Story: Amore Ragazze (chapter 12)
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[Author's notes: I know it’s been a REALLY long time since I updated this story. I’ve been really busy, but I’m sure this chapter will not disappoint.
Be prepared for some violence…
The three-day weekend had dragged on. There wasn’t much to do except sit around, pretending to be interested in the family. Late Tuesday morning, Jackie came in to see her two daughters sleeping in the same bed. Usually Amy was up first thing in the morning. She assumed her adopted sister kept her up all night. At first she was happy to see both of them together, but she had business to discuss with Amy:
“Amy,” She voiced. Amy turned around immediately to see her boss, “We have some business this morning. I need you to get dressed.”
“Okay,” Amy immediately got up.
“Rachel,” Jackie said to her daughter. The lazy girl responded only with a low grumble, “Angelo is gonna get back to the city. He said he’d ride with you back to your place.” Another gumble.
As Amy prepared to get dressed, Jackie closed the door and walked out.
“C’mon Rach,” Amy shook her sister.
No response. She figured Rachel would get up eventually and hit the shower. Unfortunately, once she got out of the shower, walking back to the room, the lazy sister was still in bed. Amy quietly walked to the bed, and began to vehemently tickle her sides. Rachel practically flew out of the bed facing the sight of her cousin with a towel around her.
“Still ticklish huh?” Amy smiled.
“Damn it Amy,” Rachel finally got up, “I’m up all right!”
“Are you gonna shower?” She asked.
“No,” Rachel walked towards her own bedroom. She grabbed her toothbrush and did her bare minimum of hygiene for the morning. Eventually she and Amy met up again. Amy was now dressed in her appropriate business attire. Rachel was wearing a tattered shirt and jeans. The brunette watched as the black-hair checked for missed calls. Amy had to ask:
“Still no word from Julia?”
Rachel sighed having not forgotten it all weekend, “No.”
Amy hadn’t forgotten about it either. Her anxiety had been growing every day Rachel didn’t receive a call from her girlfriend. Unfortunately, this would have to wait. Jackie obviously had some important business to discuss.
Downstairs in the dining room, Jackie, Charlie and Sal were sitting down eating hash-browns. Vinnie Montana was standing, as usual, with a plate in his hand. They were all well dressed, still not wearing jackets. Sal was talking… what else was new?
“You know,” Sal said.
Jackie immediately sighed and collapsed her forehead into the palm of her hand.
“I was just watching that George Harrison documentary the other day,” Sal continued.
“Oh yeah,” Charlie responded, “Is it good?”
“Yeah, it was all right.”
Jackie was a little relieved to hear her two capos discussing something normal for once.
“I want to see it. George was always my favorite Beatle.”
“Really?” Sal was surprised, “George?”
“Yeah,” the shorter man spoke up, a little agitated, “What’s wrong with George? He wrote all the best songs.” Charlie put his fork down and began to count with his fingers, “Taxman, Something, While My Guitar Gently Weeps…”
“Here Comes the Sun,” Vinnie Montana spoke up.
All three of them turned to see the usually taciturn big man. They were surprised, but Vinnie didn’t say another word. Instead he took another bite of his eggs. Charlie did point to him as he turned back to his partner, “Here Comes the Sun.”
“Yeah,” Sal replied, “But he’s not my favorite.”
“Yeah well who is your favorite?” Charlie spoke up as he grabbed his fork again, “Ringo?” He said the last line with a mocking tone of voice. Even Jackie laughed slightly hearing the more tolerable Capo’s comment.
Sal was silent, his eyes wavering back and forth before he answered, “Yeah, actually.”
Just as Charlie was about to take a bite of his meal, he froze. His mouth was open and his eyes were staring at Sal. Jackie also stared at the brown-haired man. Even Vinnie turned to look at Sal with disgust.
“C’mon, Ringo was the best!” Sal demanded.
Amy and Rachel appeared in the dining room. Amy dressed in her usual business attire with her glasses on and Rachel like a punk-rocker. She held her gloves in her hands.
“So where are we going?” Amy made her way towards the table where she picked up a banana.
“Flushing,” Jackie spoke up. Charlie and Sal did not dare continue this conversation while Jackie discussed business with her Consigliere.
Just as Amy was about to unpeel her banana, she froze. After a long pause, she eerily turned to her boss, “In Queens?”
Jackie was a little surprised by Amy’s reaction, but replied, “Last time I checked.”
“Flushing,” Charlie spoke up, “That’s where Penelope lived.”
“The lesbian girl?” Sal spoke up, “The one that died?”
“Quiet you,” Jackie demanded. She turned her attention to Amy, “Yeah there’s a guy out there, Roma. He leases a lot of the places on Main street, and he’s getting a lot of harassment from the building inspectors.” Amy set her banana down on the table. Her face was turning white. “And I guess Columbo’s not giving him a lot of support, so he wants us to help him out. He’s planning on doing some work out in Brooklyn, so we have a cover story for talking with him.”
Amy stood there in a way no one had ever seen her act before. Rachel took special note of this. The silence in the room was awful.
“Amy?” Jackie grabbed her attention. The adopted daughter’s eyes came back to her boss. “Are you okay?”
The young brunette quickly looked to her sister, whose eyes screamed “Don’t tell her!” Amy couldn’t reveal her sister’s secret, “Well,” Amy said, “We are going right into Columbo’s territory. Are you sure it’s safe?”
Don Giovanni pointed to Vinnie Montana and her two capos, “Vinnie and these two idiots are going to come with us. We’ll be fine. Plus Angelo’s not coming.”
“He’s not?” Amy spoke up.
“After what happened last week,” Jackie spoke up, “It’s best if he lays low for a while. I don’t want to cause a scene. Columbo sees him in his borough, he’ll have a shit-fit.”
Rachel was relieved her cousin didn’t reveal her secret. However, she herself was weary of a meeting in Queens. Well, at least Vinnie Montana would be accompanying them. No one in their right mind would mess with this man.
“We should leave in a bit,” Jackie stood up, “Angelo!” She called for her son. Eventually Angelo appeared from the other room. He didn’t say a word. “You gonna take Rachel home?”
“Mom,” Rachel spoke up, “I can get home myself.”
“Nah,” Angelo said to her, “I’ll take you there. We’ll get some breakfast, my treat. I’m gonna head to the city, it’s on the way.”
“We better get going,” Jackie said looking at the clock, “You know the Giovanni reputation for being punctual.” She stood up. Her underlings did the same thing.
Except Amy, “I’ll be right back.” She quickly disappeared from the room.
Jackie didn’t think much of it, but she walked over towards her daughter as the others talked amongst themselves. “I’m glad you stayed this weekend,” she smiled at Rachel. The daughter didn’t reciprocate any energy. “If you want to talk, you know where I am.” Mother Giovanni hugged her daughter. The Young Giovanni allowed her mother’s arms to embrace her and returned the affection. “I love you baby.”
“I know you do,” Rachel said in a monotone voice, “Can you let go now?”
Jackie let go of Rachel reluctantly. Not another word was spoken between them. Amy emerged into the room, now with her coat on. “All right.”
Rachel and Angelo sat in the booth of a diner. The sister took a small bite of her egg-white omelette, followed by a small sip of iced-water. The brother scarfed down a big plate of pancakes, sausage and eggs. He drank chocolate milk.
“I can’t believe you still drink chocolate milk,” Rachel nagged her brother.
Angelo was in the middle of sip when he responded. He mumbled with his mouth still full of milk. After a gulp, he explained, “You know that Muscle & Fitness magazine you always used to read?”
“Still do,” the black-hair replied with a piece of omelette in her mouth, “I just picked up a copy a couple of days ago with Arnold on the cover.”
Angelo snorted, “Arnold.” He took another drink of his chocolate milk.
Rachel looked at him like she wanted to kill him, dropping her fork, “Fuck you! Arnold is awesome. I just saw Action Pope a couple weeks ago. It was awesome!”
“I bet you it wasn’t Predator,” Angelo smiled.
“No,” Rachel agreed with him, “But what is?”
Angelo laughed slightly, “I’m curious to see that movie. Isn’t Sly Stallone in it?”
“Yeah, I think he’s like a bishop or something.”
“Now Stallone,” Angelo pointed his finger towards his sister, “He’s got it going on. The man’s 60 and he’s still got an awesome body!”
“He’s alright,” Rachel raised her arms, “But Arnold has actually buffed out too. He actually looked pretty hot for 60.”
A look of confusion came over Angelo’s face, “Wait a minute, how do you find Schwarzenegger attractive? I thought you were a lesbian?”
Rachel rolled her eyes, “Angelo you just told me you found Stallone attractive.”
“No, no, no,” Angelo waved his hands, “I didn’t say I find him attractive, I said he’s got a great body. That doesn’t make me gay.”
“Well there you go,” Rachel explained, “I can admire Arnold’s physique whether I’m gay or not.”
There were a lot of unanswered questions in Angelo’s mind, “Sis,” he really hesitated. The look on Rachel’s face betrayed her anticipation of what was to be asked, “Would you mind if I asked you some stuff?”
There was a long pause. Rachel looked down to the table like a shy child at a table full of strangers. She closed her eyes and nodded her head in disagreement, “It’s taken you 20 fucking years to finally take an interest in me Angelo?”
Angelo wasn’t sure how to respond to that, so he just asked, “What was it that turned you into a lesbian?”
Rachel had told very few people she was a lesbian for this very reason: stupid questions. Amy was curious when she found out about her sister’s sexual orientation, but she was smart enough not to ask what possessed her cousin to succumb to the evils of homo-sexuality. However, Rachel decided to discuss this with her brother:
“Like I said,” the younger sister talked quietly. The older brother moved in closer to hear her, “I call it amore-ragazze.” She began to gather her thoughts. “I mean, I don’t know. I guess I’ve been that way since birth. I just never really found guys that attractive. I mean in Schwarzenegger or Stallone’s case, I could admit they had great bodies just as you can, but I never saw myself falling for that kind of person. I guess I always saw myself as the hero getting the girl.”
Angelo nodded his head. Rachel could tell he was actually listened carefully to her, which was a stretch from Angelo’s normal attention-span.
“I don’t know Angelo. I like girls. I can’t really explain it.”
“When did you realize you liked girls?” The older brother asked sincerely.
“Ummm…” Rachel looked up and thought about it, “I think the end of middle school. I really don’t remember to tell you the… you know actually I think I might have gotten my first kiss from a girl back in elementary school, I know that sounds crazy.”
“Yeah, but I was too young to know anything sexual related. It was high school and college where I really figured it out.” Rachel now took another sip of her water, “Now,” she put her glass down, “I’m assuming you’d like to know the details of how we,” hesitation, “Do it?”
“No,” The brother shook his head, “Especially not from my own sister. It’s weird enough just thinking about you kissing other girls. I guess,” Angelo’s voice now had a melancholy tone to it that Rachel had never heard, “I guess I don’t understand why you never told me.”
Rachel sighed. This was an easy question to answer, “I don’t understand why suddenly you’re so interested in my life Angelo. Up until you found out I was a lesbian, you never gave a shit about me.”
Harsh. Well Angelo couldn’t disagree with that. “You know what, you’re right!”
The younger sister looked at her brother like he had just revealed himself to be an alien. He was actually agreeing with her?
“I got nothing to do today, let’s hang out you and I. We’ll go to the city after we stop at your place. We’ll do some sibling bonding,”
“Why?” Rachel still had a harsh tone of voice.
Angelo had to be very careful with the words he used now, “Rachel the reason I’m so interested in this whole lesbian thing, or amore regaz… whatever… I don’t feel like I could ever connect with you before, like there was something about you that I just didn’t get and didn’t make any effort to understand why. I feel like you explaining your sexual orientation explains so much: How cold and distant you’ve always been. I suppose if you have to harbor this secret, that would drive you to keep to yourself.”
In all the years, Rachel had never heard Angelo so eloquent and intelligent.
“So let’s just hang out, you and I. Whatever you wanna do, I’ll do it with you.”
After a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, Rachel finally cracked a smile. “I was planning on running around the park.”
Angelo laughed in a teasing way, “Prospect?”
“No Central,” Rachel quickly replied.
Angelo raised his eyebrows, “Don’t you hate crowded places?”
Rachel laughed, “So you do know something about me?”
For the first time in years, Angelo felt a stronger connection to his sister. She really wasn’t that different from him. Both of them were athletic, competitive, headstrong, they both loved women. It looked like the start of a beautiful sibling friendship.
“If we’re gonna run 6 miles,” Angelo started.
“12 miles,” Rachel snapped with a grin on her face.
Angelo stared at his sister. Desire to win was written all over her face. He returned the vibe and continued to talk, “I’m gonna need another chocolate milk.” He gestured for the waiter to come back.
Rachel shook her head.
Amy stared out of the car window trembling. The long drive out to Queens had finally reached Flushing. She couldn’t escape her step-mother’s eyes. But Charlie and Sal continued to interrupt her train of thought:
“Octopus’ Garden,” Sal shouted, “Is better than Lucy in the Sky and Hey Jude combined!”
Charlie, driving the car, found it very difficult to talk to his friend: “You know, every time I think you couldn’t possibly get any dumber, you manage to reach a new level of stupidity.”
Jackie noticed that Amy’s eyes were lost outside the window. She couldn’t listen to her capos anymore.
“Amy?” Jackie got her attention.
“Ringo sucks!” Charlie argued, “Decent drummer, I’ll give him that, but he can’t sing and he can’t write songs!”
“I’m gonna kick your ass Chaz!” Sal argued. It seemed like the two of them were about to get into a heated argument.
“Ah,” Charlie said in a calm tone, “Parking space! Our lucky day!”
“Whoa!” Sal yelped in excitement.
There was a parking space right outside Roma’s building. Charlie easily swerved into the space. “Like a boss!” He then looked behind, “Oh sorry Jackie.”
“Check out the area you two,” she ordered.
Sal and Charlie got out of the car leaving the boss and her Consigliere alone.
“Amy,” Jackie put her hand on Amy’s cheek, “Is there something you want to tell me?”
The young girl wanted nothing better than to tell her boss, her aunt, her step-mother, exactly what was going on. Apprehension covered Jackie’s face. She knew something was up. Even so, Amy couldn’t betray her sister’s secret.
“No,” Amy lied. She knew her step-mother wouldn’t buy it, but she couldn’t think of anything else to say.
“Are you sure?” Jackie responded.
“Yes,” Amy lied again.
The silence in the car was uncomfortable as the two of them stared each other down. A tap at the window revealed Vinnie Montana peeking into the window. Amy quickly opened the door and stepped out. Jackie took her time.
“All quiet on the western front,” Charlie spoke up.
“I think this would be the eastern front,” Sal interjected.
“You’ve lost all credibility Ringo-boy!”
“Hey,” Jackie said as she stepped out of the car, “You can continue your nerdy conversation after we go in.” She looked to her bodyguard and Consigliere, “Vinnie, Amy you two come with me.” Now to her capos, “You two wait here. Keep your eyes open. And try not to talk too much.”
Charlie and Sal watched the two of them go in.
“All right,” Sal started, “Sgt. Pepper…” And the argument went on.
Amy gained her composure, putting on her glasses. Jackie held put her hand on her step-daughter’s shoulder. “I need you Amy,” a smile came on the boss’ face. Amy smiled back and nodded her head. Jackie then shook off her smile and replaced it with her mean Giovanni poker face.
The building was nice. A big lobby with arm chairs greeted the Giovanni family as they entered. Red carpet felt their footprints. There was a full bar just down the hallway. The man at the front desk wore a shiny blue suit. He watched as Jackie Giovanni made her way towards him.
“Giovanni here to see Roma,” she said politely, but assertively.
“One second please,” the man picked up the phone.
“Nice place,” Jackie whispered to Amy. She nodded, but she was still uneasy. She looked to the giant Vinnie Montana knowing that the two of them would be fine with him around.
“Ms. Giovanni,” the blue-suited man put down the phone, “Mr. Roma has asked if your friend remain down here.” Jackie looked to Vinnie who raised an eyebrow to his boss. “With all due respect, I think Mr. Roma is afraid of him. His reputation does speak for itself.”
“All right,” Jackie said without hesitation. She looked back to her bodyguard, “Wait here.”
“You sure Don Giovanni?” Vinnie answered in a polite version of his scary voice.
“I think we’ll be all right. Come on Amy.”
Amy was now more nervous. As the two of them entered an open elevator, looked towards the giant. Vinnie looked back at her until the elevator door closed on the girls.
“Can I get you something to drink sir?” A waiter stood near Vinnie.
The giant looked down at the waiter and stared him down. Fortunately for the smaller man, Vinnie only said, “Bloody Mary.” He then turned his attention back to the room. He looked towards the man at the front desk, whose eyes shifted back towards the computer. Vinnie continued to study every corner of this room. He could see his fellow soldiers outside the glass door. He looked down to see the spotless red rug, then up to the chandeliers. He walked away from the door towards the arm chairs studying each one carefully. Eventually, the waiter returned with his drink, smiling. Most people would be trembling in Vinnie Montana’s presence, but this man seemed oddly comfortable around him. Vinnie picked up his drink and took a sip.
“Would you like to sit down sir?” The man asked.
“No,” Vinnie responded putting his drink down. He was still trying to keep his myth alive, that he never sat down.
“Are you sure?” The man said a little more menacingly.
Vinnie began to stare at the man to intimidate him. Suddenly, he felt his throat close up. The big man shook his head. He couldn’t breathe! He dropped his glass to the ground. The cranberry juice and vodka spilled all over the red rug. It got worse as Vinnie grabbed his own throat hoping to stop this odd sensation. It wasn’t helping. The waiter’s grin was now making the situation clear. The giant looked down to his spilled glass… POISON! Still struggling to breathe, he lunged towards the waiter. The man didn’t even flinch. Before the giant Vinnie could touch him, two arms grabbed his left. Another two arms grabbed his right. He was being held back. Vinnie’s dying throat was so bad, he couldn’t even scream. He thrashed around trying to break free of the men holding him. Vinnie Montana jumped around like a bull trying to shake off a rider. The two men holding him began to whine worrying that they may lose hold of him and the giant would tear all of them apart with his bare hands. But the giant’s erratic movements soon slowed down as his breathing became more and more painful. His face turned red. The veins in his neck were bulging. He began to calm down watching the waiter’s smug smile as his eyes drifted. Within a few seconds, the two men let go of the giant and he backward fell onto one of the armchairs. His head off to the side, his muscular arms dangling off the furniture. The two men and the waiter took a moment to gain their composure, and their breath. They were still shocked by what they saw.
The giant Vinnie Montana, the muscle of the Giovanni family, was now sitting in a chair.
“It’s because of his drumming that Sgt. Pepper is so good!” Sal continued to argue about Ringo being his favorite Beatle.
“So you’re saying it had nothing to do with Lennon and McCartney’s songwriting?” Charlie was getting tired of arguing with him about this. He still refused to give up.
“Anybody can drop acid and write a bunch of crazy songs. Here I’ll show you,” Sal was silent for a moment. Neither one of them paid any attention to what was going on in the building. They couldn’t see what was happening from their angle. “I wear purple glasses in the rain,” Sal sang. He was silent again until he returned, “Because my ankle is in so much pain. See I just wrote a song!”
The shorter man shook his head, “That fucking brilliant Sal,” He said sarcastically. “You should send that to Coldplay, I’m sure they’ll make a number one hit out of it.”
“No!” Sal said, “They won’t make a number one hit out of it, because they don’t have Ringo as a drummer!”
Charlie crossed his eyes, “Maybe you can make your own single and get Ringo to play on it.”
Sal pondered his partner’s comment for a minute, “Now that’s an idea!”
As time slipped on, Jackie and Amy eventually made their way down to the lobby. The elevator door opened and the two walked out with smiles on their faces.
“That was surprisingly easy,” Jackie said. She walked like she owned all of New York State.
Amy seemed to walk with more ease. She laughed a little. As they came around the corner to the lobby, the smile faded. Both of them noticed that Vinnie Montana wasn’t standing there waiting for them. “Where’s Vinnie?” she asked her boss. There was intense fear in her voice.
Jackie looked around. Her bodyguard was nowhere to been found. She could see out the door Charlie and Sal arguing as usual. Amy began to feel anxious. However, Jackie didn’t think there was anything to worry about. She tried to ignore her step-daughter’s obvious panicking.
“Excuse me,” Jackie came back to the man at the front desk, “Do you know where Vinnie went to?”
“Uh,” the man stalled, “Maybe he went to the bathroom.” He returned his sight to his computer.
Jackie saw a sign for the bathrooms. Amy looked at the armchairs off to the side. Nobody was sitting in them. Both girls knew Vinnie Montana would never sit down in public. Jackie sighed as if to say, “Now we have to wait for him.” She crossed her arms and prepared to wait for his return. But Amy’s instincts began to scream violently. She removed her glasses and looked all over the place.
“Amy when we get back,” Jackie said, “I’m gonna need you to look up-“
Amy didn’t pay any attention to her boss. She reached into her coat to feel something cold and metallic. It was no sooner that the man at the front desk disappeared from sight only to have two men come around the corner. They were definitely wise guys, mobsters. Both Amy and Jackie turned to see them advancing towards Don Giovanni. Guns were drawn. Amy immediately withdrew the item she was carrying under her jacket, a Smith & Wesson .45 that she had grabbed earlier.
She was too slow. A bullet escaped one of her enemies’ guns. Amy saw Jackie fall back slowly. Another shot escaped and the don of the Giovanni family began to slowly fall to the ground. Amy’s instincts took over. She ran towards the enemies and fired a shot. She was a good aim. The one in the center who shot first was down for the count. Amy jumped to the floor landing right on top of her step mother, acting as a human shield. The Consigliere-turned-bodyguard continued to fire shots. The other one quickly ran for cover around the corner. Amy didn’t manage to hit him. He didn’t completely disappear from sight, and as Amy’s clip began to empty, the other man prepared for retaliation. For Amy’s luck, Charlie and Sal came running into the building with their guns drawn. They began to fire without thinking and soon the other hitman was running away for his life. Sal ran after him. Charlie stayed behind looking down at his boss.
Amy now had a chance to see what damaged had been done. Jackie had been shot in the chest. She was bleeding badly, could barely catch her breath, let alone say a word. Amy herself was trying to regain her breathing. Her eyes practically popped out of their sockets. This was like some horrible nightmare. Don Giovanni was wounded badly. The Consigliere stared at her boss for a few seconds. She never thought in her life she would ever see this sight. She never thought in her life she would need to use a gun to protect someone she loved. Hundreds of images, dozens of faces, millions of scenarios began to play in her head over what was happening. Amy was only caught offguard for a few seconds before she turned back to Charlie. The young brunette tried to push her mother up to sit. The woman finally screamed in pain.
“Charlie!” Amy cried.
Charlie stood there, his gun in hand, his face pale white. He stared at his boss in utter shock. The grey-haired man paid no attention to his Consigliere.
“Charlie! For God’s sake, call a fucking ambulance!”
The Capo recollected himself and pulled out his phone.
Jackie was now seething in pain. She tried hard not to scream or cry but blood was escaping her chest and she could still barely catch a breath. Maybe her lungs were punctured.
“Take it easy mom,” Amy cried. She tried her best to stay sane. Somebody had to! “You’re gonna be okay, we’re gonna get you some help.”
“Amy!” Jackie managed to squeak out in pain. Her step-daughter tried to calm her down.
Sal came back around, “He’s gone. I don’t know where he went.” He saw his partner on the phone, his boss dying, and her niece trying to keep her alive. They weren’t paying attention to him. The brown-haired man then turned to see the wounded man who shot Don Giovanni. He recognized him, “Will?” Sal crouched down to talk to him. Was he an old acquaintance of Sal’s? Will was not longed for this world. After some time of recognition, Sal managed to gain his attention: “Will, who sent you? Who did this?”
After some hesitation. Will looked to his old acquaintance and responded:
“You know who it is!”
[End notes: Wow! I hate to end on such a cliffhanger, but I promise to update sooner. Again, reviews are always welcomed. Thanks for reading!]
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