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In Mafia Vita

Manhattan, New York

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a part of In Mafia Vita, by Korrye.

Capital of the World

Korrye holds sovereignty over Manhattan, New York, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

1,622 readers have been here.

Setting

Default location for In Mafia Vita and the primary setting of our story.
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Manhattan, New York

Capital of the World

Minimap

Manhattan, New York is a part of In Mafia Vita.

4 Places in Manhattan, New York:

21 Characters Here

Jonathon Genovese [57] "Cold isn't the same as heartless, is it?"
Victoria Genovese [50] If you so much as consider hurting my family you will suffer for it.
Dylan Genovese [49] My family's business is what it is. Your opinion won't change it.
Kole Marinos [46] Loyalty is everything in this world.
Kalista Ross [36] Feeling emotions is not a sign of weakness. Showing them is. And I am not weak.
Lincoln Genovese [33] I will be like my father and protect everyone I love.
Nate Hagen [32] "Nothing counts as much as family, everybody else are just strangers."
Jess Garcia [29] I will bring this family down, no matter what the cost.
Sienna Rose [26] Love removes all fear . . . But some secrets must be kept at all costs . . .
Lydia Arden [26] "Do No Harm - that's what they say. But I always wanted to do better than that..."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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Leo DePesci

Leo’s question was meant as more of a joke than anything, but he was not surprised as Garcia proceeded to give him a straightforward, no bullshit answer. "Oh, believe me. Appearances don't matter in this business. Often the most innocent are the worst. Experience is talking here. Both in NYPD and my time here in the Organized Crime Unit. That's why you should never judge on appearances. And, fortunately for us, the other side don't judge on appearances either. Which means we can implement almost anyone." Leo gave the woman a grin and straightened his suit. “I guess I’m in luck then, eh?” He didn’t know if it was the right thing to be joking around with his boss, but he often had a hard time keeping the cracks to himself. However, he allowed himself a bit of a break considering that his next ‘boss’ would be a crime boss and he would definitely not be able to joke around with.

Garcia’s next statement felt like more of a threat to Leo than he cared for. "You know what I hate, Leo? I hate people who betray my trust. Have you ever felt that? Have you ever been unable to trust anyone in your team? All because of one bastard and his band of merry men." The intensity of her statement sent a jolt down Leo’s spine which he made sure to hide from her. They both caught the threatening tone in Garcia’s voice which she did little to quell and Leo knew it was not meant to be taken lightly. However, Leo didn’t want her to think that he could easily be spooked. And besides, he had nothing to worry about. There was no way in hell that he would flip on the agency.

Leo felt a small amount of anger well up inside him as he chewed over Garcia’s words. It was true that he hadn’t been able to trust anyone in a long time. What small trust he had left was with his sister, and even that wasn’t much. He loved her to death, but he never completely trusted her. Did he trust Garcia? Not in the least. And the problem he had was that he couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t trust her. He could figure out why he couldn’t trust anyone. It annoyed him to no end. He couldn’t keep anyone close because he never trusted them. He was not angry with Garcia’s words. He was angry with the feelings that they invoked inside him.

Despite his anger at his feeling, Leo found himself more frustrated by the fact that Garcia had such little faith in him. Leo’s real history was that his parents had been killed by an assassin hired by the Genovese; however, Leo didn’t know if Garcia had known that or the background he was given by Witness Protection. He was unsure as to whether Garcia had looked hard enough into his background to find his true story. If the WITSEC marshals were good at their job, Garcia wouldn’t know, but there was always a small chance that she had been persistent enough to find something.

In any case, Leo was slightly peeved at the fact that Garcia would think that he would flip on the agency and run with the crime boss when he had witnessed his own mother being murdered by someone hired by Jonathon Genovese. He had momentarily forgotten that she could have no knowledge of his true background. Leo leaned back in his chair, peering into Garcia’s eyes, speaking as earnestly as he could, and putting passion and only a small hint the anger he felt into his words. “Sounds an awful lot like you’re threatening me, Ms. Garcia.” Leo then proceeded to cross his arms on Garcia’s desk and lean forward, never taking his gaze off of her’s. “The Genovese killed half my family, Ms. Garcia. The day I go on their side is the day hell freezes over.” Leo was quick to catch his slip and shut his mouth, sure to not let anything else out. If she had no knowledge of his being in Witness Protection, that was how he was going to keep it. He mentally slapped himself for even letting that much slip out. He only hoped that Garcia didn’t decide to go digging around. However, he kept his unwavering gaze on Garcia, sending her the message that he meant what he had said and he was willing to prove it.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalista Ross Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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Kalista Ross

Kalista chuckled slightly as Kole mockingly chided his younger brother. However, as soon as Kole looked down at Dylan, Kalista did the same and, when she did, she felt the overwhelming need to turn away. She had worked with men her entire life and had weaseled her way through while learning their “ways”. If there was one thing that she learned about a vast majority of males, it was that no matter how feminine of a man they were, the hated being seen crying or being overly emotional. It wasn’t that she hadn’t met women who were the same way - herself for example. It just seemed to be more of a masculine thing to hate being seen as overly emotional. Especially in front of a woman. Now, given that Dylan wasn’t crying; however, it didn’t take much of Kalista’s highly-trained perception skills to tell that Dylan’s eyes were welling. That was why, when Kole proceeded to look Dylan in the eye and speak to him in the same brotherly way that he had at the park, Kalista actually stepped back to lean against the nearest building. She hadn’t had a family in a long time, which meant that she really didn’t know how family matters worked, and she preferred it that way. She had no desire to be caught up in the drama a family could bring. The little family that she did have - namely, her nephew - had caused her enough trouble already.

Kalista simply leaned against the red brick building, being as much a part of the brothers’ conversation as she was a part of the Genovese family. She caught bits and pieces of Dylan’s rant and Kole’s attempts to calm him down, but for the most part, Kalista was off somewhere else, mentally scrutinizing the faces of the people around her. No one stopped to watch their little exchange, but a few gave them odd looks and Kalista suddenly wanted Dylan to shut up as much as Kole did. Kalista was about to tell Dylan to quiet down when he suddenly shoved the dog’s leash into Kole’s hand and then turned turned away, giving Kalista a half-hearted apology. Had Dylan been anyone else, Kalista would have had a few choice words for him; however given the situation and the fact that Dylan was a teenager, Kalista only shrugged, stood up straight, and watched him walk off.

Kole was quick to hand off the dog’s leash forcibly into Kalista’s palm. Kalista snorted and opened her mouth to say something, but Kole was already gone after Dylan. Kalista looked down at the dog as he tugged at the leash, clearly attempting to run off after his owner. When Kalista looked back up, Kole was a little ways off, dragging Dylan into an alleyway. She sighed and looked down at the dog again who was now sitting, staring intently the way Kole and Dylan had gone off as though he was just waiting loyally for them to come back. Kalista gave a low grumble of annoyance at the situation she was in and then proceeded to drag the dog along the sidewalk.

For all her strength, the dog was pretty persistent and gave her a good amount of fight. She stopped herself and the dog when they were about two yards away from the entrance to the alleyway and gave a low sigh, giving the dog a scornful look for his stubbornness. She kept an ear on the one-sided conversation Kole seemed to be having with Dylan, but could not make out many of the words Kole was saying and she wanted to keep it that way. She knew that Dylan was angry with Kole and now Kole seemed to be angry with Dylan as well. The only thing that she was concerned about was that she stayed out of family business. She would give Kole all the advice he needed, but if she was about to be dragged into a brother-on-brother fight, Kalista was going to make sure that she split before the bell rang.

Kalista squatted in front of Kole’s unbudging dog and simply stared at his profile. He did not move, only stood loyally staring at the alleyway entrance, waiting for Kole to come back. Kalista chuckled and rubbed behind his ears. “Yeah I don’t like it either, bub.” She gave another short scoff and then began to rub circled in between the dog’s front legs. Kalista couldn’t help but crack a smile as the previously unmoving dog’s tail began to bounce and after a few seconds, he was leaning into her knee like a deadweight. “I always knew I was good at finding a man’s weak spot.” Kalista grinned at him, feeling slightly stupid for speaking to a dog, but not really minding at the moment.

Kalista’s dog whispering moment was abruptly cut short as she watched Kole storm out of the alleyway followed shortly by a dazed Dylan. Both walked right past her, clearly not noticing her as she was kneeling behind a throng of people. However, Kole’s dog immediately jumped at the sight of his owner. He barked in Kole’s general direction and Kalista hopped up from her crouched position. She looked from Kole to Dylan’s retreating figure and then back to Kole again. She didn’t know whether Kole would want to speak with her about it, so she simply kept her hold on the dog’s leash and an eye on Kole. He would come to her if he wanted to.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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"Sounds an awful lot like you’re threatening me, Ms. Garcia," Leo said, crossing his arms and leaning forward until he was l
leaning on her desk. "The Genovese killed half my family, Ms. Garcia. The day I go on their side is the day hell freezes over." He stared into her eyes. As Jess stared back, determined not to be beaten, she saw something burning in his eyes. She saw her own ferocity reflected at her, the ferocity usually reserved for when someone dared to question her morals. Leo was determined not to betray them, it seemed. She leaned back, her eyes not leaving those of her new agent's.

"Yes, I am threatening you." She continued to watch him. "I lost one of my best agents six months ago because of the Genovese." She knew he would make a good agent. But she wasn't intending on telling him that Theo was still alive. She didn't trust anyone that much. "His problem was he got complacent. He underestimated the Genovese. And I am not losing another agent because of the same thing. I am warning you of how they can get to anyone. Do not underestimate their ability to draw you in."

"That hate, that anger at them killing your family, that is what you have to focus on. When you start to think, Maybe they're not that bad, you remember what they done. That was what kept me going. When I'm drowning underneath paperwork, I remember that the bastard killed my father. And that's what keeps me going."

They had always told her as a teenager that holding onto that hate and that anger would be bad for her. But it hadn't. It made made her a stronger, more determined person. She wasn't going to hesitate to pull that trigger if she got the chance. Letting go of that anger would have meant that she would hesitate. If she let go of the anger at Frank being killed, she might get a decent night's sleep every night, but justice wouldn't be served. And her life was dedicated to serving justice.

"Hate makes a good agent. It gives you a burning determination, one that will drive you until you see them brought down. You ask around, do a little research, you'll discover that most of the agents in this branch have some personal connection to the Genovese." Except Kole. She quelled the inner debate that was about to spark. Now was not the time to worry. "ANd you'll also hear that at some point, I have questioned their loyalty. I question everybody's loyalty. I'm a federal agent currently running an investigation into a mob family. Trust is one commodity I can't afford."

The sad thing was that it was true. Starting the investigation, she hadn't hesitated to tell the guy who she was running with in the park about herself. Cases were a no-no. But if he asked about her, she wouldn't hesitate to talk. But now, if she was running and a guy said, So, tell me about yourself, she was much more reluctant. For all she knew, he could be a Genovese trying to find out more to use against her.

And that led to a lonely life. It reminded her of her undercover days, the days when she had been only able to trust her team. Not being able to talk to anyone freely... It was far from pleasant.

She stared him in the eyes. In a way, she was still undercover. She was a human, seeking companionship hiding as a cold, hard federal agent.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Kalista Ross Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese
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#, as written by Korrye
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Kole was still seeing red as he stepped out onto the sidewalk. Casting a glance over his shoulder, his lips still stern, he caught sight of a devastated looking Dylan. His brother stood still for a moment, his eyes vacant while he processed what he had just been told. He was barely five steps away with his brother bolted. Kole watched him head up toward the mansion, weaving through the tourists and New Yorkers like an expert. Watching Dylan’s head bob as he ran for a minute, it took Kole hearing Duke bark before his attention was drawn back to him.

It concerned him greatly that he had just snapped. More worrying, however, was the look on Dylan’s face, a mixture of horror, confusion and worst…fear. He swallowed and looked towards the sound of his loyal companion, finding Kalista kneeling by the former police dog, cooing in his ear while she rubbed his mane. He watched her stand, her frame transitioning with the practiced ease of a gymnast from the crouching position. The German Shepherd stepped forward but before the dog ripped off Kalista’s arm Kole closed the gap. As he approached the dog’s demeanor changed completely. Sensing Kole’s mood, Duke whined while his ears went back. Kole pet him gently, his eyes burning as he felt the dog lean into his thigh, trying to console him. He didn’t think that Kalista would even do anything now.

“I don’t know where that came from,” he admitted in a low whisper. The truth of it was that he used to snap just like that as a teenager all the time. Right after his biological father was gunned down on the front porch, when his mom was a flake and he had no one to turn to, violence and screaming and dealing with problems in all the wrong ways had been his life. He had never thrown Dylan around like that before, except if they were messing around wrestling or something in the gym. But no. For a second Dylan hadn’t even been a brother to him. He’d just been an annoying kid who didn’t know what he was asking for. Well, he’d gotten exactly what he wanted hadn’t he? Would he appreciate Kole’s hesitation to not tell him now that he knew?

“I’m sorry you had to see that,” he apologized gently. “I never wanted to put you in the middle of this. I don’t know what I’m doing. If he’s gone home…I can’t. I’m as good as dead.”

He brought a hand to his hair, feeling his breathing begin to quick, his pulse beginning to race as the panic started to creep back over him. Kole dug a hand into his pocket, yanking out his iPhone to open his messenger. He began to breath through his mouth as he rapidly sent a message to the only person who could perhaps keep Dylan quiet when he couldn’t right now.

To: Dad – Jonathon Genovese
Dylan knows about it. K had children. Don’t know what to do. Dylan's headed home ASAP.


Of course, K was Karparthy and children was the implicit code word for collateral between them. It was the explosion, he didn't doubt that Jonah would miss that. With his every text and phone call monitored it was the only thing he could say, though it appeared far more obvious that he would have wanted. He’d delete the record of it later. If he ever got back to work. At that point he wasn’t sure he could ever walk back into the precinct with a straight face again.

"I understand if you want to take off. It's selfish of me to make you stay here, or to ask you to stick around."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Genovese
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#, as written by Mela
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He knew he was breaking his wife right now, and as much as he would hate himself for it later, the cold, calculating side of him, which ruled through his current anger, informed him that this was the best course of action in the end. Screw the immediate consequences, the fact that he would have a bunch of stuff to explain and mend. It didn’t matter right now. Because she’d told him what to do. No one told him what to do, no one gave him orders. Not Vicky, not anyone. He refused to simply sit there and take it. He’d been nice, right? And still she’d defied him. So he’d kicked her out… of her own daughter’s room, while the girl was sickly and vulnerable. That was the second it dawned on him. Jonathon watched the door his wife had left through with the goons he’d had escort her. Then he went to close it slowly.

That was when Charlee’s voice hit him and his only response was a soft sigh as he picked up a blanket from her bed and went back into the bathroom. His demeanor had gone from cold anger to loving concern. He was alone with his daughter now. There was no one to put on a show for. There was no one he needed to me strong and collected for, so he let the façade go, instead moving forward to drape the blanket around his daughter’s shoulders. Then he wrapped it around her. “I did what I had to,” he told her calmly, but with just an edge of regret.

Then he picked her up gently and carried her to her bed where he tugged her duvet around her. A remembered when he was a kid, how his bed and the covers of his bed had always made him feel safe. Charlee was in that same almost childish state. As he did this, he spoke, his voice edged with concern and worry, that small sliver of regret still affecting the sound. “I didn’t want Victoria here for this,” he then admitted, “she wouldn’t be able to take much more, and I figured you wouldn’t want your mother to find out about your drug abuse this way either.”

With that, he raised an eyebrow, but continued before she could comment. “And don’t lie to me Charlee, I’ve known for months.” Then he sat on the edge of her bed, his demeanor set in soft lines he only ever donned around his family and his family alone. This was the Jonathon who loved his wife, who did everything for his children, who could not stand the thought of his best friend broken to pieces by a woman. This was the man behind the mask, even if he rarely surfaced. And he wasn’t angry with his daughter. In fact, he merely felt guilty. He only wanted to help her.

“I just… didn’t think it was this bad,” he then finally let himself confess as he looked down at his little girl, his only little girl. This was probably the hardest thing he’d ever done. Watching her like this, confronting her with the fact that she was going drugs. His little princess. His heart was beginning to ache as he watched her like this. He recalled the ballet classes, the eager chirping about her next performance. He recalled when she had decided she wanted to learn how to play the piano, how he’d tried to teach her, but she kept losing focus. How he in the end gave up and instead bought her that new Barbie she’d wanted. The joy on her face on Christmas morning. When he and Victoria had taught her how to ride a bike. How had all these happy childhood memories landed them here?

Eyes burning with unshed tears, Jonah reached out and brushed a strand of sweaty hair out of her eyes. “Honey, I need you to tell me how much you took, and what it was…” he then trailed. He didn’t want to know, but he needed to know. He felt his phone buzzing in his pocket, but he ignored it. It couldn’t possibly be more important than what he was currently doing. Especially not if it was just a text. He’d deal with it in a couple of minutes. Right now Charlee was the only thing that mattered.

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Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Genovese
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Her father didn't answer her half question. Instead, he dismissed it with a sigh and left the room. For a second, Charlee though, perhaps, he was leaving her alone. Alone in peace to avoid hospital and interrogation and his disapproving looks. She needed another E right now, more than anything. If he was going to leave her in private, she would be able to take it and all these horrible feelings would be gone. But then another thought swum over her.

Don't leave me, Daddy.

It was a childish though. One of fear and panic. She knew, somewhere, in the back of her mind, that her paranoia wasn't real and that it was just the tail ends of the comedown. But it was so hard to tell herself that when everything felt like something terrible was about to happen and someone would hurt her. This is why she needed another E. She had to banish these feelings. That's all she needed.

But, her father quickly returned with a blanket and slipped it round her. And, only then, did he answer her question.

"I did what I had to." His tone was calm and controlled, but there was something else under it that almost sounded like doubt.

Then, suddenly, she was in her father's arms being carried across the room. At first, her whole body went stiff with panic and she tried to resist him. But his grip was firm and strong, and she didn't stand a chance. She relaxed her body, allowing her head to rest against her father's chest. He set her down in her bed, pulling the covers around her. It reminded Charlee of the times when she was little when her mother would put her to bed, but she wouldn't let her tuck her in. No, that was her father's job. She insist that he came up and tucked the covers round her before she would go to sleep. And there was rarely a time when Jonathon wouldn't come. She was his little girl, after all.

He spoke again, then. “I didn’t want Victoria here for this. She wouldn’t be able to take much more, and I figured you wouldn’t want your mother to find out..."

Find out about what? A voice in Charlee's head began to panic. He didn't know. He couldn't know. He just couldn't! How could he know?

"...about your drug abuse this way either.”

No! How did he know? Someone must've betrayed her. Who told him? She'd never been careful about her use, but she didn't think he was watching her enough to ever notice. He always seemed so caught up in business and everyone else to see his daughter's behaviour as out of place. No. He couldn't know. There was no way. He was probably just throwing out accusations in an attempt to make her admit to something. She'd just deny it, and then all of this would go away.

She was about to protest, but her father got there first. And don't lie to me, Charlee. I've known for months.

He took a seat on the edge of her bed, gentle lines of concern set into his features. He didn't look angry, which surprised Charlee. Though he'd never been particularly harsh with her, and she'd done more than a few things in her life that would've easily warranted his anger. But, perhaps this would be the time he lost his calm, caring demeanour towards her. He'd snapped at Doctor Lydia and had her mother physically dragged out. He clearly wasn't going to let her slip out of this.

"I just... Didn't think it was this bad..." Her father reached out at hand and brushed a strand of hair from her face. "Honey, I need you to tell me how much you took, and what it was..."

The concern in his eyes was nearly killing her, and she just wanted to tell him everything. For as long as Charlee could remember, she'd always been a Daddy's girl. Of course she'd loved Victoria, but for some reason, she'd always held her father's respect and love in higher esteem than her mother's. She'd so desperately wanted to please him and make him proud. She'd looked up to him, and disappointing him was the worst possible punishment. She couldn't bear to watch the worry in his eyes that she'd rarely seen before.

"Daddy, I..." Charlee said instantly, all in a rush.

She was about to tell him everything. She wanted to reassure him that it was just pills. Everyone did them. It was just fun, that was all. She wasn't in any danger and he didn't have to worry. Last night was a just a fluke, and she was still his little girl. But she caught herself. She couldn't tell him the truth. She couldn't admit to him that she was taking drugs. He'd stop her, for sure. And, honestly, she couldn't imagine a life without the pills. She needed them. They had become a staple in her life. She didn’t want help and she didn’t want to be saved by him. She didn’t want to be without them. She even didn’t think she could. She couldn’t tell him. She just couldn’t.

“I’m not taking drugs, I swear. I just had a little too much to drink last night. It was an accident. It won’t happen again. I promise,” she told him, her voice filled with earnest. She looked at him, filling her eyes with what she hoped was a genuine look of innocence.

Charlee was no stranger to lying. In fact, she was a wonderful liar. Her name allowed her to get away with most things, but whatever it couldn’t save her from, her lies could. She was used to it, and she was used to feeling no guilt for it. But, somehow, this lie felt worse than any other she’d ever told. Her father was being so honest with her, and so kind and compassionate. And she was lying desperately to him, doing everything she could to protect her secret. But she couldn’t tell him. He could never hear the truth.

When Jonathon had had Victoria dragged out of her room, he'd justified it with, ‘I did what I had to.' Now she would too.

Or… At least that’s what she told herself…

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Victoria Genovese Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Genovese
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He could see the panic settling in her eyes, and the way she just sat there and stared at him, shocked and terrified, almost made him want to go back to ignoring the issue. But he couldn’t do that. He’d pretended the problem wasn’t there up until now, but he could not do it anymore. Not with Charlee. He watched her, his keen eyes analyzing and interpreting every movement, every shift in her eyes, and he didn’t like what he was seeing. She was so out of it, his little girl, and watching her like this was the worst torture of all. Whatever drug she’d taken, it had some nasty side effects.

Paranoia, anxiety, dizziness, cold sweat. Of course, it wasn’t that Jonah couldn’t find out what she’d taken, and how much, but he’d prefer not to put his daughter through that whole ordeal when she was already this far out there, so he’d asked her instead, hoping with everything inside him that she would actually tell him the truth, that she would actually face up to her actions and take responsibility. He needed her to be on board with him right now so very desperately, because if he could keep Charlee home, perhaps he could find a less horrible way to let Victoria know her daughter was hooked on drugs, because he really couldn’t see that one going down in any good way.

"Daddy, I..." his daughter began, and Jonah felt relieved almost instantly, his eyes softening as he prepared to hear whatever she had to tell him, but then something in her eyes changed, something in her voice, as she continued, “I’m not taking drugs, I swear. I just had a little too much to drink last night. It was an accident. It won’t happen again. I promise.” Jonathon frowned slightly, disappointment painting itself across his features. Disappointment and sadness. Her eyes widened slightly as she looked up at him, trying to sell him her lie. She really was putting on a show, wasn’t she? He crime boss sighed deeply, shaking his head slowly. Normally he would’ve been angry, and he was, but mostly he was disappointed in her, and anger wouldn’t do him any good.

He and Vicky had always done their best to make it known to their children that lying to your parents, is among the worst things you can do. Jonah especially could never quite accept people lying to him. In his business he had plenty of it, so when lies occurred within his family as well, it had a tendency to become a little bit too much for him. There were certain limits the crime boss did not like crossed, and this was one of the most firmly drawn ones. Charlee should know that, and he figured that she did, but then… she wasn’t quite herself right now, was she? No, he could barely recognize the girl in front of him right now.

“Charlee,” he then finally said, his voice still patient, but more reprimanding, a slight sliver of warming in the calm, otherwise gentle, voice. “I told you: don’t lie to me. You know better than that.” Then he rubbed his neck slowly with the palm of his hand, the lack of sleep finally hitting him like a wrecking ball. “Now, will you please tell me what you took, and how much?” He inquired once more, giving her a second chance to tell him the truth. He would send her to the hospital if he had to, but he’d really rather not. Why was parenthood so difficult sometimes? He needed Victoria there with him, yet at the same time he knew that would only make things that much more challenging.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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Leo DePesci

Garcia, like Leo, stared back at him with the same ferocity. As she leaned back in her chair, Leo mimicked her, his gaze not leaving hers for a moment. His eyes wanted to waver as Garcia proceeded to tell him about her lost agent; however he kept them firm and steady.

“That hate, that anger at them for killing your family, that is what you have to focus on. When you start to think, maybe they're not that bad, you remember what they done.” How could anyone possibly forget that? The murder of his mother and father, having to change his name, all the depression and grief that the Genovese had caused in his life. How could he possibly forget that?

”That was what kept me going. When I'm drowning underneath paperwork, I remember that the bastard killed my father. And that's what keeps me going." Leo squinted his eyes at Garcia as if he were trying to figure her out. He could see that there was a part of her that wanted to quit this job; wanted to have an easier existence where she didn’t need to keep looking over her shoulder every ten seconds for either reporters or the Genoveses’ hired assassin. However, Leo could see that the same thing that drove him - the passionate hatred for the murder of a family - was what drove Garcia on. And that was where his confusion lay. Garcia had a deep-seeded hatred for the Genovese, but how long was she really willing to go on with this lifestyle? And how long would Leo really be willing to go on with this existence?

Leo snapped out of his own musing as Garcia continued to speak. "Hate makes a good agent. It gives you a burning determination, one that will drive you until you see them brought down.” And Leo would make sure that he saw someone brought down.

You ask around, do a little research, you'll discover that most of the agents in this branch have some personal connection to the Genovese. And you'll also hear that at some point, I have questioned their loyalty. I question everybody's loyalty. I'm a federal agent currently running an investigation into a mob family. Trust is one commodity I can't afford." Leo understood what she was saying completely, but still held his gaze strong, attempting to let her know that he would be one that would take them down or, more likely, die trying.

Leo smirked at Garcia, holding her eyes. “I’m not asking for trust, Ms. Garcia. I’m asking for the head of Jonathon Genovese.” He only paused momentarily to let that sink in and then continued, “And for you to know that whether you trust me or not, you can bet your ass that I’ll more likely die than watch him walk away for the murder of my family,” Leo paused to think over his words and then added, “And yours.”

Leo knew that what he had said may have been way out of line, but he had had a moment of passion and it was difficult for him to quell his anger. He’d probably have to learn how for the next time he saw Jonathon Genovese. In any case, he would not apologize for what he had said. Perhaps he could have worded it nicer and kept his voice lower and more respectful, but he had meant every word of what he had said.

Going into this job, Leo had to know the dangers of it. He had always known that he would probably be killed with this job. He had seen it firsthand when they killed his mother. And that may have been the one thing that he had worried about. He hardly cared for himself or his death, but the fact that if he were to be killed, Gloria would be alone with only their elderly, adoptive mother. In fact, he found that if there was anyway to die, he would want it to be avenging his parents’ murders. But he knew that Gloria would never be the same.

However, despite Gloria’s protests, Leo had selfishly gone into this job. And they had both known that sitting in that cafe only hours ago may have been the last time they would ever truly speak to each other face-to-face.

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Character Portrait: Kalista Ross Character Portrait: Kole Marinos
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Kalista Ross

Kalista silently handed the dog’s leash back to Kole as it began to whine and demand hiss attention. “I don’t know where that came from,” Kole whispered. Kalista couldn’t tell whether he was speaking to her or to himself, so she stayed silent until he spoke again, this time directly to her. “I’m sorry you had to see that. I never wanted to put you in the middle of this.”

Kalista shook her head slightly to show him that she didn’t care much for what had gone on between him and Dylan. “If you’re talking about this family issue with Dylan, trust me, I’ve seen worse.” Kalista stated, attempting to make her comment seem light, but her voice dropped at the end, hinting at the darkness of what she was truly referring to.

Kalista was glad Kole didn’t seem to pick up on her comment as he spoke again. “I don’t know what I’m doing. If he’s gone home…I can’t. I’m as good as dead.” Kalista nearly sighed in relief at the comment. She would have gone back to the mansion with Kole, but the truth was that she had absolutely no desire to. A majority of the time, Kalista hated being around the Genovese. Not many of them seemed to enjoy her presence either, and most of them had good reason to. Kalista was also greatly relieved that she would not have to go back to the place that she had murdered a man not 24 hours ago. She normally had a 24 hour buffer period for murders unless otherwise requested; it was one of her many rituals. Kalista blinked herself out of her own thoughts and nodded again at Kole, not knowing whether he was disappointed or elated that he would not have to go back to the mansion.

Kalista suddenly heard Kole’s breath pick up, as if on the verge of another panic attack; however it was not quite as quick as a full panic attack so Kalista did nothing except to keep her eye on him. As Kole grabbed his phone out of his pocket, Kalista made sure to keep Kole’s privacy. She only saw that the message was to Jonathon and nothing more. It would have been easy for Kalista to watch what Kole was typing; however, she preferred to let him have his privacy and tell her what was going on himself. Kalista guessed that he was telling Jonathon about Dylan’s new-found knowledge of the explosion, but judging by the look on Dylan’s face the last time she had seen him, he wouldn’t be telling anyone until he had the chance to wrap his head around it.

Kole looked back up at Kalista and she knew exactly what he was about to say because he had said it to her at least twice before. "I understand if you want to take off. It's selfish of me to make you stay here, or to ask you to stick around."

Kalista tilted her head slightly to one side and raised an eyebrow. “Ya know, Kole, you keep saying that.” She paused for a moment and then continued, “You really think I’m the kind of person to just leave a man behind?” Kalista let her serious tone settle in before cracking a smile to let him know she was only joking. She tsked mockingly before continuing in a joking tone, “I really thought that you’d think better of me.” She chuckled before looking down at Kole’s dog. Kalista scratched behind his ears and, though he did not move from Kole’s side, he raised his head to lick Kalista’s hand. Kalista chuckled softly and then looked back at Kole. “Besides, if I had to guess, I’d say your dog has a new favorite.”

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Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Genovese
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She watched her father frown at her, disappointment in his eyes. She felt a pang of guilt hit her in the chest. Guilt at lying to her father. But she...she just couldn't tell him the truth. She hated the disappointment in his eyes, but if she had to admit to him the reality of the situation, Charlee feared the disappointment would be so much worse to watch. All she ever wanted from her father was for him to love her and be proud of her. He would hate her if he discovered what she was hiding, Charlee panicked.

Jonathon sighed, shaking his head slowly. For a moment, Charlee was filled with relief. He had bought her lies. The disapproval must be over her alcohol related lie. Everything would be alright. She would receive a lecture on the dangers of underage drinking and would be reprimanded to whatever level her father saw as necessary. She'd be watched a little more carefully for the following week or so, but then he'd leave her alone. Her habit was safe. He would go, and she could take out the packet of pills that she knew was pressed under her mattress, just below her, and she could pop a few and the world would be better. Everything would go back to how it should be. But his voice interrupted her grateful thoughts.

“Charlee, I told you: don’t lie to me. You know better than that.” His tone held the hint of trouble, and his words plunged Charlee into a whole new world of panic. Her chest tightened again and her breathing hitched unmistakably. She blinked as the world swirled out of focus, trying to concentrate on her father's face without showing her internal fear.

Jonathon lifted his hand to rub his neck, and as his hand raised, Charlee flinched. Her father had never ever laid a malicious hand on her, nor did she ever expect him to, but the action was utterly involuntary. Inside, her mind was screaming at her to get away. The world was closing in on her. Her father knew, and he was like a hound with the scent of blood, he wasn't going to stop until he got what he was looking for from her. She was trapped. The frightened child inside her wanted to just tell him the truth, but she couldn't. And now she was desperate

“Now, will you please tell me what you took, and how much?” her father demanded. His tone was still relatively calm and gentle with her, but in Charlee's heightened state, all she could hear was aggression in it.

"I didn't!" she raised her voice. It was not a scream, but there was an edge of hysteria to her ragged tone. " I'm not lying. Why won't you believe me?" she begged, becoming tearful. She no longer knew the difference between what was a forced act in a desperate attempt to convince him, and what was her own panic.

"Please don't..." she said softly, looking up at him, eyes full of tears. It was an admission, of sorts. An admission that they both knew the truth, but she wouldn't speak it. It was plea for him to just leave it and not to stop her. She needed this, and she was begging him not to take it away.

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Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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“I’m not asking for trust, Ms. Garcia. I’m asking for the head of Jonathon Genovese.” Jess grinned. “And for you to know that whether you trust me or not, you can bet your ass that I’ll more likely die than watch him walk away for the murder of my family,” Leo looked her full in the face. Jess stared back. “And yours.”

This was it. What- no, who she had been hoping for. He was like her. Nothing was forgotten.

Jess was suddenly extremely aware of her own mortality. She could be killed at any moment in time. Hers was a risky job with only one reward- vengeance. A bullet could come crashing through the wall and embed itself in her brain. A bomb could be planted under her table and primed to explode the minute Leo left- or any point before or after that.

Her eyes rose to the wall of awards behind Leo. She had earned every single one of them. And she wasn't going to allow Jonathon Genovese to take all that from her. She was stuck behind a desk- but hell, she was going to do the best she could from there.

She grinned at him. "That's what makes you such a good agent."

"Jonathon Genovese is a cold, heartless bastard- except when it comes to his family. They're the few people he cares about. He's got three kids. The oldest, Lincoln, is currently at college here in the city. The daughter, Charlee, is in her senior year." She accessed the file on her computer. "Dylan, the youngest, is a freshman. But he's smart, possibly smarter than both his siblings- something we can use. Our old techie was trying to get friendly with him, common interests and all that. He was going to try and get him to give us information."

She looked at Leo, a new fire burning within her. "I'm telling you all of this for a reason. Take it whatever way you wish." She glanced back at the screen. "Don't try and befriend the kid. Genovese will smell a rat- the mole was his friend, and now the new kid wants to be friends? You won't last long."

She had access to so much information, an arsenal of agents, and a burning passion. She didn't need to leave her desk- she had everything she needed, right at her fingertips.

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Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Kalista Ross Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Charlee Genovese
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She seemed amused. Kole didn’t know why. He watched her tilt her head at him, raising an eyebrow. It seemed like Kalista had been around Duke too long. She had the same look on her face that his dog often did. It belittled him slightly. Made him feel like he was ten and throwing a tantrum over nothing. Was this nothing to her? Was she failing to see how hard this was hitting him? The subtle personality change was clicking in. It terrified him that he had snapped like he had at Dylan. Nothing had held him back from his youngest brother, someone he wanted to protect from this life. And now he’s just fully exposed the kid to it, and the fact that he was not the good idealistic older brother he had thought him to be. It wasn’t his reputation that he was worried about. Kole had always been a street rat, the son of the bookie and the whore. He didn’t care what others thought of him, except Jonathon perhaps but that was different. It was that he felt like he had stolen Dylan’s innocence and that felt like a crime that rivaled Karparthy’s murder.

“Ya know, Kole, you keep saying that. You really think I’m the kind of person to just leave a man behind?” Kalista asked him, her tone like a general’s. Dark. Steady. And then her lips pulled into a smile, her sarcasm suddenly apparent. Kole pursed her lips and brought his hand to grip his own chin, rolling his eyes at her, hearing her tsk at him. Now he felt small. Why was this aggravating him so much? The teasing had been cute the night before. But now it felt like she was mocking him. Why can’t you take it? She seemed to be saying. “Well, you’re a lone wolf, aren’t you?” he replied lowly, flicking his eyes at her, not feeling lightened in any way by her joking around.

“I really thought that you’d think better of me,” Kalista chuckled. Duke whined and her attention went to the German Shepard. She glanced down at him, and his eyes went down to his dog as well. Duke was in his glory as the assassin scratched behind his ears. He felt the dog shift away from his leg and towards Kalista, leaning his head into her hand eagerly, licking her hand when she pulled away momentarily. “Besides, if I had to guess, I’d say your dog has a new favorite.”

“He’s been bought,” Kole sighed. “I thought I had him trained better. Can’t exactly have a police dog keening over every girl he’s told to sniff.” Duke yipped lowly, looking straight up at Kole before pushing his nose into his hand, wanting more attention. The young man sighed deeply, feeling his shoulders relax as he gave into the German Shepard’s sudden neediness for affection. His calloused hands grazed the dog’s ears before reaching under his chin gently. For a moment he was quiet, simply petting the animal before he looked back at Kalista and nodding slowly. “Okay then. You get to deal with me. Like this. Can’t help but feel like I’m making you into a babysitter but…I’m scared of even myself right now,” he admitted, scratching the crown of his head with his free hand.

“So what do you suggest doing? I just need to be…preoccupied...maybe?”

He didn't know what he wanted right then and there. Dylan was gone and Charlee was sick. The household was likely in chaos and he knew his other brother Lincoln was likely at school. It was likely that Victoria was having a hard time with it, but she had her husband with her. Kole glanced at his phone and saw no reply. It was odd to not see anything from his father quickly, which only seemed to make the family's other problems seem more pressing. But what good was he? Would he snap at them too? He had been close to Charlee, sure, but since moving out she had slipped out of his radar of concern. Kole knew he would never be able to stop her from doing who and what she wanted to do, so why try? She reminded him a lot of his mother too, which only made things more painful.

Maybe it would be best to disappear for awhile. To lay low. But not to grovel as he did last night. No. He needed something else. He just didn't know what. It dawned on him again that many people in his position turned to substance abuse to numb the feeling. But he wanted to deal with it. He just didn't know how.

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Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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Leo DePesci

Leo internally sighed in relief as a bit of the tension broke when Garcia smirked back at his comment. “That's what makes you such a good agent." Leo couldn’t help but crack a grin of pride back at his ‘boss’. That was high praise coming from a woman of her ranking. When walking in, he had seen the wall of awards that she had glanced at moments before.

Though his pride would never let Leo admit it, he looked up to the woman. Of course there was a part of him that didn’t want to be stuck in the same place for the rest of his life. That had to be the part of him that was still a con man. But nevertheless, he still placed Garcia on a high pedestal.

Leo focused back on Garcia as she began to speak about the rest of the Genovese family, and Leo continued to nod, absorbing the knowledge and letting it sit in the back of his mind for later use.

Suddenly, that flame was sparked again in Garcia’s eyes, forcing Leo to listen to her. "I'm telling you all of this for a reason. Take it whatever way you wish. Don't try and befriend the kid. Genovese will smell a rat- the mole was his friend, and now the new kid wants to be friends? You won't last long." Leo nodded slowly at her last statement, not quite sure how to respond. With his job within the Genovese, he probably wouldn’t be getting too close to the family, especially the kids, but Leo took in Garcia’s information anyway.

Leo let a moment of silence set in, getting mentally ready to leave her office. “So, this is it,” Leo stated plainly. It held no hint of nervousness, no hint of his usual pride, no hint of any emotion that Leo felt about the job or what he was getting himself into.

Leo looked from Garcia to his clasped hands and then back to her again. He was about to stand to leave, but he had one thing to ask Garcia and he didn’t know how she would react to it. “I just have one thing to ask.” Leo paused, chewing over the correct way to say it. “Did you ever think you’d find yourself here when you started out? I mean... just stuck here...” Leo’s brow furrowed as he thought over his words a moment and then shook his head. “I guess that was wrong of me to ask.”

Leo almost wanted to tell her about the ‘itchy feet’ - as his sister liked to call it - that he was prone to getting, but he didn’t want her to take him for the guy that would just up and leave when the going got tough. He wasn’t like that. The thing was that he just didn’t take himself for someone who could spend the rest of his life doing one thing.

This was the job that he really wanted and he knew that for a fact, but what if he never left New York again? Leo shook himself mentally. He had been having this war with himself since he had gotten back from his ‘travels’ and he always knew that this was the occupation that he really needed. So why was he questioning it when he was so close to getting exactly what he wanted?

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Character Portrait: Kalista Ross Character Portrait: Kole Marinos
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Kalista Ross

As quickly as Kalista’s joking tone had been turned on, it flicked off and Kalsita narrowed her gaze at Kole. “Well, you’re a lone wolf, aren’t you?” replayed in Kalista’s mind and it continued to anger her. He had done absolutely nothing to cover up his unamused attitude. It seemed as if Kole was annoyed with her and that was what really had her going. She had done her best to give him advice the night before, and even now when she was in the most uncomfortable, inconvenient position that a person like Kalista could be in, she had chosen to stay with him. And now Kole was annoyed with her. In Kalista’s mind, Kole had absolutely no right to have any semblance of a bad attitude toward her.

Kalista rolled her shoulders back as Kole opened his mouth to speak again, mentally preparing to hold herself back if he said something else that angered her. “He’s been bought. I thought I had him trained better. Can’t exactly have a police dog keening over every girl he’s told to sniff.” Once again, Kole’s bitterly sarcastic tone had Kalista reeling in her mind. She had to remind herself not to snap at him, but this time, she made no attempt to hide the anger that was bubbling up again.

They stood there for a moment, looking at each other and Kalista glared daggers at him as if she were daring him to say something else. “Okay then. You get to deal with me. Like this. Can’t help but feel like I’m making you into a babysitter...” The only thing that Kalista understood after that was that he was asking a question, but she couldn’t fully understand the words coming out of his mouth.

Kalista stood there with clenched teeth, glaring back at Kole, eyes narrowed, deciding how she was about to handle the situation. Suddenly, Kalista started laughing. It was short, huffed laughs with a smile that spread across her face and made her eyes squint; however, it was a fake, forced laugh that Kalista often did when she was angry. It was half way between a chuckle and a scoff that often confused people.

“Are you kidding me? You’re really giving me this attitude right now?” Kalista paused a moment to let out one last chuckle before her smile dropped and her brow furrowed. “I understand the place you’re in right now. I more than understand it. But that does not give you a reason to be an ass to me.” Kalista paused to gather her thoughts, only momentarily stopping to wonder if she should take back what she said, before deciding that she couldn’t stop herself now. “Do you know how uncomfortable the past 24 hours have been for me? In case you live under a fucking rock and haven’t noticed, I’m not too keen on sharing my feelings with people.” Kalista stepped closer and poked a finger in the center of Kole’s chest, pushing him back slightly while she continued her monologue. “But when you ask me the other night, I gave you the rundown.”

Kalista dropped her hand and took a step back from him. “With Dylan just now? A majority of the people in the Genovese household either can’t stand me or don’t know what to think of me. I hate nearly everything about that mansion. But I was willing and ready to go back there with you because I thought that you needed someone that understood what you’re going through. It might not look like it, but this past month has been the most emotional vulnerable I’ve been since I was a child. I thought you wanted and needed me around. But right now, with this pissy attitude of yours, I’m getting the feeling that you don’t want me to be here. I can always leave if that’s what you want.”

Kalista took a step back and simply glared at Kole. She characteristically wiped any sign of emotion off of her face. It was a defensive mechanism for her when she felt that she was getting too out of hand. Kalista took a moment to reflect on what she had just said. It was uncharacteristic of her to show this amount of any emotion to anyone. To a certain extent, it wasn’t really Kole or anything that he had said. It was an accumulation of everything and everyone treating her like shit and then Kole giving her this attitude was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was slightly confusing to her though. Why had Kole been that big of a deal? Maybe it was because he was the one person that she didn’t think would treat her like this - even after everything that he had been through. With a clench of her fist, Kalista decided not to muse anymore on the subject.

She just wanted to take it all back. Not because she didn’t mean it or even because she felt bad about saying it to Kole. She just didn’t want anyone - especially him - to think of her as a weak, vulnerable woman who openly expresses her feelings.

A moment of silence passed before Kalista took a step back from Kole, still glaring daggers at him. She then cracked a smile; this one was evil and sarcastic and mocking all at the same time. “Well, you don’t seem to need me anymore. I’m going to go take my run.” With that Kalista turned around and began to walk back the way they had come, but not before calling back over her shoulder, “I guess you can try being a lone wolf too now.”