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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6. Chapter Six

Ty had driven a good twenty minutes before Mario caught up and ordered her to stop. She complied when he threatened to shoot her enough to make her a humanized form of Swiss cheese. And she hit a red light, not literally, but that may change soon enough.

Her heart was racing with the familiar rush of giddiness she usually received when skating. Speed was something she loved, often resulting in her seeking the steepest incline she could possibly find and racing down on her board as fast as she could without breaking her neck. When she finally passes her driver’s Ed test and gets her own mode of transport – the likelihood of which is quite slim as she has failed miserably all five times she tried and one examiner had filed a restraining order against her and said that it should be illegal for her to ever drive– the boys had bet that she’d last a couple of hours before her license was revoked on the grounds of extremely excessive over speeding.

“Blasted baldracca!” Mario cursed when he pulled up beside her. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing, you stupid monella?”

Ty ignored Mario and looked over her shoulder to see that the Rizzos’ men had surrounded her with Dante closing in. He looked pissed. Well, I guess I’m fucked. Wait. Papa Rizzo seems to not want me dead, so PissFace can’t do shit. She grinned wickedly (ignoring the pain in her jaw that followed) at the thought. Hehe. They can’t do shit.

The light turned green and the car before her began to move. Ty immediately revved the engine and continued her unofficial race against light.

Baldracca maledetta. I am going to murder her. Boss, what in God’s name are you thinking?

X

Ty cut the engine when she located the large mansion. Now that it was light out and she was not running for her life, she actually took notice of the grandness the place exuded. It was so out of place in the sterile city, looking like it was plucked from19th century England and plopped into 21st century New York. The metal fence that looked foreboding at night and had ripped one of her favorite shorts gleamed in the sunlight, polished and beautiful, a protector of family instead of an implement of imprisonment. Beyond the gate was a garden and a stone paved path that led to the mansion’s rather tall doorway. Trees were planted in the grassy patches that surrounded the house and she spied out the one that had prevented her dying from a free fall. Flowers and bushes were spread out in organized patches and looked well-tended. It looked like a rich but happy family lived there and she could picture siblings running after one another with a large, fluffy archetypical family dog, pulling pranks and doing whatever siblings do in their younger days. There was also a lot of space to just skateboard freely.

The bright natural colors and overall happy aura completely threw Ty off. If she hadn’t retraced her steps from that night, she never would have believed this magnificent yet homey piece of wonderful architecture was the residence of a bunch of sexy gangsters.

Her moment of admiration was cut short when a bike skidded to a stop near the one she had stolen and she was pushed up against the metal gate, her toes barely touching the concrete she instantly longed for. A hand clamped over her neck, squeezing tightly but still letting her breathe, if only barely. She writhed, flailed and clawed at the hand around her fragile neck in a vain attempt to release her attacker’s vice-like grip.

“Let....erg....go....fuckfa....ace,” Ty gritted out. Her lungs burned, not getting the oxygen they required and her neck was definitely going to have a hand shaped bruise. Another one to match the fading hands on her upper arms that were covered by bandages.

Amber eyes filled with rage and a predatory glint stared straight into her misty greys. Dante’s black locks were frayed and disheveled, his chest heaving from barely contained anger.

“Never. Touch. My. Stuff. Again. Understood?” he growled, his accent thickly coating each word.

Ty tried to answer back with a biting remark but the hand on her neck killed all words she wished to make. Along with her breathing. Black spots began to fuzz her vision and her body slowly ebbed into limpness. She stopped struggling but Dante still held her against the metal that dug into her back even when they both heard the other motorbikes and scolding voice of Carlos who tried to prevent Dante from murdering her.

Dante didn’t budge. His eyes were fixed on the girl before him who was slowly losing consciousness from lack of air. She was completely reckless! He had seen her maniacal grin as she sped on his bike at a speed that even he was wary of on a busy road.

His first thought when she sped off was that she was going to get hurt and hospitalized, possibly die. That’s because I want to kill this little stronza. If she died from a stupid accident, all the fun would be lost. When he caught up to her to see her just standing in front of the gates of his house next to his bike, completely unharmed with this look of fascination and admiration, he just snapped. She took my bike and drove like a mad woman with Hell at her heels and just stands there with that stupid half smile.

“Dante let her go! She’s going to pass out, idiota!” Carlos jumped off Luca’s bike and ran to the two, about to rip Dante off of the half-conscious brunette with whatever force was necessary. Idiots! Both of them!

Before Carlos could pull Dante back, Ty drew up all her remaining energy to place a well-aimed knee to Dante’s groin. He sucked in a sharp breath out of pain and groaned, releasing his choking hold on Ty’s now bruised neck and putting them to the space between his legs.

Ty tentatively touched her neck and greedily sucked in the sweet, sweet polluted air, wincing slightly at the throbbing pricks of pain from her neck and back. She glared down at Dante who was trying to stand up again, but was still in quite a bit of pain and rasped, “You fucking prick! What the hell, man?”

Carlos left Dante writhing in pain on his knees and put an arm around Ty, carefully holding her face up to his, being careful not to aggravate her jaw and to inspect the damage. Her neck was a bit red and the beginnings of a light bruise were already on their way.

“Are you alright?” he asked, his forehead creased in worry. She already had a number of injuries, most of which was he and his family’s fault, and he wondered how horrible her luck must be. Or how utterly clumsy she is. Or how completely protective she is. He wouldn’t be surprised if half her other injuries were from preventing harm from coming to the boys she was with, like how she protected her blond friend.

Ty winced as she carefully touched her neck and pushed herself away from Carlos’ arms. “I haven’t even set foot inside and you already broke your promise, assface,” she glared down at Dante who was trying to stand up without wincing in pain. Ty had not held back and even on the brink of unconsciousness, she had a very powerful knee and an acute sense of where it would hurt the most.

“You stole my bike, stronza!” Dante scowled, standing up and refusing to bend over from the pain.

“And you stole my board, bastard!” Ty spat back. After a moment, she added, “And I still don’t speak Italian or whatever, so if you’re going to insult me, at least say it in English you bilingual slut.”

A badly contained laugh escaped from behind them, directing the three’s attention to Luca who had only just gotten off his bike. He had been watching the scene with an amused interest, not really the type to jump into a fray of any sort. He also prevented Mario and their other followers from interfering once they caught up. Bilingual slut? I already love her, he laughed to himself.

“I really like you, Ty,” Luca smiled, his amber eyes twinkling. “I’ve never met anyone as interesting and captivating as you and you are one of the first people to ever be able to handle Dante and send him to his knees, quite literally too.” When he took in her stunned and lost expression he frowned slightly, “What? Did I say your name wrong? I called you that after those boys did.”

“Er, no, you got my name right, just...” Ty drifted off. He is so...adorable! He went from overly mature businessman in a teenager’s body to a puppy in her eyes and the change startled her. When he smiled, she saw transparent dog ears perk up and a ghost tail wag happily and when he frowned, the ears folded downwards and his tail drooped. Why? A hot, kind one, a sexy asshole and a cute, puppy-like one, even their dad doesn’t look too bad for an old guy and then there’s Chucky and even that damned Plumber Boy doesn’t look too shabby. Why the hell are they all so good-looking? It’s not fair!

“Go die in a blender,” she finally concluded, with a slight pout.

Luca bit his lip to prevent from bursting out in laughter. Instead he replied, “If I were to do so, you wouldn’t get your precious board back.”

Ty twisted her lip with her teeth, once again forgetting she had been socked across the jaw and busted her lip. Arggg! I’m gonna be a broken sack of bones by the end of the week at this rate. “Fine... First, give me my board back, then go die in a blender.”

This statement brought out a fit of giggles and then a roar of laughter from Luca’s lips. No one knew how to react so they just stood still. Luca Rizzo was laughing. Luca Rizzo was behaving like a normal human being. Luca Rizzo was showing an interest in people that had no form of mechanisms in or on them.

Carlos slowly stepped towards Luca, like he was approaching a drowsy animal that would scratch his face off and pull his intestines out from the side of his throat at the slightest of sudden movements. “Luca,” he started cautiously. “Are you alright, fratellino?”

Luca wiped the tears from his eyes due to his uncontrolled laughter, further shocking the men around him. Ty was just thoroughly confused.

“Yes, I am perfettamente bene, fratellone. What? Is it against the law for me to laugh?” Luca smirked at his own joke. Another rarity. He told a joke, though extremely subtle it still counted as a joke. His face hurt from laughing and smiling so much, the expressions were not something his facial muscles were used to. When he thought about it, Luca couldn’t remember the last time he had laughed or smiled so much with complete sincerity.

He smiled at Ty, “Well let’s go in. You want your skateboard back, right?”

Ty nodded, dazed and still quite confused. And I thought girls are supposed to be moody little bitches. What the hell is this family smoking? Whatever it is, I bet it has some weird side effect that makes them so damn attractive.

Luca grabbed Ty’s wrist, careful not to hold on too tight to revive her injuries, and pulled her past the gates and straight to the main doors of their mansion. Dante, Carlos, Mario and the two other men remained stunned for a moment longer before following after with their bikes. Another Rizzo underling who had witnessed part of the scene came by to bring in Luca’s bike.

Luca ushered Ty into their house, pulling her through the hallways she had had night and daymares about. “Papà!” he called out. “We’re back!” He didn’t bother knocking on the door with gold painted handles and went right in, Ty following right behind.

When Luca suddenly stopped, Ty wasn’t prepared and ended up crashing into his back and waited to fall forward making a Floor-Luca-Ty sandwich. Much to her surprise, Luca was not as weak as he looked. Behind that anti-physical activity, robot-hermit exterior was a well-toned young man. He only had to step forward a bit and Ty caught herself using his shoulders.

Roberto looked up from his laptop, his expressionless face lifting slightly into a small, surprised smile. Luca? He’s...so bright. “Ah, welcome back. Where are the others?”

Luca shrugged, “They’re probably parking the bikes.” He grinned broadly and his eyes sparkled as he stepped to the side to reveal Ty and released her wrist to wrap and arm around her shoulder, bringing her flush up against his side. “Did you know she stole Dante’s bike and sped all the way here? She broke every speed limit!” He laughed and ruffled Ty’s hair in his excitement. His enthusiasm was infective and Ty ended up chuckling a little. He keeps proving my mental point. He is an adorably little puppy!

“Luca, what the hell kind of drug did you shoot up your arm?” Dante questioned. When he had quickly put his precious bike away and went to where he correctly predicted Luca had run off to, he was utterly gob smacked to see the way his little brother was acting.

“Blame her,” he squeezed Ty closer to him than should have been possible. “She’s just so different and hilarious. Mi piace molto il suoe non vi dispiace il suo essere la mia fidanzata.”

“Um,” Ty disentangled herself from Luca. “Look, I did not learn whatever language you’re speaking in two nights so, English please. And also, I only came for my board, so gimme.”

“Talk and then we give your board back, that was the deal,” Dante replied stepping out of the doorway for Carlos to enter and shut the door, giving them some privacy.

Ty briefly touched her neck and countered, “If I remember correctly, our deal included a little detail that I would come and leave here in the exact same condition and would ya lookie here.” She pointed at the developing bruises as she glared at his eyes before continuing, “This is a new addition from not even five minutes ago. Deal’s off, bud, I don’t have to do shit.”

Roberto frowned when he took in Ty’s appearance. When Luca had first barged in with her, he was too busy enjoying his youngest son’s exuberance to see the new bruises along Ty’s neck and jaw, along with the many bandages around her arms and legs. “What happened to you, bambina?”

Ty dropped her hand and turned to face Roberto, answering, “Well, your idiot son decided to try and punch my best friend when you lot ganged up in front of my school. I got in the way and received an almost broken jaw. Then, when I got here the same jackass son smashed me against the gate out front by my neck and added to my collection of handprint bruises. Now, skateboard, please.”

Roberto slightly narrowed his eyes at Dante in a disapproving manner, “Dante Rizzo, non ti ho insegnato a gestire la signora in modo.

Dante snorted in Ty’s direction, “Lei non è una signora. Più come una scimmia impazzita.

Ty looked back and forth between the two. She had no idea what they were saying, but she could tell that Roberto was scolding Dante for something and Dante had insulted her again, though she wasn’t sure how the two were related. “If you’re gonna insult me, at least make it so I can understand. Then I can retaliate and whoop your jerkface, Italian ass,” she grumbled.

Luca giggled, another rarity, and translated, “Papà said he did not teach Dante to treat a lady the way he treated you and Dante said you were not a lady but a deranged monkey.”

Ty quirked a single brow and bit down a laugh only to wince in pain. Roberto took a break from glaring at Dante’s rudeness to cast a worrying glance at Ty. “Dante, get the med kit and an ice pack,” he ordered.

“What? Why?” Dante frowned then threw a glance at Ty’s direction. I didn’t even hit that hard.

Luca rolled his eyes, “I’ll go get them. Be right back.” He smiled at Ty and quickly exited the room, closing the door behind him.

Ty’s guard immediately went up. Around Luca, she felt relatively safe. He was a fricking puppy-human! Well at first he seemed to be a fifty year old man in a cute sixteen-year olds’ body, but he did not give off the aura that he was going to peel her skin off with a blunt vegetable peeler and then slice and dice her with a plastic knife to finally throw her into a pot and cook until her screams of agony were long gone. One of a kind Ty stir-fry for six. Add soy sauce and carrots to lighten the taste of terror tinged blood and mashed innards.

Her eyes snuck a peek to Carlos. He didn’t exude the aura, but she still felt tense around him when she realizes her situation. Heck, she felt some sort of tension around any of them considering she had seen them kill a person. Well, I didn’t really see them kill the guy, but it was the people who work for them. It’s kinda obvious these four are the big bosses though I wonder where Chucky is.

She voiced her question, “Where’s Chucky?”

“Who?” Carlos frowned. I’m pretty sure there is no one named Chucky here. He briefly tensed, on guard. Is there a rat?

“Chucky,” she repeated. “Strawberry blond hair, dark brown eyes, around ye’ tall,” she held up her palm horizontally above her own head. “I forgot his real name, but I know I nicknamed him Chucky. He’s the dude who was really nice when I woke up from being drugged. Never drug me again, by the way. Worst hangover feeling I’ve ever had, even more horrible the time the guys and I had the wonderful idea of getting completely piss-faced.”

“Do you mean Lorenzo?” Carlos asked, holding back a laugh.

Ty perked up, “Yes! That’s the name! Him, where is he?”

Carlos, Roberto, and even Dante had to bite down their own expression of amusement. Lorenzo Mancini, the official second in command of the Rizzo group, was being called ‘Chucky’ by a high school girl.

Lorenzo, nicknamed Chucky? Wow. Just wow, Carlos thought to himself. She continues to amaze me.

He couldn’t contain it any longer and let loose a couple of chuckles, “He’s out at the moment, just some errands. But I have to ask, why Chucky?”

Even though slightly suspicious as to what exactly ‘some errands’ comprised of, she accepted the vague response and answered, “Well I had no idea who anyone was and I had my eyes closed so I could only hear you guys and he had a nice chuckle so to identify, I dubbed him Chucky.” She made it sound so simple and logical that Carlos just couldn’t help but laugh openly and beam a smile at her.

“What did she say this time?” Luca had returned rather quickly with a blue icepack, thin towel, white box, and a glass of water in hand.

“How do you know it was me who said something?” Ty questioned, watching Luca set the items down on Roberto’s desk.

He began taking out bandages, a cream, and a box of pills, laying them down with the icepack, glass, and towel as he answered, “Because it’s you and you are a very interestingly amusing person.”

She had nothing to say to that, nor did she have time as he called her over to the chair she had been forced into the last time she was in the room. “Sit down so I can fix you.”

Ty eyed him and the chair warily but complied with his wishes. Before he could start, Carlos stepped in, “No offence Luca, but people are more than a little different from machines.”

Luca looked between the supplies and Ty’s injuries before moving away from the supplies to give his brother room with a sigh, “Alright, but it can’t be that different. I’ve seen you tend people more than a couple of times and it looks easy.”

Carlos gave him a look that clearly said, “Oh really? You think so, huh?” and smirked, “Then why did you take out the sleeping pills then?” He gestured to the box of pills.

Luca frowned and looked at the box, “I thought those were the ones that you give before you do the bandaging.”

Carlos went through the medic box and pulled out another box of pills, holding it up for Luca and Ty to see. “This is ibuprofen, it’s a pain reliever. This is the one you give someone in pain.”

“Oh,” Luca nodded in understanding. He mentally jotted down the note and said, “Okay, I’ll remember that. Now fix her.”

“You don’t ‘fix’ people, they are not robots. You heal them, fratellino,” Carlos said with a warm smile.

Luca rolled his eyes, “Yeah, yeah, affrettatevi e guarirla.”

Ty couldn’t help but smile at the scene literally right before her. She could feel so much brotherly, family-type emotions it was almost nauseating. Especially for someone who hadn’t known family bonding for a little more than a decade.

She loved the gang and Travis dearly and considered them as her family; all extremely protective and loyal brothers, Travis occasionally acting as the father and Grant the responsible elder brother. She was also very close to Drew’s mother who took up the maternal position in Ty’s life on a number of occasions. But, there was still that tiny difference that she could never exactly pinpoint nor would have noticed if she hadn’t had an actual family member show her what that feeling was. But she hasn’t seen or heard from him in close to 12 years now.

Carlos handed her a pill and the cup of water, pulling her out of her daze, “Here, have this and then hold the icepack to your jaw.”

She wordlessly did as he instructed, grimacing when she swallowed the pill. Ty was not a fan of medicine of any sort. She stuck her tongue out, letting it hang as if tasting the air would take away the awful feeling of medicine. “God I hate taking meds.”

In creepy silence, Carlos applied another icepack to her neck and carefully rubbed a cream that was supposed to reduce the swelling of her jaw and the bruising on her neck. He asked if she wanted him to check her other injuries, but she refused since she was used to fixing herself up and did a good enough job on her own when she had gotten back home that night.

While Carlos treated Ty’s injuries everyone did their own thing in complete and utter silence. It was quite unnerving for Ty who was extremely fidgety. Luca observed every action of Carlos, storing away information for later, Dante leaned against the door just watching with a blank mask and Roberto had gotten up and gone to the cupboard in the back but Ty couldn’t see that as she was forced to remain still and face his desk.

“All done,” Carlos finally broke the quietness and moved away from Ty. She released a relieved breath, one that did not go unnoticed. She was not used to people being so close to her face, the only ones she didn’t mind were the gang because they were her doofuses. The complete and utter silence was also quite awkward and she felt that her breathing would sound louder than the steady beating of her heart that replicated the ridiculously large drum in a marching band.

“Thanks, even though most of this is your fault in the first place,” Ty said once Carlos had finished repacking the medic kit.

“You’re welcome, though I believe it was Dante’s fault, not mine,” he answered and left the white box on the table. Ty stood up, not feeling comfortable in the cushiony chair. In any other place on earth, she’d have gladly collapsed into it and fallen asleep in an inhumane position or simply sprawled over it to stare at the ceiling. Here, she wanted to be on her feet and be able to knee a crotch and run like hell.

Her attention was drawn to Roberto when he handed her a cardboard shopping bag from what she knew to be an expensive brand simply from the logo even though she had no idea where it came from. “These are yours, bambina. Though they shouldn’t have blackmailed you into coming here,” he said with a small smile. It seemed that was the only type of smile he could make. Only small, soft ones.

She took it and looked inside, curious, before grinning broadly and pulling out the board and dropping the bag.

“Omigod! Skully!” she exclaimed, hugging the black and green board to her chest and planting a kiss on the top edge. She extended her arms to hold the board in front of her and examined it for any injuries. It was slightly faded, a few minor battle scars from long before and a couple of new ones, but all in all it was fine.

Luca and Carlos bit down laughs. “Skully?” Luca questioned, his tone oozing amusement.

“Oh shut up, what else could I have named him?” Ty retorted, protectively hugging Skully once again. She had missed the feel of it in her arms and it felt like a lost limb was reattached to her body now that she had it again. She bent down to retrieve the bag and placed her helmet on her head followed by strapping on the wrist guards, kneepads, and elbow pads, dropping the now empty bag on the chair. The feel of the familiar gear once again on her skin brought a soft smile to her lips. God I missed this. How the hell have I survived without this stuff?

Her change after receiving her items was obvious to the four Rizzos and they were stunned once again. She immediately brightened up, the smile on her face not one of sarcasm, pride, victory or mischief, but pure elated joy. When the boys had spotted her at her school, sandwiched between the brown eyed brunet and the blond, she was laughing without a care and it took them a couple of minutes to realize she was the same snarky, groin abusing, roof jumping, random object throwing girl.

I can see why those boys care for her so much and are so protective. She just radiates that aura that makes people want to protect her, that smile especially, Carlos thought to himself, watching her visibly sink into the comfort her gear brought her.

“Anyway, speaking of names, we still don’t know yours or really anything about you,” Carlos prompted.

“What, you stalk me to my school and you still haven’t used your stalkery skills to figure out my name and where I live or my age?” Ty asked skeptically, temporarily removing her attention from giving her board a weekend’s worth of love. She still held it close to her chest, not planning on letting it go any time soon if she could help it.

Luca was the one to answer, “Papà had decided to let you calm down and think over what had happened for a couple of days and we weren’t allowed to spy you out or find out any personal information. We had nothing on you other than your looks and it would have taken some time to figure out who you are anyway. Finding your school was complete luck, one of our men happened to see you walking to school this morning with two of those boys, the one who tried to punch Dante and the red head.”

“Just tell us your name already, I thought you wanted to leave faster,” Dante groaned, exasperated, finally speaking once again. This little confrontation-meeting thing was cutting into his training time. He was itching for the cold metal of a gun and the worn leather of a punching bag.

Ty spared him a minor glare and thought about whether she should lie or not. “Tyler,” she responded after making her decision. “My name is Tyler Jackson.”

Carlos’ expression clearly stated, “Really? That’s the best you can come up with? You’re not even trying.”

Dante analyzed Ty’s face before speaking, “When did you become such a convincing liar? It’s almost like you’re telling the truth, but next time pick a more believable lie, stronza.”

Ty sighed and looked down in defeat, “Alright fine. My real name is Tyra Jefferson. I’m 17, single, lived in New York all my life, have absolutely no plans for the future other than skateboarding and am in no way inclined to get married any time soon. Happy? Can I go now?” I shouldn’t even have had to stay and answer your questions since Grumpy broke the deal by strangling me.

“As soon as you tell the truth, yes,” Dante answered, his temper quickly thinning. “And how can you lie flawlessly at one moment but then badly the next?” When she claimed to be called Tyler, which had to be the worst fake name she could have thought of, it seemed as though she was being completely honest. Yet when she went into her spiel, the only falsity was when she called herself Tyra Jefferson. If it were anyone else, her lie may have gone undetected, but this was Dante and his family. They were not just ‘anyone else’.

The entire time, Roberto sat in his office chair, watching his sons interact with the unique girl. She was just so strange; afraid yet confident, brash yet sensible, open yet mysterious and frank to a fault but you just could not hate her for it. She had an aura that just drew people to her. In fact, she could influence people to behave differently and she didn’t even know it. If she did, she’d be a forza che non si può ignorare. She’s already got my boys at her fingertips. She is just what we need in this household of impulsively violent men.

He was about to speak up when a knock sounded at the closed doors. Everyone turned their attention to the doors as Dante moved away and two men walked in. One was Mario, who scowled at Ty, and the other was a man who must have been Mario’s twin, down to the black hair styled exactly the same and cloned blue eyes. The only difference between the two was that Mario was dressed in another red shirt while his apparent clone wore a faded green and was sporting a slowly healing black eye.

“Sorry to interrupt, boss, but we’ve received some news,” Mario stated with a blank face.

Roberto sighed, preparing for the unfavorable information Mario’s grave tone foreshadowed. He nodded his understanding and stood up, flitting his gaze to Ty and his sons. “Boys, take her home, we can carry this on some other time,” he ordered. When Dante was about to refuse, Roberto simply sent him a stern look and Dante backed down reluctantly. The look he received was one he was well acquainted with. He was not going to let some brown haired brat make him lose access to his beloved arsenal of firearms. Not now, not ever. Well, unless I get to kill her.

“Ah and Luigi, you and your brother call Lorenzo. Get him back here as soon as he can,” Roberto directed the order to the man in green.

Ty tried to bite down on her lip to muffle her laughter but ended up making a noise that sounded like a cross between a “pffft” and a cannibalistic pig choking on a bacon burger mid-grunt.

Her non-human noise instantly drew the attention of all the men. She released her lip and laughed openly, “Ohmigod....bahaha...you s-seriously....hahahaha....have a b-brother.....Luigi and Mario.... oh god...bahaha that’s just.... it’s so.... oh my god I can’t even...” She bent over, dropping her board in the process, clutched her stomach and gasped, “My stomach, I can’t breathe.”

When she could stand up again she took one look at the very unamused brothers in question and burst out laughing again. She was so shaken with wave after wave of laughter that her legs could no longer support her. Ty fell to the floor on her knees and then curled up in the fetal position, gasping for breath yet still showing no signs of stopping her laughter fit.

The rest of the men merely watched her literally roll on the floor laughing with their own reactions. Roberto was amused and barely containing a smile, Carlos was chuckling along, Luca was shaking his head and smiling, Mario was glaring down, Luigi was confused and Dante was annoyed.

“Are you done yet, stronza?” Dante finally snapped down at her, ignoring the look he received from his father for calling her a bitch. How can she be laughing in a situation like this? What the hell is wrong with her?

Ty slowly sat up on the floor, one leg stretched out and the other bent up to act as an armrest as she tried to catch her breath. After a moment and a couple of stray chuckles, she panted, “Almost. God this is just so perfect. Mario and Luigi! They’re even wearing their colors!” She fell backwards again and began another fit of laughter.

Her laughter was contagious and soon, Carlos and Luca gave up trying to hold back and laughed along with her, though it was more like they were laughing at her reaction. Roberto let out a few chuckles, Luigi just grinned slightly even though he recognized her to be the crazy woman they had chased after and had given him the black eye when she escaped from the car. Even Mario and Dante’s annoyance simmered down because she was such an oddity. Her laughter was loud, open, and incredibly infectious. Her face was flushed from lack of air, she was visibly in pain but could not stop and her eyes were screwed shut with a few tears leaking out as she was overcome by rack upon rack of laughter, her whole body shuddering.

Finally, she sat up again and tried to control her breathing. Okay, in. Out. In. Out. Slowly. Calm down. Think math. Khan’s Academy video. Triangles and shit. The utter boredom. “Okay, I’m done. Really.” She stopped and stood up, picking up her board and taking another calming breath before opening her eyes to see everyone just staring at her. Two were beyond entertained, one was still slightly confused, two still held some remnants of their annoyance with her and the final one was still mostly unreadable but held traces of a fatherly fondness and amusement.

“Okay, now you three go and take her home,” Roberto ordered, using his paternal authority to prevent Dante from refusing.

Dante stomped out of the room first with Luca, Carlos and Ty following in that order. When Ty was halfway through the door, Roberto called out, “Wait. Before you leave, I would like a word with you in private, if you don’t mind.”

Before Ty could accept, refuse or tell Roberto to make up his mind, Mario and Luigi stepped out and closed the door leaving Ty alone with their boss.

Ty shifted nervously on her feet, curious yet cautious about what Roberto wanted with her now. She shifted her gaze all over the room, never landing on the amber eyes that were focused on her every move since she set foot in the mansion.

“Er, so, you wanted to say something?” Ty played with one of the wheels on her board, shifting her weight between her feet repeatedly.

He smiled warmly at her nervousness, “I won’t harm you, bambina. Relax.”

Ty rolled her eyes and snorted, “You try relaxing some gang leader dude is demanding you marry one of his psycho sons.”

“We are not some meager gang. Have you really never heard of the name Rizzo?” Roberto asked her.

Ty shrugged, “Maybe, I don’t know. I don’t pay attention to major groups or whatever. What? Are you the mafia or something?” She was joking but at Roberto’s silence and serious look it finally dawned on her. “Holy crap. You’re a don.”

Roberto simply nodded though she had only gotten it half-right. She doesn’t seem to be well acquainted with the business world. He kept that note to himself.

She finally looked at him and asked the question that had been scalding her tongue, “Why? Why pick me? You don’t even know who I am. I just showed up at random, unless you somehow planned for me to see that park fight and then catch me.”

Roberto scanned her with his eyes, seeing her slight fear but determination to not cower. “It is true we have no idea who you are and that our meeting was a mishap during that particular mission, but I am actually grateful for it. You have this specialness about you that affects those in your surroundings.” At her confused frown, he explained, “Do you have any idea how long it has been since there has been so much open laughter in this house? My sons are actually talking to one another in the way brothers are supposed to instead of their emotionless, one-lined sentences that rarely ever involve something not relating to the business. Luca was laughing whole-heartedly when he pulled you into my office, his eyes were bright and alive instead of the cold stones I have seen for so long. He was interested in something that was not made of cogs and whatnot. Carlos’ smiles are sincere now; they finally reach his eyes. He was happily talking to people instead of holing up in his room with his books, even teaching Luca how to treat someone’s injuries. And Dante, my most stubborn and emotionless son has been showing a various array of emotions since your arrival. Most immediately fear him, but you, you snapped back and made him speechless. You stood up and bared your teeth even though you were quite visibly terrified. You are completely unpredictable and have this quality about you that this household has been lacking for a very long time.”

He walked towards her and patted her helmet-protected head, then moved the stray bangs from her forehead in a manner her own father had done on few occasions. But there was a difference. Her father’s motions were empty, his lips curved upwards superficially and only ever done in the presence of a large crowd of socialites. Roberto’s hand was warm, his soft, barely-even-there smile was real and presented in an empty room with no gossiping, judgmental audience.

“I will not force you onto my sons, I will give you time to get to know them. I admit it may have been quite rash of me to declare you their fiancée, but I do honestly wish it. You are a very interesting individual and I know you will do my boys, and this family, a lot of good,” he finished.

Speechless, Ty took a moment before replying, “I don’t know how your family runs, but you can’t just declare some random stranger the fiancée of your sons. Honestly, I only came back for my board and to satisfy my own curiosity but it only grew. I really don’t want to have anything to do with you lot, especially considering you guys are apparently the fucking mafia. But, I will admit there is a tiny bit of me that wants to stick around for a bit, but only because curiosity will be the death of me. Basically though, I like my life as it is right now and would like it to remain the same way. Goodbye, Mr. Rizzo.”

Roberto nodded and Ty turned her back on him to walk out the room. Mario and Luigi were standing outside a little ways from the door and went right past her into the office. They showed no signs of overhearing the conversation, not that they had anyway since they’d both receive a severe scolding and punishment that they would much rather avoid.

Further up the hallway, Luca and Carlos were waiting for her; both openly curious as to what their father had wanted to talk to her about. She gave them no indication and they led her out the house, this time taking the front door instead of the roof.

“The bikes are over that way,” Carlos pointed to the direction of the garage.

Ty continued walking to the front gate and answered, “I don’t need a babysitter and I’m not going home yet anyway.” She pulled out her phone and checked the time. 5:14 PM. It had been two hours since school ended and she was more or less kidnapped in broad daylight. She also had 17 minutes before Drew was allowed to call every police force in the country. Stuffing it back in her pocket she dropped her board to the floor, stepping on it and skating to the gate.

“Wait!” Luca called out, but Ty ignored him. She only turned her head back to say, “Look, I doubt I’ll see any of you ever again so goodbye. Tell your other brother bye from me too, I’m sure he’ll be ecstatic.”

She waved and soon she was skating down the road, the mansion getting smaller and smaller behind her.

X

When Mario and Luigi had finished their report and received Roberto’s instructions, they left him to his own devices. He sat down in his chair, staring at the space where a black vase with a single Easter lily used to be placed. He turned to look out the window behind him that oversaw the front yard. He saw Carlos and Luca walking with Ty, a strange nickname in his opinion and he was curious as to her real name. She lied so flawlessly it seemed as though she was telling the truth but then the second time it was as clear as day to see the falseness in her statement. She is quite the young lady.

He continued to watch them, wondering where Dante had gone but he knew that though his son was stubborn and had a bone to pick with the young girl, he would listen to his father. Roberto saw Carlos gesture towards the garage, no doubt to lead her to their beloved motorbikes. Still watching, he saw her continue to walk towards the main gates and hop on her skateboard, wave to his boys and ride straight out of the estate and down the busy road without another backward glance.

Following right after she left, Dante had returned to his brothers, he asked them where the troublesome girl went and when he was told, he threw up his hands in exasperation. Roberto watched him grumble and no doubt curse the brunette a hundred different ways before marching back into the house.

I’m sorry, bambina, but I don’t think I can let you go so easily. Roberto released a small laugh and turned back to his desk, picking up his phone to make a few calls.

___

Italian Lingo:

Baldracca - whore

Monella - brat (feminine form. Masculine and plural are in a previous chapter)

Baldracca maledetta - damned whore

Stronza - bitch (You should already be very familiar with this word)

Idiota - idiot (no shit sherlock)

Fratellino - little brother

Perfettamente bene, fratellone - perfectly fine, big brother

Mi piace molto il suo e non vi dispiace il suo essere la mia fidanzata - I like her a lot and don't mind having her as my fiancée

Bambina - little girl/child

Non ti ho insegnato a gestire la signora in modo - I did not teach you to treat a lady in such a manner

Lei non è una signora. Più come una scimmia impazzita - She is not a lady. More like a deranged monkey.

Affrettatevi e guarirla - hurry up and heal her

forza che non si può ignorare - force that can't be ignored (I tried looking up the italian equivalent to "a force to be reckoned with" and this was as close as i got)

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