“It’s not about the age. It’s about getting hold of her before someone else marries her. What about the asshole she was with? Did they fuck?”
“Broke up with him last week.”
“How’d you find out?”
“Don Belucci told me, had a word in Terry’s ear, sent him packing. I doubt we’ll see him again anytime soon. Tell me something, though.”
“When you’ve fucked Mila and she’s spat out a kid or two, what then? You going to keep her?”
“I tell Don Belucci it’s me she’s married. His daughter married his worst enemy and he gets to stew on that for a while.”
“Shoot the son of a bitch in the face when I’m bored of his whining. Let Mila knows she’s stuck with me for good. I get an heir to my empire, she gets to be miserable for the rest of her life.”
“And Don Belucci dies.”
“As does his family name. Send the van to collect my wife. It’s time to get this show on the road.”
“You not worried you might fall in love with her and live happily ever after?”
“Are you trying to be funny?”
“Stranger things have happened.”
“My family is dead because my father trusted a Belucci. Thought they were friends. But the Don tried to wipe us all out in one night. Didn’t factor on me surviving, fighting back, destroying his crews, building my empire, biding my time, upping security here. I will never give her a moment’s warmth. She comes from a family of betrayers. She will pay for what they did.”
He nods. “Five years of preparation for this moment. You ready?”
“Ready to snap Mila Belucci’s soul in two? You bet.”
My father looks a lot older than his fifty years. His bald spot has spread across most of his head, leaving just two gray tufts above his ears.
He’s wearing thick black spectacles, squinting through them, sweat sheening on his brow. He doesn’t so much breathe as grunt.
His desk, always immaculate in the past, is covered in papers. There’s an overflowing ashtray in the shape of a skull, filled with butts.
Cigar smoke hangs in the air like a thick fog, making it hard to see him through the haze.
Behind him the wall is covered in portraits of the Godfather, his idol. Marlon Brando with his cat on his lap. My father’s allergic to cats. Tried having one when I was a kid, thought he’d look like Don Corleone. Just ended up sneezing all over it.
He hacks something up at the back of his throat, grimacing as he swallows it back down. “Sit.” His voice sounds hoarse.
“You look well,” I say as Pietro shoves me down into the blue office chair opposite the desk.
“Don’t start wise-assing,” Father replies, pointing a nicotine stained finger across at me. “You always were the joker, just like your mother.”
“Nice to see you’re keeping the place clean and tidy.”
His eyes narrow. “You forget your place. You don’t ever bitch at me. You are my daughter. You are my possession. I own you. I fed you, clothed you. I expect respect from you at all times.”
“I’m not your slave.”