"We'll see you tomorrow," Grant said to Drew who was lying in the hospital bed. It had been three days since the incident at the park and also the last day Drew had to remain in the hospital. He'd have to come by a couple times a week for physiotherapy for the next few months but he was eager to return home. The hospital was too white and sterile and boring. And he hated seeing how Ty looked every time she and the boys came to visit.
"Wait, Ty, stay behind for bit," Drew said.
The other boys waved goodbye to Drew while Ty remained at his bedside.
"What's up?" Ty asked, once Henry closed the door behind him.
Drew shifted in the bed, sitting up as he grabbed Ty's hand with his good hand that wasn't encased in a cast. "You really need to stop feeling guilty, Ty. I'm fine, getting out tomorrow, and we're all safe. It wasn't your fault."
Ty disagreed with him and he knew it, but she forced a smile and nodded to appease him.
Drew sighed, giving up for the day. He and the others had been trying to reassure her that she didn't have to feel guilty about Drew being shot and her shooting the guy that Dante killed. None of them were successful and Ty remained withdrawn, keeping her thoughts to herself.
Her friends weren't the only ones who worried for her. The Rizzos, Lorenzo, Mario and Luigi, and even some of Roberto's other men that met Ty were concerned. Ty rarely left her room, the only times being when she had to go to school. Then she'd immediately go to the hospital with her friends and return to the Rizzos' and shut herself up in her room once again, the cycle repeating. She was barely eating as well, claiming to not be hungry whenever anyone called her for meals. She was a hollow shell of her former self. It was a saving grace that Ty's parents hadn't added to the girl's load by demanding she return to them. They returned to New York without a fuss, respecting Ty's wishes for once.
Ty said goodbye to Drew and exited his private room that Roberto was paying for, the Callahans' refusal having fallen on deaf, though extremely wealthy, ears.
She met her friends as well as Carlos and Dante outside of the room and the group headed for the exit.
"See you tomorrow, Ty," the boys said once they were standing at the exit of the hospital.
Ty nodded and muttered a short, "Bye," making her friends cast her worried glances she was already used to seeing before they hopped on their skateboards and headed home.
Dante, Carlos, and Ty waited in silence for Randy to bring the car up and once they got in, Ty stared out the car window as they drove back to the Rizzo mansion. Once they arrived back at the mansion, Carlos asked if she was hungry and she simply shook her head and bid everyone a quiet goodnight before locking herself up in her room for the fourth night in a row.
"She can't keep going on like this," Carlos muttered when Ty disappeared upstairs.
"What more can we do?" Dante responded. "She's stubborn and no matter what we tell her, she refuses to listen. She insists on being guilty when that boy is fine."
Carlos sighed, "I know, but I hate seeing her like this and I know you do too, fratellino"
"Shut up," Dante grumbled and stalked to the kitchen to grab some of what Lorenzo had made for dinner.
"Is he still in denial?" Luca asked, replacing Dante's presence.
"Unfortunately, sì," Carlos answered. "But it may be better that Dante isn't focused on his feelings. Bellini's starting to act once again and we need to keep our sights on him. If Fred hadn't texted me, Ty would be in that bastard's hands."
Luca nodded and then cocked his head to the side. "How does Fred have your number anyway?" he asked.
Carlos froze for a moment, not sure what to say. Before he could make up an excuse, Luca grinned cheekily, "How long have you two been together anyway?"
"I saw you guys kissing in the kitchen on Ty's birthday," Luca explained.
"You've known for that long?" Carlos was surprised. "And you're…okay with it?"
Luca nodded, "Of course. Who else knows?"
"Ty, Fred's mom – she caught us when we went to the minimart, Dante knows I'm gay but not that I'm with Fred, and now you."
"Dante?" Luca cocked his head and pouted. "I thought I was your favorite fratellino."
Carlos chuckled and ruffled Luca's dirty blond hair, "I was fed up with him being oblivious of his feelings and went off at him and then accidentally came out. He hasn't said anything about it but I figure his mind is a bit of a mess what with Ty unintentionally bringing back memories of Mamma and then almost getting kidnapped."
Luca blinked and nodded slowly. He looked towards the main staircase and then back to Carlos, "Are you going to leave food out for her again?"
Carlos frowned, "I haven't been doing that."
Luca mimicked Carlos' expression, "Lorenzo and Papà said they haven't been doing it so I thought it was you."
They both directed their gaze towards the kitchen and shook their heads, once again wondering how their brother could be so obtuse.
"Tyler Jackson, am I boring you?" Ms. Jives, the English teacher asked testily.
Ty continued to stare out the window blankly and was only pulled out of her daze when Ms. Jives stood in front of her and clicked her fingers.
"What?" Ty started. Laughter rang clear in the classroom.
Ms. Jives narrowed her eyes, "Pay attention."
"Sorry," Ty murmured but it was clear she didn't mean it. She was already drifting off again.
Ms. Jives huffed in annoyance but resumed her lecture on the various devices used in Edgar Allan Poe's poetry.
"Hey," Jimmy whispered to Ty, nudging her arm.
Ty turned to look at him but said nothing, only raising a brow in question though her eyes remained the vacant grey they had been since Drew was hospitalized.
"Why don't you get some water or something, you look exhausted," Jimmy said, his dark brown eyes filled with worry.
"I'm fine, Jay," Ty insisted.
"Jimmy, Ty, is there a problem?" Ms. Jives interrupted Jimmy before he could speak.
Ty shook her head but Jimmy spoke over her, "Ty's feeling a bit dizzy and needs to get some water."
Ty was about to say that she was perfectly fine, but Jimmy shot her a look and Drew jabbed his cast into Ty's side to shut her up and go with it.
Ms. Jives sighed and waved her hand, "Go."
"Thanks," Ty muttered, heading for the door.
As Ty walked through the deserted hallways, her mind was far from thinking about getting water. She knew the two boys simply wanted her to get some fresh air and that was exactly what she was going to do.
Ty walked out of the school and into the parking lot. She looked around and spotted Dealers' Dump. It took little deliberation for Ty to find her feet taking her to the notorious bathroom.
Just one bottle, she promised herself. Just one bottle of beer, not enough to get her drunk or tipsy but something to help clear her mind if only for a few moments.
As she headed for the abandoned bathroom, she stopped when George and his two followers stumbled out.
George's eyes widened in surprise before a leering smirk grew on his face, "What's the little princess bitch doing out here?"
Ty sighed, "George, I'm really not in the mood."
Ty turned on her heels and started to walk away, but George grabbed onto her arm, spinning her back around.
Ty scowled, "I am not. In. The mood, George."
"I think I can fix that," the bully sneered before bringing up his fist and socking Ty right in the face.
Ty didn't even have time to make a sound before she was flung to the ground, her head hitting the concrete floor and knocking her out like a light.
"Uh, George?" Bruce asked, not sure what to do now.
"She's out cold," Stan said pointlessly.
"Pick her up and hide her in the bathroom," George ordered. "I've got a call to make."
After one quick phone call, it was only a matter of minutes before a sleek navy blue car drove up and the same mysterious man, or at least George guessed it was the same man as he was dressed similarly, stepped out of the car.
"Where is the girl?" the man asked.
"In the bathroom," George replied. "She's out cold."
The man stepped into the old bathroom and grinned at the sight of the girl they had been after lying against the wall completely unconscious.
"Well done, Mr. Friedman. I thank you on behalf of my boss. I will take her now."
The man made a gesture towards the waiting car and a man with blond hair came to the bathroom and picked up the unconscious girl.
As the man followed the blond out, he tipped his hat to George, Stan, and Bruce and entered the car. In seconds the vehicle was down the road in a similar manner as the first time George had seen it, disappearing as if it had never even been there in the first place.
When Ty awoke, her throat was dry, her head was pounding, and her arms were aching. She blinked against the bright lights overhead and looked around the room in confusion only to realize that she was tied up to a chair, hands behind her back.
"What the hell?" she croaked.
"Ahh, the principessa is finally awake."
Ty looked towards where the voice came from and saw two men sitting at a table that was decorated with a large bottle of wine and a folded white cloth. They each had a glass of the red liquid in their hands.
"Pelican?" Ty frowned once she recognized the owner of the voice with his ink black hair and porcelain pale skin. The other man she had no clue of. He was buffer than the Italian-Russian and had blond hair cut close to his head, kept away from his dark brown eyes. "What's going on?"
Vladimir scowled, "I let you off with calling me that stupid name before, but now I will not tolerate it. My name is Vladimir, principessa."
Ty was groggy and in pain, stiff from the position she figured she'd been in for a while since the sun seemed to be setting from what she could see out the window, but she was still Ty.
"And I don't give a fuck. Why the hell am I tied up and who the fuck is the blondie?" she demanded.
The blond haired man grinned, "Pleasure to meet you in person, little girl. Allow me to finally introduce myself. I am Maurice Bellini."
It took Ty seconds to recall where she had heard the name.
"You tried to blow me up!" she exclaimed in anger. Anger turned to fear quickly though as she realized her situation. She was in the hands of the man that had intended to blow her up just to send a message to the Rizzos.
Maurice nodded, "Sadly that seemed to have backfired."
"You got to those dogs in time," Vladimir said. He grinned maliciously, "But now those stupid dogs won't be coming to your rescue this time, principessa. I wish I could see their panic when they realize that you are in our hands, though of course they don't know of my involvement in this."
"Why are you doing this? I thought you guys were friends," Ty said.
Vladimir scoffed, "Friends? The Rizzos are weak and I do not befriend the weak. My father was an idiot to ally himself with those dogs. But, now that he's out of the picture and the Rizzos will be blamed for my father's untimely demise among other…illegalities, the power vacuum that will be left behind will be taken by me."
Maurice shot Vladimir a look and cleared his throat.
"Ah, of course, and Maurice," Vladimir added, ignoring the way Maurice narrowed his eyes at him.
"You killed your own dad?" Ty asked in disbelief. She may not have liked her own father very much but she wouldn't resort to killing him.
Vladimir shrugged and sipped his wine, "It was a necessity. The old man was growing weaker by the day, catering to those dogs. It was high time I took over the group."
"What's this takeover plan got to do with me though? I'm just another girl."
"You're not just any little girl, you're the Rizzos' fidanzata," Maurice answered.
"I don't speak Italian, bucko."
Ty couldn't help rolling her eyes, "I am not marrying any one of those doofuses." Though I am more than crushing on one of them.
"Either way, you're still important to the dogs which makes you useful."
"So I'm bait," Ty stated.
"Yes," Maurice confirmed.
"Well, all I have to say is that the Rizzos are gonna whoop your asses," she said as confidently as she could. I hope so at least. They've got to know that I'm missing by now. I just need to bide my time until they find me.
"Confident, aren't you, principessa," Vladimir said.
"Got a problem, dipshit?" Ty challenged him, hoping her bravado would hold up.
Vladimir smirked wickedly, "It will be so much fun to squash that fire you have." He walked to the small table and grabbed the cloth. As he walked to Ty, she felt apprehension bubble in her stomach.
"What're you doing?" she asked, her tone seeping wariness.
"Goodnight, principessa," Vladimir sang darkly as he put the cloth to Ty's mouth and nose.
Ty could finish a single thought before she was brought under by darkness.
Fratellino - little brother
Sì - yes
Principessa - princess
fidanzata - financée