The Family Business Ch. 01byMickeyPink©
So many stories, so little time!! I hope you all enjoy the new stories I am starting. They are just a little distraction from CITD. Enjoy!!!
She pulled back her curly blue black hair and walked into the room. He sat there at the desk, disapproval written all over his face.
"I know you don't like it, father, but I feel that it isn't fair. I didn't mean to undermine your authority, I just..."
"Che?" He sat there, pretending not to understand. Business, he always said, should be spoken in the mother tongue. English was a lazy language, with far too little emphasis on pronunciation and passion.
She explained to him that she was sorry for disagreeing with him last night in front of the guys. She had made him appear weak, and that was not her intention. Her father was very old school. Any mercy he had was shown only to her. If someone owed him money, it was not uncommon for him to remove a finger a day until they paid up. She thought it was barbaric and too harsh.
He stood and came over to hug her, his arms wrapping around her, his lips pressed against her forehead. "Bella... It is ok." His whispered words gave her comfort. She did not always agree with him, but he was the only parent she had, and he was a good father.
They made their way out of the room, arm in arm, down to the kitchen for coffee and pie. Her father was a strong believer in ending anything serious with "cafe and un dolce". It was his way of sweetening any hard feelings. As they enjoyed their slices of blueberry pie, Cristiana looked into her father's eyes. Those grey green eyes were the only thing that kept her grounded.
When she was a little girl, she did not know what her father did for a living. She knew he was important, and she knew he made a lot of money. Everyone, who was anyone, in Chicago knew him. It wasn't until she had gone out with her mother for a trip to the spa that she realized how dangerous her life would be.
They had only just arrived, and her mother had left her phone in the car. She went back out to get it, and never came back. The sound of gunshots, popping and cracking, filled the streets, and as little Cris ran out the door, there was only the sight of blood and shattered glass. A car was speeding down the street, and her mother lay dying on the sidewalk.
She it was her thirteenth birthday. To the day, it was exactly ten years ago.
"Papa, I want to take a vacation; go around the world, see the sights. I know you would rather I stay here with you, but I really want this. Please? Maybe just a tour of France?"
He looked at her, bringing the last fork-full of pie to his mouth. He put the fork down, and frowned. "I cannot give you the protection you need when you are not with me. We go on vacations all the time, baby. Why must you go right now?"
"Trips back to Italy are not vacations, Papa. You do business, while I stay home with grandma, and all the women comment on how I am not married yet, and that I should get around to it soon before I am too old. Please, Papa, it's my birthday!" She gave him the sad eyes that always got her what she wanted, and soon, he was shaking his head smiling.
"Stop it.. You know I cannot say no to that face." He held her face in his hand, and his eyes began to water. "You look so much like your mother."
"Yes, but I have your hair and you eyes."
"And you are as stubborn as a mule, like me. Ok. You may go, but I want to send some of the guys with you. To ensure your safety." He raised his brow and extended his hand.
She took it, and then hugged him. "I love you Papa. Even if you do worry too much."
Her bags were packed in a matter of minutes, and she was ready to go. Tony, her father's right hand man, had the car pulled around, and a small group of them headed off the the airport. She sat in the back, sandwiched between Tony and Paulie. She had always had a crush on Tony, but that was as far as it went. Because while he was absolutely stunning to look at- broad shoulders, toned muscles, and 6'1 (a giant in comparison to her)- he was a complete and total asshole. Paulie on the other hand was the kindest guy in the group. He was sweet and funny, and would do anything she said; even if her father told him otherwise. But Paulie was like a brother to her, and he felt the same way about her. She knew this, of course, because Paulie was also gay. Since she was the only one who knew, this made them all the more close, and she loved that.
Donnie and Phil sat up in front. They were the guys with the least personality. And that was fine, because they were both brilliant. They could not tell you anything about what was happening on television, but they could wire a bomb in ten seconds flat, and still have time to spare. Her papa always said, "You don't need interesting people, you need smart ones" and he was right. They had endured some pretty close calls, but Donnie always pulled them out.
"We're here. Phil, you go check it out, then signal us, and we'll come too."
Cris folded her arms. She was tired of being treated like a child. Everything was done "with her safety in mind" and that meant she could never have fun. As soon as Phil got out, she made her move. Donnie was looking in his side view mirror, so she jumped up and into the front seat. She almost made it out of the car, too, if not for Tony grabbing the back of her dress and pulling her back, causing her to slam into the seat.
"Dammit Tony, I swear to god.." She wouldn't tell him how much it hurt, she wouldn't give him the satisfaction. "What the fuck, I want to get out."
"You will get out when it's safe."
Just then, Phil came back out and gave the signal. Tony let go of her dress, and she threw the door open. She stormed off into the building, while the guys scrambled to get her things. Phil stayed right on her tail, though, and the guys, all but Donnie, who wasn't going on the trip, met them at the gate.
"You're such a spoiled little shit, you know that?" Tony sat across from her, his arms stretched out to cover the backs of the adjacent chairs. His dark brown wavy hair shined under the airport lighting, making it seem as though he were an angel.
'Yea fucking right..' she thought.
"Excuse me?" Tony sat forward, his angry eyes resting on her. Maybe she hadn't said that to herself.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we will now begin boarding gate 26, flight 673 to Paris."
They stood, and boarded for first class. She would sit between Tony and Paulie again, while Phil sat two seats back to watch for suspicious activity.
"Yay for vacations..." Her sarcastic tone cause Paulie to laugh, and the two of them started talking about all the things she would do on the trip. "I can't wait! We'll go shopping first thing. Then, we can go to dinner, and enjoy the city."
"I hear the La Perla store in Paris is pretty great. Maybe we can pick you up some sexy little pieces. I'd love to rip them off of you." Paulie lifted his eyebrows in a sort of Charlie Chaplain kind of way. The two laughed, and took their seats. Tony, on the other hand, was disgusted. His scoff told them so.
As she got herself comfortable, she got ready for one of her favorite public activities- people watching.
She watched and made fun of several people; an old woman who was wearing her Sunday best on a wednesday night, a little boy who was pulling incessantly on his fathers arm, and a..
A very handsome man. They locked eyes for what seemed like an eternity. His icy blue eyes searching her green and golden ones. She glanced over him. He had a very sculpted body- she could tell he was hiding it under that fitted tshirt and unzipped hoodie. The clothes did not seem to fit him; he did not look like he normally dressed that way. Maybe it was the way he carried himself; he looked like a man of power. She envisioned him in a suit and tie, or even better, a tuxedo. 'Mmm, he would look very good cleaned up.'
The five o'clock shadow he sported gave him a rugged and almost dangerous appearance. She imagined kissing him, feeling the stubble against her face. Delicious.
"Something I can help you with?" Tony had interrupted their silent exchange, deciding that this prick had stared at her long enough.
"Excuse me, dolboeb." His deep voice gave her chills, and he registered the naughty thought that displayed across her face like a television ad.
Tony saw it too, and became even less pleased. "Move along, pal." He watched as the man continued past them, taking a seat a few rows back. "Fucking Russian prick. And what the hell are you grinning about?"
Cris cleared her throat, and then her expression. "I don't know a lot, but I do know that he just called you a 'fuckhead'." She laughed. She had studied several languages outside of her own Italian and English. She had only really learned how to curse in Russian. She looked out the window and sighed. This would be a long flight. With any luck, she would catch another glimpse of the Russian before long.
'Those eyes,' he thought. He had always had a thing for women with brown skin.. He loved the golden glow that came off of her. Here it was, a cold Chicago spring, but she glowed like if it were Summer in Miami. And those eyes.. He felt aparalyzed in the short moment they had caught a glympse of each other. She reached into his heart with her stare, and try as he might, he could not keep her out.
"Nik, what's wrong?" Pascha looked at his friend with concern. He had known Nik for a long time, and he had never seen him look the way he did. Sure, he had seen him deep in thought, but this was different. "Nik?"
"Everything is fine. I'm going to sleep. Wake me when they serve the meal."
Cristiana had hoped to catch another glimpse of those blue eyes before she left the plane, but it was not her destiny. Once they were off the plane, Tony went to retrieve the rental car, and Cris waited with Paulie and Phil for the luggage at the baggage claim. When they had grabbed the last bag, they headed for the exit to meet Tony outside. Phil took the lead, leaving Cris and Paulie to scramble behind him. Cristiana turned a bit too quickly and found herself trapped in strong arms. It was a good thing, too, because she had been completely thrown off balance and would have fallen backwards.
She looked up to find those same blue eyes from before, and a smile. She smiled back and found herself resting against him. She could feel his hard abs through his jacket, and despite her best efforts, she couldn't bring herself to pull away.
"You are.. alright?" His deep voice sent a chill down her spine and a spark between her thighs.
"Yes. I am. Now." She blushed realizing what she had just said, then made her first real attempt to gain her own footing. It was surprisingly easy, and she was soon standing a foot away while he picked up her tote and handed it to her. "Thank you."
"My pleasure. You are here for vacation?"
Paulie watched the exchange in amazement. He knew Tony would be pissed if he found out he let Cris talk to some strange Russian guy, especially since it was the same one from the plane, but he couldn't bring himself to interrupt.
"Yes. Are you, too?" She flickered her eyes down his body only to see a slight bulge developing. When her eyes returned to his, a knowing smile had come to rest on his lips.
"We visit for business.. and pleasure." The sexual tension was so thick that a knife would chip trying to cut it.
Paulie cleared his throat, bringing Cris back to reality. "We really should get going. I'm sure the car is ready."
Cris nodded and twisted her lips. "It was so nice to meet you.."
"Cristiana." She smiled. "Maybe Ill run into you again while we're here. Hopefully not so literally." She giggled, and she heard a rumble from his chest that resembled a laugh as well.
"I will catch you."
Nikolas walked up the stairs and around the corner. He made his way into the room and sat down.
"What did you find, moi siyn." He father was a big man. Much larger than he, but just as tall. He sat on the loveseat, enjoying a plate of pelmeni. The smell of the pork filled dumplings brought him back to his childhood.
"We are ready, papa. Soon Chicago will be ours."