This fragment was originally a part of book 1, but it didn’t make the cut. It is set several years before the events described in the book.
Domenico rolled to his back, savoring the taste of his lover. Warm wind slid over his skin, and he stretched, watching the clear sky above, with thousands of stars dotting it all the way to the horizon. The air smelled of greenery and some sweet flowers nearby, but all Domenico wanted to feel was fresh sweat and cum. He turned to his side and licked the salty moisture off Angelo’s stomach, hugging his hips as he curled even closer.
“That was heaven. Like going to church.” Angelo chuckled, his eyes closed, curly hair in disarray.
“You’re a heretic.” Domenico slowly crawled up the blanket they used for their nightly outings, and settled next to Angelo, eager to doze off in his arms. At least for a while. Only in his arms was he able to truly relax and not think about keeping up appearances. He was sixteen, so no one except his mother regarded him as a boy anymore. There wasn’t much room for error.
Angelo laughed and delved in for a long kiss. Domenico’s hand moved over Angelo’s chest, playing with the curly hair and smiling into his mouth.
“I missed you when you were gone.”
“Wasn’t pleasant for me either. The Consigliere bought me a girl, and I had to pay her so she keeps quiet about me not fucking her. At least the assignment went smoothly. We’re taking over the seaside.”
Domenico groaned. He was only sixteen, and already had women flocking to fight for his attention. It was ridiculous, but most were old enough for him to reject without anyone making anything of it. Girls his age weren’t as forward, thank God. He did have an official girlfriend, but that was that. He usually invited her to the movies so that they wouldn’t have to talk much. At least she was pretty enough to make the other guys envious.
A faint scent of cigarette smoke had Domenico stop listening to Angelo’s words. His body was alert in a split second, and he grabbed his pants, desperate to cover up.
“What is it?” Angelo asked, but his lips froze when they both looked to a nearby tree where a dark shadow of a man melted into the bark, with just a bright orange dot at his mouth.
“Fuck… act normal. There’s someone by the tree,” whispered Domenico, making his joints move. He sat cross-legged and pretended to stretch while trying to make out the man’s features. He didn’t think Angelo had his gun on him, and neither did Domenico, but they could still get rid of the pervert. His heart was beating fast, but he wasn’t panicking yet. Something could always be done.
That was until the man began walking their way, casually smoking his cigarette, which glowed in the dark like a dying sun very far away. The signets on his fingers caught light a few seconds before his face came out of the shadow. The Consigliere, Frederico Villani. They were dead meat.
“Get dressed, both of you,” Frederico said.
Domenico drew in a sharp breath, completely frozen. If there was one person they couldn’t just dispose of, it was him. The search would be long and brutal, and neither of them would get out of the whole process alive.
“Sir,” whispered Domenico. “This isn’t–”
“Don’t give me that. I was watching you for the last half an hour. I know cocksucking when I see it,” said Frederico, and the note of amusement in his voice made Domenico cringe. He quickly pulled his pants back on, looking over at Angelo, who rearranged his clothes without a word. He didn’t spare Domenico a glance, there were no reassuring gestures or calm words. It was as if he were suddenly alone in front of a judge, next to another man accused of the same crime.
“Angelo, leave us,” Frederico said and lit himself another cigarette from the one he was finishing.
This time, Angelo did hesitate, and his gaze trailed to Dom, but it only lasted a second before he was off, walking away between the dark bushes. Domenico couldn’t breathe. He looked at Frederico, balling his hands into fists. “Why?”
“Because I heard from Tassa that you are showing most promise, yet you fuck someone who can’t provide you with anything, in a place that isn’t very secret. I thought you’d be much stealthier than that.” Frederico stepped closer and grabbed Dom’s jaw as if he were a prized calf to assess.
Domenico stiffened, and he looked away to where Angelo disappeared. He still couldn’t believe his lover would just leave him with the predator. Was he leaving town by now?
He exhaled through his nose and met Frederico’s gaze in the moonlight. “Mr. Tassa doesn’t know about this.”
“And we’d like it to stay that way, wouldn’t we?”
To Domenico’s utter shock two of Frederico’s fingers tickled him under the chin.
He stepped back, panic biting into his muscles. “What are you doing?”
“I am helping you. You won’t be seeing Angelo anymore. He won’t go far in life. And don’t even try to talk to him. You know why?” Frederico’s eyes were looking right into Domenico’s soul, but he wouldn’t look away even as his heartbeat became so quick he was afraid to breathe.
Frederico nodded. “Because he will be the one to tell me. He’s weak, you can’t trust him.” Frederico pulled his fingers away, only to run them through Domenico’s hair. “I will keep your secret though.”
Domenico pulled away from the burning touch. His stomach was in knots, but at the same time, the underlying burn of anger was slowly rising in his chest. “Aren’t your own secrets heavy enough? No need to worry about me.”
Frederico’s lips twisted into an unpleasant smile. “I know what you want, Domenico. You want to be the best, you want power and importance. You want to show your father what you’re worth. I can give you all that and more.”
Domenico’s breath caught in his throat as he stared at the pale eyes in front of him. Frederico wasn’t joking. So far, all of Domenico’s attempts to rise in the ranks have been for nothing. The secret everybody knew about was always a reason to keep his achievements under wraps. He hadn’t seen his father since the day he sent him into that well to bleed out. On the very first night, when Domenico lay there, shocked with the pain pulsing in his shoulder and the dull throbbing from the beating, he looked at the stars and made a promise before God that he would prove himself. He was worthy of being by his father’s side just like both his half brothers. In fact, with Seth being a disgrace and Vincente a cruel halfwit, he was more worthy than either of them.
“Why would you do that, uncle?” he asked, with disgust creeping up his throat, because both of them knew what they were really talking about.
The wolfish smile on Frederico’s lips told Domenico everything he needed to know. “You scratch my back, I scratch yours.” He offered Domenico a cigarette, and Dom took it, quickly pulling out his lighter. He stilled with it halfway to his mouth and offered Frederico the light first. He couldn’t help but let his gaze trail over the tall man, who was nothing like men Domenico chased. Old. Handsome but not nearly as big as Dom liked his men. His uncle. A blackmailer.
Could he do this?
Frederico took the light. “Good. You’re learning already. I might just suck your dick first.”
Domenico squeezed his jaw, almost biting through the filter of his cigarette. He lit it and took a long drag of the fresh smoke. Warmth filled his lungs like the sweetest caress, and he looked at Frederico with new strength. Surely, he could still meet up with Angelo. They were friends so no one would suspect a thing, and even Frederico Villani’s eyes couldn’t be everywhere at once. And Angelo had no right to complain after walking out on Dom. It stung, but after being shot by his own father, no pain was big enough to throw Domenico out of balance.
“How soon would I get where I want to be?”
Frederico exhaled a cloud of smoke and reached out to pet Domenico’s neck. “Where you want? As early as in ten years. But you could get your first true step as soon as tomorrow. I have a job that needs doing. And it’s not the kind of job I want you for in my bed tonight. A real stepping stone of an assignment.”
Domenico’s face felt hot. Ten years? He’d be just 26. He could be Father’s right hand man. He could be the next consigliere. If Father sees his worth, he could even consider him to become something more. If he only saw the worth of his bastard. Domenico had the best of what Villani blood had to offer, and he valued it more than his brothers did.
“You know that I will kill you if you try to cheat me,” whispered Domenico.
“I know. You’ve proven that you can do that already. I have no need to cheat you though. I like to have friends in high places.”
Domenico knew those words were meant to stroke his ego, but they still managed to elicit a pleasant tingle. He smiled and dropped the half-burned cigarette to the ground. He promised himself to get there. To impress his father, and he would do whatever it takes. He found out today that he couldn’t count on those he wanted to trust, and he was happy it happened sooner than later.
He stepped forward and slid his fingers into the hair at the back of Frederico’s head.