GianCarlo Ch. 04byihartekenny©
[Author's Note: Soo my laptop is up and running and like promised so is the next chapter of Gian. I also plan on doing a short for the Earth Day contest, keep a lookout for that.]
Stefan finally found a parking spot and was on his way inside, weighing heavy with guilt, when the guy from South Beach approached with an odd smirk. He was short and lanky with a long face and ink black hair.
"Romano?" He asked gingerly walking up to him.
"What is it?" Stefan said finding no energy to hide his irritation. Because of him and his greed a little girl was lying in the hospital. She almost died for this man's paycheck.
"From Mr. Contiello," He said passing him a letter. Stefan quickly read it. He had to laugh to keep from lashing violently out at the man before him. Stefan was out of a job, which was no shirt off his back. He was angrier at Durante. He was fired for "Failure to complete your primary objective efficiently and timely."
"What about the boy? Who is going to look out for him?" Stefan found himself asking. Despite being a duty to him, he'd become fond of Gian and wanted to see him succeed.
The look the guy gave him was his answer, but still the guy said, "That's none of your concern."
Stefan gave him a dark chuckle, "Good luck with that."
"With that girl out of his life I won't need luck." He said snidely.
Stefan laughed again; this guy had no clue what he was in for. At least he knew for sure this was Durante's doing. He decided he needed severance pay and went to see to this.
"Did someone...beat me...while I was sleeping?" Dee asked as she slowly gained consciousness, she didn't know where she was or why she was here but her whole body hummed with pain. She heard a chuckle, she was with Gian. She blinked her eyes open to see Gian sitting next to her, her hand in his. She was wired and rigged with an IV and EKG. It took a while but she noticed the hospital curtains, the tiny TV at the ceiling and the faint smell of disinfectant and sadness.
"Dee!" Gian said with relief, his eyes glassed over.
Then she remembered. She was in an accident, that felt far away but she remembered it. When she slowly descended into that heavy darkness she thought that that was the end. Here she was alive and Gian was with her, her only friend. She was overwhelmed with gratitude. She was alive! Tears pricked her eyes.
"Gian, I'm alive" she whispered between her tears, "You saved me?"
"This is my fault," He said kissing her hand, his tears leaving stains there.
"It can't be. You weren't there." She said turning her hand to caress his chin. "You would think the motorcycle would do this to me, but it was a hit and run. This guy was about to rear end my car so I swerved and as I swerved I hit the railing, then the one that was about to rear end me just kept going, it hit me and I spun out. I wish I'd gotten a license plate number or something." She said. "Does my mom know?"
"Yes, she and your sister just left to get you some fresh clothes. You've been out since yesterday."
"Are they angry?" She asked.
"No, babe, it's not your fault."
At that moment a nurse came in with a tray of food, "Good morning, Sweetheart." She said jovially. It was her Aunt Lisa; Delia must be at Florida Memorial Hospital.
"Auntie Lisa!" She said as her aunt put down the tray next to the bed. She leaned down and hugged her.
"Oh honey, your mama was so afraid for you, but I knew you were going to pull through. You're auntie's little fighter." She smiled lovingly at her niece. "Ever since Delia was born she kept hitting stuff, falling off stuff or getting into something and every time it had happened her mama worried," She said looking at Gian now. "I told her that that little girl was a fighter, got thick skin."
This caused Gian to smile proudly at his mate.
"I brought you some real food, it's just soup. You're stomach isn't ready for anything big, and of course I brought you some Jell-O, cherry. Now I've got to go."
Lisa Camden wasn't a particularly tall women she had wide hips and slight shoulders, her eyes were round and her lips thin, she resembled more, Denise than anyone in Delia's family that Gian had met.
She leaned down and gave Delia a peck on the cheek, "If you don't remember nothing I tell you, you remember this; No matter what you going through, you going to be alright, because you're a strong girl, Auntie's little fighter."
"Thanks Auntie," Delia said smiling. It was nothing like family to make her feel better.
Her words seemed ominous to Gian as that sinking feeling occurred to him. He should have listened to it that night on south beach, he should have told her to just go to bed and maybe today he would have been having lunch at the mall with her not sitting in a hospital room watching her slurp loudly at soup with a head bandage. He smiled to himself, was her slurping at it purposely to be silly or does she really slurp soup like that?
Stefan was successful. He was extremely surprised and grateful. It was a reluctant gratefulness to Durante. It was only moral to spare the life of an innocent but morality seemed a blurred concept to someone as antiquated as Durante. He phased to Durante's home in New York, just as the sun was setting, and Durante was getting up for the night. The word from the hospital was that Delia was in stable condition, with mild head trauma and a few fractured bones. Gian was at her side all day and had no clue of Stefan's plan and even less about his unemployment.
After going through the maze of security, flunkies, and constituents Stefan was finally able to speak with Durante.
"Mr. Romano, I have no more business with you. What is the occasion?" He said in Italian as he walked into the large round office.
He stopped, leaned against the large oak desk and settled his piercing gaze on the man before him. Durante was a big man in presence but in reality he resembled Don Draper in the Mad Men television show. His suit was tailored and expensive his hair was trimmed and neatly styled. He had perfect posture and an even perfect speech. The room permeated with his presence.
"My business here is only that of severance payment." Stefan said boldly.
Durante chuckled darkly, "How much is that you seek? One hundred, two hundred thousand? Money is no issue, my son is. You've failed to do what I ask and for that I am disappointed but you have served me well in the past. So, for this I will grant you your 'severance pay'."
Stefan's eyes almost bugged at the sound of the amount. Part of him wanted to take the money and go, but at what cost to the girl? She's done nothing but offered much needed companionship to his son.
Stefan shook his head. "I don't want your money." This caused Durante to lift an eyebrow at the refusal. "I ask for a favor. Gian's girl is not dead."
Durante's eyes flashed anger but he kept a stoic expression as he listened to the rest of Stefan's request. "She is severely hurt and would have bled to death had not Gian saved her. You've made it clear that you don't want them together and she fully understands the peril of her life if she should stay. I ask that you spare her. She is young and will forget about Gian. She will live her life never bothering your son."
"How can you be assured that Gian will stay away from her?" He asked.
Stefan smirked, "Isn't that the job of the man who has taken my position?"
Durante looked at his past employee for an insufferably long time before granting Stefan's request on the condition that the girl leaves Gian's life for good. Now, the hard part was convincing Gian it was the right thing to do.
"If she as much as attempt to contact my son, I will have her blood for dinner." With that he dismissed Stefan.
Stefan began to walk out. He was content to simply do that but there was something he was burning to ask. He stopped just at the door and turned to Durante. "Mr. Contiello, Have you considered the idea that this girl may be a great help in getting Giancarlo on the right track?"
"Impossible," He quickly replied his green eyes glinting and unwavering, "What will get Gian on the right track is discipline and not to waste his young years following after some girl like a blind puppy. He is Contiello not some little girl's fool."
With that Stefan left, Durante was as stubborn as he was ancient and he'd hear nothing else.
It was closer to night time when he had returned, cleaned out his apartment and headed over to the hospital. When he got there police were taking Delia's statement and her family hovered near. From the sound of it she blamed herself, for swerving out the way, for not catching the tag of the guys, even for spilling the coffee. Poor girl, Stefan felt weighed down with guilt. Her face had scratches and her head was wrapped in white gauze, she had dark circles under her eyes and yet she smiled tenderly at Gian who looked even more riddled with guilt than Stefan. He wondered what her reaction will be to the news. He could already fathom Gian's.
"Gian," He said softly from the edge of the room. Gian looked up but so did someone else.
Stefan caught the gaze of the girl sitting next to Delia's mom; he assumed it was her sister. She looked completely different from her kin. She had Delia's complexion but that was it. She had round eyes the color of bark flanked with the longest lashes he'd ever seen. Her nose was short and round like Delia's but her lips were a thin curvy cupid's bow, which noticeably smirked back at him. Something stirred within him, he knew what it was. He smirked to himself; his mate was a twenty year old girl. Oh, the irony.
Stefan called him from the entrance way. Gian was reluctant to leave Delia's side but he wanted to know Stefan had done. When they'd first come to the hospital Stefan came in and quickly told Gian that he'd had a plan. Now he was anxious to know what it was. He excused himself, giving Delia's hand a supportive squeeze then slipped out with Stefan. He led them to a quiet hall in the hospital with little foot traffic.
"Gian," Stefan said slowly, "I've worked it out with your father."
That sinking feeling rose in his chest again, Gian was not going to like what Stefan had to say. "...and?" He said.
"Your father will leave her alone; let her live a free life, a happy one..." Stefan paused he didn't want to tell him. "...but you cannot see her again."
Gian was shaking his head before the words left his mouth. "No," He said, "it's not an option."
"Gian," Stefan sighed, "You must be reasonable. As long as you are together he will try again and again to kill her. If you think it's unbearable to see her hurt now then you can't fathom the pain of seeing her from a casket. It is the only way."
Gian could feel his heart squeezing in his chest. The voices he hadn't heard since he met Delia came back with a vengeance. 'You've fucked up' they screamed. "Stefan, I can't-I can't do that." Gian said pacing the floor in front of him. "We've got to think of something else. We can run away me and Delia. We can change out names be different people. I just can't leave her."
"Gian, listen to yourself. For once don't be selfish. Will you ask her to leave everything? Leave everyone and never come back? She doesn't even know what you are. What will happen when you find your mate? Where will she be then? I understand that it feels real now but it is better for the both of you if you end it."
Gian stopped in front of Stefan. His eyes, so much like his father's, pleaded with him, "She is my mate. I can't just leave her. She's apart of me." His eyes were glassing over as he further began to realize that this may be the right thing to do. This would tear him up inside. She was the first one to see him, to see to the root of him. She was his first real friend.
Stefan suspected as much but to hear him say that they were mates made his heart break for him. Stefan knew the pain of giving up something he loved the most; he deals with it every waking moment. Stefan also knew that the sacrifice was for the best and proves that every day of his existence. "Kid, did I ever tell you how I became...one of your kind?" Stefan said leaning against the wall of the hall.
"In New York, I was a kid like you. I just didn't give a fuck. My mom didn't care about me, I was just another mouth to feed to her, my dad he was long dead and I thought that there was nothing for me. School was nothing and I dropped out as soon as I could. I ended up joining the gang my father was part of at about eleven. I thought I was grown then. I was just out doing stupid things, but it made me money and fast.
I bought my mom anything she wanted I made sure the bills were paid and she could feed my brothers and sister. No matter how I put my life on the line to make money for her she saw me as a piece of shit, just like my father. When I was seventeen I left and never went back. My life spiraled after that. I'd moved up from selling drugs, to selling girls, to selling stolen cars. I did so much foul shit that I did anything to forget. You name it I've done it. I would go weeks in like this drug-induced stupor. I was reckless, making enemies left and right, and I was becoming a liability to the gang.
One day I met this girl, Sarah, she saw something in me that no one ever did. I was trying to make her one of my girls but she was smarter than that. She was a college student, a little thing. Sarah was sweet and everything I wasn't. I thought I didn't deserve her but when she smiled at me it was like the sun. I found myself bending over backwards for her and I hadn't even had sex with her yet.
Time passed and Sarah graduated and somehow she brought me to this place where nothing mattered but her. I got her pregnant a year after she graduated and we had a son, Antonio. That was when I decided I couldn't live the life I was. I got a real job, with her help. A friend of Sarah's parents got me a job as a valet at Waldorf Towers. I was clean and on the straight and narrow. I'd even went back to get my GED. The funny thing about gangs though, is once you're in it; it will always come back for you.
Once word about my valet gig got out, my brothers came by wanting me to help them chop some of the foreign cars that I come by. It was tempting, valet money was shit and I wanted to take care of my family. I finally caved and agreed. They marked a Vanquish that came in my only job was to park it with the rear left door open and continue on with my job. I was all set to do that when the Vanquish pulled up, but then this man got out. He was nicely dressed but something about him reminded me of me, of what I could've been what I could be. He stepped out and opened the door for a woman, the way they looked at each other with so much love, reminded me of the love I had for Sarah. Then the woman opened the back seat for their child and that man's face lit up.
I realized that I couldn't do it. I couldn't go back to that old life when I could give my family this one. So I parked their car locking the doors and went on with business. Fast forward the next day and my brothers were back. They were counting on that car to cash out. I heard word they were tailing it. That day the woman and her son took the car. They cut through a back road to get to F.A.O. Schwartz when they stopped her. I followed along; I had to protect that man's family. One of the shot-callers walked up to the window and pulled a gun. I wasn't sure what to do I wasn't armed.
My brother he cocked the gun and aimed and I swear I swallowed my heart then. I could see the pure fear in the woman's eyes I saw Sarah in her eyes, her son began to cry and I heard the cries of Antonio and I acted. I charged my brother and screamed for the woman to get the hell out of dodge. She wasted no time doing a three point turn and high tailing out. I was quickly kicked in the stomach and a fist connected with my jaw. Then I heard the gun shot before the pain exploded through my chest.
I was hit; I could feel my lungs filling with blood. I fell to the ground coughing up puddles of it. I could see the car off in the distance and at that moment I knew I was going to die. I saw the brake lights fire up on the car then it came speeding backwards. It mowed down three of the men and crashed into the car they used to barricade the road. The car speed forward then reversed hitting more until they were all injured reaching for their guns. The car door whipped open and she hopped out, she was shrieking frantically on the phone as she hurriedly opened the back door.
"Jaime, get in the front and keep down!" She shouted to her crying child who quickly obeyed out of fear. With strength I didn't know she had she dragged me into the back seat where I passed out.
To make a long story short I woke up as one of your kind. In an effort to save my life the man, whose name I found out was Mason, changed me into a vampire. He was extremely grateful. I had sacrificed everything for his family. It took me longer to realize the depth of my sacrifice. In order to keep the heat away from Sarah and my son I had to make my brothers believe I was dead. I couldn't ever see them again.
It was for the best. Sarah went onto marry a lawyer, he takes good care of my son. They live in the Upper East Side. Antonio he's in college, political science. He even has a girlfriend. I'm so proud of him. I also know that I couldn't have given him any of that. It tears me apart to this day but I never regretted it."
"Your son? You keep tabs on him?" Gian asked not ready to face his own sacrifice.
"It's the only thing that keeps me from giving up. Gian, you and I are alike. I can't tell you that it gets easier because it doesn't, but I can tell you that you get stronger and you'll be happy because she's happy. You'll keep moving on because she will."
"How am I going to tell her? How can I make her understand?"
"She won't," Stefan answered, "Not at first, but she'll move on. She will be happy."
"Is it selfish to say that that's what will hurt the most. to see her move on without me." Gian said, his gaze trained on the floor beneath him.
"It only feels like that now. When she loses you she'll be just as sad but when she moves on, it will make you feel better to see her smile again."
"Stefan, I-" He started but tears paused the words in his throat, "I don't know if I'm strong enough to-to let her go." He ended on a sob.
Stefan heart broke. He threw his arm around him in an embrace, one of true affection.
"I'll be there, I promise." Stefan said.
Delia rolled her eyes and threw her head back onto the pillow; it was as if they got some sort of sick pleasure out of embarrassing her.
"I'mma kill 'em, Officer Delgato." Her mother said earnestly.
"Ma, you can't tell an officer of the law that you're going to kill someone." Delia said knowing her mother wasn't listening.
"I swear it! You don't hit my little girl and think you can get away with it. I'm going to have to kill them."
"She's not a little girl." Denise said at the same time the officer laughed good-naturedly.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Delia asked Denise while the Officer assured her mother it won't be necessary.
"Dee, you stay getting offended at stuff, I'm not calling you fat. I'm on your side." Denise said snidely while Ms. Camden said, "You' better find them before I do."
"Well, you stay insulting me, I'm just saying."
"Dee, don't be so sensitive," Her mama said jumping into the conversation at the same time her sister told the officer, "When you find them, kick them good in the balls for me, will ya? That was my car too."
"Mom," Dee said, "Let's not forget I'm the one in the hospital bed" while Ms. Camden was telling Denise, "must you say balls, find a better word, you're going to make the officer think I raised you in a damn brothel,"