Why Me?

Ty, just another skateboarding high school junior, was minding her own legal business when she gets stuck in the middle of a mafia fight with guns, knives, and potato launchers, while only armed with her trusty skateboard. What does she do? Runs for her life only to get captured and asked (read: commanded) to marry one of the three sons of the don. And then people want to kill her. Obviously.

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17. Chapter Seventeen

ed his gaze between Travis, Ty and his business partners, and then called to his sons, "You three go with them." They nodded obediently and immediately entered the kitchens to follow Travis and Ty to Travis' office in the very back of the kitchen, eerily close to the meat locker.

"What was that, Luca?" Dante questioned as they walked past the sizzling foods that were to be served soon.

Feigning innocence, Luca answered, "What? She's my fiancée, I'm supposed to show her my affections, and a hug is a very practical and common way. I could have kissed her."

Dante fumed silently, unable to rebuff Luca's answer since it was logical. Ty is his fiancée and Luca could very well do something like he had just done. Possibly more.

Carlos was having a bit of trouble restraining the laughter within him that was threatening to bubble over. The display was just so comical and it was always a joyous occasion when Dante of all people was so easily riled up. Luca's up to something and that's never really good, but for now it's providing some great entertainment. I think I'll help.

"Ty seems to be really close to that guy. Did you see how she hugged his arm and did a complete 180 change in personality? She was behaving like a typical girl," Carlos commented, watching Dante's reaction out of his peripheral vision.

Dante's eyes narrowed ever so slightly, but Carlos caught it. To further feed the fire, he added offhandedly, "It was kinda cute."

"Cute?" Dante scoffed in repulsion. "That troia is anything but cute. Stupid, bitchy, brutta, noiosa, fastidiosa baldracca è quella che è. Non carina."

They all ended up in Travis' medium sized office, complete with two small blue swivel chairs facing a large office desk that was piled with neatly aligned stacks of papers, folders, a phone and a desktop computer, with a large, burgundy swivel chair tucked in from behind. The walls were a dark brownish-purple color with framed certificates and pictures of the staff and restaurant. Ty was grinning broadly in many of them, usually clinging onto Travis from behind as everyone else in the pictures laughed at her antics.

Travis locked the door behind the group and crossed his arms over his chest, staring suspiciously at the Rizzos. "So what's this fiancée nonsense? You three may be the sons of one of my most influential customers, but Ty is practically my baby sister."

"Sister? Only?" Carlos questioned, raising an eyebrow in a perfect act of suspicion. He only emphasized that point to see Dante's reaction since it was obvious to everyone but the dark haired Rizzo that Ty and Travis were close, but not lovers close.

Before Travis could answer Carlos, Ty groaned in irritation, "Look. Travis. I got caught in a situation between these guys and their business, which resulted in their dad somehow deciding that he wanted me to marry one of these idiots and I flat out refused. He's just stubborn and his sons are a bunch of wimpy daddy's princesses to stand up to him and get rid of this stupid fiancée status. That's it, okay. I am not really their fiancée. We're just classmates, nothing more."

Travis eyed the brothers, not even close to trusting them, when a knock sounded on his door.

He called whoever it was in and Judith peeked inside, curious, but remained professional and addressed Travis urgently, "Boss, there's a bit of a situation."

Travis groaned silently and Ty pushed him towards the door, "I'll be out in a sec, you deal with whatever."

He was about to argue but Ty sent a pleading look to Judith who nodded and grabbed Travis by the arm and out of the office.

Ty turned to glare at the brothers, "And you three. For the love of all things that will prevent me from committing mass homicide, please just leave me alone. I really cannot deal with this shit. We will go out there, you will pretend to not know me, I will continue working, and this night can finish without anyone losing an important body part. Then we will go through school like we have the past three days where you guys don't bother me, and then it will be the weekend where I will work, probably get drunk and hang out with my friends, and skate, and we can all just ignore each other for the remainder of forever."

Ty glanced at Carlos and amended, "Well, we could maybe still be civil and stuff since Carlos and Luca aren't so bad, just no fiancée bullcrap."

Carlos and Luca grinned slyly and glanced at Dante at Ty's words. She had purposely only mentioned the eldest and the youngest's names and Dante scowled, immensely pissed.

"As much as I would love to never have to deal with you ever again, we're stuck with you until Papà finally regains his sanity," Dante snapped. He recalled a phone call they had received earlier in the day that had immediately put him in a foul mood and his scowl deepened.

"I'm afraid we're going to have to keep up the fiancée pretense for a bit, mainly on Friday," Carlos said apologetically.

Ty narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously, "Why? We had a deal, Carlos."

Dante and Luca looked between them quizzically, neither knowing of the small deal Carlos had made with Ty to get her to come to the Castellas' party the previous Friday.

"I know, but nothing will be able to get you out of this one. Our nonna found out that we have a fiancée and is coming to visit this weekend and she demands to meet you for dinner on Friday."

"The hell is a nonna?" Ty asked. She couldn't be bothered to waste her breath by arguing against being called their fiancée seeing as it had been so effective to this point.

"Grandmother," Carlos explained. "She's arriving tomorrow night and then going back to Italy on Saturday morning. She hates America and is only staying for a short time to meet you. The only reason she is visiting is to see you."

Ty groaned and rubbed her face, already feeling a headache coming on just from thinking about the horrible dinner she was most likely going to have to attend.

She peeked past her fingers and grumbled, "I don't really have a choice, do I?"

Luca shrugged with an apologetic smile and Carlos shook his head sympathetically. Dante simply continued scowling but he was a bit skeptical about how accepting Ty was being. He was honestly expecting her to put up a huge fuss like the previous times so her suddenly complaint behaviour had him a bit paranoid.

"What are you planning?" he demanded. "That was way too easy."

Ty rubbed her eyes and sighed, "Even if I say no, you're just going to kidnap me or something again. Besides, I'm way too tired to argue with you three and I have to get back to work. So, I'll come without a fight for your stupid dinner to meet your grandma on Friday. Now can we just get this night over with?"

"I just have one question," Luca spoke up.

Ty sighed and rotated her wrist to cue him to continue, "What is it?"

"Sierra?" Luca tilted his head to the side. From the research done on her, the name Sierra had never once come up, yet Travis had called her Tyler Sierra Jackson instead of just Tyler Jackson.

Ty briefly tensed before shrugging and answering curtly, "Unofficial middle name. There's only one person who calls me that instead of Ty or Tyler." But he's gone.

Before that last thought could make her break down in a torrent of tears, she clenched her jaw and stiffly headed towards the door without another word.

The brothers frowned at her curiously, each wondering about her sudden shift in emotions once again. They had noticed in the past few days that her mood was one of the most unpredictable and dynamic rollercoasters they had ever witnessed. The minutest of things would set her off. One second she'd be laughing and cheerful and a comment later she'd be moments away from decking a person with a chainsaw.

Nevertheless, they silently followed Ty out of Travis' office and back to the table where Roberto, Lorenzo and their guests were seated. The group had a number of eyes on them, particularly the Rizzos and Lorenzo. Markus came to the table to deliver the drink orders and Ty took down the brothers' before bowing shortly and returning to the kitchen to grab an order for another of her tables.

Before Ty could head off to a table against the window near the entrance, Travis caught hold of her.

"Ty, are you okay?" he asked, clearly worried.

Ty smiled and used her free hand to pat his arm, "Yes, Tractor, I'm perfect. We dealt with it so it's no big deal, alright? I promise. By the way, what was the situation?" She just wanted to change the subject so that Travis would stop worrying over her.

Luckily, it worked as Travis' eye twitched in annoyance as he answered, "Just one of our suppliers made an idiotic mistake and we had to rush to find a different company so we'd have all our ingredients for tomorrow. Who the hell mistakes pork for jalapeños? Jalapeños!"

Ty snickered and lightly hit Travis' cheek twice, "No idea, but at least you found someone. Anyway, I gotta get back to work."

With that, Ty quickly delivered the order before Travis could remember the reason he had stopped her in the first place.

The rest of the evening went on until closing time where the Rizzos and their guests were the only ones left. Ty had managed to avoid serving them but she could constantly feel eyes from their table trained on her back as she worked.

Finally, they paid for the bill and Ty saw them out with Travis and Markus. Everyone else was clearing up to go home for the night.

"Thank you, sirs. Have a pleasant evening," Travis bowed slightly, refraining from casting a narrowed gaze at the Rizzos.

Markus and Ty bowed similarly, muttering, "Thank you, sirs."

They all nodded their acknowledgements but just as Roberto was about to leave the restaurant, he stopped in front of Ty, "Do you need a ride home, bambina? It's really late and I won't allow you to skate back." The guests had already gotten in their cars and left, Carlos and Luca gave small goodbyes to Ty, and Dante stalked off to the car without saying a word.

Ty shook her head, "I'm fine, Roberto. Travis is going to drop me home."

Roberto glanced at Travis, "Ah, . Good night then, bambina, and I would prefer if you called me Papà."

Lorenzo chuckled as Ty glared at Roberto, "Good night, Roberto."

Roberto sighed but a smile touched his lips as he nodded and left.

Lorenzo nodded to Travis and Markus before smiling down at Ty, "Good night, bambina. Stay safe."

Ty rolled her eyes, "Yeah, yeah, I don't get why everyone thinks I'm some sort of trouble magnet. Good night, Chucky, guess I'll see you soon."

Lorenzo chuckled and once again nodded before he left, getting into the same sleek black car Ty and her friends had rode in just the previous week.

Ty quickly went to the kitchen to help clean up before Travis could pull her aside and worry over her like she knew he was about to. She managed to avoid him right up until the moment she changed back into her own clothes and was about to sneak out of the restaurant and head home.

"Hold it right there, Ty," Travis called sternly.

Ty cringed, her hand hovering over the doorknob of the back entrance located in the kitchen. She slowly turned to face him with an innocent smile on her face.

Travis remained stoic, arms crossed over his chest. "Where do you think you're going?" he asked evenly.

"Uh, home?" Ty tried. "I have school tomorrow."

Travis stared at her for a moment and Ty couldn't help but squirm under his gaze. She knew he was worried about her but and she hated it. She didn't like people to worry about her when she was perfectly fine. She could take care of herself.

Travis sighed and nudged his head towards the main entrance, "C'mon, it's late. I'm driving you home."

Ty sighed quietly in relief that he wasn't going to interrogate her and followed him out to his car, sliding into the passenger seat.

They drove in silence and were soon parked in front of Ty's apartment building. The top floor still had the lights on so Ty guessed that her friends were still there.

"Thanks, Travis," Ty mumbled, getting ready to get out of the car.

Travis grabbed her arm before she could open the door and Ty felt immensely guilty by how worried he looked. "You know you can always come to me for anything, right?"

Ty gave him a small smile, "I know, Travis. I'm just having a few off days, it's nothing. I'll be alright in a couple days or so."

"Alright. Good night, Ty, and sorry for calling you to work on a school night."

"Nah, it's fine. Seriously. Night, Travis, I'll see you Saturday."

Travis nodded and let go of Ty who got out of his car. She waved at him as he drove off and went straight up to her apartment, smiling at Gordon who was still on his shift.

When Ty got out of the elevator and opened her door, she saw the lights were still on in the living room and she smiled at the sight of her friends splayed about, asleep.

She quietly went upstairs to put on some pajamas before going back downstairs, turning off the lights, and lying down on a free space on the couch with Jimmy and Grant. The other couch was occupied by Drew, Henry, Fred who were a tangled mess of limbs, light snores and incoherent mumbles emitting from the pile.

Grant shifted and sluggishly opened his eyes, seeing Ty. "Hey, how was it?" he whispered so as to not wake the others.

"It was…eventful. I'll fill y'all in tomorrow, I'm beat," Ty whispered back.

Grant nodded and closed his eyes, going back to sleep. Ty shifted a bit more and managed to fall into a dreamless sleep with her closest friends surrounding her. She knew if they weren't there, she would have made another trip to her parents' alcohol room and have resorted to passing out drunk in order to get the dreamless sleep she wished for.

___

Italian Lingo:

nuora - daughter-in-law

troia - slut

brutta, noiosa, fastidiosa baldracca è quella che è. Non carina - ugly, boring, annoying whore is what she is. Not cute.

nonna - grandma

bambina - child/little girl

- yes

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