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Charlee Shaee Genovese

I've gotta wild streak in me. Wanna see?

0 · 1,182 views · located in Manhattan, New York

a character in “In Mafia Vita”, as played by UCTigerette

Description

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Full Name:| Charlee Shae Genovese
Nicknames:| Shae, preferably.
Age:| Seventeen.
Gender:| Female.
Orientation:| Heterosexual.
Originally From:| Manhattan.
Currently Living:| Upper East Side.
Occupation:| Part-Time Model for her mother's company.

Likes:| Hmmm. There's just so many things.
Shopping, Sex, Drug Experimentation, Flirting, Usually older men, Parties, Drinking, Smoking, Loud Music, Being in control, and her New York lifestyle.
Dislikes:| I knew this would be next.. Ugh.
Men who can't take a hint, lies, Being disobeyed, Murder, Not getting her way, Her father's lack of attention, Waking up early, Applying for universities, and Rejection.
Fears:| Oh, geez. What am I afraid of?
Losing her father to death or prison, Being forced to leave her family, and getting addicted to drugs.
Secrets:| Isn't the point of a secret that no one knows? Ugh, I guess I can let you in on it anyway.
I'm currently on an ecstasy kick. The stuff's great. Really. You should try it. I've also slept with the Lead Drug Trafficker and put the moves on the Casino Manager, but more about that later. Also, I guess it should be known that I've got my eyes on my father's second-in-command. So what if he's 36 and I'm 17? He's still hot as hell and me, well just look at me.


Hobbies:| Shop. Party. Hangout. Flirt. Art. Modeling.
Talents:| Manipulation and Painting.
Deficits:| Being honest about her feelings, dealing with rejection, and her attraction to drugs.
Weapons:| My father bought me a taser and pepper spray to keep on me at all times. He's so paranoid, but I can see why. I've still yet to use it, but I dare someone to give me an excuse to.

Personality:| Charlee's not your typical seventeen-year-old, obviously. She's seen and done more than most other girls her age - a lot of the events causing her to age and mature more quickly than others. Her wild streak is at least a mile long as Shae clings to her spunky, spontaneous personality as a way to hold onto her youth. That same spunk and spontaneity has been known to get her into trouble more than a time or two.

Growing up with a father like hers has taught Shae a few things. For instance, you keep your nose out of things it don't belong in and if you happen to stumble across something you shouldn't, keep your mouth shut. Shae, when about eleven years old, overheard her own father order a hit on a worker who had double crossed the family by skimming some money off the top. Of course no one realized Shae was in earshot or even around, but the damage was done. Things such as these gave Shae both a fear and respect of her father. Fear due to his unforgiving nature and respect due to his loyalty to his own. Both traits, loyalty and an unforgiving nature, rubbed off on the young Shae. Of course she's nowhere near as intense or extreme as her father. She doesn't forgive easily though and when she does, she never forgets. That's just when you wrong her. Cross her family and not only will you realize just how deep her loyalty goes, but you'll see her temper flair.

Shae's realized a long time ago that family comes first and you always protect your own. With so much backstabbing and double-crossing, she doesn't trust easily. Oh sure, she's friendly, bubbly, humorous... a socialite even, but personal topics of conversation are always averted. She'll let you vent and talk about your life all day long, but don't expect the same from her. It won't happen unless she's known you for a while and extremely comfortable around you. Speaking of the more upbeat side of the young girl, Shae certainly is a social butterfly, though many fear her simply because of her family tree. Others clamor over one another in order to get into her good graces.

Now sure, Shae has sex, parties, and does the occasional drug, but does that make her a bad person? Certainly not. The way she looks at it is tha these are things regular teenagers do. And that's something Shae strives to be - a regular teen. She loves her status and the air of power she possess, but sometimes she'd rather be treated just as anyone else. Being the daughter of a crime boss constantly has her questioning who her true friends are and the motives of everyone around her. It'd be nice to have some of the pressure taken off. All-in-all, Shae is a very intelligent girl who can work a room and dazzle like no other, but she's seen far too much for her young age. It's probably the reason she has the ability to adapt to various situations with such ease. She's just a teenager trying and struggling to be normal whilst constantly dealing with the violence, danger, death, and business with which her family has always been surrounded. With fierce loyalty, her father's unforgiving "tough as nails" attitude, and a carefree front, Shae keeps her innermost personal thoughts to herself.


History:| Charlee Shae Genovese is the only daughter of crime boss, Jonathan Genovese, and Victoria Genovese.

Growing up, Shae witnessed tons of things no little girl should ever have to see. From her father open-handedly smacking his women employees across the room when displeasing him to ordered hits on people who had crossed the Genovese family, Shae had seen it all. Up until she started her seventh or eighth year of grade school, Shae hadn't comprehended that these things were wrong and illegal. They were just a part of the life to which she was accustomed.

Her teenage years hit and that's when Shae really started coming into her own. Her father, being the protective man he is, bought Shae a taser and had an employee show her how to use it. The weapon gave Shae a new sense of power and just a bit more freedom. She took full advantage over the fact and started staying out later, partying more, and doing as she pleased.

At the point she met a guy - Johnny. Johnny was a charmer, the bad boy type, and from a less than middle class family. Shae didn't care. She was infatuated. Jonathan, her father, was not. After one talk with the crime boss, Johnny wouldn't even glance in her direction, much less return her calls or texts. She called it heartbreak and solely blamed her father. It was the only time she'd ever disrespected him her father and cussed him and it was the only time Jonathan had struck Shae. She was fifteen at the time and their relationship grew pretty rocky.

In rebellion, and mostly to get back at her father over Johnny, Shae made it a point to hangout with people whom she knew her father would deem 'undesirable'. That's how a fifteen-year-old Shae stumbled into the drug scene. A guy Shae considered a friend, Zach, had offered Shae her first joint. The high was amazing and smoking became a regular past-time, if you will, for Shae. Soon she became curious about other drugs and the highs they held. When the same curcle of friends offered her cocaine, Shae hesitated only briefly before snorting her first line. Though the high was more than fantastic, it wasn't Shae's cup of tea. Even so, the highs of weed couldn't compare and, so Shae continued to do coke.

One night the mix of marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol proved to be too much for Shae. She blacked out. When she came to the next morning, a naked Zach lay beside her. Checking herself, Shae realized her underwear was down and her pants were gone. She had lost her virginity and couldn't even remember it. For the first time in a while, Shae cried. Especially since Zach was a twenty-year-old man who had taken advantage of the fifteen-year-old Shae.

Shae distanced herself from that particular group of people and started making friends at the private school she attended. She found new girls to talk with and hangout with after school. She dated a few guys and was actually pretty content for a while.

Two months later, a pregnancy test read positive. Shae went to the only person she could - her older brother. They'd always had a close relationship - even if recently she'd begun to envy the attention he received from their father. Shae worried her brother would take the same path as Jonathan and feared what he'd have to go through. Shae has always planned on becoming part of the family business, but that wasn't her main ambition and it wasn't the same as taking over the entire operation.

Anyway, after talking to her brother, he convinced her to go to their father. Though Shae was terrified, she listened and did just that. Jonathan expressed his disappointment in her choices, but did like any good father would do and offered his support in whatever decision she made. Shae opted for abortion and it was done within the week. A secret between the three of them, as Shae and Jonathan knew it would break Victoria's heart. Shae and Jonathan had as much of a heart-to-heart as possible with his nature and Shae felt just like the daddy's girl she used to be. A few weeks later, Shae had seen on the news that Zach was missing. When she'd confronted her father about it, he cut her off with a simple, "It was taken care of." Shae knew better than to ask more questions and left the room.

Depression over her abortion and the undeniable murder of Zach got the better of Shae for a while until she ran across the pill industry. Many kids from her school had started popping them in order to help with their studies, and Shae quickly jumped on board. At sixteen-years-old Shae had done it all.. from Xanax to Tramadol to Vicodin to Oxycontin to Percoset to her favorite, Ecstasy.

Even with this new fascination, Shae considered her sixteenth year to be her best. She started driving, painting, and modeling. Her relationship with her mother strengthened during this year as well, mostly due to Shae's interest in her business and modeling. She really had a knack for the modeling industry, but it wasn't a true passion. She mostly did it for the free clothes and to be closer to Victoria. Painting, on the other hand,, had proved to be a true emotional outlet and one Shae had kept to herself. She had made it through her sixteenth year amazingly. She still enjoyed pills and alcohol, but more positive than negative had happened that year. It had been a much better year than the last.

Shortly before she turned seventeen, Shae met (FC: Norman Reedus). Shae had seen him leaving her father's office one day and being her flirtatious self, struck up a conversation. When she'd discovered his role in drug trafficking, Shae took full advantage of the situation. After a few weeks of shameless flirting and drug supply, Shae finally made her move. Successfully, she'd ended up in the bed of (FC: Norman Reedus). He'd be dead if her father knew, but luckily for him, Shae can keep a secret. To this day, Shae still shows up on (FC: Norman Reedus)'s door without invitation for some unattached fun and not once has she been turned away. Her father still has no idea, obviously. And now, Shae has her eyes set on (FC: Sam Worthington), her father's second-in-command. It doesn't matter to Shae that he's twice her age, just that's he's hot as hell and a total bad-ass.

Currently, Shae is being pressured by her parents to apply for universities and get away from her lifestyle on the Upper East Side. Shae has the money, the smart, and the SAT scores to get into any college in the country, but she's reluctant to apply for many reason; A) She knows that family comes first and how can she do her part if she's miles away?, B) Shae loves her younger brother more than anyone else and refused to leave him alone, unsheltered. She, of course, is oblivious to the fact that he spies on everyone and knows more than she, and C) Shae's secretly afraid of being away from the constant protection her father provides.

Shae's sure she'll end up applying and majoring in something art related, but she's thinking of applying to NYU, so she can stay close to home. She also wants some involvement in her family's business in the future, even if it's minor. Perhaps she'll major in Art History, become a museum curator, and help with the drug trafficking side of things. Who knows? She's sure her parents wouldn't see it ideal, but business is business and they can't deny that.

Miscellaneous:| Cars: Black Mercedes-Benz SLK350
Tattoos: One. The Pisces symbol on her right lower back.
Pets: Sarah-Beth, a teacup Yorkie.

So begins...

Charlee Shaee Genovese's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Adrianna Scott Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Anthony "Tony" Rizzo Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Sienna Rose Character Portrait: Mick Carter Character Portrait: Nate Hagen Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Rebecca Vendetti Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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#, as written by Korrye
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Genovese Mansion
Victoria felt her anger surging. She hummed with frustration, her fingers clenching the edge of the kitchen counter top until her knuckles turned white. Clenching her teeth, she exhaled through her teeth and looked at the floor before glancing up at the cater waiter who had dropped a platter of sparkling champagne in taking a corner too sharply. The crystal flutes had shattered, covering a large expanse of the slate floor. On top of that, Victoria was in the middle of the mess and bits of glass now graced her feet, cutting her nylons and sticking to her gown. She had come in to check on their progress and she had been showered in both the glasses and their contents. “I’m so, so...so sorry Mrs. Genovese…” the waiter apologized frantically. Victoria heard the fear dripping from her words. When she looked up at the girl she recognized that she was no older than her own daughter, though terrible cowed and far less stubborn. The girl gasped when Victoria leveled a gaze with her, flicking a hand out and sending a splash of champagne off of her fingertips and to the floor. “I’m fine,” she forced herself to say. If she didn't the poor girl might panic more and do something worse. The waiter looked about ready to burst into tears. Two thousand dollars worth of crystal now littered the floor and the champagne itself was soaking further into her evening gown. The emerald silk was ruined and still dripping. As she stepped forward slowly the glass crunched audibly beneath her Louboutin heels. Each step earned a wince from her staff. Once she was out of the initial pile of champagne flutes, Victoria hiked her dress up into her hands, rubbing the silk with her thumb only to earn herself a cut from a stray shard of crystal.

“Clean this up,” Victoria ordered. She turned to face her staff who merely looked back at her stunned. Their eyes glanced over her and they all remained still, looking at her with mixed expressions of surprise, fear and horror. “Now!” she barked, her voice cutting. A gasp followed and the hum of activity returned to them all. She sighed as she walked out of the kitchen, hearing the loud sniping of her head chef as he re-asserted control. Victoria frowned, closing her eyes as she proceeded to the main staircase, thankful that guests would not be arriving for another half hour. That said, some of their companions liked to arrive earlier, curious if there was ever disarray. She could not let them see any of this.

As she hurried herself up the stairs, she looked over her shoulder at the main entrance of their Manhattan townhouse, the sweeping steps polished to perfection. Two butlers stood at attention by the main doors to receive guests, while security remained outside the doors on the steps with the valet. Months ago, it would have only been one individual assigned to watch the entry of people into the mansion, the main gates and their security enough to prevent people from pulling stunts. For the evening, Jonathon had requested extra. His business associates would be meeting with him that evening and with everyone there on top of family friends it was sure to be a full house of interesting people. She hoped the additional security was enough.

Shaking her head, she ushered herself up to her bedroom, passing by the doors of her children’s rooms. She lingered, feeling herself soften as she neared Charlee’s door. Victoria paused and tried to listen. In hearing nothing she moved by, knowing that she had told them all to be back at the mansion on time and that it was possible that her daughter had gone to the salon to get herself prepared for the gala. As she continued on, she passed by her eldest son’s door. Lincoln had had class. It was a Monday after all. His semester had just started. Hopefully the accountant had paid his tuition. The thought made her add another note to her long mental list of things to check up on. Continuing on her way she passed Dylan’s door, evident given that it was the most papered over with signs and stickers. She knocked, trying to open it only to find it locked - as was usual.

“Half an hour sweet,” Victoria reminded him, disappointed that she couldn't actually tell him in person. “And you know how we feel about you locking your door.”

With that she moved beyond her children’s rooms, only pausing as she passed the last door on her left. Pushing it open, she could almost see Kole at his desk, hunched over some textbook and fighting himself to pay attention. It wasn’t hard to remember him looking up at her, smiling and sighing. Though he had been adopted into the family, she felt like she had lost a child when he had moved out. When Lincoln had moved into Cornell student residence it hadn’t quite been the same. He was still home on weekends, and evenings more often than not. With Kole gone, Victoria could go weeks without seeing him. Jonathon and Nate still had close contact but he felt remarkably absent from her. She would have to speak to him later about that, about coming to dinner more often or...something. Jonathon had assured her he was coming. Kole had cancelled a lot lately – something about his position becoming more tenuous. She had always thought it was a bad idea for him to go into the police academy. Maybe she should try to talk to him about that too? But that seemed difficult. She would be expected downstairs shortly and the business side of the evening would command her attention before the art auction would start – the front for their evening. Then there was the speech and a talk by Kole and then Nathaniel. Then the two leading men had a meeting with some movie star who had somehow weaseled her way into the event. Then there was dinner and ultimately no time alone with any of them. It was stressful just thinking about all that she needed to remember. She had to meet with the MET people downstairs too, right away, as they brought the works in that were for sale. All of this meant that she didn’t have time to get dressed again.

It all flooded her mind in short bursts, her thought process bringing her back to the fact that her dress was half soaked in champagne. As she stepped away from the guest room she sighed again, feeling the tension flood from her shoulders as she proceeded to her wing of the house. The master bedroom was behind a set of double doors. Victoria Her heels clicked across the hardwood floors as she moved towards her walk-in closet. Two steps into the room and she dropped the wet skirt of her dress and proceeded to unzip it only for it to get stuck and slightly beyond her reach between her shoulder blades. “This party will be the death of me,” she muttered angrily. While she knew she was overreacting, it felt better to say something. They had certainly faced worse.





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Genovese Mansion
Kole Marinos was never early. Today was most certainly an anomaly. The twenty four year old walked up the length of the driveway, past the tall pillar columns that signaled the main entrance to the family stead. He could still remember being fifteen and arriving at the Genovese mansion for the first time. Like an excited dog he had practically had his head out the window, marveling at the gargantuan grandeur of the home. Years later, he recognized that it paled in comparison to the estates of many other upper east side dwellers – if anything the Genovese family as relatively subdued. Still, he could not deny that it impressed him. As he approached the tall double doors, he made eye contact with the three men clustered on the front steps. They all looked him over, the butler smiling while the security guards assessed the potential threat that he posed. It had been six weeks since he had last been at the mansion itself, enough time for Jonathon to hire new bouncers.

“Pierre,” Kole smiled at the butler. “Master Kole! How pleasant to see you again,” the valet replied, moving forward to hug him only to find his way barred by one of the security personnel. It was enough for Kole’s smile to falter. “Are you on the list?” he demanded, looking down at an iPhone in his hand and scrolling through a pre-approved list. “It’s Kole Marinos,” the butler said, aghast at the idea of one of the family being questioned. “It’s okay. I understand the precaution,” he smiled, watching as the security guard scrolled through the list, confirmed that he was in fact on it, and nodded him through. “Mr. Genovese wishes to see you in the library.”

“I was counting on that,” Kole nodded, moving beyond the threshold and into the impressive manor, pausing to adjust his suit. He pulled on his shirt collar, irritated by the starchy quality of the fabric. It felt constricting. The moment that he stepped into the manor little seemed different. Unlike his apartment in the Upper West Side, the Genovese mansion felt like home. The scents were familiar. The feel and touch of it felt far more normal. Yet he felt almost a stranger to it on his own. Immediately his hands went to the tie around his neck, loosening the knot so that he could undo it and pull it off. The staff standing offside watched him, amused as Kole appeared relieved when the fabric was stowed in his pocket. Undoing the top two buttons of his dress shirt, he finally felt freed.

With that dealt with, he proceeded knowingly through the halls of the mansion, hearing a loud chorus of voices coming from the kitchen as he moved toward the back end of the mansion. He was early by some twenty minutes for the first time…in ever. He approached the library cautiously but in hearing nothing he stepped inside, confronted with the sitting room attached to Jonathon’s office and no one else. He’d certainly never been first before. He just wondered who would be second, or whether he would have a moment along with Jonathon. Or even Nate. He needed to tell them about what he had been forced to do. He could still see it. Whenever he closed his eyes, he saw the fat headed pig who had managed to figure out who he was, the look in his eyes before he shot him and the spray of blood that had followed after he had been gunned down in his own home by Kole himself. The memory came with a shriek in his ears, leaving him uncomfortable and jumpy. He sat down on the couch facing the door for that reason, allowing himself to hold his head in his hands and to think about anything but that night - which unfortunately proved futile for the moment. He had even drawn concerned looks at the office that morning he had been so out of it.

It is currently 7:40pm on Monday January 7th 2013. An art auction and gala has been organized at the Genovese mansion in support of a charity called Homeward Bound which helps underprivileged youth in Manhattan have after school programs to be apart of, tutors and halfway houses. The business associates are to meet with Jonathon at 8:00pm. The auction will start shortly after, providing a cover for the meeting. Of course, afterward all associates are invited to enjoy the Gala with the other guests. The incident involving the old techie happened in late September but the hiring of the new techie has made it fresh in the minds of the family again. (I've put it four months ago so that he had time to recuperate) What's more, the FBI organized a raid on one of the family restaurants in the Upper West Side the day before. While the family was tipped off and nothing came of it, the family is tense regardless. In the aftermath an FBI handler was killed by informant Kole Marinos to prevent the knowledge of his position from being leaked.

The setting changes from genovese-mansion to Manhattan, New York

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Nate Hagen Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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The setting changes from manhattan-new-york to Genovese Mansion

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Nate Hagen Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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Nate Hagen

The adoptive brother of Jonahthon Genovese took everything relayed to him in complete silence. His dark eyes locked on Marinos as he spoke. Nate's jaw tightened as he listened to the hesitation before the explanation, the rush of information during and the regret after. He could see it in Kole's eyes, his face even his posture. He was revolted with himself, afraid yet resolved that what he did was for the right reason. He knows he did the right thing and was yet confused as to why he felt this way. The realization that one of Nate's greatest fears might just come to light struck him like a cold knife in the spine that twisted in his flesh and made him feel empty.

Nathan reached out a hand and squeezed the younger man's shoulder in warmth and brother hood. He locked eyes with Kole hoping to impress upon him the gravity of his words.

"Hey, hey look at me Kole. You did good...you did good."

Nate was disgusted with himself in that moment. He was nurturing the same behavior that created the monster that he was today in Kole but what else was he supposed to do? What other course of action could Kole had taken? The answer was none but it didn't help the pit in Nathan's stomach.

"You did what you had to do, we can't ask any more of you little brother. You took care of the body, you didn't leave anything behind pointing to you or the family. I'm...proud of Kole. You're handling this like a man, that's admirable. It's not easy, the first time but it helps knowing that what you did protected your family. It protected Dylan and Charlee, Lincoln and Victoria, and it protected Jonah."

Nate let his words sink in for a moment before giving Kole a nod of approval and puling his hand away. He reached for his beer and as if alerted by the conversation involving him Nate's phone rang with Jonah's name displaying across the screen. He picked up and was greeted by a terse, demanding voice.

“If you’re with Kole, would you gentlemen please escort yourselves to the library? The others should be arriving soon and I want to talk to him beforehand.”

Nate pocketed his phone after Jonah hung up and threw a thumb at the door.

"C'mon, the boss is waiting for us."

He said before taking a long swig of his beer and heading for the house with Kole close behind.

The setting changes from genovese-mansion to Manhattan, New York

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Kalista Ross Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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Crap.... I guess we're all doing it.

The setting changes from manhattan-new-york to Genovese Mansion

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Kalista Ross Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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Kalista Ross

Stepping out of her red Mustang, Kalista made sure to conceal to pistol at her thigh as well as the switch blade on her other thigh. In retrospect, wearing this beautiful dress was not been the greatest of ideas when she had a pistol with her, but the dress needed to be worn somewhere and this gathering seemed like the perfect place. Furthermore, Kalista had been in a good mood that day and wearing the gorgeous dress was representation of that.

As Kalista stepped out of the car, her black heels clicked slightly on the pavement. She looked around at the waiting cars with a look of indifference before leaning down to check her makeup in the side mirror. Seeing everything in order, Kalista stood up as tall as she could. She was a petite woman standing at only about five feet and the heels only added about two or three inches. However, since the entire Ross line had been very short, Kalista’s father had always told her that standing up straight, keeping your head up, and being proud of your height made people look past the fact that you were a shrimp. Lord knows where Kalista would have been had her father not told her that. Perhaps the only reason people had respect for Kalista was because of her pride and her ability to stand up to men twice her size.

Kalista stepped up to the waiting valet and placed the key in his hands. She stepped closer to the man, leaning over to him with a smile on her face and whispered into his ear, “If I see the slightest scratch on this car, you’ll be gone before anyone can miss you.” At first, the looked incredulously at Kalista, and finally, perhaps realizing the family that he was working for, realized that she was completely serious and went wide-eyed. The man nodded hastily and hurried around the car to the driver’s seat.
Kalista chuckled, as she watched the valet drive the car away cautiously; once looking behind him only to see Kalista’s eyes staring daggers at him. When the car was out of sight, Kalista ve one last chuckle and stepped up to the front door of the Genovese mansion. The bouncer stopped her and looked down at her for a moment with curiosity before a large smile became plastered on his face.

Kalista squinted up at him, crossed her arms in front of her, and tapped her foot impatiently. “Is there a reason you’re grinning like an idiot?”

The bouncer let out a rather loud laugh. “Ya haven’t changed a bit have ya, Skin.”

Kalista was normally able to keep every one of her emotions off her face; however, she couldn’t keep the small look of shock off her face as the man used her military nickname. Kalista scrutinized his face for a moment before she broke out in a grin as well. “Squint?” She asked, only just recognizing the man she hadn’t seen in years.

The man, “Squint”, didn’t say anything, but pulled Kalista in for a tight hug. Kalista laughed joyfully, something she hadn’t done in a long time. She returned the tight hug and then pulled back, smiling at the large man. “I didn’t know you were a bouncer for the family.”

Squint raised a single eyebrow at Kalista and gave her a fake half smile. “I bet you ten bucks I know what you’re doing for this family,” he said in a tone that told Kalista that he disapproved of her chosen occupation. Moreover than the other men Kalista had met overseas, Squint had always been the most protective and, even though he was smiling, she knew that he really did not approve.

Kalista’s smile faltered for a moment, but she plastered it back on her face quickly. However, Squint gave her a look that told her he had seen to quick look of dismay. Kalista sighed and dropped the façade. “Look, Squint, I ain’t proud of what I do, but I’m good at it and it pays the bills.” Suddenly, Kalista felt small. She had not felt this vulnerable in years and it didn’t feel good. Feeling emensly uncomfortable, Kalista stood up tall once more and put on her mask of indifference.

Squint looked like he wanted to argue with her, but seeing the already impatient line behind Kalista, he decided against it. He gave a heavy sigh, knowing better than to argue with Kalista. Instead, he nodded to her, quickly checked the phone in his hand to make sure she was on the list, and pulled her into another hug. He told her to find him if she ever wanted to have catch up, but knew that the attempt to rekindle their friendship would most likely be in vain.

With that, Kalista cast one last smile over her shoulder at Squint as she made her way through the doors to the mansion. She wished that she had kept in touch with the men she had fought with. The only time she ever seemed to be truly happy was around them. However, after becoming an assassin and a thief, Kalista knew that none of them would look at her in the same big-brother way that they had before. Kalista gave a short sigh of dismay at the thought, but quickly put back the mask of indifference over her features.

Kalista took a glass of champagne from a woman whom she knew that she recognized. She looked suspiciously after the woman, making a note to keep an eye on her, but otherwise walked on further into the mansion. Kalista didn’t show it, but she felt uncomfortable among them. She has always hated crowds. She loved sitting back and people watching, but being inside the crowd made her antsy. Especially a crowd such as this one; one full of snobby, malicious, rich people who were willing to do anything for their status. Kalista knew for a fact that many people thought the exact same thing about her and perhaps they were correct, but no one would ever be stupid enough to tell Kalista that. She gave a small into her champagne glass as she thought of this.

Kalista looked around at the crowd of people observing a work of art. Nearly every single one of them was feigning interest very well, and a few were pretending to understand the “meaning” behind the artwork. Kalista sighed to herself thinking about the fact that she should be acting more sociable, but the fact of the matter was that she would rather be at home at the moment. Maybe stealing something from one of these men would make me feel better, Kalista thought sarcastically.

Working for a crime boss had its perks and it also had its downsides. For example, being paid handsomely for jobs and coming to events such as this one were both perks; however, a downside was having no room for mistakes. Although, being as cocky as she was, Kalista knew that she had never made a mistake. Everyone thought that letting the drug dealer go had been a mistake, but Kalista knew that someone in the family had to be suspicious of her “slip-up”, seeing as she never made a mistake that big. Kalista frowned slightly to herself as she thought of her nephew. What if he had decided to show up at this event and finally exact revenge on the Genovese family? What if this was the night that Kalista would have to decide between killing the last standing member of her family, or most likely being taken out herself?

Kalista shook the frown from her face. What is wrong with me? I’m letting these strangers see my true emotions, Kalista thought to herself and she made her way through a throng of guests.

She noticed Dylan and Shae speaking and made a mental note of where they were. If her nephew, or anyone dangerous for that matter, decided to show up, Kalista wanted to keep them safe. Kalista’s job was not specifically to check up on the family, but she had always known that it was implied. She was supposed to take out anyone or anything that threatened the family, but that meant that she had to keep an eye on them to know who was threatening them. Besides, ever since the boss had basically saved her from herself when she had come back from combat, Kalista was eternally in debt to him. She would protect his family whether it was part of her job or not.

Kalista stood stiffly at on one wall for several moments before realizing that she must look quite strange with her elegant dress on as well as the stance of a bodyguard. Kalista forcibly loosened her muscles and made herself to look personable. She put on a slight smile and leaned slightly on one leg, making herself look as if she was a guest simply enjoying the night rather than an assassin who was only there because she had been summoned for a meeting with the boss.

The setting changes from genovese-mansion to Manhattan, New York

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Mick Carter Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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Jess carefully noted everybody who came in, whether they accepted champagne or not. Sienna Rose, the head of the Met. She knew the second in command of the family. Worth noting. Kalista Ross, assassin. Jess had to try hard not to narrow her eyes at her. Victoria Genovese herself even passed. Jess was constantly conscious of the time passing. She had to try and find Ethan, and get out as quickly as possible. Then Mick appeared. He recognized her, she knew it. "Excuse me, do you know where I can find some whiskey?"

She smiled politely. "Of course, sir. Follow me." She handed the tray to one of the other servants, giving them the look she gave her agents when they needed to know not to mess with her. Once they were out of site, Jess took off her glasses. "I don't have a lot of time. I've got to get out as soon as I can. I'm not safe, and while I'm here, neither are you. I got a call this morning. Frank's apartment was completely destroyed in a gas explosion. He had called me only minutes before, saying he was an inch away from finding our mole." She glanced back to where she was supposed to be. "I'm really sorry, Ethan. Listen... I've got to go. I'm only here until I can talk to all of my agents, but swing by the office tomorrow. We can talk this out. Please, don't do anything stupid. I can't lose any more good agents." She put a hand on his arm and pulled a bottle of whiskey and a glass from a cupboard, handing them to him. As she put her glasses back on, she sighed. "I'm really sorry, Mick." The switch to his alias reminded her- and hopefully him- of where they were and who they were surrounded by.

She strode across the hall once again, taking the tray back from the disgruntled servant. She readied her smile, but her mind was on the phone call she had received earlier that day.

Manhattan, 5.00 AM

Jess was out running in early morning Manhattan. Nightmares had awoken her and the only way she could calm her thoughts was by doing a little working out. The streets were quiet, and she met very few people on her run. As she passed Central Park, her phone began to ring. Nobody but her team would contact her this early in the morning. She pulled it from her pocket and answered it, a little out of breath.

"Jessica Garcia."

"Jess, it's important. Where are you?"

She looked around. "Central Park. No-one suspicious. What's wrong?"

"Can you smell smoke?"

One of the stranger questions she'd been asked in her career, considering the context.

"Uh, yeah, actually. What the hell is wrong? Don't beat around the bush, Nolan."

"That's from Frank Karpathy's apartment. Gas explosion, apparently. Two civilians dead, as well as Frank."

"Fuck."

Jess stared towards Frank's apartment, before sprinting back in the direction she came from, struggling to hold her phone to her ear. "Have you got a forensics team there?" She shouted into her phone. "Yeah. I don't think there's going to be much left for them to process, though, Jess."

Present, Genovese Mansion

Jess blinked and returned to the present. They had been so freaking close. And then they had lost it. And him. Frank had been a good agent. His name had been added to the list that Jess had promised herself she would shoot Jonathon Genovese for. She had a hard time keeping her composure, but she managed.

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Dylan sighed. Kole and Nate had disappeared, leaving him with no-one to talk to. He watched everyone, from the waitress serving champagne to the new techie. He had slipped his phone into his pocket and was waiting for an opportunity to pull it out and start toying with some website. He had already been to the kitchens to make sure they held Kole his pigs in blankets. He knew all too well his mother wouldn't necessarily approve of Kole's choice, but that wasn't Dylan's problem.

He had to admit, he was a little bitter. He was tired of being treated like a kid by everyone. Sure, he was only fifteen. The fact remained, if he tried, he could hack into all of their bank accounts and donate the contents to a charity, while looking as if he was merely playing one of those brainless games that other boys of his age liked. He didn't want to be involved in the business, but he wanted to be treated with respect. He positioned himself where he could meet the guests, a gracious smile on his face.

He was lost in his own thoughts when Charlee appeared. He missed what she said to him, but his grin widened as he realised she was there. "Hey, sis. Enjoying the opportunity to get dressed up? I know I'm not- well, not really." He said, smiling at his older sister.

The setting changes from manhattan-new-york to Genovese Mansion

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Sienna Rose Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Lydia Arden
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"And... She's back," Lydia confirmed, her voice filled with triumph and relief as the long, constant bleep of the heart rate monitor was replaced by intermittent bleeping, indicating a heartbeat. She took her hands of the patient’s chest where, only moments ago, they’d been rhythmically pressing down on it in an attempt to restart her heart. The muscles in her arms immediately relaxed as they fell back to her sides and her laboured breathing from the exertion of keeping someone alive evened out.

The girl lying out on the bed was just nine years old, the age Lydia’s brother had been when he’d died, she thought bitterly. Her long, blonde hair fanned out around her heart shaped face and wires wound their way under the sheets to various places where they disappeared under her pale skin. Machines sounded around her as they monitored everything from the child’s heart rate to the oxygen level in her blood. Messy, quickly dressed bandaged criss-crossed her chest and her tiny wrist was bent at an angle, in serious need of a cast. The girl had been in a serious car crash with her child-minder. The adult had died upon impact but the little girl was saved by being in the backseat of the car. She’d been rushed into the ER where Lydia and her team had been working tirelessly on her for the last ten minutes, until, thirty seconds ago, the girl had crashed. But they’d managed to stabilise her, meaning Lydia was fairly confident about her chances of survival. Now she needed to be taken up to the ICU for more tests to make certain she wouldn’t need surgery. But, as Lydia was about to issue the order, she felt a hand on her arm.

“Dr Arden,” Lydia turned at the sound of her name, being met by the face of her boss, Dr Jacobs, “Your shift ended twenty minutes ago. What are you still doing here?”

“I just had some things to finish off… I’ve just got to get this girl up to-“ she was cut off.

“I’ll make sure the girl makes it up to ICU safely. You go home,” Dr Jacobs told her.

Lydia glanced at her watch, aware she was meant to be at the Genovese’s Gala in just forty minutes, a prospect which was looking fairly unlikely at the moment.

“It’s fine, really,” Lydia reassured, but once more she was cut off, “I just have a few more things to-“

“Go,” Dr Jacobs told her firmly. “Hospital policy says you should’ve been off this site twenty minutes ago.” Lydia liked Dr Jacobs. They had an understanding between the two of them. She would be able to continue flitting off when she was required by the Genovese family, and he would turn a blind eye, as long as she continued to work hard and continue saving lives under his leadership.

Lydia finally nodded. “But the patient needs ten milligrams Actilyse and fifteen milligrams of-“

“-propafenone, I know,” Dr Jacobs finished for her.

Lydia flashed him a grateful smile, before leaving the girl in his capable hands and making her way along the corridor to the office she shared with others on the same pay grade as her. Here, she hung up her white coat and collected her bag before making her way towards the exit. As she followed the long hospital corridors, Lydia stopped outside room five hundred and twenty-seven before pushing open the door tentatively. Mr Myers was sat up in his bed doing something with his phone.

“How are you feeling?” she asked, her voice a little lower than if she were talking to an ordinary patient. Because, in actual fact, Mr Myers was a man sent by the Genovese’s, requesting he was hidden within the system. He had a bullet to his abdomen that, although serious at first, he was recovering from well now. She had a feeling it was from a drugs trafficking operation gone wrong, but she didn’t know for certain. That was the whole point of her job. She didn’t ask questions, she just did as she was told and saved lives.

She exchanged a few words with Mr Myers before checking his stats and leaving the room. Finally, at half past seven she had left the hospital. The drive home wasn’t far, but with the current New York traffic she found herself stationary more than actually moving. Lydia was always late, to everything. It was a terrible habit of hers that she wished she could do something about, but never seemed to be able to overcome, no matter how hard she tried. Eventually, she reached her house.

Quickly, Lydia showered and blow-dried her hair out before styling it neatly into a low bun, slightly to the left of her head. She chose out a blue dress that she’d bought for the event last week and slipped into the tight, shiny blue material that clung to her curvy figure. Though they could barely be seen under the length of the dress, her heels were a dark coral pink, to match the jewels set into her large earrings. She reapplied all her makeup naturally, and once certain it was good enough, she left.

The journey to the Genovese’s wasn’t much quicker than the journey from the hospital to home, but she wasn’t too late, thankfully. That was one of the good things Lydia found about living in New York, at least it was fashionable to be late here.

“Name, please?” one of the bouncers enquired as she reached the door of the Genovese’s mansion.

“Dr Lydia Arden,” Lydia told them, unfazed by the security. She knew how worried Victoria had become recently about protecting her family, especially her children. This was only to be expected.

The bouncer stepped to the side to let her in. “Have a nice evening, Dr Arden,” he said politely.

“Thank you,” Lydia smiled, entering the house.

She attended plenty of Victoria’s parties, and so, was familiar with the faces that usually frequented them. Mostly it was socialites and the influential rich. But, despite how much Lydia saw of these people, she never felt entirely comfortable in their presence. She was aware they looked down on her, mainly because she actually worked for a living, and of course, because she wasn’t on the arm of a wealthy husband.

As she entered the large room where the main party had begun, Lydia spotted Dylan and Charlee standing together. Charlee had said something to him, and Lydia flashed them both a friendly smile. She was particularly fond of the Genovese children. She’d been present at each of their births and throughout their childhoods. Every time they’d got sick, she’d been there to prescribe them antibiotics, if required, or just to promise them they’d feel better soon. She’d even performed Charlee’s abortion for her, a memory of the children Lydia didn’t hold with quite so much affection. In a way, her familiarity with the children helped her with the fact that she didn’t, and now probably never would, have any children of her own.

Across the room, Lydia saw Victoria, stood talking to… Lydia looked again, not quite believing what she saw. Sienna Rose? She hadn’t been around for… Years. Crossing the room, Lydia went to let Victoria know she’d arrived.

“Victoria,” she greeted her with a smile, kissing her on the cheek, the familiarity of the friendship easily evident. Then, Lydia looked at Sienna. “I apologise for interrupting,” she told her, her apology genuine. “Sienna,” she greeted the other woman with a less familiar smile. They’d never been close, but she was one of the few others who had been around the family as long as Lydia had, and she was still pleased to see her, if a little surprised.

The setting changes from genovese-mansion to Manhattan, New York

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Sienna Rose Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Lydia Arden
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Lincoln Genovese


“Candy, why don’t you mingle with the other guests? I’ll just say hi to my family.”
“But---“
“It’ll just take a few minutes.” He cut her off laughing. “Go on. I’ll see you in a bit.” Cindy pouted but sauntered towards the group of women by the windows. Linc walked briskly towards the stairs and climbed up the second floor. He guessed the meeting will take place in the library. He’s jogging past the rooms and stopped in front of a polished oak door. A closed oak door. He sighed. He’s not gonna be in this meeting and he wouldn’t dare knock. His Genovese pride wouldn’t let him. Linc exhaled slowly and smoothed his Calvin Klein suit. He tugged at his collar and adjusted his bowtie. He’d love to get out of his suit but he has to keep up with appearances. There will be other meetings. He will be involved in the family business, it’s inevitable. Like the waves crashing to the shore. It will happen. He smiled as he walked back to the party.

He spotted his mother, in deep conversation with Sienna and Dr. Arden. Her mother dressed in a moss green gown, exudes an aura of confidence and elegance. He’d talk to his mother later. He plucked a glass of champagne from a passing waiter and scanned the room once more. The crème de la crème of New York is in complete attendance. Anybody who is somebody was invited. He saw his siblings, Dylan and Shae standing together and he decided to come up and say hi.

“Did I miss anything?” he said by way of greeting.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Special Agent Luke Hitch
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A voice suddenly spoke in Jess's earpiece. She'd forgotten that she had put it in before leaving the office. Her superiors in the office had a direct connection to it. She had to try hard not to jump. "Uh, Jess? There's a guy here demanding to see you. He's scaring the office workers. What do we tell him? He's FBI, anyway, judging by the heavy weaponry and the quite authentic looking badge." Jess had to try hard not to swear. She wasn't sure how to reply. If she just started talking, she'd be thrown out on the grounds of insanity. If she tried to cover her mouth, she'd only have one hand to hold the tray with. Which was freaking heavy.

She hoped for the best as she muttered under her breath, "Who is he?" It appeared her microphone was sensitive enough to pick her up, as the reply came in her ear. "He claims to be Special Agent Luke Hitch, new tactical leader." She thought for a moment, before mentally cringing. She knew that he was supposed to be arriving sometime soon, just... not this soon. "Yeah. Um, tell him where I am. And please warn him about scaring the office workers."

FBI Organised Crime Headquarters

"Agent Hitch?" The man who had just been speaking with Jess emerged from his office. "I'm Agent Murdock. I work with Agent Garcia. She asked me to inform you of her whereabouts at this present moment in time. Please, step into her office. It's possibly the most secure room in the office."

"She's at the Genovese gala. I assure you, she is armed and disguised to prevent recognition. I saw her disguise myself, it should be sufficient. She also has contact with us through a headset and hidden microphone." He held up the headset to assure the... much larger man that it wouldn't be seen. It was shaped similarly to those hidden hearing aids. "It connects wirelessly to a microphone. We are aiming to get her out as soon as possible."

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Dylan grinned as Linc approached. "Did I miss anything?" His older brother asked. "Not much. I think there was a mishap involving a tray of champagne in the kitchens a little while ago. I don't know, I was upstairs. But there was quite a lot of glass around and a liquid on the floor that definitely smelt like champagne." Dylan had only been two when they had been kidnapped, but he could vaguely remember Lincoln telling him that everything would be okay. That was the kind of thing that Dylan always remembered and would hopefully always remember, no matter what his brother did.

The setting changes from manhattan-new-york to Genovese Mansion

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Lydia Arden
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Shae threw one arm around her little brother's shoulders. "Me? Miss a chance to dress up? Never." she told him, voice dripping with sarcasm. The ecstasy hadn't kicked in yet and Shae wanted nothing more than to blow the party and hide in her room. One look across the room at their mother and Shae knew it would be impossible to do such a thing. "Why aren't you enjoying yourself?" Shae asked Dylan. She could understand why he wouldn't be though. He was far too young and protected to be a part of the family business, and Shae prayed that even as he grew up he'd never be exposed to anything of the sorts. She'd only been four when she and her siblings had been kidnapped and she vaguely remembered the details herself. In Shae's opinion, Dylan shouldn't have to grow up facing things like that and she would do almost anything to make sure he didn't. Dylan and Shae were probably the youngest ones in attendance, which certainly could put a damper on things. There was only Jonah's business associates and older men and women to schmooze. Add everything up and it equaled an evening of certain boredom.

Caught in conversation with her brother, Shae barely noticed Dr. Arden flash a smile in their direction. Nonetheless, Shae returned it and continued socializing. Before Dylan had the opportunity to answer, Lincoln walked up. "Did I miss anything?" he asked his younger siblings. Charlee let Dylan take the reins and while he answered about spilled champagne, her mind wondered and her body relaxed. Shae wasn't sure if it was the beginning effects of the E or if it was Linc's presence. Whenever he was around, she'd always felt more relaxed - protected. She knew that her brother would never let a single thing happen to her as long as he could help it. He had been the one to keep both she and Dylan calm during their kidnapping. If there was one person she trusted on this earth, it would have to be Lincoln.

After Dylan had finished talking, Shae took it as an opportunity to question her brother about his date tonight. "So, who's the broad?" she asked, her tone defensive and weary. Shae was always concerned when Lincoln had a new girl on his arm. Her brother could handle himself in his love affairs, obviously, but the first girl to break his heart would get a not-so-nice visit from one Charlee Shae Genovese.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Charlee Shae Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Theodore Kinlan Character Portrait: Special Agent Luke Hitch
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FBI Headquarters

Murdock stared at Jess's various certificates on the wall as he tried to think of how to deal with the intimidating man who stood in front of him. "I understand your concern for Agent Garcia. She understands the importance of staying out of Jonathon Genovese's way and getting out as soon as possible. Agent Garcia is also, shall we say, well capable of handling herself." Murdock smiled to himself as he remembered the time she had punched a reporter in the face because he was getting in her way on the way to a crime scene. Everyone in the area had somehow managed to be looking the other way, or so they told the reporter. They had all preferred Jess to that asshole. That was long before her liaison days. "We would contact her, but it's too risky. We have people monitoring the situation in the mansion, and if anything starts to go wrong, she can get out." A message beeped on the computer. He stepped behind the desk and opened it up, frowning.

Genovese Mansion

Jess's tray now appeared to be empty. She had only managed to speak to one of her agents, and it appeared her fortune cookie idea hadn't worked. She made her way back to the kitchen. As she turned into the kitchen, her phone vibrated. She dumped the tray and stepped outside, pulling the phone from the pocket in her skirt. There was a message from Theo.

Get out ASAP. I'm not comfortable with this. Get out.


She trusted Theo's advice. She hadn't a clue as to how he knew what the situation was in the mansion, but it was obviously important. She managed to slip back through the kitchen without being assaulted with another duty. There was one last thing she had to do, though. Kole needed to know. He had assured her he would be there, and she hadn't heard from her other agent. She held her shoes in her hands, knowing she couldn't be stealthy with the heels. She listened for voices as she passed each room. She didn't get halfway down the hall before her phone vibrated. She snatched it from her pocket in an attempt to try and shut it up. Luckily the soft fabric of the skirt pocket muffled it a little, hopefully enough to avoid detection. She opened up the message and read it. Now it was Murdock warning her to get out. She guessed Theo had probably contacted him too. They probably both had a point. Jonathon Genovese could emerge from any of these offices at any point, and she didn't really want to face him without any back-up. Especially because, without doubt, he'd have several of his gorillas with guns with him. And if she was killed, it really wouldn't be good for the team. She stealthily made her way down the hall, slipping her shoes back on before she re-entered the main hall.

She pulled off her glasses and let down her hair. There. She felt more like herself now. The sooner that she got home and washed out this damned hair dye, the better. Her car was parked a few streets away and she unlocked it, sliding into the seat gratefully. She pulled out a disposable phone from the glove box and dialed out Kole's number. As she had hoped, it was turned off and went straight to voicemail.

"Kole. It's Jess. Call me at the office the minute you're free. The minute it's safe enough for you to call me, do so."

She then dialed out another number.

"Special Agent Murdock."

"Murdock, it's me. I got a message from You-Know-Who telling me to get out. I managed to talk to Mick, but it was too risky for me to try and talk to Kole. I left a message on his phone to call me ASAP. I'll be back at the office in a few. I need to go home and change first."

A few minutes later, Jess strode into the office, dressed in a more comfortable outfit. One of the desk workers jumped to his feet. "Special Agent Garcia! There was a man here demanding to see you, called..." She held up a hand as she passed his desk. "Special Agent Luke Hitch, I know. Back to work, Aaron. He's not going to hurt you for not telling him where I was." She reassured him as she headed for her office. She took a deep breath as she opened the door.

A tall, imposing man was standing in the middle of the floor. Murdock was standing behind her desk. She held out a hand to the newcomer. "Special Agent Luke Hitch, I presume. I'm Jess Garcia." She looked over at the man standing behind her desk. "It's okay, Murdock. You can go now." The other man nodded as he left, and Jess took her seat behind the desk, trying to resist the temptation to put her boots on the desk. It wasn't a habit she usually had, but after the heels and the skirt and everything, she felt like she needed to chill. But boots on the desk would appear extremely inappropriate in front of a new co-worker.

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He turned to Shae when what she had said registered. "And in response to your question, I don't enjoy myself in social situations. I enjoy myself in my room fixing robots with my headphones in." Although he was using his headphones less and less after what had happened to Theo. He didn't like the thought of not being able to hear gunshots. If anything happened to his family, he didn't want to be the last to know. He didn't know if he could help, seeing as he'd be more likely to hit one of them as opposed to their assailant if he had a gun. He really needed to build a robot to compensate for that. Would mounting a machine gun on a remote control robot be too drastic? Yeah, probably.

He was lost in his plans until Shae spoke again. "So, who's the broad?" Dylan grinned at his brother. "Yeah. Where'd you find this one?" He joked. He did enjoy winding his siblings up.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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Lincoln always knew he'd miss Shae and Dylan when he moved out of the mansion but he didn't know how much until this moment. Whenever Linc was around them, he always feels relaxed. And at the same time, his eyes scanned the crowd for anything suspicious. He remembered the kidnapping clearly and now that he's old enough, he vowed to protect his family. Dylan mention about champagne glasses flooding the kitchen and he can almost imagine his mother. Barking orders like a military general in her high heels. Poor staff. They probably cowered in fear.

"So, who's the broad?" Shae asked.

"Yeah. Where'd you find this one?" Dylan chimed in.

"No one you know." He chuckled. Candy was an intern at ESPN. She covered his fencing match and after the interview he asked her out. He'd been banging her since. Of course, he's not the kiss and tell type and that's just too much information. He also found out that his father is the country manager for a big liquor and tobacco conglomerate. He spotted Candy and the blond bombshell gave her a wink. Man, he'll be having some sweet Candy tonight.

"Dylan, can you change the background to black and the letters to white? " Linc said as he handed Dylan his iPhone. "I'm just trying out something so I don't overly strain my eyes." He added. In truth, its better for his dyslexia. He accidentally discovered it when he read the police decal on the side of the cop car. He was driving and he happen to at his side. His brain immediately identified the letters.

"Poppet, your dress has a conservative front and an obscene behind." He said in disapproval as he studied her blue dress. His big brother protective instincts kicking into gear. "And no champagne for you. You're underage remember? " Lincoln plucked the flute glass out of her hands and handed it to a passing waiter.

The setting changes from genovese-mansion to Manhattan, New York

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Theodore Kinlan Character Portrait: Special Agent Luke Hitch
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Jess grinned at Hitch. "I'd appreciate if you didn't send a fully armed team into my office. The poor office workers are terrified enough as it is." The grin didn't last long. It was replaced by a different expression, a mix of weariness and frustration. "And I wasn't trying to get information. I'm guessing you heard of Frank Karpathy's accident." She made quote marks in the air with her fingers. "I had to try and tell my agents. Frank was minutes away from finding out who the mole in the operation was. They had to know as soon as possible, for their own safety. I got clearance from my superiors within this department to get myself in there, as long as I got myself out of there as quickly as I could." As she spoke, her phone vibrated in her pocket. She pulled it out, reading Theo's message. "Gone to eat?" She understood the message perfectly. It appeared that he could get into the house's camera system and was wondering about her location.  She opened up her own email and typed a quick message. "Had to get out. Murdock had a gut feeling, and our new tactical leader was scaring the office workers." She sent it, before swivelling back to face Hitch.

She could vividly remember the night she had heard of Theo's death. She had been in the office late yet again, preparing notes for a lecture a friend had asked her to give. She didn't have access to as many case files at her apartment, so she had decided to finish up in her office. The phone had rung, and as was customary to do when a phone rang, she had answered it. Ten minutes later, after she had hung up, she had been swearing loudly, so loudly the office workers had brought in coffee in the hope that they could find out what was wrong. Guilt had plagued her constantly. She had been constantly in and out of meetings, trying to balance managing the case and persuading the superiors that her case was still viable. She hadn't slept in the twenty four hours or so until she had gotten that call. She hadn't slept for approximately another thirty six hours as she had tried to straighten everything out. But relief and determination had gotten her through. She was glad Theo had pulled through. She had been genuinely fond of the techie. And he hadn't estranged himself from her. They had kept in contact, and he had agreed to keep working with her. She had gone to see him yesterday, pleased to see that he was finally walking unaided and was beginning to return to full health. He still wasn't his old self, though. It was probably to be expected, but Jess hated it. She missed Theo's old, bouncy, bubbly, slightly irritating personality and the energy it injected into the room.

"So. If we're going to be working together, there are a few things you need to know about me. I work late a lot. I don't expect you to work the same hours as I do. However, I would appreciate it if you make me go home when I'm here when you leave and I'm still here when you arrive in again. And if I ask for coffee, don't argue. If you're busy, send one of the office workers for it. I get extremely, extremely crabby when my caffeine levels run low. Ask any of the office workers. I've been known to throw stuff at them when I've been particularly stressed and when my caffeine and sugar levels are low." She grinned. "Anything I should know about you?"

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Dylan took the phone, his mind already trying how to figure out how to change the text. "It would be much easier if I had my laptop..." He murmured to himself. But his fingers started flying over the keyboard, typing in commands. His brow furrowed in concentration, and he became dead to the world. He started to think in code, and a few tricks that Theo had taught him came to mind. He tried them, and while they didn't solve the problem, they made it one hell of a lot easier to straighten it out. He typed in a few more commands, then smiled in triumph. He handed the phone to Lincoln. "If you want to try out any other colours, just let me know. It's just a matter of changing... Never mind." Dylan couldn't help but think that Theo would have understood what he was about to come out with.

His eyes probed the room, looking for the new techie, Jacqueline Siqueira. He wanted to get to know more about her and was hoping that she, like Theo, could teach him more. He took a mental note of her location. 

His phone buzzed in his pocket. He slipped it out. There was a new email from an unknown address. Instinctively, he would have put it in an isolated folder so it couldn't infect his phone and would have scanned it on his laptop for security risks. But the subject line caught his attention. It read;

"Message from a friend"

He frowned to himself, typing in a short command to try and trace the message. There was a moment's pause, and then an error message popped up. His frown deepened. Theo had taught him that command. Only the most secure networks were protected from the command. Dylan allowed a small grin on his face. Anyone on those networks was a friend of his. But he still wasn't prepared to throw caution to the wind. He typed in a few more commands, ones that he knew should reveal more about the nature of the message. The only one that turned up anything was the mini scan for malware. It showed the message as clean. He still would have preferred to do a full scan on his laptop, but curiosity got the better of him. 

“Secret. Double check your primary power source on bot. Tell me what you find.”

He frowned. He was puzzled as to who exactly had sent the message. Someone who had evidently been into his room, had knowledge about robots, and knew how to avoid his commands. He typed a reply.

"Who is this?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Sienna Rose Character Portrait: Nate Hagen Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Lydia Arden
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...Wrong location. Sorry.

The setting changes from manhattan-new-york to Genovese Mansion

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Sienna Rose Character Portrait: Nate Hagen Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Lydia Arden
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Victoria pulled Lydia into a friendly hug, smiling weakly at her. Lydia took in the matriarch’s expression of tight-lipped concern. Clearly, things had not gone quite as smoothly as she had been hoping they would tonight. And Lydia had a feeling it was something to do with Sienna Rose’s presence.

Victoria’s next whispered words confirmed this, “Thank God, a friend without a problem for me to deal with.”

Lydia laughed softly at her friend and tilted her head slightly, giving her a small, sympathetic smile.

“We just finished dealing with a crisis. No harm done,” Victoria said in response to Lydia’s apology. She then turned back to the conversation with Sienna, strangely, Lydia noted, regarding Sienna’s role in tonight’s art auction. She referred to Sienna being here with the MET. She must have taken a job there when she returned, Lydia concluded. Evidently, though, this meant she was back for good, a fact that was certain not to go down well with everyone here tonight. Though Lydia had never played a large part in Sienna’s relationship with Nathaniel Hagen and her subsequent departure, following their split, she had been aware of the situation. She’d also had a few lengthy conversations with Victoria not long after Sienna had left, regarding what had happened.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Jonathon Genovese appeared. Victoria’s reception of her husband was icy and she took a step away from him, where he’d come to stand at her side, a very clear show that something between them was not right.

The patriarch turned his attention towards Lydia, nodding slightly towards her in greeting. ”Good evening, Doctor.” The greeting was by no stretch of the imagination friendly, but, it was formal and respectful, which was more than Sienna was about to receive.

“Mr Genovese,” she returned the greeting with a smile. Although she was nowhere near as close to Jonathon as she was to Victoria, she was still very familiar with the man after years of service to his family. Usually, she probably would’ve addressed him simply as Jonathon, but under such a formal situation, and especially one as tense as this, she thought it best to remain impersonal. Besides, he was kind of her informal boss, so to speak. Which reminded her, she still needed to talk to Victoria about the people that had come through the hospital early that morning, following an explosion in a house near central park. Two people had come in dead, one the owner of the house, the other a young man who was walking his dog past the house when it happened. The pregnant girlfriend of the dog walker had been brought in too, clinging to life by a tendril. Lydia had been the attending doctor on her case. She’d worked tirelessly to save the woman, even more so after being told she was pregnant, but her injuries were too severe. She had burns from the explosion to most of her body and was bleeding onto her brain after being thrown back by the blast and hitting her head. Really, there was nothing Lydia or anyone else could’ve done to save her. Tomorrow, Lydia needed to write a report up for her death. The hospital were looking over the body of the homeowner and deciding, in their opinion, if they thought the death was an accident. Lydia had come to understand that any particularly violent death in this city was rarely an accident and that the Genovese’s or one of their associates was usually, in some way, related to the incident. She needed to find out from Victoria if these deaths had been their doing and whether Lydia needed to make certain they were ruled an accident, to cover the Genovese’s backs.

Jonathon then turned to his wife, leaning close to her he whispered something in her ear that Lydia couldn’t quite catch. But whatever it was certainly did not please Victoria. Her expression became colder and she took another step away from the man she was supposed to love.

Jonathon’s piercing blue eyes fell on Sienna with the cruellest gaze before announcing, ” Ah, and dear, would you please get this… woman… out of my house before I do it myself? Do not tell him anything.” He took a threatening step towards Sienna and Lydia, not for the first time in her life, was glad the mafia boss was fond enough of her never to take this tone with her.

Victoria was fuming. “Now you wait a damn minute,”

But Jonathon wasn’t done there. He took another step towards Sienna and told her quietly in the bitterest tone Lydia had heard him use in a long time, “You practically tore out my best friend’s heart when you left him, you little bitch. You have a lot of nerve showing your face in my house. Get the fuck out before you leave here in a less than pretty state.”

Lydia watched on, astonishment on her pretty features. That was low, even for Jonathon. Usually he had enough respect and courtesy to at least take someone to the side instead of throwing them out of a party in amongst the most affluent of New York. Public humiliation wasn’t usually Jonathon’s style; he preferred to hurt someone quickly, as opposed to making them suffer. If he was being this ruthless towards Sienna, he clearly had a point to prove and a deep hatred for the woman. Maybe there was more to the story than Lydia had originally thought?

“Don't bother. I know my way out of here very well,” Sienna told her, pre-empting Victoria’s response, who, meanwhile, looked murderous.

”Sienna!” Victoria called. Sienna ignored her protest and exchanged a few words with a blonde Lydia recognised from somewhere, but wasn’t familiar with. She presumed she was something to do with the art auction. Sienna then turned back to Victoria, explaining a few more details surrounding the MET’s involvement in tonight’s proceedings before wishing her a good night.

Victoria, again, tried to protest, but Sienna had already crossed the room to leave. Acknowledging this, the matriarch turned back to her husband, offering him a furious rant. And rightly so, Lydia thought to herself, not that she would be sharing that opinion in front of Jonathon. He’d been more than harsh to Sienna and had humiliated not only her, but Victoria too. His bullying behaviour, although characteristic of him in his career, should be kept for his enemies and not his wife.

Jonathon left and Victoria turned back to Lydia. ”I’m sorry. I will talk to you in a minute.” Lydia gave her an understanding nod as she watched the woman leave after Sienna.

Gazing across the room, Lydia watched the other guests. She must’ve been to a hundred of Victoria’s parties over the years, but she still never quite felt as if she fitted in. She was familiar with most of these society men and women who frequented these parties with their loose purse strings and socially-climbing agendas, yet they still looked down on her. Of course, Lydia could go and talk to some of them while she waited for Victoria to return, and she could watch them greet her with tight-lipped, false smiles. But as she looked out across the sea of opulent dresses and showy suits, the Genovese children caught her eye once more. Lincoln was with them now; Dylan was doing something with his phone and Lydia watched him hand it back to his brother with a triumphant smile.

But Lydia’s gaze caught on Charlee. Maybe it was just a trick of the light, or the way she turned her head, but Lydia, in her constant doctor’s mind-set, saw something a little…off about the girl. Her pupils looked dilated, and Lydia did a double take, wondering if it was just her imagination. Someone else without a medical background may not have noticed it, but Lydia was well attuned to a body’s natural response to stimulus, and Charlee’s eyes should not look like that. There were a number of elaborate medical conditions that could’ve caused that response, but Lydia came to a less innocent conclusion about the young girl. When the doctor had taken some of Charlee’s blood a month after the abortion, just to make sure all the hormones in her body had returned to where they should be, the results had come back not quite as Lydia had expected. There’d been traces of cocaine and Tramadol, a pain reliever, in Charlee’s blood. At first, the older woman considered telling Victoria, but Charlee was miserable enough as it was. She didn’t need her mother’s concern and harassment upsetting her more. So Lydia passed it off as a phase. The poor girl was, understandably, heartbroken over the abortion, but she wasn’t a bad girl, so to speak. Lydia was certain that, as soon as she came to terms with what had happened, she would get off the pills and return to normal. Recently, Lydia’s worries had been put to rest as she saw Charlee’s studies going well and her prospects of getting into a good university looked positive. But maybe she’d been wrong.

Lydia approached the children as they stood away from all the other adults in a little group together. Dylan looked wrapped up in something on his phone, and Lincoln had just got his own phone back.

“Hey Linc, Dylan,” she smiled at the two boys, but she didn’t expect a great deal of a response back. Besides, it was more Charlee she was interested in.

Close up, the doctor confirmed what she’d already suspected about her enlarged pupils and her eyes were ever so slightly glassy. Perhaps talking to the girl would gain her more of an insight, Lydia concluded. “Shae,” she smiled friendly at the girl with a certain familiarity that only knowing someone for the length of time Lydia had known Charlee for could bring. “How’s applying for colleges going then?” she enquired. Partly, she was interested in her life, but she was mostly trying to confirm her suspicions regarding Charlee’s possible drug habit.

The setting changes from genovese-mansion to Manhattan, New York

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Lydia Arden Character Portrait: Special Agent Luke Hitch
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"You want to know if there's anything you need to know about me? I like to take my targets down hard and give them no where to run. When there world comes down around them, then I'm happier then a pig in shit. As far as helping you get home to get your beauty sleep you might as well ask someone else because as long as I'm in New York, I don't stop working. My job's not done until Jonathon Genovese is behind bars. I will turn this bastards entire family against him if it means bringing him in. His wife, his kids, his damn great grammy are all fair game as far as I'm concerned." Jess grinned. That grin slipped as he asked about Frank's investigation, then widened as he deposited sweets on her desk. "Oh, Hitch, I think we're going to get along just perfectly."

She handed Hitch a brown paper folder emblazoned with the FBI logo. "That's everything you need to know about the case. I have two suspects. Kole Marinos and... Well, you can see for yourself. I'm pretty sure Ethan, or "Mick", isn't our mole." She ripped open the packet of sweets, popping one in her mouth. "Kole... Well, he fits in a little too well with the Genovese family for my liking. But he's a good agent. And... Unless you've met him, you can't quite understand Kole." Jess couldn't quite word what she meant, but she hoped the information in the file would be enough.

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"Problem?" Dylan heard Linc ask. He looked up. "Oh, it's nothing." Just then, Doctor Arden appeared. "Hey, Linc, Dylan." She said, watching Shae closely. "Hey, Doc." Dylan greeted her. He was still puzzled about who the message was from. There was something familiar about the whole thing. It felt like he knew exactly who the sender was, like the name was on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn't get it out.

For some reason, his first encounter with Theo came to mind.

It felt like so long ago. Dylan had been trying to retrieve an early prototype of the robot he was building. Instead of no remote, however, it had been controlled from his laptop. Unfortunately, it had misinterpreted an order and had smashed, going full speed, into a table leg. The table leg had been left intact, luckily enough, but the robot hadn't. It's entire control panel had been smashed. Dylan was trying to locate the wreck. He had passed by the techie and had gotten a glimpse at the techie's laptop screen. Dylan's curious nature had, of course, provoked him to try and get a better look, and ask the inevitable question, "How are you doing that?"

And thus their friendship had begun.

Dylan gave up trying to think of anyone who could have sent him that message. The list was too long. It could be the new Techie, but why didn't just she come over and speak to him? And he was pretty sure that she hadn't left the room to investigate his robot.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Anthony "Tony" Rizzo Character Portrait: Carter Adams Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Kalista Ross Character Portrait: Sienna Rose Character Portrait: Mick Carter Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Rebecca Vendetti Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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#, as written by Mela
Jonathon Genovese


Jonah remained only to let Victoria speak, his gaze on the finger she was poking at him with. Once she was done menstruating, Jonah calmly but firmly took her wrist and removed her hand from his chest, before he, just as calmly, but with a cold gaze still, said “Victoria, do not start a scene.” His eyes flared up at that, a sliver of fire, his temper showing her to stop now else regret it. He really did not feel like dealing with her theatrics tonight. He would not tolerate her taking this route; he would have no social suicide tonight, and that was what the two of them arguing in the middle of this event, would be. “And I had every right. I don’t give a fuck who she is; don’t you dare go against me on this,” he said more quietly, for her ears only. Then he curtly gave her a nod and was off.

As he texted and walked, Jonah thought things over. Mostly him and Vicky. They had been slipping more and more apart lately, and where her defiance usually turned him on, it now irritated him instead. He didn’t know why, and he hated having to do this to his wife. He hated the fact that he wasn’t himself at the moment, and his intense focus on the business was pulling him away from his children too. Once in the private, quiet corridors upstairs, Jonah sighed, rubbing his neck. He loved Victoria; would do anything for her, but he would not draw her deeper into the business right now. He didn’t like the thought of her exposed and taking an obvious part in the business right now, because if he went down… then she would go down with him. And where would that leave their children?

Where would that leave his youngest son, who although bright, was far from ready to be by himself in the real world? What would happen to Charlee, who was already so very lost, Jonah had no idea how to help her? Ever since her pregnancy, Jonah had had people tracing her every move, so he knew more about her activities than a father would ever like to. He just wasn’t sure whether to tell Vicky or not. He’d told her about the abortion once it was done, but he had told her not to mention it to their daughter. Charlee had been plenty freaked as it was.

And then they had Lincoln. Their oldest kid, who although dyslexic was able to fight his way through college; how would he fare? Probably better than the others, but Linc would drop out of college. Jonah didn’t doubt that. His son was a fighter and he would devote all of his time to trying to help his siblings, while also wanting to keep some sliver of the business going. Jonah shook his head thinking about it. No. He couldn’t have Victoria anywhere near the line of fire anymore. The threat was too great. He knew she hated him for reducing her to what she called a trophy wife, but what else was he to do? Jonathon Genovese was out of options, and everything seemed to be falling apart at the seams.

He would simply have to take the time to explain all of his thought to his wife. The real problem here was their lack of communication. He barely had time to sit down and talk to her, but he was going to tonight. He didn’t care what needed his attention, or who was in trouble Tonight Jonah was going to be a husband to his wife, and he was going to make this deal with Sienna up to her. He didn’t yet know how, but he’d figure something out. Currently it was most important to at least explain everything to her, because obviously she was frustrated with his choices. He didn’t blame her – he really didn’t. He just wished she could understand him.

When the crime boss finally entered the library once more, his gaze landed on Tony, having strayed to Nate only briefly. “You know what’s quite amusing?” Jonah said calmly, his eyes inexpressive, but somehow cold regardless. “The fact that although you know how much I despise tardiness, you amazingly still manage to pull one every time. One more time, Rizzo, and you’re out.” Everyone knew that when Jonathon fired someone he took everything. So to Rizzo, that would mean losing every last cent he had earned while working for Jonah, which would, in essence, leave him broke as fuck. With that comment, Jonah looked up to see his other associates entering the library.

He regarded them with an inexpressive mien, a single nod being their welcome. Then he jumped right to it. “Follow me,” he said, his voice calm as he led his associates through his office and into the room behind it: the conference room. The long table had plenty of space for all of them, and Jonah seated himself at the end, letting Nate take his place on his right; his at all times. Once everyone was seated, Jonah’s calm gaze seemed to gaze into the soul of every person present as it roamed the room. Only after this, did the man in charge speak. “I realize many of you have questions, and I assume most of you are rather nervous regarding this raid the other day. This is exactly the reasons I have called this meeting. The authorities are on our tails, and they seem to be closing in. I will deal with that.” Somehow, he thought to himself.

Then he finally leaned forward and began the actual meeting. He took all questions, answered them, reassuring his associates. He kept everything tight, but in the end they would all feel like everything was solved and all their doubts had been assuaged, when in reality, all Jonah had did was play with the words a little. He had to, because his job was not to tell them the truth; his job was to keep them in line and to make sure there was no panic. His job, in essence, was to keep them working steadily, feeling safe as meat in a house of vegetarians.

Once the meeting finished, Jonah dismissed them all, but remained seated himself, knowing he had to tell Nate about Sienna. He hated that he had to; hated that the bitch was back in the first place, because odds were she would only mess his best friend up further. But then, he would rather Nathaniel found out from him than from some magazine of blubbering socialite who had “seen it all”. He sighed as the last one closed the door behind him, leaving Nathan and Jonah alone. Then he put his gaze on the man he loved as a brother. For what seemed like the first time in days, Jonah let the crime boss go entirely, his face of cold indifference, turning to that of a friend. A true friend. The man Jonah was at heart.

“Nate, I need to tell you something,” he began, “and when I do, I want you to remain calm. No rushing out on me or the party. I need you here tonight, okay? Too many people for me to feel comfortable having my kids here without you.” He looked at Nate seriously. His best friend knew better than anyone the toll the previous kidnapping of his children had taken on Jonah, and how paranoid it had made him. Jonah might be in possession of security by the dozen at this event, but he trusted no one more than Nate when it came to keeping his children safe. If Nate ran off like Jonah feared he would, then the crime boss would probably have a nervous breakdown of some sort. He also really didn’t want Nate around Sienna. But that was his own choice; his own life. All Jonah could do was… remove Sienna. Which he would. Soon. Quietly.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Sienna Rose Character Portrait: Nate Hagen Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Lydia Arden
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#, as written by Korrye
Ugh

The setting changes from manhattan-new-york to Genovese Mansion

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Sienna Rose Character Portrait: Nate Hagen Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Lydia Arden
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#, as written by Korrye
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Her husbands rebuttal to her snide remarks echoed in her ears as she pleaded with Sienna not to leave. “Victoria, do not start a scene.” Well damn right she was causing one then for the first time in years. Her collected and cool demeanor was absent as she fought to get a grip on a night that she felt she had no control over. “And I had every right. I don’t give a fuck who she is; don’t you dare go against me on this,” Jonathon had snapped. And I don’t fucking care about you ordering me around. I don’t bend to your will this way. I will not lose on two battles today. With that she had added the remark that it would serve her husband right for her to be there. She knew of Jonathon’s animosity towards the woman who had left Nate in a depressed spiral for months after her sudden departure from the city. Victoria had always remained quiet on the subject. Jonathon didn’t know just how sudden her own departure from her old life had been and moreover how hard it had been on her to uproot herself from the only thing she knew. But it had been for the better. She had hated so many aspects of that life in Wyoming. She could to a degree understand Sienna’s discomfort. It was no secret that she hated Jonathon. Victoria didn’t like her for that but they understood things about each other. Leaving. Being uncomfortable with the life one led. She desperately wanted to talk to the woman but it was clearly not in her control to force the woman to stay her. Jonathon had done his job of playing the pitbull too well.

Sienna responded to Victoria quickly, turning and putting a hand on her shoulder solemnly. Victoria felt the gesture was done out of pity. For some reason when she looked at the MET Director, she thought the woman was looking at her with a sorry look, like she was sorry to leave her there with the people inside. I am breaking Victoria thought to herself bitterly. She stiffened as a slew of reporters somehow pushed their cameras through the wrought iron gates to snap pictures. She turned her cheek away from Sienna as they stepped offside behind the valet’s podium.

"Victoria," Sienna sighed, commanding the red head’s attention. The family matriarch looked coldly towards Sienna, knowing that tone and knowing what it reflected, what her answer would be before she replied. “I don't care nor did I come here to spite your husband and I don't want to cause trouble for you either. To be completely honest I didn't even want to come here tonight but it's my job and I'm a professional. Now that everything is taken care of I have no need to be here. Save yourself and me the trouble . . .” Sienna reasoned with her. Victoria shook her head. “No, wait, that's not what I meant...” she sputtered and she was about ready to offer her own rebuttle when Sienna began stepping down the wide staircase to the valet.

“Goodbye Victoria," Sienna smiled weakly before turning to the driver who had her car waiting and Heidi who stood offside. Victoria felt stabbed. She couldn’t explain it. It was like Jonathon had thrown a knife into her back and now Nathaniel’s former lover was twisting it cruelly. She was completely out of control as Sienna stepped into her car. It was at that point that a hand brushed over her bare left elbow, looping his arm into her own. Victoria blinked twice before looking to see that it was Lincoln, her eldest son.

“Let’s get you inside mom, you might catch a cold,” he prodded. Victoria inhaled suddenly, having held her breath all that time. It was staggered and painful to do. She was seething, so angry she wanted to scream. Now she was left to deal with people who hated her for an event that was a front for something far more important that she had been kicked out of it seemed – her husband’s business. Jonathon had done so much for her. All she gave him was an effort to repay the debt of him saving her from her former life. She would die for her husband, go to prison for him, anything. He seemed to fear that now for the first time in their marriage. All of this had come out of her offer to deal with Theodore, to torture him, to make him suffer, to learn what he knew. If she was imprisoned for it, she had said she didn’t care. Jonathon had however, and he’d barred her from doing anything related to the boy, going so far as to arrange a client dinner with buys for the fashion house that she couldn’t get out of the night he had chosen to confront him and subsequently allowed him to fall off the balcony of their summer property into the river.

She hated this distance between them and even as her son linked arms with her, she was bitter and cold. Victoria squeezed his hand and leaned into him subtly. “Thank-you,” she whispered gently, in a tone she reserved for her children. “It’s nice to have you home,” she added. She rarely saw Lincoln with his school hours at Cornell being what they were and how in and out they all were.

As they stepped back inside, Victoria didn’t know what to do. Her eyes scanned the crowds and she saw Dylan and Charlee standing with Lydia off to the side. For the most part all of their guests had been allowed into the gallery and auction room. Checking her watch, Victoria noted that it was just after 8 o’clock which meant that she had a speech to make. “Time for the auction sweetheart,” she told Linc. She withdraw her arm from her sons and moved to kiss his cheek gently. “I look forward to catching up.”

With that she slid away, following her staff and finding Kole waiting beside one of the MET helpers assigned to inform people on any pieces that a guest had questions about.

“Kole, darling. Time to make our bit,” she announced gently. Her adopted son took Lincoln’s former position, linking arms with her and walking into the dining hall which had been converted into a mock auction house. Guests had assembled and were chatting and drinking champagne with their numbered signs. As Victoria and Kole approached the front a waiter tapped a spoon to the side of a spare glass. By the time they reached a glass podium for the auctioneer the large crowd had fallen silent. Victoria stepped away to speak first, leaning forward to tap the microphone gently. Hearing it respond she smiled. It was time to put on a show. If she was now relegated to being a trophy wife she was going to be a damn good one.

* * *


“One million, four hundred and sixty four thousand dollars Mrs. Genovese, All raised for your charity. That was quite the speech and that was quite the auction,” the auctioneer announced. Victoria smiled and leaned in to squeeze Kole who had remained at the front of the room with her for the entirety of the event. She was nothing but pleased.

“I invite you all to eat dinner and to mingle for the rest of the evening,” Victoria announced, smiling as the room erupted into applause and several guests moved to leave the dining room while a number approached her, shaking her hand and thanking her for holding the event. She wanted nothing but to talk with Jonathon then and she absently wondered if his meeting had concluded on time.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Kalista Ross Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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Kalista Ross

Kalista had slipped in and out of the meeting as she had planned: silent and unnoticed. She hadn't given too much of a crap about the raids. She was loyal, but if those loyalties were stretched far enough, they were sure to snap. Kalista was not about to go to prison for the Genovese family and, if it came down to it, she had people all over the place who were more than willing to get her a private jet out of New York, or perhaps, out of America.

Despite her indifference toward the situation, Kalista made sure to flick her eyes up to meet the boss’s as she left the meeting, wanting to see how he felt toward the situation. Kalista had been grinning throughout the meeting, loving the way that the boss twisted his words and made his own associates -some of whom had seen him do this a hundred times- believe his every word. Again.

In truth, Kalista had been trying to avoid the boss since he had sent her flying into a bookcase. She knew that as a former marine and a current assassin, she should not shy away from someone simply because he gave her a tap. It was a sign of weakness. However, it was not the fact that he had hit her because Kalista had always mused at getting into the boxing ring with the boss, but rather it was the fact that she could not fight back. Had she fought back and punched him square in the jaw like she had wanted to, there was no doubt that Mr. Genovese would have found a new assassin as quickly as he had found her. So instead, Kalista had made herself seem indifferent toward the situation and no one had noticed her dodging the boss. If anyone had, they were at least smart enough to avert Kalista’s gaze.

As she scrutinized the boss, Kalista could see that he was on edge about something that wasn't the raids. Perhaps, she thought, it was the family. Kalista quickly stopped herself from musing on the subject. She knew better than to meddle in family matters, especially when it came to the Genovese family.

Kalista stepped quietly out of the library, her heels making small clicking noises on the tile. As she walked along the rail, she peered down into the crowd. Clusters of rich art snobs shuffled along the floor. One group spoke heatedly about the art –which Kalista could see they knew nothing about- while another group had had one too many glasses of champagne and were laughing loudly about something or other. Kalista took a moment to chuckle at them before descending down the rest of the stairs.

Out of good manners and simply wanting to observe the various guests, Kalista decided that she would stay a while longer. Not really having many friends inside the business, Kalista reserved herself to walking through the throngs of people. In one mingling cluster, Kalista found herself pretending to be the young wife of a wealthy investor, while in another, Kalista had inherited millions from her father’s oil business. Kalista found herself sharing fake stories about her prosperity and while the group would laugh over her story, Kalista would be laughing at the fact that they had believed her.

As she hopped from group to group, Kalista made sure to keep an eye on the happenings with the business. She noticed the siblings standing to one end of the room, one seething Victoria Genovese being ushered back into the house by her son and then linking arms with her adoptive son, and a variety of other events going on. Kalista liked being in the business because it was one of the few things in life that always kept her guessing. The other associates, the family, and even the people she was assigned to kill were always interesting. As she thought of this, Kalista felt a bit of pride that she was no longer a freelance assassin and thief, but rather an ally to one of the most powerful families in the city. That not only gave Kalista recognition, it also gave her power within the world of thieves and hired guns.

The setting changes from genovese-mansion to Manhattan, New York

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Lydia Arden
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Shae openly scoffed at her older brother for taking her drink. Man, did she love him, but sometimes his protective brotherly actions pissed her off. Taking her drink and commenting on her dress had caused Shae to completely forget about the conversation of Candy or even Dylan's preference to his room than social settings. "My dress is fine. As was that drink being in my hand. One won't kill me. Mom hasn't even said a thing." Shae told her brother, though she didn't expect her response to carry much weight. Victoria probably didn't even realize Shae had been holding the glass. "You really don't have to worry." she added. Even if Linc didn't give the drink back, Shae knew she could easily get another once he wasn't paying attention. A smile played on her lips as Shae thought of that very fact. Alcohol was also in supply at the Genovese mansion and Victoria had hardly noticed when Shae got into it. Her mother had always ordered a surplus amount.

Moments had passed. Dylan fiddled with his and Linc's phones. Shae was too caught up in her own mind to even acknowledge their conversation at this point. Her high was finally in effect and she enjoyed the relaxing feeling it provided. She was free. Her body was free. Her mind was free. Pleased with herself, Shae laughed just a bit before hearing "Hey Linc, Dylan." Shae snapped back to reality as Dr. Arden spoke to them. Her brothers gave their hellos first before the attention was turned to Shae. With the E in effect, all of the inhibitions and self-consciousness that should have been in place whilst speaking to a doctor high were out the window. "Shae, how's applying for colleges going then?" the doctor asked. Eye bright, Shae gave a dazzling smile. "Dr. Arden, it's so nice to see you here tonight." she began. "I haven't decided on which colleges I want to apply for. Honestly, I don't want to apply for them. I'd much rather stay here - stay free."

A commotion occurred causing Shae's attention to again shift from the conversation at hand. Sienna was leaving, her mother was yelling, and a scene was made. Linc rushed off to help their mother get back inside. The details of the argument unbeknownst to her, Shae just stared. After her mother returned inside, it was time for the auction to begin. A bore for Shae, but she stood and waited nevertheless. "Looks like things are about to get underway. It was nice catching up with you, Dr. Arden." Shae said politely before giving the doctor an unnecessary hug and literally prancing away.



Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Theodore Kinlan Character Portrait: Lydia Arden Character Portrait: Special Agent Luke Hitch
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For all the access that he had, Theo was surprised. He knew about the Genovese’s new hire. Jacqueline Siqueira was well known on hacker forums and at one point she had been related to the hacker group Anonymous. She was adept and she was young, barely older than he was. He knew he had limited time to have eyes on the mansion. His programs immediately began sourcing her and she caught sight of the blond, looking out of place with plugs in her ears and thicker make-up than most. The camera he had access to was coming directly from her phone and he had a momentary glance right up at her face before he saw the woman frown and usher herself outside of the thickets of people. Two seconds later her camera died and he typed back angrily on his keyboard, knowing that he was beginning a war with the woman for control of her own device. He began sourcing her phone, trying to get into the guts of it through her service provider. He wanted to know what Jonathon was saying to her. It was also a test of her skills for him. Could she stop him? The woman was formidable. He got through and was immediately cut off. Whatever program she had created erected a second violent firewall the moment he broke through, and then a third. It was infinite and regenerating. Smart. Theo admitted in thought. Before he knew it an hour had gone by and he turned away then, sitting back in his chair and holding his hands between his head, allowing his fingers to relax as he watched her cut off his access. Suddenly the entire left hand monitor showing his camera access was black.

Theo was impressed and yet not quite. He had been able to watch the gala, to see and hear a fiery argument break out between the Genovese’s. He had seen the return of a woman he knew to be Sienna Rose, one who had significant pull on Jonathon’s right hand man. He wrote down her name on a pad of paper beside his keyboard, tapping his fingers slowly and sighing, shaking his head and processing. She hadn’t been able to get rid of him for an hour and a half and he had committed a major breach without the full severity of his safeguards to prevent her from kicking him out. She wasn’t as good as he had thought. It was that or she was playing him back which was always a possibility. It made him frown. The effort from thinking through every possibility had a migraine quickly blister on the front of his forehead. As he stood he felt the familiar aches in his legs from broken femurs and a fractured disk in his back. Grunting, Theo grabbed his phone and moved to a couch in the small apartment, needing to recline and put his feet up. He had several messages by then.

"Had to get out. Murdock had a gut feeling, and our new tactical leader was scaring the office workers,” Jess had replied. He shook his head at her, even though he knew she couldn’t see him. A second message had come from Dylan almost instantly. "Who is this?" That made him smile. He tossed the phone on the couch and moved slowly to the kitchen, griping every stable surface along the way to help him walk. He was hungry and he needed a banana or something. When he opened his fridge he was greeted by a slew of pre-prepared meals from Jess and the force. He pulled a dish of lasagna and shoved it in the oven, taking his time to let it heat up before he ate it. The whole process took time and fortunately he had a dishwasher to do the cleaning work for him.

At that point, when he moved to the couch to lay down, his head on one side and his feet stretching to the other, Theo grabbed the phone a second time, seeing a new and recent message from Dylan. Kid learns quick. His protective algorithm had sent him several messages relaying attempts to source his number and location, all minor. When he opened the message it was garbled, looking like completely nonsense. He frowned, scanning it several times before he grunted, and moved back to his computer set. As he walked he sent Jess another message.

“Never liked the new guy. Don’t make me meet him. News: Anon add-in into the fam won’t be much trouble. Not good at her job. Stay safe." By that he was relaying what he thought of the new techie and some new task force leader named Lucas Hitch. His record made him look like a maniac. Theo knew he would likely be carted out to meet the brute eventually but he was more than happy to let Jess deal with him for now.

Sitting down at his desk then, he clicked back into Dylan’s message and typed it out. He pulled up a simple program – a decoder. Normally he would have been entertained to do it by hand but he was growing tired and he could feel his energy sapped from his body. How he wished he wasn’t so betrayed by his physical state. All he wanted to do was be able to work for 2 days straight like he used to.

Two clicks and he sat back, watching the computer source through the message word for word, identifying that it was in fact coded before it started ciphering it. It took two minutes and suddenly the text was clear as day in front of him:

“Findings on bot- few issues with wiring. Found crossed wire which could have made robot malfunction, possibly crashing into a table leg. All sorted. I don't know who you are. If you're reading this, you sure as hell know your stuff. We've proved ourselves to each other- who are you? And don't just say that you're a friend.”

Theo leaned in then, grabbing the old burner phone and rapidly letting his thumbs ply over the keys, his tongue between his teeth.

“Nice code. Good to hear on the bot. Nice work. Rivals most engineers. &I am a friend, nothing more, nothing less. Call me whatever you want. Just want to help. Ask me whatever you want.”

He wanted to establish connections with the boy, knowing he was extremely talented, perhaps more than the new techie Jonathon had hired. He was such a quick student but Theo had never been able to figure out where his allegiance laid. Dylan had always been close to Kole and especially to his mother but he had voiced concerns and irritations. But was it typical teenaged angst? He had never been sure.

Biting the inside of his cheek, Theo knew he wouldn’t be able to stay away too much longer. His eyelids were beginning to feel heavy and his aches were becoming more pronounced. It was time for his pain meds.

Still, he knew he wanted to sent out another message. He was curious. Theo had seen Charlee take something, the way she’d wandered around the mansion like a six year old, twirling and grinning.

“Dr. Lydia – Charlee Shae on pills, not sure what. She needs help.”

The message was anonymous, the number she viewed conjured by his program just the same as Dylan. He wondered if the woman would help. She was a doctor, wouldn’t the family’s health come first?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Anthony "Tony" Rizzo Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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#, as written by Mela
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Victoria’s apology made Jonah close his eyes on a relieved sigh, drawing her closer if at all possible, his arms tightening around her narrow waist. His wife wasn’t one for apologies. In fact, she oftentimes seemed to choke on them, so when she did utter one, he knew with every fiber of his being that she was being very sincere. He shook his head a little then, lifting it to press his lips against her temple. “I know, darling,” he then murmured back, his voice quiet and soft just as before. Jonah didn’t even know where he was mentally right now, except that he was with Vicky, and that was exactly what he wanted right now.

In spite of her faults (and his own, but please, no one talked of those), Jonathon loved Victoria more than anything. Hell, they loved each other. She was the gem of his eye, the top priority in his life, right alongside his three troubled, albeit beloved, children. “I need you, Vicky,” he then finally said, his hands caressing her smooth and beautifully arched back as he looked down at her, wanting her to understand how much she meant. “I have always needed you. Why can’t you see that I never want to lose you?” He moved one hand to gently brush his thumb across her jaw, guiding her eyes up to his.

He was referring to one of their many arguments lately. One in which she had accused him of cheating on her… again. It had driven him crazy, but all he really needed her to understand was that she meant too much for him to simply throw her away for the sake of sex with someone who wasn’t her. Why would he even want that? Really. He had been there, he’d done that. Back when he’d had a serious issue with the fact that he’d become a father so early. It had been a brief affair, and he had ended it because young as he was, he had finally realized there was only one woman for him. And he already had her.

He smiled vaguely when she told him she loved him and he leaned his forehead down to rest against hers, enjoying the tranquil, easy mood between them. The conversation might not be easy-going or particularly romantic, but it was all the quiet he could find in this storm they were in. Then, however, he raised an eyebrow at her next sentences. “Why?” he merely asked, curious why his wife would want to hear anything Anthony Rizzy had to say. He had violated her, touched her against her will, and yes, Jonah was going to draw it out, but he probably wouldn’t speak much. It was tempting to cut off his tongue… then his hands. Both of which had technically touched his wife very inappropriately.

The crime boss couldn’t help a short laugh when his darling partner mentioned them maybe doing this more often. He kissed her lips chastely, smiling at her then. “You’re right. You need a new dress though,” he noted, letting go of her briefly to pick up his briefs and pants to bring them back up, closing the belt casually. As his callused hands then finally found her again, one hand moving to gently cup the side of her face, Jonathon looked into her beautiful eyes. The other hand moved behind her to pull her into another embrace as it settled on the small of her back. “It’s generally been too long,” he then added, gently kissing the tip of her nose. “I’ve missed it… I’ve missed you. Missed us; you and I.”

He still had things to do, however, but hey, at least he’d now donned his pants, so that was always something, right? A step on the way, even if he didn’t feel particularly inclined to leave her alone again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Anthony "Tony" Rizzo Character Portrait: Charlee Shae Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Lydia Arden
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#, as written by Korrye
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Victoria didn’t need Jonathon to tell her that he needed him, especially after his physical displays of rapture. Finally. Still, it was consoling and she tucked her chin into her neck and nodded at his words, feeling his hands brush across the strong line of her jaw, lightly pressuring her to look back up into his face. It wasn’t often she saw this Jonathon, her Jonah. There was a glisten to his eyes and a subtle smooth quality to his motions that was far more fluid. He was at ease and not thinking of anything else but them. It made her exhale deeply. Holding her eyes closed again for a moment, she let herself drift into the recollections of several months ago, how right before Theodore had been found out to be such a filthy rat child, Jonah’s brother and Tony had sat her down and confessed that they believed him to be a cheater. Ever since the distance her husband had kept with her, since the incident, since the pressure from law enforcement had been ramped up, her mind had circled viciously back to the accusations. Victoria trusted his brother, she had trusted Tony. But now it seemed…malicious. When she looked through low lids at her husband again, she knew it was a lie.

But then why say it? Why would his own brother tell her that he was cheating?

She asked about Anthony then. She knew that Jonathon would not let her in on that scene, no matter how much she wanted to violate the man, to make him feel the way she felt. Jonathon would not be as swift as he normally was and that justified her stepping aside. She didn’t want to look at the man either. Never again. He had looked so betrayed at her when she’d run away and that stung. How could he have ever thought…? her mind trailed. Jonah turned back to his own inquisition.

“Why?” he asked her lowly, though his tone was not at all accusing. “Because your brother and him told me that you were cheating two months ago. The more I think over it, he’s been trying to turn me against you Jonah, and perhaps your sibling as well. He might have information about people trying to hurt us from within,” she replied lowly, wincing as she thought about the second Genovese brother, currently out of the country and on business in France.

She had wanted to lighten the mood then, turning back to her comments about their rougher bouts of making up. That made him grin and Victoria felt her heart flutter at the sight of her husband so amused. He kissed her and she tried to hold it, but he stepped away to collect his pants and briefs, all hastily discarded at her feet.

“You’re right. You need a new dress though,” Jonah commented. She snorted. “Yes well, it’s not like I have a short supply. I’ll get one of the seamstress’ at the fashion house to fix it. Shouldn’t be that hard,” she replied with a smirk, moving away from the wall to step out of the black silk and jersey, leaving herself in only her underwear for a moment before she stepped towards a small closet beside his desk, collecting a housecoat reserved for days when Jonah spent hours on end in his office without seeing visitors. Slipping it over her shoulders, she turned back to him, letting him hold her cheek in his hand. Victoria smiled, feeling her cheeks dimple as her lips were spread like a Cheshire’s grin.

“It’s generally been too long,” Jonah added. Victoria hummed her agreement, chuckling at he moved to kiss her on the nose. It was a gesture that took her back to when they had first started seeing each other and how playful his affection used to be. Before everything got serious and his father was shot and I was nearly killed and we had children… They had never had the phase like most newlyweds to simply be together without the mundane concerns of babies, family, and serious careers. Victoria had never thought she had needed it until the past few months.

“I’ve missed it… I’ve missed you. Missed us; you and I,” Jonah confessed. “Then quit shoving me out and making me force my way back in,” Victoria teased him, raising an eyebrow as she moved to slide her hands along the sides of his bare and chiseled torso, allowing her thumbs to follow the ridges of his abdominal muscles before she pulled back and slid her fingers up so gently along his sides to tickle him – from hard to soft in a split second, the epitome of who and what she was.

“I think it’s time to get these ridiculous people out of our home,” she concluded, smiling so that her teeth showed.

* * *
Morning After the Gala


The morning light filtered through the curtains of their bedroom, slicing across the floor and onto the mattress, illuminating her frame and the wild splay of red hair behind her. The evening had been cut short for all intents and purposes. While the social aspect of the evening had been set to go into the early morning, Victoria had decided to call it a night early. Her staff had been informed as much and she had retired to her room early and a bath with soft music and lavender to try and relax her mind while Jonathon left with his associates to take care of the business that was Anthony. When she’d gone to bed he still hadn’t been home and now as she rolled over, she wondered if he would be there. They had made up? She was due to have breakfast with Lydia, a quick text having confirmed that. Kole was also in the house still, having spent the night. He had plans to take Dylan and his dog to Central Park for the morning, a thought that made her smile. She missed having her adoptive son around to do those things for her, and with Dylan. He had still looked troubled however. She hadn’t had time to ask Jonathon why that was. For all that she smiled as she pulled herself from bed and moved to the wide and luxurious ensuite bathroom, her mind was wound up in concerns for her children – as it was most mornings given that she had essentially four children to worry about. Her husband would have a morning gym session undoubtedly and today she didn’t want to join him. Let him get out the aggression. Let him talk to Linc and Rome and the boys.

Getting herself ready was a quick routine. Victoria left her hair in a soft tumble of curls over her left shoulder, washed her face and put on fresh makeup before doning a yellow sleeveless shirt and dark skinny jeans. She would be doing errands later and wanted the mobility of pants for once. As she took the stairs to the kitchen to see to preparing breakfast for herself and her guest, the house was quiet. The extra staff were gone, with only two maids cleaning, and Pierre present. The security personnel were outside and out of sight. She didn’t like them in the house lately. They made her paranoid. Nate assured her they were to be trusted, all contracted former military personnel. Still, she didn’t like that she needed so many guards. The silence she welcomed instead, wanting nothing but a quiet breakfast with a close friend and perhaps the glimpse of her children or her husband before she had to leave for the fashion house and business management issues – things she was taking on in the interim until they had hired someone to replace Tony.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Shaee Genovese Character Portrait: Sienna Rose Character Portrait: Lincoln Genovese Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Lydia Arden
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Both Dylan and Linc had replied to Lydia's greeting politely. The may not have been brought up in house with a white picket fence and a Labrador, and their family certainly did not abide by typical family values, but the children had still been brought up well. They had good manners and they were genuinely nice children; more than likely as a result of Victoria's talent as a mother, which had always been a strength of hers.

But Charlee's response dragged Lydia's thoughts quickly away from the other two and Victoria's skills as a parent. Her eyes became even brighter as her pupils dilated further, unnaturally so. Her smile stretched across her young face, pearly white teeth beaming out at Lydia. "Dr. Arden, it's so nice to see you here tonight. I haven't decided on which colleges I want to apply for. Honestly, I don't want to apply for them. I'd much rather stay here - stay free." The girl's tone was fast and jumpy, as if she was lacking control. There was something very wrong with Charlee.

The girl's attention quickly shifted, flitting away, as if she had no ability to focus on any one thing for a long period of time. Charlee's eyes glazed over as she stared blankly at the commotion between Victoria and Sienna Rose. Lydia probably would've paid more attention to her friend's argument, had she not been so concerned about Charlee. Linc left to aid his mother. Usually, Lydia would've gone to her friend, but she was glad Linc had gone instead, so she could continue to watch Charlee. In the background, she heard Victoria announce the start of the auction.

Suddenly, Charlee turned back to Lydia. "Looks like things are about to get underway. It was nice catching up with you, Dr. Arden." Completely out of the blue, Charlee flung her arms around Lydia in a hug, which Lydia reciprocated, confused. She'd known Charlee for many years, and this behaviour was not like her at all. Lydia watched the girl prance away, concern and worry painted across her features.

Evidently, Dylan had noticed the doctor's concern. He raised his eyebrows as he watched Charlee leave. "I apologize for Shae, Dr. Arden. Every so often she just acts like this, a little out of character." So even Dylan was noting it to be unusual, Lydia concluded. Lydia was almost certain it was drugs. The only other explanation for Charlee's strange behaviour would be a selection of rare and complex medical conditions, that you would never expect to find in someone Charlee's age. But Lydia couldn't determine the drug just from her behaviour. It was clearly some kind of stimulant, and the doctor had a few guesses at which, but she couldn't be certain. Lydia knew she couldn't just leave it, she was going to have to do something. But she didn't want to go straight to Victoria, not when Charlee had been through so much. She didn't need The Victoria Inquisition if there was a perfectly reasonable explanation or if it was just a one time thing she was trying out. But equally, Lydia couldn't just assume that. She had to test Charlee. But before the doctor could get any further in her plan, her thoughts were interrupted by Dylan speaking.

"I expect you're busy at the moment, especially after the explosion earlier. I saw it on the news," the youngest Genovese said.

Lydia nodded and smiled sadly. She didn't want to reveal too many details to Dylan, especially considering the full details hadn't even been released to the media yet, and she hadn't had a chance to speak to Victoria about it. "Yeah, it was a horrible explosion. We've been rushed off our feet," she told him, being purposefully non-specific with the details.

Finally, everyone took their seats for the auction, something Lydia was quite pleased about. Firstly, she hadn't realised how tired she was until Dylan had mentioned it. But now he'd said something, she could feel the exhaustion washing in waves over her body. She'd had been up since early that morning, dealing with the explosion victims. She'd been working constantly all day, not even taking a lunch break so she'd have everything done in time to leave early that evening for Victoria's Gala. And, now, she was exhausted. Secondly, because the auction meant everyone had to be quiet. Which meant Lydia managed to avoid some idle rich person starting a conversation with her about something she really didn't want to talk about. Though Lydia had known the Genovese's for a lot of years and had been coming to their parties for as long, she wasn't really part of their world. Lydia worked for a living, she lived alone and she wasn't especially rich. She had gradually learnt to pick up their social graces and customs over the years, but there was still a huge, glaring difference between her and them. She always felt slightly uncomfortable under these situations, even though she'd been time and time before. She knew she didn't fit in here, and the effort it took to appear like she did was exhausting.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur. The auction happened, Victoria spoke before disappearing off God knows where. They'd eaten, which had been particularly painful as Lydia had been seated opposite a recently divorced businessman in his late fifties, who'd spent most of dinner staring at her breasts in a rather nauseating fashion. And to Lydia's left had been a elderly couple who talked incessantly about the Gala they were hosting the following weekend which was going to better anything Victoria had achieved tonight. Frankly, Lydia had been exceptionally grateful when she'd heard everyone was being sent home early.

The taxi ride home was short, but it was there that Lydia had received a message to her cell.

Dr. Lydia – Charlee Shae on pills, not sure what. She needs help.

It had come from an unknown number, but more worryingly, they seemed to have sensitive information about the Genovese daughter. At first, Lydia had considered asking the driver to turn around and go straight back to the Genovese mansion so she could speak to Victoria or Jonathon about it. What if the message meant Charlee was in danger from someone else? Lydia still remembered that horrendous time when the children had been kidnapped. Victoria was still paranoid about it happening again. But then Lydia reread the message. The author had asked Lydia to help Charlee. There had been no threat against her, or even threatening undertones to the message. In fact, all it had done was to ask for help. If anything, the sender was trying to help Charlee, not hurt her. But this brought Lydia to a final conclusion. She was going to find Charlee tomorrow and she was going to get blood from the girl, no matter how many elaborate lies she would have to tell and stories she would need to fabricate. There was no way she could ignore it any longer, or make excuses for the teenager. Charlee really needed her help.

XXX


The Morning After the Gala


XXX


Though Lydia was used to unsocial hours and little sleep, getting up that morning had been a task. After exchanging a couple of texts with Victoria to negotiate breakfast around half eight, Lydia eventually managed to get up. She'd showered, drying and quickly styling her hair. She quickly put on a pair of simple, blue skinny jeans and a loose, white jumper, taking little care over the outfit as she knew she would be changing for her shift at the hospital later that day. She lightly applied a little natural make-up and picked up her bag before catching driving across to the Genovese mansion.

The breakfast that morning was primarily to see her friend and catch up, it seemed like such a long time since they'd last been able to find space in their busy lives just to sit down without distractions or other things they should be doing instead and just talk. Lydia also knew she needed to talk to Victoria about the explosion victims. She'd meant to find her friend after the Gala last night and have a discreet word with her about it, but Lydia had been informed by the staff that Victoria had retired to bed early, and so Lydia decided she would just discus it that morning instead. The doctor was still debating as to whether she should broach the subject of Charlee. She knew, by right, she should tell Victoria that she had suspicions and she was planning to run some tests on the girl. It was her daughter, after all. But, on the other hand, if the tests came back clear or there was some other explanation, Lydia would've worried Victoria unnecessarily and caused Charlee more problems than she needed right now. Glancing back over the text from the mysterious stranger last night as she parked in the Genovese's driveway, Lydia came to the conclusion that she would run her tests first. But she promised herself if it came back positive, she would definitely speak to Victoria, without hesitation.

As Lydia approached the mansion, she was instantly greeted by security. The Genovese's had always had diligent security staff, but it seemed every time she came round their collection had increased in size and intensity. Lydia didn't recognise the man on the door, but he'd clearly been pre-warned she was coming. He took a step forward to meet her before she reached the door and looked her up and down very carefully, as if checking her against a description he'd been given.

Finally, he greeted her. "Dr Arden," he said, opening the door for her and letting her into the foyer, "Please wait here, I'll let Mrs Genovese known you've arrived," he told her formally.

Lydia noted the moment he stepped inside, another guard replaced him watching the door, and another guard stepped into position beside her when he left to find Victoria, watching Lydia to make sure she didn't do anything. Previously, the Genovese's security team had made her feel safe. But now, they were just daunting and a little unnerving.