|| Hazel ||
For me, New York carried terrible memories. I found out my dad was cheating on mother in the Plaza hotel. I caught him and his mistress locking lips by the pool. Later, I confronted him about it and he told me not to tell mother. Much to my dismay, she had already found out. Mother was not an idiot, she had grown suspicious and done some investigating weeks ago. I was the last one to find out because my brother also knew about it.
I locked away my bitter memories and took Luke's hand before he pulled me up. We had reached New York. Luke spoke with the guys the entire plane ride. I grabbed my backpack and walked down the steps. I looked behind me and saw Michael.
"Yea, it's me princess," He said. I turned back and continued walking. I wasn't going to try to get Michael to like me anymore. Although, I did notice that his voice held less hostility.
"Where's Luke?" I asked.
"He's talking to the pilot," Calum replied.
I reached the bottom and stepped aside to let the rest pass. I held my backpack in place as I waited for Luke. He appeared shortly after with a duffel bag in hand. He walked down the steps. I smiled at him and he smiled back before I walked with him
"So what happened?" I asked. "With the pilot, I mean."
"I gave him some cash as a thanks," He replied.
We followed the rest of the group before they stopped in front of three black Yukon SUVs. Three men were waiting for us. They all greeted and slapped each other's backs.
"Welcome back, Don," The blonde haired man said.
"Thanks Peter," Luke replied.
Peter turned to me, "Nice to finally meet you, goomah."
I gave him a puzzled look at the strange name he had just called me. I was about to say something before Luke stepped in. "Peter, she's not," He made a 'cut it off' signal and Peter got the point.
"My apologies," Peter smiled.
I turned to Calum, "What's a goomah?"
"Mafia don's girlfriend or mistress," he replied.
I pulled my lips into a tight line as the heat rushed to my face. Calum noticed and died of laughter. I glared at him but quickly got in the back of the car when Luke opened the door. He closed the door after he got in. The tall brown haired man was the driver.
"Sorry about that," Luke apologized.
"Getting mistaken for your girlfriend?" I asked. "It's not the first time." We both laughed.
Luke's New York headquarters was bigger than any of the other headquarters he had. The building was long and wide and took up a great amount of the landscape. It towered over the cars and had it's own garage that we were currently driving into.
"The second biggest headquarters is the one in LA," Luke said. "But this one is my favorite."
Once in the garage I saw various of other cars and trucks lined up under the vibrant fluorescent lights. I got out of the the truck and followed Luke. He stood tall and his gaze was hard. I followed him through a hall and into a dark room before we reached another hall that led into the living room.
There were ten other men between the ages of 18 and 25 that were waiting around. They saw Luke and immediately stood. Luke tossed his duffel bag to Jacob, "Get the money in the vault."
"Don, didn't expect you to come back so early," One of the men said.
"We have a problem," he started. "SOPRANO is coming for the warehouse, to top it off the Granati family is after me as well."
"Granati?" A Hispanic boy asked before raking his hand through his dark hair. "Que vamos a hacer, don?"
"Right now, we take care of Thomas. He said he's coming in three days, but we need to be prepared. Starting today security will be tighter. I need men standing on the watch all night long, guns ready and no slacking off" He said firmly. "I need you to be alert at all times, no more getting high or getting drunk until further notice." There was a murmur among the men. Luke paused and the whispering stopped. "I'll be in my office." The men parted and formed a path for Luke to pass before he went up the steps and disappeared.
"Okay," Michael said. "All soldiers are going to start with the first watch, get heavy and get to your posts."
"Michael has the authority to do that?" I asked Ashton. I was still getting used to the whole mafia system.
"Yea, we're capos, or captains as you can say it. Soldiers are the bottom-levels of the family. Capos are third levels." He explained.
"So, Luke is top level but who's second?" I asked.
"He doesn't have a second. Sometimes Michael, Calum and i consider ourselves to be seconds, but there can't be that many." He shrugged. "There will be conflict if something happens to Luke. With no one as don, the family is weak."
"Will Luke be okay? He looks," I paused, "Stressed."
"Well of course he is, with SOPRANO hitting us with that coded message," He shook his head. "Why can't it be like the Golden Age?" He walked off to join Michael who was still giving instructions.