Ramble—that was all his father did…On and on until Angelo neared the brink of insanity. As one hand gripped the dark strands of his hair, Angelo pounded the table with his other hand. A cracking sound echoed throughout the ritzy restaurant.
“I said enough,” Angelo snapped, his deep voice silencing the aging man sitting across from him. Several diners shifted uncomfortably in their seats.
Angelo lowered his tone to a harsh whisper and leaned forward. “There is no way I will ever consider the daughter of that fool, Gregorio. Christ! We would be on the radar of every fed in the state if I became involved in that man’s affairs. We don’t need the same sort of drama that he has brought to his ranks—to his own family.”
“But the businesses, Son,” His father, Antonio, scowled at Angelo’s disrespect. “You would gain his estate and his ranks in exchange for her protection. Gregorio would be out of the picture.”
“Who cares what I gain?” Angelo snapped. His dark brown eyes glared into Antonio’s causing the creases on the older man’s forehead to widening. “I am making a fortune with what I have.”
“You know how it works,” Antonio replied. “Money makes the rules…money that you don’t have enough of right now.”
Angelo inhaled as he closed his eyes. It seemed that lately, he talked of nothing else but her. “And what of the girl? You would have a strange woman that we have never met fall in with our family. Do you really expect me to trust her as my wife considering what man raised her?”
“Because you have chosen not to meet her. How do you know you won’t like her if you never put forth the effort? You don’t know. You may actually like her.”
“Rafa,” Angelo glanced at the tanned man with wavy, dark hair sitting next to him. “Talk some sense into my father.” Angelo had hired Rafa specifically to take on problematic situations – like Antonio.
Though Rafa’s input counted every bit as much as Angelo’s did, he huffed and straightened his tie, obviously wishing he could ignore both men. “You both already know how I feel about it as I have previously pointed out the pros and cons of the marriage.” Rafa paused and took a drink of his coffee. “Look, next time, though, could you both wait until after we eat to start arguing? You might both be calmer after breakfast. Have you ever thought about that?”
Both Angelo and Antonio stared at Rafa in silence until Angelo tossed his napkin on the table and stood.
“If you have nothing useful to add, Rafa, this visit is over.” Angelo said. “We will have to eat after we drive to Key Biscayne.”
Antonio’s brow darkened; his lips pursed together, making the wrinkles around his mouth to deepen. “Very well, Angelo. Ignore my wishes if that is the type of man I have raised you to become.”
Angelo shook his head and let out a frustrated huff. “Father, I am not ignoring your wishes. I would gladly meet the woman if Gregorio were not her father. I know you like him, but wherever he goes, trouble follows. You already know that. Find another woman for me to marry, or else you will leave me no choice but to choose a wife myself. I am not growing any younger.”
Angelo walked away, jerking his chin for Rafa to follow. As the door shut to the restaurant, Angelo stopped for a moment for him to catch up. “How long has it been since my father and Gregorio started this shit with the daughter?” Angelo asked. He already knew the answer. It just made him mad again and he stormed down the ramp to the parking area.
“Well, you could meet her if it will satisfy them.”
“Right,” Angelo groaned. “You know even if I did, they would still harass me about marrying her.”
“How old are you turning this year, Angelo?”
“Twenty-nine,” he said, blowing out an annoyed breath.
“Then marry her,” Rafa said simply. “It isn’t like you have any other woman in mind.”
“I had a woman in mind,” Angelo snapped. “My mother hated Giana.”
“What are you talking about? She wasn’t wife material. Besides, you couldn’t stand that woman.” Rafa hurried ahead of Angelo so that he could open the door of the black Escalade. “She couldn’t even make a cup of coffee much less raise a family like you want.”
“Well,” Angelo rolled his eyes. “Even if that’s true, she was still loyal.”
“Yes, she was, and for all the wrong reasons. Just marry Gregorio’s daughter. The daughter of a mob boss will suit your tastes.” Rafa crossed his arms. “As you said, you are not getting any younger. Do you really want to turn forty by the time you have your first child?”
Angelo’s eyes narrowed as he slid into the backseat and slammed the door. “Well, this does not affect you. Why do you care who I marry and have my kids with?” he said as Rafa sat in the backseat beside him. Angelo did not discuss the daughter anymore and slapped the driver’s seat in front of him, catching the attention of the blond-haired man behind the wheel. “Brett, step on it—Key Biscayne. Get me out of here.”
Brett looked back, silent as usual with a smirk on his lips. He started the car without question.