Christie and Raine were as protected as they were ever going to be.
“So what happens now?” Luiz asked. “I mean, nothing really has changed, is it? The only difference is we’re the ones giving the orders now. No one else.”
“We need to keep our show of force. I believe we’ll be stronger if we each take a key lead in our areas.”
“Then you need to handle the main legit businesses,” Luiz said. “It’s already in your name. You have the contacts, and it makes perfect sense.”
“You think so?” Donnie asked. “This is where we can change what we want to do.”
“No, Don, you’ve always been the lead of our legit business. I’m with Luiz on this,” Jake said. “You’re the only one that can do this. I’m going to take our drugs link. My dad was the one who organized the drug runs and the distribution.”
“You think you can do that?” Luiz asked.
“It’s what I know. It’s what my father wanted me to take over. The drugs, and also the dealings with the soldiers. We’ll be keeping soldiers for The Family.”
“Yes,” Donnie said.
Luiz listened as they all made their final decisions. Tonio was going to handle the guns and gambling, leaving Luiz with the girls and the fighting.
“You okay with that?” Donnie asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine with it.”
“Right, I’m going to head out and touch base,” Jake said, and left the main office of Donnie’s home.
Tonio left next, and Luiz was heading out when Donnie stopped him.
“You hesitated,” Donnie said, getting out of his chair, and rounded the desk to stand in front of him.
“It’s not what I wanted, and I never pretended it was.”
“Does this have to do with Maria—”
“Fuck no. Maria took her own life because she couldn’t stand the bitch she had turned into. She killed my niece and nephew along with her. The last thing I want to think about is that bitch.”
Maria had strung his friend, Jake, along. Even though she had been Luiz’s sister, and he’d done everything he could to protect her, he wasn’t stupid. Maria had been a bitch who was more willing to take a beating for a life of luxury than get out.
Jake had offered Maria a life out of The Family. She was more interested in a diamond necklace.
“What’s going on with you, Luiz? Did something happen?”
“No. Fuck all has happened to me. We had a plan, which has changed, and now I have to deal with the change. I handle the underground fights, and the girls. It’s not hard to do.”
“There is a chance for us to have a good life, Luiz. I believe that.”
Luiz burst out laughing. “You’re fucking joking right? There’s no way that you can have a good life and be part of the criminal world. This will probably bite us all in the ass in years to come, but there you go.” He moved toward the door, wanting out of his friend’s home.
“I have to think positively about this, Luiz.”
“Donnie, look what this family did to Tonio, to Charlene, to everyone it touches. It’s a fucking nightmare, and with every single death, there’s less of a chance of us coming back from that. I know this, and you’re a fool to think you can get away with it.”
“I don’t think I can do this,” Raine said, her stomach churning.
“Sweetie, you’re twenty-two years old, and you deserve to date at least once,” Xander said.
“What about you? You’re not dating, and you’re getting old.”
“Shut up about my age, and I do just fine,” he said.
She knew he went and visited women whenever he wanted. Raine was happy that she and Christie hadn’t cramped his style by living with him. The best thing about living with Xander was the visits from Luiz. Those were the ones she enjoyed the most, and no, she wasn’t going to read too much into that.
“Luiz won’t like this. He doesn’t want to risk Christie, and I’ve never gone against him like this.”
“You’re not going against him now. I’m the one that has decided that you need to get out some more. You’ve never dated, and I’ve known you since you were fifteen.”
“You didn’t like me,” she said, reminding him of how much of a bastard he’d been to her in the beginning. “My charming personality and Luiz’s threats have helped with that.”
What was with her constantly thinking about Luiz? It was driving her crazy. She even dreamt about him now, and no matter what she did to exhaust herself so she fell to sleep, nothing worked, and it drove her insane. Waking up aroused was something new for her as well.
“I thought I was going to have to deal with all of your messes. The women that come from The Family, they have a lot of baggage okay? I find women like to make more mess than they actually clean up.”
“That’s not me, Xander. I’m not part of The Family, not really. I just take care of my niece because it’s what my sister would have wanted, and Luiz would have probably killed me for knowing too much.”
Xander actually laughed at her words, and she rolled her eyes. Only he would find humor in a death threat.
“Luiz wouldn’t have killed you.”
“You don’t have to try to make me feel better. I’m not a fool. I’ve seen the mafia movies. It’s a good thing they didn’t sell me into sexual slavery or something.” She finished applying her lipstick, and hated the dark red color, but it was what Xander told her she should wear.
Would Luiz like the dark red? Ugh, stop already.
“Luiz is not like that. He’s trying to find another way for The Family to work. I also know he’s wanting to make a completely different world for you, and for Christie.”
She didn’t see the point in arguing with Xander. The moment he made up his mind there was no stopping him. For the past seven years, Luiz had been coming and going, seeing Christie, issuing his threats. She was starting to see his warnings as a little bit of a flirt, especially when he winked. Still, Luiz was untouchable, and she wasn’t that big of a fool to think that she could win him over.
Not that she wanted to. No. She and Luiz simply had one small girl in common, and that was it.
How much of a liar could she be? She had a crush on her dead sister’s love, and that wasn’t right, right?