The car cruised to a stop in front of the ordinary-looking restaurant.
Ricci and his men got out of the car and headed inside the said restaurant.
Ricci had travelled light- carrying only three men: his underboss, his right hand man and another of his trusted men.
While he found a chair and sat, talking with his underboss, Carlo and the other man sat at a table not too far from them and talked over drinks.
The New York atmosphere was busy as usual and this particular restaurant had enough traffic with people going out and coming in frequently even though night was approaching quickly.
Ricci pressed on his phone till he reached his consigliere's number in his contact list. His consigliere had now become the unspoken middleman between him and Siena.
Where is she? He sent to his consigliere through text.
A minute later, his consigliere replied:
She said she is on her way.
It would be ten minutes after that that Siena would walk in alone in a black dress looking like the most gorgeous thing Ricci had ever seen.
Her hair was in a neat chignon behind her head. The brown hair seemed to glow with a golden luminescence. She wore light makeup. Her eyes were framed by her dark lashes, now even darker as a result of mascara. Her lips had a light and subtle pink glossy surface, no doubt from lipstick. The black dress stopped at her knees, accentuating the delicate curves of her body-despite her rock-hard interior. Black peep toe heels emphasized the creamy-milky tone of her calves; a direct contrast to Ricci's tanned skin.
Ricci's mouth went dry when he saw her. Siena was inexplicably gorgeous. Just watching her make her way towards his table and sit in front of him, he almost forgot about his anger and frustrations with her. He might have let go of even the annoyance from their first meeting.
He stared into her eyes and he remembered once again that she was not innocent. She was a masterful schemer, but he was not going to fall for her schemes.
Her eyes told him everything-the glaring unrepentance in them.
But God, were those eyes not sexy?
Ricci cleared his throat loudly- as Siena made herself comfortable on her seat- trying to focus on the business at hand.
Siena put her purse on the table. She had also come with an envelope. Now, she proceeded to bring out some paperwork from it.
It was then that a thought occurred to Ricci. About six days ago, Siena had come to meet him in Italy with her uncle, her dressing every indication that she did not want to be there. For such a formal meeting, she had disrespected the host, Ricci, by appearing in such utterly casual wear. Now, she was all dressed up for a meeting in a restaurant.
It ocurred to Ricci then that she might have dressed up nicely to seduce him into agreeing to her terms for the marriage between them. It annoyed Ricci even more because so far, she had been successful. He was totally turned on. So even though he wanted to compliment her beauty and kiss her lips until they got swollen, he said: "You look sane tonight."
Siena raised her eyes to look at him, eyes deeply rebellious."Well, of course," she said. "I had to doll up for the meeting with my fiancé."
"Yet you say it like it has a bitter aftertaste on your lips, " Ricci answered.
"Well because it does," Siena said. She gave a quick smile as she went back to her papers.
"I wonder why," Ricci replied smoothly. "It's not like you're going to marry one of the most powerful men in Italy."
"You forgot to say: 'the most eligible bachelor in Sicily'" Siena added, " 'One of the most affluent men in Europe' as well as the owner of the largest ego in said continent."
Ricci watched her for a moment."Do you believe actions have consequences?"
Siena only looked at him briefly, not replying.
"Your marriage to me is your punishment- the consequence of your action of disrespecting me, Siena," Ricci answered.
"I had always known it was a punishment, love, " Siena replied, winking at him.
Another hit to Ricci's ego. He bore it. He bore it in silence.
Siena spoke next.
"Tell your mouthpiece to leave," she said.
"I would Iike us to discuss alone," Siena said, her gaze sliding over Donato who had been sitting with Ricci in silence.
Ricci briefly glanced at his underboss. "Leave us, Donato."
Donato did not protest. He stood up, obeying his Don.
"And get a waiter to get me a drink," Siena told Donato, mid-his getting up. Donato glared at her.
"A bottle of scotch," Ricci said. "And two glasses."
Donato obeyed. If Ricci had not requested it, he never would have. Siena was not yet his don's wife. He wouldn't let the spoilt brat order him around.
He headed for the front counter where he met a waiter and ordered the drink for Ricci and Siena's table.
As soon as Donato left, Siena began to speak.
"Now listen, Ricci DiAmbrossi, "she said. "I am not taken by your charm or charisma. I really do not care about that. I do not care about your money or your power or your influence. I am not that kind of woman you will marry to take care of the house and act like your trophy wife. I am a mafioso and underboss of the DiSuzzi family. I have accepted your marriage proposal, but I have terms of my own." Siena handed the files she previously held in her hand to Ricci.
He took it from her, his gaze thinning with suspicion.
"It is just a quick summary of my expectations in the marriage," Siena answered the gaze Ricci threw at her.
Ricci flipped through the document.
A waiter arrived then, setting a bottle of scotch down and two glasses. Siena waved him away and poured her own drink as Ricci's eyes ran across the document.
He skimmed the document, subconsciously nodding at certain places. Most of it were the normal terms of agreement the DiAmbrossis were supposed to fulfill...allocation of territories...support the DiSuzzi's re-entrance into Italy...
Ricci's eyes darkened as he reached a caveat.