We were out before the police got there. As soon as we got home, Enzo marched to his office and locked himself in there with the guys without one word to me.
He seemed to know something about the attack and he was deliberately leaving me in the dark. I stared at his dark mahogany office doors, the same doors being guarded by two dudes. Both look like they could floor me into hell if I got too close.
Fed up of sitting on my hands, I squared my shoulders and got too close. I needed to talk to Enzo and if it means getting my ass handed to me by a couple of thugs so be it.
They barely glanced over me as I stood before them. “Hello, criminals. I’m just going to cruise on by. Nothing to see here, gonna have a little talk with the bossman,” I say casually as I try to get past them. But Righty throws out an arm to stop me.
“No one’s allowed in his office,” He said gruffly in that stiff-bodyguard tone.
“Ah, I see. You want me to put in a good word for you, huh? No worries, man. A raise would be coming your way soon all you have to do is let me through.”
He shakes his head and I grit my teeth in frustration, my mind racing with excuses. “Do you even know who I am?” I’m grasping at straws here. He raises an eyebrow. “I’m Giovanna Gallagher. Heiress of the Gallagher fortune... I’m Enzo’s future-fucking-wife and if you don’t let me in, I’ll have you out of your job faster than you could say ‘Oh Shit!’”
Righty shared a look with Lefty then turned back to me with a mocking smirk. “Nice to meet you, Giovanna. But you’re still not getting in.”
I narrowed my eyes at the two idiots. “Fine. I didn’t want it to come to this but...” I threw my knee upwards and smirked as it connected with his groin. He went down in a breathy groan and before Lefty could react I threw my elbow out, satisfied when I heard the blunt crack of his nose.
Without further ado, I bolted through the door.
The room went quiet as I scrambled in, the boys spinning around to look at me, with a mixture of surprise, curiosity, and annoyance (That last one was all Enzo).
He looked at me then at the guards falling into the room, blood running down one’s nose and the other walking like his dick was limp. “What the hell is going on?” Enzo asked evenly.
“I wasn’t asking you,” Enzo says cutting off Righty. His piercing gaze connected with mine and I took it head-on, batting my eyelashes innocently. “What did you do to my men, Dylan?”
“It’s Giovanna now actually.” I winked at the guards who sneered at me. “I needed to talk to you and these fools wouldn’t let me in... I had to do something.”
“She kicked me in the dick and broke his nose,” Lefty argued but clamp his jaw shut when Nino threw him a warning look.
“Get out,” Enzo ordered the two, who’d turned pale as a ghost. “Find someone else to take your post by the door. Your incompetence would be dealt with later.”
They nodded robotically and left.
I almost felt sorry for them... for like two seconds and then I shrugged and plopped down in an empty seat. Getting comfortable, I throw my feet on the table and appraised them. Enzo and Vince were glaring at me, the other two were trying to see through my clothes. Typical.
“We need to talk.”
“We already established that when you assaulted my men,” Enzo drawled. He reached over and shoved my feet off his desk. “What do you want, Dylan?”
“I want to know what happened at the ceremony. And I want the truth.”
“Did I stutter? This is a matter of the Famiglia.”
“Are you kidding me?” I flew up from my seat. “I was shot at! The hell it doesn’t concern me! I deserve to know who tried to end my life and for what.” I jabbed a finger in his face with every word. “And don’t forget mister, I saved your ass back there.”
His jaw ticked and at a speed, I didn’t even see, my finger was in his hold. “I didn’t need your help,” he gritted out.
“But I gave it to you anyway.” He threw my hand away as if I burned him. I focused on the anger instead as I got up in his face. “Now don’t be a douche and tell me what’s going on.”
It was a while before he answered and I was about to lose my shit again and force him (somehow) to tell me... but before I could open my mouth he started, “It was retaliation,” his knuckles whitened as he gripped the desk, though his face was as stoic as ever. “They were aiming for me initially. They’re pissed I killed Miguel at the factory.”
My eyebrow jumped. “Los Toros? They were the ones who fired at you.” I shook my head. “It can’t be they’re a small cartel they wouldn’t make a mistake of pissing off the big leagues. They don’t have the resources or the people to go to war as far as I know.”
The boy’s back straightened and Enzo’s eyes narrowed. “And how do you know?”
Shit, I said too much.
I coughed, “Ah, well, as you said I grew up in the Los Toros neighborhood. I know a lot about them. You needed to, to survive in the ghetto.”
Enzo gave me one last lingering look before he accepted my answer and I let out a breath of relief.
“It’s the new Don. He’s changing shit up. Los Toros has been thriving for the past two years.”
I gasp lightly. Where the fuck was I? How did I not know about this new guy? “Who is he?”
Nino fingered the skull ring on his finger, “They call him Don X. He’s practically a fucking ghost. None of our people could get anything on him. He just fucking showed up.”
“If we had Cypher we would’ve had shit on him the moment he popped up,” Vince said, a dark glimmer in his eyes when ours connected. He looked like he was ready to eat me alive. “Where is Cypher, Dylan?”
My eyes narrowed. He’s trying to pin the attack on me. If they had Cypher, none of this would’ve happened and because I’m withholding the hacker from them, it’s my fault.
“Vince,” Enzo warned.
Vince dragged his gaze from me to his boss. “I’m just asking Dylan why we haven’t seen any results yet?”
All eyes pinned to me and I smooth my mask in place as I matched his glare. “Cypher has been evading the authorities and men like you for years,” I tell him calmly. “He won’t give up his freedom and come work for you because I asked nicely. A job like this takes patience, why don’t you get some?”
Nino and Malachai snickered and when Vince scowled at them they clamped their jaw shut.
I face Enzo and saw that he was already watching me, a tiny smile in his eyes and his eyes glimmering with... pride? No, it can’t be?
“So, the Los Toros Cartel...” I say, getting the conversation back on course. “What are you going to do about them?”
I took a hesitant step back at the sheer venom in Enzo’s eyes. “Get even.”
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
It was late at night when Emilia snuck into my room. I was at the edge of my bed, my shirt raised looking at the bullet wound on my side. I’d almost forgotten about it with today’s excitement.
I pulled my shirt down to cover it when she poked her head in.
“Enzo sent me to help you clean that cut you failed to hide from me.” She came in with a first-aid kit and settled on the bed beside me.
She gave me a look when I didn’t make a move to raise my shirt. I sighed and slowly pried it off my body. I saw her eyes linger on my bare torso but she turned away, whipping out bandages and petroleum jelly.
“Hydrogen peroxide slows healing,” she informed me when I raised an eyebrow at the Petroleum jelly.
“I guess living in a house with those psychos, you’re an expert when it comes to this sort of thing.” I winced as her fingers connected with the wound.
“You could say that,” She says. “Nino was a bit trigger happy when he first learned to shoot. He accidentally shot Vince in his leg once or twice. Dad didn’t want to go to the hospital. This was when we first moved into New York, we weren’t well establish like we are now and going to the hospital with two bullet wounds on a nine-year-old tends to draw attention. We didn’t need that at the time so my mom and I did it. She was a nurse before she married my father and joined the Famiglia.”
“Why did she stop? Being a nurse I mean,” I asked her. Once my wound was clean she rubbed the jelly on it. I winced as the coldness touched my skin.
“She loved her job and she kept at it but the Corretti’s have many enemies and every one of them wants to see us fall. People started recognizing her from the press and with her last name. She wasn’t safe anymore so she quit. But she wasn’t as saddened by it as you might think, in fact, a few months after... she had Sofia, then Nino and me, and soon after Nera and Greta. She quit her job to give the best for a family, I think that’s how she saw it.” There was so much love and admiration in her voice when she spoke about her mother and I felt a soft pang in my chest. Jealousy, maybe?
“Anyway, sometimes to be with the person you love you have to make sacrifices for the better or worse.” I don’t think we were talking about her parents anymore.
She finished bandaging me up and I noted the closed-off look in her eyes. She was done sharing and I didn’t have the need to get shoot again for prying. So when she gathered her stuff and made it for the door, I let her.