GianCarlo Ch. 05byihartekenny©
[Author's Note: I'm so sorry for the delay. Again my crappy computer crapped out on me...AGAIN! I explain everything on my blog also a little contest on there as well. Please forgive me and enjoy. :-)]
Denise couldn't quite put a finger on Stefan and she kind of liked that about him. She stood in front of her tall mirror getting dressed to pick up Delia from the hospital, hoping to run into Stefan. She was almost positive she would. Gian was like Delia's tail and Stefan was his. She wasn't sure just how to woo Stefan. Did she go for sweet girl, flirty minx, or sexy vixen? Denise went with flirty minx, its what she did best. She slipped on a bright sundress that was a bit too short and strappy sandals. She was brushing her short straightened hair when her mother yelled out.
"Nise! Don't have your sister waiting out there like nobody love her."
Denise rolled her eyes, "I'm leaving now, mama!"
Denise walked by the kitchen where Ms.Camden was cooking when she said, "don't give him none."
"Who are you talking about?" Denise asked stopped in her tracks by the comment.
Her mom simply gave a look, "Whoever you wearing that dress for."
Denise gave her mom an exasperated look before leaving. Somehow her mama always knew, and at the same time she didn't. There were somethings about Denise that she'd take to her grave never having told her mama, she couldn't break her heart.
Denise pulled up to the hospital and when she walked into the lobby Delia was already there in a wheelchair with a nurse. Even all patched up Dee looked worse than she did when she went in. Her eyes were sunken and lifeless and her normally vivacious personality seemed non existent. She looked empty. More so, Denise noticed her lack of tail. Gian was nowhere in sight neither was Stefan. Denise's stomach sank, something was wrong, and it was huge.
Earlier that morning around two or three Gian had finally managed to untangle himself from Delia and leave. There were so many emotions he hadn't felt in a long time, things he tried to forget like crushing loneliness, hopelessness, and dark self-hatred. He sooner stormed out the hospital not giving Stefan a glance. He was overwhelmed, he stomped out, his steps becoming determined and suddenly he knew where he was headed.
Stefan knew where the kid was going and followed him out the building. The more they walked the faster Gian's angered pace became until Stefan caught up, grabbing his shoulder to slow him down. In a whirl of anger Gian spun and lashed out at Stefan, shoving him in the chest.
"Leave me alone! This is your fault!"
"Okay, blame me, but do not go out and ruin your life over this! You can get pass this!"
"You don't fucking get it do you?" Gian shouted back before the last words were out of Stefan's mouth. "She was my life! Before her I was nothing and now I'm nothing so fuck it!" Gian took off again his walk angry and determined.
"You want her back, Gian!? Then you've gotta man up! You cant run off like a scared little bitch every time your daddy take something away from you."
Gian turned and lashed again shoving Stefan once, then again. "Fuck you! You're the one who told me I needed to give her up. You said it was the right thing to do, but I'm the bitch? You're so full of shit!"
The desire to take out his hurt and frustration on Stefan burned in his chest but deep inside he knew that, at this moment, Stefan was the only one to give a fuck about him. Gian turned and picked up his stride more determined than before to find that something that would numb the pain even for a night.
"Gian, a man wouldn't skulk away to lick his wounds, to fuck some chick for the poison in her veins. No, a man would step up and play the game. Do you even understand why your father did this? He wanted you to straighten up so you can take over his company."
"Play the game!?" Gian asked incredulously.
The picture Stefan painted was becoming clear to him but he still held on to his anger, rather it hung onto him. He was entitled to it, he was entitled to lashing out, because no one had to witness a murder attempt on their mate that night and no one, other than him, had to voluntarily give their mate up that night. So he'd earned a right to his anger.
"Stefan, I cant-cant play this stupid game! I cant put on my good boy face and bide my time on the off chance that my father would give enough leeway to have Delia. Even if I did I'd have to take that small chance that she may want me back, and honestly, after tonight, she probably hates me."
"Kid, what else do you got? You either take that small chance or say good bye to her forever."
Gian was faced again with a dilemma. He didn't want to choose either but he knew Delia was worth that chance. He was still so angry with the turn of events, he still blamed himself and all he wanted was to hold Delia again, to smell her warm coconut skin and to kiss her soft lips.
"Is it truly appropriate to have a shouting match so publicly?" Gian heard a voice say in Italian.
He turned to see a lanky short man with his dark hair slicked back and beady eyes making his way over to them.
"Who the fuck are you!?" Gian asked with barely contained aggravation. The man opened his mouth to answer but the reply came from Stefan.
"This is the man he reported sighting you with Delia, he's the reason Delia's in the hospital now all for a measly payout of two thousand dollars. He's also the guy who took my job." There was amusement in Stefan voice as he could already foresee what would happen next.
Within the second something snapped inside Gian, maybe it was his grasp on reality or maybe it was the crumble of the last fuck he had to give but Gian, with all the anger he possessed, pounced on the guy, knocking him to the ground. Gian easily over powered him and began landing blows to the man's face. All Gian could see was red, all he could feel was hatred. It took all of Stefan's strength to pull Gian off of him.
"I dare you! I fucking dare you, bitch! Come around me again, come around Delia again, I will fuck you up so bad, motherfucker! Don't you ever let me see you! You better be a ghost around this bitch! I swear!"
Gian kept up the shouting until Stefan dragged him far enough away from the fallen man that his anguished moans could barely be heard.
Delia was quiet the whole ride, she barely spoke a word. The silence was thick but Denise hadn't dared to ask the problem. She felt a little tinge of guilt. She had been more excited to see Stefan than she had been worried about her sister.
Delia felt empty. She didn't know when it happened but somehow Gian had merged with everything sunny and bright about her and now that he was gone she felt nothing but pain and emptiness. Denise pulled up to the house and Delia's heart wrenched. The mangled remnants of their little jeep sat in the front lawn, a monument to the moment that took Gian away, more so, that almost took her life.
Denise parked and regarded her sister empathetically but Delia's eye were fixed on the car. She got out and walked over to it as if in a daze. Denise couldn't imagine the thoughts running through Delia's head but thought she owed her an explanation.
"Its only here until the insurance company comes to inspect it," Denise said softly.
The moments passed by quietly as Delia kept staring. On closer glance it was macabre, with its blood and coffee stained seats. There was a dark trail of dried blood on the window where she'd smashed her head and scraps of her ruined dress on the shattered glass of the passenger window. She assumed it was where Gian had pulled her out. Gian, who had saved her, Gian, who's father caused this. Her heart wretched painfully.
She didn't realize it but she'd began to cry, the tears staining her cheeks. With nothing else to do Denise slid her hand into Delia's holding it tight. Denise wasn't particularly affectionate but she knew she needed to offer some solace.
"He tried to kill me," came Delia's small voice, "Gian's father. Gian saved me."
Shocked and concerned, Denise's first instinct was to question her sister but decided against it. She was probably traumatized.
"I'm fine, he wont try again, I-I just needed to tell someone, you know. It doesn't feel real. It all happened so fast." Delia's voice cracked into sobs.
Delia went inside and fell into bed where she stayed for a week, moving only to go to the bathroom or shower. She worried her mom and more so her sister. They had made a deal with each other, the twins, to not tell their mother and spare her the pain of knowing but that didn't subside Denise's fears. She checked on Delia constantly, afraid every time to find her victim to some assassination. Unfortunately, Delia was doing more harm to her self. She refused to eat her first day out of the hospital. Second day all she had was a glass of water her mother had given her, and by the third day Denise had managed to force feed her two spoonfuls of soup before Delia rolled over and sobbed into her pillow.
Finally worried beyond belief Ms.Camden walked into Delia's room. She felt as helpless as her little girl. She sat on the bed next to Delia, thinking how young and broken she looked.
"Come here," She said pulling Delia into her arms holding her. Delia complied holding on to her mother. In her arms it felt like home. The smell of sweet flowers and cinnamon surrounded her.
"You know, I don't remember the last time I held you." Ms. Camden said, more to herself. "You and your sister, you guys are so strong, so independent I forget sometimes that you're only twenty."
Ms. Camden stroked her daughters face. She could feel the pain bottled inside of Delia and wanted nothing more to feel it for her so she could go on and be happy again.
"When I was your age I didn't have my mama, I had my sisters but when things got so bad and I didn't know how to go on I wished my mama was back. She'd hold me just like this and tell me 'Dont you fret too much longer, you'll smile again'. I'm glad I'm still around for you baby."
They sat a little longer in the silence, Ms. Camden gently rocking Delia. Before long Delia was sobbing, her heart had opened and all the emotions from that week came pouring out. Her face buried in her mothers shirt she cried for Gian, for losing him, for never seeing him again. She also cried for his father, for Gian always being under his thumb, for the thought that Gian may never see happiness or know freedom. She sobbed until there were no more tears, just soft sad hiccups, until she fell asleep.
A few more weeks had passed and Delia wasn't getting any better. She ate but only if she was reminded to and the doctor said it was contributing to her slow healing process. Denise decided that Delia had wallowed long enough. She made her sister a sandwich and stormed the room.
"Dee! Enough of this bullshit! You need to eat something." Denise said.
Delia groaned into her pillow something that sounded like 'leave me alone'.
"Get your ass up and eat this!"
Delia sat up frowning at her sister before snatching the sandwich taking a bite and throwing it back down on the plate. She chewed, swallowed, and then yelled for Denise to get out.
"Okay, don't eat it if you want to but don't be crying when all your precious hair fall out from malnutrition and you look like one of them tortured barbie dolls from Toy Story."
Delia was silent for a moment then she slowly sat up again and began to eat the sandwich, her frown firmly in place. Delia took a lot of pride in her hair and Denise knew that. She smiled triumphantly at Delia.
"I hate you," Delia muttered around a mouth full of the sandwich.
"Yeah, well at least you won't be baldy skaldy."
The month had been a busy one for Stefan, what with the start up of his company, the new apartment, and talking Gian off the ledge every three days or so, Stefan had yet to find the time to contact Denise. Yet, she was never far from his mind. He figured it was good to make her wait. God knows how many guys she masochistically made wait for her. Even now his mind wandered toward her. Her playful smile danced in his mind, and those round eyes that promised him so much of whatever she had to offer. More so, Stefan felt excitement. He was excited at the prospect of not being alone anymore, having someone to talk to and to share his life with, his experiences. He couldn't wait to hold her on quiet evenings and tease her every chance he got.
The ring of his phone shook him out of his thoughts. It had to be almost six in the morning and he was preparing for bed. No one called him at odd hours unless it was prospective clients and Gian. He answered. It was Gian's frantic voice. "Can't I just see her...from afar...just to make sure she's okay? She hasn't been back to work and-and I'm going crazy over here!"
"Okay, Okay calm down," Stefan said sighing inwardly. He was glad that Gian even bothers to call. It means he's giving it the good ol' college try but he was becoming a bit needy.
"Delia is fine, she's still healing and her family is taking care of her. Going around her will only put her in jeopardy. What you should do is find yourself some business. Do something constructive. Try registering for online school or something."
Gian sighed, he was restless and paranoid. He couldn't sleep and had no desire to leave his apartment. He spent most of his days pacing and thinking of Delia. "I'll try but can you do me a favor? Please, just please check on her, tell me how she's doing, tell me if that prick's got a tail or her or something."
"Okay, I will, just try to get some sleep and do what I told you. Get some business...okay...bye." Stefan rubbed his eyes after hanging up, he was going to take his own advice.
Stefan woke early that afternoon. He had a few errands to run and most of it included businesses that closed at five. Even after years of being a vampire he wasn't comfortable with the hours he had to keep. First place he needed to go was to his CPA to finalize a few things before he was officially in business. His attorney was a vampire as well but he kept human hours. There wasn't much of a vampire populace in South Florida for obvious reasons.
Next was a stop to the indie stationary store in North Miami, his order was ready. It was the little things that excited him. He'd worked long for the time when he'd start his own business and now it was realized. Stefan walked into the shop in the dim evening light and was surprised to see Denise there. She was leaning over the corner speaking in low tones to the clerk, a small Asian girl with bright red hair and barely concealed tattoos.
"Yeah, totally" The clerk whispered to Denise quietly.
"I was thinking it would be awesome. This party is going to be amazing especially with you running the tattoo bar."
"Damn, can I be your sister? " The clerk asked causing them both to laugh.
"Its in two months so I'll call you before then, okay?" Denise said before turning to run smack into Stefan.
"Where's my invite?" Stefan said when Denise gaze locked on him. She paused in shock then smiled at him. That was the smile that haunted his thoughts.
"I thought you forgot about me." She said.
It was the way he said it mixed with the heated glance he gave that made a shiver skip down her back. She found herself staring at his lips they were thin, perfectly shaped lips complimented by a strong chin and bright hazel eyes. Then she remembered she was going to cold shoulder him. He'd ignored her for a month. She was a hot stuff, she didn't have to wait for any guy. Something inside her said that she'd wait for him and, gosh, she hated that it was true.
"How's Delia?" Stefan asked.
"She's...dealing." She answered with a small frown.
"She's not eating, not sleeping, and because of that not healing. Did you know that...it wasn't an accident?" Denise whispered the last part. You never know who's lurking around.
"She told you that?" Stefan asked wondering how much Denise knew.
"That's all she told me. I know that's very scary but..."
"But what?" Stefan asked when Denise didn't say anything.
"But Dee isn't acting like a person who's scared or paranoid she's acting like..."
"She's in love." Stefan finished with a small frown of his own.
"Yeah," Denise agreed giving him a funny look. She was just as observant as her twin only she seemed to be the twin who'd demand answers.
"What are you saying?" Denise asked.
"Let me pick up my order and I'll explain over coffee. That's if you're up to it." With a mischievous grin Denis agreed.
They'd found this little coffee shop where Denise knew the owner's son a few blocks down. It was small, full of tattooed hipsters and their organic this or that. Denise got them two Cuban espressos and cookies on the house. They sat outside in the dying evening and watched the people walk past. Stefan felt a little out of place in his button down and dark khakis, but one glance at Denise and it was forgotten.
"So, Delia and Gian was a thing, right?" She asked immediately.
"I...They-" Stefan started but was quickly cut off by Denise.
"I knew it!" She said, "She was always talking about him, they kissed, you know."
"How much did Delia tell you?"
"Not much," She said sitting back regarding Stefan. He realized she was studying him, reading him like a book. She continued, "She's not an open kind of person, Dee."
"She's not allowed to see, Gian" Stefan said. Denise was going to glean the truth from anything he said anyways so he decided that being upfront was his best option, he noted it.
Denise took a sip, "That makes sense, explains how she's been acting. This is because of that whole attack thing. Is Gian's father like Mafia?"
"No, but he might as well be. He's just a powerful business man, very powerful."
"Business must be good." Denise said, Stefan chuckled. "I worry about my sister, it keeps me up. I wonder why she isn't as worried."
"She knows that Gian would first die before he lets anything harm her."
Denise eyes squinted a bit as she studied him a bit more, "That may be enough for her but not for me," Is all she said but what Stefan heard was, 'He didn't stop the first attack so I'm not certain he could stop any others.'
"I'm his fail safe," Stefan said with a smirk and this seemed to ease her a bit.
"Are you guys brothers or something? Why do you hang around him?" She asked.
"I'm his...brother, but no by blood. As in, he needs someone to care about him someone he can run to and that's me."
"Mmm," Was all she said. She liked what she heard.
They fell into a comfortable silence. Denise finding no shame in it, picked up his box of stationary and opened it. Inside written in clean professional calligraphy were sheets and envelopes with the the words 'Romano LPI Inc.'
"LPI?" Denise asked
"Licensed Professional Investigator, Its my new business."
"So did you always want to get a job on that show Cheaters or did you watch too many Noir films."
Stefan chuckled, "Its not that kind of Investigations. I'll be either contracted by attorneys for criminal defense investigation or due diligence for investors."
"So, you're the paper pusher sort of investigator, sounds thrilling." She said sarcastically.
Stefan laughed, "what about you Ms. I-Know-The-Owner, what's your "thrilling" dream job."
Denise sighed, "I don't know just yet, maybe something artsy, something where I can travel, something with as little paper work as possible."
"Uh-Huh, good luck with that." He said teasing her.
She laughed good natured-ly,"So you suggest I get a regular nine to five like everyone else?"
"I suggest you do what you love, what do you love?"
"Oh, you know, the same things most people love, I guess" She answered nonchalantly. Her eyes seemed to look straight through him as if she read something in his every move. It wasn't entirely uncomfortable but it did say something about her.