Chapter 13

1357 Words
Siena reached the porch and entered the back seats of the jeep as she waited for her uncle. Two men of theirs were already in the front seats, one of them at the driver's seat. Another jeep was parked just behind this one with four men in it. Two of the men out of the total would drive the jeeps back while the others would accompany them on the trip. Siena checked her phone. Nothing. For the past two days, she had been trying to contact Dale -her (probably ex) boyfriend. She wasn't so sure now. Ever since the incident at the restaurant he had refused to pick her calls or respond to her messages. He totally alienated her from his life. She had no idea that he felt this strongly about associating with anyone from the mafia. It was a good thing she had hidden it from him those earlier months then. But Drusa was the cause of all of this, Siena reminded herself. She was going to get even with Drusa, one way or another. Drusa destroyed the only object of normalcy she indulged herself in. The relationship with Dale was a break: a relaxation from her mafia schedule and life. Now Dale wanted nothing to do with her. Someone entered the car and sat on the seat next to Siena and she raised her head from her phone to look at her uncle. "Uncle," she said. He merely nodded in acknowledgment. The car began to move then, bound for their private jet at the airport. They would be landing in Sicily soon and from the airport, Ricci DiAmbrossi's men would be waiting to take them to meet their boss. Hours later, they were driving down from the airport to the DiAmbrossi mansion in Sicily. Their private plane had stayed at the airport. The DiAmbrossi men had met them in cars of their own and transported them through the roads of Sicily. Siena merely stared disinterested at the sights as they made their way across the island. Easily the largest island on the Mediterranean, Sicily was famous for its golden sand beaches and blue waters. It was also known to have mount. Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe and a few Greek temples. Agrigento at the valley of temples is said to be one of the most perfect Greek temples anywhere. And apparently, Sicily seemed to have one of the most conceited mafia bosses in all of Italy, Siena observed, dryly. Siena knew much about Sicily. It was her place of origin after all. Her family used to stay here before Cosimo DiAmbrossi drove them out, Siena thought, instantly annoyed, the beautiful scenery doing nothing to lighten her mood. She stared back out the windows for a distraction. There was no conversation going on in the car. The man at the wheel was a DiAmbrossi man and so was his partner. Siena and her uncle were at the back seats. The men they had come with were in the other identical cars following them. Silence prevailed as everyone in the cars were left to their own thoughts. Sicily was easily the birthplace of the Italian mafia as a whole. An island on the mediterranean, it was easily accessible through sea during the world wars and so was an easy target for hostile forces. Because of its strategic location, it was a bit isolated from the rest of Italy and the jurisdiction of Italy. The people began to lose faith in the government and so the mafia arose. In the beginning, it was the Capos who oversaw judgement and settling of dispute between and among the people in the community. They were like the dons of today. In return for administering their justice, the community was required to pay duties- the early origin of extortion and racketeering- and they were bound under the Omerta or code of silence: bound under the purview of secrecy and so were not to talk to the police or to report the mafia at all. Offenders of this code of conduct were dealth with brutally. Benito Mussolini during his time as the fascist head of Italy cracked down seriously on the mafia and imprisoned suspects. But when the allies occupied Sicily, they mistook the prisoners- mafia suspects- to be political prisoners imprisoned by Mussolini. They released them and even appointed them into places of power in the government of Sicily. From then on, the grip of the mafia in Sicily became even stronger. The American mafia was an off shoot of that of Italy. Italians were the ones who brought the mafia culture to America. Siena was still recounting this history when a sight distracted her. Up ahead, a large structure arose. It was the DiAmbrossi mansion, tall and grand, an architectural masterpiece. It looked to have at least thirty rooms. As they drove past the gate, the driver announced: "Welcome to Ricci Mansion." "Not DiAmbrossi mansion?" Agostino asked. "That one is just a few kilometers from here," the driver replied. "The rest of the immediate family stay there. Out of the immediate family, only the boss stays here." Siena scoffed internally. Men. She thought. Always wanting to show their power. What was the need to live separately from his own immediate family? Agostino apparently knew the answer. "Your boss has a lot of enemies, doesn't he?" It was the man at the passenger side that replied. "Who doesn't?" "Of course," Agostino said. "But the enemies of your boss might want to target his family; that is why he lives separately from them. He is a very perceptive man, your boss." Siena saw the beaming smiles on the faces of the men. They looked proud of their boss. A few minutes later, the car had manoeuvred through the roads that interwove with the neatly manicured lawns and stopped in front of the grand structure. The men opened the doors for them and Siena and her uncle got out. Their men joined them by the porch as they prepared to go inside. A few of the DiAmbrossi men, the ones who were not going to park the car led Siena, her uncle, and her uncle's men inside the mansion, flanking them on both sides. The house was tastefully furnished with not just chandeliers, but Mediterranean antique furniture and costly art. Siena studied the art closely, realizing the deep appreciation Italy as a whole had for art. Italy was afterall known to have harbored well-known greats like DaVinci, Michelangelo and Bernini amongst others. The DiAmbrossi men led them through a passage way by the side of a large staircase, until they got to Ricci DiAmbrossi's study. The study was at the ground floor. It occupied a large area and a patio from the study led to an open field of a manicured grass lawn. By the study doors, two men who stood stationed there frisked Agostino as he reached them. No weapons. They took a glance at Siena and she burned her gaze back into theirs, daring them to touch her. "It's okay," Agostino said, sensing the interaction."She doesn't have a weapon on her." It was true, the only persons among them who had come with weapons were their men. Shrugging, the men opened the doors and they entered inside. Ricci DiAmbrossi sat in all his glory at the head of his study table looking like a breath of cool beach air in his black suit and white shirt. Some of his men stood scattered around the wide study or sat at sofas inside. He lifted his eyes from his laptop to look at his guests, and what he first noticed about Siena were her clothes. His face hid a small frown. Siena who had been watching him closely claimed a small victory. He noticed that she hadn't treated the meeting like it was anything important, given her overall preparation for it. She was after all dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. A T-shirt displaying Mickey Mouse. Ricci's gaze drifted to Agostino's face as Agostino and his niece approached him and sat on the two seats just in front of his desk.
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