I walk up to the bar feeling the boys presence behind me, along with Luca now in tow. Apparently these jack asses don’t think I can handle myself. Or my safety will just be used as an excuse, he is probably being nosy.
I sit in the stool putting my hand up to signal the bartender, feeling the boy sit down beside me. I hate sitting like this with my back facing everyone. It makes me paranoid, you never know who might be coming from behind you in my world.
Paranoia is definitely part of my personality, and it should be for someone like me, living the life I do. Enemies are everywhere, watching, waiting for the right time to strike, hoping to find some type of weakness.
“Get us two shots of the Red Hills brand of scotch,” the bartender looks up at me mortified, I guess he was warned that I would be here tonight. He quickly nodded, and went to get us our drinks. I mean no one else is going to order what I just ordered, especially because that was specifically stocked for me. The kid is tapping his hand on the bar nervously, looking in a different direction, anywhere but at me. The crowd of the place is dying out since it’s only 30 minutes till closing time, which works well for me.
“Here you go sir,” the bartender shakily sits the glasses down. “D-do you need anything else sir?” I look at the drinks, and quickly look back up.
“That’s all for now.” He practically runs away as soon as I give him a signal to leave. I roll my eyes, and I turn my attention to Josh. He’s still looking away, I can tell he is beyond terrified.
“Look me in the eye kid, you’re allowed to be afraid, but you should never let it be so obvious,” I say gulping down my glass.
Luca sits a couple seats down playing on his phone, pretending not to be listening in, I’m sure. Josh turns to me, staring directly into my eyes.
“Who said I was afraid?” I smirk at him, he’s just like his sister, so brave, and stubborn. I like him.
“So tell me about yourself. Why made you want to be involved in this life? I mean you seem smart. What about school, college, family? Your sister...? Wasn’t there anything else that you wanted to do with your life?” I ask him, hoping to get a feel for what kind of person I am dealing with.
“No.” Is all he said looking away from me again, he looks angry this time.
“So what is this? An interview or something?” What a fucking smart ass.
“Watch who you’re talking too,” Luca chimes in walking up on him. I knew he was listening. “If I were you I would answer his questions. We don’t want to have to slit any throats today, but I’ll have my knife ready just in case,” he leans in close from behind him, pulling his sharp looking blade out, holding it to his neck.
“Stand down Luca,” I say calmly. He immediately pulls the knife away.
“Stupido Americano,” he says walking away, and returning to his seat.
“Now. Let me try again. Why did you join?” There is a long silence. The bar is practically empty now, except for the giggling, and cackling echoing from Damon’s private booth. I swear I can feel vomit coming up just listening to that.
My men have all probably gotten hotels or went home. I wait for a long time until finally the kid speaks.
“I was ready to have my own life, and being sixteen you aren’t allowed to do that. My sister raised me because my mother was incapable, and I was tired of being a burden. My best friend Jordan’s uncle is Roger Denson, one of your suppliers, who I report to. Jordan introduced me, he told me I was the perfect fit, taught me some self defense, took me under his wing. Roger looks out for me. My friend Jordan and I stay together along with everyone that we work with. We all stick together, and I have stuck with it because I’m good at it. Roger fully initiated me recently, I’ve been saving up money to give to my sister, but I plan on leaving soon.” He pauses for a minute, I don’t say anything because I can tell he wants to say more.
“Jamie deserves to live her own life, I want her to worry about herself. She has been more of a mom then a sister, but it’s not the same anymore. She isn’t a mother, or a parent, she’s a sibling, and it doesn’t feel right. She thinks I’m going to go to college, and live a normal life, but I don’t want a normal life because I’m not normal.” He picks up the shot and downed it like he is taking a breath of fresh air. “The mafia is where I belong.”
Most people would never understand, most adults would argue with this kid. Tell him he’s wrong, that the mafia life isn’t a way to live. But I know better, I understand with every fiber of my being why he is doing what he is doing. Not everyone is made for normal life, a nine to five job in the office, or even a nine to five at a construction site. His mind is too fucked up, whether he is just born that way, or he is just made that way. There is just a glitch in his brain that makes him incapable of the normal desires of a human being. He needs this life to cope with other, more foreign desires.
I sit for a minute, thinking about how I am going to respond, not really knowing what I am doing anymore. No matter what I have to make him keep an eye on Jamie for me, make sure he directly reports to me everything she does.
Who her friends are, what she does in her spare time, she needs to be watched for her own safety. If she spends her time doing things like going to a club, and dancing on random men then who knows what other trouble she might get herself into. If Josh is a part of our family now, so is she.
“Josh, you remind me a lot of myself when I was your age. Believe it or not, we have a lot in common. I don’t do this a lot but I would like you to report to me from now on, I want to make your and Jamie’s life more comfortable from now on as well,” I say to him, lighting up another cigarette.
I take out my check book, holding my cigarette in my mouth, and write a check for twenty grand. I don’t want her to struggle anymore. I rip the check out and slide it over to him. He doesn’t even glance down at the check, he looks at me suspiciously instead.
“Is there a reason why you guys already know my sister’s name?” He’s protective, I get it. He is incredibly sharp, and mature for his age.
“I met your sister already when she was working at a bar. Your sister is very prone to trouble, she was sexually attacked. I took care of it, don’t worry.” He looks at me in disbelief, which quickly turns to fury.
“Please tell me he’s dead!” As if I would let a disgusting person like that walk around, how insulting.
“I said I took care of it, didn’t I?” He becomes silent again, realizing he shouldn’t have questioned me. He finally looks down at the check and becomes completely speechless.
“There is more where that came from. But you aren’t going to be dealing anymore. I want you to keep an eye on Jamie for me. I want to know everything about her, and I want you to keep her out of trouble.” He looks at me shocked.
“Why are you so interested in my sister? What do you want from her?” He still doesn’t want to let up, he still doesn’t trust me.
I don’t know how to answer that question without him thinking I’m some crazy stalker, so I lie.
“We have reason to believe that she is in danger. Some of my enemies heard about me protecting her, now they think she means something to me. She needs to be kept on watch at all times. Your family is our family too.”
“Maybe I should take her away for a while then.” He won’t be taking her anywhere! Hell no, the closer she is to me the safer she is!
“Trust me on this, keep her here where she has more resources of protection, I know what I’m doing. I can no longer waste anymore time on this conversation. I have some business that I need to attend to. You understand your orders right?” I ask getting up, and putting the cigarette out on the bar, and then fixing my sleeves. There are no ashtrays because your not supposed to smoke in here, but I do whatever the fuck I want.
He stands with me, almost coming up to my chin.
This kid sure eats his veggies.
“Yes capo.” I smile in response, he is made for this. He bows his head in respect and then I watch him walk out the doors as Luca approaches me.
“Che diavolo sta succedendo, di cosa si tratta?” Luca asks me in a demanding tone. What the hell is going on, what is this all about? I glare at him for his audacity!
“Mi stai interrogando?” Are you questioning me? It doesn’t matter how close I am to Luca, or Angelo or anyone. They all know to fear me, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
“Nessun capo.” No, boss. He says looking away from me. I push past him ready to confront Greg.
This is what I have been wanting to do ever since I saw his hands somewhere they shouldn’t be.
I burst through the door making Greg jump from the office chair. I approach him, grabbing him up by the shirt and slamming him up against the wall. I made sure my face is only two inches away from him.
Greg’s face is blank as if he has no fear, which really pisses me off. I slam him back into the wall hard.
“How do you know Jamie?” I ask through gritted teeth, holding myself back as much as I can. His expression changes, it changes from emotionless, to horrified...
“You’re the one that saved her that night in the bar?” He asks as if coming to a realization.
I push him against the wall again. “She told you about that? I won’t ask again, what is your relationship to her?” I demand.
“She is one of my employees, she is a good girl. Leave her out of this,” he says while also clenching his teeth.
“Last time I checked, bosses don’t go around groping, and sucking on their employees necks. Are you guys dating? Tell me everything,” I scream in his face. He doesn’t say anything for a minute, he knows he has no choice but to tell me.
“We fuck sometimes,” he says looking at me directly in the eye. Almost as if he is challenging me. Red began to blur my vision, and I lose it!
I lost count how many times my fist hit his face, I forget where I am, or what I am doing. I just keep hitting him without any stopping points. Rage is consuming me from the inside out, and all over a woman I don’t even know.
I suddenly feel two hands on my shoulders pulling me off of him, snapping me back to reality. I shrugg Luca off of me, and look down at Greg’s torn up face.
I shake my hands, starting to feel the pain in them while Luca hands me a towel to wipe off. After I am done, I throw the towel at Greg, and I fix the sleeves of my dress shirt for the millionth time tonight. I lean down at his level, studying my beautiful work of art. His face is covered in blood, his nose is pouring like a faucet, while one of his eyes is swollen shut.
He sits there wiping the blood off his face, but still managing to give me a glare. He starts to spit blood from his mouth as I stare at him trying to understand his defiance towards me.
He has never shown disloyalty to me in all the years I have known him. He has made trips to Italy for me because there are certain things I only trusted him with. Greg has always been there for my family.
And that is when realization hits me, he has feelings for this girl… for Jamie. Why does this kill me inside that another man wants her, why does it matter so much to me? All I want to do is kill him for a girl I just met, and that in itself is just insane.
“Marcel,” he says breaking the silence in a raspy voice. “My family has been there for your family for generations. I have never faltered in my loyalty and respect for your family, for you. Please just this once, I beg of you. Leave Jamie alone, whatever it is she has done, I will pay the price for her. Just please leave her alone.” I shake my head at his ignorance.
“I’m not going to hurt her Greg.” He looks at me in confusion, trying to decipher what this is all about. “But you are.” He sits up giving me his full attention. “Greg, you are going to fire Jamie, and you are never going to see her again.”
What have I done? Is all I can think of driving Jordan’s car back to the safe house. There’s something off about Marcel and his interest in my sister. I can’t ignore this sickly feeling down in the pit of my stomach, I may be young but I am not an idiot.
Marcel isn’t telling me something, I can feel it in my gut. Twenty thousand dollars, and I don’t even have to deal drugs anymore! It’s insane, and it seems way too good to be true.
But my only problem is knowing who I can trust without getting myself into some deeper shit than I have already gotten myself into. I wanted to be a part of the mafia, I wanted to be independent, and make my own decisions, and I didn’t mind if that meant dying in the process. But bringing my sister down with me? No, no way, I won’t let it happen.
I will follow his orders for as long as I can until I can think of a plan. There is no way that I am going to let this guy worm his way into my sister’s life right under my nose. I signed up for this, she didn’t, even if there is no ulterior motive, her already being in danger because of my involvement is already something to think about.
It’s already the red light telling me to stop, and think about who else’s life I might be putting in danger. I mean did I ever expect this to happen? No. Did I think that I was going to come across the Italian Don’s son, not to mention he had already met my sister before I did. He did save her, so that tells me he has some type of conscience. I’ve heard many stories about Marcellus, but not one of them was of him saving a damsel in distress.
That man has more blood on his hands than Al Capone, and Frank Costello put together. I’ve done my research, wanting to know more about the crime family I chose to work for, and maybe to some degree I admired him. But now that my sister is involved, everything has changed.
I pull into the old abandoned looking warehouse, there are trucks outside I’m guessing are here to unload.
This is where we all go to meet, and receive our supply we get. Believe it or not there is millions of dollars worth of drugs in this shabby, trashy ass looking building. You could never tell how nice it is on the inside from looking at the outside.
We have our own bar, games room, kitchen, poker table, it’s like living in your mother’s basement. Over the years Roger tried to make this place as comfortable as possible for all of us, but he always reminds us that it isn’t him that provides this for us, the more we sell, the better the Giordanos take care of us.
We have always been in the lead with our sales here in Dayton, so we are pretty favored. Everyone else just goes to Roger, and collects their supply for the month. Most people either end up using too much for themselves, or just not sell enough. If you don’t bring back what you sell you owe Roger, and you don’t want to do that. Roger will kill you, or he will kill your family one by one until he gets the money he’s owed when he is really pissed off.
If for one second Damon Bernard thinks Roger isn’t doing his job, then Damon will take care of him, and that’s one thing about Roger, he will not die for you because of your own stupidity.
He tries to keep us out of trouble as much as he can but he will only go so far, and I don’t blame him.You go into this knowing what you are dealing with, no one is innocent.
It’s almost four thirty in the morning, and I’m late. I have to drop off this cash, and I have to report to Roger what’s going on. I can’t imagine how he’s going to react to me running into our Capo Bastone.
He is already pretty shaken up about him calling Roger directly to warn him about Ryan. Apparently Ryan’s family goes way back with the Giordano’s, they owe them some type of debt. I don’t know anything about it other than there is some bad blood between them, that’s all Roger would say anyways.
I get out of Jordan’s car, and sprint into the warehouse. I click in the code 72832 to unlock the door. My footsteps were loud on the wooden hollow floor, there is also a basement, where we kept… loose ends I guess I should say.
When you first walk in you automatically get greeted by one of the door guards, you usually get checked but they just wave me on. I have built a lot of trust with them in the last year.
I walk through the next set of double doors, and into the bar area. Like I said we have everything here that we could need, we are even allowed to live here if we wanted but it’s not required. A couple of the guys are standing around the pool table playing a game, while Jordan is hitting on one of the very few girls we had in our little clique, Alyssa.
They are standing at the bar all over each other, they look pretty wasted. Alyssa is extremely easy on the eyes, but I would never mess with her. She would cut your throat just as fast as she would fuck you, shes crazy, dangerous, not to mention a lot of notches on guys belts. I approach them almost wanting to barf at the sight of their tongues down each other’s throats.
“Where’s Roger?” I ask startling them.
“Hey sexy,” Alyssa says. I nod at her, I never really give her the time of day.
“He’s in the back,” Jordan said, annoyed that I had interrupted him, he’s a horny piece of shit.
I walk at a fast pace into Rogers office to find him sitting at his desk signing off on the last delivery. Yep, there’s paperwork for drugs too, this is a business, and we are all businessmen, extremely violent businessmen.
“Roger,” I say, making him look up.
“You’re late. Was it a good night?” I throw a large bundle of cash on the desk.
“Sold out,” I say. “But that’s not why I’m late.” I don’t know what kind of reaction he is going to have but I have to tell him. He’s going to want to know why I won’t be dealing for a while. He looks up, throwing his pen down ready to hear what I have to say.
So I explain everything to him, all from the beginning, about Greg, and my sister dancing at the club, and how the Capo Bastone randomly walks up on me after Jamie walked away. About how Marcel pulled me off to the side, and told me that my sister was in danger, and that I would be working directly for him now. I felt the check in my pocket weighing on me, almost as if chains had been tied around my ankles, and I was dragging them everywhere I went.
I don’t think I should tell him about the check just yet. I have a feeling that it would make Roger feel threatened by me.
He sits there for a second taking in everything I had told him, I can tell he is just as confused as I am.
“Well… this is a good thing for you, bad thing for me, I will be losing one of my best…” he says leaning back in his chair with his hands folded over his stomach.
“Listen kid, be careful. I can protect you from a lot of things but I can’t protect you from him. You think you are a member now, well you are about to be in a whole other ballpark. There is a reason why Marcel has taken such an interest in your sister, and whatever it is he wants with her, he will get it. I hate to tell you this but don’t try to go against him, you will only make it worse for yourself or for her.” I only nod at him in response. If whatever he wants, Jamie can’t deliver, there is no way I will let harm come to her.
Roger knows me, and he knows that I’m smart, he trusts that I will always make good decisions with a logical mind set. But what he doesn’t understand is the lengths I will go to protect my family.
“Don’t worry Roger, everything will be fine,” I lie. I turn to walk out the door.
“Yeah... sure, I’ve heard that before.”
Chapter Twelve“Have I gone mad?&rd