Ugh! How could I want to shoot someone and fuck them at the same time? It doesn’t make any sense.
After my intense run-in with Enzo this morning I wonder into what could only be described as a man cave.
Music blasted off of speakers I have yet to actually see. A gigantic tv hung from the wall playing Anime porno no one was watching and beer cans were littered all over the floor. It reminded me of a frat house, but instead of hyperactive jocks, there were trigger-happy gangsters in Armani suits.
I leaned against the doorframe watching the boys around the pool table. Nino was pissing about his loss and Vince was casually drinking brandy as he watched them, brooding... like always.
“No, you just suck,” Malachai says chalking his cue.
“I told you, that was just a practice shot!” Nino argues.
“For two rounds,” he guffaws. “If I wasn’t a bad guy, I’d actually feel bad about taking your money.”
Nino flips him off and I decide to make my presence known. Nino sees me first. “Well if it isn’t my favorite girl of the house.”
I cut him off with my hand. “Before you even say it, no, I’m not going to sleep with you.”
Nino frowns as the guys laugh at his expense. “I wasn’t going to ask that.” I give him a deadpanned look and he grinned. “I was thinking it, though.”
I roll my eyes, with a slight laugh. I folded my arms over my chest as I surveyed the table they surrounded. “Are you playing pool?”
Malachai nodded, arranging the balls in the triangle. “You play?”
“No, not really.”
“Do you want me to teach you?” He asks and I shrug. It wouldn’t hurt plus I wasn’t looking forward to finding Emilia after what I saw this morning.
I shivered, banishing the memory from my mind.
I saunter over to him and he hands me the cue. He shows me how to hold it and explains the idea of the game. When it was time to play, I line the cue to the white ball but the stick kept slipping so Malachai bent over me, his chest against my back and his strong arms around me fixing my stance. I’m trying my best to pay attention but all I could think about is... Damn he’s fine.
Nino frowns from beside Vince by the bar. “What treachery is this! You weren’t that friendly teaching me!”
“Maybe if you had tits he would’ve been more generous,” Vince joked as Malachai released me.
I relay what Malachai taught me as I leaned against the pool table earning a whistle at my bent position. “Nice ass, princess.”
That was Nino.
“Soak it up, fuckboy. That’s all the action you’re getting from me in this lifetime.” I sink a ball, barely. It had rolled a couple of inches from the pocket and by a miracle, and when I say miracle I mean the wind, it rolled a little forward and fell in. I grinned victoriously and Malachai applauded me.
“How about a real game?” I asked Malachai whose eyebrows raised in surprise.
“You think you’re ready?”
“What, you scared?” I challenged and he scoffs.
“She sinks one ball and thinks she has the right to challenge the master,” he mutters.
All eyes are on me now. “How much are we betting?”
“Five per ball.”
I snort. “I’m not two, Mal. We’re playing for twenty.”
His eyes widen, ready to decline for my sake but Nino shakes his head in the back. “Give the girl what she wants!”
After a moment Malachai shrugs. “Alright, then. This wouldn’t be the first time I made a girl cry.” He arranges the balls and steps aside when he’s finished. “Ladies first.”
I line up and break the balls but as expected none sinks. Malachai tsks but doesn’t say anything after he catches my glare. He sinks three more and misses the last and then it’s my turn again. “How much would you give me to sink the eight ball,” I ask lining up the cue.
He snorts. “I’d give you two hundred and my liver if you could sink the eight ball.”
“I’ll take that bet.” Then I sink the eight-ball and the room goes quiet. I sink five more times and miss the last one but by then there is only three balls on the table.
I look up to see their jaws on the ground staring at me in shock. I smile, twirling the cue stick in my hand playfully. “So... about that liver.”
Malachai seemed to snap out of his trance first. “Y-You hustled me...” He murmurs, looking between me and the table as if he’s trying to wrap his mind around the fact that little ole’ me whopped his ass.
“But you said you didn’t know how to play,” Malachai said.
“No, you asked if I played not if I knew how to play.” I couldn’t help the grin that spread across my face. “I haven’t played since I was fourteen but I still know a few tricks. Like how to con suckers like you.”
Nino was practically wheezing.
Even Vince seemed to have a smile on his face which was weird considering he was playing with a switchblade in the hand that was not cradling alcohol.
Just then, Enzo saunters in heading for the liquor. Nino is like an over-excited puppy seeing his master as he relays the story to Enzo, who watch me over the rim of his glass.
The burning intensity in his green eyes make my heart pound at the memory of his hot breath on my neck eliciting thoughts that would’ve made my Abuelita dunk me in holy water. He was too sexy for his own good and he knew how to use it well.
I just need to make sure I’m never in the line of fire because I wasn’t going to risk my heart on a man like Enzo Corretti. He’d leave it shattered in a million pieces at my feet and he seemed like the kind of man to ship it back to me in spite.
“Now Malacahi owes Dylan his liver,” Nino finished.
Enzo chuckled huskily and it sent shivers up my spine. “She hustled you?”
“Like a hooker on a slow Wednesday,” Nino says shaking his head, disappointedly.
“Shut up,” Malachai snapped. “You wouldn’t have been much better off, you prick. At least I could play.”
Nino’s grin turned wolfish. “Don’t take your anger out on me, fratello. I’m not the one who betted off my liver. You should’ve known she was slippery when she shot Enzo. The crazy ones always are.”
I wasn’t sure whether it was an insult or a compliment. I’d take it as the latter.
“Is that my boys I hear?” A voice says from the door and to my shock, I see all four boys’ spine get ramrod straight. Even Vince-- the I’ll-chop-off-your-head-even-if-you-look-at-me-wrong-- that Vince, threw his brandy over his shoulder just as a woman appeared at the door.
The woman is the epitome of wealth and grace, neither of which I have.
She was tall and lithe with dark hair flowing all the way to her waiste but it was her eyes that got me. Green. The same striking, vibrant green Enzo and Malachai shared. Her eyes narrow, taking in the messy room. “Is this how you live? in a goddamn pig-sty. Why haven’t either of you called the maids to clean this up? It’s disgusting.”
“They run a mafia but they’re still a mess,” Emilia entered, kicking an empty Cheetos pack away. “I think it’s a boy thing.”
“And being a pain in the ass is a you thing,” Nino snapped.
“Both of you, shut it.” The woman scolded pinching her nose bridge and closing her eyes. “You’re giving me a headache.” Emilia stuck her tongue out at him childishly as Mama Enzo stepped further into the room.
“Mother,” Enzo greeted stoically. “Last I heard you were in Venice.”
“I was until I remembered who I am and what family I belong to.” She walked up to Venice and tapped his cheek. “Pour me a drink would you boy.” He went to it without a word while she continued to address Enzo. “Your grandmother’s birthday is in a couple of days and the public hasn’t seen us together in a while. I figured it would be a perfect opportunity for the family to get together and show a united front.”
Malachai perked up at that. “So we’re throwing a party.”
“No, I’m throwing a party and I’ll be controlling the guest list. And if I see one stripper, Malachai, you and Nino will die.”
“What? What did I do?” Nino said in outraged.
“You’re you,” was all the explanation dear mother gave. Nino rolled his eyes and plopped down on the leather couch across the room.
Their mother looked around the room distastefully before her eyes landed on me. Her eyebrows raised in surprise before narrowing onto Enzo. “What did I say about the help, boy? Have you not learned your lesson?”
Why does everyone think I’m a whore?!
Is it written on my forehead or something?
Enzo didn’t answer, it was Vince who did as he passed the woman her glass of scotch. “She’s working with us on famiglia business.”
She didn’t look convinced. “Like what?” She asks.
Enzo raised his eyebrows. “You know it’s not your place to ask.”
“Humm...” She pursed her lips but didn’t respond. The woman’s gaze drifted towards mine taking me up and down.
Her lips twisted and I knew I didn’t pass whatever assessment she just made. I walked up to her and offered my hand. “Hi, I’m Dylan.”
She looked at my hand in disgust and turned to face her son. My hands fell limply to my sides and I swallow the twang of embarrassment. “If she’s gonna be at the ball, you’ll have to come up with a story as to why she’s here.”
“Why can’t we say she works for us and be done with it? Why do we have to lie?” Emilia asks.
“Because, my dear girl,” the mother said to her niece, “Only two types of women work for the famiglia and those women are only interested in two things; sex and drugs. If you don’t want everyone thinking she’s some slut you brought in from one of your strip clubs, you’ll have to tell them she’s your girlfriend.” She said the last part to Enzo.
Girlfriend, hell no?! That’s never gonna happen.
Surely, Enzo and I would be on the same boat concerning this.
My eyes flit to him and he looks as if he’s actually considering it. The fuck? “I’m not gonna be your fake girlfriend or whatever the fuck you want me to be. I don’t even want to be here!” I almost shriek.
He cocked an eyebrow, his eyes blank but his smirk taunting. “That’s cute. You actually think you have a choice.”