01 | Sudden Changes
| MYA |
“PAPA!” I yelled as I watched a man with a burned mark on his face unload a gun all over my dad’s chest.
“Mya! We have to go!” Marcelo shouted as he lifted me up, throwing me over his shoulder before running through a dark hallway.
Marcelo was my dad’s right-hand man.
I blinked away the tears as I hung over Marcelo’s shoulder in shock. Before I knew it, he was placing me in the back seat of a black Porsche right before the driver sped off.
“Perché?” I cried as I punched his chest. “He needed our help!”
“He couldn’t save himself and you. It was too late!” he stated as he watched me with sorrowful eyes.
“No! You’re lying!” I shook my head in denial. “Papa was a good guy, and I haven’t done anything. Why would it be too late for us?” I added as the Porsche swerved between cars.
“Mya… your life is in danger because…” he paused, taking a deep breath. “Your dad’s enemies found out about you.”
“Enemies?” I asked, shaking my head. “Why would an engineer have enemies?” I grabbed him by his collar.
I just wanted to go back and check on Papa. Why did they do that to him? I didn’t even get to say goodbye.
I cried louder into Marcelo’s chest as he wrapped his muscular arms around me and let me cry myself to sleep.
“Papa! Papa! Look at me!” I giggled as I jumped off the tree branch in my favorite park.
Ever since Mamma and Papa divorced, he has made sure to pick me up every other weekend and take me out of town to visit different places. I really wished my parents could be together though. My dad was the best dad in the world. He always took care of me, even if he wasn’t living with us. I never saw my parents argue, so I’m confused as to why they even divorced in the first place.
“Attenzione, Principessa!” (Italian for “Watch out, Princess!”) My dad shouted as he caught me before I hit the ground, making me giggle even louder. He was always there to catch me.
“Capo, it’s time,” Marcelo whispered to my dad as I watched them with curiosity until they realized my attention was on them.
“Princess, daddy has to go, okay?” he said, giving me a kiss on the forehead. “Marcelo will take you to your cousin’s house and I want you to go straight home.”
“But why can’t you take me?” I questioned him, crossing my arms and pouting.
“Principessa, please listen to daddy. It’s for your own good,” he answered as he briefly looked around the area.
He hurriedly leaned down and gave me a tight hug. I will have to cherish that hug for another two whole weeks. I wish daddy would just come home again like old times.
Papa released me and whispered something to Marcelo that I couldn’t catch. He blew me an air kiss and walked away with several men. Why does Daddy always have so many employees with him?
“Marcelo?” I asked while I tugged on his big arm.
I was really shy around him. I had a huge crush on him, but I knew it was never going to happen since he was like twenty-one and I was only thirteen. I was still in my awkward stages, so I knew he would think I was ugly anyway.
“Yes, Mya?” he answered politely, winking at me.
Oh my gosh! He just winked at me. I felt my face turn super hot as embarrassment filled my body. Forget my embarrassment, I forgot my question altogether. I sighed and shook my head as we walked towards my cousin’s house.
I turned on the bed and my eyes shot open, finding myself in a dark room. Where am I? What happened?
I blinked a few times as I tried collecting my thoughts. Papa. My dad was killed in front of me. I placed my face in my hands and let all the waterworks out. I cried for all the good memories. For the things he would not see me accomplish. For all the times that I wished I had not fought with him. I just cried.
As I began to hiccup, warm, muscular arms wrapped around me. I smelled his cologne. The limited edition Bvlgari parfum he always wore. Marcelo was here, watching me, as always, as I broke down and cried out for my father.
I took a deep breath, wiped my tears away and looked at him because I knew we had a lot of talking to do and now was the moment for this conversation to take place.
| MARCELO |
I ordered a whiskey double from the bartender while I slid the money on the table and as soon as he brought the drink to me, I chugged it down in one go. I just couldn’t believe it. Il Capo e morto. (Italian for “The boss is dead.”)
I tried to be strong for her. For my beautiful Mya. But I saw him as my father too. He raised me to be the man I am today. I just needed a moment to digest everything before seeing her again.
When she passed out in the car, I was so relieved that I didn’t have to break her heart even more at that moment. I knew she would be devastated when she found out about her dad being one of the most wanted mafia bosses at the moment. Whether it were the enemies or the government, he was being sought out.
We just never thought that they would reach her, Mya. The boss couldn’t handle it and sacrificed himself so that I could save her.
My beautiful Mya didn’t deserve to find out like this. She was such an innocent soul. Beautiful, inside and out.
I chugged another two glasses of whiskey and stood up to get back to the hotel room before she woke up. I didn’t want her to freak out if she found herself alone.
She had slept for quite a few hours after tiring herself from all the crying. It was better that way though. Even after making it to Spain, she was still sleeping.
As I reached the door, my phone vibrated with a text message from Carlos.
Carlos: The coast is clear for now. The next switch will be in thirty.
Me: Hai trovato i nemici? (Italian for “Did you find the enemies?”)
I took a deep breath before pressing the room key to the door and it gave me access instantly. I walked over and sat on the living room couch right across from the bed before I settled back to watch my princess sleep.
She was so beautiful. I’ve had these feelings for her for a while, but never had the courage to say anything. First, she was under eighteen and second, the boss would have killed me. I was one of his most trusted men and he wanted his daughter to be completely out of the business.
He always kept the business from her because she was the most precious thing he had, and he didn’t want anything to corrupt her innocence. He had me watching over her since she was ten years old and I was eighteen. So many years of taking care of her and one day everything suddenly changed.
It was her sixteenth birthday, and she wore a skin-tight royal blue dress. Her curves filled the dress so perfectly. That day, everything changed. I didn’t see her as the little girl I was taking care of anymore. She was grown but still not old enough for me.
I tried to keep my distance, but the boss had me constantly with her. He didn’t want anyone to know who she was. Anyone, as in the enemies, of course. But they still found out. They still found her. They still tried to kill her.
The one promise I have never regretted making was my last promise to the boss.
He sped past all the cars on the road as I was holding on to the handle on the roof. You know the one you grabbed when you had to take a shīt, whether because of someone’s reckless driving or because you really had to take a shīt?
Capo looked over at me with desperate eyes before speaking up again.
“Marcelo, I need you to promise me something,” he said as he looked back at the road, making a sudden left.
“Si, Capo?” I questioned as I licked my suddenly dry lips.
I already knew where he was going, and it wasn’t so hard for me to agree to it because I loved her.
“If something happens to me today, I need you to protect her,” he stated before he looked back with pleading eyes. “Out of all my men, I trust you the most. My daughter and the business will be in your hands.”
I blinked at the revelation because I knew he’d ask me to take care of Mya, but the business too? Wow. I shook my head to focus on the present again.
“Si, Capo,” I finally replied.
“Con la tua vita,” (Italian for “With your life,”) he added urgently as he looked over at me again.
“It would be my pleasure, Capo,” I answered honestly.
I hope it didn’t come to losing the boss, but if we did, I would grab Mya and run as we’ve trained for since he adopted me. He didn’t legally adopt me, but we have a father- son relationship, since he has taken care of me since I could remember.
He pressed on the brakes, making the car come to a sudden stop and without hesitation, he pulled out his gun and hastily chambered it.
“See you on the other side, Son,” he said as he rushed out of the car.
~End of Flashback~
Sniffling brought me back to the present. I shook my head and watched her delicate hands covering her beautiful face as she wept. My princess.
It broke my heart to watch her like that, so I stood up and walked towards her, embracing her tiny body in my arms as soon as I reached her. I wish we could stay like this forever. In each other’s arms.
She shuffled a bit in my arms, wiping her face clean of the evidence of her tears. I looked at her and immediately knew that it was time. I had to break the news to her right now.
I took a deep breath before I looked into her pleading eyes, feeling my heart clench at her brokenness and having to break her further with the truths I had to disclose.