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Alaura Dawn Santoro

"No one says no to Don Santoro."

0 · 622 views · located in Boston, Ma

a character in “The Santoro Family Mob”, as played by Jynxii

Description

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"I always like to win. But I'm the big sister. I want to make sure she has everything, even if I don't have anything."

- Venus Williams






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Name: Alaura Dawn Aset Santoro
Nickname: Dawn, Miss A, Lala (only by her husband), A.
Age: 23 years young.
Sexuality: Pansexual.
Race/Ethnicity: Italian, Irish, and Native American.
Birth Date: February 24th
Occupation: Elementary school teacher.
Relationship status: Married.

Likes:
Children
Her Family
Education
Apples
Painting

Dislikes:
Child abuse
Orange (the color)
Graveyards
Smoking/Drinking/Drugs
Lawyers

Fears:
! Aichmophobia [Fear of needles]
! Apiphobia [Fear of bees]
! Hypsiphobia [Fear of heights]

Hobbies:
Painting
Jogging




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Personality:

Alaura is, in a word, motherly. She is always willing to lend an extra hand, even if it's to a complete stranger. She doesn't have much, but what she does she is willing to give for the happiness of others. Like the Egyptian goddess Isis, she has a deep and ever growing love of children which is why she became an elementary teacher. Miss A, as her students call her, is very caring and patient. She'd have to be- working with children all day! For Alaura it just comes naturally, she doesn't have to try not to lose her temper because she always has it well under control. She is a soft-spoken and intelligent woman, who enjoys a challenge. Alaura is always willing to try new things, and looking for new ways to engage her students. Children--the future, that's where her priorities always fall, including her son whom she deeply cherishes. As a teacher she is enthusiastic, with a good sense of humor. As a wife, she is compassionate, trusting, understanding and loyal.

Alaura often feels like her husband and son are all she has in the world, which can make her a little overprotective sometimes. She can come across as a push over, all rainbows and sunshine, but deeper than that she is genuinely a good person. When crossed, she can be almost comical- not wanting to raise her voice or say anything to hurt anyone. Cussing is completely out of her character. Lying is never easy for her, but she will if it is to protect her family or students. She's very creative, and her favorite subject to teach is art. At least.. that's the Alaura everyone knows and loves. On the inside, she's a quiet woman with slight OCD, who feels trapped and guilty. She’s never been on the wrong side of the law before, and she certainly had no idea what she was marrying into when she said ”I do.”

Motherly || Caring || Outgoing ||Intelligent || Softspoken || Patient || Understanding || Enthusiastic || OCD || Calm || Good sense of humor || Terrible liar || Responsible





Family:
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Giovanni Santoro | Husband

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Alphonso Santoro | Son

History:
Joseph Aset, was a tall, strong man with dark hair. He worked as a police officer for years, protecting the city from outsiders and residents. He was a quirky man, with a wonderful sense of humor and a love of the arts. He was on a standard day of patrolling when he came across the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her name was Evangeline Guthrie, a petite woman with large doe brown eyes. She had just moved from Egypt, where she grew up along the Nile. Now, many people do not believe in love at first sight, but this was it-- real and true. Her father knew the moment he laid eyes on her, that she was the one. After months of asking, she finally agreed to let him take her out on a date. Two years and a beautiful wedding later, their first child was born. Alaura Dawn Aset. She was the pride and joy of her parents, and the apple of her mother's eye. Every night, Evangeline would sing Alaura to sleep with songs of her home land.

When Alaura was two, her father quit his police job and opened a bakery with her mother. Alaura enjoyed the spoils of being an only child until she was four years old, when her younger sister was born. Unlike a lot of children, Alaura was thrilled to have a baby sister. She was so excited, and proud of be Jade's older sister. Over the years, Alaura taught her everything she knew; wanting to be just like their mother. When Alaura was sixteen her father let her drive the family van. Everyone was inside, so of course her mother was nervous. "Just take it slow, little bird," her mother called from the back seat. She was nervous. Everything was going so smoothly, everything was perfect... until they crossed the bridge that led to their family's home. A herd of cattle had somehow broken free from their fence, and stormed onto the road. "Dad!" she screamed, slamming on the breaks. There was a little boy, thirteen years old, standing in front of the cows, waving his arms to signal for her to stop. Panicked, because she was driving too fast to stop the van in time, she swerved.

The minivan crushed through the wooden railings of the bridge, and plummeted into the river below. She woke up in the hospital two weeks later. Her father sat by her bed. He looked tired, and his eyes were red and puffy from crying. "Papa?" She struggled to sit up, but a throbbing in her head sent her back onto the bed. She was told later that she had nearly drowned trying to save her baby sister from the back seat, and the concussion she received had put her into a coma. Their mother, born by the edge of the Nile river, was claimed by the water. Drowned, and her younger sister along with her. They told her there was nothing they could have done, but Alaura still blamed herself. If she had paid more attention, maybe... if she had breaked sooner, if she had just run over the boy instead of swerving... If only.

As the years went on, Alaura took on the role her mother had played. Getting herself up, dressed, and ready for school every day. She left for college a year early, thanks to good grades. She went to school at a university near by, and got her teaching degree. She moved to the city when she was twenty. Her father still lives in her childhood home, a cosy house by the riverside just across the bridge. He's older now, and spends his days in the bakery. Alaura lived in a small apartment for a long time, traveling back and forth to her job. It was one evening as she was walking home that she ran into a dashing stranger. No, I mean literally. Her coffee and bagel went all over him- the poor guy. Embarrassed to no end, she immediate burst into a slew of apologies. She didn’t know it then, but that young man would become her husband just six months down the road. She became pregnant two months after they were married. She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Alphonso Santoro. Al for short.

Everything was happening so quickly, but there was no stopping it. Of course, she was introduced to the family- an odd group of Italians who were extremely tight-lipped. After the baby was born she started to notice things. Giovanni would be out for all hours of the night and come home with mud, blood, and other debris on his clothing. She didn’t dare ask. She had assumed he was being unfaithful, but it wasn’t long before the truth came out. Came out in the form of her apartment being shot up by a rival gang.

Giovanni’s father insisted she move into the Santoro apartments after that, claiming that his grandson would not be safe anywhere else. So, of course she did. You don’t argue with a man like Don Santor- you just smile politely and agree. So Alaura and Al moved into the Santoro apartments with Giovanni. That’s when the truth was ultimately explained to her. Over the course of the next three years she tried her best to ignore the world she had been thrust into. Every now and again she would be asked to do this, that, or the other- and who was she to say no? The Santoros were her family now. She loved her husband, and she loved her son… she could never leave Gio. So, there was only one thing to do: accept that she was officially a Mafia Wife.

Photo Gallery

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So begins...

Alaura Dawn Santoro's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro
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#, as written by Jynxii
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Dear Diary,

Could things be any more perfect than they have been these past few months? Gio seems happier every day, and Al has started walking. He's even starting to form sentences! The family has finally accepted me, and while I originally wondered if I wanted that- now I certainly know that it's for the better. Gio's sister has, like the rest of the family, finally warmed up to me. I no longer feel like I'm walking on half melted ice... Gio and I are more in love than we have ever been... My only worry? A meeting his father has called for tomorrow. He wants everyone together, and believe me when I say: Nothing good ever comes out of these meetings. I know what you must be thinking, or what I imagine you'd think if you were a person who could think and judge me... What am I thinking? Thanks for the caution, Diary, but I'm well looked after. Gio's even hired me a body-guard. He was pretty insistent on it.. though, why- I'm not sure. The Don has finally stopped his goons from picking through my mail and emails. I suppose that's progress in some form or another, hm?

Gio's been out on another late-night call but I hear him coming in.
Tata for now.
<3 A


The Next Day.


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She woke up before him, as she almost always did. Gently, she let her fingertips brush against his exposed shoulder as her blue hues watched his sleeping form. She had heard from many people that marriage killed the passion in their relationships and drove them out of love and into a divorce. For Alaura, she had only managed to sink deeper and deeper into adoration of her partner. Her other half. Her husband. Reluctantly, she rolled over to check the clock- it was five minutes before the alarm was set to go off. Through the baby monitor, right on time, she could hear the stirring of Alphonse waking up. Like father like son. Alaura slowly rolled back over to look at Gio for a few more minutes before leaning over to kiss him awake. "Good morning, my love," she whispers softly, tilting her head away from his face so as to not gas him with morning breath (cause, after three years-- you're out of the cupcake phase and morning breath is a thing). Smiling, she slips from the covers and makes her way to the bathroom to freshen up.

After her shower, she comes out in a bathrobe- her hair up in a towel. "Your father's meeting is today," she says gently as she passes by the bed again, going into Alphonse's room. After he has used the 'big boy' potty and gotten his Hershey Kiss for his success, she changes him into his clothes for the day and leaves him in his playpen while she goes to get dressed herself.

Once ready, she rejoins with Gio. She wears a slimming black dress, and black heels, with the pearls Gio's mother gave her after she moved in. "You ready, baby?" she asks with a smile, standing in front of him to check over his tie and suit one more time. If and when he indicates that he is, she moves to pick up Alphonse and slip on the jacket to his mini-suit and clip on his tiny tie. She struggles with his miniature dress shoes for a moment, laughing when he squirms and makes a fuss of having to wear shoes.

Finally dressed, and Al ready, she joins Gio by the door and follows him to the elevator and car. The trip to the office is a short one, but it feels like ages to Alaura. She follows after Gio, Al in tow. "You'll do wonderful, my darling," Alaura says softly as they enter the building and make for the elevator. "Dada...dada... dada..." Al gurgles softly, not really looking at Gio, but looking everywhere- eyes wide, soaking it all in with blissful ignorance of what is going on around him. Alaura steps into the elevator after Gio, more than half expecting to see someone else join them that they knew. The majority of her just hoped that it would be someone she could tolerate, like her sister-in-law, body guard, or Marude (Martin and Jude).

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Aryan Julian Kolter Character Portrait: Eleonora Santoro Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro
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Aluara always woke up before him...even if he planned to be up first, somehow she always beat him to it. He didn't mind though...waking to fingertips softly moving against his shoulder, soft kisses, whispered words...it was so much better than the ringing of alarms. “Morning baby,” he mumbled into his pillow, not moving from where he was.

Everyone had told them, when they'd first married, that they were moving too fast...they hadn't known each other long enough, should have tried living together before tying the knot, but now Gio knew the truth. They were perfect...everything was just fine...and if possible, he fell deeper in love with her each passing day.

Somewhere, in the back of his mind, he knew his wife was in the shower, and that he should probably be getting up himself. But he didn't. “Your father's meeting is today.” The words took moments to reach his ears, and she was already in Alphie's room before he managed to pull himself out of bed.

He was shrugging on the pieces of his suit by the time she returned, black matching her dress, shoes shined, folding a tie perfectly into place. He never did it right...even after all this time, so when she asked if he was ready he simply gave her a crooked smile and let her go over his appearance once last time.

Gio did his hair while Alarua got Alphie ready, watching through the vanity mirror and laughing softly when the boy whined about his shoes. Like father, like son.

The morning was fairly silent, both boys usually took awhile to get adjusted, and Gio was almost certain he wasn't really awake until they were standing in the elevator going up to the meeting room. They were actually on time for once...or, more likely, he was, but he took Alaura's hand and pulled his small family off to the side once they got off the elevator.

Always aware of just about everything around him, Gio noticed Aryan first – Alaura's personal bodyguard – and nodded for the man to keep close to them. Usually, as long as she was with him, his wife and son were safe...but with the way things were about to change, he wanted to make sure she was always safe. Which meant keeping Aryan Kolter even closer.

Others were arriving, one by one, entering the meeting room and greeting his parents. He could hear them from where they were standing, just around the corner, but he wasn't ready to go in. Not yet. He leaned forward, pressing a kiss to his sons forehead before resting his own against his wfie's.. “Love you, Lala,” he murmured softly.

And then, for a moment, he just closed his eyes, taking a deep breath and twining his fingers together with Aluara's hand that wasn't holding Alphie. She didn't know the extent of what this meeting would cover...but she was still his rock...and he needed her just to be there for a minute.

Unfortunately, his minute was cut short, and Gio felt his brows meet together at the sound of a trumpet. For a moment he thought he'd imagined it...like maybe he was finally going crazy...but then after a bit of background noise, a voice spoke: "Your Majesty Eleonora Cosima Santoro has returned to her humble Kingdom."

He felt his heart tighten in his chest at the sound of her name, a familiar ache climbing up through his throat as he stepped back from Alaura, slowly letting go of her hand and turning the corner just as the clean-up crew was getting to work.

"Please, please, sit. We wouldn't want anybody fainting from the overwhelming sight of my glory.” Even after all this time...there was no mistaking her voice. He would know it anywhere, a sound that both warmed him and worried him at the same time...how long had it been?

He was on autopilot before he even realized what he was doing, leaning in the doorway with his arms crossed over his chest and a snort coming out of his nose.“Why would anyone faint over you? Because you're so ugly?” It was a bold faced lie, of course. Anyone who knew Gio knew that he thought his sisters were the most beautiful beings on the planet...rivaled only by his wife.

Now that he could see her...really see her, all long legs and flowing platinum hair, he knew there was no doubting it. Leo was home...

He couldn't bring himself to worry about why.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Santoro Character Portrait: Roxanne Fox Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Louis "Fast Louie" Coppola Sr. Character Portrait: Eleonora Santoro Character Portrait: Jaqueline Character Portrait: Richard (Dickie) Glenmore Character Portrait: Martin Ross Character Portrait: Jude King Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro
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Dickie shook his uncle's hand, hugged his aunt, and took a seat near the middle of the table just as his youngest cousin came in. He gave a small nod to her and leaned back lazily. He was usually the first to arrive to these meetings, which meant he got his choice of seat. A simple pleasure, but still a nice perk. He rolled his head to the side, facing the don. Something was off. He never knew Don Carlos to be a worrier, but this afternoon the man looked distracted. It was understandable. He was passing off his position, his legacy. It was acceptable for him to be a little tweaked.

An opening door pulled Dick's attention away from the boss. In walked Fast Louie and Nico Kato, two of the most prominent gangsters prowling the streets these days. Dickie nodded to his 'Uncle' Louie as the gangster headed to greet the don. This was one intimidating guy. Dickie made it a point to personally hand the man a free drink every time he entered Black Violets. He in no way wanted to get on Lou's bad side.

Dickie and Nico had a fine relationship with Nico, who greeted him shortly after his entrance. Dickie responded in kind as Kato took his seat. Dickie liked Nico. He always knew that when Nico Kato entered the club no one was going to cause any problems. This was enough to win his heart.

Again the door opened, this time with much more extravagance. Enter Eleonora Santoro. "Please, please, sit. We wouldn't want anybody fainting from the overwhelming sight of my glory," Dickie's eyes rolled so far back that they probably went around twice. He was not his cousin's biggest fan. She was always obnoxious, entitled, bossy, and just pretty much the worst kind of person in every way. At least Gio changed that about himself. Nothing good ever followed when Leo showed up on the scene.

While Leo made a spectacle of herself another two figures slid in quietly. Roxanne, probably the closest thing Dickie had to a friend in this place, showed and quickly took a seat across from him. Just short after, the dark and quiet Jackie arrived and silently waited for the festivities to end. Dickie raised a quizzical eyebrow at her and gave a slight smile. Jackie usually kept to herself, but she was good company.

Finally the man of the hour. Gio sauntered in with his wife Alaura in tow. A few quick remarks between him and his twin sister set the tone for how Leo's return would go. Dickie was not excited.

Two more came through the door just then, Martin and Jude, their bromance seemingly still going strong. With an apology the two took their seats. No streamers, no sparklers. Just an apology and a seat, like professionals. This was why he liked these two. Theatrics are unnecessary and annoying. But maybe he was just projecting his dislike of his cousin.

But that all aside. Gio was here, so the meeting could finally begin. Dickie linked his hands and placed them in front of him, patiently waiting for the news.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Santoro Character Portrait: Roxanne Fox Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Louis "Fast Louie" Coppola Sr. Character Portrait: Nico Kato Character Portrait: Aryan Julian Kolter Character Portrait: Eleonora Santoro Character Portrait: Jaqueline Character Portrait: Martin Ross Character Portrait: Jude King Character Portrait: Leslie Rhodes Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro
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❂ ℓєѕℓιє янσ∂єѕ ❂

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Leslie rode the elevator the whole way rested against the hand rail. The pain was beginning to grow irritating, and not necessarily in the usual way that it always was. There was nothing to do about it, but he traced through his actions of the previous night, recalling many of the details of the day which had put more stress on the limb and probably had caused the amplified ache. He sighed, tapping the end of his cane against the floor in aggravation. For the moment, his expression had dropped, but he quickly and effortlessly put a good face back on as he took note of the slowing elevator. Noise was welcoming him the moment the doors slid open and he made his way to the meeting room.

He took a deep breath, expression flinching to reveal his irritation for a mere second before composure had set back in, forced back on his face. He had managed to catch just about a second of the end of a spectacle; the overly-dramatized entrance of a tall beauty in blonde, and the interjection of Giovanni Santoro. A few large thugs shuffled about with odd objects, a few people weaved about them to get into the meeting room and get situated, and as Leslie drew closer, the tapping of his cane echoing audibly in the hall despite other noise clouding the space, he could see plenty of people were appropriately staying out of the matter, themselves. The idea seemed fair enough, no questions asked, as he paused by the door, leaning heavily on his cane and simply not having the energy to attempt to weave his already difficult to move body around some of the bodies that clung at the entrance with their odd objects and pointless duties.

One eyed him a mere moment before the concept to shuffle out of the way finally crossed him, and the unidentified man gave him just enough room to get through without hassle. Lez hobbled forward, slipping past without so much as a word. Perhaps on a better day he would have managed an 'excuse me' or even a sarcastic rendition of a 'thank you,' however, he found no ounce of remorse for saying nothing in his current state, only focusing on moving forward towards the closest available seat. While others were available in the room, it was an obvious choice to make as far as selecting one which required the least amount of effort to get to, after all.

"I apologize for the delay," He announced politely, directing at Mr. and Mrs. Santoro as he grabbed hold of the back of the chair for support, slowly lowering himself down to it. He suppressed an audible sign of the struggle by clenching his jaw when he let himself plop down, his bad leg outstretched in front of him for mere seconds before he brought it back to a normal position, letting his hand move from the back of the chair, the support no longer needed. He took a deep inhale, the hand with his cane still gripped firmly pressing against his thigh as if the pressure could help at least a little. He left the concept of further explanation hanging, but supposed it could not be helped much. Excuses were never his favorite activity, not unless one counted the lies he constantly told as a child. Now-a-days, he simply left people to speculate, and often it was far too easy for them to do so.

Leslie crossed his injured leg over the other, resting both hands on the silver hilt of his cane in front of him while he leaned back, letting his gaze circle around the room at the others who'd arrived before him. Just about everyone, actually, as far as he was sure, but he supposed it couldn't be helped. There was no going back around and taking a quicker, easier rout, waking up just a few minutes before the usual time. The point of dwelling on the situation was, however, nowhere in sight.

His eyes settled on a few people at a time; the Santoros, of course, along with Dickie Glenmore, Louis Cappola, Martin and Jude, Nico Kato, the list continued onward before Leslie decided to end his scan of the room. His gaze focused on the Santoros. After all, that was where the real point of the meeting was lying. Any simple person could detect the heaviness in the air, anyway, and it hardly took a rocket scientist to know who and where it was coming from. He let his quick glances fall upon one person at a time, before falling back to the Don, who seemed near plagued with the thought of the meeting ahead of him. No one could blame him, however, it was piquing Leslie's interest further into the event before him, to say the least. After all, it had seemed a bit more along the lines of mundane business at the start of the day, but the room was simply so... weighted. At the very least, Lez was sure that a show ensued.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Eleonora Santoro Character Portrait: Jude King Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro
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#, as written by Layla
Leo.

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Broken by Lifehouse.

"Life's not too bad if you have a good physique, a ton of luck, and not much imagination."


Was it too much to ask that your family be happy – or at least only faintly disappointed – at your return?

Apparently so.

“Eleonora, darling, so nice for you to have joined us,” Adriana cooed. She sat primly by her husband’s side, the sole epitome of a good wife and every woman’s Botox dream. Of all her children, Eleonora was the one who most resembled her and her Polish descent, but they might as well have been strangers. Looking at her now, Leo felt the same void she always had before. As a child, she had stared, wide eyed, at the stunning woman who whispered sweet words by Alexandra’s ear and smiled proudly at her only son, wishing desperately that the same gentle gaze would be turned on her. She would tuck herself between Giovanni and the wall, praying that one day her mama would see her when she saw Vanni.

Fat hopes.

The void was like a black hole that devoured every particle of her being, and when there was no one left for it to consume, it devoured itself, until every wish and every fervent prayer was ground to dust.

She felt nothing when she looked at her mother but she wondered, every now and then, what her mother thought of her. If after Gio was born, Adriana felt rage and annoyance at having to endure the torture of prolonged labour to bring a second, less useful being to life. If she ever wished Alexandra had been Giovanni’s twin instead, so they hadn’t had to try for another better child to overshadow their failure. If it pained her to look at Eleonora despite what she doing, be it leaping across the stage as the company’s lead prima ballerina, or receiving her honours degrees from Harvard University. If it pained her to know that although Eleonora was too much, she would never enough.

Leo returned Adriana’s polite smile and replied, “Thank you.”

“Why would anyone faint over you? Because you’re ugly?”

She did not allow herself time to think or space to feel. Her eyes darted toward the source of the voice and she met his eyes without truly seeing him. “Oh, honey,” she whispered with a tone of soft sympathy. “Self-hatred is not the way.” She beamed at him. “We are twins who share numerous physical similarities, after all.” It was a reply entirely unlike the Leo they knew previously. When they were children, she would merely scowl and bark a similar insult back at him, something along the lines of, “Me, ugly? You’re ugly!” Now she regarded him like a stranger, speaking words the impulsive but furiously passionate Eleonora would never utter.

Her hair cascaded around her in smooth, sculpted waves, framing her body like a pale halo. When they were young, Leo had kept her hair in a messy braid trimmed to her shoulders. Three years and a million neglected phone calls later, her hair brushed the end of her tailbone, defeating every statement that “long hair [was] impractical” she had ever hissed. Over a dozen rings glinted at her ears where before they were bare. Her ballet schools had largely disapproved of body modifications.

“What a pity. I would have loved to see that entrance,” remarked a low voice. Eleonora turned to find none other than Jude King, although she liked to call him Judas. The first true grin emerged on her face. Judas was possibly the only of her father’s employees she could tolerate and perhaps even like, somewhat.

”At least someone’s happy to see me,” Leo remarked with a wink. However, her grin faded as quickly as it came. Her eyes wavered on Alaura but more than that, it lingered on the small creature settled between her and… She had known. Eleonora had known, but she felt the chains that encircled her heart jerk as it leapt forward, beating itself against her ribcage. The world seemed to pivot and she was crashing, screaming till her throat caved in on itself as swords pulled her flesh apart. She stared at the young boy for a few moments too long and distantly, she noted that the room had fallen silent, or had her mind ceased to function?

Her eyes drifted up and over to the man that stood next to the boy and her lungs tripped over the oxygen that forced its way inside, forcing her to breathe, to live, when she wanted to do anything but. She felt every ounce of pain crash into her like a tidal wave and she needed to scream. She wanted to leap forward and clutch Giovanni and beg for him to come back, to not give up on her, to love her. She wanted to rip every strand of hair from her scalp and shatter her skull against the prison walls of this building and the ones in her mind. She wanted to rip the child from their arms and tear his wife from limb to limb. She wanted to curl into herself like a dying star, for her body and soul to disappear into a supernova – at least then she might illuminate the sky and be beautiful, for once.

“Congratulations,” she said instead, a smile sitting frozen on her lips. “I’m sorry I missed your wedding.” Leo held an arm outstretched for a handshake to Alaura. “I don’t believe we’ve been properly introduced. You must be the beautiful Alaura I’ve heard so much about. Please, call me Leo. It’s lovely to meet you.” She crouched so she was level to their son. “And you must be the little prince. You’re very tall for your age! I guess you take after your daddy."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Alexandra Santoro Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Louis "Fast Louie" Coppola Sr. Character Portrait: Aryan Julian Kolter Character Portrait: Eleonora Santoro Character Portrait: Jaqueline Character Portrait: Martin Ross Character Portrait: Jude King Character Portrait: Leslie Rhodes Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro
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#, as written by Phillip
Mary mother of Christ.

Such thoughts rarely left his mind and exited his mouth. This particular moment took a lot of restrain however. There were not enough antacids in all of Massachusetts to get through this morning comfortably for Lou Coppola. The purposefully annoying spectacle which followed in on his proverbial coat tails, caused him to spin a full 180° to look back with a flash of stone-like ire. Very few things annoyed Lou more than wasting time, but disrespect -- disrespect was certainly on the short list. As initial perceptions would have it, Lou found this display to be a combined disrespectful waste of time. He definitely needed a Seltzer.

Eleonora was family by blood. That was something that doesn't just go away. Louis operated under this knowledge. His mind never considered taking action against the girl directly. The rest of these sons of bitches however...they were not family in the slightest. He turned with a half raised brow to the Don; as if asking to carry out some sort of order within a second of its delivery. Lou followed orders when he wasn't the biggest name in the room -- he didn't act impulsively. To his disappointment, there seemed no suggestion for him to place a call to have the man escorted out.

As a silent sigh escaped through his clinched teeth, Lou took a seat at his usual end; placing the folder he carried on the table in front of him, and swiveled back against the chair.

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He quickly surveyed the rest of the invited party that had gathered. Truth be told, he was rather apathetic towards the lot of them -- body guards, bar tenders, escorts. The rest of them, he had some professional dealings with, but very rarely on a daily basis. He was pleased to see the lawyer roll in. He liked doing things properly, and the sooner they could get down to official business the better. Looking around the room only reinforced a notion that had been a long time coming: Lou was the old hand. This young faced collection of the families second generation was the wave of the future. A sign of the changing seasons and the introduction of a new way of doing business. One thing was now a reality however: the old and the new could not exist without the other. Not yet anyway.

Lou leaned his head back and swiveled the chair slowly to face the door. With his arms crossed over his chest, he let his eyes land once again on Leo's performers.

"How many cocks you think you have to suck before taking a job as a flower girl?"

He made the statement quietly, and to no one in particular. But his unblinking, emotionless gaze stayed heavily glued on the meaty individual that now busied himself with the cleaning of petals off of the floor. It was only until Giovanni himself entered the room did Lou start looking elsewhere. He sat silently, trying to pick out the emotional cues among those at play on this high stakes game board. He smirked slightly, as the kid sarcastically began to spar at the girl. Lou knew one thing for sure at this point: he could really use that antacid.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Santoro Character Portrait: Roxanne Fox Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Louis "Fast Louie" Coppola Sr. Character Portrait: Nico Kato Character Portrait: Aryan Julian Kolter Character Portrait: Eleonora Santoro Character Portrait: Jaqueline Character Portrait: Richard (Dickie) Glenmore Character Portrait: Martin Ross Character Portrait: Jude King Character Portrait: Leslie Rhodes Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro Character Portrait: Maxwell Parks
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Max had been hit in his life more times than he could count. He had the scars, bruises, and the occasional hospital records to prove it...He grew up on the streets, lived with a bunch of mobsters, and had a mouth on him that would cost him his teeth one day. Thing was, he always at least saw the first punch coming.

Not this one.

It all happened in the blink of an eye. One moment he was fine, the next there was a flash, and then pain was irrupting from the same damn area that always got him in trouble: his mouth. It fucking hurt. Knuckles slammed into lips, skin ripped from being forced between bone, his teeth rattled so damn hard he thought he might actually lose one or all of them.

Normally, Max even knew how to get hit – roll with the punches and it doesn't hurt as bad. This time the only reason he moved was because the hit literally took him off his goddamned feet. He smacked into concrete steps on his ass, new pain sliding up his spine, before he spit blood off to his left and glared up at the asscake that just messed up his face.

The other guy, Sexy McScruffy, was holding off said Asscake. He could hear words, though they bounced around in his head and didn't really make any sense whatsoever, but it was obvious Asscake was being talked down. Max felt his fists curling at his sides, blunt fingernails digging into his palms.

He didn't get up, though. Just stayed on the ground, eyes narrowed, willing his ears to stop ringing. It was really only then that he actually realized he no longer had his lollipop...Asscake stole it. And Dropped it. On the ground. Then stomped on it mother fucker.

“Fucking cockwad,” he grumbled under his breath, feeling skin break beneath his nails. He didn't get angry a lot...but what was he going to do? Jump up and get the ever loving shit beat out of him? Because Asscake was twice his size...and probably more than a little mentally unstable. He cursed again as the men moved passed him, going for the door, and it was only just before he rubbed his bloody palms down his pants that he realized Sexy McScruffy had turned back to him.

"Right. Well." the man was digging around for something, and Max arched an eyebrow as he finally raised one of his hands to cup under his jaw. He probably looked like shit, he could feel blood traveling down his chin and just didn't want it all over his shirt...a handkerchief. He was being handed a handkerchief. Both of Max's eyebrows were up now, but after a minute he slowly reached out with his free hand to take the offered cloth. He barely had it in his grip before both men were disappearing into the building.

He stayed there for a minute, blood filling up his mouth while he pretty much regretted every life decision he ever made, then he leaned to the left again to spit out another glob of red before finally climbing to his feet.

He still had a couple of minutes before he had to be anywhere, so he took the elevator up to the third floor, keeping his mouth covered and his head down as he slid into the cafeteria, lifting a bottle of water and a salt shaker then sliding down the hall and into the mens restroom.

The handkerchief was already stained red by the time he got to soak it under warm water, but he could still use it to wipe up the mess then swish a bit of saltwater to make the bleeding stop. It took a good five minutes or so, but then he could see the damage. It could have been a lot worse...His lips would probably swell, probably bruise, but he had all his teeth so that was good enough for him. His bottom lip was split wide open, and he kept having to fight the urge to suck it into his mouth or it'd start bleeding again.

With a sigh he shook his head, rung the water out of the ruined handkerchief before running it under a hand drier, and stuffed it in his back pocket as he jogged towards one of the elevators.





Giovanni lingered in the doorway for a moment after his sister addressed him. Nothing in his expression gave him away, it was only his hesitation that hinted what he was thinking about. The words used...the tone...the general way she regarded him made his heart tighten in his chest. He was glad, now, that he hadn’t hugged her like he so desperately wanted.

He didn't move until Jude and Martin were sliding in the room next to him, maneuvering their way around both twins. He stood up straight then, reaching behind him to take Aluara's hand again and pull her into the room, picking a spot to sit just in front of his parents. Though he stayed standing, hands resting on the back of his wives chair.

"Our apologies, Don Carlos. We didn't mean to keep you waiting.” The don sighed at Martin's words, shaking his head lightly and dismissing the comment with a wave of his hand. He knew that this meeting was going to be a disaster...now there was just proof.

The generation was half filled with rambunctious young adults leveled out only with the few who knew what they were doing. Thankfully, with the entrance of Martin, Jude, and finally Leslie Rhodes after them made things a bit easier. He too apologized for being late, but Carlos was too exasperated to really care much.

It was then that the older man realized a new sense of heaviness weighing on the room. Elenora, seemingly for the first time, recognized Aluara Santoro was in the room. Gio was watching his sister, closely, hands lifting from the chair he was leaning on as if he might have to make some protective movement over his son or over her. Aryan, even, seemed closer to the small group than before.

Everything snapped back into place the moment Leo spoke, and Gio seemed to relax only a little, his hands falling gently onto his wives shoulders while he smiled softly down at Alphie in her arms. “He is,” he murmured. “More than you can imagine.”

Crisis adverted, Carlos deflated slightly, only really long enough to catch the look Lou shot him. He hesitated for a moment, going over his options, but this morning was too important...his eldest daughter too unpredictable, and he ended up shaking his head once.

Maxwell Parks slid into the room finally, his head ducked and one hand rubbing the back of his neck as he tried to inconspicuously make it to one of the chairs by the door. He didn't, of course, because he was a klutz and tripped at least twice before managing to sit down.

"How many cocks you think you have to suck before taking a job as a flower girl?” His bright blue eyes glanced up at Louie's comment, soon followed by an arched eyebrow as he glanced back at on of Eleonora's men who had just finished gathering petals off the ground. He let out a snort, covering his mouth when he did, and muttered a: “More than me. Fuck, that's a lot...”

Eleonora turned away from Alaura then, a very serious expression on her face as she pointed her gaze towards Fast Louie. “Fourty-two,” she answered, as if she was stating a fact as simple and unarguable as the color of the sky.

Max laughed, hard, grabbing his sides and shaking his head. “I stand corrected.”

Gio made a face, leaving the others to converse amongst themselves before he crossed the room. “What are you doing here?” he asked, and knew that something was wrong the moment Max just shrugged. The kid was much too verbal to just shrug. “Max~” he tried to lean down to the blonde's level, but when Max moved backwards, Gio shot out his hand to grab the kid by the chin.

Max squeaked, looking up finally, and Gio felt a rush of anger. “Who hit you?” he demanded, eyes glazing over the freshly split lip, light bruising appearing around the kid's mouth. Max jerked his head back, opening his mouth to pop off something he was certain Aluara needed to cover their sons ears for, but then he...froze.

Gio arched an expectant eyebrow, following Max's gaze to the opposite end of the room...landing on Jude King. Of all people. “Ohmygod, Maxwell!” He dropped his head, running a hand down his face as he groaned. “You were not soliciting sex in front of the building again...!”

“...no?”

A snap of something hard and plastic demanded the room's attention then, and silence feel as Giovanni looked up at his mother who had purposely dropped her binder against the desk. “I think that's enough,” she said clearly, running her fingers through her dark hair. “If everyone would, please, sit down and gather around, there are some important announcements that need to be made.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Santoro Character Portrait: Roxanne Fox Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Camille Rickards Character Portrait: Louis "Fast Louie" Coppola Sr. Character Portrait: Nico Kato Character Portrait: Aryan Julian Kolter Character Portrait: Eleonora Santoro Character Portrait: Jaqueline Character Portrait: Richard (Dickie) Glenmore Character Portrait: Martin Ross Character Portrait: Jude King Character Portrait: Leslie Rhodes Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro Character Portrait: Maxwell Parks
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Jaqueline pulled off her glasses and removed her dark red leather jacket as she sighed slightly. Well this probably didn't go as planned. You could cut the tension with the knife. With that thought she walked slowly from her leaning place against the door, to a seat near to the matriarch on the other side of Martin and Jude next to an empty seat. Hopefully Cami will be here soon to fill it. There was a silence now, especially after Adrianna's outburst.
Jaqueline slid into the leather office chair and placed her hands on the table and looked towards everyone, finally getting a chance to meet everyone face to face. And eyes to eyes. The family was first to grab her attention of course. The Don and his wife were the power couple to rival all power couples, but despite the violence and crime, their love was pure and unconditional and Jackie couldn't help but envy them. The same was for Giovanni and his wife, but Jackie was no fool. It took one not to see how unsure he was, not only up to this moment, but especially now that his sister had returned. But, like his parents, not even the apocalypse could tear them apart, a sister should hardly cause much of a stir. And yet...Jackie knew how powerful she was, and how far she was willing to go to get what she wanted. IT was an admirable trait on a general level, but Jackie would probably never take any chances to get to know her. With her reputation, it wasn't worth it, not yet anyway. The youngest Santoro, Alexandra, was never in any time of buisness with the crime syndicate so they had never met. But, Jackie could say she got all of her good looks from her mother of course.
Martin and Jude were connected at the hip, as always, but something told her they were more like brothers than friends, or even anything in the opposite direction. Jude was a killer, he knew how to do it and how to handle it. They definitely had more in common than he knew but he always seemed to almost take pleasure in it, whereas Jackie only numbs herself and forgets. No matter how you are raised, or taught, or who your parents are, it's hard for a woman to take a life. Martin was the opposite he was gentle, sympathetic. He was all of the things she had so desperately tried to reclaim after her retirement, but hasn't been easy. Both, of course, are attractive males with alot to offer a mate, something Jackie always appreciated. The lawyer, Leslie sat not too far from them and was someone almost everyone in the family was in aquaintence with, despite his handicap, he is a very powerful man in the courtroom and Jackie always respected that quality in him.
Jackie turned now to the girl she saw at the door and Dickie. She was a lady of the night and he ran the place, so it made sense that they would meet frequently. He always made Jackie laugh those rare times when she consumed alcohol and he always knew what to say, even if he had no idea what was really bothering her. Jackie's favorite part about him was that he never demanded her attention and that went a long way when they first met. The escort sat rather demurely and quietly, which both surprised her and pleased her. She was not in the business of "work is work" and everything else is separate, an admirable quality she would have to inquire about...after she learned her name. Lou sat two seats down and Jackie smiled ever so slightly at him. He was her favorite street man. He was witty and smart, two very different things, so when they all come in one mature and sarcastic package she couldn't help but be drawn. She though of him as the father she wished she had, but she wouldn't dare say it. Kato sat to his right and there honestly wasn't much she knew about him or his background, something she wished was untrue but wouldn't push. She knew what it was like to get a fresh start and most who attempt to ruin that meet a very untimely end.
She looked around now and finally spotted Giovanni and Alaura's bodyguard, Aryan. He was exotic, to say the least and always appeared to be at his strongest, which was a desirable trait in a bodyguard she supposed. Most of her dealings were with street men, so most of the guards of the family and the higher-ups who did little work outside of the corporation stayed unknown to her.
I should probably want to change that if I'm not interested in being kicked to the curb.
Behind Arayan, finally, was Max and he was a tad worse for wear. A bloody nose and a severely split lip marred his boyish face. With Jude as the culprit. She wanted t roll her eyes when she heard the reason, but she somehow managed to restrain herself for the time being. It was time for business.
So Jackie looked at everyone again. It had been so long since she had addressed that many strangers at one time so she tried her hardest to enunciate through her French.
" She is right. The sooner this meeting is over the sooner we can discuss other matters."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roxanne Fox Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Eleonora Santoro Character Portrait: Richard (Dickie) Glenmore Character Portrait: Martin Ross Character Portrait: Jude King Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro Character Portrait: Maxwell Parks
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She soon learned who the woman was, but found herself only slightly in awe. She wasn't necessarily close with the family, although they all knew her moderately. She knew their names, their voices, their roles, and their presence as familiar ideas, but none of them she was very close and personal with. Then again, she wasn't very close with anyone. Funny how when you occasionally sleep with people for a living - a task usually for those wanting to be closer - you find yourself even more disconnected. She hardly minded, she could count her number of friends on both of her hands, mostly other working girls at the club and a few other members of the mob. Because Roxanne was their most acclaimed escort, she was invited to this meeting. Not to say that her fate could alter the lives of everyone in the mob, but generally she was useful when the time came.
She glanced at Dickie, who seemed generally annoyed at the pale women with the extravagant entrance. She couldn't help but agree, only because the Don seemed unpleased that the actual meeting had yet to start. From everyone else's reaction she gathered that this so called "Leo" was unexpected.
Dickie was occasionally the bartender at the club she danced at, and you could say he was maybe the closest things she had to a friend. Really he was the owner, and had more importance in the mob, but she mostly only saw him mixing drinks. They often joked together, and he knew her regular drinks she had almost every night. In general, it wasn't hard to befriend Dickie. He always seemed interested in whatever you had to say, which was maybe the nicest thing about him. They were similar in the idea that they adjusted to whatever situation they were in. He could talk about anything and everything with a stranger, and she could fill the role they wanted her to.
Although she wasn't listening to Leo and Gio's conversation, she could feel the tension when she glanced back to them. In truth she found herself not paying attention enough to what was going on often. Unless her attention was required or asked for, she sometimes lost focus. Either way the gorgeously tall girl had everyone's eyes glued to her. That was the point, Roxy supposed. Once the reuniting started, with the woman talking to Gio's wife and son, she looked away. Glanced around until her eyes found Martin, probably the most mysterious man alive to her.
They had had a few odd encounters, and it seemed every time she'd seen him after they glanced at each other, occasionally giving eye contact for just a little too long. He confused her to say the least, as well as his situation with Jude. But she liked his presence, and his messy hair. He was smart, thoughtful, and sometimes seemed out of place here. But calm and collected, usually polite, she always wondered about him.
It was Louie's comment that then grabbed her attention, a slight smile creeping onto her lips. She almost laughed when she heard Max's response, as well as seeing him burst into laughter, but then Gio turned matters more serious, interrogating Max. It was almost awkward to watch, but suddenly a smack of a binder silenced the room, drawing all eyes to the Don and his wife. She turned her full attention to them - realizing their was obviously a more important reason than Leo's homecoming for the meeting. She remained poised, her expression not interested or bored. She was neutral mostly, though she was unaware she really played both sides..

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Santoro Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Eleonora Santoro Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro
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#, as written by Layla
Leo.

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Creep by Radiohead.

"To my enemies: 'I hate myself more than you ever could.'"


Katy Perry sang once: "We'd make out in your Mustang to Radiohead." It was something Leo never understood, because Radiohead simply was not the sort of band one exchanged bodily fluids to - excluding blood. They were, however, possibly one of her favourite bands. She would often lose herself to the crooning lament of Thom Yorke and neglect the lost world around her. She realised quickly as a little girl that Radiohead was a band of mind readers who knew well the pain of being the Golden Child's lesser twin.

Her eyes glazed as his hand drifted down to rest on the other woman's shoulder. He turned a fond gaze to his son and if looks could kill, he'd stabbed her repeatedly. “He is,” he murmured. “More than you can imagine.” A wry smile emerged from her stoic gaze and she was tempted to burst into song right then and there. "You're just like an angel," she wanted to quote. "Your skin makes me cry."

"I'm sure that you have all heard the rumours about my stepping down and letting Giovanni head the family business. It's a shock-" No. No, it really isn't. "-and it's soon but some of us here have been fortunate to outlive our life expectancy and I'd like to train Gio myself to take over our empire." There it was. Out in the open, undeniable, confirmed, and clear for the world to see. The Golden Child rises again.

"I wish I was special. You're so fucking special."

As the Don continued, Leo felt herself getting colder and colder. When Adriana and Carlos' gazes turned to her and Alexandra, she turned to marble. "Girls," they began. Was that all they were now? All they had ever been? XX Chromosomes? "You are the closest link of family Giovanni actually has. it's your job to help when you can, however you can, and provide the support he's going to need." It was their job to be servants to the higher cause. Alexandra seemed content being the supportive younger sister but Eleonora could not fall to her knees and watch as Gio stood atop their prone bodies with another woman at his side. She had always wanted what he had more than he had ever deserved it. She was willing to give everything, to be anything. She deserved at least a fighting chance at being the Don. She would be the better Don. She would be-

"But I'm a creep; I'm a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here."

The walls were sinking in, pushing against her skull, forcing her under and she couldn't breathe, she couldn't-

"Please excuse me. I need to refill my parking meter," Leo said abruptly. "She's running out the door. She's running. She runs runs runs runs runs." She turned carefully and nudged the door open, sliding it shut behind her. She waited a few moments for the elevator before turning around and taking the stairs. Her pace was unremarkable as she emerged from the building and headed for a car. She slipped a handful of coins into the parking meter before turning around and walking away from the Santoro building. Her jacket slipped from her shoulders and revealed hip bones that pressed against ripped jean shorts. She wore a simple blank tank that left her lean stomach bare. Her stiletto heels soon followed her jacket, now damp and smudged in a puddle on the ground. Leo turned the corner until the building and its security cameras were out of view.

Then she ran.

Gravel dug into the soles of her feet as her long legs pushed her forward. She sprinted until her lungs burned and her breaths came in harsh gasps. Until the blood rushing to her ears turned into a roar. She ran until her knees quaked and vision blurred. Her toes slammed into street debris and she stumbled forward but that only halted her for a moment. Strands of silver-gold whipped across her face like a spiderweb that had her trapped. She shoved the hair from her face and allowed it to billow behind her like an echo of her presence. Sharp edges cut into her feet and she left a trail of bloody footprints in her wake. Her body trembled as her lungs burned. She needed to stop. She needed to stop. Please stop. Stop. Stop.

"I don't care if it hurts. I want to have control. I want a perfect body. I want a perfect soul."

She kept running.

Curious eyes turned to stare but she might as well have been the last human being left on the planet. She found the edge of the woods she'd been searching for and she burst through the foliage. Branches grasped her skin and tore at her flesh, leaving red welts on her scarcely clad body. She ran deeper into the woods until she was at a small clearing that sat beside the transparent river. Her legs gave out beneath her and she collapsed beside the water, her hair half submerged. Her chest rose and fell as she gulped rapid breaths. There was pounding in her mind as if a million bodies were pounding against her skull and begging entrance. A large stone dug into her rib but it was nothing compared to the excruciating pain of her long-distance sprint. Or maybe it was all in her head. It probably was.

The sky swam into view overhead, the blue fractured by vibrant, lush green leaves. These woods surrounded the Santoros' personal home just outside the city limits, and the siblings would sneak out here sometimes as children. This particular clearing belonged to the twins, their names etched into the massive stone that dug into Leo's bones. It was here that Leo had told Gio she loved him for the first time. She never had before, even though they were siblings. He pretended to misinterpret her meaning, or at least she thought he had. She saw him beside Alaura and their... Their son, now, but her anger dissipated through her weariness. She wondered if they'd even noticed she hadn't come back from filling the parking meter. She should've said she'd gone to powder her nose.

"I want you to notice when I'm not around."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Santoro Character Portrait: Roxanne Fox Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Louis "Fast Louie" Coppola Sr. Character Portrait: Nico Kato Character Portrait: Aryan Julian Kolter Character Portrait: Eleonora Santoro Character Portrait: Jaqueline Character Portrait: Richard (Dickie) Glenmore Character Portrait: Martin Ross Character Portrait: Jude King Character Portrait: Leslie Rhodes Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro Character Portrait: Maxwell Parks
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Within the interior of the meeting room was a thick, cloying tension, an additional heaviness in the air that weighed down on anyone observant enough to notice the situation. This was not singularly abnormal, however, when it came to meetings with the Santoro mob. Granted the addition of the eldest daughter giving out false platitudes towards her brother's family- Martin would rather not ruminate on what exactly was going on there, thanks very much- was an oddity, but this was around what Martin had expected. If you place enough big egos into one room, they're sure to clash, battling for dominance, and everything was just a hair's breadth away from total chaos, only the few societal norms that the mob actually clung to keeping it from devolving into hysteria. It was, Martin decided as he sank further into his chair, way too early for this.

While Jude watched on as the last members of their motley gathering filtered into the room, Martin pushed up his glasses, rubbing tired eyes with one hand. It had only been a few hours ago that he'd been in this very building, sequestered in his office like the good little worker he was, working until the time shifted from late to early on an account from a new business partner in Saudi Arabia. He was running on little sleep and even the caffeine boost from the tea Jude had broken into his apartment to fix for him(which was still vaguely kind in a psychotic sort of way) had begun to fade from his system. Maybe, when he had these early morning meetings, he should at least try coffee again…? Or maybe a coffee drink filled with so much sugar and chocolate that the coffee was just hinted at?

Jude, on the other hand, was as awake as anyone could claim to be this early in the morning, sharp eyes surveying the room. There was this delightful tension in the room, thick enough to cut with a knife- something that he'd be tempted to attempt for boredom's sake but refrained from doing so because half of the people in the room would not react well to seeing an open knife, no matter who's holding the blade. However, quite unfortunately, everything had come to a standstill, only the deliciously fake trivialities passed between the blood members of the Santoro family(Eleonora, he was quite sure, was far too like himself for him to fall for her innocent sister act) and the caustic wit of one Fast Louie doing anything to break the tedium. That is, until the distinct sound of stumbling caught his attention. It couldn't be- his grin grew to levels that would put the Cheshire Cat to shame. Oh, oh this was fantastic, wasn't it?

Martin was woken from his sleep-deprived stupor by a finger being pressed incessantly into his side. There was only one person he knew that invaded his personal space with such ease and eagerness. He slid his glasses back into place and noticed two things. One, Giovanni Santoro was fretting over someone in the middle of the meeting room with, which, considering it wasn't anyone Martin instantly recognized, was a bit odd. And, two, Jude was beaming at him, eyes glittering with barely contained mirth, which either meant that he'd thought of something hilarious or was about to do something socially unacceptable, or, more likely than not, a combination between the two.

"What…?" Then it clicked. Oh. Oh, Lord. The boy currently being fawned over by the Don's son was the boy from earlier, lip split open but the blood already starting to congeal. And here was Jude, beaming and still poking him incessantly, like a child showing off a homework assignment to his parent that he'd gotten a smiley face on. 'See, Marty?' Jude's expression eagerly conveyed, 'Didn't I do good? That is a bloody fantastic split lip.' Martin groaned quietly, pinching the bridge of his nose. What were the odds? Fantastic. Fan-freaking-tastic. It was far too early for this.

"Who hit you?" The question rang in the duo's ears as Martin sank lower in his chair and Jude straightened up, hands clasped in front of him, smile shrinking from a beaming grin to a content smile, an artist waiting humbly for appropriate acknowledgement for his work. He wasn't disappointed as anger flashed to realization to shock to rage on the Santoro boy's face, rounding on the poof with all of disbelief he could muster. Martin, who would have preferred never to meet their little friend ever again, just sighed for the third time that day.

The sound of plastic clattering across the meeting table drew both of their attentions and an immediate shift overtook the two men. Martin rose in his chair, back straightening out until he was once more seated like a normal human being, not like a teenager who was particularly embarrassed by whoever they were with. His tired eyes gained focus, leveling on the Don and Donna of the Santoro family with all of the attention a meeting like this required. Jude, on the other hand, swiveled in his seat to face Don Carlos and his wife, elbows pressed against the table as he leaned towards them, all of his attention now solely on them.

The announcement wasn't a complete surprise- the rumor had made its way around the office gossip mill several times by now and it seemed, if not optimal, then inevitable that it would be Giovanni Santoro who would be named as the new Don when his father officially retired from the business. Still, to hear it spoken by the man himself was enough to bring its own shock with it. As the assignments were administered, Jude's smile completely faded away, lips pressed into a thin line as his eyes darted over to the boy who had the gaul to think he could become the Santoro's family next Don after the shit he tried to pull only a few years back. He was weak and had yet to earn respect from the consummate professionals in the room, which made him seem terribly inadequate.

Eleonora fled first, her excuse about parking meters hollow and as obvious a lie as any, and Jude was sorely tempted to join her, to leave the room and jump ship before it could officially sink with this wrong choice when a hand caught his wrist in a tight grip. Martin wasn't looking at him, was instead staring ahead as he had before, posture upright and head bobbing in an understanding nod. Jude sat back as Martin relinquished his grip, his initial ire quelled as reality set in as dictated by Martin's simple gesture.

Martin, in comparison to everyone else in the room, was in a unique position. He hadn't grown up fighting the man from the bottom of society, had never known the need or environment that drove men and women to break laws with little care. He hadn't grown up in a wealthy family either, hadn't known what it was like to be in power over others. No, for the entirety of his life he had been somewhere in the middle, a subservient sort of role. It made him realize something that perhaps no one else in the room had; leaving wasn't an option. It was just a pretty phrase meant to calm and cajole, but he knew, he knew that none of them ever really had the option to say so long and waltz out those doors for good. Not here, not now.

"I take it that we're going to begin immediately," He said dryly as he made steady eye contact with her, voice calm despite the situation.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alaura Dawn Santoro Character Portrait: Eleonora Santoro Character Portrait: Jaqueline Character Portrait: Richard (Dickie) Glenmore Character Portrait: Jude King Character Portrait: Giovanni Santoro Character Portrait: Maxwell Parks
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The tension in this room was like smog. Dickie sat back in his chair quietly. To stay quiet is to stay alive in a business like this. Even though Dickie was a member of the upper echelon, and no one would dare hurt him lest they desire the wrath of the Don, He preferred to keep quiet during times like these. To Dickie, self-protection was everything. The only sure fire way to get you and everyone you loved killed, was to paint a target on your back. And even though Miss Leo was bat-shit, she was still probably the most dangerous person in the room. Be that as it may, he voiced his opinions silently across the table to those he trusted.

The spectacle of one Eleonora was distracted for a quick beat with the entrance of Max, the man-whore... or should it be boy-whore? He smiled at his own wit and watched the exchange between Gio and Max with curiosity. Maxwell Parks was without a doubt the least familiar member of the crew to Dickie, and this was no mistake. Max and Dickie weren't exactly on good terms, as the kid tends to get a little too touchy in his club, and has a talent for creating problems were none need to be had. Dickie had... numerous times, thrown the boy from the front doors of Black Violets. He held no ill will towards the boy, but no one screws with his club.

He had to cover his mouth to hide his smile upon seeing Max's busted lip. Some quick eyesight detective work showed who the culprit was. No surprise. It was Jude, who looked far past pleased with his actions. Dickie raised an eyebrow and flashed a smile of approval at the man.

More Eleonora nonsense was spewed, and Dickie decided it wasn't worth his time to listen, but when Uncle Carlos spoke up he turned his ears back on. He dropped the news finally, officially. Gio was the main man now. Dick wasn't thrilled to answer to Gio. They'd grown up together, and they were always on equal footing. Now he was in charge... Hopefully it wouldn't go to his head. The crew was offered an out. Dickie shook his said quietly. As if he had anywhere else to go. There was no leaving for him.

Leo woman left the building just as abruptly as she'd arrived. Dickie, doubting she'd return, nodded a farewell to her flower-girls and waved them goodbye.