Dominic (The Family Book 2), страница 1
(The Family #2)
This book is a work of fiction.
Angelica (The Family #1)
In the Shadows of the Cavern of Death
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
I didn’t think I knew what sorry was.
I wasn’t sorry when I said I killed my mother.
I wasn’t sorry when I said I killed my stepfather.
I wasn’t sorry when I said I killed the man that raped my baby sister.
I wasn’t sorry that I lit the match that burned their bodies.
I wasn’t sorry for the things that I did to make sure she survived.
I didn’t think anything could make me sorry but I was wrong.
One thing could make me sorry.
One person could make me sorry and she did.
My sister made me sorry that I protected her.
My sister made me sorry that I said I killed for her.
My sister made me sorry that she survived when my sister left me to die.
I was fourteen when I became a murderer.
I was fourteen when my sister turned me in.
I was eighteen when I was release.
Now I’m twenty one and I plan to do the one thing that will bring me peace
As I walked into my father’s study I knew that I wasn’t going to like what he said. Life had been too good lately, and I knew that the bad had to be coming. I took in the room’s occupants with a glance. My father, Antonio, sat behind his desk. Vincent, his consigliere, sat to his right, and my older brother, Lucca, stood off to the left. I moved to the chair in front of the desk and sat, waiting to learn the reason for my summons.
My father stared at me for a long moment before speaking. “I have a job for you, Dominic,” he began, causing me to sit a little straighter. Fuck me, this is what I’d been waiting for—a way to prove my worth to the family. “Caterina Genovese, the sister of Enzo Genovese, will be attending college here, and I want you to befriend her,” he said, causing me to blink.
I knew damn well who Enzo Genovese was. If Lucca’s wife, Angie, hadn’t killed him I would have ripped the fucker to shreds myself. Enzo Genovese had been my sister Maria’s arranged marriage, but he hadn’t wanted Maria; he wanted Angie, Lucca’s then unknown betrothed. The fucker had then tried to have Maria murdered so he wouldn’t have to return the dowry and would be free to marry Angie. As sick as it was to say, thankfully he had used amateurs that had raped Maria first and gave her a chance to escape before finishing the job. The bastard had hunted and caught Angie multiple times over the years, torturing her since she was ten, but Angie was always able to escape him. I don’t think even Lucca knew the full extent of the things done to her. So why would my father want me to have anything to do with the Genovese family?
“Why?” I asked.
Instead of my father answering, Lucca did. “Some of our informants seem to believe that Enzo might have left her some tapes and damning information about Angie. Things that if found out would have a lot of families coming after her for revenge.”
I bet they would. Angie had made it her life’s mission to hunt down anyone involved with her parents’ deaths. Lucca looked at me hard, his voice turning to frost. “I won’t have my wife upset or worried about this. I don’t give a fuck what you have to do to the bitch or with her. Just find out what she knows and get the evidence.”
I nodded, not at all put off by Lucca’s tone because I knew how protective he was of his wife. Especially now that she was expecting their second child. The truth was I was just as protective. She was another sister and mother to me, wrapped up in one. There was nothing I wouldn’t do for the women of my family to make sure they were safe. So if this girl thought she was going to hurt my family, whatever happened to her she deserved. I reached out and accepted the file that Lucca passed to me. When I opened it the first thing I saw was a picture of the girl. She was pretty enough, with dark hair and eyes. But what struck me was the lack of life. Nothing looked back at me from the picture. She looked like a mannequin instead of a young girl. I looked up and held Lucca’s gaze, letting him know without words that I wouldn’t let him down. I nodded to the others and left the room, closing the door behind me.
After watching his brother Dominic walk out, Lucca turned to me, his father. “Do you think he’s ready for this?”
“He has to be. It’s time, Lucca. He has to make a choice. Either he’s in or out. You know this.” I had prayed that Dominic would be out. I could almost hear my wife yelling, Antonio, I can accept that Lucca followed you into this life. He’s his father’s son but the babies need another way. Didn’t we do this to give them a better life? A safe life. Pulling my gaze from the door and my thoughts from the past, I looked hard at my oldest son. One day Lucca would sit in this chair and be head of the family. I had always been worried that he would lose his wife the way I had lost his mother. I knew now that that would never be the case. Angie would destroy legions if she had to protect her family, and now I needed that protectiveness more than ever. “He needs to do this on his own, Lucca. Watch from a distance, but don’t interfere.” A hardness entered Lucca’s eyes at my words. Yeah, I knew that he wouldn’t like it. As underboss, Lucca had control of the soldiers, and Dominic was a soldier, brother or no brother.
“Anything else, boss?” Lucca asked flatly.
I watched him for a long moment to let him know that I meant business. “No, you can go.” As the door closed behind him, I turned to Vincent. “Well, consigliere, speak your peace.”
“I think I said everything that I had to earlier, Antonio,” my advisor and friend of the last thirty years said. “The boys need to make a decision, and I hope the three of them make the right one. I don’t want another son in this life but I will also accept his decision if it’s the one he makes.” Vincent finished talking about his own son, Marcus, one of Dominic’s crew.
Dominic, Marcus, and Christopher had grown up together. As kids of a made guy it wasn’t uncommon for them to band together at a young age and form a crew. I knew Christopher’s father thought the same, as he already had a kid serving a nickel because some dumb fuck couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He sure as hell didn’t want his youngest joining him. I took a long swallow of my drink and closed my eyes, hoping I was doing the right thing.
I closed the door of my room and sat on the bed. When I opened the file I was again struck by the lifeless doll in the picture. What did it mean? Tossing the picture aside, I leafed through the info that had been gathered on the girl. I was a little taken aback with how little there was on her of substance. Yeah, the obvious was there—her charities, the places she fr
Needing to inform my guys I grabbed the phone and dialed Marcus. It took about four rings before he finally answered. “Yeah.”
“Am I interrupting something?” I laughed, as a female whine sounded in the background.
“Two somethings, but who’s counting. What’s up?”
“Business. Go where you can talk,” I said, waiting as I heard him moving around. Once I heard the door click I knew that he was alone. “We got a job.”
“Christ, about time. When and where?”
“When is tomorrow, the where is you and Chris packing your bags and moving to an apartment near the college campus,” I said, enjoying myself.
“Why the hell do we have to move there?”
“The assignment goes there and so will we,” I said.
“What the fuck? Is this some trick of our fathers?”
I laughed. “No, no trick. You and Chris get packed. I’ll text you the address, and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
The sound of the knob on my door turning had me rushing to the bed. I grabbed the folder and put it under some books as the door crashed open and a tiny whirlwind attacked me. “Uncle Dom, Mommy says it’s dinner time,” Alexa, my little niece, said, throwing herself into my arms. “Horsey ride, horsey ride,” she yelled.
Christ, she was adorable. Spoiled to hell but absolutely adorable. “How about the princess gets a piggyback ride instead?”
She gave me a look that would do her mother proud. “All the way to the table?”
I threw her on the bed and sat down so she could climb up. “All the way to the table,” I laughed, trotting out the door. My niece, being the smart little girl that she was, made sure that we took the long way, making me lap the garden before heading to the dining room. Luckily we got there as the last plate hit the table. As I put her down I knew I was played by the first words out of her mother’s mouth.
“See, baby, I told you Uncle Dom would give you a piggyback ride if you went and got him.” Angie smirked, picking up the little princess. She set Alexa in her chair and took her place next to the little monster. “What are you all waiting for—an invitation?”
With permission given we dug in. I swear even after all these years I still savored the first bite. Thank God Angie could cook. Conversation moved easily around the table, and I let it flow as I enjoyed my meal. It was probably the last one that didn’t come out of a box that I was going to get for a while.
“Are you excited about college, Dom?”
I suppose if I had been paying better attention I might not have almost choked. “I’m sorry,” I said, trying to dislodge the chicken. I was saved from answering by my sister, Maria.
“He’s just mad because Dad’s making him babysit me,” Maria huffed, causing me to shoot my eyes to Lucca. I thought we were keeping this from Angie.
“Maria, you know that Angie can’t go back with you, so Dom, Marcus, and Chris enrolled to keep an eye on you,” Lucca said, saving me.
“Lucca, I’m a big girl. I need to start doing things on my own,” Maria said, clearly upset. Something that all of us beside Angie tried not to do since the incident where her ex-fiancé had her raped and almost murdered.
Lucca rubbed his hand over his face. I could see he was trying to hold onto his patience and was failing miserably. “Maria, if you want to go back to college Dom and the boys are going with you,” Lucca told her sternly, causing fire to rise in Maria’s eyes.
She opened her mouth in what I was sure was going to be the start of an argument that would have Maria running from the table in tears. But it was stopped before she could utter a word. “Enough, Maria. It’s been settled,” Angie said firmly.
“What’s next? You’re going to send my baby brother Nico to watch out for me? Maybe Sal—”
“It’s finished,” Angie decreed, effectively ending the disaster. As tough and as scary as the men in our family could be, Angie was ten times scarier when she lost her patience. So Maria accepted defeat and shut her mouth before it could happen.
She turned her head to glare at me. “Fine, but they had better not hover,” Maria grumbled.
“I’m sure they won’t dear,” Angie replied, in the same even voice as before. “Though it may look like you are. Have you thought about the fact that this will be new to the three of them and you’ll have to keep an eye on them and make sure they know where their classes are?” Angie said, giving me a sly smile.
If I didn’t love her I would probably have risked Lucca’s wrath and drowned her. At Angie’s words I saw Maria’s face light up. There was no shutting her up after that. For the next forty-five minutes Maria talked about school, classes, and places to go. When dinner was finally finished I wanted to race out the door to escape. Only the fact that I hadn’t seen Maria this alive other that when it involved Alexa made me stay. This was my old sister. My sister before her innocence was brutally ripped from her. Keeping a forced smile on my face I dutifully listened and asked questions while helping to clear the table. Halfway through doing the dishes the woman that set me up saved me. “Maria, would you mind getting Alexa ready for bed,” Angie said, her eyes twinkling as she looked at me.
“Yeah, no problem.” Maria dried her hands and turned to leave. Then, in an impulsive moment, she turned back to me and gave me a bear hug. “This is going to be fun. I’m glad you’re coming, Dom,” she said. She let me go just as quickly and hurried away. I stood there in shock, staring at the door.
“She’s getting much better,” Angie said as she sat down at the table. “But she still gets nervous at times.” She motioned for me to join her. “Make sure that you or one of you boys are with her at all times.”
I was still in shock over the hug. “It’s almost like she’s her old self.”
Angie leaned back in her chair and placed a hand over her belly. “She still has panic attacks in large crowds. I’m not sure that she’s ready for this.”
I gave Angie a hard look. “Then why is she going back to school? Why didn’t you tell her no?” I asked, pissed. If Lucca was using Maria as an excuse for me to be at the school we were going to have words. Underboss or no, he was still her brother and should put her welfare over his own needs.
“She wants to go, and I told your father to let her,” Angie replied, making me more pissed. She raised her hand before I could say anything. “Dominic, I know that you want to protect your sister but she has to make her own choices. What she went through destroys most women. You should be proud of the fact that she is willing to go out there and try instead of cowering in her room, afraid to face the world. Besides, I have already spoken with her and told her that if she feels that she can’t handle it yet that it was fine, and we’d try again next semester. If that happens I’ll go with her after I’ve had the baby.” She smiled ruefully. “Hell, I would have gone with her now, big belly and all, if your big brother hadn’t had a conniption and threatened to lock me in the basement.”
I had to chuckle at this. My brother would kill a man that looked at her the wrong way, so it was just laughable any threats he made. They were as solid as water.
“Seriously, she needs to do it without me,” Angie said. “She needs to remember that she can depend on the rest of you just as much as me.” Standing up she leaned over and kissed me on the forehead before waddling out to the kitchen.
Sitting there I began to form a plan on how to do my job and keep my sister safe at the same time. Yeah, like I didn’t have enough to worry about.
Two weeks later
“Your sister is driving me fucking nuts, Dom,” Christopher growled, shooting daggers at her where she was sitting under a tree eating her lunch with her new friend, Tori Smith, better known as Caterina
It was after Maria’s first class. I had sent Chris in with her to keep an eye on her while Marcus and I searched the campus, trying to find the Genovese girl. We had already struck out at the admissions office the night before when we broke in. We went through the records and found nothing on her, but we knew she was here. The guy we had following her saw her get on the plane but lost her after she landed and made a visit to the bathroom. Now I knew why. I couldn’t fault the guy. It took me more than a few moments staring right at her to figure it out. And to tell the truth had her glasses not slipped and given me a good look at her dead eyes I might not have figured it out at all. Trying to be nice, me and the boys had given the frump smiles and said “Hi.” She, on the other hand, looked at us like she had just stepped in shit and mumbled back something that I think was “hi” but could have been “go fuck yourselves.” I had just been about to grab Maria’s arm and drag her away when the girl’s oversized glasses slipped and I saw it. It took everything in me not to give away that I knew who she was.
Now I just had to figure out what the nasty bitch’s plan was. She had obviously investigated our family. It was well known in our world that Angelica Gagliardi, the long-lost daughter of Helen of Troy, had married Lucca Salvatici. So it was no coincidence that she found Maria the first day of classes. She had to be planning on using Maria as an in to Angie. I just had to figure out how. Oh, and while doing that, make sure that the bitch was never left alone with Maria. I wasn’t taking any chance that she would take her vengeance out on Maria.