23. Memories Resurface
Having someone knock on my door seemed a little strange. Not even when I was at home with dad had he knocked on my door before coming in. Having said that the door was always open, and there was no lock.
Vincent had never knocked. After all it was his bedroom back at the villa, and I was his prisoner no matter what sort of slant you tried to put on it.
Now it felt different somehow. I was Armando Marchesi’s guest. I suppose you could say nothing had really changed, except I felt that it had. I chose what I could wear. Choose what time I got up. I did wonder how far those choices would go. I knew he wouldn’t let me return home. Andrew had been right. There was nothing there for me now. The thought that my dad had known what Daniel was, yet he was still prepared to leave me with him, made me feel sick. I wasn’t too sure what I felt about Vincent. He’d kidnapped me, but then he’d saved me from being raped. Having said that if he hadn’t kidnapped me in the first place, I wouldn’t have been put in that position.
“Come in,” I replied to the knock on the door.
The door opened and Roberto came in.
He looked at me, his eyes scrutinizing my outfit. His face remained expressionless. Showing neither approval nor disapproval.
Was that something I needed? Someone to tell me whether I was doing the right thing? Ever since I ran from my home, with the Feds hot on my tail, I had been second guessing myself.
Was I doing the right thing? Should I have called Daniel? Should I have run from Vincent?
I suddenly realised that even before this whole mess, no one ever told me if I was doing the right thing. I always had to decide for myself.
Was that why everything felt so strange. Suddenly I was being told what I should do. Dad always left me to my own devices, as long as I didn’t disturb the meetings with cronies.
I stood up and walked towards Roberto.
He silently lead me from the cabin, through a maze of corridors, up some stairs. All the corridors looked the same, I doubted I would ever be able to find my way on this boat. Should I call it a boat? Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I remembered hearing or reading that seagoing types hated it if you called it a boat. I shrugged away the thought. I had more important things to think about than whether I would upset some crewman who didn’t like my description of their vessel.
By the time I had refocussed my thoughts, Roberto had guided me into some sort of dining room.
Sitting across the room at a small table, which could seat a maximum of four people, was Armando.
He was reading a newspaper and drinking coffee.
As soon as he noticed me, he smiled and carefully folded the newspaper, setting beside him on the table. Then he stood up.
“Come, piccolina,” He urged, “you must be hungry. Did you like the clothes?”
“A little,” I forced a smile, “and thank you for the clothes, but there are too many.”
Armando chuckled, “Nonsense, I know how many clothes Gianna had when she was your age, and she always wanted more!”
He clicked his fingers. Glancing round I saw one of the waiters nod before heading through another set of doors, to what I assumed was the kitchen.
“I’ve taken the liberty of ordering breakfast, if its not to your liking they can make you something else,” Armando concluded.
I was beginning to wonder if this was his boat, and whether Vincent was actually in charge.
I forced another smile, “Anything will be fine...I don’t usually eat much in the morning.”
“Your father didn’t make you breakfast before school?”
I shook my head, and lowered my eyes as a wave of guilt almost crushed me.
Here was I on a fancy boat, eating fancy food when my dad was rotting in prison. To make things worse I was making him sound like a bad father.
Armando leant over and put his fingers under my chin, gently tilting it upwards.
“You have nothing to feel guilty about, piccolina,” he soothed
I could feel the tears beginning to pool in my eyes, as I forced myself to remember the good times before all this happened
“He tried his best, he always tried his best,” I mewled, “now I’m here on a posh boat and he’s festering in prison.”
I thought he would be pissed at my outburst, but he wasn’t. The expression on his face was almost one of sadness. It confused me.
“Your father chose to do what he did, now he must live with the consequences. You however, shouldn’t need to, nor should you feel guilty,” he stated.
I wanted stick up for my dad, but how could I. After all that he’d done. I always thought that everything he done, he’d done for me. I was beginning to doubt it, especially after what I found out about uncle Daniel.
Then I snapped. He may not have been perfect but he was still my dad.
“You’re not so different, the way you make your money. Its just my dad did it on a smaller scale,” I snapped.
Armando just stared at me, his face showed no emotion. Shit! I’d gone too far. The last time I’d snapped, Vincent had pulled a gun on me.
“You think that all this, the yacht, the villa, the cars, the servants. You think all this was gained by nefarious means?” He questioned.
Then he rolled his eyes, and smirked. I released a breath I hadn’t realised I was holding.
“No, piccolina. You have been watching too many godfather films, and reading too many trashy novels.”
“But...but you are the Mafia. The Marchesi crime family...Everyone knows...”
He held his hand up to silence me.
“They know what, exactly? What they read in the trashy press. Rumours spread about by our enemies. We own Casino’s, Restaurants hotel chains. We have shares in technology. The Marchesi family went legal years ago. True my father was into protection and other things. That’s not how we work now. The other families are not so squeaky clean. Yes we protect ourselves, but we do it through lawyers these days. Friends in high places, who owe us an odd favour here or there.”
I stared at him, and my jaw went slack. Was this true? What about Vincent? He kidnapped me. He shot the man who tried to rape me.
“But Vincent...” my words trailed off, as Armando shook his head.
“I know, he kidnapped you. He shouldn’t have done that, but better it be Vincent than...”
Armando clenched his jaw. I saw something in his eyes, hate, anger.
“Daniel,” he spat the word out, like it was poisonous.
I took a deep breath, did he know about the man that Vincent had shot.
“But I saw him shoot someone,” I whispered.
“Who? Where?” He questioned.
I could feel the bile rising in my throat. Not at the memory of Vincent shooting him, but at what the man had tried to do to me.
“Sorry,” I blurted, as I covered my hand with my mouth.
I ran from the table, and from the dining room.
I couldn’t find a bathroom, but I saw a door which lead out side to the deck.
I made it outside just in time, and hurled my guts over the side.
I clutched my hands to my stomach. I hadn’t really had time to process everything that had happened. I wasn’t expecting the memory to cause such a violent reaction.
I felt someone’s hand on my should.
“Are you ok? What happened?”
I looked up to see Vincent. He gently rubbed my back.
“Sorry,” I groaned.
He pulled a silk handkerchief from the pocket of the jacket he was wearing, and handed it to me.
I wiped the remaining vomit from my lips.
I heard footsteps behind me, and saw Armando. He looked concerned.
“Sorry,” I muttered.
Armando looked at Vincent, who was gently rubbing my back
“Quello che è successo?” Armando questioned [What happened?]
“Potrei chiedere lo stesso. Cosa hai detto per farla vomitare?” Vincent snapped. [I could ask the same. What did you say to make her throw up?]
“Chi hai sparato a Vincent? E proprio di fronte a lei. Solo il pensiero la fece vomitare!” Armando retorted. [Who did you shoot Vincent? And right in front of her. Just the thought of it made her throw up]
Vincent sighed, “Ho sparato a uno degli uomini di Angelo. Stava per violentarla, e lo rifarei se qualcuno avesse messo un dito su di lei.” [I shot one of Angelo’s men. He was just about to rape her, and I’d do it again if anyone laid a finger on her]
Vincent cupped my cheek in his hand.
“I’m truly sorry for everything that happened to you. My father is right, you need to make your own decisions, but you need to finish school,” he hesitated, “but know this Rosie, I do care about you, a great deal.”
I took a deep breath, and glanced between the two men.
“Please. I need some space to think,” I sighed.
They both nodded.
“But please Rosie, do come in for some breakfast, you need to eat,” Armando concluded.
I nodded, and watched as the two men walked back inside.
I looked back out to sea, now even more confused than I was before.