I haven’t emerged from my Zio’s home since the escape. I don’t want the Kings to know where I am just yet or what I’ve been up to. Zio has been the face of the casino and taking care of business. I do not need to leave the house to know my face is on wanted posters for the Kings. It was a shit storm, Zio said, when he went to retrieve Natalia. The Kings were not happy. He barely got out of the door without getting shot or beaten.
He had to reassure them the only instruction he received from me was to pick her up. He had to swear to them he had no idea where I was. And they have been keeping a close eye on him.
They are waiting for me to slip, but this isn’t their fight.
“Please,” Maximo begs, clutching the bars of the dungeon Zio keeps underground.
There’s the house level, the basement, and then below that is the dungeon. It hasn’t been used for some time, but better late than never, I always say.
I think. I feel like I used to say that. Feels right.
“Water,” he croaks, reaching through the bars. “Fratello.”
I slam my fist against the bars and scream, “Do not fucking call me that! You lost that privilege when you tried to sell your niece. My fucking daughter. You filthy piece of shit. You think I care if you’re thirsty? Hungry? Or need to take a piss in something other than that fucking bucket in the corner? Let me tell you something, I’m here to watch you wither away, Maximo. You want fucking water?”
I snake my hand through the bars and grab him by his filthy shirt. I yank him forward, his cheek pressed against the iron bars. My lips are close to his ear and I whisper, “Drink your own piss.” I slam his head against the bars and knock him out. He falls to the floor limp and unconscious.
I tug on the lapels of my suit and sigh. I feel the overwhelming need to wash my hands.
I sidestep a puddle as I walk out of the dungeon. It’s your typical dark and gloomy cell. There’s no window, a dirt floor, and the lamps on the ceiling are powered by lighter fluid. Zio did not pour the family fortune into this dirt jail, that’s for certain. I climb up the stairs and grab the string above on the ceiling that controls the single lightbulb and tug.
Good. Let Maximo get lost. I don’t give a fuck.
I make my way through the basement and up the stairs to the main level of the house.
“Hey Papa,” Natalia greets me as she sits on a stool at the kitchen island, sipping her cappuccino she made.