I call Liam. Tell him the score and what I want to do. He asks if I have the nerve to repeat what I said to Lucas Moretti.

“Sure,” I tell him. “I’m not sure I have his number, though.”

Liam texts me the number. I call Lucas, the head of the Moretti crime family.

“Mr. Moretti? I was asked to assist in finding your daughter. And I’m very glad to say that she’s here.” I turn the camera to show him. “So that’s good news, right?”

Lucas Moretti does not reply, and he doesn’t look like a man who enjoys casual banter.

Still. I go on. “I believe Mr. Drago was hoping to marry the lovely Mia. But now he seems unwell, and it maybe some time before he could fulfill the duties of a husband. Perhaps more important, though, I understand from your daughter that he’s a loathsome slug and she would rather eat hedgehogs than marry him.”

I look over at Mia and hold the phone so her father can see her. She keeps her face straight as she nods.

“Mr. Moretti, we haven’t met and you don’t know me at all, but Liam O’Malley can tell you whatever you would want to know about me. I very much want your lovely daughter Mia to marry me, as I believe I am in most ways far less loathsome, and I think its fair to say, hardly slug-like at all. Oh, also, my wedding tackle is in great working order.”

It would be fair to say he does not look happy.

I press on. “So far, Mr. Moretti, the lovely Mia has been sensible enough to refuse my proposal. But I would like to try one more time to ask her. I would be so happy if I could persuade her. But I thought, since I have this opportunity, I thought it only polite to ask if you would have any objection.”

“Daddy,” Mia speaks into the phone, “If I really have to marry some random mob guy, can’t I have this one? He’s awful strong.”

It seems a little unfair, ambushing Lucas Moretti that way. But, hey. How many times do you get to put one over on a crime boss? And, what’s he going to do if I become his son-in-law?

Of course, she can still turn me down. In which case, I’ll most likely be in the trunk of a car in the desert before sunset.

For the formality of it, I get down onto one knee “Considering that I am hopelessly and insanely in love with you, mafia princess and sex witch, Mia Moretti, would you do me the immeasurable honor of putting me at the top of the list of people you’re not not going to marry?”

She covers her mouth with her hand and tells me, “You, random mob guy, are a total ass,” but she can’t keep from laughing. So I’m guessing that’s a ‘yes.’

My van is still at the back of the store. Mia’s SUV is out front. I have the little Toyota.

So, the two biggest crime bosses in the city, Lucas Moretti and Liam O’Malley are coming to meet us and a chorus of Elvi at the Little Less Conversation Little More Action drive-in Wed-O-Rama, and we have to choose from the lamest collection of wedding cars ever assembled.

So, with her looking frankly fucking fantastic in her ivory wedding gown and my black leather jacket, me in black Levis and a black shirt, she climbs up on the back of my Harley Davidson Sportster and we rock up to our wedding and extremely noisy motorbike.

Liam takes over the most upmarket restaurant in the Kingpin, and plays a gracious host to Lucas Moretti and holds a reception for both of their families. My mam flew back to Boston just a few days ago, so we have to make do with a FaceTime appearance form her, during which she assures me, in front of everybody, that she will whup me ‘Within an inch of his life’ for getting married without her.

But I know that as soon as they meet, she and Mia will be an unbreakable force and a coven of two.

Mia’s brother Giovani is at the Kingpin.

He tells Mia, “Little sis. I was just trying to look out for you. Dad wanted to hand you over to Drago, and I couldn’t see you wanting that. I wanted to find you before he did. Or before whoever Dad sent to bring you back did. Turns out, being hunted by this guy wasn’t all that bad for you.”

I know he’s pissed about his Ferrari, but we won’t talk about that now.

Liam’s sons and their wives all come to the reception, including Mia and Giovani’s sister Guilietta, who is married to Peter. She and Lucas Moretti make a tearful reunion.

Lucas looks around the room, full of O’Malleys, and he says, “Looks like a goddamned takeover bid. But I have a hunch this could help patch things over between the families.”

Tags: Frankie Love Crime
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