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Tirone: Chapter 7

Furore

“He came to the house, that man, Armando Lanza. He asked to see me. Dad couldn’t say no,” Rex started.

Dad. A word I hadn’t heard from him about me, his real father, in years. It tore my heart every time he said it to someone else, especially someone as shitty as McNamara.

“Mom was pissed ugly, but she couldn’t say no either. That’s when I knew for sure the boogeyman in the living room was someone like you. Except a hundred times more powerful and wore a suit.” He loved to trash my ass to piss me off.

However, when your son compared you to a Mafia enforcer, you knew you fucked up, even when you had an enforcer on your crew yourself. How could I endure all that hate from my blood? How could I ever change it?

“Anyway, I talked to him. He was asking me subtle questions about school, at first, but then the whole conversation turned into an essay interview about Miss Meneceo. The questions were so weird. Was she ever blonde? Did she always wear shades? Was it true she was fucking one of us?”

I leaned forward in my seat at the head of the table, all my senses at their highest. “What?”

“There was a rumor she was…you know. Nobody believed it. I mean, look at her. She’s the epitome of seriousness and innocence. She’d never.” Except she did. “I have no clue how she ended up with someone like you,” he mumbled.

“Do you know who he is?” I sounded calm, but there was chaos underneath.

“Who?”

“The boy from the rumor.”

He narrowed his eyes at me. “I just told you it was just a rumor.”

“So what, they just said she was fucking a student and never mentioned who?”

“Whom.”

Anger spiked under my skin. “Fuck you.”

“What?”

“You speak just like her.” What were the odds?

He scoffed. “Here comes that sick shit again. What the fuck, Furore? She’s my English teacher. That was English grammar, which she taught me. Hello?”

Well, there was that. “Back to the boy. Who was he?” I had to know who he was. I had to wipe that son of a bitch off the face of the earth.

“They said…but it’s not true…Mark Chadwick and she hooked up. He’s my friend. If he did, he’d tell me, you know. Yes, he had a thing for her. He told me that before. He even commented on her ass. The things he wanted to do to—”

My palm slammed the table so hard it hurt. “Mark Chadwick, huh?”

“Like I said, a fucking rumor. A lot of guys have crushes on their teachers. You of all people should know. Not everybody acts on it, though. And she hated his guts. He was terrible in class. They always picked on each other.”

Sounded too familiar. Mark Chadwick was definitely the motherfucker that took her virginity, got her hung up on him, broke her heart and made her feel like a whore. I’m gonna kill that son of a bitch. But first things first. I had to keep Jo alive and safe first. “What did you tell Armando?”

“Nothing, I swear. I didn’t know anything anyway. Then he wanted me to do something awful. He told me that if she was fooling around with a student then…I should try with her. That way I can get him the info he wants.”

“Fucking shit.”

“I wouldn’t do it. I told him I’d try just to shut him up, but I wouldn’t. He sensed my stalling so he talked to Dad, telling him all kinds of shit about her. How she was in the mob, and she shouldn’t be teaching kids, whom she fucked. I didn’t believe any of it. He was basically scaring Dad so he’d force me into doing it. I still wouldn’t do it. That what got me into a fight with Dad.” He pursed his lips, his eyes darkening with a memory. “That’s why he hit me the other day. That’s why I dropped out.”

My blood simmered. “And you still took his side?”

“Even if he was a pussy who was so afraid of the big bad coyote that he’d do this to his son,” he directed a hateful gaze at me, “he’s still better than you.”

Bile rose to my throat. “If you hate me that much, and you found out the letter that brought you here wasn’t written by me, why aren’t you heading back to Frisco, why are you asking to patch in?”

“Do you want me to leave?”

Fuck no. Never. I just got him back. “No. But I want to know if you’re sticking around for real and not going to split any time soon. I want to know if I really got my son back, if he’d have my back.”

His chest puffed with a long breath. “Well, you did tell the Lanza boss to fuck off. In that part…you were better than Dad.”

Emotion tickled my chest out of nowhere. It was the nicest thing he’d ever said to me.

“I see the way you look at her. You never looked at Mom that way.”

“Listen, I loved Delilah. It’s just—”

“You don’t have to lie to please me. I’m just saying that with Miss Meneceo in your life, and me, you might… I don’t know.”

There was a moment between us that fell in silence. Then I couldn’t help it. I took my boy in my arms for the first time in fifteen years, and it felt so fucking incredible. “I love you, Tirone. More than you think.”

His eyes sparkled with something I couldn’t read. “Does that mean you’ll give me that cut?”

I chuckled, reluctantly breaking the hug. “Need to ask you something first. Why do you look at Jo the way you do?”

“That sick shit again? Are you for real?”

“There’s something going on between the two of you. I can see it. Anybody with a dick can see it.”

“I don’t have a crush on Miss Meneceo. Ewww. But I do idolize her. She’s awesome, and that thing you see is called an intellectual connection. We sort of…get each other…academically. Of course, it’s not something someone like you can understand because you think with your dick.”

“How can you make me want to kick you in the balls after I literally teared up hugging you?”

He shrugged. “Beats me. I feel the same way…not about the hugging.”

“Ass.” I blew out a sigh in frustration. “Anyway, that wasn’t the question I wanted you to answer. This is it. What if the rumors were true? What if she was in the mob and screwed a student, would you still defend her and help me keep her safe from the Lanzas?”

He stared at me pensively for a few moments before he said, “Absolutely.”

I smiled. “Go wait outside and wait for me to call you in. I’m bringing your membership to the table. We’ll vote on it.”

“How many votes do you think I’ll get?”

“I don’t know, but you have one in the bag.”


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