• 4 •
“Now that was good,” I nodded to myself, pleased, as Macaroni’s eyes rolled back in his head. I sincerely hoped that he got a good view of his empty brain before dropping dead.
I was tempted to draw out my favourite knife and carve my signature style, as I do to all who I kill. An X carved on the face. Staring from the middle of the eye, going down till the jawlines. A creative touch.
It always spices up the news, if they ever find the body, that is. It’s exhilarating knowing that everyone has heard of the mysterious X, and yet none of them know how right under their noses I was hidden.
After all, the President of the States was under my father’s control.
My personal touch to the regular mouse and cat game, really.
I leave a trail of bodies behind too, when I’m in the mood for a game.
Some of the smart nuts of the underworld manage to piece me up— the mysterious X signature and ‘Xena,’ the first female heiress to the Mafia.
Like whoever sent Parker after me. And the five others before that.
Heck, I’ve heard my own share of rumours about my own self. That’s the fun part about it all. You get to know so many new things about yourself that you never really knew.
Tucking the Glock primly in my bra, I smiled at the unsurprised, but cautious looks thrown my way. Unsurprised? They know how much I love to make my entries, especially in a gathering.
Leaves a lasting impression to think of me by. Cautious? Hoping that they weren’t next.
“Now for the reason you’ve all been summoned.” My father called out tersely, pulling out a gun.
Turning to my father, I rose a brow at his unreadable expression. I know better than to expect an actual conversation here, but what the fuck was going on?
Picking a glass of champagne from a serving tray, I took my usual seat beside my father’s, who sat at the head of the table. The rest of the seats of the roundtable were filled up soon enough, each member sitting according to their power of status, starting with the Underboss, going down till the Associates.
Usually, all meetings of the Inner Circle took place in one of my many clubs. But, as my eyes narrowed on the .357 revolver and the glances I was receiving, I was very sure that something was up, and I was left out of it.
There was a grand total of two times where I was scared of my father. The first time was right after my mother’s death. I was eight when I first saw my father kill seven people with his bare hands.
The second and final time was sometime around that time, too. Instead, it was my head behind the barrel of his shotgun, with three harsh words spoken.
Make your choice.
To either choose the Family, or be against them.
No one went against the Family. I wouldn’t have lasted a minute before my own father stopped my heart.
So, yes, I chose the chaos.
I chose the chaos and turned it my home.
I lived in chaos, I breathed in chaos.
I surrendered to the chaos.
And in a few years, I was the chaos.
Breaking out of my reverie, I looked at the revolver that now sat in front of me. Making my face look as bored as possible, I raised a callous brow at my father.
“A new gun for my collection?” My voice came out cold, with the various emotions I was trying to suppress.
The stoic Don met my gaze levelly. “A gun to destroy the Cosa Nostra with.”
The champagne flute froze midway as I forgot how to exhale. I sharply looked at him. “You want me to destroy the Cosa Nostra?”
There were three main Mafia’s in the underworld, each having Five Families under them. Or they used to.
The Vetrov’s— The Russian Family. The Bratva’s heir/Pakhan was rumoured to be ruthless, for having no moral compass.
The Italian Cosa Nostra. They were buried in secrets. But the most common rumour that revolved around them was that the Five Families still existed.
Five Mob Bosses. Under one Godfather.
And the Alexai’s. Us.
Living a luxurious life of secrecy and mysteriousness. Blending in the day, making people bleed by night.
Sadism isn’t an art. It’s an emotion.
Then there were petty street gangs and good for nothing MC’s, who did stupid shit and put the blame on crime families. Yes, ‘Lightning’ or ‘Thunder’ or whatever their cool cover names were, spraying stick figures having wild sex on street walls is our therapy— our one true passion.
“They have the Five Families. We barely have one! Is this even smart?” I pointed out the obvious.
My father raised a brow. “Are you questioning the knowledge of our Consigliere?” His words were light, but the meaning behind it wasn’t.
If there’s an opportunity, there’s a fucking Mafia close behind. Together. Blood in, blood out.
“Of course not,” I lied, straight through my teeth. My hands clenched into fists beneath the table.
The Don’s mind was made. The stakes were higher than ever. This was happening.
The rest of the meeting was a blur. When it was all over with, wine was poured and the talking in groups started.
My eyes met Caleb’s, across the table, and a meaningful glance passed between us.
Tomorrow. We were going to have a talk.
"A bottle of your finest red wine," I said, giving a look to the hot bartender.
Giving me a cheeky grin, he winked. "Of course." He returned my interested gaze with the same vigour, roaming down my attire.
"That would be all." My eyes twinkled with amusement and something much darker. More feral.
"I'll be right back." He promised, brushing his wrist against mine.
Drinking him in, my hands left my side, down to the inside of my thigh where my favourite knife was strapped. Pulling it out with a gentle tug I placed it on the table.
"Will you, really?" I murmured lowly, tracing the carving on the silver.
His eyes darkened visibly, a vicious grin residing on his face. "You bet."
What a naive, lust ridden fool, I sighed, watching him grab my drink.
My eyes went around the dim-lit room, from my place in the VIP box, taking in the grinding bodies. How I would love to grind away my stress.
But I wasn't here for leisure. I was here for business.
Another fine day ruined by responsibility.
My eyes went down to my watch, glaring at the ticking needle.
He was late. I hated latecomers.
A laptop was shoved roughly onto the table.
"27 seconds late. What a surprise." I noted without looking up.
"My apologies, Xena." The newcomer cut in smoothly, taking the seat opposite to mine.
I studied him from my place, as he did to me. His eyes took in the knife right next to me, yet his face did not change.
Caleb was the best hacker I knew. Wanted in fourteen states of the United States, he had more than 20 fake IDs. That must mean he’s doing something good. Or in this case, illegal.
Sharpening my nails leisurely with the knife, I looked at him sharply. “The conversation that we are about to have is strictly confidential. If I get to know that you opened your mouth to anyone, Caleb—“
“I’ve never betrayed your trust before, Xena, and I don’t plan on doing it now.” His liquid green eyes were pure and honest. A twinkle entered his eye, replacing the solemnity. “Besides, I quite like my head the way it is. Not sliced up gruesomely in some platter.”
I rolled my eyes, dropping my knife on the counter. Trust him to make light of every situation.