TW: Graphic Depictions of Violence and Torture
My basement was my playground. Cold, dark, concrete, and filled with screams of the unfortunate. Thick chains hung from the ceiling with shackles attached to the ends of them, a stainless-steel medical table for parting out bodies sat on one side of the room, an array of tools and implements were splayed across another table for the taking, and a drain sat in the middle of the floor for easy clean-up. The room reeked of iron, rubbing alcohol, and formaldehyde. It was a serial killer's wet dream.
Gazing upon the broken man dangling from my chains, who had given away information about me to the FBI, I weighed my options about what I could do to him.
'Damn informant.' Sighing, I turned the knife in my hand, letting the sharp edge of the blade catch the light in the room.
“Now, tell me what you told the FBI before I gut you." Pressing the blade's tip against the man's solar plexus, I took in his swollen left eye slowly melting into a watercolor painting of black and blue.
He spit blood at me, causing it to pepper my face. Wiping my face with the hand holding my blade, I glared up at him. I pressed the tip of my knife right beneath his sternum. It slowly slid in, breaking through his layers of skin and making him squeal.
“Are you going to tell me, hm? Or do I need to keep pushing you further with my knife?" Sinking it deeper and further until it was half sunk into his torso, he begged for mercy. I grinned.
This was going to be fun. I could tell.
“Please, PLEASE! Stop! Just, LET ME LIVE!" The man screamed and cried, writhing on my hook like a piece of bait.
A laugh came from behind me along with the sound of a knife slicing into a crisp and juicy apple. Peering over my shoulder with my blade in the i***t, I looked at Nyx, my interrogator. He had wanted to torture the man in my shackles, but I had specified I wanted to be the one to do it.
“Did you have something to say to me, Ripper?" I asked, pulling my blade from the informant, blood dripped down the man's slender stomach from the wound.
Nyx raised his hands with his red apple and knife in them. “Nothing. Just enjoying the show, boss."
Turning back around, I jammed the blade into the guy's stomach when he rattled the chains and shouted, “I'll tell you, I'll tell you!"
“Talk!" I yelled as I placed the blade against his throat.
“I told them you were running docks and evading taxes." The words fell from the informant's lips quickly.
“Is that all?" I replied sternly as I pressed the sharp edge of my blade harder against his skin.
“That's it, I swear! I know nothing else!" The man frantically shook his body in my chains, causing the shrill sounds of metal clanging against metal to echo through my workspace. The scent of blood and piss grew thick around us.
With one swift movement, I slashed my blade across his throat. A spray of dark sangue rained over me, and my breathing picked up along with my adrenaline as I took in my handiwork. Something about dispatching a body, who told too much, excited and enthralled me.
“You gonna play with the girl at the bar that way?" Nyx gestured towards the corpse with his knife. A perfect apple slice was balanced on top before he placed it into his mouth, munching like a cow.
Twisting my blade in the light before running my index finger along the blood on my knife, I smeared it between my index finger and thumb to play with it. “Who knows. Right now…" I locked my dark gaze with Nyx's, “I just want her to give me a damn deal."
Nyx nodded as he watched me undo the shackles letting the dead informant fall onto the cement floor with a thump. “Bring me another one!"
“You're particularly ruthless today," Nyx quipped with laughter.
Ruthless didn't explain how I felt. My balls ached, my c**k insatiable, and it was all Raven's fault. She had haunted my thoughts every f*****g moment since I had seen her. She was there like a dark angel of death in every breath I took and every move I made. I couldn't even count the number of times I had jacked off last night and it still hadn't been enough. So yeah, ruthless didn't even touch how I felt.
“I'm frustrated that the damn woman at the bar has my balls in a twist," I seethed.
Nyx laughed even harder at my remark. “Alright, I have the perfect specimen for you to work on."
He hopped off the metal table, pocketed his blade, took one last bite of his apple, and tossed it before making his way to one of the iron cages in the basement we kept informants in. Nyx undid one of the padlocks with a sound that echoed through the cavernous room and yanked a soldier from a rival family, who had been caught with information about their organization I had wanted.
Nyx held the man's hands above his head, ignoring how he pleaded for his life and freedom. Slamming shackles around each wrist, I locked them into place with padlocks, so he was stretched out for me. His feet barely touched the ground.
“Now, you're going to tell me everything you know, or I'm going to rip out every—last—one—of your teeth, one at a time, until you tell me what I want to know." Grabbing a pair of pliers from the table of tools, the cold air around us filled with the scent of acrid piss.
I took my time, torturing him until I had him screaming every last detail I wanted to know, shifting from using the pliers to my knife until he was lifeless and dangling from my shackles.
Setting down my knife, I wiped my hands clean of the blood that littered them. I had enjoyed myself yes, but there were times I wished that people did things the easy way. Granted it would be as much fun, but at least I could get the information quickly then continue with killing them how I wanted.
Making my way up to my penthouse, I passed by Alessandro, my collector. His auburn hair caught the light in the hallway making his green eyes stand out. There was a reason women loved him besides his charming personality. “I got what you were looking for." He said as he walked with me to my office.
“Is that right?" I replied, watching him nod. Once we were inside my dark office of hardwood floors, towering dark oak bookshelves, cream walls, and my massive executive desk in the center, we settled in to talk.
“Docks are running smooth, strip clubs are raking in cash, your casino is making bank, and you've been called." Alessandro tacked on the end statement like I wouldn't notice.
“Where?" Staring at him, I gave him a stern expression.
“The Italian restaurant on the corner of third street."
“I'll shower and get ready to head out." I sighed as I gripped the arms of my leather office chair as I stood up.
“Take Dragon with you," Alessandro said as he walked towards my office door. “You're going to need him."
Dragon, or rather Leo, was my muscle and my main guard. I had three Capos: Nyx, Alessandro, and Leo, my security. They all worked for me, and I did wonders for them as long as they didn't stab me in the back.
For Alessandro to make the comment he did, it made me wonder what was planned for me. A taunt like that wasn't something Alessandro did unless it was of importance.
La Villa was a little Italian restaurant run by an ex-con man named Johnny. He had bought the corner spot once he got back on his feet. Stepping inside felt like coming home with its fake ivy plants draping down a back wall of red brick and its murals painted on the other walls in sepia tones. The chairs were made of dark wood to match the tables, and a rack of various wines and glasses sat back on the brick wall.
Not to mention the warm scent of freshly baked bread and the pungent fragrance of homemade bolognese sauce was to die for and made you feel at home.
Peering over at a table off to the side, I spotted familiar black hair, only to find Raven sitting at a table alone. Why was she even here? Was she meeting someone? Did she come here often to eat? Was she on a lunch break from work? Seeing her in a place I frequented was odd, but I'd take it.
I smirked like I had just won the jackpot at my casino in Vegas because I could bug her again about that business deal. I really wanted that sit-down spot, and she was the key to me owning it.
Deciding to casually walk past her table on the way to the back where I was supposed to have a sit-down with someone, I made my move. But right as I reached the seat across from her, I slipped into the booth and placed my hands on the table.
Slamming her hands onto the table, she scowled at me with annoyance on her tongue, “Oh hell, now what do you want? Did you follow me or some s**t?"
“Maybe," I shrugged, “did you think about my offer?"
“Was I supposed to?" Crossing her arms over her chest, she gave me a challenging expression.
“Do you want my security or not? It's up to you, but you keep running into me, and the more you're seen with me, the worst it will be for you." I wasn't going to sugarcoat it for her.
She uncrossed her arms and leaned forward against the table. “Are you trying to threaten me, sir?" Relaxing back against her seat, she continued, “Because if you are… I hate to inform you, but it won't work on me."
“Maybe I'm just trying to protect you." Searching her interested brown eyes, I thought about what they would look like beneath the moonlight when I marked her as mine.
Raven looked me up and down, taking me in and shifting her jaw for a moment. “I haven't decided what I want to do. Also," she leaned in again, showing off her cleavage from the neckline of her low-cut dress, “I don't need protection." She leaned back and placed an arm across her chest while waving me away with her other hand. “You can f**k off, Mister."
“You're a real bi—" I was about to throw an insult at her when I heard one of my guys shout in the back.
Only one reason why I would hear something like that was if a sit-down had gone wrong. The pleather seat squeaked beneath my hands as I shifted out from the booth to handle the situation in the back.
“I have to go." Winking at her, I headed past tables of people just trying to enjoy their family time and meal.
“Hey! Are you really just gonna walk away from me," she called after me, making a scene in the restaurant for a moment.
Apologizing to the people for disturbing their meal, I walked past until I reached the wooden stairs leading to a room of tablecloth-covered tables in the back. The small hallway between the two seating areas was filled with shadows and paintings of some villa in Naples, Italy. I had only been to Naples a few times, but it was a beautiful place from what I remembered.
Stepping into the backroom, the tension in the air was brutal. Dragon, breathing hard like he had run miles to escape authorities who didn't work for us, had his knife pressed against a made-guy's throat. The unlucky guy in the cream suit had his hands up in surrender like he hadn't done anything wrong.
Glancing between them, I tried to figure out what the hell had happened while I was again distracted by the angel in the other room.