Introduction Part I
Angelo Palladino sat in a chair in the study, reading a book. His spectacles rested on the bridge of his nose as he turned the page. Outside the house, there was a storm. The rain came down hard like wet arrows, bouncing a little once it made an impact with the surface of his fancy cars. Little raindrops formed tear streaks as they trickled down the glass windows. Every now and again, there was faded light coming from outside, indicating there was lightning, followed by the sound of thunder.
“This storm is giving me a headache,” the don muttered as he turned to the next page. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, making him look up. On the couch by the window sat his beloved, Natalia. They exchanged a look of wonder before Don Palladino said, “Come in!”
The door was pushed open and in walked two henchmen. One of them was Vito, and the other was Luis. Drops of water dripped from the hem of their coats as they were drenched from the rain. Don Palladino furrowed his eyebrows when he saw Luis holding a small body in his arms, wrapped in a blue blanket. Little dinosaur designs were scattered around the blanket; Luis was holding a child.
Natalia gasped, “Oh my!”
She quickly stood up, setting her own book down on the couch. Angelo stood slowly, realizing that Luis was holding his grandson. He looked at Vito and asked, “Why do you have my grandchild in your arms? Where is Helena?”
Once he took a good look at Vito, he saw that the man had a bruise and small cuts on the side of his face; the blood mixing in with the rain; Luis did not look any better. He quietly gestured for Luis to step forward with the sleeping child in his arms. Natalia quickly took the infant into her own and cradled him against her chest, checking over his small body for any injuries. She let out a breath of relief when she did not find any.
Angelo nodded to her before turning to Vito, “Well?”
“Your daughter,” Vito said with sorrow in his eyes, “and her husband, my don - we were ambushed on the road. We were on our way back from the cinema. S-Someone deliberately ran their car into ours, running us off the road. Helena did not make it. Enzo was already dying - told me and Luis to take Cristian and run...”
Angelo felt the book fall from his hands and heard it make an impact with the floor. His entire body went completely numb as Natalia let out a gasp followed by a broken wail as she hugged Little Cristian to her shoulder. Angelo closed his eyes and exhaled deeply. He fell back into his chair and placed a hand over his face. He forced the tears back; he knew he had to be strong for the Palladino family. Vito folded his hands behind his back and choked out, ”I’m so sorry, Don Palladino.”
Angelo lifted his face from his hand, eyes filled with anger and a need for sweet revenge. Natalia made her way over to him, kneeling by his knee, the child still in her arms. She rested her head on his lap, sobbing quietly. Angelo placed a comforting hand on her head and looked down at Little Cristian. The boy was unharmed, only with a little scratch on his button nose.
Luis mumbled, “Forgive me for failing to protect your daughter and her husband, my don.”
Angelo glanced up again and said, “The fault is not your own, you did not know someone was coming.”
Vito nodded and stepped forward, “I have memorized the license plate of the bastard that hit us. What can we do to make up for our mistakes?”
Angelo gritted out, “Reach out to our friends in the police force. Give them the license number and have them track down the motherfuckers. From there, we will handle the rest. Once you find those mutts, bring their heads back to me on a silver-fucking-plate!”
”Yes, my don."
Once they left the room, Angelo placed a hand on Cristian’s head, sighing. The little boy’s eyes slowly opened, quickly finding Natalia’s, then Angelo’s. ”Nonna? Nonno?"
Natalia let out a cry, pressing a small kiss to the boy’s hair, “Oh! Oh! Thank God you’re fine, baby! I’m so sorry!"
The boy looked around curiously before asking, “W-Where’s my mommy and daddy? Am I sleeping over again?”
Natalia looked to her husband with teary eyes, not knowing how to answer Cristian’s question. Angelo looked down, brushing some of the wet strands from Cristian’s forehead. Find the ones that killed Helena and Enzo. Find them, find them, find them. Show no mercy. Angelo then said to Cristian, “You are now under our care, Cristian. I will protect you from now on and make you just as strong as your mother.”
When I find those bastards, Angelo thought angrily, I will show no mercy.
This was the way of the House of Palladino.
What goes around comes around.