21. The Power behind the throne
I followed Vincent to the study...his study. It used to be mine. I was the one who had commissioned this yacht. It had been built to my own specifications. I rarely used it now. I had passed it over to Vincent when I passed over the villa and the title.
I was beginning to regret that decision. Seeing that little girl with bruises to her face and body. She was the spitting image of her mother, Amelia. If things had turned out differently she could have been my grand-daughter. Amelia had been like a daughter to me. I think I was more upset when she left, than when that coward of a son of mine left.
Now Vincent had a child on my yacht, who hadn’t even finished school. Barely dressed and looking like a cheap whore. He was old enough to be her father. Had it not been for the fact that I knew he and Amelia broke it off before becoming too intimate, I may have even suspected that he was her father.
As we walked into the study I looked pointedly at the two leather sofa’s. Vincent looked at the large leather chair behind the desk and hesitated, but the look on my face told him I wasn’t in the mood for a power struggle. He may be the Don as far as the business was concerned, but I was still head of the family. This wasn’t business, this was a family matter.
I leant on the edge of the desk, and folded my arms.
“Talk!” I growled.
Vincent sighed, “its complicated.”
I rolled my eyes, “even at full speed it will take us a week to reach Antigua, we have plenty of time. Now tell me why you have a child on my yacht that’s dressed like one of your cheap whores, and explain to me why Amelia is dead!”
Vincent ran his fingers through his hair.
“Her piece of shit husband was drunk and high so he couldn’t get her to hospital. There were complications, she died giving birth.”
I watch the expression on Vincent’s face change, from sadness at the memory of Amelia dying to anger.
“Rosie’s waste of space father, and my filthy perverted brother...Your son, tried to set me up. Michael Ryan murdered some drug dealing, human trafficker scumbag. Daniel set it up, to make it look like it was my idea.”
I narrowed my eyes and glared at him.
“And what does little Rosie Ryan have to do with all that?” I hissed.
He stood up, his arms folded across his chest.
“I needed some leverage. I also needed to get her away from Daniel.”
I watched as he walked across to the desk. He opened a drawer, and pulled out a Manilla folder.
“Your son is fucking pervert. He’s been grooming Rosie since she was a child. She’s not the only one, but she was his main target.”
I opened the file. What I read made me sick to the stomach. I had disowned Daniel years ago. I only let him live because Vincent had begged me.
Now I wished I had killed him, like the piece of shit he was.
“Michael Ryan realised this when Rosie was around twelve or thirteen. Then when he realised he was in the frame for a murder wrap, he told her if anything happened to go find her Uncle Daniel,” Vincent hissed.
I closed the file and chucked it on the desk.
“That doesn’t explain why she is covered in bruises and dressed like a whore.” I growled.
I watched as Vincent ran his fingers through his hair. A nervous tic he had picked up when he was younger.
“I want her. She’s mine. She’s my second chance. I fucked up with Amelia all those years ago. I’ve saved her from Daniel. I couldn’t save Amelia, but I can save her. I’m never going to let her go,” Vincent growled.
I rolled my eyes
“Can you hear yourself. You think you can make her love you. You think violence is the answer? Doing what your doing make you no better than your brother.”
I looked over at Christian, “and you. You went along with him. You think I’ll let my daughter marry you after this? You think when she finds out she’ll want to marry you?” I growled.
I watched as Vincent pulled another file from the drawer.
“We didn’t hit her, we’ve never laid a finger on her. Daniel still had contacts, he roughed her up, hoping he could blame me for it.”
He tossed the file on the desk.
“She tried to run, so I’ve made arrangements. She wont ever run from me again,” Vincent growled.
I opened the folder. I looked at the piece of paper and laughed.
“You think I can't change this. You think that I don’t have any power anymore.”
Vincent frowned, “its a legal document, I’m her guardian now. If she runs the police will just bring her back to me.”
I rolled my eyes.
“I thought you were a little more intelligent than this.”
I pulled my phone out of my pocket and made a call.
“Jack? It’s Armando. I’m not disturbing you am I? I need to call in a couple of favours.”
Vincent stood there open mouthed. Judge Jack Mason had been my friend long before he became a judge. If my son wanted to ask for favours from a judge, he would have been better off finding his own contact rather than using one of mine.
“What is it you need, Armando?” My good friend asked.
“Firstly I need you to change the paper work for Rosie Ryan. Change her guardian from my son, to me. Secondly I need you to be judging the Michael Ryan and Daniel Marchesi cases when they come to court.”
I heard him hum at the other end of the line.
“The first thing shouldn’t be a problem, the second might be a bit tricky. I’ll see what I can do, call in a few favours.”
I smiled, “there’s one last thing...Its been a while, why don’t you and Eleanor come out to Gianna’s wedding this weekend. I’ll send you tickets and I’m sure we can manage a couple of rounds of golf, What do you say?”
I heard him chuckle, “Sure, why not.”
“Good,” I replied, “and Jack, if you do this for me, there’s a villa in Tuscany with your name on it. Its about time you retired. Go out on a high. Give those two low-life’s the ending they deserve.”
We said our goodbyes and hung up.
Vincent glared at me.
“You can't do this. She’s mine.”
I put my phone in my pocket, and stood up.
I was still a head taller than him.
“Vincent, I can and I have. She’s a child. When she becomes a woman it will be her decision. Until then she needs protecting. From her father, from Daniel and ultimately from you.”
I watched as he clenched his fists. He was angry, I knew that, but he still had to know his place.
“I put you in charge of the family business. Don’t think I won’t take it back. All those men who work for you, they worked for me first, Vincent,” I threatened.
I watched as his fists unclenched.
“What are you going to do?” he hissed.
Before I got a chance to answer him, the door of the study burst open.
Gianna walked through the door dragging Rosie behind her.
I glanced over at her. Rosie looked like a deer caught in the headlights. I was glad that she was wearing something more respectable, even if it was a uniform which the waitress’s usually wore.
Gianna glared at her brother, then at Christian.
“You bastards...how could you?” She screamed, as she released Rosie’s hand.
Christian stood up.
“Gianna...Baby...” he began.
“Don’t you baby me, you little shit,” she hissed.
I walked over and put my hand on Gianna’s shoulder. She was just like her mother. Fiery.
“Gianna, sweetheart. Calm down. I have everything under control,” I urged.
She stopped screaming.
“Papa, they kidnapped her. Then when she tried to escape Christian had her put in the trunk of a car, then put her in the cells at the villa.”
She turned to glare at the two men.
I wrapped my arms around her.
“Sshh Gianna. Everything is going to be fine. You just need to work this out with Christian.”
I pushed her gently towards him.
“You need to make this right Christian. Go talk to your fiancée.”
Christian looked at me and nodded, as he and Gianna walked out.
“Vincent, go and calm down, we’ll talk later.”
He glared at me, then glared at Rosie, before storming out the room.
I held out my hand to Rosie.
“Come here, piccolina. Everything is going to be ok,” I soothed.
She glanced back at the door, which Vincent had just slammed shut.
“He...He’s angry, isn’t he?” She stuttered.
I smiled, and beckoned to her with my finger.
“He is, but he’ll get over it. Now you and I need to have a little chat.”