the door and in one quick motion, she spins around a gun aimed right at my head.

My eyes widen.

She was fuming. “What the fuck are you doing in my room?”

“Not eavesdropping, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

She narrows her eyes on me and her finger twitched on the trigger. She wouldn’t shoot me.

Would she?

“You can’t shoot me.”

“That depends,” she says. “How much did you hear?”

I bite my lip, contemplating whether to lie. I shouldn’t. If I want to survive here I need at least one ally. It might as well be her. Nino and Malachai only wants to get into my pants, Vince is a scary little shit and Enzo... is just a no.

I sigh. “All of it. But before you shoot me,” I rush out quickly. “Just know I wouldn’t tell anyone.”

She didn’t look convinced. “Why not? You could use it to blackmail me. For money... to get to Enzo.”

I scoff. “The only thing I want is to get the fuck out of here. But I have a feeling Enzo wouldn’t let me go even if I told him you fucked half the zipcode. So you’re wrong.”

Silence falls between the two of us. She’s just looking at me. I’m looking at her, hoping she doesn’t decide to just kill me and be done with it.

Surprisingly, she drops her aim and places the gun back in the holster on her thigh. She folded her arms over her chest and leans against the door, appraising me. “So, why are you here?”

I shrugged. “I needed to talk.”

“About...”

“I know you have no reason to say otherwise but...” I sigh. “I just wanted to know if your cousin would actually go through and hurt my family if I don’t cooperate. Should I be afraid?”

“Honestly,” she said, dropping down beside me on her bed. “You have nothing to worry about. My cousin can’t stomach hurting innocent people.”

For the first time that night, a weight lifted from my shoulders. Until Emilia opened her mouth again. “But Enzo, on the other hand... it would be best just do what he says.”

Fuck me.

“I thought you said not to worry about him?!”

“Nah, I meant Malachai. Malachai wouldn’t hurt a fly unless he had to. Enzo would fuck you up regardless.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

I fall back on her bed looking up at the blank ceiling. “I’d stay away from Aunt Giana too. She doesn’t seem to like you,” Emilia suggested.

Tell me about it. Enzo’s mother had been glaring at me the entire dinner. “Do you know why she hates me so much?”

Emilia considered the question then bent forward to pry off her heels. “I wouldn’t say she hates you. She just doesn’t trust you with Enzo.” She elaborated when I give her a puzzled look. “Look, Enzo isn’t a munk. He’s fucked his way through his fair share of women and Aunt Giana has been trying to get him to settle down and take a wife for years now. With you here, doing God knows what with her son, you’re only hindering her plans.”

“But we’re not sleeping together.”

Emilia snorted, “Oh please, you two have been eye-fucking eachother all night, it’s going to happen.”

I huff, “No, it’s not.”

“Yes, it is.” She countered. “And it better happen because I betted the guys good money that it will.”

My jaw fell, “You’re not serious...”

All I got in response was a measly wink.

They don’t know what they’re talking about. I don’t and will never fall for Enzo.

And that’s a promise.

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