Chapter 1 – Honey over vinegar
“It’s a pleasure to be here Don Antonio. My sons and I say thank you.”
“No need for thanks Rafael, it’s a business meeting.”
“Of course. I must say, Don, you have beautiful children.” The brown eyes of Rafael glanced over the three boys and two girls who were all in the room; and he would say he would be honored to be connected to such a family. His eyes stayed on the three boys, trying to figure out who Angel was though. No one really knew who he was, they hadn’t seen his face but the word on the street was that he was sharp and tough and ready to take over being the Don when Antonio retired.
“Thank you Rafael.”
“May I inquire which son is Angel though?” All eyes of the children turned to their dad who smirked; after all, that was a common thought among people.
“Angel, please come here.” A 5’6, brown hair, golden eye female stepped up next to the gentleman behind the desk and both father and daughter turned their attention to Rafael, sitting across the way from them. “Angel is short for Angelina,” Antonio answered the question burning in Rafael’s eyes, which he kept glancing between the two people, a situation she was quite used to seeing.
When Angel was born first, she never lacked love from both of her parents. She may not have been the boy he wanted, but Antonio doted on her, granted she was never spoiled, in fact, none of the children really were; except, maybe Rosa, but she was the baby, which meant it was a given she was slightly spoiled. And growing up, Angel knew she would have to be braver and stronger than her brothers, but she never thought she would be made Don; she was a female after all. So, she trained thinking that the eldest son, Ricardo or Ric to the siblings, would make her the second in command.
That was until Angel turned 16 and her father brought her into the office and told her that her training would be starting for the roll of the head of the families. She questioned it, but her father had smiled and said that he never had any intention to make Ric the Don, that female or not, he felt Angel was more suited for the role. Her strength came out stronger than some of his men; he would be a fool to choose anyone but her. But, for fear of everyone under estimating it, he hadn’t shown who Angel was or that she was a female; let them be scared of the name before the voice, and they were, there was no doubt of that. Angel’s sweet face gave nothing anyway of the cunning mind nor the ruthless nature.
“My apologies, Don, for staring but it’s just a shock.” Antonio smiled at his daughter who waved her hand and finally spoke, her sweet sing song voice betraying the monster that she was.
“Do not worry Rafael, you are not the first and won’t be the last.” He dipped his head slightly and Angel grabbed the folder, laying it before Rafael. “You need more protection and we need your business skills, for that’s the next branch we are looking into. This marriage contract would be between Rosa and your eldest son, Damian Russo.” She paused as she felt his eyes on her.
“Pardon, Angel, but as the first born, wouldn’t you be the first choice?”
“Rosa is the beauty and shining star in our family. She would make for a most gorgeous and smart wife.” Rafael frowned but Angel shook her head. “Don’t worry Rafael, my father, my sister and I have all discussed this, and as long as you are okay, we have no problem.”
“Good. There are some fine details in there so please read through it, and when you, and your son, are ready, we can sign it.”
“Of course, I will see him tonight and should be able to call you tomorrow morning.”
“Thank you Rafael.” She offered him a smile and he almost forgot how ruthless she could be. That age old expression of catching bees with honey over vinegar sure applied to this position. The men stood up, buttoned their jackets and left.
“This isn’t right Angel, you should be getting married before me, and you are just as beautiful.” Angel’s eyes looked at her sister in the bathroom mirror and took in her flawless features. Rosa was a stunning beauty, with her light brown hair and jade eyes, Angel never fault her that. She knew that standing next to her sister, she was nothing compared to her, she could barely be labeled pretty, and that was before the accident.
Three years ago, some dumb asshole tired to take Rosa when she and Angel were at the mall. Angel quickly saw and chased the guy, throwing him to the ground, but he was fast with his knife and managed to scar her face from right below her left eye down to her chin, and that easily took away from her beauty. She also had one that ran down her arm, one over her hip and got her first bullet wound from him. She would sacrifice it all over again, if that meant her stunning sister never had to suffer from something like that.
Angel cleared her throat and looked from her sister’s features that she got from their mom to the golden eyes she had, the only one unique and stunning feature she had. She wasn’t quite a petite woman, even for all her working out; she loved her desserts and her liquor, and had a hell of time keeping it off. Not that it ever slowed her down or anything. But when compared to the many stunning women within the families, she was smart enough to know she would always be chosen last. She also had no doubt in her mind that she herself would probably have some type of arranged marriage. But this deal was too important to the family, and she knew Damien would never go for the looks of her.