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[Kalam New York City, New York, 1930. Height of the Great Depression and the Prohibition Act-the 'noble experiment' as it was praised by some was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America.
What a load a crap.
You think the ones who made the law are getting the shakes from withdrawals? Damn right they're not, not with their fancy liquors and cabinet brandies. You think those schmucks are standing out in the food lines just for a hunk of bread and some lukewarm soups? Live in rundown shacks where the winter cold blows right through? You think they give a shit about folks like you or me? That's why we have to take back what's rightfully ours, and it just might cost us everything...
Our family is run by Vincent Russo, he's a good man, who repays loyalty and respect with money, food and protection. Really anything your heart would desire, with enough determination and gumption, Russo could have you living fairly pretty upstate. Or at least he would, but the old man's gotten real sick, and talk says he won't last much longer. This problem seems to come at the worst time too, we've got a new family trying to muscle in on our turf, going by the name of Adamo.
They think that we're weak without the Boss, but that's where they're wrong, the Russo family will defend everything we got and nobody is going to take anything from us. Not the fuzz, not the Adamo Family, not nothing. What we got going on right now is a delicate situation, so don't go blowing your tops or get thrown in the can b'cause we need every soldier we got.
A war's coming on two fronts and we need to be ready.
[Kalam [center [b ~What Matters Most~]] [center [size10 *Please Note: Even though this is a time period RP I will NOT be restricting gender roles based on history, women can and will be allowed into the Family. However, several locations and referenced material will be pulled directly from research of New York in the year 1930.]]
1. The Family runs a multitude of businesses as shop fronts, speakeasies and gentlemen's clubs were frequent hot spots where they'll spend their downtime. Practically owning New York, New Jersey, most of Florida, and other properties of high value.
2. The Family's hierarchy is split from the Padrino, or the Godfather, Don or Head Boss; to the Sottocapo, or the Underboss; beside the Underboss is the Consigliere, or the Adviser. Below the Underboss are three Caporegimes, or just a Boss; who are the heads above the Made Men known as Soldato, or the Soldiers; and finally beneath them are all our business partners and associates and those deemed Unaffiliated.
3. The main Mafia secret drinking spot is the speakeasy named The Backroom Bar, which was actually a backroom of Ratner's. Ratner’s was a kosher-dairy restaurant on Delancey, the space was equipped with several lesser-known exits and entrance options, which made it the perfect gathering place for underworld bosses and other nefarious patrons.
4. The 'Union Club of the City of New York', commonly known as the Union Club, is the oldest private club in New York City and is considered one of the most prestigious clubs for both men and women. Access is highly restricted unless you know someone important, it's a place where the entire Family can come together and relax.
5. While having to dodge the cops and survive through the tumultuous times gripping the nation, the recent turf skirmishes with the Adamo Family have pushed you and others like you into the cross-hairs, the main key is to survive. Here's hoping you got what it takes.]
All ES rules and regulations apply.
[b [+blue Please post all required fields in PMs and send me a [i sample post of your writing] through PMs.]]
Literacy required: [Proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization], minimum of three paragraphs please. Give us something to work with.
Swearing, Violence, and Romance are allowed.
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[+red [i Anyone caught stealing, duplicating, or hinting to any plot, story-line or characters without permission with probably be berated and humiliated.]]
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Make it creative, make it fun.
History: Giovanni came over from the Old Country about a year or two back, he's still getting used to America but he has served the Russo Family since he was a much younger man. He and a few others came overseas at the request of his Sattocapo, and when the Family asks something of you, you tend to do it without questions. When he's not fighting for the Family he's usually found in one of two places, either the speakeasy of Ratner’s or the Union Club. Nobody openly admits it, but the Russo Family owns most of New York, New Jersey and some parts of Florida; Giovanni's visited them all, and for some reason he prefers to stay in bustling New York City.
History: Adalina "Ada" Moretti moved to America with her mother Clara Moretti and her older sister Serafina Moretti when she was fifteen, her sister eighteen years old. After struggling back in the home country after Ada's father had left them to become a traveling Gypsy once again, Clara decided to take the risk of a new country and up and moved her daughters to America. A land rumored of great dreams coming true, of peace and glorious lands. What they didn't know was that America held it's own issues. In customs, they tried to change the names of this little Moretti family. That was when Clara began to raise hell, saying that she would curse the man that was making her new papers. The man flinched back and corrected everything, allowing them to keep their true names.
Once they were in New York, Clara got a job, put her girls in school and soon Clara came to own the restaurant she worked at when the old owner passed and left it to his best employee. It was here Clara had her daughters working, though Serafina at the age of twenty-five decided she wasn't making enough money for her lifestyles and she left the restaurant to work at one of the "Gentleman's Clubs" in town. Adalina had stayed with the restaurant to help her mother run it, being the manager as well as any other job that needed to be filled. She knew that if not for the Russo family, they wouldn't have been able to keep the place running. It wasn't a bad place, the food was purely authentic from the motherland, but it wasn't too popular since it wasn't considered "classy".
History: Christopher was thrown into an orphanage at the age of six, he was one of the few survivors of a gang shoot out, however, his parents were not so lucky. He never was adopted as he was labelled as a troublemaker. He often caused chaos in the orphanage and for anyone that tried to adopt him. This carried on into his school life. One day when he was fifteen years old, he got into a lot of trouble with a small group of boys and they followed him down a dark alley. Somehow, he managed to defend himself and send them down to the ground. At the time, he wasn't aware of a pair of Russo eyes that watched him. A couple of weeks passed before a man confronted him about the ordeal. At first, he denied that it ever happened. But then, the man began to promise him of wealth, food and a family that he could rely. He had accepted straight away, not knowing that he would have to repay the Russo family for their kindness. When he was first told about the kinds of missions he had to do, he backed out and went back to the orphanage. However, after another week of what felt like hell, he decided that he was just about ready to do anything for them. He started on small missions. They tasked him in delivering messages, helping in deliveries. Over the years, the tasks became harder, ruthless and bloody as his skills developed. Now, at twenty six, he is a fully fledged and loyal member of the Russo family. He no longer hesitates to kill and he even finds enjoyment and pleasure within it.
History: Felicia was born in Italy but, like most Italians at the time, immigrated to America. She was rather young when they moved and so has spent most of her life in the United States. Her family had quite a bit of money from their businesses in Italy and their wealth only grew once they had moved. Life had been rather easy for her until she met her boyfriend when she was nineteen years old. When her parents had found out that she was dating him, they kicked her out and she went on to living with him. By the time that she came to know that he was apart of the Russo Mafia, they had been together three years. At that point, she was completely and utterly in love with him and could not leave him. A year later and he proposed to her. However, they had only been engaged for six months, before her boyfriend was gunned down in Mafia fight. Filled with rage and revenge, she trained and filled in his role as Capo within the Family.
History: Originally, Lucinda was born and bred in the foggy streets of Calais. She had lived a fairly pampered life with her father earning quite a lot of money from his business, what he sold she wasn't sure of. But nonetheless, she had attended private schools a d had some of the best tutors. However, she always had a taste for thrill and excitement. She often got herself into trouble until she found her gift of signing. It started off in just a small time pub, but over the years she was soon singing in the big clubs. They simply adored her and her voice, this gave her the confidence and the money to move to America. She was just as successful in the states as she was back home, but, her father grew ill. His dying wish was for Lucinda to take over the business and continue to support her mother who moved over to America. It was then that she found the secret to her father's wealth. He was an arm's dealer to several major Mafias and gangs. One of the top customers being the Russo's, they approached her one day and offered for to sing in their Union Club as a disguise for her real job.
Gender: Born Female, however Gender-bends as a male.
Rank: Associate by night, brat by day.
History: Dru wasn’t born La Spada, at least not as far as she knows. No, as far as Dru is concerned, she was born Druscilla Bianca Bonamico and barely made legal status as her very pregnant mother went into labor while still aboard a cargo ship carrying Italian immigrants. As Dru’s birthing waters gave way on American soil, her mother had come to find her birth father had very quietly….went back to Italy with all their valuables except their wedding rings her mother had held onto. So here they were, an Immigrant and an American Citizen. Trapped with nothing. So of course they could only find housing on Skid Row.
It would be here that Dru would become a La Spada. No, her mother didn’t remarry – she didn’t die either. No, Bianca Bonamico made the only choice she could as far as she was concerned after turning tricks on the corner of the red-light district for eight years. A strange man in clothes better than skid row ever saw bought her oldest daughter for the same price as a pair of boy’s tweed knickers. That man happened to be Nicolao Spada, an enforcer for the Russo family. His reason for buying an eleven year old “boy” at the time? He needed his shoes shined daily. The real reason? He needed someone he could bring into the Family and heard from one of the lackeys about an Italian woman on skid row who would do just about anything for a nickel. A dollar fifty-five was a lot of nickels right?
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Adalina had slept hard through the night. Crying herself to sleep had brought on a massive headache when she began to rouse from bed. She had slept dreamlessly, and in such she had gotten little to no rest. She had already told the staff they would be closed for now, so she wasn't worried about going into work. She went to the bathroom and dug around for the aspirin and some water to try and kill the headache. She then stripped down, leaving her clothes on the floor and her jewelry along the sink's shelf before climbing into the shower.
She had washed up in an almost auto-pilot fashion. Everything passing in a blur. She stepped out and dried off, brushing her hair and then her teeth before heading to her wardrobe and dressed in a black skirt, a black blouse, and a blue scarf around her hips and in her hair to remember her Mother as blue had been her favorite color. She added minimal jewelry this time, keeping it light as she dressed and readied for the day. She thought about eating a moment, before her stomach rolled and she decided against food.
She had gathered her purse and things for the shop and then locked up the apartment and began to walk to the shop. When she arrived there, unlocking the door, someone came up behind her with an ordered flower arrangement. She signed the delivery sheet and he handed her a card before tipping his hat to her and taking off again. She went inside, locking the door behind her, and moved to the counter where she sat the vase and flowers down and pulled out the card to read. It was a condolences card from the man from the Russo family that had helped her the night before. She felt touched at his concern and mentally thanked him again. She let the flowers sit on the counter for now while she went into the office to work on finances and trying to see what she could pull from the shop without anyone losing pay or missing any bill payments. That's when she looked over and seen the envelope from her sister full of money.
She sighed and against her better judgement she took the envelope as well. She went through the restaurant, cleaning up what had been left the night before, which surprised her that it hadn't been much. She was sure some of the staff had come in through the back to try and clean up some the night before. She put each of her staff's paychecks into envelopes and left them in the register as she always did and then set up the bills to be paid the next week then took what she could from the shop and put it into the envelope with the money from her sister as well. It was getting late in the afternoon, and Adalina wanted to be home, so she put the envelope in her purse, locked up the office, then grabbed her flowers and locked up the shop with a closed until further notice sign in the window.
She wasn't sure why - probably paranoia - but she had the feeling that she was being watched on her way home. She stopped a couple of times to look around and frowned when she didn't see anyone. Something wasn't right. If something was pricking at her senses, she should probably listen. She was only a couple of roads away now as she had picked up into a brisk walk. But the rumbling of a motor caught her ears and she looked behind her at the sleek black car that was now tailing her. She gripped the vase to her and took off running full speed the rest of the way to her home.
They had almost snatched her when she darted down the alley and into a side entrance. She locked that door behind her, and then ran to lock the front entry as well, it didn't have a back one as that was where the dumpsters lined the walls. She raced up the stairs, all three floors as best she could, gasping, panting hard as she ran to her apartment. Most of the other residents had day jobs and so no one else was really home this time of day. No one she could cry out for help to.
She fumbled her keys twice and cursed at them and the door before finally getting the door unlocked, slammed closed and relocked with the chain and deadbolt before she hid her purse in the pantry in a hidden panel, having all but dropped the flowers in her kitchen sink. She then ran to the phone and dialed every number that the man had given her before. Ringing and ringing and ringing, but no answer. She whimpered pleas into the receiver as she heard the loud crashing sounds of one of the doors downstairs being broken. She tried again as she heard them coming up the stairs, they raging screams echoing the halls. Finally, the phone clicked and a man's voice was on the other end.
[#800000 [b [i "Giovanni !! È Adalina! Per favore! Ho bisogno del tuo aiuto! L'Adamos! Stanno cercando di entrare nel mio appartamento! Per favore sbrigati! Fretta! Ce ne sono troppe!"] ]] At that time, her door had broken down and men began to fill her home. She shouted at them to leave her alone, both in English and Italian. One of the men grabbed at her, pulling her from the phone which pulled the chord and disconeccted the call when they pulled her into the living room.
There were five men, two holding to her arms, and three in front of her. Two of them she remembered as the men that had tried to get her to sell out to the Adamos before. She cursed at them, glaring harshly, which earned her a hard backhanding. She cried out from the blooming pain along the side of her face and the echo of the skin on skin contact as he dared her to look at him that way again. Before she could test her luck he held her face by the chin and leaned in real close. He smelled of stale whiskey and cigars and as if he hadn't showered in a week. She had to try not to wrinkle her nose at him.
He asked her in Italian this time if she would be his woman, he was giving her a chance to make things right with them, to apologize for her rude behavior. She spit at him in answer. He growled at her and slapped her in the same spot he had back handed her. She was starting to see spots in her vision, she had definitely seen white for a moment at the initial hit. He spoke something that she didn't catch, then she was yanked down to the floor onto her back. She struggled, and had it only been one man holding her down, she might have had a chance. When two of the other men went for her ankles, she managed to kick one right in the groin, proud of the whimpered groan he gave as he held himself, but it hadn't been enough and he still pinned her leg down. It wasn't until the last one went for her skirt, that she realized what was going to happen. She paled and fear overpowered her rage. [#800000 [b "NO!"]] she screamed as she struggled.
The men laughed at her struggles. Laughed at her screams. When tears came they laughed at those, too. They taunted her, asking where the Russos were to save her now. Finding that she had been untouched before them only added to their menacing glee. They each took turns in hurting her, ignoring her cries or screams of pain. Ignoring her pleas for help and the tears. Any struggles she fought with were in vain, there were too many and they were too strong. While one had his way, the others would hit her. If she cried out for help she was hit in the face. Struggling was a blow to the stomach.
When the last was done with her, they all but threw her aside where she lay in a heap and curled up on the floor. Her clothes torn, her body battered and bruised. She could taste blood in her mouth and her throat felt hoarse from screaming, her eyes burned from the tears that continued to spill. She tried to keep her sobs silent as the men laughed, joked, and left her in the remnants of where they bashed in her door, all but destroyed the living room. Debris lay around the room, and she lay in the middle, trying to pull what was left of her clothes tighter around her. She could smell the iron scent of blood, but she wasn't sure if it was the blood in her mouth, or elsewhere on her body. She curled into herself as tightly as her sore body would allow, and closed her eyes tightly. As soon as she heard the car drive away, she finally gave in.... and cried.
Vincent Russo lie motionless beneath at least three blankets, only the rise and fall of haggard breath told of his life, still clinging on as the medicines and opiods kept him mostly asleep. The Don's white hair seemed to make him paler in complexion, the small mustache holding more gray than his natural black. The wrinkles and lines crossing his face told of much stress, detailing the history of an individual swarmed by adversity, yet still held the laugh lines of a good-hearted man. A nurse and doctor came to the manor regularly, their cases lined with pills and tools of their trade they tried their best to make the old gentleman comfortable.
Every cough that racked the aged body now drew blood, the splatter unmistakably coating the blankets, even the towel placed at his chest held the proof of his sickness. The doctor listened to the labored breathing, shaking his head slowly to the maid with inquiring eyes, the Don was still slipping. With a brief moment of alertness the Don spoke slowly, laden with heavy breathing as if he could not draw in more air; sentences would be interrupted with the hacking cough, the blood would mark his thin lips and he'd be struggling to breathe before he could continue talking. Only the maids, the doctor with his nurse and the Underboss were ever allowed to enter the room, upon the cold morning whose chill clung to the air with a deathly echo the Underboss was called in by Vincent himself.
The doctor and nurse were momentarily excused, and the two leaders of the Russo family went over some grave details concerning the family. The manor was to be filled with soldiers, lower members of the family at all times should the Don finally pass, a stronger presence was to take over the streets to remind the regular populace which family owned New York. Vincent would send out letters to the families and businesses being bullied by the Adamos and station a few made men at their establishments. He wanted to fortify their hold on the city, if at all possible the old man would try to persuade a few more blue collar cops to the payroll, the kinds that would look the other way should they find smuggled alcohol and guns leaking into the city. The prohibition was making things very difficult, on top of the strain given by the Depression.
So many families lost their savings and immigrants were hit especially hard when the stock market crashed, the government turned blind eyes away from the suffering of the people while claiming to do everything to protect them, portraying officials to be benevolent saviors. It was a lie used to placate the angry populace. Vincent was pulling everything closer to him, as he had when he asked Giovanni to come to America; of the loyal businesses Vincent would begin to charge a fee for protection services, if they could not pay the owners would start to rack up a debt to keep things running. It was a desperate measure, that the Underboss would put into motion in the coming days, the people would not be given a reason but the dying Don was becoming more fervent to get everything ready for any funeral arrangements he would need, drawing on every chance to build up funds.
Most of the shops still held loyal to the Don, if they had turned none had the courage to tell Giovanni to his face, yet the relationships once the new policies began would be extremely strained. The capo stopped at a flower shop and paid for two sets, florists seemed to at least fare a lot better than some other businesses during the depression. The first bundle of flowers was for Lucinda and were organized as a bouquet, the second was to be sent via teleflora delivery as condolences to Giardino d'Italia addressed to Adalina. It was a gesture the man felt he [b had] to make, he wouldn't feel right if he did not at least send condolence flowers, though his kindness was hardly worth much in the large scheme of things he felt better afterwards.
Giovanni then went to the Union Club, bouquet in hand; he nodded politely to the doorman and was escorted past the dining and seating area to a couple of small offices in the back. They had a few patrons moseying about, those coming in for lunches and office meetings but the main wave of party-goers would not arrive until later in the evening. The man left him in an office alone, it was a small room, used to hold conferences should the need arise and he hardly waited long before the woman who sent him the handgun entered.
[#0089c7 "Ciao, bella." [i ]] Giovanni presented the flowers with a smile, and leaned forward to courteously give her a kiss and a warm embrace. [#0089c7 "They didn't have much in stock..."] He motioned to the flowers, the two of them had been in their secret relationship for a while, while Giovanni felt happy with Lucinda he knew better than to get fully attached. His life with the Russo family took priority, it wasn't something he had much choice in, and he didn't want to bring a nice woman like Lucinda into dirty affairs. If Giovanni had met the French woman earlier in their lives his mother would not have to pester him to settle down, but Lucinda was already married by the time they met, he hadn't met the man before or if he did-he wasn't memorable to keep track of. So Giovanni skipped details when asked about Lucinda or any other potential women in his life, it was safer for everyone to keep quiet.
[#0089c7 "Grazie-for the gun you sent me, it is very nice."] Giovanni still kept the piece at his back, tucked into his slacks and covered with the folds of his shirt. He hadn't used it yet but he made sure to keep it loaded in case the need ever rose; motioning for the singer to sit down with him he checked in with things about the club. He knew a little bit about Lucinda's failing marriage, only what the woman told him about, his mother would scold him into his own grave if she knew how he was courting a married woman, potentially further driving dissent between two people. They would talk for a while, the two of them, Giovanni kept conversations light-hearted as he did not want to bring stress with everything going on, yet the perplexity of the Adamo's movements still eluded him and occupied most of his thoughts. [#0089c7 "Will you be singing tonight if I stop by after work?"]
He meant after dealing with the rest of the job reevaluating the family businesses, Giovanni and the other Capos would have to still report back to Signora Gallo in the afternoon, yet he wanted to swing back to the club if Lucinda was to be on stage. She had a voice one could hardly describe, men would sit in awe and women would sit with jealousy in their eyes as she would command the stage and everyone's attention would be on her. Once he gives the Underboss the information on Giuseppe's and the rest of the establishments he could stop worrying about what they were going to do next, Signora Gallo would tell them what to do, speaking in the Padrino's stead. If they were going to war, he'd rather know the layout of the fight beforehand; back in Sicily war was a constant affair, every family had something to prove... In America people fought in underhanded ways, striking blades in the dark, a silenced shot in the night or like La Spada's boy found out-they'd beat you in an alley and leave you for dead. The capo would have to check in on the young man as well, too many things were vying for the Italian's attention he barely kept track of them all.
Giovanni was trying not to appear distracted as he visited with his dame, but every once in a while his eyes would un-focus and he'd miss out on things she said. His biggest concern was that as war was approaching ever faster he needed to outfit their men in guns, and lots of them. Giovanni was recruited a long time ago for this special skill of his concerning the gun smuggling and black market deals, as his father was gun fanatic the young Gianni was able to hone a familiarity with many weapons of war. He'd have to dig into a few contacts to get things set up, the family had personal arms but nothing was in large quantities. He wanted to be prepared, war waited for no one...
“Giuseppe non era nostro? Suppongo che sia meglio così. Al Don sarebbe stato doloroso sapere che i suoi uomini erano diventati topi” Druscilla took the amber liquid happily, unscrewing it and gulping a large bit down, wincing at the burn and hoping it would numb her to the bone soon.
She waved a hand at her friend and Capo, glad to be able to rest under orders. This way her papa could not question her whereabouts. “Bevi me stesso per dormire, amore. Papà mi vorrebbe se tornassi in questo stato e non posso cambiarmi i vestiti.” And she planned to drink herself into a dreamless sleep at that. Tonight had been one too close to her nightmare – even if it was for the sake of the Don. Druscilla had always been willing to work under her father’s command, and dressed the part he required, but she was not willing to be this. To use her body for information.
Druscilla watched her friend retreat to her room with sad eyes. There was always something dark eating away are Feli. She didn’t know the whole account, but rumors still fell from drunken lips about her. A female Capo. It was hard to get that kind of power in their world. Women weren’t seen powerful, but perhaps times were slowly changing on that stance.
Dru tipped the amber content down her throat, the burn of it making her eyes water. She welcomed the numbing that came after a few more sips. She could only hope she wasn’t stiff in the morning. “Si Spera che l’alba non porti rigidta,” she bemoaned herself as she took another swig, the burn less now but the taste just as terrible.
When she woke, it was before the Capo. Her body terribly stiff and crying out but still she got up. Perhaps bones had only cracked and not broken as she had originally thought. It was a good thing then. Her binder would help as well later on when Dru was back where he belonged.
The amber bottle was still three-quarters filled, Druscilla had been too physically exhausted to need more as she succumbed to her sleep. It hadn’t been dreamless, but she refused to fall into that nightmare. No, she wouldn’t think about it and instead got up and used the bathroom to freshen up before she padded into the small kitchen.
“Feli…Colazione?” She looked around the pantry and dug out something to make, taking the tea kettle down as well to brew something for the morning. There she went about almost domestic in her friend’s kitchen. She may dress as a young man, but her mother was an Italian woman. She would not ever miss an opportunity to try and make Druscilla a respectable woman in the kitchen.
The adrenaline rush from their little mission was starting to dwindle down and the exhaustion kicked in. She slowly walked to the kitchen, grabbed a bottle of the requested amber liquid and shuffled back to the living room. She plopped herself down next to Dru on the sofa with a sigh. "This is my last bottle and this shit is super hard to get, so don't drink it all." She warned the other woman with quite a serious look and a firm tone to her voice.
She ran a hand through her blonde hair and kicked off her shoes. At the question, she shook her head. "I saw Joseph's face, he isn't one of ours… But I recognised him from somewhere… The woman isn't ours either. Maybe they're just trying to take down a smaller gang or something." She mumbled towards the end and slipped off her jacket before throwing those away too. "I'm meeting with Christopher and Giovanni tomorrow, I'll tell them what I know then… For now, we can relax and you need to get some rest." She turned her eyes to her friend and shook her head slightly. "You need to be more careful." She said with a tut. Another sigh escaped her lips before she stood up. "You can sleep here tonight if you want or you can call a cab, it's up to you. Either way, I'm going to bed. If you leave, there's a key under the mat outside to lock up." She stated, stretching out her limbs. "Buona notte, cara." she gave a small smile before retiring to her room.
She stripped herself of her clothes and climbed under the covers of her bed. As soon her head hit the pillow, slumber took over her conscious state. She rarely slept well, either it was due to a messed up sleeping schedule from work or it was the dreams she endured. Tonight, it seemed, her mind wanted to endure the painful dream…
It was the day Alessandro died. It had been a sunny, Sunday morning. The sky was a bright blue, a gentle breeze carried the soaring birds and children could be heard laughing and playing outside. Felicia had been in the kitchen, preparing food for dinner that night when she heard rustling. She laughed quietly to herself and turned around to see her fiance putting on his shoes. "Alessandro." She warningly, crossing her arms. The man looked up and wore a sheepish grin.
"I'm only going out to check up on things."
"You said you were going to stay and help me prepare for tonight. I'm cooking meatballs."
"Oh, c'mon amore, I'll be back before you know I'm gone."
"No, Sundays aren't meant for your mobster business… Sundays are for meatballs and Jesus."
Alessandro playfully groaned at that and made his way to the kitchen so that he could wrap his arms around Felicia and kiss her lips. Afterwards, she looked up and said. "Besides, I invited your mama." To that he groaned once more and rolled his eyes.
"Why did you have to do that?"
"Because any woman who had to squeeze your fat head out deserves a home cooked meal."
Everything had been said in good jest, never truly being serious. It was just simply how they were. Alessandro then pouted at her. "Please let me go… It's just checking out paperwork… When I come back I'll do anything that you ask me?" Felicia cocked her eyebrow up at that. "Anything?" The man nodded his head and she sighed. "Fine. But be back before one or I'm telling your mama you left me to do everything." She said, teasingly and lightly poking him in the chest. He chuckled at her and kissed her one last time… If she had known then that that would be the last, she'd never have let go. She would never have let him leave…
But, a couple of hours later and she was walking back from the shops, grocery bags in each hand when she saw her partner on the other side of the street with another man. But they were arguing, both of them had their fists clenched and looked ready to fight. She was just about to cross over when the unknown man suddenly pulled out a gun and shot Alessandro in the chest. For a moment, time seemed to stop as she watched her lover fall to the ground, his white shirt being stained with the red blood of the wound. She screamed out his name and the man who killed Alessandro ran away. She dropped the food bags, which scattered across the floor upon impact, and she darted across the road to get to him. She didn't care about the incoming traffic, she had just needed to get to him. By some chance, she made it and she fell to her knees and clutched his hand.
"Alessandro? Alessandro, you're going to be ok baby. It's fine." Tears began to stream down her face as he looked up at her with a smile on his face and pain in his eyes. "I'm sorry amore… Things got caught up and-" He cut himself off as he winced. "I told you not to go, idiota. I told you." Felicia was sobbing now and she felt his other hand cup her cheek. "I know, I'm sorry Feli… Take care of yourself and our child. Tell them their papa wished he could have been there." Her eyes widened and she shook her head. "Don't say that! You'll be fine." He wiped away her tears and kissed her hand. "No, you'll be fine… Ti amo, Feli." However, she never got to reply as with those final words, Alessandro took his final breath. His hand dropped from her cheek and the other loosened its hold. She stared at him for a moment before shaking her head. "No, Alessandro! Don't leave me please!" The tears continued as she refused to move, sympathetic strangers tried to help her but she simply had to be pushed away. It was Christopher who finally picked her up, she had kicked and screamed for him to put her down as her lover was taken away. Eventually, she calmed down and sobbed into Christopher who did his best to shield her from prying eyes.
One year later and now she had taken his place as Capo and had given birth to their son, who was under the care of her sister Antonia. She awoke that morning with a numb feeling and a want to stay in bed. She couldn't face the world, but she knew she had to. So the Italian forced herself up and made herself get dressed so that she could go to the Union club and speak with the other Capo's.
[font "Times New Roman" She had gone into the morgue alone, she had noticed, and the moment she had known it to be her mother felt like she would fall apart right there. Every ounce of strength she had been holding since the phone call was gone. She was shaky and she was in tears as she murmured prayers and apologies in Italian. The Medical Examiner there hadn't known what she was saying, but he'd seen this enough to know what was said in any language. He gave her space, and then soon he came to her to console her and help her to compose herself so that he could put the body back into the cooler.
He claimed that he would send a packet of funeral detailing in the mail, and that he had looked into things for her, and her mother had had a will. She would get a letter with details on the reading with the packet. She could only nod and thank him as he helped walk her to the door, murmuring apologies as they came out the door. She had missed her escort being startled from his sleep as the Doc patted her arm and murmured to the man that it had been her mother and his apologies. She didn't look up as he took her arm softly and led her back out the entry to hail a cab, she didn't even argue this time as he offered to take her home.
She told the cabbie her address and climbed in silently, only looking up when he spoke up of talking with the Russo's about the funeral arrangements, and asked if her home was compromised. Her eyes widened at the offer he'd given her to stay with him. Such would be seen as scandalous, they were both unmarried, and he was part of the business that paid for her to continue feeding the city as they did. Many would think her sleeping for money, and she left that to her sister.
She noticed that he had been switching back and forth between Italian and English. To oblige him, she stuck with English, hoping it would help him, though since Italian was her first language, she was heavily accented as her mother had been. [#800000 [b "I could not possibly ask for more help, [i Signore]. The Russo family has taken care of [i Mama] and I since we came here...."]] She was sure that he was going to ask anyway, and he had already even paid the cab. She thought a moment as he had asked about her home and then she answered.
[#800000 [b "I do not believe that my apartment is compromised, I should be fine to stay at home for now.... only the shop has been compromised, and they were not very happy with me.... I suspect they might come back... they did not care much for the bat I pulled on them."]] She then pulled a piece of paper from a pocket, and borrowed a pen from the driver and wrote down her address and phone number for him, as well as the number for the shop. She asked for his numbers in case she ever needed to call him about the Adamos coming back.
When he dropped her off at her apartment, she pointed out which window from the street was hers, and had written the apartment number down for him. She headed into the apartment building, and noticed the cab had waited until the lights in her window had come on. He wanted to make sure she was truly safe. She sat down at the kitchen counter with the phone and went through the list of employees, and told them all the news. She promised they would be informed of the funeral arrangements and that the shop would be closed for the week in honor of her mother, a time to mourn. They understood, wished her the best and hung up. She then tried the operator directory to try and find her sister in New Jersey, but she couldn't be found anywhere.
Adalina sighed and hung up, then looked around the apartment she and her mother shared. It was a one bedroom, gotten when Adalina had turned twenty and she had been sleeping on the couch, her mother in the bedroom. She went into her mother's room and laid one of her favorite crucifixes on the pillows of her bed. Numbly she went back to her place on the couch and curled up as the pain seeped in through the numbness and she cried herself to sleep over the loss of her mother.
Druscilla yawned then winced as she got back to Felicia’s place. If anyone saw her dressed as a woman, her papa would bury her. Luckily her mama would dig her up, but still, she would rather not listen to [i that] lecture. Felicia really owed her this time.
[+mediumturquoise “Feli, any whiskey?”] Druscilla asked her friend as she stretched out on the couch, one hand rubbing her ribs.
She hoped the capo didn’t expect her to go report in to the others. She didn’t have it in her to move another inch. If she was going anywhere, it would be home. To do that though she needed clothes, male clothes, and her wig to hide her hair.
Did they get enough information for now? Druscilla couldn’t process it all. There was a reason she wasn’t higher up, knowing the ins and outs of information wasn’t only dangerous – it was a royal pain. She couldn’t find a reason to know it all – what good would it do her? She could only remember the end, the names.
She just kept to what she did best, being unseen in the streets and letting Feli know if she heard something unusual. That and beating the crap out of scum bags. She was good at that, her favorite part in fact. What she did tonight, dressing up and using her womanly wiles? This was a territory she didn’t reach out to.
[i Never again, Feli. I can’t do this. I won’t be her, even an imitation of her frightens me. Dru is safe, Druscilla is like any other woman who would have gone home with that man tonight. Meat, fresh meat.]
Druscilla sat up then, her head tilting to the side as she looked to Feli. [+mediumturquoise “Who is this Joseph, you think? I don’t recognize the woman’s name either, but we have many Josephs.”] Her English was harsh – spending time in an only Italian home did that to one.
Druscilla winced again. [+mediumturquoise "Need to heal this up, no mistakes. Should have fought better.”] That last was said in Italian, Druscilla cursing those cur again.
"Where's my money Freddy?" Lucinda asked the man in front of her. His nose was bleeding, the red dripping down onto the floor with his head hung low. On either side of him were her two bodyguards, tall, strong men who very easily held Freddie up by the arms. "Don't make me ask again." She said warningly, piercing grey eyes studying her nails. Freddie lifted up his head, revealing a slightly swollen jaw, a missing tooth and a purple eye. "I… Don't have it, Miss Bonnefoy." Lucinda tutted and moved her eyes to the man. "That's what you said two months ago, and the two months before that. You said that you would have my money today-" However, she didn't get to finish her sentence as the beaten up man rushed to defend himself. "But, Miss Bonnefoy, you have to understand… I have bills to pay, I have three kids with another on the way…" Lucinda sighed gently before curling a gloved hand and punching him in the nose for the fourth time that evening.
Freddie cried out in pain. "I didn't ask for excuses. I asked for my money." She stated firmly, grabbing his tie and bringing him closer to her. "I don't give a fuck about your problems." She snapped, pushing him away. "The thing is Freddie… The Government, your wife, children, they can't kill you… But I can." Her words dripped with venom and she slipped off the glove from her hand. Fear and panic was written across the man's face and if he could, he'd run away. But the two body-guards who held him up, tightened their grip. "However, I'm feeling generous. If you don't give me my money by the end of the week, I'm coming for you." This wasn't a threat, but a promise.
"Lucinda, the phone!" Her husband called out from his study the next morning. She sighed gently with a roll of her eyes, she placed down the book she was reading and walked to the hallway to answer the ringing.
"Hello, Mrs Bonnefoy speaking." She answered, bringing the phone closer to her. Her bored expression changed to one of irritation as she heard the familiar voice. "I told you not to call me at home." She hissed quietly so that her husband could not hear. "Meet me at work, this better be good." She added on, and before the speaker could finish or continue she hung up. She was only given a moment to calm herself down before she heard her husband call her again.
She ran a hand through her silky, brown locks and walked to his office. "Oui?" She asked him, her tone much softer now. "Who was that?" He asked, not even bothering to look up from his newspaper. "It was just work darling, asking if I could work the extra shift." She replied, Daniel only gave her a dismissive hum. She turned around so that she could continue to get ready but her husband stopped her once again. "Lucinda, what have I told you about speaking French?" Her back was still turned to him and her brows furrowed into a frown.
"To not speak it."
"Good, you may go now."
Her fists clenched tightly and she swiftly walked to her room.
Lucinda's marriage had not always been this way, quite the opposite in fact. She had met Daniel when she had just moved to America, she was still wide eyed and innocent back then with a full heart of hopes and dreams. She had secured a job at a club, waitressing during the day and singing through the night. It was one such evening that the two met. She had been up on that stage, dolled up in a dress and make-up. The light hitting her, illuminating her skin. She saw him watching her and from across the room, their eyes met and sparks flew. He asked her for dinner and being the naive girl she had been, she agreed.
One dinner turned to two, then three and four… A couple of years down the line and he asked her to marry him. She thought that she loved him, she thought he loved her, that there couldn't be anyone who was more perfect for her than him. So once again, she said yes. But, after they had gotten through the honey-moon phase and moved in together… Daniel changed.
Her husband became cold, distant, manipulative. It grew worse when he landed his position as chief of police, if he wasn't working then he was in his study. He'd often spend nights out or would purposefully wait until she was asleep before he would turn to bed. Despite all of this, she stayed loyal and faithful, by his side because, as his wife that's what she was meant to do. She kept hoping things would turn back to the way they used to be… She lost that belief on the night he had first hit her…
As usual, he had come home rather late and smelling of alcohol and another woman's perfume. She had confronted him about her suspicions of his affair, he kept denying it and tried to push her away. But, she had had enough and insisted he tell her the truth… Instead, Daniel raised his hand and slapped her across the cheek, leaving a stinging, red mark. That night, she moved into the bedroom on the other side of the house. That night she decided to no longer try to save their failing marriage, she let her love for him go. From then on, they became strangers who would occasionally exchange small conversation. He would still hit her if she did something wrong, but other than that the two merely existed under the same roof.
Somehow, the idiot never found out about her real job. To him, she was just a very successful singer who would waitress from time to time. However, if he ever properly looked into her earnings, he would find that not all was what it seemed. She did earn a decent amount as a singer, the club she worked at was popular and she was its main attraction. But, it was her father's business, which she had inherited after his death, that gave her a bigger sum. She was an arm's dealer, providing weapons to some of the biggest Mafias, Mobs and Gangs across the world. However, her main clientele were the Russo's. Her father had established a good relationship with this particular mafia and so, the crime family aided her and her mother in his death. They gave her job at a club they owned and guided her in owning the business.
It was because of this that the Russo's were her top priority. They always had first access to new orders and if they needed more than the usual, she was happy to give. The Mafia had been good to her and even allowed her to supply to others, as long as they remained her most important customer, to which she willingly complied with.
Lucinda would never let Daniel find out, not that he could anyway. He was stupid and thick headed, she very much doubted that he eve had brains. This thought brought an amused smirk to her face as she continued to get ready for the day ahead. As per usual, she was going to help out with cleaning and waitressing until the bright blue sky turned dark and she would take to the stage. She called for a taxi, not wanting her husband to ask about her personal chauffeur, and was soon at work.
The man who had called her this morning stood outside, patiently but nervously waiting for her arrival. She stepped outside of the car and he straightened up. "This better be good, David." He nodded his head eagerly and followed her inside. She greeted other staff members with a friendly smile and wave whilst walking to her office. But the one the door was closed, and it was just herself with David, the nice demeanour dropped. "What?"
"Freddie paid everything this morning." At this news, Lucinda's smile returned. She even laughed. "I knew he could get the money… I should have beaten him up sooner… Ensure that we don't deal with him again. He's bad for business." She replied, turning to her desk and picking up letters. She began to skim through them all, not paying too much attention until a familiar name was read. She hadn't received a letter from this man before, but he was the talk of town… She didn't get to read the letter properly as David came back into her office, not that she had seen him leave, and announced that her special friend was inside. She smiled brightly, checked her appearance in the mirror before going to greet Giovanni.
Vincent Russo was a man of honor, crooked as their businesses sometimes ran, he was one who looked after others from the old country-America did not like many immigrants-living was difficult and the Padrino tried to make adjusting to a new country easier on those fresh off the boat. Giovanni knew the generosity of the Russo often meant a type of loyalty was exchanged, he'd pay off a debt-or keep your lights on and in return if he ever came asking for a favor it would be done. The same thing was done with Moretti's restaurant, times were tough in the Depression, with meal lines overcrowded and immigrants being turned away at the door it was a comfort to know that the Giardino d'Italia would still serve many Italians when they'd otherwise be forced to starve.
Vincent paid to make sure everything would remain open, especially during these hard times, but as his health was rapidly deteriorating people saw this as a sign of opportunity. Oaths were broken, suspicions rose of turncoats and the pressure placed by the Adamo family was starting to become more of a nuisance. Giovanni listened carefully as Adalina talked about what the gangsters from Adamo said, they chatted in quiet tones as they went to the hospital, Giovanni would pay for the cab-if Mrs. Moretti had died, it meant that sole proprietorship would pass to Adalina.
His actions was not only a sign of compassion, but further enforcing the Russo's connections stayed in good terms, his accompaniment was a practical move as well as a good one for his conscience. If that was his mother he'd be going to see, he'd definitely want someone to be there for him. Giovanni paid for the cab and followed Adalina into the hospital, he kept up with her quickened pace like he was chaperoning a hit target however at the entrance to the morgue he let Adalina go in alone. Giovanni quickly crossed himself and said a prayer to God for Mrs. Moretti.
He knew that time was sensitive and would wait until Adalina had finished, he did not know how long it took but he sat down to wait and noted the random stares he'd get as people passed back and forth along their way. Giovanni actually dozed off when he was awakened as Adalina would come back outside. Gently touching her arm at the elbow he motioned for them to walk and talk, he'd get another cab for them and he'd be able to drop her off properly at her house, or wherever her and her mother would have resided.
[#0089c7 "Voglio farti sapere che la famiglia Russo ti darà ogni assistenza in questo momento difficile. Se hai bisogno di aiuto per il..." [i ]] He was trying to piece together his thoughts carefully, trailing off a few times as he looked for the right words. [#0089c7 "-the funeral arrangements, I will speak to my boss and we will get things taken care of."]
[#0089c7 "Hai un posto sicuro in cui tornare? Gli Adamos sanno dove vivi?" [i 'Do you have a safe place to return to? Do the Adamos know where you live?']] He kept switching between languages absentmindedly, he wanted to know English fluently but every time he tried he felt foolish, like he was constantly missing the right words or sounds that would convey American emotions. It took a while for them to get a cab, but in their time waiting Giovanni did whatever he could to make sure his questions were not going to make things worse. He normally wouldn't do this for anyone on the street, but he just happened to be in the right spot at the right time. Giovanni extended the offer of Adalina shacking up with him if her home location was compromised, he had no intention of letting the scum from the other family attack their business associates.
Not that he expected her to take his offer, in some groups it'd be a whole scandal, but he merely meant it in a concerned ally way. It would almost be a relief to be turned down-he wasn't expecting any guests and would make the transition a touch awkward. Throughout the car ride the two of them seemed to be lost in thought, Adalina with her grief and Giovanni with his stress, most of the family didn't know how things have gone with the Padrino-most of them would say that a drink and a bowl of homemade soup would cure what ailed the Godfather.
As the night deepened and everyone seemed to go home for the night Giovanni would stay awake, consumed in his thoughts. He was making a big map of the city with just a pen and lots of paper, like a strange cartographer he mapped out several key points around, trying desperately to root out where the Adamo infestation was hiding. He had papers tacked to his wall, pen scratches scrawled across and even made holes with his fervent writing. As he worked he went straight for the crude alcohol whiskey bootleggers made, trying to calm the shakes that came with his addiction's withdrawals. The Prohibition was really amping up, and making things difficult, Giovanni could hear police sirens go off in the distance, reminding him to factor in police intervention as another obstacle they'd have to look out for.
Vincent had a few blue collars in his back pocket but not very many, only with the perk of money would any officer accept to turn a blind eye to the Russo family business. In the Great Depression that kind of offer was made even more tempting as the risk of eviction and starvation rose; people had to face it, the entire country was going down the drain and a lot would rather climb over someone else to survive. Turning to crime was a given. Which also meant that new families would be popping up like daisies, like the Adamos.
They were hiding out there somewhere, he just knew it, but he had no evidence and that made everything stall out. Giovanni burned through his entire supply of cigarettes and saved up alcohol as he ran possibilities of locations on his makeshift map, one after another, he poured all his knowledge of tactics he had at his disposal. Giovanni wasn't a typical grunt in the family, he rarely got into fights as his heightened perception and calm responses made it easier for him to solve conflict without giving a single punch. Every Capo had some ability that further increased the reach of the Russo family-and this also meant the same for their enemies. Giovanni knew they'd have to work their way up the chain of command in the Adamo's regime to get to Ivan. They handled a few soldiers at Giuseppe's, they needed to find out who the made men were working for Ivan Adamo. If they could grab a hold of one of the capos, run them through the ringer and get some information they'd be set to take down the others, and challenge the Underboss. But where in this giant city were they hiding? They couldn't have managed to slip by unnoticed, could they?
The dawn broke over an especially cold morning, the soft lights still on in Giovanni's little apartment, the constant smell of smoke traveled between rooms as he paced in thought. De Luca was not a bruiser of a gangster, those were a dime a dozen; he was a tactician in anything from arms deals to business raids, a mastermind of illegal affairs that allowed the Russo family in Sicily to become the biggest mafia presence there. The entire police force bent to the will of Vincent Russo, the people knew the weight his named carried. Yet in America his reach was significantly hindered, it was something Giovanni was brought over from Sicily to fix.
There was frost on the window panes, cold breezes found their way into his apartment adding to the discomfort, reminding him of his poor flaws with the residence. Holding his last cigarette between his lips he stood looking over the map he created with his arms crossed. Lazy smoke circled above his black hair, he narrowed down as much as he was able to as far as potential raid targets. Adamos were already stealing businesses and threatening owners who refused them-Giovanni would put more boots on the ground, so to speak, one tactic he learned from the old gangsters was that hurting another family took three major key-points.
Damage their places of income, if he could put together a raid on one of their owned properties, disrupting shipments and destroying stocks under the Adamo name would rapidly drain their budgets. Next, target the people standing between you and the boss, either killing them or putting them in the hospital would take them out of commission-weeding through the family from the ground up made the entire group unstable, stretching the mobsters too thin trying to protect from multiple threats. Lastly if they managed all that was to shut down the family completely, bankrupt them in property damages, loss of members creates disruption and sows deceit among the ranks-people would abandon them or die; when all that is done, cut off the head of the serpent. Ivan Adamo himself.
Giovanni vowed to himself silently that if nothing else came from his loyalty he would make sure the Adamos were dead and buried before the Padrino passed on. He did not think Vincent would pull through, as much as his irrational brain wanted him to, he knew too much of death to change his mind. He was so engrossed in unraveling the trail of the other gang he almost missed his traditional call to his mother, as the clock rolled around with more morning light Giovanni set down his work and dialed the number, the memory of Mrs. Moretti passing made him talk to his mother a lot longer than usual-it would make him late should he be needed to meet somewhere. She still pestered about the same things, when was he going to settle down, when was he going to visit and when was he going to bring his lady friend over so she could meet her? Giovanni skirted around the questions vaguely, as per usual she worried for him, but he just couldn't give her the things she wanted. His heart ached as they spent at least an hour talking, mostly his mother talked and he listened with a reply here or there; by the time it was finished Giovanni had to get ready to do a bit of recon.
He would start on the businesses closest to his apartment, he chose to walk the brisk morning and afternoon, seeing so many shops and restaurants boarded up, with signs written about their closing due to the Depression-a lot of people lost everything. He counted his blessings for being with the family, without Vincent's help they would be living on the streets. He had a few key places he was going to visit throughout the day, the Union Club was a key establishment just like Ratner's, and he had a certain someone he wanted to spend time with. She was a great dame, spirited and feisty that liked the excitement of being involved with real gangsters; he still carried the gun she gave him too, though he hoped he wouldn't need to use it today.
A cold morning chill often heralded the steps of Death, the dull skies its cloaked embrace ready to reap with ice covered scythe the ones who hear its ghostly call...
Felicia stared up at the, seemingly, abandoned warehouse. [i Clever...] She thought to herself. The Adamo's had boarded up the windows so that no light could escape, however, they thought that they would be safe and unseen in the cover of darkness and so trucks carrying boxes of unknown cargo were moving in and out. She had found the place, but now it was getting in. They would likely close the place in the morning... If she could just find somewhere to sneak in... That was when she saw it, a door swung upon in the breeze. She watched it for a moment and when nobody came to close it, she knew that was their way in.
She was pulled from her thoughts as Dru spoke up and she looked to the woman. She was actually quite proud of who she had transformed Dru to be and she wished that the other would not dress up as a man so much. She laughed at what was said and playfully rolled her eyes. "How about you go see him like this? I'm sure he'd be happy for you to spend the night with him. Though, you wouldn't be doing much sleeping." She gently nudged the other and laughed lightly.
Dru did not know of Felicia's relationship to Alessandro, her late boyfriend had ensured to keep his work and love life separate. It was only Christopher, and potentially Giovanni, that knew. That was only because they worked with him. She didn't tell because she didn't want the pity, the sympathetic looks or the sorry's that would follow. She knew what she had to do to become Capo and she did it. As a soldier, she had had many advances from the rest of the Russo's, too many in her opinion. She always politely declined. However, when she finally reached her desired position, she had made it very, incredibly clear that she would not stand for it. The first man that had tried to take her home, she publicly twisted his arm. None dared to try again. She would receive the odd flirtatious comment, but she didn't necessarily mind those.
She waved her hand at the statement dismissively. "I'm not intending to fight. I just want to look at what they are hiding, maybe I can try stealing some. But there won't be fighting. If they catch us, we can pretend that we are drunk and become lost." She replied, taking off her jewelry and accessories. She didn't want the attention drawn to her if the light inside reflected off of the shiny surface. She also didn't potentially lose something either. She snorted at what Dru said next and rolled her eyes. "Like you would ever."
With that, she was walking with Dru across the road and to the warehouse. She tried to stick to the dark and the walls as to not be seen and soon they were slipping through the open warehouse door. She closed it gently behind her and slowly walked through the tunnels. Pipes of various shapes and sizes blocked the walls, but the dark metal was starting to rust. Rats and mice scampered and squeaked. She couldn't help but wonder when the last time this place had been used. Felicia began to see a brighter light in an opening and she referenced for Dru to duck lower.
Luckily, there were some wooden crates in the way of the door and the both of them were able to hide. She stayed like that for a moment before peering over the box.
Various men were carrying boxes and bags in and out of the warehouse, her brows furrowed slightly in curiosity. She tried to see what was in them but she just couldn't. She looked to her side and saw there was a small path between the wall and the boxes, just big enough for the two of them to walk down. They would still have to crouch and she cocked her head for Dru to follow. As they walked down, she managed to open a crate and within it, laid stacks guns. Her eyes widened slightly before she reached in and took a small one. She would need this as proof of what the Adamo's were doing, and just in case they would need to protect themselves. She opened the next one and with it came a very strong smell, she had to turn her head for fresh air. When she looked back, she saw the seeds of Opium. She took a small pouch out from her bag before slipping the little seeds into it. This was valuable information. It meant that the Russo's now knew part of what the Adamo's had in mind, and now they could plan to be one step ahead. She was about to turn around when she heard a shout.
She sucked in her breath and froze, her heart pounding in her chest as fear began to rise. However, nothing happened… Nobody approached them. Instead, the voice spoke out again.
"Joseph, where have you been? We needed you here an hour ago."
"Sorry, boss. I was just dealing with… Christina… I found some things out that could help us."
Felicia drew her attention to a man with dark grey hair, clad in a suit and a stern look in his eyes. His accent was strong and she could only assume that this was Ivan. The men worked around him, not daring to look at him. He also had this air of power. She next studied the man he was talking to. Tall, slender. Blonde hair and lime green eyes. She felt like she had seen him before, but she couldn't recognise where. Before she could think of more, she heard shuffling feet behind her and it was as if she came back to life. She ushered for Dru to hurry along and soon they were out of that warehouse.
Druscilla gritted her teeth as she stared at the warehouse in front of her. Her cheeks puffed out when she huffed and gooseflesh broke out along her arms from the lack of her usual clothing attire. The bouncy curls of her natural hair that she kept hidden under a boy’s wig usually no on full display and annoyingly falling into her line of sight.
Beside her Felicia stood as if she wasn’t the Devil himself. Druscilla pouted, the lipstick on her face making her appear as though she were trying to give a sultry look. Her whole evening had sucked on this outing from the very moment Felicia had decided to force her into the monstrosity she was wearing now. A backless perfect for dancing white cocktail dress.
Druscilla almost hoped they would have had to deal with that man at the bar in a more physical sense. It would have served Felicia right for Druscilla to stain the dress in bloody blotches. Her body still shivered from the man’s advances at the bar, completely out of her element in seducing men. For the love of it all she spent most of her damn time dressing and acting like one, seducing one had never been a perceivable thought.
Now here she was, dressed like a bar fly and her ribs aching something fierce while Felicia wanted her to sneak into a warehouse and find the dirty goods on the bastards who were the cause of her pain and suffering. When this was over, Druscilla was getting so drunk she hoped not to feel or see straight for three days.
[+mediumturquoise “La prossima volta, donna, sto aiutando il Capo Chris a riorganizzare violentemente i volti. Potrei anche iniziare a flirtare con lui anche su di te. Non mi prenderà su di esso e mu trasformerà in una drag queen.”]
Men didn't date men, but Druscilla wasn't a man. She didn't find anything odd about her statement and didn't think of the reactions that would come if she actually flirted with Chris. He was dark and cutthroat. If anything he would just give her a box to her ears and leave her with a warning. It would still be worth it to get back at Felicia.
Druscilla eyed her friend, whom she often did openly flirt with when she was dressed as a man. Felicia was a beautiful woman – hard and uninterested in men with her full heart for good reason – but never the less a beauty. It was amazing none of the other men had attempted to take her to bed and even more that she had been able to prove herself a strong a powerful leader. Druscilla appreciated her friend for that strength and saw her as an exception to life’s in-laid design of what women could do. In her own eyes women still only could reach one way in life when they came from nothing. She feared being nothing as a woman, feared the life she had grew up watching with her own eyes.
Druscilla’s hands gripped the sides of her dress, hating that she found it pretty. She hated that her body, lean with muscle from fighting other boys was now tight curves and almost delicate looking at a distance. Looking at her now, her papa would probably throw her in a brown bag and push her into the nearest car trunk to hide her away.
Strangely the thought had a smirk trace Druscilla’s face, the expression was so ‘Dru’ in nature. Maybe she should wear the dress home, if only to have her papa see what her darling friend and Capo did to her. She wondered if Felicia could hold her own against her papa. If she were a betting man, she would put money down on her old man. You didn’t get to be a personal bodyguard of the Don for nothing.
[+mediumturquoise “Felicia,”] Druscilla’s English was heavily accented. [+mediumturquoise “I can’t fight, si. In and out, no beatings.”] She traced her ribs as if to express why she was saying they couldn’t get into physical confrontation.
Druscilla understood the importance of dealing with this uprising violent group, but she wasn’t stupid. Her ribs were cracked, no doubt a couple broken. Sweat was already building along her neck and back just from standing. She needed a drink, some pain medication, a fucking lie-down. Pain was burning up her side and she felt like she would cry if she were a lesser woman.
Her eyes fluttered closed a moment as she leaned against her friend. [+mediumturquoise “Forse ti accompagno a quell gioco di caccia all’uomo al bar la prossima volta. Se sopravvieremo a questo.”]
She didn’t mean it, not really, but it was fun to watch her friend’s expression. They both knew that Druscilla was a prude and pure as the day she was born. The girl lived her life as a boy had seemed to have an unexplainable fear of giving in to being the beautiful woman she could be in her friend’s eye, she knew.
[+mediumturquoise “Dai, capo. Ripassiamolo cosi posso tornare da Dru.”]
After saying goodbyes, Christopher headed back home. There wasn't anything more he could do without Giovanni and he didn't see the point in waiting around to discuss more about the Adamo's, they could always continue that conversation tomorrow. He also made a mental note to talk to Felicia again, try to find out more information on the Adamo's.
He reached his apartment, but found that the door was already unlocked. He frowned slightly as he was sure that he had locked it, no, he knew that he had. He reached into the inside pocket of his pinstripe suit and slipped out a gun, he cocked it and slowly entered the apartment. His footsteps against the wooden floor were quiet and carefully placed, he felt his heart beat through his chest, his muscles were tense and his grip tightened on the gun in hand as heard the tap running in the kitchen.
He took a breath, to steady himself when he neared the doorway. He mentally counted to three before rounding the corner and aiming the gun at the person. He had briefly closed his blue eyes, but when he opened them he was met with a familiar pair of lime green. He sighed in relief and chuckled to himself, lowering the gun. "Joseph... You can't just break into my house." He tried to sound annoyed, he tried to feel it too. But as he saw an innocent, playful smile on the other man's lips, he chuckled again.
"Sorry Chrissy. I'll let you know next time." Joseph said mockingly, setting down the glass of water in hand on the counter and walking over to Christopher. By this point, the gun was back into his pocket. "I missed you." This time, the words were softly spoken and Joseph grabbed Christopher by the jacket and tugged him closer. "I just didn't want to have to wait to see you. I knew you would be free and I finished work early... I didn't want to waste the opportunity-"
However, the other man was cut off from speaking as Christopher finally closed the gap between them and softly pressed their lips in a kiss. With arms wrapped around one another, the secret lovers took their time in savouring the moment until the second it was broken. "It's fine Joey, I just wasn't expecting you... But I'm glad that it was you that broke into my apartment and not somebody else." The two laughed at that and they spent the rest of their night talking, eating and just being with one another. Their time spent seemed to fly by and they were hesitant to depart from eachother, with their relationship being a secret, and illegal, they had to be careful to not get caught...
[Right [pic https://i.imgur.com/dWQrQrU.jpg]] It had all started when the both of them found each other going to the same bar every Thursday night. Polite nods and smiles turned to conversation, and before they knew if they had become very close friends. They told eachother anything and everything, Christopher felt happy when he was with Joseph and soon felt himself falling for the other. At first, he denied it. He couldn't like another man... He shouldn't like another man... It wasn't possible, right? Then, once he realised he did have feelings, he punished himself. It was wrong to like another man this way. Men only belonged with women and Christopher tried to date other women. He was left unsatisfied. One night, he had gotten ridiculously drunk, trying to drown his feelings out, and Joseph had to take him home, otherwise he would have slept on the streets. After plenty of struggles, he was being settled into bed. However, his intoxicated brain decided that it was a good idea to tell Joseph everything, tell him exactly how he felt. As it turned out, the blonde male felt exactly the same.
That was two years ago, and they have been hiding their relationship in secret ever since. It was hard. Sometimes they went weeks, months without seeing each other. Sometimes, they would pass on the street and would either have to act like they were strangers or just good friends. Christopher still struggled with his sexuality, he still thought that it was wrong. But, he just could not help himself. He loved Joseph, with every fibre in him and he would be torn the day that they could never see eachother again.
He went to bed, alone, feeling both satisfied and miserable. His heart filled with both joy and sorrow. This wasn't healthy, but... What else could he do?
[Left [pic https://i.imgur.com/86cmKJR.jpg]] Felicia wore a sympathetic look when Drucilla swayed as she stood up and she wrapped her free arm around the other woman's waist. Though she was always careful to ensure that she called her by the right name and used the correct pronouns, Felicia could never see Drucilla as anything other than a woman, and at first, she had been rather uncomfortable with how Dru acted so much like a man. Over time, she'd learned to play along with the act and had even fooled some people into thinking they were together. It was quite amusing.
After the comment from the bartender, Felicia continued her walk to the bathroom so that she could at least wipe away the blood and reduce some of the swelling. Soon enough, they entered the women's bathroom and she led them into a stall, shutting and locking the door behind her to give them some more privacy. She hadn't wanted to talk about her task out in the open, but, there were very few women in the bar now and very few men would come into the bathroom unless it was an emergency. She set Drucilla down on the toilet seat before getting set on cleaning the woman up.
"I'm going to be doing more than just putting you into a fucking dress, [i amore]." She said to her teasingly, wiping away the darkened, dried stains of blood. "Whilst the other Capos are trying to control the Adamo's from the outside, I'm going to be working from the inside. Getting some intel and reporting it back to Signora Gallo." She started pausing for a moment to place some plasters over the open cuts, then she began to wrap some ice into the hand towel, tied it up and instructed Dru to hold it to her eye. She swallowed thickly, disgusted with herself, before continuing. "I went to one of their places last night. Found a book full of receipts. He's my way into their gang, I can pass off as his girl before slowly working my way in... But, I need help and I want you. They won't recognise you as a woman and I can't do this by myself." She further explained, wrapping more ice into a hand towel and telling Dru to lightly press it against her ribs.
"However, I'm technically your boss, so you can't say no and I'm sure you want to get revenge on what those bastardos did to you, si?" She said with a playful smile. "Right, you stay here and I'll ask the bartender to get us a cab." She stated, standing up and going to do just as she had said. After finishing and supporting Dru to the cab, they soon found themselves in Felicia's apartment. She walked the woman to her room and laid her down on the bed. "Get some rest, tesoro. I'll wake you when it's time to go." She said gently, but in a way that she wasn't going to take no for an answer. She needed Dru to be in her best condition, just in case something were to go wrong.
In the few hours that she was asleep, Felicia cleaned her apartment to pass the time and thought of a plan for tonight. She hoped that the Adamo she had slept with would have a friend, someone for Dru to talk with, if not, both of the women could charm him. She wasn't going to go back to his place that night, but she needed information.
If luck were on her side, he'd get so drunk that he would tell everything that he knew to her. However, that was highly unlikely to happen, but she hoped that she could get at least one small shred of information. It would be better than starting with nothing. She then woke the woman up and ran her bath. Whilst she left the other to her privacy, she decided to start getting ready herself. Felicia did wonder when the last time Dru ever looked like a woman or why she even dressed like a man at all, she made a mental note to ask later. She slipped into a loose dress that stopped just above her knees, wore matching gloves that ran up to her elbows, wrapped a set of pearls around her neck and finished her look off with a head piece make-up and a pair of heels. Then, she began to lay out clothes for Dru and she chuckled to herself at the thought of the others' reaction to what she had to wear.
"Get changed into these and when you're done, I'll do your make-up. I don't want any complaining." She stated, exiting the room. Ten minutes passed and she was called back in. The two made conversation as Feli painted the others' faces. Time seemed to fly by as one taxi ride later and they were in the bar. She sat in the same spot the night prior, she even had the same drink. Everything was identical, except for her companion who was sitting on the stool identical, looking incredibly unhappy. She took a sip of her drink and rolled her eyes.
"Stop looking at me like that. It's not even that bad. You look better than you usually do." She said teasingly and then quickly downed the rest of her drink in one, gesturing for another. "Right, please be as feminine as possible… And flirty… Just follow my lead, okay?" It was asked as a rhetorical question, but before Dru could even think of replying. A familiar voice called out from the doorway of the bar.
"Alyssa!" She turned her head to the man and placed on a sultry smile. "Johnny, fancy seeing you here." She replied as the man approached. She felt sick to her stomach and when Johnny wrapped around her waist, her skin began to crawl. She wanted him to get off of her… But, she had only just started to get somewhere… She couldn't blow it all up, she'd never get revenge for her Alessandro, for her Bambino Lovino… If it meant making sacrifices and suffering, then so be it. She placed a gloved hand on his chest and looked up at him.
"I just had to come see you again, especially after last night… It was so good that I knew I had to have another with you and had to share it with my friend Lizzy." The man's smile turned to a proud grin and his eyes seemed to glaze over with the images of the possibilities. He eyed Dru up hungrily and tightened his grip on Felicia. "But first, how about a few drinks?" She snapped her fingers twice and told the bartender to keep the drinks coming and to place the bill on Johnny's tab.
A few drinks turned to several, they moved from the bar to a private booth and Felicia tried to do most of the talking, knowing that Dru would not want to flirt with this man. However, he would turn his attention to her and she would have to speak. She handled him surprisingly well. But, no matter how hard the both of them tried, he never once spoke about his work. Accepting defeat, she called for a cab.
It wasn't until they were waiting for the taxi, did he let something slip. He hiccuped and leaned into Felicia's side. "Y'know, my boss is so rich. He bought this big warehouse by the doc's on the other side of the city. I'd tell you what's inside but… that's a secret." His words were slurred, his body relaxed. He was just about to kiss her cheek, but she had already left with Dru, using the taxi they had called for him to get to the warehouse. There had to be something there.
Adalina finished up on the phone when someone came up to the register to pay. She quickly wiped at her face and tried to compose herself. Too late, she realized that the man that came to pay was one of the men from the Russo's table. He offered her a sum to fit the bill, more than enough to cover his meal and the others at the table. She tried to smile for him and began to reach for the money before he stopped and asked her what was wrong. She tried to play it off, but the look he gave her was one she could not argue with. Glancing around she leaned in softly and told him what she had heard in the phone call. He gave her the money and she rang up the bill and gave him back his change. That was when he offered to get her a cab to the hospital.
[#8f0600 [b [i "No, no, per favore, non potrei accettare una cosa del genere. La famiglia Russo ha già fatto così tanto per me e la mia famiglia. Non sarebbe giusto violare di più la loro ospitalità. Non posso lasciare il ristorante fino all'orario di chiusura, comunque, se lo staff lo scopre, non saranno in grado di concentrarsi sul loro lavoro ..."] ]] She pleaded and tried to tell the man she could walk, but he wouldn't hear of it. When he paid for his meal he went back to sit with his table once more. It was awhile before the restaurant began to calm down for the night. After the last meal was sent out, she went and placed the closed sign on the door. Taking a deep breath she tried to calm herself and made her way to the back, calling all the staff together to finally share the news.
They cried or gave prayers, asking for details and she tried to give them what she could. She explained that they didn't need to bother with cleaning up, she would handle it. All they needed to do was to make sure the last of the customers were paid out, then lock up and go home, she would be back later to handle full closing and cleaning. She told them to be with their families for now, and that the place would be closed for a couple of days until she could get things sorted for her mother's funeral, and they, of course, were all invited. She gathered her things and locked up the office, wishing everyone good night before following the Russo man outside where a cab waited for them both. She slid in first, keeping her hands clasped tightly on her lap as she tried to keep her emotions composed until she was absolutely sure it was her mother in the hospital morgue. After he gave instructions to the driver he spoke to her, always in Italian, and asked her what she knew about the Adamos.
[#8f0600 [b [i "Temo di non sapere molto. Sapevo che la famiglia Russo ci ha aiutato a tenere aperti i nostri affari sin da quando ero bambina. Questi uomini di Adamo sono entrati nel ristorante oggi come se possedessero il posto ... dopo i loro pasti uno è venuto da me e mi ha detto che potevano pagarmi più soldi di quanti ne sapessi cosa fare se fossi diventata la sua donna e gestire invece il ristorante per la famiglia Adamo. L'ho cacciato con una mazza ... ha detto che mi sarei pentito delle mie azioni."] ]]
She wasn't sure how he would take all this news, and she kept to Italian as not many knew their language and she was sure the cab driver didn't need to know what was being said. And another thing she was absolutely sure of, was that she and her family business were placed on the Adamo radar. She was sure that the Russo family wouldn't take kindly to others trying to move in on their territory, and she and her mother had been nothing but loyal to the Russos for their help in keeping their business afloat. A thought came to her and she had to bite back any tears of mixed emotions. Had her mother truly collapsed on her own due to her sicknesses? Or had someone done something to her mother? Her mother had not been in the building when the men came, her mother had already left, but had they seen the woman leave? If they did anything to her mother, she would use more than a bat to teach them that she wouldn't take kindly to anyone harming her family. She already had issues with her sister.
[#8f0600 [b [i 'Merda...."] ("Shit....")]] she cursed to herself mentally. She needed to tell her sister of what had happened. But how? Her floozy sister said she was going to be out of town for a while, and she left no forwarding address or telephone number. This wasn't going to go well, she was not going to keep her mother in the morgue until her sister returned. It was disrespectful to the dead, as well as she simply couldn't afford it. She still had all of her mother's medical bills to pay, as well as now she had the funeral arrangements to take care of. Her mother had life insurance, but it wouldn't be enough to cover everything.
The restaurant needed renovations, their apartment was falling apart because the landlord was a prick and Adalina refused to date the man. She and her mother were too proud to ask for any help. Both raised in the mindset that you have to work hard to live your life. Her sister only gave so much every once in a while, and it still wasn't enough since her sister had champagne taste and never wore the same dress more than twice. She sighed and rubbed at her face a moment before she began to toy with the many necklaces that hung in varying lengths along her chest. One thing at a time, she would tell herself as the Hospital loomed in closely. They pulled up to the main doors and she asked the driver to go round to the emergency entrance. He seemed to grunt at first before doing so.
She thanked the Russo man for the ride, unsure if he was going to follow her or not, she was on a one-track mind now that they had reached the hospital. Adalina was a little shaken, her nerves and composure were on by a thread. She made her way into the doors and to the main desk where she asked the woman about her mother. The woman didn't seem to understand and she realized she was using Italian in her nerve wrecked state. She switched to English and tried again. The woman would point her down the hall to the morgue section. With a shaky breath and the tinkling jingling of her "Gypsy" like jewelry, she made her way to the morgue where she spoke with the Doctor in charge. She didn't even look to see if the Russo man was behind her, she was barely holding it in right now. Her mother was all she had since her sister was less than familial.
The man moved towards a wall of doors, checking a couple of names before he would open one, and slide a long table out. There was a body, covered in a white sheet. A familiar smell lifted to her nose as she stepped closer. A shaky hand came up to press to her mouth. The man gently pulled the sheet back to reveal the old woman on the slab and Adalina lost all her strength and composure, her knees giving out from beneath her.
[#8f0600 [b [i "Mama! No, please, non lei!"] ]] She cried. The Doctor stepped back to give her some time with her mother, where she leaned in to lay her head against her mother's head, whimpering prayers for her mother's soul. It was now true, The Lady Moretti had passed.
Giovanni had read the small note Adalina had left them, yet he didn't have time to address it before the things with the mother, and the daughter, and the numbers... A lot of the others were definitely into the idea of Signora's daughter, shamelessly giving numbers and flirting with her openly which made the poor woman blush and apologize. After their meals were delivered, Giovanni nudged Christopher's arm, showing him the note with a knowing gaze-they were getting bolder.
It was a brief moment of solemn understanding but then they would turn back to their dinners and things resumed merrily without a hitch. Giovanni was still in a good mood besides the note, they sorted out the men at Giuseppe's and would sort out this lot as well. One thing about Italians is just because food was finished did not mean the dinner was over, they all sat around and talked with each other like it was their grandmother's barbecue in the summer. Giovanni took this time to take care of his check, walking up to Adalina at the register and pulling out plenty of cash to cover it. It was a wonder why Giovanni refused to get a car, as he could clearly afford one with his position.
[#0089c7 "Ciao. Credo che questo coprirà... Cosa c'è che non va?" [i 'Hello. I think this will cover... What's wrong?']] He noticed the sounds of her sadness first, it was subtle, like she was desperately trying to hold it in but Giovanni was an observant man. He lit himself a cigarette as he listened to the woman, immediately feeling his heart shatter in his chest when he heard the news. He wanted to also talk to Adalina about the Adamo's, but it was not the time. Giovanni lost his father shortly after they had come to the States, living in poor neighborhoods with most of them being discriminated against for being immigrants meant that his father lacked the help he needed to get better. His mother took it the hardest.
[#0089c7 "Posso prenderti un taxi? -Per l'ospedale." [i 'Can I get you a taxi? -For the hospital.']] The two of them talked for a bit, he could figure that Adalina would not like the idea of leaving the restaurant, but this was her mother. The people, here especially, understood the importance of family; Giovanni wouldn't really allow Adalina to brush off with objections after paying for his meal he walked back to their table, nodding his head to Christopher.
[#0089c7 "Signora Moretti has passed, the young lady doesn't want to... come dirlo? [i 'how to say it?'] -Leave the restaurant alone. It will give me an opportunity to learn more about what happened with the Adamos."] It looked like he paused, looking back to Adalina before taking another hit from his cigarette, he could feel his body begin to convulse and shake internally. [i 'Damn these shakes.']
[#0089c7 "Everyone, take the rest of the night. Enjoy."] The men smiled and nodded to being cut loose for the rest of the evening, Giovanni wished the other Capo to have a good night before he would escort Adalina via cab to the hospital. Adalina was stubborn, but Giovanni was too and he refused to take no for an answer, now was not the time to be cold. This was a time where everyone needed to come together-for each other, and he wasn't going to let Adalina go alone. On the way with the cab allowed Giovanni the opportunity to learn more about what the Adamos wanted with the restaurant. Attempting to get a monopoly on shops was on thing, like Giuseppe's, but the restaurant was a critical place just like Ratner's for the Russo's. They wouldn't give it up so easily,
[#0089c7 "So... Dimmi cosa sai degli Adamos." [i 'Tell me what you know about the Adamos.']]
[center [b ~*~*~]]
Across the city, towards the harbor the Adamo Family settled in on another warehouse, quickly moving crates and boxes inside the cover of the shadows; several members stood guard and watched over as a new shipment of guns and drugs would pull through from the shipping containers. For every ten hauls, two would be caught by police, the force of the police were getting stronger in the streets and dock areas. Even then the Adamos worked quickly and efficiently, breaking open boxes with crowbars and pipes.
These guns would definitely come in handy in dealing with the Russo's, into the evening they'd work, sending out more ammo and parts to the rest of their bases towards the southern half of the city. [https://imgur.com/zMWYY62.jpg Ivan Adamo] watched the workers bent carrying the weight of the newest shipment from the top office of the warehouse, relishing the thought utilizing the arms in crushing the family who gave him such dishonor, who insulted him deeply. The Padrino of the Russo Family dismissed Ivan when they last saw each other, waved him off like an annoying fly buzzing around his white-haired head.
Ivan did not forget and he did not forgive, barking an order to his Underboss to put the next stage in action, they had enough opium brought in to get many of the populace hooked. Most people would be using opium to help them sleep, to relieve pain and even to calm crying children; in times where hunger, cold and lack of shelter were at an all-time high people would be clamoring for any sort of relief. Once the masses were in the palm of his hand he'll be racking up territory in no time, though Ivan knew the interference from Russo's underlings would be a definite problem.
Drucilla was never so happy than now to see her papa. As whiskey burned down her throat and blood dripped down her face, she couldn’t help the strange tingling it all sent down her spine. Sure, she was bruised and broken, but she was alive. And unlike most girls her age, she knew deep down she would rather wear bloodstains than jewelry.
Blood wet her lips, traced the line of her neck, and stained the cotton shirt her mother had just washed the day before. As a woman, the scene would be terrifying, horrifying even! But as a man! As a man she looked heroic in a way, someone who did something for her people.
A chuckle fell from her lips as she lifted whiskey to them again. What was this silliness she was thinking? If her brothers in arms knew she was a woman, they’d scold her and coddle her for her actions. She would be trapped with guards thanks to who her papa was and stuck in terrible dresses. Worse yet she may have to give in and marry someone later on!
Dru shuttered, his good eye opening at the sound of people coming in. The noise rose as his brothers spoke in various tones, though the name ‘Adamo’ passed everyone’s mouth leaving a bitter aftertaste. Taking a third swallow from the glass, he heard his own father’s voice speak up, telling someone about what had happened.
A stiff neck rotated his head a moment, his auburn hair messy and matted hung low on his forehead. From his position he could now see several important people speaking with his father. Though he had never interacted with the two men, he knew a little about them. One was old school and honor bound while the other enjoyed the fight and the kill.
Both were good looking men in their own way. One was roguish looking with deep eyes and a weary face, the other was suit and tie. Looking at them, it was amazingly hard to imagine that one was a cold-blooded killer while the other was a man of heart. At least from Dru's perspective.
Alas, what did he really know though about the two men. Neither of them ever really interacted with Dru on a personal base, so he wasn’t on their radar as anything but ‘Spada’s son’, however the third power player coming in from behind them…
[i ‘heh she came all the way here? Was it to see me?’]
Dru watched as that shapely figure moved in his direction, as though making a beeline for him through everything. She was a dangerous woman, but she was his friend sharing his secrets too. One might think they were dating, if not for the professional tone the woman took with him. But the small smile on Feli’s face was enough to ensure Dru that his friend was worried about his current state. He watched her leave him for a moment to gather things from the bar.
When she came back, he could only give her a frightening smile as he pushed himself from the table.
His body swayed a moment – from blood loss or whiskey, he would never tell – but he managed to get his feet back under him. [+mediumturquoise “I can walk amore,”] he mumbled as he leaned into Feli’s left side, lips briefly brushing the girl capo’s hair.
Getting himself as straight as he could, Dru groaned and motioned for Feli to get a move on. He wasn’t sure how long he could remain standing with the pain coming from his ribs. He needed them wrapped so they would set right and he needed a hot bath.
A brother from the bar gave a whistle and called out to their capo in a cheerful way to make sure Dru got a good sponge bath. Though it was said in jest, Dru couldn’t hep but give the man what seemed to be a fierce and frightening smile.
[+mediumturquoise “The Capo always takes good care of me,”] Dru purred, winking at Feli with his good eye before throwing his arm over her should to help him walk with her. Quieter now, he leaned to Feli’s ear.
[+mediumturquoise "Che compito potresti avere per me tesoro ... È meglio non indossare un cazzo di vestito."] Drucilla grumbled in a more feminine Italian voice, unworried as Feli knew she was a woman.
Christopher noticed the look of surprise on Giovanni's face and he couldn't help but feel a small sense of pride. He was used to the other members, and Italian members of the public, being shocked that he could speak Italian. Most Americans were too ignorant to learn any language other than English and so there was a stereotype, but, he liked that he wasn't one of them. He nodded his head at the plan formed and he grinned to himself slightly as he pictured what he would do to Giuseppe. It boiled his blood to think of that coward of a man, he would take great pleasure in giving the shop owner exactly what he had deserved.
Felicia was only really half listening to the other Capo's conversation. She wasn't going to be involved in the dealing of associates and the Mafia's territory. No, she had been tasked to tear the Adamo family from the inside out. She was to gather information, gain their trust and make them believe that she was one of them. All the while informing the Russo's of their rivals plans. It would be a tricky task. She would have to analyse her every move, her every word and, at the first sight of trouble, she would have to leave. No one but the Underboss and the other Capo's knew what she was doing, it would be better that way. Some of the Soldiers weren't exactly quiet and could accidentally leak sensitive information.
Seeing as he had no choice in the matter, Christopher didn't bother to answer the question of him driving and instead just got his keys out at the ready.
Soon enough, the three of them were walking into Ratner's. The familiar smell of stale beer greeted them at the door, Christopher did the same as Giovanni, walking around the place and gathering a small group to take with him. As well as visiting current associates, and the scumbags, he intended to try and persuade more to join. They needed the power and partnership right now, plus it would mean one less associate for the Adamo's to snatch. That name... That cursed name sparked so much hate when spoken. There wasn't a member of the Russo family that hadn't been affected by the rival gang and it showed. Each one of them had a grudge, and each were itching to teach the bastards a lesson.
Meanwhile, Felicia headed straight to Dru. Her task did not require a group of men nor did it require brute strength, no, it need brains, charisma and an uncanny ability to lie without being caught. This was why she thought of Dru, or rather Druscilla. The associate lived her life as though she were a boy, but, the moment Felicia had laid eyes on her, she knew what she was hiding. To her, it was obvious and she could not understand how Dru was able to fool so many. But, she supposed that others either were ignorant to the obvious details or simply just did not care enough. Either way, in public, she spoke to Druscilla as if she were a man, however when it was just the two of them, she would speak to the other as a fellow woman.
They were quite the unlikely friends, an associate who gender-bended as a man and a mother filling in her dead boyfriend's role as Capo. When Felicia first joined the Russo's, she had intended to only establish professional relationships. It wasn't due to the idea that she thought she was better than everyone else, as some members thought of her, but rather that if they died, they would be another loss for her to mourn. She had lost her family, apart from her sister, she had lost the man that she had loved and she had lost her child. She just couldn't take any more pain. But, as fate would have it, Feli and Dru ended up spending a lot of time together and had silently established themselves as friends.
They did not talk about their personal lives much, and there was plenty of information that Felicia had not told the other, but they did trust each other. That was the another reason why she was asking the associate to help her. She knew that the other woman would have her back when needed.
[#483D8B "How about we get you cleaned up? Its not good sitting in your own blood... Plus, I have a task that I think you might be interested in."] Felicia stated, looking down at Dru. Despite her mannerisms and tone being professional, a soft smile played at her lips. She didn't wait for an answer as she walked to the bar and asked for some rubbing alcohol, some bandages, ice and a hand towel. She was given all of the item and then cocked her head to the bathroom for Dru to follow. [#483D8B "Can you walk?"]
As they waited in the shop, Christopher had to keep his hands in his pockets. When they had stepped in, he wanted to tear the place apart, his anger boiling inside of him as he was reminded of how Giuseppe seemed to react to kindness. He was fiercely loyal to the Russo's and would do anything for his Don, he could never repay his debt after everything that had been done for him. That and the fact he found excitement in destruction, it was like a thrill and he felt his truest self when creating chaos. He'd never admit it, but, he even liked killing. Especially to the one's that deserved it, unfortunately he could not kill Giuseppe, even if he could make it look like an accident, he was on orders to not kill.
After a moment or two, he just couldn't stand around and wait for the owner to come in, so, he walked to the front and began to talk to the clerk about where the man was. It was ironic that Gregorio would walk in at that minute. Christopher saw the fear in the man's eyes and in an instant, the Adamo's were ordered to attack, allowing the Shop Owner to slip away.
By the time Giovanni told him to go, the Capo was already after him. He had to fight through a couple of the Adamo members, but they were nothing as he swung the hilt of his gun to the back of their heads, knocking them unconscious. Gregorio didn't get that far, the man was probably in his mid-fifties and of a short stature. When Christopher caught up to him, he yanked him by the collar of his shirt and then slammed him against the wall.
The Shop Owner tried to beg, to be given a second chance, to be able to apologise, but, the American man had already made up his mind as his fist connected to the others nose, after that it was to both sides of his jaw before meeting his nose again. Then, he punched him in the stomach before throwing him to the ground and proceeded to kick him in the stomach and the ribs. Giuseppe pleaded for Christopher to stop as he groaned, cried and spat blood. But, his voice fell on deaf ears.
The Capo was just considering smashing Gregorio's brains out on the concrete wall when he snapped out of his trance. There was blood on his clothes, his hair a mess and an unnerving calmness about him. He stomped down onto the mans left hand, hearing a bone chilling crunch. That was when he finally decided to speak. He crouched down and looked Giuseppe dead in the eyes. [#FF4500 "Avevo grandi aspettative per te, amico mio. Dimostrami di nuovo di sbagliato e faremo molto più di un semplice pestaggio." ]
He stood back up and after fixing his shirt, he rejoined the others with a happy grin and even a small spring in his step.
Some of the upper members of the Russo family disagreed with Christopher's trigger happy ways and found his enjoyment in violence distasteful and it was probably why he wouldn't get much higher than the rank of a Capo. But, his methods worked and with fast and easy results, no one really complained and if any of the foot soldiers had a problem with it then they were too scared to say anything about it.
He soon found himself in some fresh, clean clothes that did not have a speck of red anywhere. He looked just as new as he had that morning, save for the cut under his eye. He always did love coming to these types of restaurants, not the ones that claimed to be Italian, but the real ones. It gave him an insight and an understanding to the people that he worked with, that and the food always tasted great.
He sat with Giovanni and took the menu with a thank you. He found the words of Signora Moretti amusing until she had began to practically offer her daughter them. He practically hid behind his menu at that, though it was still quite funny and he felt sorry for the poor waitress he had to endure numbers being handed to her.
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