I'm Nothing (The Family Book 2), page 8
“Well, first, I don’t take women to bed. I fuck them, that’s it. I fuck and I leave.”
She groaned. “For once, pretend you’re the boyfriend kind of guy.”
“When I was with Maria, I didn’t really do a lot of the leading. She did it all. If it was me, I’d start by buying you a drink, dancing with you.” That’s what they did already. “I’d have fun, laughing, and getting to know you. When we were done with dancing, I think I’d like to take you out to eat, maybe burgers.”
“Like we’re having now.”
“Yes, like we are now, only it would be late at night. I’d get to know you, and when I felt like it was the right moment, I’d invite you back to my apartment.”
“Damn, I like your style.”
“We’re not going to fuck. You’ve consumed so much alcohol you’re more like to vomit over my dick than suck it.”
“Ew, I didn’t need that visual.”
“You ever sucked a cock?”
“I’ve done nothing. Besides our kiss, I’ve not even been felt up.”
“Good girl, remember?”
“You’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”
“You’re a pain in the ass, Tonio. Do you even listen?” she asked.
The sound of screeching tires had her looking toward the road. There were lots of people screaming, and Tonio suddenly pushed the table out of the way and grabbed her, tugging her down.
Gunfire exploded all around her, and Zara covered her ears, trying to contain her screams. Tonio had his gun, and he’d shoved her behind one of the metal tables that he’d upended. The bullets were denting the metal, and her heart was pounding.
Any kind of buzz faded as someone shot at them.
Tonio fired his gun, and he handed her a cell phone.
“Call Donnie, tell him everything.”
Her hands were shaking, but she was able to get into his phone and dial Donnie’s number.
“Someone is shooting at us, and we need help. Please.” She gave Donnie the location, and suddenly she was listening to a dial tone. “He hung up.”
“They’re on their way. Fuck! I shouldn’t have brought you here. We’re out in the open.”
She stayed huddled behind Tonio, and he shot several bullets.
The sound of a tire blowing filled the air, and then the car was driving away.
“I’m going to be sick.”
Bending over the plant pot, she threw up everything that she’d eaten. What a waste of good food.
“Fuck!” Tonio said, growling as the doctor stitched him up.
“Next time don’t get hit.”
“I didn’t exactly stand in front of the bullet, fucker.”
He sat in his apartment on a chair that the doctor had forced him down to. Zara looked pale, biting her thumb as she stared at him.
“Take it from the top, what the fuck happened?” Donnie asked.
“We were having fun at the club, the VIP one, and we were getting hungry. We left the club and headed toward the burger bar, and we were just talking. The car came to us, and started firing. I fired back. Are you sure you’re not hit?” he asked, looking toward Zara.
“I’m fine. You got hit.”
“It’s a graze, sweetie, nothing to worry about.”
The good doctor was more than happy to make her feel better, while he was making everything sting like a motherfucker.
“Why did you go out in public like that?” Luiz asked. “We told you to be careful.”
“I didn’t think.”
“In our life, not thinking gets you killed. You’re lucky you’ve just got a fucking graze. You and Zara could have been killed, not to mention, taken and then killed.”
Tonio rubbed a hand down his face. “I get it. I fucked up.”
“I’m glad you realize your problem.”
“Ugh! This is not helping. Someone knew where you were,” Jake said. “That’s the only explanation for it.”
“The redhead?” Zara asked.
“You think she was some kind of spy?” Tonio asked.
“What are we talking about, some kind of redhead now?”
“At the club, there was a redhead eye fucking him. She cornered me in the bathroom, doing the whole catty girl stuff. She may have been giving me a warning. It was really weird.”
“I’ll get the security footage sent over,” Luiz said.
“You can get that stuff?” Zara said.
“Do you really think Tonio would have taken you to a club we don’t own? Part of surviving in The Family is staying with what you know. It would make sense them using a woman to spy. We own the club, and women are often considered dispensable,” Donnie said.
“This is my fuck up. If you want to be pissed at someone, be pissed at me.”
“I am pissed at you, Tonio. This is not what we need.”
“We have enemies, we’ve always had enemies.”
“Yet, those enemies never came after us. Our fathers instilled fear, and we’re not doing the same. They are taking chances now, shooting at us, that for me crosses the fucking line.” Donnie got to his feet and started pacing.
“We got to go after Lucien.”
“I hate to add something here, but you’re right. I’ve heard a lot of unrest since you took out your father. There has been rumor that there are plans to create an uprising,” the doctor said.
“We’re not in the fucking movies,” Tonio said.
“We’re not, but that doesn’t mean others don’t get off on some shit like this. Someone is after you boys, and you’re going to need to show force.”
“How did your fathers show force?” Zara asked.
“A party, and during that party, there was a death,” Donnie said.
“You’re done, son,” the doctor said. “I’ll be back to change the dressing, but providing you don’t do anything strenuous, you’ll be fine.”
“I’ve got no plans to do shit!” Tonio said.
The doctor was led out of the apartment after being paid in full. Tonio decided to leave his shirt on. “What did I miss?” he asked.
“You’re sure you’re ready to know?” Donnie asked.
“I didn’t get that much of a buzz. Someone trying to kill me, and I need to put a stop to it. I may as well get to work.”
Luiz came back into the room. “The footage is on the way over here. Should be here within the hour.”
“Jake’s father has been … released,” Donnie said.
Tonio looked toward Jake. “What the fuck?”
“He didn’t agree with a bunch of boys taking over,” Jake said. “Fucker said we were soldiers for a reason, and that we are in way over our heads.”
This did surprise Tonio.
“We should have killed him when we did your fathers. He didn’t believe in progress, only pain and vengeance,” Jake said. “I struck the final blow.”
“We were cleaning up the mess when you called.”
“Should you be talking about this in front of me?” Zara asked.
“You’re not going anywhere,” Donnie said.
“Lucien clearly had plans for you in the beginning. You want to go to the cops, go. You won’t last two minutes out there. We’ve got cops on our books, as do our enemies. You’d be dead by the end of the day.”
She shivered and nodded her head. “Your secrets are safe with me. I’m happy pretending I don’t know shit.”
Tonio laughed. “You’re crazy, you know that?”
“Whatever. I’ve got nothing else to do. I’ll make coffee. I can make coffee, and I’m hungry again.”
She left them, heading toward the kitchen. Tonio watched her ass sway from side to side.
“You’re into her,” Luiz said.
“So? You got a problem?”
“Not a problem, just saying, I don’t recall you being into women. I thought dick was m
Tonio laughed. “Yeah, right, you wish. So, Jake’s father was against us this whole time. What are you thinking? Invite a party?”
“We got the whole scene on camera. Jake tortured him, and we’re going to show strength. No kids invited, only adults, and I don’t give a fuck if there are women there.”
“Paige and Charlene won’t be there,” Jake said.
“You’re good to have that shit for others to see?” Tonio asked.
“Why not? Fuckers are happy to do it about us. It’s time they saw who the real bosses were.”
“Damn, I like you all vengeful and shit,” Luiz said.
“So, we organize a party, and then we take on Lucien.”
“Zara’s father was going to tell. It’s why he ended up dead. He had all the details, all the books, everything. Lucien killed him at my father’s orders, and since then, he’s been ordering her mother. Zara was supposed to go away to college, but she stayed behind to help her mother. Then Lucien took a shining to her, too, wanting to pop that cherry as a bonus,” Donnie said.
“Lucien is dead,” Tonio said.
“Agreed. Along with the three that we know have been plotting against us. We take all four of them out, we show our force. First, we need to lure them to the party. I doubt anyone would come if they thought there was going to be a bloodbath.”
“I can organize that. Don’t worry about it,” Luiz said. “I can get them to come.”
There was a knock at the door just as Zara was bringing in coffee.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“I should be asking you. You’re the one who is cut up and bleeding.”
“I’m fine.” He took the coffee she offered, and she sat beside him, drinking her own. “Sorry your buzz had to end.”
“Yeah, well, nothing lasts forever, does it?”
“I guess not.”
“What’s going on now?”
“We’re checking out who the redhead is, and we’re going to see what is going on.”
He settled in as Luiz came back with the footage, loading it into the DVD player.
Several cameras came into focus, and he had a big enough screen to see them all.
“There’s the redhead,” Zara said, pointing at the top left hand corner.
“We’re there,” Tonio said, pointing to the center of the screen.
“As much as I’d love to see your ass dancing, let’s fast forward.”
Over two hours worth of footage played, and the redhead moved around the club, always in sight of them.
How had he not seen it?
It made no sense to him.
“You two kissed?” Jake asked.
“Clearly they did.”
“There, there,” Zara said. “Press play.”
It showed Zara going into the toilet, and then her coming out after several minutes passed. They moved off, and then the redhead came out. She had a cell phone and started to follow them. He’d not even noticed but she kept a careful distance.
“We’ll find out who she is.”
“She’s old,” Zara said. “When I saw her up close, she wore a lot of makeup. It was kind of scary.”
“She wasn’t eye fucking me, baby,” Tonio said. “She was looking at her paycheck.”
“I’m sorry. I clearly don’t read people all that well.”
“Don’t worry about it.” He patted her knee.
Glancing toward his friends, he saw all three was watching him. “What’s going on?” he asked.
“Nothing, just observing. You can’t go back to the pizza place. We’ve closed it down, and we’ve also dealt with the massage parlor next door,” Luiz said.
“What do I do?”
“Until we have this party, stay here, and don’t leave without one of us. It’s not safe out there alone,” Donnie said.
“There’s nowhere for me to go.”
“You’re not going to ask about your mother.”
She shook her head. “No, and I don’t want to know. I don’t care if that makes me a bad person, right now, I don’t care.”
Later that night, Jake, Donnie, and Luiz left Tonio’s apartment.
“She’s good for him,” Luiz said.
“Yeah, he doesn’t look as troubled, and she’s only been in his life a couple of days,” Jake said.
“He doesn’t know that we know,” Donnie said.
“When he’s ready, he’ll tell us,” Luiz said, hating that he was having to keep a secret from his friend. They had learned long ago what Tonio had been through. His own sister had told him just minutes before she took her own life. He’d been out, and she’d called him, telling him everything. Luiz had found the evidence already, but hearing about it from Maria, it was hard. What was even worse, none of them had ever known the truth of what Tonio was going through.
Years of torture, abuse, and rapes had turned their friend into someone who was so withdrawn, there were times Luiz expected to walk in on his friend’s suicide.
“I found the files that his father sent to mine,” Luiz said. “They made him do some sick shit. On some of the videos, they left the camera running, and he got beat a lot.”
“We all promised that we’d keep this to ourselves until Tonio came to us.”
“You know he spends most of his time on that damn computer looking for it, right?” Luiz asked.
“It’s the same computer we replaced so we could gain access to it. He doesn’t need to remember this shit,” Jake said.
Jake and Donnie had distracted Tonio long enough for Luiz to go in, find the files, and attach them to a file that was hidden and secure. All trace of those files had ended months ago.
“If something happens to Zara, he’s going to hurt everyone,” Jake said.
“I never thought for a second that the girl he always cheated from would be the one that could possibly save our friend,” Luiz said.
“Tonio needs to keep his eye on the ball. It’ll get him killed otherwise, and I don’t want to be putting Tonio in the ground. When we took over, it was supposed to help us live a better life, not fuck it over,” Donnie said. “This can’t hurt Paige.”
“How is everything going with the baby?” Jake asked.
“Fine. I keep her relaxed, and everything will be fine.”
Their first child among the four of them, and Luiz was excited. This was the dream they always had, and he was going to fight to make sure they got it.
One week later
Zara stayed close to the house, never leaving not even to get food. She sent a shopping list to Tonio, and made him stay on video chat while he was shopping. She wanted to be part of it, but she wasn’t interested in dying. While living with Tonio, she cooked, did his laundry, and she even pressed his clothes. Yes, she was bored, and he helped by supplying her with the internet, so she could shop.
It was weird spending his money, and it was only when Tonio started to spend the money on complete crap that he literally tossed out when it came, she figured she’d be better at saving than he was. Of course, most of the things she got, he watched with her. She bought movies, or books, and she read to him.
They had been with each other for a little over a week, and she felt it had been longer. With Tonio she could be herself, and he always made her feel welcome.
Late one night, she was pulled out of her dreams by his screams. Every now and again they slept together, but she did try to keep her independence. She didn’t want to rely on him because, as with everything, he’d move on.
“No, I don’t want to!”
He spoke clearly.
Climbing out of her bed, she padded into his room. Opening the door, she saw that he was thrashing in his bed, screaming for help, and for someone to stop.
“I don’t want to hurt them anymore.”
She couldn’t bear to hear him anymore, and so she went close to him, giving his shoulder a shake. “Tonio, it’s a bad drea
He didn’t wake, so she shook him even more.
Zara screamed as he grabbed her, pulled her to the bed, and pressed a gun to her head at the same time as gripping her around the neck.
“It’s me,” she said, screaming. He wasn’t strangling her so she was able to speak without a struggle. “Tonio! It’s Zara, you’re hurting me.”
She started to hit him, and he stopped. “Zara?”
He pulled away, placing the gun on the bedside table. “You sleep with a gun?”
“Fuck, Tonio, you could have shot me.”
“What are you doing here?”
She huffed. “You were having a bad dream. I wanted to help you. Isn’t that what friends do?”
He dropped down, covering her body. His head nestled against her breasts. “Thank you.”
Okay, she was struggling with this. Tonio was a large guy, muscular and sexy, and she was getting aroused.
Seconds ago he had a gun to my head!
She didn’t know what was wrong with her.
Nothing, and she wanted to. When she was alone in the apartment, she watched porn. That was how desperate she was becoming for touch.
“You smell nice.”
“Thanks. It’s soap.”
“No, it’s more than soap. It’s all you.”
He inhaled near her neck, and her nipples grew tight. Biting her lip, she tried to keep in her moan.
“I saw what you watch when I’m not at home,” he said.
“You’re a very horny girl, aren’t you?”
Her cheeks heated. There was no way she was ever going to be able to look at him the same way again.
“Just kill me now.”
He thrust his pelvis against her, and she became aware of his rock hard cock.
Tonio lifted up, and she stared into dark brown eyes. “I’ve got a proposition for you.”
“What is it?” she asked, licking her lips.
“I like you, Zara.”
“I like you as well.”
“You’re a virgin, and from what I’ve seen, you don’t want to be a virgin anymore.”
He stroked her cheek, the backs of his fingers going back and forth. “I’m protecting you, and you’re cooking for me. We’re boyfriend and girlfriend, only without the title.”
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