My son just shrugs, already strolling out.
“Tomorrow, okay, Pops? Be ready to get your head blown off.”
With that, he disappears and I’m left to the solitude of my meal again. What the fuck just happened? My son is well and truly insane if he thinks I’m going to change the family business model just for him, and just for one woman too. It’s totally ludicrous.
Even more, what Anthony doesn’t know is that I’m planning on taking the Genovese crime family legit in the near future. We make a shit-ton from our bars and clubs, and there’s no reason to be importing women anymore. Our clients can get that shit somewhere else, or the girls can be brought in through legal channels. There’s no reason to risk being taken down when the money from trafficking isn’t even that great anymore. These days, I make the bulk of my fortune from alcohol sales, and it’s a hundred percent legit too. As a result, the risk-reward trade-off just isn’t there anymore.
But no one knows of my plan yet, and to be honest, there will be a lot of disappointed folks. Our family has been in the business of importing exotic women for decades now, and while still lucrative, it’s time to move on. Like my son stated, times are a-changin’. Besides, there will be plenty of hungry young bucks to step into the gap once the Genoveses exit. Let them deal with the sordid aspects of the business, because I’m too old for this shit.
At that moment, Violetta emerges from the kitchen carrying two cannoli with creamy ricotta spilling out the ends.
“I heard the boy come in, so I figured you could use these.”
I laugh mirthlessly.
“You spoil me, Violetta, but Anthony’s already left.”
“Then you eat both, Mr. Genovese. You work too much, and work out too much too. Cannoli is what you need to keep meat on your bones.”
I sigh while grinning again.
“Okay, okay. Maybe you’re right. But hopefully, my work stress is going to ease up soon.”
Violetta shrugs, wiping her hands on her apron.
“Maybe, but you eat more, okay? My business is the food, not the work.”
With that, the elderly woman bustles off again as I cut into my cannoli with a fork. The ricotta is almost unbearably sweet as it melts on my tongue, but Violetta’s right. The dessert improves my mood, and I sigh, contemplating my son’s offer again.
I suppose he’s right. What do I have to lose? Anthony’s coming over tomorrow night with the product, so I may as well be on hand to see it. It’ll be a dumpster fire, for sure, because this is my son we’re talking about, but why not? At the very least, she should be tolerable, if not outright gorgeous. With that, I take another bite of cannoli, my brow furrowing in dread of the showing to come.
Iplace the silver candlesticks into a nice gift bag. Okay, this is a little weird, I admit, but the candlesticks don’t really go with the décor at my apartment. They’re too expensive looking, especially when contrasted with my second-hand furniture and colorful afghans. As a result, I’ve decided to give them to Anthony’s dad as a thank you for dinner.
After all, my boyfriend called and said that instead of going to a restaurant tonight, we’ll be stopping by his dad’s house for dinner. Immediately, my heart leapt with anticipation. Anthony wants me to meet his family, which means maybe our relationship is finally moving forward. Maybe we’ll actually be serious for once!
I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but still, I can’t help but shiver a bit with excitement. Hurriedly, I look into a mirror, fluffing out my brown curls. My cocktail dress is a black wraparound, showing off my curvy figure to its best advantage. I also have a glittery purse and matching ballet flats, and I’ve spritzed myself lightly with rose-scented perfume. The whole get-up is perfect because Anthony comes from a wealthy family, so it’s important for me to look classy yet understated at once.
There’s a knock on my door and I open it to find Anthony in his usual outfit, which is basically a loose designer track suit emblazoned with logos. He lets out an appreciative whistle while sizing me up.
“You look great, hon,” he says. But then his nose wrinkles when he sees my shoes. “You don’t have another pair? Something higher?”
I stare at him.
“Of course I do, but is that really appropriate given that we’re about to meet your dad?”
“My dad’s a single guy. Let’s spice it up. Wear the Louboutins with the glittery heels.”
I stare at him.
“You mean, the six inch ones that resemble stripper shoes?”