It's funny. I bought this estate more than two decades ago, thinking to make it the head of my European operations. But plans change, and now the expansive villa is serving as a hideout as I reassess and reposition the Genovese family. After all, the assassination attempt, while surprising, wasn’t a complete shock. I’m the head of a crime family, and even if we’re attempting to go legit at the moment, that doesn’t mean that our enemies just disappear. So yes, the transition will take time, and meanwhile, Taylor and I are staying here.
I sit at a white lattice table in the garden. It’s beautiful in Moldova this time of the year, with butterflies fluttering about the shrubbery and the sun casting warm rays on my back and shoulders. I don’t spend much time in this house, which is unfortunate because it’s so lovely.
“I brought you some coffee,” Taylor murmurs, stepping outside with a mug in her hand before setting it in front of me. “I’m still getting used to that fancy espresso machine, so I hope the joe is fine.”
I take a sip of the steaming liquid. “It’s delicious, thank you.”
Then, my beautiful girl settles down with her own mug and looks out over the garden as well. We’ve both been quiet since leaving New York, but maybe it’s time we talked about what happened. Taylor won’t bring it up without prompting, so I decide to start the conversation.
“Thank you for coming with me,” I say in a low voice. “I know this past week has been scary, and I hope you’ve been able to settle down a bit.”
Taylor nods before turning sharp eyes my way.
“But where are we? We’re obviously far from New York, but where exactly? You haven’t told me.”
I weigh my options for a moment before deciding to be forthright.
“We’re in Moldova, honey. I didn’t want to say at first for security purposes, but you have a right to know.”
Her nose crinkles.
“Is Moldova that former Soviet republic near the Black Sea? The one next to Ukraine?”
“Yes, although it’s culturally probably more like Romania than the former USSR.”
She nods, her expression closed.
I stare at her.
“What are you thinking, sweetheart? I know what happened was scary and we had to move fast afterwards. It wasn’t safe to stay in NYC so I had to make a split-second decision, but I promise you we’re fine here. This place is a fortress, as you can see,” I say, gesturing to the high stone walls. “And no one knows that we’ve even arrived.”
“I noticed,” she murmurs. “No one asked to check my passport at any time. In fact, we didn’t even go through customs.”
“When you fly private, the customs officer generally comes on-board to do all that. But in this case, we’ve been traveling incognito, honey. There’s no record of our flight.”
She stares at me.
“Is that possible? The FAA isn’t all over that?”
“It’s not legal, but it’s possible, if you know the right people and have enough cash on hand to make it happen,” I clarify.
“Oh. I see.”
But then I take her hand, my expression urgent as I lean forward.
“I hope you’re okay with what’s happened so far. As you can imagine, the Genoveses have made a lot of enemies during our time in the business, and believe it or not, that wasn’t the first attempt on my life.”