Emilia guides me through the maze of hallways and she never once bothers to look up from her phone. I stare at it longingly. Natalie is probably worried about me and Marianna... I was supposed to pick up my bridesmaid’s dress from the store. Shit. She was going to kill me.
Not if this family doesn’t kill you first, my conscience says.
Truer words have never been spoken.
I’ve been missing for probably a day... can’t be sure, the drugs they knocked me out with to get me here, had my mind still a little foggy.
“Can I borrow your phone?” I asked. She looks up at me and after a while, shakes her head.
“He said don’t let you near any mobile devices yet.”
“When did he say that?”
She showed me her phone and right there a text said ‘Don’t let her near any mobile devices.’
She guided me into a massive room. It had a four-poster bed in the center with a flat-screen tv right across from it. Double doors that lead to a closet and another door that lead to a bathroom. The room was empty. There were no pictures, no clothes on the floor. It was just plain. “Whose room is this?” I asked her.
“Yours,” she said and my jaw dropped but I quickly clenched my jaw. I didn’t want her to see me impressed with any of this because I wasn’t and I would never be okay with these barbarians kidnapping me.
“Okay...” Emilia sighed dropping herself on the bed. “First order of business. We have a whole Squad of Beauticians on their way over to fix you.”
“Fix me?” Does this bitch want to get punched in her throat? “I am fine just the way I am, thank you very much.”
“Yeah, you’re fine...” She says. “But fine doesn’t cut it here. You’ll be staying with us. That means wherever we go, you go and with that, all eyes will be on you too. The Coretti’s have an image to uphold and you’re not going to fuck it up with your chipped nails and bushy eyebrows.”
I’m starting to think this whole family is just a bunch of assholes.
Before I knew it, about six people were piling into the room, both male and female. I stared wide-eyed at them. What the hell?
“Dylan, meet my favorite people in the world. Guys, meet your biggest challenge yet.” I glared at her for the last part.
One of the men sighed a skinny man with whitish-blonde hair, wearing spandex. “We’re going to need everything with this one.”
In times like this, I really wish I had my gun.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Sandor places my dinner in front of me at the head of the table. I typed idly on my phone not paying much attention to the conversation around me. Malachai sits to my right, Vince to my left, and Nino beside him. If the rest of our family were here, my aunts and uncles would fan out after Nino.
The dining table showed the hierarchy of this family, and I sat at the head being the Capo.
When my father was the Capo, he sat in my place, my mother at his right, I was at his left(being the heir), Malachai sat beside my mother.
My uncles, aunts, and cousins under him. Everyone in the family knew their place and we only ever shifted seats if there was a death in the family, someone was banished or absent like half of my family is now.
I took a sip of my wine only catching snippets of Malachai and Nino’s animated debate on which of the servants gave a better blowjob.
I was about to cut their conversation short when suddenly Emilia and Dylan flounced into the room. My breath got stuck in my throat.
Whatever they did to Dylan... She was gorgeous before but now... she was a whole other person.
The first thing I realized was she’d gotten bangs. It framed her heart-shaped face and made her look like the innocent barbie doll her reputation showed her to be. But I knew that was far from the truth. She was a loudmouth, crude little bitch... but she was a fucking wet dream, that I can admit.
She stood at the door to the dining room in a black glittery dress, that clung to her figure. And excuse me if I say she had the best ass in New York. Her hair came down in soft curls all the way to her slim waist and my mind clouded with thoughts of my hands fisted in her hair as I pounded into her sweet...
Not a good time for a hard-on. I’m with my family for fuck’s sake.
She looks over everyone in the room with cold indifference. Her eyes lingered on me only to glare and I winked at her over the rim of my glass. She looks away, missing the grin on my lips.
Getting under her skin was too easy.
Malachai took in Dylan, lingering on her chest that was on full display through the low neckline of the dress. He was lapping like a dog at the sight of her, Nino wearing a similar expression. The only person who wasn’t outright drooling was Vince, even though he was attracted to her he barely cocked an eyebrow when she showed up.
Nino whistled lowly, “Have mercy...”
I glare at him. I could already see the wheels turning in his head, ideas on just how and where he was planning to bed Dylan. Over my dead body that’ll happen. “Don’t even think about it,” I warned.
“You want her for yourself, don’t you?” Nino grinned. “Too late, cuz. I already called dibs.”
“—Can hear you,” Dylan says cutting off whatever I was going to add. “And she doesn’t appreciate being treated like a toy.”
A corner of my lips twitches up. There’s that fire I was starting to miss. Apparently being turned into Emilia’s project didn’t dissipate the venom in her tongue. She’s still the hot head that shot me in that shoebox you call an apartment.
Speaking of being shot. I’ll have to remind myself to pay her back for that. I hadn’t expected it. Neither had my men. When I saw her come in with that gun I’d assume it was for a prop, to scare us off, little did I know the bitch knew how to use it and she was a damn good shot too.
If I hadn’t seen her finger twitch on the gun before she pulled the trigger I would’ve been dead. A bullet straight through my heart.
I’ve read her file front to back and yet, I wasn’t prepared for her.
For her tongue, her fire, her beauty... anything. As annoying as she is, there is something about her that I can’t shake.
“So what you’re saying is...” Nino said slowly like he’s trying to wrap his mind around something. “No sex?”
Emilia smacks him upside the head and he curses.
Dylan rolls her eyes and walks to a seat a couple of placings away from us when suddenly, Sandor appears once more and my back straightens instinctively. “Yes?”
“Mr. Scuderi is here per your request, Mr. Coretti,” Sandor informs me. I feel Dylan’s eyes boring into the side of my face.
“Send him in,” I ordered and Sandor disappeared again. The table was silent the minute it took for them to arrive.
Governor Scuderi was a short, stubby man who constantly smelt like apple cider and had more chest hair than a yeti. You could see it peeking out of his white button-up shirt. I put down my wine, it went sour on my tongue with that thought.
The Governor greeted everyone with a coffee-stained smile but I didn’t miss the sweat on his temple and the way his hand clench and unclench at his sides. He was nervous.
Good. Then I wouldn’t have to do a lot of talking.
“Mr. Coretti, it’s a pleasure to be invited to your home and with your lovely family.”
I scoffed. “Lovely isn’t a word I would use. Sit,” I ordered, and like the good little rat he is, he plopped into a chair across Dylan.
His eyes lingered on her a little longer than I appreciated and I got the sudden urge to kill something... Him to be exact, which is weird. The thought is rash and reckless and nothing like me.
I shake off the odd feeling and focus on the guest. The sweaty, disgusting, bastard of a guest.
Sandor comes in with another placing in front of Scuderi. He looks around the large dining room, taking in the large half a million chandelier hanging above our heads. He whistled appreciatively, “Nice place you got here, Sir. It’s—”
“Cut the crap, Scuderi. If I wanted to get my ass kissed I would’ve thrown money at you.” The man clamped his jaw shut. “So how are my drugs treating you?”
He stiffened and if I didn’t know any better I’d say he was squirting out more liquid he was putting in and his face was three shades of pink. This is the face of a liar, a cheat, a man who’s been caught red-handed and he knows it.
But what he also knows is that I have the power to ruin his life and I didn’t even have to get out of my seat to do it.
You’d think they’d know better than to pull something on you when you hold this much power over their heads. But no, there’s always someone who thinks they can run your shit better than you.
“Pardon me, Mr. Coretti. But what drugs?”
I almost rolled my eyes. “You’re old, Mr. Scuderi but not ancient. I hope you didn’t forget the 20k worth of drugs you huffed from my factory. Because if somehow you’ve garnered amnesia in the two hours we’ve separated then I hope you wouldn’t oppose to me jogging your memory.” My eyes glinted. “A little blunt force trauma seems to always do the trick. Would you like to find out?”
Scuderi went from red to corpse pale in a matter of seconds. A new record I believe. He shook his head like his life depended on it. “No, no need. I-I remember...”
“Ahh! So you remember stealing from me.” The look in my eyes could’ve put a bullet in his head but I reel it in and settled an indifferent stare on him.
He sunk deeper into his seat. Pathetic excuse of a man. How I decided to make him governor was beyond me. Oh no, wait. I remember now.
A dirty lawyer, loyal to the bone and easily manipulated. He seemed like a good match. An easy way I could get my assets in and out of the country without problems. While he pranced around my kingdom pretending to be king, I got shit done in the shadows, building and sculpting an empire. Scuderi knew he was replaceable. That’s why he always played safe with me... Until now.
“Why?” I asked, impassively and before he could stammer out a pathetic excuse I held up a hand and he stilled. “No, I know why. You’re bankrupt, losing everything. Your house, your wife. Who by the way is fucking the slum, Ricardo.” I snort. “She could do better but that’s none of my business.”
Dylan was leaning on the edge of her seat, drinking in every word.
Nino didn’t have a care in the world, eating his dinner like it was his last.
Malachai and the rest looked from Scuderi to me with uninterested eyes. They knew what was about to happen and they couldn’t care less. This was an ordinary Saturday Night.
I swirled the red wine in the glass, my movements calculative, giving the illusion of control. Not illusion—I am in control. “You owe a lot of dangerous people money. So you decided to cut my product for a quick buck,” I continued. “Now because of you I’m down supplies and people are asking questions they’re not supposed to be asking. You see my problem here, don’t you?”
I looked up at Scuderi. He was shaking like a leaf in Autumn and I smiled like a maniac. Maybe I liked this too much, bringing men down on their knees and Scuderi was involuntarily feeding my vice. “I-I’m sorry but my family— I had to—”
“I don’t give a fuck about your sorry. You made a mistake and your mistake is costing me.”
A minute passes by with Scuderi silent as an empty grave. Then something close to resolve passes over him and his back straightens. I cock an eyebrow. This would be interesting.
“You can’t hurt me.” He says firmly. “I’m the Governor. People would be asking questions. I’m the Governor for fuck’s sakes.”
I laughed, dryly. I saw Scuderi flinch. “Are you forgetting I got you your seat? I put you there because it benefitted me... for a while at least. I own you, not the other way around. Nino, I’m done here.”
Nino paused from wolfing down his food, rolled his eyes at me, and before Scuderi could blink, Nino was behind him, swinging a coil around his neck. Scuderi went from red to purple as he flailed and fought against Nino but he only pulled tighter.
When the fighting stopped and Scuderi’s head flopped over into his mushroom risotto, Nino slides back into his seat and continues his dinner unruffled.
He was dead.
I’d probably have my men pin the crime on Ricardo, he was becoming a pain... and everyone knows he has a penchant for strangling his victims. Or maybe I’d make it look like a gang murder.
Scuderi did have a lot of enemies, he’s the reason some of the gangs were missing members in the county jail.
I shrug, I’d leave it to Malachai to decide, his job was to clean up the messes anyway.
I looked down the table just remembering Dylan was here.
I expected horror, disbelief... something, but what I saw wasn’t anything close to that.
She barely spared the body a glance, eating her dinner undisturbed. Only a second after, she looked up and leaned over the table. “Excuse me,” she said to dead Scuderi, shoved his hand away, grabbed the salt, and went on as if it was a normal Sunday evening.
I sat back. Who is this girl?
Anybody else would’ve run out of the room screaming.
Why was she different?
She caught me watching her and raised a middle finger.
I thought this was going to be easy, but she is proving to be everything but.